F-Secure Freedome Review

F-Secure Freedome VPN is a provider based in Finland that offers high speeds, strong encryption, and a variety of security features to protect your digital footprint as you browse the web either at home or on public WiFi. Customer support is great thanks to live chat, and the VPN provides a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee!

The service is available globally, with the exception of some Middle Eastern countries. It also provides fairly good value for money considering the level of service you get (though anybody with more than three devices can definitely get a better price elsewhere).

Overall, it is a reliable VPN from a pretty reputable antivirus developer. However, the encryption implementation and privacy policy are not as good as you might hope. Keep reading to see our full analysis of this privacy service.

Our Score
4.2 / 5
Pricing
$2.92/mo - $7.50/mo
Free option
Available
Simultaneous connections
3
Server Locations
29 countries
Jurisdiction
Finland
ProPrivacy.com SpeedTest (average)
35 Mbps
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Features

F-Secure is based in Finland: a country with strict privacy laws. This gives it an advantage over US-based VPN providers, as F-Secure isn’t affected by US warrants and gag orders. 

F-Secure Freedome VPN offers servers in 29 countries, including Hong Kong, Australia, and the USA. This is good for those looking to access geo-restricted content or those simply looking to conceal their real IP address. However, it is quite a lot less choice than you get with other premium VPN providers

Please also be aware that P2P torrenting will only work on a few servers (and attempting to do so on servers that are disallowed will get you a temporary ban from the server in question). 

Like many other providers, Freedome VPN has apps for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. Those apps feature WiFi protection, and unlimited bandwidth. However, you only get a kill-switch on desktop. Here is a list of its key features:

Speed and Performance

We tested F-Secure Freedome manually, because we were unable to get a permanent test account from the company to add it to our regular speed test system. While this is unfortunate, we were generally impressed with Freedome VPN's speeds.

Using the recommended US Southeast server, we encountered download speeds of 35.13 Mbps and upload speeds of 3.82 Mbps. We tested it for streaming and encountered no buffering issues.

Overall, we thought it provided great performance and reliability. On top of that, its server location list is fairly comprehensive – even if it is a bit lighter than the majority of competing providers. This should allow most users to find a server close enough to get better speeds. 

Fortunately, Freedome VPN offered up no disappointment when testing for DNS and IP leaks. To test Freedome VPN yourself for leaks and speed, check out our VPN leak testing tool.

Price

F-Secure Freedome has several subscription options. Unfortunately, all options except mobile require an entire one-year subscription. This sets it apart from competing providers, which allow customers to pick from a single month, or half year plan, if they want to.

Unusually, the subscription plans and prices depend on how many devices you want to connect at a time.

The 3 device plan for a single year is fairly good value for money, as long as you only have a few devices that you want to use a VPN with. However, it is worth bearing in mind that a range of VPN providers now offer between 5 and 10 devices at a similar price point. And some cheap VPNs at a comparable monthly rate allow an unlimited number of connections. So, if you need a VPN for a family household, it is probably worth shopping elsewhere. 

A free five-day trial is available for new users. In addition, a 30-day-money-back guarantee is included with all plans. Payment can be made via:

Unfortunately, F-Secure does not accept cryptocurrency payments, so those looking for a more anonymous payment method will need to look elsewhere.

Privacy and Security

F-Secure Freedome promises not to retain any personally-identifiable logs of user browsing habits. And, being based in Finland means that the VPN is located in a generally secure place for data privacy (though it is a wealthy country, which means it does theoretically have deep pockets for its surveillance community). Although Finland is a member of the EU, it is not part of the greater 9 Eyes or 14 Eyes data treaties – which is definitely good news for anybody who values privacy.

However, while no data usage logs is good news, it is important to note that the privacy policy states that it will store some connection logs. An IP address and device level identifiers are logged when you connect to the VPN the very first time, this allows the provider to know where abouts you are. It could also, theoretically, allow you to be tracked in real-time when you connect to its servers (even if no records are kept once a session ends).

The policy also states that the firm logs your VPN connection duration, a device ID that is generated by F-Secure, the amount of data transferred in each session, the public IP address that the user connected to, the host name (of your computer), as well as packet inspection that show an abuse of the service (P2P use on non P2P servers). These connection logs are stored for 90 days.

While this kind of data collection is probably not going to cause 99% of consumers any real headache, it is worth noting that we do consider this level of data collection to be fairly invasive. We thus advise anybody wanting a highly private VPN experience to stick to a proper no-logs service provider. 

