F-Secure Anti-Virus is a straightforward and effective antivirus engine which will do its best to keep all malware locked firmly out of your PC.
F-Secure installed just fine on half of my malware-infested virtual machines; the other half required widely varying degrees of help from tech support. The F-Secure Rescue CD helped bypass ransomware that prevented installation on one system and fixed problems on a couple of others. It uses an antiquated, all-text user interface, but it did the job.
Well, mostly. I really should have heeded the warning in the Rescue CD's initial screen: "If a Windows system file is infected, the computer many not restart." Indeed, the process of diagnosing and repair on one test system rendered it totally unbootable.
In order to fix this system and two others, tech support requested many diagnostic logs and had me run a wide variety of diagnostics. Among these were F-Secure's built-in diagnostic tool, their online scanner, and an in-house tool they call Crime Scene Investigator. They also requested logs from third-party tools Autoruns and GMER. I reinstalled TCP/IP on one system and ran a variety of system commands.
Malware Protection : 7/10
How does F-Secure protect your computer? With DeepGuard cloud computing to identify and remove viruses, malware, worms and spyware. The DeepGuard network monitors how programs work in order to identify new threats from within the cloud and it updates the user community with information. The software protects your computer from attack and also helps make it run quicker and more smoothly.
AV-Test gives F-Secure a consistently good rating for performance, while AV-Comparatives ranks F-Secure with an Advanced A+ rating. Virus Bulletin, similarly, puts the software in the top class. Because F-Secure doesn’t participate in ICSA or West Coast Labs testing we were unable to judge the software by these standards. The malware detection rate is good, and generally the system is effective at stopping known and as-yet unknown threats.
System Scans : 7/10
Features : 4/10
Ease of Use : 6/10
If you can ensure installation on a clean PC, F-Secure is a great choice for protection. It earned top scores in my hands-on protection tests, and the independent labs also give it high ratings.
However, I do take issue with the amount of difficulty I had installing it and running scans on malware-infested systems. Remember, even a clean system could get into this situation if a zero-day attacker managed to establish a foothold before F-Secure could handle it. In particular, I think a user whose computer was rendered unusuable for a week might take issue.
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