Review - F-Secure Internet Security 2010

Opinion by Dan Raywood

After writing about the likes of Panda Security and Microsoft's Security Essentials, I was recently asked if I wanted to give F-Secure's 2010 Internet Security a try.

After writing about the likes of Panda security and Microsoft's Security Essentials, I was recently asked if I wanted to give F-Secure's 2010 internet security a try.

Always one to try something new, I installed it on the Dell Latitude XT2. Firstly for the product capabilities, it includes anti-virus, firewall, spam email filtering, phishing protection, parental control, browsing protection and automatic updates according to the box, which I ripped when trying to open it. Nice start.

The box and software also feature the new logo which is very nice, however the packaging is pretty hefty for a CD and guidebook, while a leaflet offers the hosted version.

So on to the installation, it was pretty straightforward. I inserted the CD that kicked in autoplay with run.setup.exe asked for by the OS. From here I am given three options – install/evaluate F-Secure; scan for security threats; or learn more. There are also language options, but I am more disturbed by the rattling CD inside the removable drive.

So I choose my language, agree to the licence agreement and input the 20-digit subscription key. After this it is the installation type – automatic or step-by-step, I go for automatic although it warns me that it will replace other security programs, well as far as I know there is no other security on this so I will press ahead with the former.

The installation takes a couple of minutes and requires a restart, after this it validates the subscription key which is a bit slow and I am shoved into the parental control section which has three options: small children; teenagers or small children and teenagers. As a semi-responsible 30-something I decide to cancel this, but take a quick look at the small children option and see the time scale for locking out on weekdays and at weekends.

Back to the download, it downloads updates and installs updates, which is done in the background, but is a little laboured. It offers a minimise option but considering that I do want to use the internet after installation I figure it is best to leave it.

So with the process over, I am protected up until today so I give the SC Magazine website a try, and am glad to say all works perfectly! I am offered the choice of a full computer scan that will take five steps: scan; virus cleaning; spyware cleaning; riskware items; and suspicious items. Ah I'm not going anywhere, let's do it.

The first scan takes some time, but this is somewhat reassuring as if it were a quick process, you would suspect that it would not be doing a deep inspection. The scan process seems to scan six or seven items at a time, and after several times (I will spare the real-time commentary) it scanned a total of 42,215 items.

It offers to clean by item or automatically, so I go automatic assuming that it will give me a better chance of nailing the gremlins. This literally takes seconds and the computer is seemingly as clean as the day it was first made.

So with all of that done, I am given the main dashboard and on ‘Tasks' I am offered a check for updates, to open the firewall, restore settings or override blocked programs.

On the next use, I decide to give it a boot-up to see how it works post-installation. Firstly as the Dell Latitude XT2 starts up rather quickly, there is no indication that there is an update or scan taking place. I click on the desktop icon and it tells me that the 'computer is protected' and 'all security features are up-to-date'.

On the updates feature on the dashboard, it tells me that the last check was done automatically and that the update check was successful. What has concerned me, and what I felt was a failing with some other anti-virus products, is that they do not update automatically. However this has been done, with it telling me 'updates are installed automatically several times a day'.

So overall I would say that I am pleased with F-Secure Internet Security 2010, despite a little concern over a lack of presence during start-up it seems to work well in the background, has given me no problems and according to its statistics of my use, has blocked more than I realised.

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