Encryption

Freedome VPN provides OpenVPN protocol on its VPN for Windows, Mac, and Android VPN clients. Unfortunately, their iOS VPN app only uses L2TP/IPsec (a less robust, but generally secure protocol).

OpenVPN is implemented with an AES-128 cipher, SHA-1 for data authorization, and a 2048-bit RSA Handshake. This is a fairly weak implementation of OpenVPN due to the cipher, and the fact that we were not able to ascertain whether Perfect forward Secrecy is implemented. Thus, if strong encryption is important to your personal security model, we'd probably recommend looking elsewhere. 

DNS leak protection and a kill-switch are now available in both the Windows and Mac VPN clients.

Final thoughts

F-Secure Freedome VPN is a reliable VPN that is going to be suitable for the majority of casual VPN users, particularly anybody who requires VPN use on 3 devices or fewer. Thanks to its five-day VPN free trial, you can try out the VPN completely risk-free. And, the 30-day money-back guarantee gives you the chance to try the service and still change your mind if you want to.

The OpenVPN encryption implementation is not the strongest we have ever encountered. However, it is robust enough for most people's needs. The only real downside with this VPN revolves around the connection logs it stores for 90 days. These are a touch on the invasive side, if not particularly threatening to most casual internet users.

It is also worth noting that this VPN is completely lacking in any advanced VPN features such as obfuscation, port forwarding, split tunneling, etc. If you are looking for anything but a basic VPN connection, we recommend you look elsewhere.

Another annoying thing about this VPN is that you must subscribe for at least a year. Of course, this is offset by the fact that the yearly subscription is pretty good value for money.

The website is a little awkward to navigate, and a little lacking in important information – such as encryption implementation details. However, this is a fairly small quibble overall. And, thankfully, customer support isn't a problem thanks to live chat, phone support, a blog and the F-Secure community forum, which are available to all subscribers.

In the future, we would like to see F-Secure add better IKEv2 security to its iOS client, offer cryptocurrency as a payment method, and edit their website to offer more information upfront. If you decide to try out Freedome VPN, be sure to leave your user experience in the comment section below!

Visit F-Secure

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 

12 Comments

Rao Mudigonda
on June 24, 2018
Reply
Do you have VPN setup at router level instead of Desktop or Mobile level ? I would like to encrypt FireTV / FireStick traffic as well. Thanks
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Douglas Crawford replied to Rao Mudigonda
on June 25, 2018
Reply
Hi Roau, May I first point out that you can instal a software VPN app on a Firestick or TV. .. 1. Use a dedicated Fire Stick app This considerably limits your choice of VPNs, but is undoubtedly the easiest option. Just search from Fire TV homepage. Note that most VPN providers who offer Android TV apps also offer Fire Stick apps. 2. Sideload a regular VPN app using its .apk file Most VPN providers will be happy to send you an .apk version of their software if you ask, or the .apk may be available through online repositories. Alternatively, you can download the latest .apk the excellent OpenVPN for Android app from F-Droid. There are various ways to do sideload apps onto a Fire Stick, but we find using the Apps2Fire app to be the easiest. In fact, this rather funky app can install any app already installed on your regular Android device onto your Fire Stick without even the need for an .apk of the app! Before sideloading an app onto your Fire Stick you must first enable third-party apps. To do this, simply go to the Fire TV homepage -> Settings -> Device -> Developer Options -> turn ON Apps from Unknown Sources. If you still want to go the router route, setup details very much depend on the make and model of your router. We have instructions for setting up on a DD-WRT router here.
Irf
on March 13, 2017
Reply
Freedome is perhaps the best VPN to use if you need it for business purposes (working while travelling, connecting to client information etc.) as it comes from a very reputable cyber security company. Torrenting and stuff... well you can do it when you pick their server location right (Spain provides that if I recall right). Netflix: well F-Secure never really entered into the cat & mouse game with Netflix. They are more into just protecting your anonymity and data while you are on the internet.
mikko kumpulainen
on December 4, 2016
Reply
Umm lets say one torrents stuff where you can get in to some problems. Will this protect me?
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Douglas Crawford replied to mikko kumpulainen
on December 5, 2016
Reply
Hi mikko, In general, yes. Using a VPN will protect you when torrenting, as long as the VPN provider permits this. Please see Best VPN for torrents guide for in-depth discussion on this subject. With F-Secure Freedome, use of BitTorrent is allowed on some servers but is automatically blocked on others, including the UK, Netherlands and Singapore.
Kim
on December 22, 2015
Reply
And as payment options go there are local shops that sell Freedome without the need to give them your name, so if you pay with cash.
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