Webroot SecureAnywhere Review
Webroot SecureAnywhere is a fast and efficient antivirus solution that boasts some of the most effective security measures we've seen. Though it's not perfect, it's pricing scheme could use some tweaking, it's a strong contender for most people's attentions. Read our full review for the details.
Webroot SecureAnywhere is an efficient antivirus that focuses on security and speed. Its unique approach to detection and monitoring allows it to perform scans with little to no performance impact while maintaining one of the most robust databases of malware out there.
In this Webroot review, we’ll test the performance and protection of this antivirus and compare it to other options on the market. We’ll talk features, pricing, user-friendliness, protection and support before giving our verdict.
We think Webroot is among the best antivirus software, because of its security measures and resource efficiency. You can take it for a test run with a 14-day free trial, but read to the end for our thoughts and tests.
- Strong lab results
- Inexpensive multi-user plan
- Included password manager
- Expensive single-user plan
- Disorganized interface
- Limited macOS & mobile control
- Little to no performance impact
- Easy to use
- Ransomware protection
- Large malware database
- No phone or live chat support
- Limited number of devices
Webroot has one of the better feature sets we’ve seen from an antivirus. The most impressive feature, though, is Webroot’s unique approach to malware detection and monitoring.
As we’ll talk about in the protection section below, Webroot is a cloud-based antivirus, meaning the application is small. It’s only 15MB, while other antiviruses may be half a gigabyte or more.
Being cloud-based also makes scans quick. A full scan of the root drive on our test machine was completed in under three minutes. There was no noticeable performance hit while scanning, either. The bulk of the work an antivirus has to do is lifted off your computer and, instead, happens in the cloud.
Outside of performance buffs, Webroot has other useful features. The base AntiVirus package includes real-time threat monitoring, ransomware protection, an anti-phishing filter and firewall.
Up a tier, you get support for smartphones and tablets, along with a password manager. We weren’t able to test the password manager, but most antivirus offerings in this area are lackluster. We recommend Dashlane (read our Dashlane review) for this, but check out our guide to the best password managers for more options.
The premium offering comes with 25GB of cloud storage. It’s a nice inclusion, but we’d recommend you look through our cloud storage reviews for a better option.
Webroot’s best feature is performance. Ransomware protection takes a close second, while the password manager and limited cloud storage are just cute additions. Webroot is focused on security and efficiency and its feature set allows it to do both well.
Webroot SecureAnywhere Features Overview
Webroot takes a different approach to pricing than other prominent antivirus companies. Instead of focusing on the number of devices, it focuses on features. That makes it a great choice for individuals, but a lackluster option for families that need a higher device count.
|Plan||AntiVirus||Security Plus||Security Complete|
$ 29 99yearly
$ 44 99yearly
$ 59 99yearly
|Details||Phishing blocks, Firewall, Ransomware protection, One to three devices||Three to five devices, Smartphone & tablet support, Password protection||Five devices, Identity theft protection, 25GB of secure online storage|
AntiVirus protects a single device on its base configuration, but up to three if you pay extra. It doesn’t support mobile devices, but has features, such as ransomware protection, that other antiviruses omit. It’s the same price as Norton’s introductory rate (read our Norton Antivirus review), but $10 cheaper upon renewal.
Webroot Extra Devices
Internet Security Plus is the sweet spot. It supports up to three devices, making it an ideal plan for an individual user for protection on a desktop, laptop and phone. It comes with the features of AntiVirus, plus a password manager.
Internet Security Complete is Plus with a few more features. It increases the cap to five devices and retains mobile support. You also get identity theft protection and up to 25GB of secure online storage.
The extra storage space is a nice addition, one we’ve seen from other premium-tier antiviruses. However, it doesn’t make sense when put up against the best cloud storage providers. You’ll get more storage space for only a few dollars per month. Our go-to recommendation is Sync.com (read our Sync.com review).
Complete isn’t expensive compared to other premium offerings, though. Five devices for McAfee Total Protection (read our McAfee Total Protection review) renews for $10 more than Complete. You can save more money by signing up for a three- or five-year plan, as well.
Webroot doesn’t offer a free plan, but you can download a free 14-day trial without providing credit card information.
Webroot is a non-intrusive antivirus, a feat considering that antiviruses can often feel like viruses. It performs efficient scans, leaves your browser alone and won’t change your search engine upon install.
As Webroot installs, it performs a few functions. It’ll run a quick scan of your system to establish a baseline list of applications. It’ll also scan your hardware, so it can optimize scans for the fastest speeds possible. You shouldn’t notice a performance impact while Webroot is scanning.
The interface shows the latest data about your machine with a menu to the right side. Each section has a gear icon next to it for section settings. Above the menu, you’ll see an icon for the advanced settings section.
“PC Security” deals with the basic functions of the antivirus. You can turn off the firewall, real-time shield and web shield by opening the drop-down menu. The “settings” menu shows more options, such as a USB and rootkit shield. You can also view your quarantined files and active connections.
