That is our all-in-one roundup reviewing each F-Safe client safety resolution for 2020. On this web page, after our transient intro, you’ll discover
(a) a full analysis of the entry-level F-Safe Anti-Virus, together with our opinions of the extra options included with the remainder of the vary:
(b) F-Safe SAFE, and
(c) the top-end package deal F-Safe TOTAL
You possibly can leap to the opinions of these particular person merchandise by clicking on the hyperlinks within the bar on the prime of this web page, however keep in mind that this text is de facto designed to be learn right through, because the options of F-Safe Anti-Virus are additionally current within the higher-level safety suites, in fact.
F-Safe Anti-Virus is a no-strings package deal which supplies core antivirus safety for PCs solely. It is primary, does not even embody malicious URL filtering, and there aren’t any important extras.
We will not argue with the value, although, at $36 to cowl a single machine for a 12 months, or $40 to guard three. Bitdefender and Kaspersky each cost an preliminary $30 to cowl three units for a 12 months, however this leaps to $60 on renewal.
F-Safe SAFE is a extra succesful package deal which provides URL filtering, additional layers of ransomware and banking safety, easy parental controls and safety for Mac, Android and iOS units. That is excellent news, however it’s nonetheless lacking among the options you may anticipate from an web safety suite, comparable to a firewall or a spam filter.
Pricing is honest, with a 3 machine, one-year license costing an preliminary $35, then $70 on renewal, and extra financial savings out there as you add units and years. It is broadly corresponding to different safety suites, though may really feel dearer as you might not have fairly as many options.
F-Safe Whole is actually F-Safe SAFE with unrestricted entry to F-Safe’s Freedome VPN, and the corporate’s KEY password supervisor thrown in. If you happen to’ll use the VPN, it is the actual worth proposition right here, with costs beginning at simply $90 to cowl as much as three units for a 12 months, or $110 to cowl 5.
Making an attempt out F-Safe Anti-Virus takes fractionally extra work than regular – hand over your e mail tackle, full a CAPTCHA, submit the net type, await an e mail with a ‘affirm your e mail’ hyperlink, then wait for an additional e mail with a obtain hyperlink – however none of that’s even faintly tough, and we had the app put in inside a few minutes.
F-Safe made common use of system sources, grabbing round 500MB of cupboard space, and including six background processes to our PC.
We did not discover any uncommon influence on our system efficiency, although, and that is broadly confirmed by testing.
AV-Comparatives’ October 2019 Efficiency take a look at positioned F-Safe in 10th place out of 16, for example (1st place having the least efficiency influence, 16th probably the most.) Elsewhere, PassMark’s Shopper Safety Merchandise Efficiency Benchmarks 2020 Version 2 makes use of extra efficiency metrics, and ranked F-Safe sixth out of 15. That is not nice, however it’s not unhealthy, both, and on steadiness it appears unlikely that F-Safe Anti-Virus will considerably gradual you down.
We’re not simply within the dimension of an antivirus package deal; we take a look at how properly it protects its set up from assault, too. Malware usually tries to disable any safety instruments it detects, so it is vital than a product can defend itself.
F-Safe handed most of the key checks, defending its core processes, companies and drivers. We have been in a position to delete sufficient vital information to disable the appliance interface, although, together with some notifications. This drawback can be very apparent to any person – F-Safe displayed a few error messages when our system rebooted, for example, and we could not open its foremost console – and our safety did not appear to be compromised, so this wasn’t a complete catastrophe.
However it’s nonetheless a weak spot that we hardly ever see with different apps, and it suggests not less than the opportunity of extra harmful kinds of assault (if a file will be deleted, there’s an opportunity it may be changed.) We reported our findings to F-Safe, and if there is a matter right here, we anticipate the corporate will repair it rapidly.
If you happen to’re used to antivirus merchandise making an attempt to win you over with stacks of bonus options, F-Safe Anti-Virus will likely be a shock, as a result of it does not have any. There’s barely something right here past antivirus scanning and the associated safety layers and settings.
This method pays off with F-Safe’s interface, which is nearly as easy and simple as you will ever see. The primary console has two buttons: Virus Scan and Settings. Faucet the primary and F-Safe Anti-Virus runs a really fast scan (underneath a minute on our take a look at system), offers with any threats robotically and shows its verdict. Tapping the Settings button reveals a really minimal set of configuration choices.
Skilled person of AiroAV and may be a bit of annoyed by the dearth of options and management. F-Safe does not provide you with a alternative of scan sorts on its foremost console, for example, working a fast scan by default. There’s a full system scan, in case you can monitor it down (it is tucked away behind the Virus Scan Choices button.)
