F-Secure Internet Security 2009 Review

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F-Secure Internet Security 2009When it comes to financial activity, I try to do as much as I can online because it’s much more convenient than driving to a branch. With that convenience comes a risk, with more financial transactions being conducted online, more thieves are looking to the internet for their next scheme. My biggest concern isn’t that I’ll click on a spam phishing email, but that I visit some compromised site that installs spyware onto my computer. If they manage to install spyware on my site, they can collect all my financial information and rob me blind. Fortunately, this hasn’t happened yet, but one can never be so sure.

When Ben from F-Secure contacted me about taking a look at their internet security product, I was a little hesitant. I recognize the company name but they don’t have the brand name that a company like Symantec has (they own the Norton brand). However, I told him I’d check out the software because internet security is very important and, well, it’s an opportunity to find out more about them. So they sent me a copy of their F-Secure Internet Security 2009 package to check out. (and several to give away to you all!)

About F-Secure

F-Secure was founded in 1988 and headquartered in Finland but has offices all over the world, including a Security Lab in San Jose, California. They have sales in over a hundred different countries, 720 employees (2008), and net sales of 113 EUR million in 2008 – they’re not a small outfit. For comparison’s sake, Symantec, as a whole, generated $5.8 billion in annual 2008 revenues and has 17,600 employees (as of April 2009). So, F-Secure isn’t a large company but they aren’t a tiny one either.


Their Internet Security product costs $59.99 for 12 months and 3 computers. It’s a price that on par with Norton Internet Security 2009 (retails for $59.99). By comparison, AVG, which has a fantastic free antivirus product, has an AVG Internet Security product that costs $54.99 for one computer for 12 months.


I like to think of internet security software packages are antivirus packages with firewalls, parental controls, and spam prevention. If you have separate antivirus, firewall and spam prevention software then you won’t need an internet security application. I had an entirely-free hodge-podge solution like that, using the native Windows firewall package, AVG Free Antivirus, Spybot S-D, and GMail, but I felt combining it all into one application would make my life easier (plus, running one app beats running four). I don’t run a parental controls application because we don’t have any kids.

Anti-Virus: AVG Free Antivirus is a great anti-virus program, in part because it’s free, but F-Secure adds some nice features AVG didn’t offer. For example, there are several different types of scans you can run – a full scan, a quick malware scan, a quick rootkit scan. Instead of scanning every last file on your hard drive, the quick scans will look at a subset. I just ran a quick malware and rootkit scans, with the rootkit coming up clean and the malware finding the typical stuff (harmless cookies and tracking stuff).

Internet Shield/Firewall: The firewall will notify me of incoming and outgoing connection attempts, which is nice because then I can see what applications on my computer are trying to contact the outside world without my knowledge. This is standard firewall functionality.

Spam Control, Parental Control: These two features aren’t going to be appealing to me because I will still use GMail and I don’t have kids I want to shelter from the dangerous internet. However, for the purposes of this review I did take a look at the parental controls. With the parental controls, you establish settings for two types of users on your computer – small children and teenager. Then, for each type of user, you can specify:

  • Limiting website access: With small children, you have to explicitly set each each website they can visit. For teenagers, they are restricted from visiting categories of sites, where you can pick the categories they get access to. The categories are weapons, hate, violence, drugs, gambling, sex, dating, webmail, chat, travel, and sports.
  • Limiting time online: You can also limit how much time users can spend on the internet, on weekdays and weekends.
  • Limiting specific times: If you want, you can also limit when they can go online. So in the previous setting, you specified total time online. In this setting, you specify when (ie. between 2 and 6 pm on weekdays).

Finally, you can set a teenager and a parent password. The teenager password will let the teenager use the teenager rules, rather than the small children rules. The parent password is necessary to allow unrestricted access and access to F-Secure.

Automatic Updates: This was one thing I missed from AVG Free, the software automatically checks and updates itself as needed. With AVG, you had to ask it to update itself, which wasn’t such a big deal when you consider it was a free package.

Free Trial: Fortunately, you don’t have to take my word for it because they offer a free trial. You can request a trial copy here.


For two of you, I can do you one better. F-Secure has gracious offered to give away F-Secure Party Packs of a copy of F-Secure Internet Security 2009 and a 1GB USB memory stick. To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment below before June 6th and you’re entered. As always, newsletter and email RSS subscribers are automatically entered (so you can get multiple entries just by commenting or signing up to the newsletter or email RSS). Two winners will be selected on June 6th. Void where prohibited.

There is a third F-Secure Party Pack available in the BB Auction Store, that you’ll be able to bid on with your BB.

Good luck!

{ 44 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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44 Responses to “F-Secure Internet Security 2009 Review”

  1. skylog says:

    thank you for the offer, i am always looking for some nice software. hope to get to try this out

  2. noddingstar says:

    Thanks for letting us know about this product, Jim. Also, thanks to F-Secure for your hard work and the gifts.

  3. I never win anything but I will give it a shop. Thanks!

  4. Brian says:

    I would love to get this and try it out.

  5. David Dixon says:

    I hope I win.

  6. palehorse513 says:

    Sounds like a great product with many customizable features. I would love to try it.

  7. Sounds good. I’ve used a few products like this with varying degrees of success. I’d love to try this one. I might go ahead and download the free trial just to check it out.

  8. Ryan says:

    I have used F-secure before in a personal evironment and a corporate environment. It is a good product. I found that it always does a great job in stopping viruses and in the features that it offers. I have never had any outbreaks with their product installed. I do find their firewall to be a little difficult to use, but it tends to lean toward the safer side, which is good for your average user.

    Most people install the product and dont take to much time to configure, which it is great for. I would always recommend a pay version of antivirus, since most of the time free versions are missing a lot of the automated task which are essential to keeping your computer clean. I havnt used the 2009 version and would love to be able to give it a whirl since my current anti-virus is coming to an end.

  9. Hoon says:

    Love to have it!!!
    Try before but can’t afford it so in the end, I use AVG free version only 🙁

  10. Jay says:

    Just signed up. Will spend some time on site just getting aware of content. Always have had a problem keeping all my computers updated especially with security software.

  11. Lora says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this valuable product.

  12. Mike says:

    Nice review. I hope to win!

  13. wayne sinclair says:

    Norton was such a dog that it slowed down my computer incredibly, and made it keep crashing. It had more incompatability than my ex wife and I. i would welcome the chance to try a new security software.

  14. Shock says:

    Free is always the best price.

  15. charles says:

    thanks for the offer

  16. Jeff says:

    FSIS is very good. The 2009 version uses Kaspersky 6 and 2 engines created by F-Secure. For 2010 F-Secure will be dropping the older Kaspersky one for Bitdefender. I am cetain this will khelp with scanning. FSIS is a very good suite. The parental controls are the best. I have tried several suites but to me F-Secure packs the most punch out of all of them.

    For the person that stated the Norton doesnt have parental controls that is incorrect. The do have a add on pack that has antispam and parental controls in it.

  17. Anonymous says:

    norton is better!!!

  18. aua868s says:

    luckily for me, my company provides 1 free mcafee anti virus account for eah employee to be used in home pc/laptop…great thing is it automatically updates periodically and renews every year..woo hoo

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