F-Secure Internet Security 2006 review: F-Secure Internet Security 2006

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good F-Secure Internet Security 2006 is a comprehensive security toolkit that costs less than McAfee or Norton and offers an easy-to-learn interface.

The Bad F-Secure Internet Security 2006 produces slow system boots, could offer better spyware detection, and doesn't include free phone support or an antispam toolbar for Microsoft Outlook.

The Bottom Line F-Secure Internet Security 2006 provides reliable protection against viruses, spam, and other online menaces. Although its spyware defense needs work, F-Secure is a steadfast defender and a solid, affordable choice for newcomers.

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7.3 Overall
  • Setup and interface 7.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Service and support 7.0

F-Secure Internet Security 2006

F-Secure Internet Security 2006 provides a strong defense against Internet baddies, including viruses, malware, spam, phishing attempts, and cracker intrusions. It's aggressively priced $20 less than competing suites from McAfee and Symantec, and its well-crafted interface makes it easy to change security settings. Even better, F-Secure won't slow your PC to a crawl during full system scans. But F-Secure needs to be more proactive in blocking spyware. Also, it takes a very long time to run a full scan, and it doesn't provide an antispam toolbar for Microsoft Outlook. Phone support costs a bundle, too. Still, F-Secure packs plenty of muscle to ward off security threats. It's a worthy upgrade for F-Secure Internet Security 2005 users, and a solid, affordable choice for newcomers.

During setup, F-Secure was more demanding than other security suites we've tested. For example, it made us uninstall potentially conflicting applications, including Spybot Search and Destroy , Lavasoft Ad-aware (which F-Secure's antispyware technology is based on), and Yahoo Toolbar, which also has antispy features. F-Secure automatically uninstalled these apps with one click; however, we question the wisdom here, since running more than one antispyware app is often necessary to thoroughly protect your system.

The start-up wizard in F-Secure made it easy to configure our security settings, including the new Time Lock feature, which lets parents limit Internet access to a specific time--9 a.m. to 9 p.m., for instance--to prevent their kids from going online unsupervised. Total installation time ran about 30 minutes--on a par with best-selling competitors McAfee Internet Security and Symantec Norton Internet Security .

F-Secure's interface will appeal to advanced users who like to tinker with security settings. Like Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2006 , F-Secure lets you add and remove individual file formats from the list of scanned file types. Granted, most people won't ever touch this feature, but security aficionados may choose to remove specific formats from the list to shorten system scans or to add formats to bolster protection. This level of granular control is pervasive throughout the interface. For instance, F-Secure lets you run scheduled scans after your computer is idle for 5 minutes--handy for lunchtime virus checks. None of F-Secure's competitors offer this level of configurability.

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