F-Secure Internet Security 2012 review

Price when reviewed

F-Secure has moved to Bitdefender’s malware detection engine for its 2012 version, so it was no surprise to see the Finnish suite achieve identical results to Bitdefender’s own product in our protection test: a clean-sheet 100%, with not a single false-positive. That’s a huge step up from the 90% performance of F-Secure’s 2011 suite.

The interface, however, lets things down a little. Double-click the icon and the software opens, not with a friendly front-end, but with a weird three-icon launcher, from which you must choose to open “Computer Security”, to review “Online Safety” or to visit the F-Secure website. It’s an intrusive waste of time.

F-Secure Internet Security 2012 - launcher

Click on Computer Security and at last you reach the familiar F-Secure front-end with its three big buttons. Common operations are easy to find and launch from here, but it feels over-designed: dotted about are no fewer than 12 links that take you to different parts of the same settings window. There isn’t much to configure, except for a comprehensive set of firewall rules. Changing anything involves approving a UAC requester, a fussy measure that other vendors clearly don’t deem necessary.

The Online Safety side of things means parental controls, although from here you can also control whether safety ratings should be shown in search results and, interestingly, in webmail messages. Fundamentally, there’s nothing very useful here that can’t be achieved with Windows 7’s own parental controls.

F-Secure Internet Security 2012 - main interface

F-Secure Internet Security 2012 lacks ancillary features such as online backup, network management, file encryption or secure deletion. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – there’s something to be said for sticking to the knitting – but it’s a disappointment, then, to see a large memory footprint of 233MB. Modern PCs won’t miss a few hundred megabytes here and there, but for older systems it’s an unwelcome waste.

At a typical online price of around £34 for three PCs it’s hard to recommend F-Secure’s suite over cheaper alternatives. But we have seen online retailers cut prices as low as £9: it might pay to shop around before striking F-Secure from your shortlist.


Software subcategoryInternet security

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?yes

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