Freedome, the VPN service from F-Secure, isn’t as well known as some of their larger competitors. But F-Secure has been working with individuals, small businesses and enterprise clients from around the globe for many years. Offering cybersecurity and complete solutions, they take your privacy and online safety seriously. It is their job.
In this Freedome VPN review, we’ll be looking at how well this service compares to some of the more popular services like NordVPN. Typically users find that larger brands offer greater performance and server choice because of their investment in server farms around the world while smaller firms might have an edge in customer service and affordability.
While Freedome doesn’t offer anything unique, VPNs aren’t that interesting after all, in this Freedome VPN review we’ll look at how they differ to the competition. But due to their location, application simplicity and extra features they might be more desirable, depending on what you expect and need from a VPN service.
However, during our research, we found that Freedome does log some of your data and will use it to “approach you with relevant messages” which sounds like targeted advertising. For most users, this is an enormous issue and could be reason enough by itself to completely boycott this company.
According to our research, the performance of the Freedome VPN is relatively impressive. You can expect to take a 25-30% hit on your current download speeds. But uploads are slower. When compared to the competition this is quite competitive, although far from the best that we have ever seen.
It’s also worth noting that there are many reports of users being unable to utilize Netflix when using Freedome. In particular, the West and East coast servers in the USA, Canada, and the UK are all blocked or fail to work when using the Freedome VPN. Netflix has banned them, able to identify you because of a DNS leak when using many private networks.
Likewise, you’ll find that torrenting is ‘discouraged’ which in practice means that it’s banned. If Freedome catches you torrenting files, whether uploading or downloading, it’s likely that they will request that you stop and eventually ban you if you fail to stop. For many users, torrenting is the sole reason for using a VPN, which makes this rule frustrating.
Privacy and Security
The big advantage of choosing Freedome from F-Secure is that their office is in Finland, a country notorious for its customer-friendly privacy laws. There is a tiny chance of raids and information seizures in comparison to the USA, Canada, and Western Europe. For people who need extra security and privacy, this can be a huge benefit.
Likewise, F-Secure has made its entire company mission the protection of information. Their VPN blocks all incoming trackers, hackers and interceptors of information. As a result, you’ll be able to browse the web, play games and do anything else online all from an anonymous IP address in a country of your choosing.
You also do not need to create an account to register for Freedome. Therefore, there is no need for you to give over any more information. Even with this, logging could cause an IP trace which could be risky, which is why it’s great that they don’t require this step.
However, we don’t like that you can’t pay using anonymous cryptocurrencies. For people in serious situations, where they can’t take any risks, the idea of having to enter payment details like your name, address and zip code can be frustrating. Payment by money order might be equally challenging for those who are in particular nations.
It’s fantastic that they offer a mobile and desktop application. Some brands are still behind the curve, failing to provide a phone app which can keep you safe as you browse on the go. However, on the flip side, it’s frustrating that there is no option for Linux users or routers. Routers, in particular, are advantageous because they protect all traffic from every device.
While these features are useful, there is a glaring issue. Freedome is not entirely free of logging or tracking. The terms and conditions clearly state that they will log your information in some instances, presumably to meet local laws.
The issue becomes more confusing when you continue to read the terms and conditions. It mentions that the company will use your data to “send you information relating to the services, conduct customer surveys, arrange competitions, advertise and market our services to you.”
It also mentions that they will “approach you with relevant messages” which makes it seem like there is advertising that using targeting. For them to achieve relevance, they will need to log your data and internet usage, which violates the expectation most of us have from a VPN. In our opinion, this is a huge red flag for most users.
When looking at their landing page, you’ll find that there isn’t a tremendous amount of information. You need to dig deeper and look at alternative sources. To us, this seems like a poor sales page. If users didn't figure out easily where the servers are and how many there are, it would appear not to be a selling point, which is a red flag in our opinion.
After a little digging, we found that they have servers in:
Overall, that’s 23-countries for you to choose. While more than some providers like Disconnect VPN, it doesn’t come close to what Nord or Express offer. Therefore, we tend to think that this is an insufficient number of options, particularly for power users who are looking to route through a broader number of countries and locations.
It’s impossible for us to know how many servers they have in total, but given the way that they have written their page, we think they have a relatively small number. However, this isn’t necessarily an issue for everybody. For most people, the priority is speed, and as long as there aren’t too many customers, the strain on each server should be minimal.
However, the problem once again lies with power users, people that need the utmost security and privacy. Changing servers regularly isn’t very useful when you’re back to the first one within a few hours. For these users, having thousands of IP addresses to tap into is vital. Therefore, we don’t think Freedome is suitable for intense power users.
While for people who are using VPNs to bypass geographic limitations, it could be an acceptable option. Most of the primary countries that people choose to opt for like Australia, UK and USA are on the list. For Netflix, for example, these countries tend to have the greatest number of shows and movies, making them the options that most people seek.
Whenever you’re considering an application, you’ll always need to ensure that it’s compatible with the devices that you use in your home. Fortunately, Freedome works on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android. However, if you’re using Linux, Android TV or other obscure operating systems, you won’t be able to utilize the Freedome VPN because it runs through an app.
For users who need these systems, particularly Linux or direct to router applications, NordVPN is a great option because it has the most extensive compatibility. However, Freedome offers a good variety and will be ideal for almost every user.
It’s fantastic that they offer a mobile app. Many services only cater for desktop or laptop users. But with more people than ever streaming and playing video games on their mobile phones, having access to a VPN on mobile is critical. In China, in particular, social media is banned and therefore having a VPN on your phone can give you access to Instagram and Facebook.
