I was asked to check out this security software by Sam to gauge some feedback. I've now been using it for just over a week and I have to say I'm pretty impressed. Unlike the usual products that are filled with bloat and useless nonsense this is lean and mean. The core process on my PC consumes on average 400KB while sitting idle and around 3,020Kb during a sc4n (. Rather than give some generic feedback, I thought I would give a review over the things I found important and the result of that is below. I looked at the product as an end user and have given my honest opinion rather than a full on expert so you will have to forgive my lack of review professionalism. I also realise than I have spelt the sc4n word wrong, but as there is a Dabs competitor with the s name it gets blanked out, so it's rather unfortunate for a product whose main purpose is to sc4n files
Webroot Secure Anywhere Complete
The easiest place to start on this software is the installation. There isn't much I can really say on the installation other than it was very fast, probably the fastest installation of an AV product I've encountered for a long time. A sc4n is done prior to installation which at 1 minute 46 seconds was pretty quick and the actual installation was literally a few seconds more. After installation is completed Webroot's main window reassuringly pops up with a large green circle with a tick and a You Are Protected banner.
One of the major bugbears of Antivirus and Firewall software is the amount of resources that they hog. Some product vendors now finally seem to be catching on to the idea that we as customers don't want our systems slowed down to the point that they are becoming unusable. Thankfully Webroot is well and truly free of being classed as a resource hog, in fact I was hugely impressed by the lack of resources the software consumed. Even during a sc4n the resources required remained very low and the CPU barely knew it was there.
It was now time to do a little testing so as always I fired the Eicar Test String at it first as it's useful to check the software is actually operating and detecting before I start with proper malware. I threw a number of malware programs at Webroot, thirteen in all, which included trojans which make up a large percentage of todays threats, rootkits and backdoor threats like keyloggers and droppers. I don't pertain to have a huge collection of virii but this was a pretty random sample. Unlike other AV software, Webroot does not necessarily detect all malware when sc4nned, it will however pick it up and very effectively if it is run and tracks it's changes which it can undo if necessary. It also picked up the dropped malware that attempted to change the startup configuration allowing you to either block the changes, allow it, or allow it only once.
Online Definition Database
Webroot uses an online definition database on Webroots own servers so definition updates are no longer required as you will always have the latest definitions available. While this may seem a minor thing, I cannot tell you the number of PC's I have fixed where the user has had an Antivirus product in place for two years, but was still using the same original definitions. The online definitions however means when no internet access is available you will have to rely on heuristics sc4nning for your protection, although for short term use this shouldn't really be much of an issue.
The firewall on Webroot is simple and effective and will complement Windows built in firewall rather than replace it. There isn't a huge amounts of options to discuss in the firewall, you can choose to simply allow all outgoing processes, which to be honest kind of defeats the purpose of the firewall in the first place. You are better to select from one of the several options that warn you if a process is attempting to connect. You can then make the decision on whether to allow it to connect or block it. Should you later change your mind you can view all the network applications and either change them to allow or block. If a process is currently running, you can close it's connection and stop it's access to the internet. There isn't really anything else you can do with the firewall, so if you want a full featured firewall, you would probably be better served elsewhere. For the average person on the street, these options are more than enough and is another example of Webroot removing unnecessary clutter that the vast majority of users either don't need or don't want.
The identity shield protects against phishing sites and you can protect specific applications or websites. You can use your online account to manage your passwords and identity. The ability to protect your personal information is definitely a useful tool in todays connected world. Identity protection will secure your system against keylogging, browser hijacks and attempted screen grabs and URL hijacking.
You can set access controls for the various administrative functions. These can be protected with either a CAPTCHA code, a password or indeed both. Setting a password will prevent those crafty little children trying to undo all your security precautions, otherwise they can simply type in the CAPTCHA code. Other than that, there is a distinct lack of more advanced parental controls, but then it's all those fancy extras that turn other security products into the resource hogs that some of them have become, so in my opinion, the trade-off is worth it and as long as you don't tell your children your password, I think it's perfectly adequate as they can't make configuration changes or close the program without it.
Mobile devices, particularly Android has become quite a big target for malware authors of late with quite a few new malware programs written to take advantage of it's popularity. As part of the Complete Webroot, users also have an app that can be downloaded and used to protect their mobile device whether an Android or Apple iDevice. As I don't have access to an iDevice, I can't comment on it, however the Security app for Android is an excellent little app providing a very easy clean interface for sc4nning. The app includes a Secure web browser, although it very basic, comprising only a forward, back and reload page icon. There is as far as I can tell no other controls whatsoever, but as this browser is not really designed to be a general purpose browser, but rather a secure one where you may be entering personal information, that is par for the course. Also included in the app is SecureSync,
which allows to you to sync your folders with both your online storage and your PC. The sync app is very similar on devices, PC and online so it doesn't take a lot to transfer your knowledge between each version of the app.
Online Backup Storage
As part of the Secure Anywhere Complete package, webroot provides 10GB of secure online storage. To enable you to use this to the maximum they have provided Sync software so you can sync your files with your online storage and with your mobile devices. It all works very nicely together and is something that definitely give the package some solid added value. If you require any more than 10GB however, you will have to dip into your wallet as you will if you require the more advanced Premium mobile app.
Webroot Online Account
Everything is all tied in through your online Webroot account, where you have have access to all your PC and Mobile device information, your backup storage, and a Password locker. Through your account you can see exactly which devices you have webroot installed to. Select a device and you will receive some very useful information, such as when your last sc4n was, duration of sc4n, when the last infection was. Click on the sc4n information tab, and it will give you even more sc4n detail and what malware was detected, etc. This may especially be useful if you have the software installed on several PC's (up to 3 in the complete package) as you can keep a remote eye on the other PC's from your desktop. You can also check out whats happening with your mobile device. One of the most useful mobile options is the ability to locate your device should it disappear and should the need arise, remotely wipe it or lock it. If you so desire you can even make it scream, which may be useful if you have misplaced it somewhere in your own home.
Taking everything into account, you get an awful lot of security packed into a very nice package that will not bring your system shuddering to it's knees begging for it's resources to be freed. I have felt very little inclination to use a commercial security product over the years and have been quite happy to use Microsoft Security Essentials of late, mainly because of it's easy to use simple interface and ability to run quietly and discretely in the background. That was something that had been missing from most security products..... until now. Webroot Secure AnyWhere's ability to pack so much in and still play nice with my system resources has certainly got my attention, and is without a doubt a security product I would recommend without hesitation.
I am by no means a white hat security expert, but rather have looked at this as a consumer, and what I like in a product and the things that are important to me. I haven't went into extravagant detail covering every possible option, but have covered the options that I and probably most average users will find most important and most useful. There are many more advanced settings and options available should you feel the need to fully explore. Most won't, most people will want to install it and just let it do it's work, and that's exactly what it will do and do it well.