Offers added security features such as malicious file scans
Some useful features require limited logging
Top pricing tier is a little too high
F-Secure’s Freedome doesn’t offer fancier features like double-hop connections or an onion router, but it does have a good amount of security features such as malicious file scanning. If you need a VPN from a trusted company, then Freedome is worth a look.
One of the key reasons people turn to a VPN is for added security. That’s why it’s good to see well-known security companies produce their own VPNs. Almost every major top-tier AV suite comes with a VPN, but often they are just white label services from other companies. F-Secure’s Freedome, however, is a VPN built by the Finland-based security company.
Note: This review is part of our best VPNs roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.
Freedome: Security, software, servers, and speed
Freedome opts for the open standard OpenVPN as its protocol of choice, and that’s followed up by data encryption and authentication with 128-bit AES. For the handshake, Freedome uses 204-bit RSA keys with SHA-256 certificates.
When it comes to extra features Freedome doesn’t offer a ton of connection options such as TOR over VPN, or double-hop VPNs. What it does offer are more security-focused features. It blocks web trackers, for example, as well as protects against malicious websites. The app also has information tools to let you see how many trackers and harmful sites have been blocked, as well as how much bandwidth you’ve used.
The software itself is pretty straightforward. In the center is a huge on/off button, and at the bottom is the current location. Clicking the latter takes you to Freedome’s country list organized by continent. The app also has a tracker map that shows a visualization of all the blocked trackers over a 24-hour time period.
Freedome boasts 22 country locations with multiple location options for Canada and the U.S. With a total of 29 specific locations for the entire service, Freedome has fewer than many of its competitors, but all the basics are covered including the major countries in Europe, the U.S. and Canada, Australia, and countries in Asia, including Japan and Singapore. F-Secure declined to tell us how many servers are in its network.
For its privacy promises, F-Secure says it doesn’t check up on what you’re doing online, but it will analyze your traffic for malicious files (over HTTP only, not HTTPS)—one of its feature benefits. It also scans URLs to make sure they are safe, but that data is not stored. If you use Tracker Mapper, then F-Secure will log your URL activity to make the feature work, but that activity is deleted after three days. F-Secure also doesn’t allow P2P traffic.
Speeds overall are fine. In our tests, Freedome retained 31 percent of the base speed, which puts Freedome in the middle of the pack for speeds. It’s capable of getting the job done for common use cases.
Freedome offers three different pricing options all of which change the number of devices you can use with the service. At the bottom is the $50 option that lets you run the VPN on three devices for a year; for $60 it increases to five devices; and for $80 you can use Freedome with seven devices.
F-Secure accepts payments via credit card, PayPal, or wire transfer. There are no options for cryptocurrencies or cash, meaning there’s a limit to the degree of anonymity the company allows. You don’t, however, need to sign up for an account with F-Secure. Instead, you receive a license key that you can plug in and activate on your devices.
F-Secure’s Freedome is a good VPN. Its security features are a definite selling point, and the fact that it’s run by a reputable security company is a big plus. You can find cheaper and faster options, but the appeal of security is a definite selling point.
Editor’s Note: Because online services are often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements over time, this review is subject to change in order to accurately reflect the current state of the service. Any changes to text or our final review verdict will be noted at the top of this article.
Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn't like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he's not covering the news he's working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.