F-Secure ID Protection is, at its core, a leading password manager, but it is one which goes much further than most to also include tools for helping to protect your digital identity across both the web and the dark web alike!
It is these ID protection features which make up a big part of this new password manager offering from F-Secure. They include, amongst other things, a specialist tool for monitoring your email addresses across any data breaches which might occur, monitoring of the dark web for any mention of your personal details plus real-time alerts and guidance in any unfortunate cases where your details might have been compromised.
F-Secure have recently retired their Key password manager of late and F-Secure ID Protection with these new ID protection features is its direct replacement. With this in mind, I am very hopeful that the best parts of Key have been carried over and these new ID protection features go on to help make a good product even better!
Time to try out F-Secure ID Protection for myself and see how well it performs, let’s go!
- Full Support for Windows & MacOS devices
- Mobile apps available for both iOS and Android
- Password manager functionality with autofill
- Browser add-ons for Firefox, Chrome & MS EDGE
- Multi-factor (2FA) security available
- Password auditing (check for weak passwords)
- Makes use of strong 256-bit encryption
- No ability to save images in password vault
- Both 5 and 10 device licences available
- Also available as a part of the F-Secure TOTAL suite
- Pricing starts at a reasonable $6.99 / Month
ID Protection Usability
In this first section of my review I will be signing-up to F-Secure ID Protection, downloading and installing the Windows client software and then seeing how well it performs for myself. I will also look at the web browser extensions and the mobile apps for this service a little later on in this section as well.
This all begins in the next section where I will be downloading and installing F-Secure ID Protection for myself. If you would like to try F-Secure ID Protection yourself then please note there is a 5 day free trial available via the official F-Secure website.
Installation & Initial Set-up
Installing ID Protection begins at the official F-Secure website where a 5 day free trial of the service can be signed-up for (note that this sign-up requires a free F-Secure account be created should you not already have one). With sign-in complete, the software installer (for Windows in my case) can be downloaded and the installation started straight afterwards.
NB – The installer which is downloaded is already pre-configured for your own F-Secure account, this means, once installed, the software will already be connected to your own F-Secure account.
Installation was relatively quick in my instance, I was asked to accept the terms and conditions and then just a few moments later the installation was complete and the getting started screen became visible. One of the first things to do after installation is complete is name the device and then specify whether the current device is a new device on the account or an additional device being added to an exiting account (done using the options screen seen below).
NB – F-Secure ID Protection is also available on a subscription basis covering use on either 5 or 10 devices or as a part of the F-Secure TOTAL subscription which is priced separately.
As this is my first device I have chosen the first option and am now required to set the master password for the account, this can be seen below:
NB – Be very careful when setting a master password for a password manager service, make sure it is long, unique (not in use else ware), makes use of both numbers and special characters and, crucially, can be remembered without the need to write it down anywhere!
With the master password set, the final task the app will ask us to complete is the saving of a recovery phrase, one which takes the form of a QR code which can be saved as a PNG file in a safe place on your computer. In such a case that you might ever forget the master password for the account, this recovery phrase will be the only way to re-gain access and as such must be kept very safe!
With the final step of saving the recovery phrase somewhere safe now complete, the install and initial set-up of F-Secure ID Protection will be finished. In the next section I will be moving on to look at using the password management functions of the software before looking at the ID protection features, the smartphone apps and the web browser add-ons (amongst a few other things) later on in this review!
Password Management Features
One of the core reasons for using software such as ID Protection is to help keep safe and strengthen you passwords, this means not only keeping them in a safe place to begin with but also ensuring none of them are compromised, re-used across multiple accounts or in any other way unsuitable for use (and in being unsuitable putting your security and privacy at risk).
In this section I will be looking at the ID Protection Windows desktop software used for adding and managing passwords, I will also look at the optional web browser plugins and smartphone apps, both of which also supporting the adding and recalling of passwords a little later on.
As can be seen above, adding the first password via the desktop software is as simple as clicking on the “Add new” button found towards the top of the window. Whilst adding a new login we can select one of two categories of password when clicking the “Add New” button itself (labelled as either “Credit Cards” and “Passwords”) and the following screen will then appear to save the login details:
NB – Unfortunately, F-Secure ID Protection does not provide any allocation of cloud storage like some other password managers do, this means you will need to store all details as text instead of making use of a photo as can be done with some other providers.
