Webroot Review

by Christo Petrov

An antivirus can take a toll on your device. 

It takes up space on your disk. It slows down your PC. Scanning your files can burn hours of your time.

If this is something you don’t want, I might have the perfect solution for you.

Some products stand out from the competition because they provide something uniquely different. In this review, we are about to explore one of those.

In this Webroot review, we’ll see what makes this security software so offbeat – in a good way. 

Most antivirus products store a huge database of known threats on the user’s device. When the antivirus detects a suspicious IP address, a URL, or malicious code, it checks for it in the database. 

Webroot works differently. It stores its database in the cloud. Every time a threat appears, most of the workload happens in the cloud and not on the user’s machine. The result is a light and fast antivirus product that doesn’t eat a lot of your system’s resources. 

Sounds good, right? The Webroot software suite has made a name for being unorthodox, yet effective. Does that make it the right antivirus solution for you?

For this review, we will examine Webroot Internet Security Plus, one of the vendor’s 3 most popular solutions for home users. 

Let’s begin!

Price 

The Webroot Internet Security Plus suite has a price tag of $44.99. This buys you a 1-year license for up to three devices. Those can be PCs, Macs, as well as tablets and smartphones. Plus, you can pay in advance for up to 3 years.

If you choose to renew your license after the first year, it will be at the then-current price, which at the moment stands at $59.99. 

Free Version

Webroot has no free version. If you’re just curious about the Webroot security suite, you can download a free 14-day trial version of the product and see what it can do.

Requirements

The low system requirements are one of Webroot’s greatest advantages, making it light and super fast. To run the software, you’ll need a device with Windows Vista (or higher), and a mere 15 MB of disk space. 

Even more impressive – the minimum requirement for RAM stands at just 128 MB, although Webroot does recommend 2 GB of memory.

Installation

Installing Webroot, which also uses the brand name SecureAnywhere, takes almost no time. Again, the reason is the cloud-based approach. It keeps the program as lean as possible. 

The first step is to download and run a small executable file. The software asks for the user’s name and email address and then opens the main screen. 

If you pay attention to details, you can notice an add-on that is installed on your browser simultaneously. It’s the Web Shield Filtering extension that marks websites as safe or dangerous and tries to identify phishing attempts. 

User Interface

A first-time user might need a moment or two to figure out the navigation of Webroot SecureAnywhere. It’s fairly easy to find the basic security features, but playing with the settings and configuring the program may require some effort. 

For example, you can schedule a scan from the Advanced Settings tab, but not from the PC Security tab. I found this to be unintuitive. But maybe it’s just me.

Speaking about the PC Security tab, it holds your real-time and web protection, as well as your firewall options. From here you can perform scans, see quarantined files, block, allow, or monitor certain files, etc. 

Webroot SecureAnywhere has an Identity Protection Tab. Over there you’ll find the tools to protect your device from threats like phishing, man-in-the-browser attacks, keyloggers, and screen grabbing, among others. All the filters are active by default, but you can choose to turn some of them off. 

The Utilities tab will help you figure out the current state of your system. You can view all kinds of reports, or review the processes that are currently running on the machine. 

There is also the SafeStart Sandbox feature. It will let you execute suspicious programs in a safe environment to see if they are hazardous. 

There are a couple more tabs worth mentioning in this Webroot review

The My Account tab gives you access to Webroot’s Web console, and the Support/Community tab, which is your shortcut to customer support. 

An extra option is to add tabs for password management and file backup.

Features

Despite its tiny size, Webroot SecureAnywhere has a hefty set of features in its pocket. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Scanning 

When you hit the Webroot’s Scan button, you get a deep scan by default. Meaning, the system will look for different types of threats like rootkits,  trojans, unwanted applications, and so on. It is the recommended scanning setting. 

However, you can also perform a quick or full scan. Finally, there is the custom scan feature, which will only analyze files and folders you choose.

Password Management

This is a Webroot review, but now we’ll talk about popular password manager LastPass. The reason is Webroot has a LastPass-powered password manager that stores all your passwords securely. 

Before you can use the feature, you’ll need to create My Webroot and LastPass accounts, and link them together. 

Then you can install LastPass on your preferred browser, and you’re ready to go. It will remember all your passwords. All you have to do is memorize your master password – the one that unlocks access to all the other passwords

Firewall and Webshield

What is Webroot capable of when it comes to online threats? Well, it has a firewall that listens to outgoing traffic and tries to detect data theft attempts. Combined with Windows Defender, which analyzes incoming traffic, you get a sort-of-complete firewall to protect your device. 

The Webshield is responsible for Webroot’s antiphishing feature. It marks websites as safe or dangerous as they appear in your search engine’s results. It will also warn you when you are about to open a suspicious website. 

Scanning for viruses

Because of its cloud-based system, scanning with the Webroot antivirus suite is ultra-fast. 

The default scanning type is a deep scan, but you can also perform a quick scan and a full scan.

Webroot claims a system scan with the suite takes just 20 seconds. In real testing, it actually took just over 2 minutes to complete a deep scan on my test device. Still, that is much faster than scanning with products like Kaspersky or Bitdefender. 

The quick scan was lightning fast. It finished in 5 seconds, and it only went through less than 800 files. 

When I tried to run a full scan with the Webroot SecureAnywhere antivirus feature, a system message appeared. It informed me such scans are unnecessary because of the real-time threat detection approach used by Webroot. 

I ran a full scan anyway, and it finished in less than 35 minutes. 

Real-Time Protection

How good is Webroot in terms of real-time protection? As always, I put the software’s skills to the test. Let’s see if that cloud-based structure is paying off. 

Phishing Protection: 9/10

Webroot did pretty good detecting phishing pages. However, it failed to recognize an obvious fake telecom website. 

While the Web Shield Filtering browser extension flashed a “Suspicious Site” warning, I didn’t see the full-screen warning that normally appears when the system detects a dangerous website ahead.  

Parental Control Protection

The current Webroot review won’t include parental control features, because, unfortunately, Webroot doesn’t have any. 

It is one of the few cybersecurity vendors whose products still haven’t implemented a blocker for inappropriate content.

Downloading the EICAR Test File

Webroot had no problem detecting the EICAR file, an industry-recognized standard for testing antivirus products. 

The file was labeled as a threat by SecureAnywhere both when I downloaded it from the internet, and when I tried to open it as a zipped archive. 

Independent Lab Test

Independent testing organizations have trouble examining Webroot’s protection features. The innovative nature of Webroot makes it difficult to test.

This is why you won’t find a lot of recent test results on Webroot SecureAnywhere done by entities like AV-Test or AV-Comparatives. Hopefully, this will change soon.  

Customer Support

Phone support is only available for the US. If you’re not US-based, you can open a ticket or send a message. I did the latter and got an answer reasonably fast. 

What confused me a bit was that you don’t receive the information you need right in your mailbox. You need to log into your account to read the customer support agent’s answer. 

Webroot.com has a knowledge base with FAQ. There is also a community page where you can get advice from experts and other users. These make up for a decent source of troubleshooting information.

Conclusion

Webroot’s unorthodox approach provides solid ground for securing your home devices. It is a flexible system that gives you good value for the money you spend. 

While things could be even better in terms of features, this little piece of software has found a fair amount of users worldwide. 

That concludes TechJury’s Webroot review

Keep calm and stay safe!

Pros: 

  • Very light, doesn’t have an impact on system performance
  • Fast scanning

Cons: 

  • Lacks features like parental control and VPN
  • User interface may be unintuitive for first-time users

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