Webroot is an American Security Software as a Service company headquartered and founded in Colorado. Having multiple US and international operations as well as an international headquarter in Dublin, Ireland, Webroot has grown significantly since its conception in 1997 with the simple trace removal agent “Webroot Window Washer.” In 2002, the company launched a spyware blocking and removal product and then started their Antivirus/Antispyware products in 2007 as it continued to grow. Webroot’s core product which launched around 2011 after utilizing early cloud technology is called SecureAnywhere, offering multi-device protection and considered to be the lightest and fastest antivirus product available.
SecureAnywhere is a cloud-based program, which means the endpoint secured must be connected to the internet for the service to protect it. This is of course perfectly fine since virtually the only way for a computer to become infected is through internet connectivity anyways. The software also doesn’t take up nearly any space on your hard drive. Compared to Norton, which is one of the largest installations taking up over 1GB, Webroot uses up only 1 megabyte for installation thanks to its reliance on the cloud for updating and scanning. SecureAnywhere is also exceptionally fast when scanning, with an average time for an initial scan and full scan of around 8 minutes (depending on the amount of data on your computer), and an installation time of around 3 minutes. Where some programs take well over an hour for the initial or full scan, like McAfee or Symantec, Webroot installs and scans remarkably fast.
Protecting your computer from online threats requires you to enable the Webroot browser extension in Firefox or Chrome. Microsoft Edge doesn’t support any third-party browser extensions; however, Webroot also works well with Edge displaying the same warning messages you get in Chrome and Firefox when it detects a website with hidden viruses. If the threat is a downloadable file, Webroot will block the entire website so the file doesn’t even have a chance to start downloading. It’s constant connection with the cloud allows data of these new threats to be uploaded into the database to further increase future security. For more information on blocked threats within the browser, clicking on the Webroot icon at the top will show the details. This Antivirus software also includes some important protection tools including a personal firewall which monitors your internet connection, a safe website identifier, and a password manager that helps keep your username and passwords protected while you log into accounts.
As Webroot continues to grow and compete with the highest-ranking antivirus software products on the market, there are several real-world tests and results that qualify SecureAnywhere as one of the best options to choose from. In comparison to McAfee, which has been trading slightly longer and has more independent tests to show for it, Webroot proves to be just as effective in its own testing. Though they are similarly rated in stopping infection, Webroot has a considerably higher satisfaction score on crowd-sourced reviews. It doesn’t slow computers down like McAfee tends to do and Webroot is much more reasonably priced. In 2014, Passmark Software, which is a performance benchmarking software, tested Webroot on a variety of metrics including scan times, CPU usages and others, in which it outperformed all other competitors having the highest overall score on both tests.
Although testing isn’t always totally accurate with new infections being introduced on a daily basis and the variables involved in computer hardware and software issues, Webroot has proved to be an overall high-quality program. Several tests competing with big name titles shows Webroot scoring higher than anyone else including malware blocking, anti-phishing, and anti-ransomware. It’s anti-ransomware measures built in were so strong, that it was hard to even install ransomware on the machine before Webroot destroyed it and restored all previously encrypted files. PC Magazine as also awarded SecureAnywhere 19 times with ‘Editor’s Choice’ and ‘Security Product of the Year’ while their tests in 2013 revealed to have the best score in malware blocking, malware removal, speed of scans, and installation speed. And in 2014, they also showed Webroot’s detection rate of 89 percent and malware cleanup score were both on par with other products tested using the same metrics.
While Antivirus is highly important, especially in a business setting, it doesn’t mean the program needs to take up a large amount of PC resources. Webroot’s SecureAnywhere cloud-based program shows this to be true without sacrificing performance and the quality of security it provides.