With the new account added, we will then see it listed alongside any others in the “Vault” section of the application, from this vault we can easily search for and copy any details form any of the passwords kept in our password vault so far. We can also set specified login entries as favourites thanks to the favourites system which allows a small start to be activated alongside each entry, a process which will see such favourites remain at the top of the list when we have numerous others available within the tool.
Moving on from the adding of passwords and we come across another very important tool also built into the F-Secure ID Protection software, this is the Password Analysis section of the app! As can be seen in the screenshot below, when opening this section of the app we will see a summary of all passwords currently in use and a security rating showing how safe they are.
As can be seen above, a green bar shows that all passwords entered so far are seen by the software as secure and safe to use, the service would, however, point out if passwords are insecure (e.g. too short or simple) as well as highlighting any passwords which are been used for 2 or more different logins!
Finally, if you are migrating to ID Protection from another password manager then a list of multiple logins can be imported, in bulk, via the import tool, this is found in the main application setting page (as can be seen below):
As can be seen above, ID Protection allows the direct bulk importing of passwords form many other password managers, if you are migrating from another provider then it is worth checking if you existing password manager is on the supported list as this operation will save a lot of time over re-entering all passwords manually!
And with that we have seen the main part of the password management section of the ID Protection app, in the next section I will be looking at some of the ID protection features before moving on the smartphone apps and web browser add-ons a little later on.
ID Protection Features
With the core password management features of ID Protection aside (for now), the other big selling point of this software is the ID protection and monitoring service which comes as an integral part of the subscription. Starting off with this ID monitoring service begins on the “Monitoring” page found on the main menu, clicking the “View monitored emails” button found within this page will open up the web portal for the monitoring service (on the F-Secure website) and it is from here we can see any email address which are currently being monitored.
NB – The email address used to sign-up for the service will automatically be added to the monitoring list.
As well as the email address itself (plus any others manually added to the account) which can be monitored, we can also add other parts of our digital identity for F-Secure ID Protect to monitor as well. For example, we can also enter a passport number, credit card number, phone number, driving licence number and so on.
If at any point the service finds any of the entered details have been compromised we will both receive an alert (if configured to do so) as well as be able to see details of the data breach via the ID Monitoring page as can be seen below:
If you are unfortunate to be involved with any breaches then the ID Protect service will highlight exactly what details have been compromised and give advice on how to remedy the situation (plus provide any other notes which might be known about the situation as and when applicable).
Web Browser Plug-ins
One of the most convenient methods for accessing a password manager is directly within a web browser whilst browsing the web itself. Thankfully, F-Secure ID Protection has good support for web browser integration and provides direct integration options for Chrome, Firefox and the Microsoft EDGE browsers to date.
As can be seen above, integrating any of the popular browser plug-ins begins in the settings page of the desktop app at the “Autofill” section, it is form here that we see the links to install any of the supported choices (although in this example I will be looking at the Firefox option myself). Once clicked, the app will re-direct to the correct webpage for installing the ID Protection extension and this can then be installed using the browsers installer itself. Once installed, one of the first things we will need to do is activate the browser plug-in, this can be done by entering the authorization code found in the settings page of the desktop app a little earlier on.
Once authorization has completed, we can begin using the add-on straight away, this tool will make itself visible when reaching a website login form by providing login options (when available) via a drop-down box as can be seen below:
Whilst this autofill functionality is undoubtedly very useful, the Firefox browser add-on is otherwise somewhat lacking in features. For example, when logging into the F-Secure portal itself, I was not offered the option to have my login info saved automatically to my vault for me (a feature available in many other top password managers including Bitwarden and LastPass).
Connecting Other Devices
With most of the usability aspects of the tool now covered, one of the main functions which still remains is the connection of any other devices which you might have to the same ID Protection account. Connecting and authorizing other devices (including smartphones and tablets) increases the number of devices in which your password vault will be automatically shared between and makes accessing the information within it even more convenient.
As can be seen above, the first step to connecting and authorising a new device begins at the “Connect Devices” screen, it is from here we can obtain a special authorisation code which, when entered in the settings page on the new device, makes the connection and synchronisation process quick and simple.
Smartphone & Tablet Apps
Whilst having access to the password vault via both a desktop client and web browser add-on is very useful in its own right, F-Secure also provide the ID Protection service via smartphone apps for both iOS and Android devices.