There is no detachable drive scan right here, no choice to create a customized scan kind of your personal. And whereas rivals like Avast and Avira have a mass of guide scan tweaks and configuration choices, F-Safe has simply two easy checkboxes: ‘Scan solely recognized file sorts’, and ‘Scan inside compressed information.’
You possibly can run focused scans by right-clicking a file, folder or drive and selecting Scan For Viruses. These are speedy, even initially, and get sooner in subsequent runs. The app checked 50GB of executables in round 16 minutes at first, for example, dropping to 141 seconds after we checked once more.
F-Safe is not very sensible at dealing with parallel scans. If a scan is working, and also you right-click a detachable drive to verify it, the app simply switches to the energetic scan window. It does not scan the detachable drive, or let you know it might’t try this, so that you’re left to your self to determine what is going on on.
You most likely will not wish to run simultaneous scans fairly often, however in case you do, that is going to be a problem, and a few distributors deal with the scenario very in a different way. For instance, Kaspersky permits you to run right-click and foremost scans on the identical time, and makes use of separate scan home windows to show their progress, making them simple to observe.
There may be one small however worthwhile additional in F-Safe’s ransomware safety function, which prevents untrusted functions from accessing information in no matter folders you’d wish to hold secure. This is not a very new or uncommon thought – Home windows 10’s new ‘managed folder entry’ function does a lot the identical factor – however it’s nonetheless a helpful additional layer of ransomware-blocking safety.
Total, F-Safe handles its core antivirus perform very properly, being speedy, correct and user-friendly.
The shortage of URL blocking is a draw back, however understand that you are still protected by different layers. After we clicked a hyperlink to a malicious file, for instance, F-Safe detected it identical to it could any native file. Equally, after we tried to entry a web page containing a crypto miner script, F-Safe allowed the HTML web page to obtain, however then detected the risk inside the file earlier than it was in a position to launch. Even with out URL blocking, you are still very properly defended.
AV-Comparatives Actual-World Safety Check pits 16 prime antivirus engines in opposition to among the very newest malware, then explains intimately who’s come out on prime.
The July-October 2019 abstract report wasn’t excellent news for F-Safe, with the corporate scrambling to a disappointing 13th place, simply forward of Kaspersky.
This was an actual shock, as F-Safe usually does very properly in these checks (it was within the prime 5 for the sooner 2019 report, and for each 2018 studies.) With Kaspersky additionally seeing a serious downgrade this time – first place within the final report, 14th right here – we’ll deal with these outcomes cautiously, and see in the event that they’re confirmed by the following report.
AV-Check gave extra optimistic ends in August 2019, when it rated the F-Safe SAFE 6/6 for defense and licensed it as a High Product.
SE-Labs Residence Anti-Malware Safety report for October-December 2019 wasn’t fairly as impressed, however nonetheless positioned F-Safe within the higher mid-range for its Whole Accuracy Score, forward of names like Avira, Comodo and McAfee.
We had no points with F-Safe Anti-Virus in our personal testing. It detected our native malware samples with out problem, noticed others inside archives and recognized and stopped harmful downloads – every little thing we may ask.
To finish the evaluate, we tried to run our personal customized ransomware simulator on the F-Safe Anti-Virus system. Because the simulator has by no means been publicly launched, F-Safe could not have seen it earlier than, in principle making the risk far harder to detect.
The excellent news is that F-Safe Anti-Virus detected and blocked our simulator from its file signature alone. The code hasn’t been launched, however presumably it acknowledged some malware-like indicators.
The unhealthy information is that this detection wasn’t significantly sensible, and a tiny change to the executable allowed it to launch efficiently. Our simulator was then in a position to encrypt 1000’s of person paperwork with out F-Safe Anti-Virus’ conduct monitoring elevating any pink flags.
F-Safe Anti-Virus’ Protected Folders system permits defining particular folders which the app says are then ‘shielded from encryption blackmail (like ransomware.)’ That might certainly shield our take a look at knowledge, proper? Nope: our simulator encrypted all of them.
These outcomes have to be interpreted with care. We all know from lab testing that F-Safe blocks most ransomware with out problem, even probably the most subtle of zero-day threats, so it appears odd that our tiny simulator bought via. Because it is not actual malware, maybe F-Safe Anti-Virus believed it was a professional utility, perhaps a real encryption instrument, and so allowed it to run unrestricted.
Nonetheless, whereas we will not make certain what occurred or why, these outcomes make us a bit of nervous. When an antivirus is confronted with an executable file it is by no means seen earlier than, participating in very ransomware-like conduct, and encrypting information inside a protected folder, we’d anticipate it to not less than increase an alert, asking the person if this was okay. The truth that did not occur must be a priority.
