Expert Detailed Reviews
Webroot SecureAnywhere is a lightweight antivirus and anti-malware. Although it hasn’t passed many independent antivirus tests, I did my own research to find out if this solution can serve as the main antivirus.
Webroot SecureAnywhere features a basic scanning feature that checks files and directories to detect viruses and malware. Users can choose between running a complete system scan, a quick scan, a deep scan to detect rootkits, trojans, and other threats, as well as a special scan that only checks specially selected files and directories.
Users can also enable or disable rootkit protection, turn master boot record (MBR) scanning on or off to check for viruses that have damaged the computer boot sequence, and detect and remove potentially unwanted applications.
Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA) are programs that contain adware, annoying browser toolbars, or other elements of unwanted software. It’s important to have an effective system for detecting and removing PUA for the sake of a fast and reliable operating system, so I’m glad that the program quickly tagged and removed some of the annoying toolbars that I made the tester material (Dealio and Any Video Converter).
In addition to containing a virus scanner, WebRoot SecureAnywhere also contains a number of useful features that complement basic protection. These include:
Web Shield integrates with browser extensions (Web Shield Filtering) that are automatically installed in Firefox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer to flag suspicious websites. Using a website taken from PhishTank.com, I tested three URLs in Google Chrome but unfortunately, none, including phishing sites disguised as PayPal logins, were successfully flagged by the program. Running a second dedicated internet security tool may be a smart choice for this need.
Back up and Sync
SecureAnywhere includes a full-featured backup and sync utility to store up to 25GB of cloud-hosted backups for important files and folders. The files are encrypted during transmission but are not server-side, which would be a good second layer of protection. This feature is enough to store and encrypt document folders, but it is clearly not enough to host a complete system backup.
Web Shield also includes firewall management tools. This tool is added to the basic firewall protection that is included in each Windows installation. Some of the unique firewall features that impressed me include:
A USB shield that monitors all connected USB devices to detect threats. If a malicious program is detected, the device is prevented from interacting with the system. This is important protection because malware can be sent over air-gapped networks that are not connected to the outside internet.
Real-time protection that runs continuously to block threats documented in threat definitions as well as webroot community databases.
In addition, Webroot SecureAnywhere includes a password manager. This browser extension also integrates with iOS and Android-based mobile devices—meaning that passwords you store on the web are accessible anywhere.
Ease of Use
Installing Webroot Secure Anywhere can be done quickly and easily. The installation file is very light with 3MB less size. When running, my task manager showed that the program does not overload the CPU and only uses 0.3MB of RAM when it is in standby mode.
This program is perfect for machines whose hardware is not up to date. The program is compatible with earlier versions of Windows to Windows Vista (both SP1 and SP2), making it a great choice for a wide range of users.
One additional feature that improves the usability of the product is the Web Console. Although it requires the creation of additional accounts from within the program, the program provides some additional management and admin functions. Among other things, the ability to apply upgrade policies or changes to multiple endpoints, the ability to read exported logs and to see which files have been quarantined.
Its customer support includes a web-based knowledge base and a user forum called the Webroot Community. The user activity is relatively simple and the description is not precise. In the “Tech Talk” forum there is about one thread per day, but the forum is not a support platform (it does offer product announcements, but that is discussed mostly about industry security news).
The web-based knowledge base includes web pages, PDFs, and videos. In general, the documentation is comprehensive and neatly organized (each page comes with an index in the sidebar). However, the support by his staff is somewhat less comprehensive. There is a ticketing system, but I did not find a live chat window. My ticket got a reply within five minutes and I was sent an email with a link to continue sending messages to the online support staff. Although the company runs a sales center for purchases and updates, customer support is not included through that sales center.
SecureAnywhere can be purchased for a maximum period of three years on one or three Windows or Mac devices. The price is quite appropriate and there are better deals if you sign up for a longer subscription period and include more machines.
In addition, the company offers a 14-day free trial—and doesn’t require a credit card.
WebRoot SecureAnywhere provides good virus protection and internet security, although I’m somewhat suspicious of its ability to tag phishing websites. It’s a product I recommend, especially for users who have old hardware.