F-Secure FREEDOME VPN review (2021) – Not that great of a VPN
F-Secure is a large internet security company that offers various kinds of products. In addition to a VPN, they also have antivirus software, a password manager, and more. The big advantage of a company like F-Secure is that they have years of experience. F-Secure has been in business for over 30 years.
F-Secure’s VPN option is called FREEDOME VPN and it mainly focuses on security rather than absolute anonymity and unblocking restricted sites. We have tested this VPN to see how FREEDOME scores in terms of speed, security, user-friendliness, server network, and available options. Read our full review below for all the details!
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Speed – How fast is F-Secure FREEDOME VPN?
If you have a VPN that slows down your internet connection, you will quickly get tired of it. After all, it is not nice having to wait forever for pages and videos to load. A slow connection is also very inconvenient when gaming online.
Fortunately, the best VPNs can keep your internet speed intact for the most part. The question is, does F-Secure’s FREEDOME VPN do this? We investigated and provide the results below.
Speedtest results FREEDOME VPN
To test FREEDOME VPN’s speed, we ran several speed tests with speedtest.net. All tests were carried out with a local server using our own internet connection.
Keep in mind that these results are not guarantees of the internet speed you are likely to get. This depends on various factors, including your location, internet provider, and when you run the tests. The results below are only an indication of the effect FREEDOME VPN will have on your internet speed.
Speed without a VPN (speedtest.net):
These are the speeds of our internet connection without a VPN. These figures are our baseline data, which we used to compare our other test results.
Speed with a local server (speedtest.net):
These are the results of our speed test when we connected to a local FREEDOME VPN server. As you can see, the ping response time has stayed the same. The download speed has decreased slightly, as has the upload speed, although these differences are quite small. With these speeds, you can expect slight delays compared to your normal internet use.
Speed with a distant server (speedtest.net):
Our test results when using a distant FREEDOME VPN server looked slightly different. The ping response time increased enormously, which means that these servers would not be a good option if you are wanting to play games, for example. The download speed has been roughly halved, while the upload speed has only been slightly affected. Again, we would expect some delays compared to our normal internet usage. This is nothing out of the ordinary.
Speed during daily use
In practice, FREEDOME VPN’s speed is very variable. Browsing with FREEDOME VPN is quite nice. We were able to visit many different pages without encountering long load times. At least, that was the case during one of our speed tests. At other times, the speed was very slow, and we had to wait for websites to load.
Streaming is less smooth. Spotify has issues at times. YouTube works quite well, but the speed isn’t very stable. Therefore, at times loading speeds were very fast and at other times quite slow.
Netflix works quite well, just like YouTube, although we cannot give any guarantees about the stability of the connection in this instance either. Incidentally, we could only use FREEDOME VPN to watch Netflix’s international content. Content specific to American Netflix was unreachable.
Gaming with F-Secure FREEDOME VPN also required a large amount of effort. Loading took a long time. In one case, we were even denied access to the game. With other games we had to wait longer than expected, but afterward, we were nonetheless able to play. However, due to the instability of the connection, we don’t dare guarantee that this will always be the case.
Furthermore, it is not possible to download torrents with FREEDOME VPN. Even when we used a server that shouldn’t block torrenting, as specified on the F-Secure website, torrents nevertheless refused to download.
Conclusion on FREEDOME VPN’s speed
- F-Secure FREEDOME VPN will slow down your connection a little, but not much, according to our speedtests.
- During daily use, however, FREEDOME VPN provides an unstable internet connection.
Safety – How secure is F-Secure FREEDOME VPN?
Of all the benefits a VPN provides, security is perhaps the most important. With a VPN, all your data traffic is secured, so that you cannot only surf the internet more anonymously but also be much safer when using the internet. For example, you are less likely to fall victim to hackers.