F-Safe Anti-Virus is pretty priced, compact and straightforward to make use of, however a definite scarcity of options, some sudden evaluate points and a latest set of poor take a look at outcomes make it tough to suggest proper now.
F-Safe SAFE extends the corporate’s antivirus package deal with URL filtering, banking safety, parental controls and extra apps to guard Mac, Android and iOS units.
These are all helpful options, however they nonetheless depart us feeling a bit of underwhelmed. URL filtering comes as commonplace with most baseline antivirus packages, for example – it does not usually require a paid improve. And shifting up from antivirus often will get you a lot extra options than you will see right here. Bitdefender Web Safety features a firewall, spam filter, webcam safety, a microphone monitor, and a bunch of smaller privateness extras (password supervisor, file shredder, easy encryption instrument, wi-fi community scanner, extra.)
Choosing F-Safe could not prevent a lot money, both. Bitdefender Web Safety 2020’s three machine, one-year license is priced at $40 in 12 months one, $80 on renewal; the equal F-Safe figures are solely marginally cheaper at $35 and $70.
Nonetheless, in case you solely want the safety fundamentals, F-Safe’s less complicated and extra light-weight method could also be a bonus, and it is definitely value looking on the suite’s extra options.
Malicious URL filtering
F-Safe’s Safe Shopping function makes use of a mixture of browser extension and network-level applied sciences to guard you from internet threats.
This begins by displaying a ‘popularity ranking’ icon subsequent to each hyperlink in your Google, Bing and Yahoo! search outcomes. Prohibit your clicks to URLs with a inexperienced tick for ‘secure’ and you will instantly keep away from some dangers.
A second layer of safety can block recognized dangerous websites, in addition to ‘suspicious’ web sites or something with ‘prohibited content material’ (relying on doable parental management settings.)
The function in all fairness configurable, helpful in case you discover it blocks professional websites. If a hyperlink is falsely flagged, you are in a position so as to add it to an Exceptions record in a click on or two. And in case you nonetheless run into just a few hassles, you may scale back detection sensitivity by maintaining blocking for dangerous websites, however turning off ‘suspicious’ web site blocking.
Measuring the accuracy of any URL filtering layer is difficult, however AV-Comparatives’ 2019 Anti-Phishing Certification Check may give us a helpful clue. It discovered F-Safe SAFE blocked a creditable 85% of threats, however it nonetheless lagged the 5 different contenders: Avira (88%), Avast (94%), Kaspersky (94%), Kaspersky (97%) and Bitdefender (98%).
Banking safety is a standard safety suite function, and often entails utilizing a customized hardened browser to hold out your most vital on-line transactions. However F-Safe’s Home windows banking safety function does issues very in a different way.
If you go to a recognized banking web site, F-Safe SAFE disconnects all untrusted functions from the web and prevents them going again on-line whilst you’re on the website. It additionally blocks untrusted web sites till your transactions are full.
We’re not sure how helpful this actually is. If malware is working in your system, amassing keystrokes, perhaps taking screenshots, you are already in large hassle. Blocking it from connecting to the web whilst you’re on the banking website is nice, however will not assist if it tries once more after you have left (which, certainly, it is very prone to do.)
We have issued over performance, too. Banking Safety did not fireplace up after we logged in to PayPal, for example. When it activated accurately on one other banking website, we discovered SAFE blocked some professional internet pages. And though the banking safety function is on the market on Android, it solely works in case you’re utilizing the SAFE browser.
Put all of it collectively and we’re unsure F-Safe’s banking safety is definitely worth the problem. Attempt it in case you like, however on steadiness we favor safety suites which use a separate remoted browser (Kaspersky, Bitdefender and others.)
F-Safe’s Household Guidelines expertise is a primary parental controls system which permits setting display screen cut-off dates, blocking entry to web sites by content material kind, and (on Android and iOS) finding misplaced or stolen units.
Machine utilization will be restricted to a complete period of time per day. This will vary from 15 minutes to eight hours, however you are compelled to select from a small variety of preset instances. For instance, if a Three-hour restriction is not fairly sufficient, your subsequent choices are Three hours 30 minutes, four hours, then 5, 6, 7 and eight. Wouldn’t it actually be so tough to permit a person to enter a selected variety of minutes?
All these settings are utilized to a selected machine, too (or a person account on a tool, for PCs.) In case your youngster has two or extra units, you will have to set them up individually, and consider carefully about how any utilization time must be cut up.
