F-secure Freedome VPN Review

F-Secure Freedome logo
Freedome F-Secure

Overall
3.6









  • Price









  • Service









  • Apps









  • Speed









  • Policy









Summary

Freedome VPN comes from a reputable security company. While it offers some positives there are just too many negatives in comparison to what else is available in a similar price range for us to recommend it as your go-to provider.

Pros

  • 5 day free trail
  • Supports major devices
  • Registered outside 5-eyes
  • 30-day free trial
  • Works with Netflix & iPlayer

Cons

  • Retains too much user data
  • Low encryption levels
  • Simultaneous connections differ


F-Secure's Freedome VPN is a bit of a mouthful of a name but it is actually a reasonably solid VPN developed by a Finnish anti-virus developer.

It's relatively new to the market, so for the last few weeks, we have been putting it through its paces to see how it performs in the real world. Can F-Secure's VPN take on the best VPN providers on the market?

There is plenty to praise but, as you would expect from a new VPN service, there are some areas for improvement too.

Compared to other VPN providers, F Secure's Freedome does offer decent value for money but before you sign up, we would strongly recommend that you read through this review to make sure that it ticks the right boxes for you.

Service

Speeds

Download speed

VPN connection and download speeds can be an achilles heel for a lot of new VPN services, so we were pleasantly surprised with what we found in our speed tests here.

Both download and upload speeds were more than fast enough for everyday web traffic, streaming services, torrenting, and everything else most of us get up to online.

Equally impressive was the consistency of speed. VPN connection duration was long and speeds didn't fluctuate too much on all the servers we tested.

We put the service through its paces with speed tests. Our connection speed without VPN was: 206 Mbps.

Below are our achieved speeds when connected to a selection of servers.

  • UK – 175.2 Mbps
  • Netherlands – 175.5 Mbps
  • Switzerland – 163.8 Mbps
  • Sweden – 142.1 Mbps
  • France – 81.5 Mbps
  • East Coast, US – 116.5 Mbps
  • Australia – 54.4 Mbps

All-in-all, this can be classed as a fast and reliable VPN on the basis of our speed test results. But it cannot lay claim to be the fastest VPN just yet.

Logging

Freedome VPN has a no user logs policy which states that it will not keep any records of your user data usage or what websites you are visiting.

This is good news, of course, but it is not the complete picture.

Unfortunately, some connection logs are taken. This includes both your real IP address and some device level identifiers when you first use the service. This lets the VPN provider know your current location.

Freedome privacy policy

Freedome's privacy policy is easy to understand.

Other details that are logged include the length of time you are connected to the service, the amount of data you use while connected, and your actual IP Address.

This is far more data than we would like to see any VPN providers collecting and means that, if online privacy is a top priority for you, we would not recommend F Secure's VPN or any other that collects your public IP Address.

Simultaneous Connections

There are just three simultaneous connections available with this VPN on the most popular 12 monthly subscription package, which means you can only protect three devices at any one time.

For some users, this will be enough, but for many it will not be, especially if they want to protect their family's devices too.

Most VPN providers offer a minimum of five devices per subscription, while some VPNs have even gone so far as to allow subscribers an unlimited number of connections.

Top Tip

Check out Surfshark or IPVanish if you want unlimited connections.

Just permitting three devices seems rather miserly and we suspect this may be increased soon.

If you sign up for 24 months or agree to pay more on your 12-month plan, you can get seven devices allowed. This is an unusual approach and we doubt it will be a winner with users.

In comparison to other providers, this is in the low-medium range. Other services offer the following concurrent connection limits:

  • Surfshark – Unlimited
  • IPVanish – Unlimited
  • VyprVPN – 30
  • PrivateInternetAccess – 10
  • CyberGhost – 7
  • NordVPN – 6
  • ExpressVPN – 5

Jurisdiction

As we have already noted, Freedome VPN is headquartered in Finland.

Finland is generally a good country for data protection laws. It is a member of the EU and it is, therefore, possible that data could be shared with European allies.

However, Finland is not a member of the 9 Eyes or 14 Eyes surveillance alliances which is good news.

Overall, we are more concerned about this VPNs own logging practices than the laws of the country it is based in.

When comparing, ExpressVPN is registered in the British Virgin Islands, NordVPN in Panama and VyprVPN in Switzerland.

Customer Support

While navigating around the customer support section of their website could be easier, we were nonetheless fairly impressed with the Freedome customer service.

There is a live chat support feature that is a little hidden away, perhaps because the operators we dealt with were not that well-informed. Usually, we got there in the end though.

