F-Secure Freedome VPN Review and Pricing

A well-designed budget VPN with a fresh take on privacy.

F-Secure Freedome VPN Logo
SecureScore™: 8.5 / 10 This rating is derived from our editorial team's research, hands-on product testing, and customer surveys.
Max Sheridan https://www.safehome.org/author/max-sheridan/
8.5 SecureScore™
Value
8.5
Features & Technology
8.0
Ease Of Use
9.4
Reliability
8.7
Network Speeds
7.1
Private Web Browsing
9.3
Data & Identity Protection
8.8
SecureScore™
8.5

The internet is about as clean as the sewers in Manhattan. Dipping our devices into that stream unprotected is almost guaranteed to get us in serious trouble eventually.

Virtual private networks (VPNs) are our usual go-tos for keeping the web’s nastiest sludge off our laptops and mobiles. VPNs encrypt our outgoing and incoming data and siphon it through secure, pollution-free tunnels hackers can’t touch.

F-Secure Freedome VPN claims to take extra steps to keep our day-to-day browsing as private and secure as possible. F-Secure also boasts a pretty cheap service with total transparency and some extraordinarily user-friendly apps.

But claims are claims, so I ran this Helsinki-based VPN provider through a full battery of tests to see how well it actually serves the average user. We’ll take a close look at all the nuts and bolts — setup, features, performance, and security — but let’s start with a quick tour of F-Secure’s plans and pricing.

FYI: F-Secure has been in business since 1988, making it one of the longest-lasting cybersecurity companies around.

F-Secure VPN Pros and Cons

PROS
  • Very easy to use
  • Secure connections
  • Cheap as a stand-alone VPN
  • Extra privacy features

CONS
  • No torrenting
  • Limited server selection
  • Only three devices with the basic plan
  • Spotty chat support

F-Secure Freedome VPN at a Glance

F-Secure has been in business since 1988.

F-Secure has been in business since 1988.

F-Secure is a Finnish security company that’s been around from pretty much the dawn of virtual private networks. It doesn’t boast the server reach or advanced features of some of the other top VPNs of 2023, but this is one case where flawless product design and complete transparency may trump sheer numbers.

Costs

Many VPNs offer substantial discounts when you sign up for a year or more of service, but there’s a catch: You have to pay to test their products, which is always a gamble. F-Secure’s idea of a free test is a little different. I got to use its VPN for five days full throttle with no strings attached. That was awesome, to put it mildly.

If I wanted to commit, F-Secure was pretty cheap at about $3.50 per month for a year of protection. We’ll delve deeper into those figures below, because F-Secure has a few other options you may want to consider.

Security

Security-wise, I found that F-Secure dotted all its i’s. Its connections held water, and it has figured out a way to translate privacy into features a lot of home users will love, such as the tracker mapper, which showed me which websites were trying to keep tabs on me.

Ease of Use

Last but definitely not least, F-Secure is easy. I don’t mean dumbed-down easy or simplistic. I mean the folks at F-Secure have really thought about our everyday VPN needs and designed apps that work.

Did You Know? Looking for more server reach? NordVPN operates over 5,400 servers in 60 countries. Check out my complete NordVPN review for the full story.

F-Secure VPN Plans and Pricing

Plan –> 12 months 24 months
3 devices $3.50 Not available
7 devices $6.15 $4.00

F-Secure’s pricing is a little wonky. The crucial variable in the table above is devices. If you can make do with three devices, you’re looking at a yearly payment of around $42. F-Secure doesn’t offer a monthly option, which doesn’t bother me because paying yearly almost always makes more sense.

If three devices won’t cut it for your household, for half a buck more per month F-Secure gives you seven. The industry standard is five or six. The catch here is you have to commit for 24 months, which you may not want to do without a taste of what F-Secure is like day to day.

That’s where F-Secure’s five-day free trial comes in very handy. There’s really no reason not to go with the trial. You don’t have to give a credit card or request a refund if you’re not happy. You just download the F-Secure Freedome VPN app and you’re off to the races with no speed or data limits. Hands down, this is the best free trial around.

F-Secure’s pricing is low to midrange. You can find cheaper VPNs with a lot of bang for your buck. Surfshark’s 24-month plans weigh in at $2.49 per month, for example. You can even snag a NordVPN premium subscription for $3.49 per month, an excellent choice if you’re looking for more control over your connections and thousands of servers.

