Colorado-based company Webroot have been in the security software business since 1997. Through their SecureAnywhere brand, they’ve launched a number of different antivirus packages. In this review, we’ll be taking a look at the Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, which is a lightweight program with a heavyweight list of features.
Costs and What’s Covered
The cheapest way to get the program onto your computer is to purchase a one-device, one-year license, which will cost $29.99. As is standard in the software industry, users are encouraged to add more devices and more years onto the package by bulk discounts. In this case, the largest package is a three-year license for three devices for a total of $109.99—savings of $39.98.
Both Macs and PCs can be protected by the program. In addition to antivirus scans, users will also be able to make use of real-time threat protection, URL filtering, a firewall, real-time anti-phishing, and anti-ransomware measures, making Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus a fairly comprehensive security package. A 14-day free trial is available, and all you need to sign up for it is a name and email address—no credit card details necessary.
There are a number of different virus scan variants available for identifying and removing malware. Simple scans can be launched with the Scan My Computer button. Users can also run RAM-only scans, deep scans (which search for deeply embedded Trojans), local hard drive scans, and customizable scans. It’s also possible to run file-specific scans by right-clicking any file, folder, or drive on your computer. Bear in mind, though, that this will check every single file in the folder or drive, so it could take a little while longer than Webroot’s own optimized scans.
There are also URL filtering and anti-phishing tools, which make use of Webroot’s own impressive database of harmful websites—the company claims to add 25,000 new sites a day to the list.
In the SE Labs Home Anti-Malware report from July–September 2018, Webroot came 13th out of 13. Other testing companies like AV-Comparatives and AV-Test don’t even test SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, but that’s partially due to the way they do their tests. Because Webtoot’s antivirus program allows samples to run—only blocking them if any malicious behaviour is detected—these scoring systems mark it down as a failure.
An antivirus that lets harmful processes run might sound alarming, but don’t worry. SecureAnywhere can reverse any damage done, including repairing files which were encrypted by malware.
In the final analysis, it’s difficult to say anything conclusive about how SecureAnywhere AntiVirus performs in comparison to other antivirus programs, but this might change if the main reporting companies adapt their scoring systems and test it again in the coming years.
Security and Privacy Features
Unusually for an antivirus program, SecureAnywhere AntiVirus provides a firewall of sorts. It’ll warn you about any unsafe processes that are connecting to the Internet, as well as ask you to approve or deny any untrusted processes that are being executed on your computer. We call it a “firewall of sorts” because it doesn’t offer any customizability with regards to ports and other similar settings, which is the most basic feature you’d expect to see in a serious firewall. Still, it’s a nice extra bonus to be included in the package.
Secure Anywhere AntiVirus offers a sandbox in which you can test suspicious programs from the safety of an isolated environment. There’s also an Identity Shield suite of tools which protects you from screen-grab attacks, keyloggers, and similar malicious identity stealing attempts.
System impact is where SecureAnywhere AntiVirus really shines—it’s one of the most lightweight pieces of antivirus software currently on the market. While running, it only adds two background processes to your computer. These won’t require more than around 10MB of RAM, which means it’ll hardly make a dent at all on your computer’s ability to run smoothly.
All of the optimized scans the program carries out will be finished in around 50 seconds or less. The only exception here is the deep scan, but even that won’t take much longer than a minute.
Even though it looks complex initially, the interface is actually well organized. Buttons, menus, and switches all jostle for space, but once you get the hang of the layout it’s refreshingly easy to find what you’re looking for, and there’s no need to dig through piles and piles of menus. The most important feature—the Scan My Computer button—is big and obvious, which should help beginners.
Installation and Support
Installation is so fast you might miss it if you blink. The installer doesn’t mind if you have other antivirus programs already running, either, which means you can test out SecureAnywhere AntiVirus for yourself without getting rid of your current favourite.
Customer support is handled by parent company Webroot, who offer a knowledge base, an extensive range of FAQs, how-to videos, and even an easy way to find your product license keycode. There’s a 24/7 online ticketing system and phone-based customer support available during normal business hours. The company is also responsive on social media, be that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google Plus.
Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus is a sleek antivirus program that provides an impressive range of features despite being incredibly lightweight. However, the jury’s still out on how well it actually performs compared to competitors like Kaspersky or Norton.