There is also an FAQ section on the website that is packed full of advice and guides.

Perhaps most impressively, there is a list of customer support phone numbers for a wide range of different countries around the world which means you can actually speak to someone for help – a rare treat these days.

Server Locations

Server locations

F-Secure currently offers VPN servers in 29 different countries around the world. This is not a huge amount but should be enough for customers to get by with.

This includes four locations across the USA, three in Canada, and a good selection across Europe. There are also some in Japan and Singapore but the rest of the world is not covered yet.

The server network includes dedicated streaming servers and servers for torrenting. These specific servers performed well in our tests.

It is also worth noting that F-Secure does use virtual servers as part of the make up of its server network. This means that some servers appear to be in a different country to the one they are actually in.

Using a virtual location can have a negative impact on speeds and reliability, but in fairness, that doesn't seem to be the case with this service at the moment. It remains to be seen if it becomes an issue as their user numbers grow.

Does F-Secure's VPN work in China?

No. F-Secure's VPN does not work in China at the time of writing.

Top Tip

Check out our guide to the best VPNs for China.

Security and Safety

Protocols & Encryption

Protocols and encryption

Freedome VPN currently offers the OpenVPN protocol for its Windows, Mac, and Android apps.

While OpenVPN will generally secure your internet connection, for some reason, Freedome VPN only uses an AES-128-bit cipher. This is secure, but less secure than 256-bit AES encryption which is the industry standard.

If you are using this VPN on their iOS client, you are going to be even more disappointed since the only protocol on offer is the L2TP/IPsec one which is also secure, but not the best available.

If security is your priority, Freedome VPNs protocols don't really cut the mustard and there are much better options on the market from other companies for a similar price.

DNS Leak Testing

We tested for DNS leaks both on Freedome's desktop and mobile apps. While there are no specific DNS leak protection modes on the mobile apps, it appears they are covered.

Freedome DNS Leak test

No leaks detected via the desktop client.

Freedome mobile DNS leak

The mobile client also appears to be secure.

Other Security Features

F-Secure Freedome also offers a kill switch feature, but again only on Windows and Mac apps.

Beyond that, there are no advanced added security features such as split tunneling and obfuscation available yet.

While this is a bit disappointing, this is a young VPN and we have to give them the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully, some of these features will be added to the offering sooner rather than later.

Other features that are, perhaps less important, but nonetheless present include a tracking and browser protection tool that will flag harmful sites and sites likely to dump tracking cookies on your device and can even be used to block malicious sites.

The F-Secure VPN product will help to protect your data from malicious files and malicious content but it does not secure your user data as well as other VPNs.

Are there any Freedome VPN security incidents?

While Freedome VPN hasn't suffered any publicly known security incidents, its logging policy causes reasons for concern.

In 2020, logs were seized from Freedome's servers by Finnish police in relation to a criminal investigation. It was later ruled that these logs were taken without authorisation and ordered to be destroyed.

Freedome press clippings

However, it does highlight the unnecessary risks involved when VPN companies retain details of your connection.

Is F-Secure Freedome VPN safe for Torrenting?

F Secure Freedome does permit torrenting, but only on certain servers.

They are very strict about this and if you do try and torrent on a server where it is not permitted and they see torrent data transferred on that server, you will be banned from using the server again – you have been warned, children!

As long as you do stick to the correct servers, F-Secure offers unlimited bandwidth and decent speeds, which is ideal for torrenting.

Apps

Apps

Mobile Apps

Freedome VPN offers an Android app and an iOS app. Both have a similar design and features.

The design of the F Secure VPN mobile app is elegant. It features concentric circles around the quick connect button, giving you useful information about your VPN connection.

Freedome Android app

The VPN client connects to the fastest available server with a single click which is a popular feature.

At the bottom is a button with your server location detailed. Clicking on this opens a visually impressive animated globe showing the server locations available.

Unfortunately, that is kind of it for this app. The settings menu has very little of note and there are no other meaningful features.

We would place this mobile VPN client right in the middle of the market. There is nothing wrong with it and we have seen far worse. But, we have also seen far better. Perhaps they will improve in time but at the moment, these apps are pretty average.

Desktop Apps

The F Secure VPN desktop app couldn't be described as lightweight. But that's not to say it doesn't look good.

The single blue home screen has a big single click connect button at the centre surrounded by all the useful information about your VPN connection.

F-Secure Freedome Windows app

It feels busy thanks to the menu down the left hand side, which most VPN services choose to hide behind a single menu button.