There are a few reasons you may want to consider F-Secure, however, despite its slightly higher price tag.

FYI: Too many VPNS to choose from, all offering the best deal on the market? We hear this from many of our readers. If you’re suffering from VPN pricing overload, check out our complete VPN pricing guide for an easy explanation of how VPN pricing works and the red flags to look out for when you’re on the hunt for a quality VPN.

Installing F-Secure Freedome VPN

With F-Secure, I was up and running in under 120 seconds

With F-Secure, I was up and running in under 120 seconds.

I wasn’t timing myself when I downloaded and installed F-Secure’s desktop app. If I had been, I bet the clock would have said under two minutes from download to a fully functioning VPN. No joke, folks. It was that easy.

I downloaded the F-Secure Freedome VPN app straight from F-Secure, not from the App Store, which I recommend as a general rule of thumb for Mac users. Otherwise, you run the risk of downloading the mobile app, which will work on the latest M1 and M2 Macs but may not have the full functionality of the desktop app.

Because I was on the five-day trial, I didn’t have to put down a credit card. If I’d wanted to pay with crypto, however, I wouldn’t have had that option with F-Secure. Digging a little, I found that I could pay for my F-Secure VPN subscription without going directly through my bank or through PayPal, but that would have involved purchasing my plan through a third-party retailer. Frankly, it felt like an extra hoop I didn’t want to jump through.

Pro Tip: A lot of people make the mistake of thinking they’re completely under the radar and off the books when they pay in crypto. That isn’t true. If you bought your crypto using a bank card or account, you’re not really anonymous.

Using F-Secure VPN

The F-Secure Freedome VPN dashboard is exceptionally user-friendly

The F-Secure Freedome VPN dashboard is exceptionally user-friendly.

One thing I noticed right off the bat was that F-Secure’s dashboard was built more like a modern, privacy-focused web browser than a traditional VPN. It showed me info like malware and trackers blocked, but it was short on technical data such as server speeds and types or IP addresses.

That is F-Secure in a nutshell, but it isn’t alone. Hardcore, mission-driven VPNs like VyprVPN and TunnelBear — two VPN providers I like a lot — keep the tech to the bare minimum too. For more on VyprVPN, here’s my hands-on VyprVPN review. If you’re into straight-shooting service providers (and like the idea of bears literally shooting out of your VPN tunnels), I had a blast testing TunnelBear.

F-Secure keeps features to the bare minimum without sacrificing safety

F-Secure keeps features to the bare minimum without sacrificing safety.

I won’t beat around the bush: F-Secure’s settings are geared toward casual users. In that class, I’d put not just beginners, but also anyone who wants a reliable VPN that makes most decisions for them. The options F-Secure gave me were standard. I had a kill switch (more on that below) and I could program F-Secure to automatically connect upon restart. As a rule of thumb, if I’m testing a VPN without these basic features, it’s going to be a hard pass.

F-Secure also allowed me to choose my own protocol, but my choice was limited to OpenVPN (TCP and UDP) and IKEv2. I didn’t find WireGuard, which is usually — but not always — faster.

Did F-Secure’s dashboard feel a little bare? Because the experience was so well designed, I didn’t feel like I was missing out. That said, I’ve tested VPNs that gave me a lot more control over my tunnels. If that’s what you’re looking for, here’s my TorGuard review. TorGuard’s user interface is superb. Windscribe plans also make a very good choice for more advanced users on a budget.

FYI: When you’re using OpenVPN to connect to your VPN, most of the time you’ll want to use the UDP protocol, which is faster. If you’re connecting into or out of countries with web censorship or you need to sneak past a firewall, you may need to connect over TCP.

F-Secure allowed me to run devices that needed to connect to my network without a VPN

F-Secure allowed me to run devices that needed to connect to my network without a VPN.

One extra feature I was very happy to find in F-Secure’s settings was the option to exclude from my VPN wireless devices such as my Sonos speakers. My VPN was up and running, but F-Secure was whitelisting any network connections that would have failed if I’d run them through the VPN. Very handy.

F-Secure gave me built-in malware protection

F-Secure gave me built-in malware protection.

