Software versatility being an undoubted win-win attribute, Webroot Inc. took a bold move to embrace a vast customer base by delivering their brand-new product whose objective is to cover both home and mobile security niches in one shot. Not only does this year’s Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete address the issue of securing different types of devices (PCs, tablets, Android and iOS gadgets), it also provides opportunities for protection against an extensive scope of malicious entities, including viruses, spyware, password stealers, unsafe websites; and employs state-of-the-art techniques to prevent hacker attacks, identity theft and phishing scams.
Basically, the software seems unordinary and revamped in nearly everything as compared with Webroot’s formerly marketed product line, and even with most of the competing applications. Refreshed design and the name are one side of the coin, but what underwent some really dramatic change is the technology applied. What the program has got under the hood is a unique blend of identity protection and password management from the company called Usable Security; domain and IP address evaluation by BrightCloud Inc.; and the core based on the Cloud technology initially developed by Webroot’s subsidiary Prevx. While skeptics might elaborate on this partially outsourced approach towards providing services being too eccentric for a security suite, we found this mix to work pretty much immaculately for completing the tasks Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete is intended to cover. So let us look a bit closer at how this product’s technical novelty is embodied in its features, performance and effectiveness.
- Windows XP: SP2, SP3 (32-bit and 64-bit)
- Windows Vista: 32-bit (all Editions); SP1, SP2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
- Windows 7: 32-bit and 64-bit (all Editions)
- Windows 8: 32-and 64-bit
- Windows 8.1: 32-and 64-bit
- Mac OS® X v.10.7.3 “Lion”
- Mac OS X v. 10.8 “Mountain Lion”
- Mac OS X v. 10.9 “Mavericks”
- Android version 2.1 or higher
- iOS 4.2 or later
- CPU: Intel Pentium/Celeron family, or AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or other compatible processor
- 128 MB RAM or higher
- 10 MB free HDD space
- Internet Explorer 7.0 onwards; Mozilla Firefox 3.6 and higher (32-bit only); Google Chrome 10.0 or higher
- Internet access
The vendor offers a 14-day evaluation version of this product which you can download after providing some basic personal details, the link being sent to the email address you indicate. Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete otherwise follows a licensing scheme starting with 1-year protection for up to 3 PCs and 3 tablets or smartphones, also featuring a 70-day money back guarantee.
As far as installation is concerned, the vendor has somehow managed to be original even there: the stub installer is amazingly light, being as little as 560KB in size. Of course that’s just an instrument for complete setup to go smooth, but the rest of the program’s components (about 60MB) ended up downloading in slightly over a minute – which is a benchmark to admire. One interesting fact about the installation algo is it allows for indicating a random filename for the program, thus addressing the generally known issue of scareware apps and some other threat samples blocking the execution of legit security software.
Initial scan is triggered automatically after the setup goes through. It took a little over 3 minutes in our case. The vendor states that further deep system scans take 2 minutes or less, which we checked and ended up fitting into the declared interval – 1 minute 30-40 seconds on average.
The User Interface looks plain and turns out easy to navigate. The entire main menu is located in the left-hand pane, encompassing Overview, PC Security, Identify & Privacy, Backup & Sync, and System Tools. Graphical indication of your current security status is unambiguous to interpret, switching the color and icon image to be intuitively understood. The button launching a scan, as well as a couple of essential security options are in the most visible area, giving you a quick way to configure or run those. As you get deeper into the menu structure, Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete provides extensive statistics, configuration choices and protection opportunities to keep you informed and appropriately protected.
Performance benchmarking tests conducted by PassMark Software state this product exhibits some of the industry’s best results in terms of all basic usability criteria, including installation, scan and boot times, memory usage, network throughput and a number of others. Whereas the process of database updates with other programs can make a computer slow down, this application has absolutely no issue with that – its entire database resides in the Cloud. In the course of our evaluation, we found no particular issues relating to the app’s performance whatsoever. Considering independent test verdicts and observations of our own, it makes sense claiming Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete to be one of the best products out there in terms of usability criterion.
Abstracting away from usage convenience that we touched upon in the previous section, we will now provide a brief overview of the feature blocks associated with different aspects of protection delivered by Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete.
