F-Secure Freedome Review

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Product by:
Charles Tosh

Reviewed by:
On September 1, 2015
Last modified:September 1, 2015


Our F-Secure Freedome review highlights its great price and ease of use, though we did wish the service was a little more transparent.

F-Secure Review F-Secure Freedome Review Summary

F-Secure’s Freedome VPN is a solid, secure service based around an attractive and easy-to-use client, and the price is pretty good too.

Pricing & Plans

F-Secure Freedome is available as a one-year subscription, with prices depending on number of devices allowed and whether or not the user wants to have access to premium support – more on this below, but it basically means you can talk to an actual support agent by web chat, email or phone.

Premium support is available as a separate $19.99 addon, or – for visitors to the EU versions of the site – as a bundle including use of the VPN on seven devices for around the same price.

The basic one-device plan works out as around $3.33 per month, which is at the cheaper end of the scale and not bad at all for what’s on offer. Going full-hog for five devices ($59.99) and premium support ($19.99) in US dollars will raise the monthly figure to $6.67, which is still not expensive as VPN providers go. Seven devices with premium support will cost European customers €6.65 or £4.83, which works out as around $7.50. Clicking through from the free trial on the Freedome client, though, offers users a further discount: $35.99 for a year’s use on one device ($3/month) or $47.99 for five ($4/month).

As well as the 14-day free trial for new users – which requires no registration whatsoever – subscribers are given a full 30-day money-back guarantee. Payment can be made by credit card, PayPal or wire transfer.

Video Review

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First established in 1988 under the name Data Fellows, F-Secure is a venerable provider in the area of online security and is based in Finland. As well as the Freedome VPN, they offer a range of products for personal and business customers, including anti-virus and a password manager.

As for the VPN itself, it gives access to servers in 16 countries including Hong Kong, Australia and the USA. Simultaneous connections from different devices are permitted according to subscription chosen as above.

Visit F-Secure »

Security & Privacy

F-Secure uses OpenVPN for its Windows, Mac and Android clients, though it takes some digging to find this out – the relevant section of the knowledge base omits to mention it. Encryption is AES-128 for data, with SHA-1 for data authentication and 2048-bit RSA for handshaking: this is a slight step up from OpenVPN’s default, and acceptable security for most users. They keep no personally-identifiable logs of users or their activities and are not subject to EU Data Retention laws. Use of BitTorrent is allowed on some servers, but automatically blocked on others including the UK, Netherlands and Singapore.

The iOS app, meanwhile, uses IPsec AES-128 for data encryption, AES-256 for key exchange, and SHA-1 for data authentication. Though generally we’d recommend OpenVPN when you can get it, it’s less common to see it on the iOS platform and IPsec is a decent alternative.

The website

F-Secure’s presentation is slick and professional throughout, and this is reflected in the quality of their website. It’s visually pleasing and generally easy to navigate – so long as you know initially what you’re looking for, at least – with prices, features and supported platforms all presented clearly and up-front. The technical nitty-gritty of what’s on offer is, unfortunately, hidden away deep in the knowledge base – but the very fact that it’s there is at least a plus point. Meanwhile, we skipped past the download link for the client a couple of times while seeking to take advantage of the advertised free trial – the otherwise featureless black buttons linking to PC and Mac versions are a bit inconspicuous amidst the block colours and bold text of the rest of the site.

At the bottom of the page, users can easily find F-Secure’s privacy policy and the Freedome terms of use, which are easy to use as well as find: the terms for Freedome amount to only a couple of hundred words, most of which are in bullet points. A beautifully-presented blog area hosts posts mostly conversational in tone and focusing on security issues from the mundane to the sublime. There’s also a link to a large community forum area with news, feature requests, support and general discussion.


For most users, support for F-Secure Freedome will probably have to be handled through the website’s knowledge base and community forums: unlike many other VPN providers, live chat and email support reside behind a paywall opened only by purchasing the most expensive subscription. While it’s a pity these latter services don’t come as standard, it is nice to see a well-implemented forum for a VPN provider, and it does seem to encourage good communication between the company and its users. The forum is, however, a bit sparsely populated, and replies from F-Secure seem to come pretty slowly.

The knowledge base, meanwhile, has a good range of articles on it with some helpful and pleasingly direct answers to questions, but we did find it a little tricky to find and not always very intuitive to navigate. We also had an issue when searching for topics that results weren’t automatically differentiated by product or language, resulting in pages and pages of irrelevant or incomprehensible information to wade through unless one manages to find the correct tab and filter options. Although the client links to ‘Follow up on Twitter’ under the ‘Help’ section, the account doesn’t seem to be used to provide support to users.

The Process

Signing Up

Making use of F-Secure Freedome’s free trial couldn’t be simpler: as soon as you’ve found the download link for your chosen platform, you just install the client and the 14-day trial starts immediately without requiring any sign-up. Past this point, however, users are required to register with a full name, ZIP/postal code, city, country and email address – it’d be nice to see the option for greater privacy here, and some anonymous payment options wouldn’t go amiss either.

The F-Secure Windows VPN client

Using the F-Secure Freedome Windows client is a beautiful experience from start to finish. From the moment you start installation, you’re presented with a slick, attractive and professional-looking interface which is easy to use and works very well. The main screen has a large button to turn protection on and off, with a summary of time left on the user’s trial or subscription as well as some other information, and there’s a large friendly button to tell you what country you’re connecting to; clicking this brings up a lovely clean menu of possible locations, complete with spinning globe animation when you change to a new country.

