Freedome VPN from F-Secure Review
F-Secure is a zero-logs Finland-based security company with a plethora of products, and Freedome VPN caught my eye for a reason. F-Secure has been in the security business since 1988 – that’s nearly three decades – and has secured its spot as a trustworthy brand.
Freedome is a reliable, if a bit basic, VPN that’s remarkably easy-to-use, flexible, cross-platform and lightweight. With 27 servers in 21 locations, it might not be the largest network, but the speeds are decent, and the bandwidth isn’t limited. It unblocks the streaming services and allows P2P.
Pricing and Plans
The pricing structure is straightforward:
- You get a five-day free trial – no registration, no bandwidth caps. Just download, install and push the big button.
- The paid plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee – no questions.
- The payment methods are credit/debit cards, wire transfer, and PayPal – no Bitcoin.
- There’s no monthly/quarterly/biannual plan. All subscriptions are billed on an annual basis.
There’s no difference in the features between the three paid plans. The only difference is the number of devices you can use simultaneously with one subscription.
The annual plan that covers three devices kicks in at $50; five devices - $60; 7 devices - $80. Crystal clear and simple, now let’s see what you get for the money.
Freedome VPN is cross-platform and supports Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. Mobile app mirrors the desktop experience in simplicity and usability.
The first thing that struck me was the stark contrast with many other providers in the way F-Secure treats your privacy. You get the free five-day trial without limitations – just download the apps on as many devices as you wish, and you’re good to go. No email, phone number or other identifying information is required to get your hands on experience. Thumbs up!
Usability rocks in Freedome VPN apps. The large blue window with the big Connect button and a few custom tabs are dead-simple to figure out. The locations are listed by region, and you can hide the ones you don’t need. The app instantly defines the optimal server you should use for the best performance based on your location. From there, it’s a matter of clicking Connect. The app doesn’t lag, or glitch and connecting/disconnecting is a breeze.
There’s no bandwidth cap, and streaming and P2P are allowed, but mind the servers you’re using. The general rule of thumb is to choose servers in countries without strict anti-piracy regulations (steer clear of German, French, Japanese, UK, and US servers for P2P).
Freedome has a nifty tracker-blocking feature that comes with an interactive visual map of trackers the app blocks for you. You can enable logging to get a general idea of how profiling looks in reality. This feature is nice but has little practical value if you ask me..
Other than that, the client is basic, and you can’t customize much – no protocol or encryption choice, no kill switch, no leak protection. Apparently, Freedome is geared toward non-technical users with its no-hassle, intuitive UI, and essential features.
The website also offers a pretty comprehensive knowledge base and downloads section. The support options are generous with the live chat and a list of phone numbers by region, but be warned – they’re nine-to-fivers.
I was testing speeds during peak hours, so my initial results before VPN weren’t all that stellar, but Freedome managed to impress with insignificant latency increase and decent download speeds. More so, it managed to increase my upload speeds by up to five times, so kudos for the performance. I haven’t had any issues connecting to the US and UK servers.
These are my speed stats before connecting to Freedome:
and here’s the result when connected to the US server:
and the UK server:
The security tests results are mixed. While Freedome didn’t leak DNS:
it leaked both WebRTC and IPv6:
Fortunately, they have an exhaustive breakdown of reasons why they don’t provide WebRTC leak protection and a few simple ways you can bypass it.
I always keep my fingers crossed when I get to checking on the streaming services with a VPN because that’s the moment of truth when most PR campaigns get shattered by the harsh reality.
So, I was happy to see Freedome successfully unblocked both the BBC iPlayer and Netflix US.
They don’t keep logs and can’t link you to the IP address of your browsing destination. They do keep temporary logs of VPN session duration, the amount of data, device ID and public IP from where you connect for 90 days to protect the network against abuse. They even highlight potential issues with the Track Mapper that, when enabled, logs tracking data to build the map, and explain the feature is optional and they delete the data.
Overall, F-Secure does a great job of explaining its practices in a clear and concise way – many companies should learn from this approach.
On the flip side, F-Secure lists the encryption protocols in its community FAQs, which is not the most obvious of places when you look for such basic information. They deploy AES-128 and AES-256 encryption, but I see no information on OpenVPN or any custom setting that would display it as an option.
Freedome VPN from F-Secure is an obvious choice if you’re new to VPNs or simply don’t need in-depth tweaks. It might not be the most advanced VPN out there, but it offers decent speeds, a hassle-free experience, a no-registration free trial, and unblocks your streaming services. Try it.
- No logs
- Reliable performance
- Good speeds
- Extremely easy-to-use
- Unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Cross-platform (Win, Mac, iOS, Android)
- No-registration 5-day free trial
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Clear PP and ToS, ample FAQs, live chat and phone support
- Packages for up to 7 devices
- Doesn’t leak DNS
- No kill switch
- No OpenVPN
- No advanced customization options
- No monthly plan
- Not the largest network of servers
- Leaks WebRTC, IPv6