F-Secure is well known for its internet security products. But what about the security that FREEDOME VPN offers? To tell you how secure this VPN is, we examined various aspects of the software, such as the VPN protocols used, the security options available, and the way the product handles the privacy of its users.
FREEDOME VPN works with various protocols, depending in part on your operating system. OpenVPN is used for Android, Windows, and Mac. Both TCP and UDP are also available for these operating systems. IPSec is used for iOS, both in combination with IKEv1 and IKEv2.
All protocols use AES-256 or AES-128 encryption. Although AES-128 is not as strong or as secure as AES-256, these are both very good encryption algorithms that work well. AES-128 is specifically used with both OpenVPN’s and IKEv1’s “data channels”. This is not very unusual: data channels, through which your actual data passes, often use lower encryption algorithms than the “control channel”, which ensures that the connection remains intact and stable.
While there aren’t many different VPN protocol options with FREEDOME, the protocols that are used are the strongest currently available for the respective devices.
Log policy and privacy
Firstly, FREEDOME VPN keeps track of your IP address and private communications. Your IP address, and therefore also the country where you are located, is processed, as is the number of MBs you run through the F-Secure server. In addition, FREEDOME can check your traffic for malicious or suspicious files and websites, and they block torrents. Consequently, they must have a good idea of what you are doing online, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to provide these services. F-Secure also states that they collect statistics on your online activity, although this information is not personally identifiable.
Secondly, communication logs are stored that track the place and time you start or end a connection. Your IP address is also read, just like other device data. FREEDOME VPN also gives your device its own device ID.
Therefore, although FREEDOME VPN says it doesn’t keep logs of your internet usage, they nonetheless know a lot about your connection. This is reflected in their software’s “Tracker Mapper” functionality. This functionality gives you the option to record the types of trackers you encounter while online over a 24-hour period, on which websites the trackers are located, and where cookies send any collected information. Although this information is deleted after three days, it still shows how easily FREEDOME VPN can track what you are doing online.
In other words: F-Secure may be very strong in terms of security, but it compromises your privacy quite a bit.
The FREEDOME VPN software includes a kill switch. This means that your internet connection is automatically completely cut off if the VPN connection is lost. This may sound annoying, but it actually provides extra security. In this way, your data will never be exposed if your VPN goes down even for just a moment.
F-Secure FREEDOME VPN’s built-in kill switch is available on Android, Windows, and Mac. On Windows and Mac, this option is turned off by default, which means you need to manually enable it through your settings if you want to use it. On Android, the option is enabled by default.
For iOS, FREEDOME does not offer its own kill switch, but the functionality is integrated into the IPsec component of the iOS operating system. However, this does not provide the same security as an actual kill switch.
You can enable the kill switch by going to “Settings” within the FREEDOME VPN software and checking the box “Use automatic kill switch”.
What information does F-Secure FREEDOME VPN need?
When you buy an F-Secure FREEDOME VPN subscription, you need to share various pieces of information about yourself with the company. In addition to the information that is requested for the various payment options, F-Secure also asks for your email address, first name, surname, zip code, and country. This is very specific and personal information, so it is very difficult to purchase this VPN anonymously.
Conclusion on FREEDOME VPN’s safety
- FREEDOME VPN uses AES-256 and AES-128 encryption.
- F-Secure’s VPN works with the OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, IKEv2/IPsec, and IKEv2/IPsec protocols.
- FREEDOME VPN has a built-in kill switch.
- FREEDOME VPN keeps a lot of data, including your IP address and (some of) your browser history.
- To create an account, FREEDOME VPN will ask you to share your email address, first name, surname, zip code, and country.
Usability – How user-friendly is F-Secure FREEDOME VPN
F-Secure is a large company that offers numerous internet security products. Therefore, they should already have a lot of experience in terms of setting up and updating their VPN software. We, therefore, anticipated that the usability of this provider would be particularly good. We expect a user-friendly VPN to be easy to find, download, and use. But is F-Secure FREEDOME VPN as user-friendly as expected?
