- Default deep scans
- Customization options in scan scheduler
- Variety of utilities
- Remote control options
- Cost-friendly pricing policy
- Validity of license on other platforms
- Uninviting user interface
- Long installation duration
- No discount on longer subscriptions
Since having those core cleanup features is a must in modern antivirus software, internet security companies have to find other ways to convince users that their pay-only solutions are the best way to ensure that a computer remains devoid of infection. Webroot’s antivirus app, SecureAnywhere AntiVirus may not be the best in terms of ease of use, but the fact it has the most powerful default scan is definitely something will that make anyone’s head turn. However, providing strong on-demand scans is only the surface, and Webroot has many additional features that make it worth considering. This might be the advanced scheduling of scans, the option to remotely control the software from a dedicated web console, or tidbits like a browser add-on that rates website vulnerability. Every function is tailored in such a way that a PC is turned into an impenetrable fortress against threats to security. And then there are the cost-friendly prices or the fact that one license is valid for three devices, which only helps make Webroot SecureAnywhere an antivirus solution worth learning about.
One thing that’s truly appreciated about Webroot’s antivirus is that it doesn’t take up too much space on the computer. What isn’t appreciated, however, is how much time the installation itself takes, because a deep scan is started as soon as the app is launched for the first time. This is a noble effort, but the deep scan has severe effects on the computer’s performance, not to mention that it automatically restarts should the software find and eliminate any issues. Thankfully, this initial scan can be interrupted and resumed at a later date, but it’s a requirement if you hope to have your PC appear in the Webroot SecureAnywhere web console, where all of your devices can be tracked and given commands remotely.
As for the software itself, it needs some time to get used to. Don’t get us wrong, every function is where it should be thanks to its logical categorization, but finding them may take longer than expected as they aren’t clearly listed on the main screen. But at least accessing the web console, the online help guide, or customer support is easy since they all have their own respective buttons.
Users have two options when it comes to performing scans: manually or automatically through schedules. The latter option is without doubt more convenient because alongside the real-time shields and the continuous, automated updating of virus definitions it is able to provide the necessary protection against existing and evolving threats. In fact, users can easily set up the frequency of scans based on their individual needs and they can determine the exact hour that Webroot will perform the scans, too. There is one catch, though: the scheduler’s preference is the deep scan, which takes longer and may slow down other tasks. However, there is a setting to change deep scans to quick scans, which is highly recommended to avoid performance issues when SecureAnywhere AntiVirus is analyzing the computer.
Manual scans are a completely different story, though. For starters, the “Scan My Computer” button is conveniently placed on the start screen right next to a quick list of past scans, evaded threats, and the duration of the subscription. This initiates a default deep scan and there is no way of changing this setting. Any other scan type – which consist of quick scans, custom scans, and full (hard drive) scans – are hidden away under the “Custom Scan” button within the “PC Security” category.
Emphasizing this default deep scan feature in such a way is understandable considering it is the most precise, but keeping other scan types away from the foreground is a shame seeing how they each have their own merits. For example, quick scans are insanely fast, taking approximately 20-30 seconds to finish the examination. However, it’s worth noting that even though each scan type is unquestionably different from the other, all of them share the same core features that can be further modified under “Advanced Settings”.
Although its main focus is protecting computers and getting rid of any harm done to them, Webroot’s antivirus has additional features that go beyond the standard protection. And out of these features, only two are blocked until after upgrading: the online password manager and the 25GB cloud storage, the latter being ideal for keeping important files safe.
The most important of the features available to all is SafeStart Sandbox, where files, folders, and programs can be opened and inspected in a virtual space, therefore preventing potentially malicious items from being installed. Interestingly, Webroot’s antivirus is capable of controlling active processes in the same fashion as Windows Task Manager but, aside from shutting active apps down, this tool can also be set to monitor them for security purposes, too.
SecureAnywhere AntiVirus also comes with built-in antimalware removal tools, all of which can effectively eliminate the damage caused by unwanted applications by resetting system policies or booting the computer in safe mode. These tools are semi-automated meaning that there isn’t much you need to do beside launching the function, but Webroot also added manual threat removal tools into the mix, as well as the option to generate various reports after scans are completed.
As a nice extra, Webroot also comes with a browser extension called Web Shield Filtering Extension that rates the vulnerability of websites using the easy-to-understand traffic light color system. The only downside of this add-on is that it’s automatically installed onto browsers during the initial setup of the software and there is no indication whatsoever that Webroot is making this modification. However, the extension can be removed any time, though it might be better to keep onto it since it will only elevate the already outstanding web protection that SecureAnywhere AntiVirus provides.
With Webroot’s antivirus pricing, the rules are simple: one platform per license. However, there is a bit of a twist in that though a license cannot be used on two PCs at once – unless you pay for more licenses – it can still be used across three devices in total, meaning on one PC, one Mac, and one Android device.
There are some differences between each platform, though. The Mac version, for instance, looks the same as its Windows counterpart but is only capable of deep scans, plus it lacks several utility features as well. The Android app, which is in fact a separate product called Webroot Mobile Security & Antivirus, provides basic cleanup for your device, but actually has features not present in either desktop apps too, such as lost device protection, call and SMS blocking, and the option to install Webroot’s secure browser app.
Although all of Webroot antivirus solutions can be tried for free for 14 days, paying for a license – with MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, JCB, or PayPal – will ensure that all available features remain active. Thankfully, Webroot’s licenses are quite cost-friendly, as its most basic product SecureAnywhere AntiVirus is only $29.99 per year for one PC. Upgrading to the more complete products isn’t that expensive either: Internet Security Plus comes with password protection and costs $44.99 per year for three devices, whereas Internet Security Complete provides performance boosting and 25GB of secure online storage at $59.99 a year for five devices.
Funnily though, it isn’t with a longer-term subscription that paying users can save the most but instead by owning more than one license. For instance, purchasing at least three SecureAnywhere AntiVirus licenses can be up to 59% cheaper than when purchased separately. The same can be said about SecureAnywhere Internet Security Plus where opting for five licenses instead of the default three results in a 34% discount. However, no matter how tempting it may sound, it’s better to avoid the Family Pack because it provides the same as two Internet Security Complete subscriptions but for $40 more.
The extensiveness of Webroot’s customer service is something to be praised, even though it’s not that easy to find the right type of support. For instance, those who are seeking direct help from the company’s staff can choose to call during business hours, leave a message via a support ticket or a Facebook message, or visit one of the forums where they can meet with other users, too.
Still, its on-demand support that makes Webroot’s customer service worth visiting, since it houses rarities such as the semi-automated knowledge base that tries to find the right answer simply based on what you are looking for. However, there is also the option to turn to one of the many user guides, learn useful tricks by visiting the Cybersecurity Education page, watching how-to videos, or read up on interesting cyber security materials on the company’s blog.
Webroot is undoubtedly an interesting solution with many features that effectively averts and battles against any kind of threat that may endanger a computer. It’s unfortunate, though, that the software’s interface isn’t too user-friendly and that setting up scans isn’t as easy as it should be. Despite this, SecureAnywhere AntiVirus’s scans are pretty effective, regardless of if they are launched by the user or have been scheduled to take place on their own.
But what makes Webroot’s solution a must-have is the list of additional features that complement the core toolset by going beyond basic internet security with the inclusion of extras like a sandbox mode or the web console, with which the app can be commanded remotely. Throw in the cost-friendly license policy – which also allows users to enjoy SecureAnywhere AntiVirus on up to three different platforms – and you get an antivirus that’s worth every penny.
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