FREEDOME is a beginner-friendly VPN service launched by F-Secure, an amalgamation of four renowned cybersecurity companies with millions of users all over the world. The company was founded back in 1988 with corporate headquarters in Helsinki, Finland. Its efforts in the fields of Internet security, threat intelligence, cloud security, endpoint protection, vulnerability management, MDR, and EDR have been recognized internationally and awarded with numerous accreditations and certificates.
Keep reading this comprehensive F-Secure FREEDOME VPN review to learn more about the VPN’s platform coverage and server network, implemented security features, and relevant company policies.
At the moment, FREEDOME VPN offers native apps for Windows (7+), OS X (10.10+), Android (5.0+), and iOS (10+). While the VPN does not boast an impressive list of supported platforms, the native apps should be more than enough for users who just want to secure their computers, tablets, and phones without extending VPN protection to new-generation gaming consoles, streaming devices, and smart TVs.
Depending on your subscription, FREEDOME VPN allows up to 7 simultaneous connections, which should cover all the devices in any household.
FREEDOME VPN currently has 30 virtual locations, but the company does not disclose the number of physical servers in its network “for security purposes”. As per its FAQ section on the official website, F-Secure utilizes third-party hosting providers. We prefer services with proprietary server networks but understand that this is a privilege reserved only for the largest VPN companies on the market. In other words, utilizing a third-party network is not inherently a problem; it all depends on the data protection measures implemented by the company and its own logging policy.
You can choose any of the 30 virtual locations on the list or allow the client to pick one for you based on the proximity to your current location. F-Secure guarantees unlimited bandwidth and server switching. The available locations are grouped by continents inside the client and you have no access to other useful information like real-time server load or server health.
Even though some of the available locations might occasionally work in China, F-Secure does not recommend using its VPN service in this country.
Safety & Security
FREEDOME VPN utilizes different security configurations for different platforms:
- Windows, macOS, Android – OpenVPN; control channel: TLS, 2048-bit RSA keys with SHA-256 certificates, AES-256-GCM; Data channel: AES-128-GCM
- iOS – IPSec; IKEv1: AES-256 + HMAC-SHA2-256, 2048-bit RSA keys with SHA-256 certificates; IKEv1 data channel: AES-128 + HMAC-SHA1; IKEv2: AES_GCM_16_256, 2048-bit RSA keys with SHA-256 certificates; IKEv2 data channel: AES_GCM_16_256
This is an excellent security setup with reliable connection protocols and the best encryption ciphers there currently are. Apart from this, F-Secure also implements perfect forward secrecy with the Diffie-Hellman key exchange. Perfect forward secrecy means that the software generates a new encryption key for each individual session, so even if someone manages to obtain one session key and gain access to your traffic, the key will be rendered useless the moment you disconnect.
The available ports for Windows, Android, and macOS include TCP/UDP ports in the range 2700 – 2800 as well as TCP port 443. The ports available on iOS include UDP 500 – ISAKMP, UDP 4500 – ESP UDP encapsulation, and TCP port 443.
Apart from its impressive encryption setup, FREEDOME VPN includes protection against tracking and various malware attacks. In other words, you do not have to worry about cookies and other tracking technologies or malicious websites. Having said that, the anti-malware utility is still in its infancy and has to be quite selective with scanned files in order to preserve its overall performance levels.
In spite of what some F-Secure FREEDOME VPN reviews might say, the client DOES come with an automatic killswitch feature that will cut your Internet connection if your VPN gets disrupted and prevent your real data from leaking out.
One of the features we have never seen before in a VPN is the so-called Tracker Mapper. It is a simple functionality featured in the client that allows you to create your personal 24-hour log and see how the websites you visit track you on a daily basis.
Logging & Privacy
The company collects the following data when you are using its FREEDOME VPN service:
- Private communications – Traffic metadata (IP address, country, and volume), anonymous usage statistics, traffic scanning for any malicious destinations/files.
- Service provisioning logging – Client’s IP address, the time of access, a random device ID, the country code, and other similar information.
- Service logging – The device ID, the amount of data transferred, hostname from the originating location, public IP address, and traffic anomalies (DDoS attacks, spamming, and port scanning). These logs are kept for 90 days.
- Tracker Mapper – If you choose to activate Tracker Mapper, the collected data is automatically detached from your record and deleted after 3 days or when you start the next log. You can also delete it manually at any given moment.
- Security Cloud – Queries like file identifiers, URLs, and application metadata will be sent by the service when potentially malicious activity is detected. The information gathered by these queries, however, cannot be connected with any F-Secure user and is destroyed when no longer needed.
F-Secure will collect some additional data, depending on where you downloaded or purchased the service. The company, however, does not read your online traffic, which translates to no activity logs. It does collect some information for analytics purposes, but you can always opt-out of any analytical data collection.
When it comes to your personal rights, you can always access and rectify the collected data but also object to certain processing, restrict further processing (in some cases), and withdraw your consent. You can also request your data in a commonly used, machine-readable format (data portability) and data transmission to another controller (if technically feasible). However, if you wish to exercise your right to be forgotten (erase all your data), you will have to provide a legally valid reason for your request.
During our testing phase, FREEDOME VPN provided us with decent speeds paired with a stable and seamless performance. The client took only seconds to connect to our chosen servers and we did not experience any problems from our European location, even on the US locations.
When it comes to unlocking geo-restricted services, FREEDOME was flagged by Netflix US and Hulu every single time and we were not allowed to stream any content.
Due to DMCA legislation, FREEDOME VPN does not support BitTorrent and other P2P apps on gateway sites that either reside in the US or are hosted by a US-based company. In other words, torrenting is allowed on some servers, but you should avoid locations in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, the UK, and the US.
Plans & Pricing
F-Secure FREEDOME VPN features 3 different pricing plans. The most popular subscription costs €49.90 for 1 year and covers up to 3 devices. The family plan covers 7 devices and costs €79.90 for 1 year. The best offer also covers 7 devices and costs €109.90 for a period of 2 years. If this is your first purchase, however, the prices are €39.90, €69.90, and €89.90, respectively.
All purchases come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and the accepted payment methods include credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, JCB, and American Express), PayPal, and wire transfer. F-Secure’s payment processor for orders made on the official website is a German company called cleverbridge AG.
F-Secure offers various forms of customer support, including FAQ and knowledgebase sections on the official site as well as a user forum with a thriving community, live chat, and phone support. Note that the support staff is not available 24/7 for live chat and phone queries and you can find specific working hours on the site.
F-Secure FREEDOME VPN Pros & Cons
As we wrap up this F-Secure FREEDOME VPN review, here’s a quick overview of the features that wowed us and the aspects of the service that could use some improvement.
- Native apps for the most popular platforms
- Unlimited bandwidth/server switching
- Solid encryption
- OpenVPN and IPSec protocols
- Protection against malware and tracking
- Tracking Mapper
- Perfect forward secrecy
- Automatic killswitch
- Torrenting allowed on some servers
- Live chat and a community forum
- 5-day free trial
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Modest number of virtual locations
- Undisclosed number of servers
- No monthly plans