The F-Secure website
The F-Secure website has a very professional feel. Since F-Secure is a larger company, the entire website is not dedicated to just their VPN service. Consequently, if you are looking for specific information about FREEDOME VPN, you need to click further.
All the various products that F-Secure offers can be found under the “Products” menu item on the menu bar. From there, if you click on “F-Secure FREEDOME VPN”, you will get to the section of the site that is dedicated to their VPN.
From here, you can almost immediately see what a VPN can do for you, and specifically what FREEDOME VPN has to offer. You will also see two buttons towards the top of the page: one to download the software and the other to take out a subscription. This is very clear and immediately helps visitors on their way. A large part of the website is also available in several languages. The FAQ page, however, is available in English and only a few other languages.
The FREEDOME VPN webpage contains additional information, including prices, availability, server locations (via a link to the FAQs page), and videos that explain more about FREEDOME and VPNs in general.
All in all, the F-Secure website is quite user-friendly, even if the VPN section of the website is a bit more hidden than with other VPN providers. We did see a little more factual information about FREEDOME on this page.
Installing FREEDOME VPN
You can easily install FREEDOME VPN from the F-Secure website. Go to the VPN page and click the button “Download for PC”. Are you on another device, such as your smartphone? Then this button will be called “Download for Android” and will automatically redirect you to the FREEDOME VPN app in the Play Store.
Are you on your desktop? Then clicking the “Download for PC” button will automatically download an .exe file. Open this file and click on “Run”.
Once your trial period is over, you can choose to purchase a subscription. This is very easy and can be done in two ways: firstly, you can click on the “Buy” button within the software, which forwards you to the pricing page on the F-Secure website. Secondly, it is also possible to purchase a subscription directly via the F-Secure website.
FREEDOME VPN’s appearance and ease of use
The F-Secure FREEDOME VPN software has a basic interface that looks very calm and simple. You can turn on the VPN by clicking the big button labeled “Protection OFF” located in the middle of the screen. You will then be automatically connected to the nearest server, which is displayed at the bottom of the screen in the “Location” field. The interface also shows how much data you have used in your current session and how many malicious websites and tracking attempts FREEDOME VPN has blocked.
You can see a list of available servers by clicking on the “Location” field at the bottom of the screen. You also have a number of extra options, which are provided via the sidebar. These options allow you to enable and disable your browser protection and tracking protection. We recommend that you leave both these options on for extra security.
In the sidebar, you will also find information about your subscription, as well as providing you access to help and your settings. You can set a number of basic functions under “Settings”. Here you will find your choice of language and the kill switch.
Finally, there is “Tracker Mapper”. This function shows you how and when you are being tracked while on the internet. If you activate this option, the VPN records which trackers you encounter over a 24-hour period. The results are then displayed on an interactive map so that you can clearly see which cookies and websites have participated in the tracking of your internet behavior. Unfortunately, this only works on HTTP traffic. We would recommend that you always use the more secure HTTPS traffic whenever possible.
Pricing and methods of payment
F-Secure FREEDOME VPN has various plans available. The difference between these plans is in the number of devices you can protect at the same time. The website shows the following choices.
All three VPN plans offered by F-Secure are annual plans. The choice is therefore completely based on the number of devices you would like to use with the VPN. The more devices, the higher your costs. Do you want to protect only three devices at the same time? Then, this will cost you $34.99 per year, paid annually.
In addition to the annual subscriptions for three and seven devices, there is a two-year subscription available for seven devices, which turns out to be the cheapest if looked at the monthly price per device. However, the cheapest option available, if you don´t look at the number of devices you can protect, is $2.92 a month.
F-Secure FREEDOME VPN provides the following payment options:
- Credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, JCB)
- Bank transfer (so you can pay manually through your bank)
- SEPA transfer (a transfer method available for EU countries and 9 other SEPA countries)
- Various regional payment methods
As you can see, there are no options available that allow you to pay anonymously using, for example, Bitcoin. You will have to provide personal information with each of the offered payment methods.