This one lists the tracking protection, browsing protection, and tracker mapping features, as well as having links to the settings, your subscription details, and customer support.

Choosing your location is quite good fun, with an animated globe that swivels to show your chosen VPN server country. But if we are honest, an interactive visual map would probably have been more user-friendly.

F-Secure Freedome server selection

The settings options are basic, with a few things like the kill switch being the main option.

The tracker mapping features are a great idea in principle, but in practice, they didn't appear very effective when we used them and frankly felt like they were taking up room unnecessarily.

Other Apps and Extensions

Unfortunately, aside from the ‘big four' platforms, you cannot download the F Secure VPN onto any other devices at the moment.

There is no way to get this one onto Linux, routers, or any other devices automatically at the moment. There are also no browser extensions available either.

Most of us use the ‘big four' platforms but for those that don't, this is a let-down. Again, we would stress that Freedome VPN is new and apps may be added moving forward. At the moment, the offering is very limited.

Streaming

Streaming

Does it unblock Netflix?

Netflix works hard to block VPNs from unlocking their service and letting users watch libraries from different countries.

While some VPNs have worked hard to enable their users to access Netflix, others don't work well.

Thankfully, Freedome is one of the services that work with Netflix. In our tests, we were able to access both UK Netflix and US Netflix with ease. It may also work with one or two other locations but both of our tested are often the most sought after.

Does it work with BBC iPlayer?

The UK's BBC iPlayer worked fine with the service. Connecting to their ‘London' location worked well.

However, it was a little hit and miss. On occasion we were blocked from viewing and it required reconnecting to get things working again.

Does F-Secure Freedome VPN work with Disney+?

Again, there have been some conflicting reports but in our tests, Freedome VPN was unable to unblock Disney+ in any of the locations we tested.

Does F-Secure Freedome VPN work with Amazon Prime?

Infamously one of the hardest streaming services to unblock and sad to say, Freedome VPN was unable to work with this one either.

Other services

In our tests, Freedome VPN worked fine with those streaming services that are not concerned about VPN users and make no effort to block them.

They also worked well with some of the more popular services, but not with all of them.

While they're not the ultimate streaming VPN, they're working at an acceptable level.

Prices and Plans

Prices and Plans

F-Secure Freedome VPN has an unusual set of price plans. There is no monthly option and the minimum that you can sign up for is a one-year subscription.

We do usually recommend that you sign up for a VPN for longer to save money but we know that many users like to pay for a month to give their VPN a proper test-drive before committing to a longer deal. Freedome VPN doesn't have that option which is a shame.

The current price plans are as follows:

  • 12 Months (three devices) – £2.08 per month
  • 12 Months (seven devices) – £4.17 per month
  • 24 Months (seven devices) – £2.92 per month

There is a 30-day money-back guarantee available on all plans which is the industry standard and, to their credit, Freedome VPN also offers a five-day free trial.

Payment can be made by the usual credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay or Wire Transfer. There is no cryptocurrency payment options for privacy-conscious users but given this VPNs logging policy, that is unlikely to be a major concern to anyone likely to want to sign up.

Verdict

Verdict

The F Secure VPN service arrived with a lot of promise and we were hopeful of another real challenger to the best VPN mantle.

Sadly, in this Freedome VPN review, we have to be honest and say that, while there are the makings of a solid VPN here, it still has a long way to go.

The bare bones are there but many aspects of F-Secure's VPN have an issue.

There is a no logs guarantee but it collects far too much connection data. There is solid encryption, but not substantial enough. There is a reasonable server network but too many virtual servers.

F Secure VPN has decent apps but they could be better, it can unblock many popular streaming services and while it does work with torrents, this is very restricted and the punishments for choosing the wrong server are excessive.

Prices are reasonable and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee, but there is no monthly option and you are penalised for wanting more than three simultaneous connections.

Just about the only thing we can't call F-Secure out on in some way is the connection speeds, which we did find to be both fast and consistent.

But overall, this review is a case of what could have been. It might be the case that F-Secure addresses these issues and Freedome VPN manages to reach its potential.

But at the moment, there are far too many niggling issues (and a couple of severe ones) for us to recommend this VPN when there are far better options on the market.

It is a good VPN, but there isn't one aspect of it that we could describe as the best VPN.

Author: David Spencer

Cyber-security & Technology Reporter, David, monitors everything going on in the privacy world. Fighting for a less restricted internet as a member of the VPNCompare team for over 5 years.

Away from writing, he enjoys reading and politics. He is currently learning Mandarin too... slowly.

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