Along the left-hand side are tabs for managing your subscription, settings for making the client run with Windows or automatically connecting to the VPN, and some ancillary features of the service. There’s one for browser protection, which when turned on prevents the user accessing sites deemed harmful (for, e.g., hosting malware) and one for tracking protection, as well as for F-Secure’s private search page complete with instructions on how to use it to prevent third parties tracking your search history (though we were amused to see it was powered by google).

As we never experienced any DNS leaks while using F-Secure’s VPN, we assume the client has built-in protection for both IPv4 and IPv6 – more on this below.

Performance (Speed, DNS and IP Test)

As you can see from the graphs below, F-Secure Freedome’s connection speeds compared very favourably to the control results from our unshielded test connection. We had particularly good results to the Amsterdam server, and though performance to the London server was noticeably worse, speeds were still very usable and not far below our control. In general we found F-Secure’s connection speeds to be more than adequate both for general Internet use and for video streaming. Reliability was also good.

Graphs showing highest, lowest and average results for connection speed tests. Check out our news post for more information on our new speed tests.

F-Secure use their own DNS servers. DNS and IP tests came back fine, with no sign of leakage past the F-Secure client on our Windows 8.1 test system. What’s more, IPv6 tests came back with no problems either.

Other Platforms

F-Secure’s Freedome client is available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Kindle Fire. No Linux client is offered or planned. Use of the VPN is limited to the client only – it’s not possible to set up a manual connection using an operating system’s built-in functionality, or a third party app.

Android app

The F-Secure Freedome Android app continues with the nice-looking and easy-to-use theme of the desktop client. Starting the app for the first time offers new users a tutorial, which covers pretty much everything there is to know about the app in a friendly, non-techy way, and also shows a brief summary of their terms of use. The app itself looks very similar to its Windows cousin, with the same big on/off button and location selector beneath. Ancillary functions like browsing protection and a malware blocker are accessed by swiping down on the main screen, and are all on by default. The options screen accessible via the menu enables the client to start automatically with the phone, though this doesn’t start the VPN connection automatically and there’s no function to automatically protect certain WiFi networks.

fsecure_android_app fsecure_android_locations

Connecting to the VPN server took only a handful of seconds, and speeds while connected to the VPN were very good: our UK test came back with nearly 20Mbps, a significant chunk of our 30Mbps test connection’s maximum.

The Android app has its own free trial and subscription options through Google Play, covering the Android app only but available for one-day or one-month periods as well as a full year and covering any Android device logged into that Google Play account. A subscription purchased from the main website can also be used with Android, but on a per-device basis.

Other/ Free Services

As a major internet security company, F-Secure provide a range of other services including an anti-virus, password manager, computer cleanup service (“Booster”) and private search. There’s also their SAFE product, which is intended as a complete multi-device internet security package featuring antivirus, anti-spam, parental control settings and a firewall, as well as remote data protection for mobile devices. Presently, until the end of September 2015, purchasing the SAFE service includes Freedome for free.

F-Secure Review Conclusion

We liked

  • Good-looking and easy-to-use clients
  • Smooth user experience
  • No-strings and no-registration free trial
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Great price
  • Robust DNS leak protection
  • Decent speeds and good reliability
  • Built-in protection from suspect sites and tracking, plus private search
  • No logs

We weren’t so sure about

  • No anonymous payment or registration option
  • Technical information on VPN not easy to find
  • Personal support behind a paywall
  • Mandatory one-year subscription unless on mobile

We hated

  • Nothing

Freedome provides a fantastic, easy-to-use service pitched especially at the novice user. The great price is only tempered by the requirement of a full year’s subscription, but with a 14-day trial plus 30-day money-back guarantee, users at least have plenty of chance to know what they’re getting into. We’d like to see more anonymity offered in the signup process, stronger encryption options all around and particularly OpenVPN on the iOS app, but overall F-Secure’s offering is solid, secure and good value for money. Go give them a try today.

Visit F-Secure »

Charles Tosh I'm a freelance writer and English teacher who loves travel, technology and mushy movies.

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7 responses to “F-Secure Freedome Review

    And as payment options go there are local shops that sell Freedome without the need to give them your name, so if you pay with cash.

    F-Secure Freedome seems fair and safe, I’ve used it for soon a week and have nothing to report a failure about. The connection seems stable, better than others VPN services actually. I like the features F-Secure Freedome have, example it blocks some websites which could find your location easily, what I found, but you could disable that option if you don’t want it to block some websites you might use.
    I recommend this service more than others if you like safe, why would a Antivirus/Protection company release your personal data? I believe they don’t, so F-Secure shall be safe!
    F-Secure Freedome is one of the winner for VPN!
    (Don’t look toward PIA,HMA,ExpressVPN,TorGuard etc,etc because they are USA based and actually aren’t too safe) F-Secure Freedome VPN and PureVPN are on my favorite list which I would recommend.

    What about ipv6 dns leakage?
    I am trying Freedome as a trial and I get an ipv6 dns leak using the ipv6leak test:
    Go here after connecting to your vpn:
    click on the test button, and you will most likely get the message “Looks like your IPv6 is leaking…” and your ipv6 dns ip address.
    While still connected to the vpn, If you disable the ipv6 interface in the Freedome adapter, Freedome stops working.
    Please consider adding ipv4 and ipv6 dns leakage as a test criteria to all of your vpn reviews.

    1. Hi david,

      I will pass this comment onto our reviewer.You should be able to disable IPv6 by going to Network and Sharing Center -> Change adapter settings -> right-click [your internet connection] -> Properties -> uncheck Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6).

    I just download it,it look good and the speed is fine lets see how it goes :).

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