F-Secure has an extensive customer service that includes a database of articles, forums, chat support, and an option to contact the company by phone. Do you have a question? Then we recommend that you first search the database and the forums for an answer. You can find these under the “Support” menu item on the F-Secure website or by clicking on “Help” within the FREEDOME VPN software.
The chat function is currently only available in English. With this function you can ask a question via a live chat screen in your browser, which will then be looked at by an F-Secure employee. We asked a question and received a detailed answer within minutes. We also received a quick answer to a follow-up question. F-Secure also states that you can consult their forums and FAQs if live chat is not available.
In addition to live chat, you can contact them by phone. This can be done during office hours (9:00 – 18:00). Telephone numbers for each country can be found on the F-Secure website.
Conclusion on F-Secure FREEDOME VPN’s ease of use
- The F-Secure website is large, with a small section dedicated to their VPN.
- FREEDOME VPN’s installation process is very quick and easy.
- The FREEDOME VPN software has an easy interface with few options.
- FREEDOME VPN has annual subscriptions for a decent price.
- It is not possible to pay anonymously.
- F-Secure has good customer service with a live chat and an option to call them.
F-Secure’s server network
The more servers a VPN has, the better the chances that you will find a good, fast, and stable connection. This also gives you more internet freedom. A provider’s server network is therefore very important. F-Secure FREEDOME VPN has a relatively small server network that is still growing. With 28 server locations spread across 22 countries, they have nowhere near the thousands of servers bigger providers, such as CyberGhost and NordVPN, have at their disposal.
Number of servers and locations
F-Secure FREEDOME VPN offers 28 server locations spread over 22 countries. These “virtual locations”, as they call them, are in:
- Asia: Japan (Tokyo) and Singapore
- Europe: Belgium (Brussels), Denmark (Copenhagen), Germany (Falkenstein), Finland (Espoo), France (Paris), Ireland (Dublin), Italy (Milan), Netherlands (Amsterdam), Norway (Oslo), Austria (Vienna ), Poland (Warsaw), Spain (Madrid), Czech Republic (Prague), United Kingdom (London), Sweden (Stockholm) and Switzerland (Zurich).
- North America: Canada (Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver), Mexico (Mexico City), and the United States (Northwest, East Coast, West Coast, South, and Southeast)
- Oceania: Australia (Melbourne)
Since the provider states that more server locations will be added in the future, there is a good chance that their server network will grow. You can use their servers to surf the internet quickly, securely, and anonymously. It must be noted, however, that a lot of VPNs have servers in the countries mentioned above, so unfortunately these server location options are not unique to FREEDOME VPN.
F-Secure FREEDOME VPN’s website does not state whether they provide dedicated IP addresses or not. We therefore assumed that they do not offer this option. Do you want to know more about what a dedicated IP address is and when this might be useful? Then read our article “What is a dedicated IP and why would you need it”.
Conclusion on F-Secure FREEDOME VPN’s server network
- FREEDOME VPN currently has a server network with 28 server locations in 22 countries.
- FREEDOME VPN does not currently offer dedicated IP addresses.
F-Secure FREEDOME VPN’s options
A VPN is great if you want to protect your internet connection. This is where FREEDOME VPN serves you well. But what if you also want some extras, such as accessing American Netflix, for example? Or downloading torrents safely? Many VPNs offer additional options to make such wishes possible. However, this is slightly different for F-Secure. We will tell you more about this in this section.
FREEDOME VPN and streaming (Netflix, BBC iPlayer)
F-Secure states that FREEDOME VPN’s main aim is to allow users to access the internet in a secure and anonymous way. Therefore, their unblocking options don’t necessarily take center stage.