Plenty of VPNs offer some sort of malware protection, such as Vipre, which you can combine with an IPVanish subscription. With F-Secure, slime busting gets first billing, which makes sense. F-Secure also produces well-known antivirus software, which I turned right on.

During the week I tested F-Secure, I didn’t get any alerts. That likely had more to do with the fact that I was browsing with Firefox, which was doing the job for me, than with any issues on F-Secure’s end.

I could browse safely knowing I wasn’t being followed around the web with F-Secure

I could browse safely knowing I wasn’t being followed around the web with F-Secure.

Tracker blocking gets interesting with F-Secure. If you opt in to some temporary tracking, it will create a map of the creeps who are stalking you. If you already have tracker blocking enabled through your web browser, the results probably won’t be too dramatic. For diehard Chrome users, on the other hand, this feature may be a nice wake-up call.

Did You Know? If you thought website tracking was going to disappear in 2023, as Google promised, think again. Instead of the icky third-party trackers that have been ogling us for years, expect a rise in first-party tracking on the websites we visit. Who will have the keys to all that info? I’ll give you a hint: It begins with G and rhymes with “bugle.”1

F-Secure’s server interface is well-designed, but no-frills

F-Secure’s server interface is well-designed, but no-frills.

I’m all for simple server menus, but for some users F-Secure may have taken simplicity a little too far. It would have been nice to see — in the U.S. at least — where the servers I was connecting to actually were. I would have also liked to be able to save the connections I liked and avoid the crowded ones.

This is probably also a good time to bring up the relative paucity of servers I had access to with F-Secure. The exact numbers are a mystery, but I’m guessing it’s less than 500. As we’ll see below, too few servers can jam too many users through too few tunnels, dropping download and upload speeds.

Pro Tip: If you torrent from time to time, F-Secure isn’t a good choice for your next VPN. The U.S. and parts of Europe have brought down the hammer on P2P file sharing, and F-Secure, which plays by the book, has followed suit.

F-Secure Freedome VPN Mobile Experience

F-Secure’s Android mobile app is nearly identical to the desktop app

F-Secure’s Android mobile app is nearly identical to the desktop app.

F-Secure’s mobile app was a mirror image of its desktop app, with one notable exception: I could whitelist specific apps I didn’t want going through my VPN tunnel.

Remember the trusted network feature on the desktop app? This solves a similar issue, but it’s a little more flexible. Think paying bills online or streaming data-heavy video, where we need our connections to be running at full throttle. Some banks get suspicious if we’re logging in from random places around the world, which is the usual M.O. of hackers.

FYI: You don’t need to be afraid of connecting to your bank VPN-free. Banking websites and apps are at the high end of the security spectrum with built-in encryption, which is why we call Fort Knox–level cybersecurity “bank grade.”

How Safe Is F-Secure VPN?

I spend a lot of time reading privacy statements. If that sounds like the opening monologue of a guy who never gets chosen on any dating show in history, so be it. But it makes me a pretty good judge of VPNs.

F-Secure’s privacy statement is anything but lip service. In fact, it’s one of the best statements I’ve ever read. If you’ve been struggling to understand the ins and out of VPN privacy, I highly recommend checking out F-Secure’s blog post on logging.2

Long story short, yes, F-Secure logs limited data, but it’s anonymous and the company uses it to build better products. It doesn’t know who we are or what we’re doing. More importantly, unlike some VPNs I’ve reviewed, it doesn’t hand over any data to third parties such as advertisers, data brokers, or internet service providers.

F-Secure may hand over your data if the company is served a warrant. That may creep some of you out — and some VPN providers pride themselves on never handing over anything, ever — but it really shouldn’t worry you if you’re not a criminal.

Now that we’ve gotten the feds out of the way, here’s my report on F-Secure’s physical security.

Did You Know? Total no-logs policies are pretty rare in the real world, since every VPN provider needs to keep some records — if only your login info to verify that you’ve actually paid for your subscription.

I didn’t turn up any DNS server leaks with F-Secure

I didn’t turn up any DNS server leaks with F-Secure.

Domain name system (DNS) server leaks happen when a sloppy VPN lets your actual IP address slip through your tunnel. That defeats the purpose of having a VPN, so you never want to see it. When I tested F-Secure, I didn’t find any DNS leaks. So far, so good.