All of the pricing on the website is in Euro’s, which means that you will need to pay in that currency. Therefore, if you are buying from abroad, you will need to consider the current exchange rate when deciding whether this service is right for you. Remember, you’ll also need to pay applicable tax on top of the stated rate.
At the time of writing, the lowest plan retails for $4.68 per month while their premium tier is $7.49 per month. When compared to options like NordVPN, which is available for as little as $2.99, it’s hard to justify paying more for a service that gives you fewer options. In particular, their lowest plan gives more devices than Freedome and double the geographic locations.
We don’t recommend judging companies purely on their price, but instead on the value that they offer. Unfortunately, we don’t think that Freedome gives you good value for money because of their high price and relatively low number of servers and locations.
It’s important to remember that F-Secure is in Finland and therefore they accept and use the Euro, a European Union currency. While you can pay in U.S. Dollars or alternative currencies, you’ll need to convert the price at the time to ensure that it’s affordable given the current exchange rate.
At the time of writing, you can pay via Visa, Mastercard, Amex, JCB, Paypal, wire transfer, cheque and money order. The obvious exception is that they don’t accept cryptocurrencies at the moment. Crypto is becoming increasingly popular, especially among those who value their privacy or are living in countries which have restrictive laws over internet usage.
For these people, paying by methods like these isn’t acceptable. It means that F-Secure has their personal information. Therefore, for the people who need a VPN service the most, they will be uncomfortable paying for Freedome. Whereas alternatives like Express and NordVPN accept Bitcoin and another service will accept BCH, Ripple, and Litecoin among others.
While for others who might not care as much about their privacy, having these payment options is fantastic. Many brands only accept Visa and Mastercard, typically through a payment processor like Stripe. By allowing Paypal and money order, it gives customers more options for payment, particularly among Europeans where credit cards are less common.
How to Use Freedome VPN
As part of this Freedome VPN review, we looked into the ease of using the service. Like many others, they utilize an application to intercept all of your outgoing data, rerouting it through one of their servers around the globe. This app is on Mac, PC, Android, and iPhone. It’s lightweight and won’t take up too much space on your device.
When you get inside of the app, you’ll find that it’s quite intuitive. While it isn't as modern and edgy feeling as some alternatives, the software is simple, and we believe that’s a huge benefit for most users. Many overcomplicate VPNs, and this can confuse users whereas Freedome is relatively simple and even has handy graphical interpretations.
Users can go into the settings and change the server location whenever they wish. You can choose from a dropdown menu and will only need to wait a few seconds for a connection before you can continue to use your machine as normal.
At the dashboard of the app, you’ll find a large circle, which indicates whether the service is currently on or off. We love this because it’s critical that users are aware when they are going unprotected. Above and below you’ll see which features are engaged and how many trackers and others have been blocked by the VPN.
Should you wish to get more data, you can click to get a visualization of all of the blocked trackers. It appears as a mind map, with lines and circles showing where the attempts have come from and how many have occurred. While not particularly useful for individual users, in most cases, it is interesting and a nifty feature that’s nice to have.
When the application is engaged, all of your usages will redirect through a server in the country that you have selected, including applications outside of your web browser, like video games, streaming software, and chatting applications. By doing so, you’ll have complete protection rather than only when browsing the web.
When doing comparisons, we think that it’s only fair to compare to the best options available. Therefore, we believe that compared to NordVPN, Freedome isn’t particularly affordable and doesn’t offer as many options. While Nord has over 5,000 servers in 60+ countries, Freedome provides less than half the number of countries and a fraction of the servers.
Again, for the majority of users, this isn’t a huge problem. But why would you pay more for a service with fewer options? It doesn’t make sense, mainly because Nord has 24/7 customer service, that is famous for its quick response time and practical problem-solving.
However, we do think that the Freedome application is impressive. The graphic visualization of the blocked trackers is fun, although not particularly useful for the vast majority of users. Similarly, the dashboard is intuitive and very clear, which is going to be beneficial to those with less technical ability.
However, one thing that we like about Freedome is the flexibility regarding the number of devices and hence cost per month. This option isn’t available in almost any other VPN service provider. This lack of flexibility can be frustrating for large families and power users who might need access on seven or more devices, rather than the five that most providers give.
On the flip side, if you know that you’re only going to use a few devices, it can be a tough pill to swallow to pay more for a service that you don’t fully utilize. With Freedome you have the freedom to choose between three, five and seven devices, with the cost dropping as you reduce the number of machines that you’re using.
One of the problems that we do have with Freedome is that it’s not available in every country. We’re not talking about the virtual servers that you can choose from either. We mean that they won’t allow users from every country to use their VPN. Notably, China is missing from the list, one of the countries where the need for privacy and security is greatest.
It’s interesting that they wouldn’t offer their service to every nation, while other brands are worldwide. It could be because they are based in Finland which is part of the EU, rather than in the USA which has different restrictions.
On the same note, there is a huge benefit to users of Freedome being in Finland. This country is known for its incredible privacy laws, similar to Switzerland. The result is that you can be confident that there will be no raids of their office, forcing them to turn over customer data and account details. The same isn’t always true in the USA and Western Europe.
Free Trials and Guarantees
There is no free trial available, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. Therefore, you can try the service for a month before deciding whether it is the right choice for you. Our main concern is that according to multiple reliable sources, the customer support at Freedome is virtually non-existent. They fail to reply to emails, forum messages or their live chat.