- Threat Protection encompasses a set of measures for blocking malicious and potentially harmful items. One major peculiarity here is the intense focus on using the Cloud for identifying threats and preventing them from accessing your machine. This ensures real-time protection at its best, permanently keeping track of what’s going on at the frontier of your computer. A downside of this approach is that you have to be online for this technique to work, as the program needs to be able to communicate with the Cloud for analyzing the behavior of suspicious objects. If the Internet connection is temporarily unavailable, the application continues recording all the processes executed on your computer, and won’t fail to check them against the online database when you’re back online.
- One of the components of Webroot’s Identity Protection is online traces deletion, making sure that your browsing activities won’t leak and be accessed by third-parties. The program blocks phishing attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, online scams, and secures online banking and shopping to protect your sensitive and financial data. Additionally, Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete accommodates password management options, helping you create strong passwords and store them securely. This program can as well auto-fill website access details for the domains you label trusted.
- Browsing Protection component makes use of the above-mentioned BrightCloud web links evaluation to rate and block potentially harmful sites. One restriction here is that this feature works through an add-on which is applicable for Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox only. So if you’re using a different browser, we are afraid you might not get a full scope of online surfing security. In regards to Internet protection, Webroot allows scanning email attachments and IM messages for items that may contain drive-by downloads, or phishing links.
- Within the File Protection set of features, Webroot provides 30GB storage (10GB per user) for backup and sync, which means you can be sure your important personal files remain intact even in case of severe technical damage or similar circumstances. You can as well get your files and passwords synchronized across computers and mobile devices. The product additionally supplies file shredding options beyond recovery.
- Android and iOS Device Protection is delivered via smart features that help secure your gadget from both mobile infections and physical access. While guarding your Android device, Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete scans apps for malware and implements fixes in real time; allows remote lock and wipe possibilities; helps you locate your smartphone; prevents hits to unsafe websites; and blocks unwanted calls or messages. When running on iOS-based iPod, iPhone or iPad, the software generally exhibits a special focus on web browsing security, providing safe search; URL sandboxing; tabbed browsing for optimized web navigation; online shopping and banking transactions security.
Summarizing the above, this software’s feature set is pretty complete, so lack of essential options shouldn’t be the case here. However, in our opinion the vendor would definitely benefit from integrating parental controls in this suite.
The way Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete protects a PC from threats is pretty unique. It relies on Cloud based detection rather than the conventional heuristic detection. What the product does is it calculates hashes of the files being analyzed, and compares the obtained hashes against the malware hashes in the Prevx Cloud database. Should the file be found suspicious, its behavior gets additionally tested to figure out and tell the Cloud whether it’s safe. On the one hand, you get the benefit of using a huge (if not the world’s largest) database of malicious samples; on the other, when you are offline you might not be fully protected, although the security status on the interface keeps telling you otherwise.
According to the latest AV-TEST evaluation, this product scores 5.5 and 4 out of 6 in protection and repair, which is well above the industry average. Furthermore, CNET Editor’s Rating for Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete is “Outstanding.” From where we stand, scores as high as that are never given by accident, so there is hardly any room for doubt about whether or not this program will keep you protected – it certainly will. The only thing to keep in mind, again, is the fact you are way better off when online, for the Cloud malware database to be accessible.
Help & Support
Not only does universality relate to the product’s features and functional value, it is well represented in customer support too. When it comes to getting help, the only thing that’s left for you as Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete user to do is pick and choose, because the options are some of the most exhaustive we’ve seen with security software.
On the official website www.webroot.com, the vendor offers great video tutorials on installation, creating an account, backup and synchronization, password management and mobile setup. You can also get your questions answered by reading FAQs and the Product User Guide. Contacting Technical Support is doable via a ticket (email of registered user is required) and by phone. Asking a question online is not a problem either, just visit Webroot Twitter Support page at www.twitter.com/WebrootSupport
- Lightning-fast installation
- Quick scans
- Light on system resources
- Enormous Cloud database of malware at your service
- High protection scores
- Large online backup storage
- Outstanding customer support
- You are not fully protected when offline
- No parental controls
- Relatively expensive
Owing to Webroot’s effort in seeking to optimize their products and make them more attractive to the average user, the updated software has stirred up the somewhat orthodox state of things in the industry. Their sort of experimental approach to delivering protection has apparently turned out a success, exhibiting excellent speediness and efficiency. In the meanwhile, the downside of being less secure when offline embodies probably the only grounds for potential criticism of the current security model the vendor chose to adhere to. Overall though, not only did Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete match our expectations, it did manage to exceed them. This piece of software is innovative, fast and effective enough to rely on.