F-Secure’s killswitch cut my connection while I was switching servers, as it should

F-Secure’s killswitch cut my connection while I was switching servers, as it should.

When I cut my connection suddenly or switch servers, a VPN that isn’t doing its job may allow my devices to reconnect to the internet via my normal IP address. You can see from the screenshot above that we’re talking about a window hundredths of a second wide. Still, that window needs to be shut to cybercriminals. F-Secure did well here, too, as it did in my WebRTC leak test (see below).

F-Secure didn’t reveal my public IP address.

F-Secure didn’t reveal my public IP address.

Don’t be alarmed by the warning in the screenshot. Both IP addresses belong to F-Secure’s server in Brussels. My connection was airtight.

FYI: WebRTC technology makes video calls possible, so you probably have it enabled on your devices. If you’re using a VPN, it should mask your actual IP address. If it doesn’t — if you have a leak — your conversations are an open book for prying eyes.

F-Secure VPN Performance

My base wired connection of 882 Mbps.

My base wired connection of 882 Mbps.

VPN speed has a thousand moving parts. It may be a cliché to say my experience won’t necessarily be yours, but it’s true.

My base connection was over 800 Mbps (download) for this test — nice and fast. I was connecting to the East Coast from the East Coast via Ethernet over OpenVPN (UDP).

As you can see from the screenshot below, F-Secure did a number on my speed. I can’t say why because I’m missing too many pieces of the puzzle, but I suspect server load may have played a role. It may be a case of too much traffic and too few servers. (For the record, this was the best of a few speed tests I ran.)

My download speeds took quite a hit while connecting with F-Secure over OpenVPN

My download speeds took quite a hit while connecting with F-Secure over OpenVPN.

Pro Tip: My 160 Mbps connection isn’t catastrophic. To put things into perspective, you need a connection that’s at least 30 Mbps and preferably 50 Mbps to stream 4K video. For everyday browsing, 160 Mbps is rocket fuel.

Should I Purchase an F-Secure Freedome VPN Plan?

It should be obvious by now: I really like F-Secure Freedome VPN. At $4 per month for a seven-device, two-year plan, F-Secure’s price is right. Its apps are gorgeously designed if a little bare, its mission speaks to me, and I feel totally protected browsing with its VPN.

On the other hand, am I willing to sacrifice 75 percent of my internet speed or say goodbye to P2P file sharing? Tough questions!

If F-Secure Freedom VPN sounds good to you, too, my best advice is to take it for a free test drive for five days. You have nothing to lose. You don’t even have to put down your credit card. If you fall in love with F-Secure and it’s getting the job done for you, you’ve found your next VPN.

Did You Know? Can’t live without torrenting? Surfshark is one VPN designed for it with dedicated torrenting servers. Read more in my hands-on Surfshark review.

F-Secure Freedome VPN FAQs

Does F-Secure have a free trial?

Yes, and it’s an excellent one. You can test F-Secure for five days without purchasing a plan, with no speed or data limits.

How much does F-Secure cost?

F-Secure’s basic three-device plan is $3.50 per month.

Does F-Secure have a monthly plan?

No, F-Secure has 12- or 24-month plans.

Does F-Secure allow P2P connections?

No, F-Secure doesn’t allow P2P file sharing like torrenting.

How many devices can I use with an F-Secure plan?

F-Secure has two plans: a three-device basic plan and a premium plan that allows up to seven devices.

Citations
SafeHome.org only uses high-quality sources to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Chen, Brian and Wakabayashi, Daisuke. (2022, Apr 6). You’re Still Being Tracked on the Internet, Just in a Different Way. The New York Times.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/06/technology/online-tracking-privacy.html

  2. Mondragon, Luciano. (2020, Jan 28). VPN logging is not all you need to consider. F-Secure Blog. https://blog.f-secure.com/vpn-logging/

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Written By
Max Sheridan
VPN & Identity Theft Protection Expert

Max Sheridan brings over two decades of writing experience to our team. He has spent 1,000-plus hours researching VPNs, identity theft protection, and various topics in cyber technology. Previously, Max was an investigative journalist, and he is also a published novelist. He earned a B.A. in Classics from the University of Virginia and an M.A. in Classics from the University of Illinois. He currently lives in Nicosia, Cyprus.