Webroot Identity Protection
Below that tab is “Identity Protection.” This area deals with your online activity. The drop-down menu shows the identity and phishing shields. The former protects against keyloggers, man-in-the-middle attacks, clipboard copying, screen grabs and more.
Those two areas are your main controls for Webroot. Higher tier plans also have controls for online storage and the password manager. Below those sections you’ll find utilities such as an antivirus report and account details.
There aren’t many settings in the respective menus for each section. The “advanced settings” button deals with the leftovers. You’ll find scan settings, firewall control and heuristic adjustments.
Webroot has a good baseline for these settings, so don’t worry if you don’t poke around.
Webroot will automatically install its browser extension during the application install. It monitors the websites you go to as you load them. During our testing, it didn’t affect browser performance. It’ll show a trustworthy icon next to search results, which is less gaudy than we’ve seen with other antiviruses.
Overall, Webroot has great performance and a few, powerful settings. The interface is intuitive and the browser extension is non-intrusive. We like that Webroot analyzes your machine, as well, meaning even low-end hardware will see little to no performance impact.
That’s not to downplay the power of this antivirus, though. The “advanced settings” menu gives you a lot of options for tweaking the program and how it monitors malware. Webroot strikes a middle ground by being easy enough to use for newbies, while having enough power for vets.
We test every antivirus using hands-on and lab results to get an overview of how it performs. Our hands-on tests establish a baseline for home machines, while lab results provide performance numbers with a high sample size.
Webroot doesn’t take well to this approach. It uses a different method of identifying malware than most other antiviruses. Running malware through it may not return a block, at least, initially.
Instead of using a signature database, Webroot monitors metadata and behavioral patterns. Unknown programs are put under scrutiny, with Webroot suppressing irreversible actions and logging the program’s behavior. In some cases, a human malware expert will look into the program to determine its safety.
Instead of a reactive model, Webroot is proactive in real-time endpoint monitoring. It defends each endpoint individually while gathering and analyzing data to grow the cloud database of malware.
This approach is responsible for Webroot’s excellent performance. The database is in the cloud, so the local application is light on system resources. If you don’t have an internet connection, Webroot will likely determine an unknown program is malware, but it’ll monitor it if you do have one.
Webroot’s detection system is seen at work in MRG Effitas’s Q1 2018 banking simulation. It blocked the malware from capturing login data in the simulation, as well as in a real-world botnet. It’s among only one-third of the antiviruses in the test to pass the simulation.
The real-world test had 100 percent success, along with Bitdefender (read our Bitdefender antivirus review). A quarter of the blockage came from behavioral patterns, though. Webroot left the malware active, monitoring it and blocking anything suspicious.
Webroot is absent from the other labs we reference in our reviews. AV-Test and AV-Comparatives show no results for it.
Our hands-on tests showed excellent results. Webroot blocked common antivirus testing malware, such as AntiTest and Eicar, removing the files from our machine before they were loaded.
New malware from MRG Effitas wasn’t blocked right away. Webroot monitored these programs for a while and, eventually, blocked them. In the end, it blocked 100 percent of the infected files we threw its way.
Some of those files were ransomware, a nasty virus that will encrypt your local data and hold you hostage to get it back. It monitored, then blocked the ransomware and reverted the files to their original state.
It also blocked all 13 malicious URLs we tested. The tests were run on Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, and Webroot performed the same across each. That is impressive because Webroot blocked the URLs before Chrome’s built-in protection, which is something most antiviruses can’t claim.
It’s scary leaving malware on your machine, but Webroot shows the approach is safe. It doesn’t allow anything to happen that’ll hurt your machine. Rather, it allows you to take part in growing the database, so the antivirus can be stronger in the future.
Email response times were quick. We reached out with a question about multi-user plans and received a response in under three hours. We wanted to see live chat or phone support, too, but email was snappy enough.
Live chat is available only for pre-sales questions.
The knowledgebase is unique in that Webroot only has a search bar. You can enter three to five keywords and it’ll open a section with all topics surrounding those keywords.
Articles are shown collapsed, so it’s easy to sift through and find what you need. Common questions like activating your keycode or installing Webroot can be found in the FAQ section under the knowledgebase search.
The Webroot community is alive and healthy. The forum has over 48,000 members, over 300 of whom were active at the time of writing. Most of the forum is dedicated to security industry news and product releases, but there are topics for product help and discussions, as well.
We like Webroot’s detailed approach to support. There are topics on complex and simple issues alike in the knowledgebase and the forums provide a good discussion area for online security vets. We wanted phone or live chat support, but email suffices.
Webroot is a lightweight and efficient antivirus that uses a unique approach to protection. It has excellent marks in our hands-on and lab tests, with few concerns about undocumented malware that could make its way onto your machine.
Our only issue with Webroot is its limited device support. It’s a great choice for individual users with a few machines, but families will have to purchase multiple licenses for full protection. Still, the price is cheap enough that you should be able to do so.
For great performance in protection and scanning, Webroot is one of the best options on the market. If you want to do some shopping, though, feel free to check our other antivirus reviews.
Let us know what you think of Webroot in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.