Though you are not in a position to outline when through the day your youngster ought to use his time allowance, a Bedtime function limits machine use throughout nighttime. You are in a position to set when the machine is turned off and turns into out there within the morning, though once more, SAFE limits the time you select. (If the default 7am is fractionally too early, for example, you may’t set it to 7:15 or 7:45; your subsequent decisions are 7:30 or 8pm.)
A easy content material filtering system permits blocking entry to web sites by their kind. This solely has 14 classes (Grownup, Medicine, Playing, Violence, Social Networking and so forth) so is fast and straightforward to make use of, though does not provide you with a lot alternative for fine-tuning.
F-Safe’s Finder is a straightforward anti-theft service which permits discovering your misplaced Android and iOS units.
SAFE for Android additionally helps distant machine wiping and locking, helpful in case you suspect your machine is not coming again any time quickly.
Household Guidelines is simple to make use of, however very brief on options. If you happen to’re pleased with the parental controls fundamentals, it would nearly be sufficient, however everybody else will likely be higher off elsewhere.
The foremost advantage of F-Safe SAFE might be its safety for Android, Mac and iOS, in addition to Home windows units.
Each the Mac and Android apps have a lot the identical function set because the PC version: antivirus, looking safety, banking safety and parental controls.
The Android app will get extra mobile-specific options, together with anti-theft instruments and an Software Privateness instrument which identifies apps that may entry your private info.
F-Safe SAFE for iOS is extra restricted, as regular with safety apps, however nonetheless covers some helpful features: looking safety (when utilizing SAFE’s personal browser), parental controls, restricted banking safety (an indicator highlights secure websites) and primary anti-theft.
None of this helps with SAFE’s primary points. Sure, you may run it on every little thing, however there nonetheless aren’t that many options, and what you get is not all the time nice.
If you happen to’re an F-Safe fan who likes the corporate’s less complicated method to safety, although, paying just a bit additional to cowl all of your units could possibly be a great transfer.
F-Safe Whole is a bundle of three prime F-Safe merchandise.
The F-Safe SAFE suite will get you antivirus, looking safety, banking safety and extra for desktop and cellular units. Discover out extra about its options within the F-Safe Anti-Virus and SAFE opinions above.
F-Safe KEY, the corporate’s password supervisor, shops logins, bank card particulars and different private knowledge and synchronizes it throughout all of your units.
KEY will get the core password supervisor duties accomplished, however it does not have the options, the form-filling energy or configurability to match the specialist competitors.
If you happen to’re , although, it is easy to search out out extra – a free model permits you to check out KEY on Home windows, Android, iOS and Mac. Your passwords will not sync throughout units, however in any other case you are in a position to discover KEY’s varied options.
The important thing function with F-Safe Whole, although, is F-Safe’s Freedome VPN. This is not the cut-down demo service you will get with some safety suites, the place you are restricted to perhaps 200-500MB knowledge switch a day. It is the total product, with servers throughout 23 nations, tracker blocking, a kill swap to guard you if the VPN drops, and completely no knowledge limits in any respect.
Our personal Freedome evaluate discovered it was a lot the identical as most different F-Safe merchandise: brief on energy and never many options, however simple to make use of and a good performer general.
Freedome is a serious plus for F-Safe Whole, however it additionally bumps up the value, and it may take some maths to determine if it is a worthwhile deal for you. Let’s work via one instance.
A 3 machine, one-year license for F-Safe SAFE prices $35 in 12 months one, then $70 on renewal.
A separate three machine, one-year Freedome license is priced at an preliminary $35, rising to $55 on renewal. Add it to SAFE and that is a complete of $70 within the first 12 months, $125 afterwards.
Choosing F-Safe Whole as an alternative will get you SAFE, Freedome and the KEY password supervisor, and prices $90 for a similar three machine, one-year time period. (There is no introductory low cost, so you must pay $90 on renewal, too, except F-Safe will increase its costs.)
If we ignore KEY, meaning you are getting Freedome VPN for $40 in 12 months one, and an incredible $20 after that (an efficient $1.67 a month.)
Freedome is not the most effective VPN, however it covers the fundamentals, and that is less expensive than a lot of the competitors. Even a price range VPN supplier like Ivacy asks $42 for 12 months one, $60 on renewal.
However in case you’re not dedicated to F-Safe, there are related offers round from some safety suites. Avira Prime has a succesful set of options, together with a vast VPN, and though it begins at a slightly dearer $100, that covers as much as 5 units for a 12 months.
Shopping for F-Safe Whole makes loads of sense for F-Safe followers, then, however in case you’ve not already determined you want F-Safe SAFE, the image is not as clear. Store round, and ensure to attempt before you purchase.