As can be seen above, installing either of these apps is as simple as visiting the respective app store and following the usual app installation procedures for your own individual device. Upon completion of the installation, the app will need to be connected to the account via the same verification code as was used in the last section. Once connected, the newly installed smartphone app will be synchronised automatically and contain all of the passwords stored in the main vault.
Finally, in this section of my review I will be looking at some of the more advanced settings of the F-Secure ID Protection service, this begins in the main desktop application’s setting pages as can be seen below.
As can be seen above, one of the first few settings we can change are that of the automatic vault timeout (meaning the vault will automatically lock and require the password be re-entered), the automatic start settings (starting when the device starts up) and the ability to automatically start the app minimised when required (meaning it will sit in the background until it is needed).
Other important settings allow us to change the master password for the account, re-generate the recovery code, import passwords from another password manager (as was seen earlier on) and finally, opt to send non-personal usage data to F-Secure to help them with improving the product.
NB – Changing the recovery code will invalidate any previous codes, as such, use this feature with caution!
ID Protection Security
By being a highly security and privacy focused service in its own right, there are plenty of security related features to mention within the ID Protection service. This begins with the optional multi-factor authentication settings (2FA) as can be seen below.
Turning on multi-factor authentication within ID Protections is optional (but recommended) and must be done so via the web portal as opposed to the desktop app itself. Once implemented, the F-Secure account will be secured both by a master password in addition to a code generated from a secondary device using an app such as Google Authenticator (or another compatible 2FA app).
Moving on to the security of the password manager specifically and we see (as discussed earlier on) that we can make use of a special recovery QR code to help secure the account against a lost (or forgotten) master password. F-Secure will also further enhance security further by requiring new devices be authenticated via a special code from an already authenticated device as well as by sending an email to the main account email address warning whenever the service is accessed from a new device.
NB – F-Secure’s own verification code which is required for new devices acts as an additional form of multi-factor authentication in its own right, in other words, an existing device must be accessible and to had before any new device can then be added to the account, a very secure way of implementing such authentication.
Finally, the F-Secure service itself makes use of strong 256-bit encryption when storing any user data (passwords) within the vault, 256-bit encryption is generally considered to provide a very strong level of protection and it is great to see it in use within ID Protection.
F-Secure provide a comprehensive support section for all of their products via the official F-Secure support webpage. This support page includes a user guide, knowledge base articles, troubleshooting guides, troubleshooting utilities and the ability to contact the F-Secure support team via phone or web-chat should further support be required.
F-Secure also operate a user forum should specific help or advice on any of their products be required from the F-Secure community.
ID Protection Pricing
F-Secure ID Protection is available individually as either a 5x device licence, a 10 device licence or as a part of the premium F-Secure TOTAL security suite which is priced separately. These licencing options are priced as follows (as of time of writing):
- ID Protection (5x Devices) – $6.99 / month or $59.99 / year
- ID Protection (10x Devices) – $7.99 / month or $79.99 / year
- F-Secure TOTAL (3x Devices) – $89.99 / year
- F-Secure TOTAL (5x Devices) – $109.99 / Year
Whilst these prices are reasonable when buying ID Protection by itself, they are noticeably higher than some of their close competitors including LastPass at $36 / year and 1Password at just $2.99 / month (both of which also allow for use on unlimited devices for no additional fees which isn’t the case with ID Protection). Where F-Secure do redeem themselves slightly on pricing is with the TOTAL suite, this suite of tools contains access to ID Protection alongside their premium VPN and antivirus solutions for a slightly higher combined subscription fee starting at just $89.99 / year.
More information on pricing can be found at the official F-Secure ID Protection pricing page.
ID Protection FAQ
No, ID Protection is a premium password manager from F-Secure and is priced from $6.99 / month for a 5x device licence. A 5 Day free trial of the service alongside a 30 day money back guarantee is available should you want to try the service out for yourself.
ID Protection is a leading password manager application from security software experts F-Secure. Not only is ID Protection a fully functional password manager operating across Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS devices in its own right, but it also features an ID monitoring and protection service which can help in keeping your digital ID safe and secure online.
Yes, ID Protection features smartphone apps for both iOS and Android devices.
Yes, F-Secure ID Protection includes browser ad-ons for Microsoft EDGE, Google Chrome and the Mozilla Firefox browsers. These plugins can be connected to the main ID Protection password vault and can assist in logging in to websites by allowing the auto-filling of usernames and passwords when supported.
