F-Secure Internet Security 2012
F-Secure has moved to Bitdefender’s malware detection engine for its 2012 version, so it was no surprise to work out 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 an enormous step up from the 90% performance of F-Secure’s 2011 suite.
The interface, however, lets things down just a little. Double-click the icon and the software opens, not with a friendly front-end, but with a peculiar three-icon launcher, from that you must opt to open “Computer Security”, to check “Online Safety” or to go to the F-Secure website. It’s an intrusive waste of time.
Click on Computer Security and finally you reach the familiar F-Secure front-end with its three big buttons. Common operations are easy to locate and launch from here, however it feels over-designed: dotted about are not any fewer than 12 links that take you to different parts of an analogous settings window. There’s not much to configure, excluding 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 factors means parental controls, although from here it’s also possible to control whether safety ratings must be shown in search results and, interestingly, in webmail messages. Fundamentally, there’s nothing very useful here that can not be achieved with Windows 7′s own parental controls.
F-Secure Internet Security 2012 lacks ancillary features corresponding to online backup, network management, file encryption or secure deletion. This is not necessarily a nasty thing – there is something to be said for sticking to the knitting – but it is a disappointment, then, to work out a huge memory footprint of 233MB. Modern PCs won’t miss a couple of hundred megabytes here and there, but for older systems it’s an unwelcome waste.
At a normal online price of around £34 for 3 PCs it’s hard to recommend F-Secure’s suite over cheaper alternatives. But we’ve seen online retailers cut prices as little as £9: it could pay to buy around before striking F-Secure out of your shortlist.
Author: Darien Graham-Smith