Using a device can get really complicated really fast when as a user you are unaware of how to best protect it against malware found online. It’s like walking in the dirt without any shoes on, your feet are bound to get dirty. In this comparison, we are comparing F Secure Antivirus and ESET Antivirus so that you can see which one is best for your needs. Come along with us as we compare these in every manner that counts.

But first, a little information about each antivirus software.

F Secure

F Secure has four paid antivirus products that provide its users with protection against all harmful threats online. In comparison to the market rates, F Secure is slightly cheaper. Therefore, these products also lack a lot of features that can be found in their competitor’s products.


  • Cheaper
  • Variety of products to choose from


  • Makes devices lag
  • Offers less features than rest


Comparatively, ESET antivirus provides users with good protection but users need to opt for a pricier version to get full access to a lot of features such as password manager and file encryption. However, the products launched by ESET for Windows users offer important features such as a VPN client, backups and a file shredder.


  • Offers good protection
  • Password manager
  • VPN client
  • File encryption
  • Gaming Mode


  • A bit pricey
  • No browser extensions

Costs and Coverage

F Secure

  1. The basic plan for F Secure anti-virus which costs you $40 annually for one PC and $50 for three, provides your devices with adequate protection against both spam and malware. F Secure also provides users with a safe browsing option in Safe Search which warns users against potentially threating websites.
  2. The Internet Security Package offered by F Secure which costs you $50 annually adds several extensions to your browser to ensure browsing safety along with parental controls that continue to check your home network for any and all flaws.
  3. F Secure SAFE which costs you $70 annually provides you with licenses for Mac as well as Android devices. Along with browser blacklisting options as well as a device locating software for iOS and Windows Phone 8, this package has a lot to offer you.
  4. Lastly, with F Secure’s Total Security and Privacy package, you have to spend $90 annually and get access to your own virtually private network (VPN) service. This package allows you to access F Secure’s Freedome VPN.

Following is a comparison of features among the abovementioned packages.

F-Secure Security Products Comparison


  1. ESET antivirus provides users with three packages that aren’t only expensive but also progressively stronger than the ones offered by F Secure. The first package is called NOD32 Antivirus which starts at $40 annually. This package provides you with protection against phishing, spyware as well as ransomware.
  2. The second package is ESET Internet Security which starts at $60 annually. You can also choose to opt for the $100 package that has you covered for five years. This package adds a firewall as well as spam protection and scanning against vulnerable devices on your home network. Adding to the list, this package also gives you with a protected browser so that you are safe during online banking purchasing and video chatting.
  3. ESET’s Smart Security Premium is the top package offered by ESET and it starts at $80 annually for a single PC but if you have 10 PCs then you can choose for the $170 package annually. It gives you to option to encrypt your files as well as gives you a password manager.
  4. Lastly, ESET’s Multi Device Security package that starts at $80 provides you with security for up to three PCs annually.

Following is a comparison of features among the above mentioned packages.

ESet Security Products Comparison

Malware Detection

F Secure

The four packages offered by F Secure provide users with the company’s very own anti-malware technology coupled with a viral-signature scanner that is licensed by Bitdefender. Any threats are sent into F Secure’s Security Cloud Lab for further tests and analysis. Upon the arrival of a new threat, a fast viral-signature update is carefully distributed among millions of users that use F Secure’s software. If you wish, you can opt out of this malware collection program.

There is however a downside to F Secure’s services. There is potentially no way to put a halt to unwanted apps from functioning on a device and similarly, there is no way to white-list apps as well. However, there is an integrated Cleanup Tool in the software that takes care of rootkits and threats but this tool needs to be run separately from the antivirus itself. F Secure’s total virus scan time according to our tests was 3 minutes and 37 seconds


ESET uses three basic levels of protection against threats. The first thing it does is check your files against well-known viral signatures. It then moves on to using heuristic analysis to inspect suspicious code as well as monitor software behavior so that malware can be found on your device. Finally, if a threat has been found on your device then ESET sends all the suspected files to ESET’s LiveGrid Cloud Lab where they are carefully examined.

The downside is that ESET doesn’t provide you with browser extensions for added safety. It does however provide you with a Game Mode so that you can play, watch movies or listen to music without being prompted by the software.

Security Features

F Secure

The biggest downside to F Secure is that it doesn’t offer a lot of highly essential security features that other antivirus brands do. It lacks backups and storage along with file shredder and file encryption. However, there are some security features that F Secure doesn’t lack. Following is a list of them.

  • Password manager
  • System optimizer
  • Anti-spam defenses
  • Secure Search
  • Browser extensions
  • Safe Search
  • Banking Protection
  • Parental controls (content blocker)
  • Internet usage time limits
  • Network Checker


All of the paid products offered by ESET come with both anti-phishing and ant-spyware features. Not only this but with ESET you also get exploit monitoring that easily blocks commonly known applications that might cause your device harm. You get a ransomware shield that prompts you every time a foreign application is trying to encrypt your files. However, there is no way to monitor social media accounts or online storage drives such as OneDrive or Dropbox for online threats.

Following is a list of additional features offered by ESET.

  • One-click firewall
  • Network Attack Protection
  • NOD32 Antivirus
  • Parental controls
  • Antitheft features
  • Downloadable SysRescue Live Software for DVDs or flash drives.

System Performance Impact

We tested both the antiviruses on our ASUS X555LA notebook that comes with a 2-GHz Intel Core i3 processor as well as 6 GB RAM, 500GB hard drive, 30GB of which was filled at the time of the test.

F Secure

Even though F Secure slowed down the performance of our device considerably, its results were still faster than any other antivirus scanner we have ever reviewed. The OpenOffice test showed that the antivirus tool 13 minutes and 21 seconds to run a complete scan which is easily a performance hit of 51%.


We put ESET through the same tests on the same device we used to test F Secure.  OpenOffice showed that the entire system took 32 minutes and 17 seconds to check over 239,090 files. After three runs however, this time reduced down to 9 minutes and 33 seconds once the software was trained in what it was supposed to ignore. Still, it is still considerably slower and far too behind in comparison with F Secure’s results.

Installation and Ease of Use

F Secure

It took a total of 9 minutes and 7 seconds to download and run F Secure on the company’s 843KB beachhead installer. Upon running a quick scan and a compatibility check, the program was downloaded and installed.


The installation for ESET started with a 4.1MB beachhead installer that fetched as well as installed the main program. Upon installation, we entered the activation code that took us ahead to set up our account with ESET. In comparison to F Secure, ESET’s installation was simpler and easier for us.


To conclude, we can see that while F Secure antivirus still lacks a lot of features and could improve its services and introduce a lot more for users, it is still better than ESET antivirus in terms of installation, malware scans and even features. The last thing you want is to be stuck with an antivirus that may be good but cannot provide you with complete security against the threats that you will most likely face when you use your device. Readers, it is better to be safe than sorry!


Hudson is currently an editor at Hudson Rhine. She also holds a degree in Computer Science from Bridgewater College. She loves to write about software and tech shaping the future. She lives in Virginia with her parents.

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