While it's been on the antivirus scene for a long time, F-Secure has been much less visible than alternatives such as Norton and McAfee. Much of this was due to the fact that its scanning software tended to be used at the corporate level.

The new F-Secure Internet Security 2005 suite is aimed at individuals and - with a couple of provisos - it's an okay alternative. However, against the batch of internet security suites we're reviewing this month, it's not a stand-out product and we wouldn't recommend it over Trend Micro's brilliant PC-cillin.

After installation you're prompted to scan your system for viruses. The Internet Security centre is generally very straightforward, providing access to virus protection and firewall, as well as spam and parental controls. Privacy protection software is the only thing missing, but in every other respect the suite performs well - especially as more complex settings allow you to finetune protection.

Our antivirus and firewall tests prove this program's virtues - and the fact that it is up to £15 cheaper than its main competitor makes it very tempting. So why isn't Internet Security our recommended online protection app?

Well first of all, while some tasks are fast and efficient, the general suite is a resource hog and it's far too tempting to switch off features to speed up your PC. Secondly, while updates are very regular, the F-Secure server is annoyingly slow, particularly during installation when you will have to download several megabytes of new AV signatures.

F-Secure Internet Security 2005: Specs

  • 600MHz Pentium II or higher
  • Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
  • 256MB RAM
  • 300MB hard disk space
  • Internet Explorer 6.0
  • 600MHz Pentium II or higher
  • Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
  • 256MB RAM
  • 300MB hard disk space
  • Internet Explorer 6.0

OUR VERDICT

Individually, elements of the suite are superb: antivirus protection is first class and extras such as rogue dialler controls really make this worth considering - especially at this price. But only buy it if you have a fast processor and lots of RAM. J

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