As a result, Netflix works with FREEDOME VPN, but it is unable to unblock other countries’ Netflix libraries. With this VPN you can only access movies and series that are owned by Netflix and are available on all versions of Netflix. FREEDOME VPN is therefore not a good choice for watching American Netflix from outside the US or your country’s Netflix from abroad.
The same goes for other streaming services. For example, F-Secure states in their FAQs that BBC iPlayer often doesn’t work because BBC blocks VPN users. The solution they propose for this problem is for users to contact BBC iPlayer and ask them to change their VPN blocking policy. In addition, they indicate that it is important that users comply with services’ user agreements.
FREEDOME VPN and torrents
F-Secure is focused on security and privacy and does not support illegal practices. To prevent programs such as BitTorrent from being used to illegally download material, which is often what they are used for, they block downloading through these programs. Thus, they do not support the use of P2P downloading and users will not be able to download files in this way if the VPN is on, whether they´re legal files or illegal copies of copyrighted material.
FREEDOME VPN only blocks downloading from servers in certain countries. This way they try to honor the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). However, according to their website, even using a server in a country that is not covered by these restrictions will not help. Consequently, torrenting is not possible with FREEDOME VPN.
Conclusion on FREEDOME VPN’s options
- FREEDOME VPN is unable to unblock content from streaming services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
- You cannot download torrents with FREEDOME VPN.
Conclusion – Our experience with F-Secure FREEDOME VPN
|VPN with a focus on security||No torrents possible|
|User-friendly software||No US Netflix available|
|Easy to install||Keeps logs and IP addresses|
|Good and fast customer service||Small server network|
|Extra options for your internet security||Unstable speeds|
|30-day moneyback guarantee|
Unsurprisingly, F-Secure’s VPN is strong when it comes to security. It uses strong protocols, has a simple design that works well, and offers multiple options to keep your internet experience as safe as possible. In addition, F-Secure has a fast and adequate customer service that is ready for you to use at any time.
On the other hand, unfortunately, there are also many things missing from FREEDOME VPN. For example, many users would be dissatisfied because it does not offer the possibility of downloading torrents or watching American Netflix. There is also a small server network which, as far as we have been able to test, can be quite unstable. This makes many online activities, such as gaming, listening to music, and performing speed tests, very difficult. Finally, F-Secure keeps a lot of information about your internet usage to provide its services. The real trade-off that FREEDOME VPN’s users need to make is whether they feel it is worth compromising their privacy to safeguard their online safety.
Do you have a quick question about FREEDOME VPN? Below you will find some frequently asked questions about this VPN provider. Click on a question to read the answer.
It depends on what you mean with the word “safe”. FREEDOME VPN uses strong encryption and protocols, so your data will be well protected from the outside world. In addition, F-Secure has added extra features to their VPN, such as an anti-tracker function and an extra layer of browser protection against suspicious websites. In terms of privacy, however, they fall short: to make these functions available, F-Secure needs to know a lot about your internet use.
No. F-Secure does not focus on unblocking and does not provide access to the American version of Netflix from countries outside the US. With FREEDOME VPN you can watch Netflix Originals and other content available on the platform worldwide. However, to really watch American Netflix, you need other VPNs.
F-Secure does not allow its VPN users to download torrents. In an attempt to counter illegal downloading on FREEDOME VPN’s servers, they block all torrent traffic. You cannot download anonymously with this VPN. This is how F-Secure adheres to the DMCA.
No, FREEDOME VPN does not currently offer dedicated IP addresses. It only has shared servers in 22 countries. A good VPN that does offer dedicated IP addresses is NordVPN.
F-Secure offers three different plans for FREEDOME VPN and they are all annual. The difference is in the number of devices that you can protect at the same time:
- You pay $34.99 per year for three devices, for a 1-year subscription.
- You pay $69.99 per year for seven devices, for a 1-year subscription.
- You pay $89.99 per year for seven devices, for a 2-year subscription.
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