The Good Includes new tools for fighting spyware and spam; Parental Control feature blocks offensive Internet content.
The Bad No online chat or phone support; slightly more expensive than Norton Internet Security Suite 2005.
The Bottom Line F-Secure Internet Security 2005 bundles first-rate antivirus and firewall protection with spam- and spyware-fighting tools.
F-Secure Internet Security 2005
F-Secure Internet Security 2005 is a significant upgrade over last year's version of this comprehensive security package. It adds a host of new security tools, including spyware and spam fighters, as well as the parent/kid-friendly ability to block offensive Web content. Its antivirus engine is effective at blocking viral intruders without overtaxing system resources, and the F-Secure interface is logical and easy to navigate, too. But the software package is priced a few dollars higher--$10 or more--than comparably equipped competitors such as Symantec Norton Internet Suite 2005 or McAfee Internet Security 2005. And for the extra money we'd like to see better technical support, including phone and online chat, which F-Secure doesn't offer to its Internet Security users. Overall, though, this package is a solid suite from one of the worldwide antivirus leaders that's bound to block most digital dangers and that won't slow your system doing so. F-Secure Internet Security 2005 offers an easy but lengthy setup routine. Like Symantec , F-Secure plays it safe by offering optional presetup and postsetup virus scans that catch viruses, Trojan horses, and worms lurking in your PC. , by comparison, installs without prescanning your system, which is faster. However, a preinstall scan is helpful if you fear your computer is already infected. Unfortunately, the two setup scans do add a lot of time to the installation. In our test, setup took 15 minutes without the scans and a let's-grab-lunch 81 minutes with both.
After setup, the system reboots and F-Secure loads its start-up wizard, an easy-to-follow guide to configuring security settings. The wizard's default settings are appropriate for most users. For instance, F-Secure is preconfigured to run a weekly scan every Friday whenever the computer is idle for five minutes or longer. Surprisingly, another default setting instructs F-Secure to seek your input when it detects a virus, asking whether to clean, delete, or ignore. Competing virus fighters from Symantec, McAfee, and others simply disinfect the file, quietly moving it to a quarantined folder on your hard drive--a less intrusive approach.