Webroot’s suite has a nice interface, but the program needs to get better at detecting zero-day attacks and distinguishing between threats and nonthreats.
Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete ($52 for one year of protection on up to five PCs) offers an intuitive interface, very fast system scans, and a mobile security component. Unfortunately, it falls short where it counts: protection.
In our real-world (zero-day) tests, Webroot blocked just 82 percent of Web and email threats and unknown viruses—a comparatively weak showing, considering that half the suites in our roundup nailed all of them, and two others stopped 98 percent of the attacks.
Webroot did a better job of protecting against known malware (arising within 30 days of the testing), successfully blocking 99 percent of attacks. Microsoft Security Essentials blocked just 93 percent of known malware attacks). However, most of the other security suites in our roundup successfully blocked 100 percent of known malware attacks.
Webroot SecureAnywhere was overzealous in denouncing benign files as security risks, too. In our usability tests, the program flagged five legitimate programs (out of thousands tried) as dangerous.
Performance is a bright spot: Webroot SecureAnywhere earned a score of 0 on this measure, meaning that it won’t add any discernable time to your PC startups and shutdowns.
Once you’ve input your product keycode, installing Webroot SecureAnywhere becomes a one-click process. The main window is attractive and easy to understand at a glance. The entire window tints green if you’re protected, orange if you’re semi-protected, and red if you’re unprotected. In case that approach is too subtle for you, Webroot also posts a large banner that can be green, orange, or red, as well as a green checkmark, an orange exclamation point, or a red ‘x’ to reinforce your protection level.
The main window is divided into three sections. A white box under the protection-status banner shows scanning and subscription stats. Underneath that is a message and alert box with a quick link to Webroot’s online support site. To the right are several feature menus that you can tap to expand and gain access to some settings.
The clean, touchscreen-optimized interface is full of tappable buttons, tiles, and toggles. Clicking the Advanced Settings button will take you to a slightly less touchscreen-friendly menu. Webroot uses minimal jargon to explain most of the settings and features, and the menu is thoughtfully organized to make finding things easier.
If you have lots of PCs to protect, you’ll appreciate Webroot’s pricing structure, which covers up to five PCs for a year for $52.
Webroot is a breeze to install and it’s fairly user-friendly, but its protection falls a bit short of the competition’s. And when most of the suites we tested turn in fantastic performance, good just doesn’t cut it.
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