Review: F-Secure Internet Security Suite 2007 - Stands Up Against the Competition

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Like many of the products in this category, F-Secure is available as a three-installation license, allowing you to install the software on multiple computers to protect all of the PCs in your home. However, F-Secure also offers a lower-cost option to buy a single-installation version if you only need to protect one computer.

In general, the F-Secure Internet Security Suite 2007 provides a comprehensive suite of tools to protect your computers. It does not provide some of the holistic PC maintenance and data backup features found in Norton 360 or Windows Live OneCare, but as a security suite it is a solid performer.

What it lacks in features (instant messaging, P2P network, and anti-phishing functionality being the most notable), it makes up for with superior parental control features. There are better products available for less money, but if you are a parent whose primary concern is monitoring and controlling what your children see and do on the Internet, F-Secure is worth a look.

Installation & Setup (4 out of 5)

What’s Hot:

Installation was fairly simple and relatively quick. Coming from a more international company, it first asks you what language you want to run the product in. After you enter your license key information, the product asks if you want to do a Full Installation, or a Full Installation without Parental Control. Users without kids will want the second option so that they won’t be required to enter a password every time they want to access the F-Secure console.

If you have opted to install the Full Installation, you will be prompted to select whether to add the Children profile, Teenager profile, or both under Parental Controls. If you do opt to install the Teenager profile, you will also be prompted to create a separate password for your teens to access the system.

At that point it installs the software to the location you have selected and downloads the latest updates to make the software current. Once the installation and updating is complete, you must reboot your computer to get everything active and running properly.

What’s Not:

I only have one minor issue with the installation. It took a little longer than some of the other products. This is really a minor inconvenience, and not really an issue. But, I got familiar with the Product Installation progress bar and got a cup of coffee while I waited for the installation to complete.

User Interface (5 out of 5)

What’s Hot:

If you have installed the Parental Controls features, you will be required to enter the Parents password to gain access to the configuration settings for the software. The main console for the F-Secure Internet Security Suite 2007 displays a good overview of the current status of the product and provides links to dive deeper into the configuration if you choose.

For users that just want the software to work, the F-Secure product’s default settings provide a solid level of security and should be good for the majority of users. Those who want to dig in and tweak the settings can also click on the Advanced link at the bottom of the Main Console to open a separate window.

With the antivirus function for example, the user can configure the types of content and traffic that should be scanned by the product, and what to do if malicious code is found. Users can also establish the default level of security by choosing from Low, Normal, High, etc. Choosing a more restrictive level provides better security, but at the expense of system performance and a possible increase in false positives – files or actions being identified as malicious when they are actually legitimate.

The interface is not as seamless and intuitive as the Norton 360 interface, but it provides an almost ideal balance between simplicity for novice users and functionality for advanced users. I have no complaints about the interface.

Product Features (4 out of 5)

What’s Hot:

This product provides a solid mix of security tools and utilities to secure and protect your computer. Of course, it comes with the defacto core products such as antivirus, personal firewall, and antispyware capabilities. It also provides protection when using user forums or blogs, as well as password protection to help users store and maintain sensitive information. As for the core functionality, F-Secure provides some of the best antivirus, antispyware and personal firewall protection available, as well as strong antispam capabilities.

The F-Secure Internet Security Suite 2007 also contains parental control functionality which lets you restrict the types of sites and content your children have access to. There is a Children profile, which is very restrictive, and a Teenager profile which is more customizable for older children. Parents can also control the times of day that each profile are allowed to access the Internet. Children trying to view websites outside of the allotted time are greeted by a Time Lock Block Page which can be bypassed by clicking on a different profile and entering the appropriate password.

What’s Not:

There are some key elements missing from the F-Secure Internet Security Suite 2007 list of features. First, providing only security products is an outdated approach. Microsoft started a new trend, which Symantec and McAfee have adopted, of taking a more holistic approach and making a suite which not only secures the computer, but also helps to maintain the PC, improve performance, and protect data through backup and restore functionality. F-Secure does provide a 3-installation license to let you protect your household rather than a single PC, but they need to jump on the holistic bandwagon.

As for the security tools themselves, it would be nice to see protection against threats from instant messaging or peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, as well as tools to protect and secure home wireless networks.

Performance (4 out of 5)

What’s Hot:

The F-Secure Internet Security Suite 2007 performed admirably. I had no noticeable impact to the speed or performance of my system while using this product, and each of the security components worked as described.

The suite is fairly intuitive. It does not flood the user with alerts and pop-up messages. The few alerts or messages that are displayed are accompanied by a reasonable amount of information to educate the user about the issue so they can make a decision about how to respond.

Security & Privacy (4 out of 5)

What’s Hot:

F-Secure provides protection for your computer on par with other leading security vendors. When it comes to the core functionality like antivirus, antispyware, antispam, and personal firewall protection, you are in good hands with this suite.

The parental controls functionality provides some good peace of mind for parents who want their children to have the benefit of the resources available on the Internet, while protecting them from the less scrupulous side of things. The parental controls also provide a fair amount of flexibility to let the parent either restrict access, or allow and monitor access.

This product will definitely secure and protect your system more than adequately.

What’s Not:

As with virtually all antispyware applications, you will occasionally see legitimate utilities flagged as spyware, or malicious spyware sneak through, but overall F-Secure’s antispyware protection is still among the best.

Price to Value (2 out of 5)

What’s Not:

This area is more or less the downfall of F-Secure Internet Security Suite 2007. It has a solid mix of security tools, a fairly intuitive interface, strong performance and excellent security protection. Unfortunately, it is not the best of the best in any of those areas really, and it is priced higher than the competition. Not only that, but the competition from Microsoft, Symantec and McAfee provide equal or better protection and functionality at a lower price while also providing a holistic approach to PC maintenance including tools to clean and maintain the PC and backup and restore data.

Keeping all of this in mind, the F-Secure Internet Security Suite 2007 is a great product, but the price to value ratio isn’t there and I would recommend looking at Norton 360 or McAfee Internet Security Suite 2007 instead.


Choose the language to use when installing the software

Enter your product license key

Elect Full Install, or Full Install without parental controls

Monitor the progress of the F-Secure installation

Select the types of parental control profiles you want created

Enter a password to be used with the Teenager parental control profile

Enter Parent profile password to access the main F-secure console

The main console of the F-secure Internet Security Suite 2007

Advanced settings for configuring the antivirus behavior

Set the level of protection you want your antivirus to provide

Configure email addresses to allow or deny in the spam filters

The Child profile of the parental controls provides additional restrictions

Screen displayed if Web access is attempted during a parental lockout time

A global map displaying current and emerging threats around the world

Suggested Features

F-Secure Internet Security Suite 2007 has a comprehensive set of strong security tools, but it is missing a couple of key components, namely:

The holistic approach. The bar has been raised and vendors need to add PC maintenance and data backup functionality to keep up with Microsoft, Symantec and McAfee Anti-phishing functionality The ability to block malicious attachments in instant messaging applications

F-Secure Internet Security Suite 2007 has a comprehensive set of strong security tools, but it is missing a couple of key components, namely:

  1. Anti-phishing functionality
  2. The ability to block malicious attachments in instant messaging applications


This product is one of the best in this category. It has a higher price tag for the three-license version than other products, and it does not lead the pack in usability or performance, so it is not my recommended product. It is a solid product, but there are better, more comprehensive security suites available for less money.

McAfee Internet Security Suite, Norton 360