F-Secure ID Protection Alternatives
In this section I will be looking at some alternatives to the ID Protection service form F-Secure, this will be focused on other premium password managers which go above and beyond the basic password vault features to provide a comprehensive password management solution.
Bitwarden has become a leading password manager in recent years, one which provides many useful password management features, good security features, good device compatibility and best of all, is both open source and free to use!
One of the best features of Bitwarden is the sheer number of great features they have managed to deliver via a free to use service, this includes usage on unlimited devices, multi-factor authentication (2FA), web browser add-ons, smartphone apps plus the ability to easily generate strong passwords and audit existing logins to make sure they are to a safe specification.
Whilst the core product is indeed free to use, Bitwarden also offer a premium account which is priced at just $10 / Month for individual users (with business licences also available and priced separately). This premium version brings with it additional multi-factor authentication options (including YubiKey), emergency access technology, a multi-factor authenticator tool of its own plus the inclusion of 1GB of secure cloud storage which is integrated into the service itself.
Bitwarden is free to use for individual users with a premium plan also available for just $10 / Year, business and team licences are also available in various configurations. More information on pricing can be found via the official Bitwarden website.
LastPass is well known as a long-time leading password manager, one which is very nicely deigned, easy to use and makes the process of managing passwords and online IDs very efficient and secure!
One of the biggest draws for many to LastPass, with its well known status and reputation aside, is the fact that it is very easy to get started with and that it makes the managing of passwords across multiple devices a stress-free experience. The many additions to the service including, ID monitoring, smartphone apps, multi-factor authentication, web browser add-ons (with auto-fill and new login capture) and the inclusion of 1GB of encrypted file storage all combine to make what is already a good password manager even better!
Whilst a limited free version of LastPass is available, it is only available for a single device type (e.g. only on desktop devices) and is missing some of the functionality found in the premium version (including the dark web ID monitoring, the 1GB of encrypted storage, the emergency access tools and the priority technical support, amongst other things).
LastPass is free to use with many core features included for a single device type, the premium version can be used on unlimited devices and provides access to all premium features for a simple cost of $36 per year, per user. A family licence (covering up to 6 individuals) is also available for just $48 per year as is a 30 day free trial of the premium service.
Dashlane is a comprehensive password manager with a clear focus on been simple and easy to use whilst still providing many useful password management functions.
One of the biggest selling points of Dashlane, ease of use aside, is the many features it brings to the table across both the premium and free to use plans which they currently have in place. These features include web browser plug-ins (with new login capture), smartphone apps for iOS and Android, an ID monitoring service (including dark web monitoring), secure cloud storage and a fully functional VPN amongst many other useful features.
Whilst the premium Dashlane service (priced from $39.99 / year) contains access to all of the features across unlimited personal devices, a free account with a limited set of the aforementioned features is also available for use on a single device (and is a great way to evaluate the Dashlane service in your own time).
Dashlane offer a 30 day free trial of their premium service as well as a limited free account which supports a single device and the keeping of up to 50 logins at once. More information can be found at the official Dashlane website.
F-Secure ID Protection Review Summary
ID Protection is clearly a well designed password manager which brings with it the strong reputation of the F-Secure brand, a company well known for creating secure and well built security products for many years now.
When focusing on features it is clear that ID Protection does a good job of covering all of the basics you would expect form a password management service, this includes the ability to auto generate strong passwords, easily synchronise the vault across multiple devices, audit and identify weak passwords and, of course, easily import passwords from an existing password manager. The web browser add-ons are also very helpful, although I did find it slightly disappointing to discover that they don’t yet appear to support the capture of any new website logins automatically (a feature becoming commonplace with many other competing password managers of late).
Moving on from these core features and what really helps add value to this service is the ID monitoring and protection service which is built-into the subscription and turned on by default. It is this service which will monitor the web (and dark web) for any traces of your personal identity being leaked (including email addresses, passport numbers, driving licence details etc.). Again, some other leading password managers are also moving into this space but I feel this is an area in which F-Secure are performing particularly well, especially so with the remediation advice which is also provided by the service after being exposed in any such data breech.
Overall, F-Secure ID Protection is a solid and reliable password manager choice, pricing wise however, I cant help but think it is a little on the high side when looking at competing products, but still reasonable for all that is on offer within, great work F-Secure!