PROS / Webroot Secure Anywhere Complete replaces Window Washer.
CONS / Window Washer is discontinued.
VERDICT / Use Webroot Secure Anywhere Complete for privacy software.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been replaced by another product. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
Webroot Window Washer is privacy software that cleans up files and internet activity. The privacy protection program is easy to use and powerful. With all the right features, Webroot Window Washer software is equipped to protect your privacy, but also increase your PC performance by removing clutter. The software has a full arsenal of privacy tools, whether you need to delete your internet browsing activity, permanently delete sensitive files (above government standards), remove clutter or even completely wipe an entire hard drive. And while this privacy program is quite powerful, it’s flexible enough to accommodate your individual needs, easy enough to actually use, and comes with a compelling price tag.
The main features of this computer privacy software are the advanced wash and bleach functions, but there are a handful of additional features that are unique and compelling. We liked that on the main dashboard of the software you can see just how much space has been recovered by using the software to delete clutter. We also appreciate the several areas that the software covers that others often miss, like the ability to wipe hidden areas of the computer to free up space.
The software doesn’t just help you stay safe, but is safe itself. If multiple users access your computer regularly and you’re afraid others might delete files or tamper with your settings, you can password protect the software.
One particularly unique feature is the ability to completely wipe a hard drive. While this feature is only recommended if you are getting rid of your PC (selling or donating), it is very effective. The process involves burning a bootable CD which is then used to permanently clean the whole computer. This System Eraser removes everything, including programs, other data, and even the operating system.
Webroot Window Washer is completely effective, and can help you maintain privacy by deleting just about any trace of your computer activity. Every time you access the internet there are a number of tracks you leave online. The internet privacy component of the software cleans up after cookies, search history, internet cache, downloaded files and more. The software is compatible with Internet Explorer, Firefox and a number of other browsers (though we’d like to see Google Chrome and Safari added to the list).
Of course there may be times when you want to keep cookies for certain sites. If you visit a trusted site often enough and want it to load quickly, you can designate it as safe and the software will keep the cookies around.
The privacy protection doesn’t stop online, but extends to just about everything you do on your computer. From temporary folders to clipboard contents, to recently opened file lists and even media playlists, you can cover your tracks and effectively remove your digital footprints. Webroot Window Washer is actually capable of cleaning your activity from over 470 additional programs and applications.
Normally when you delete a file it goes to the recycle bin, but even after you empty it there are still traces of the file (which can be relatively easily recovered by professionals). To actually remove a file from your system you have to rewrite that area of the computer with random characters, rendering the file unrecoverable. For this the software includes secure and permanent file deletion, appropriately named “bleach.” You can either add bleach to a wash, select files and folders to permanently shred, or right click on any file (spot rinse?) and select the shred option.
When you bleach a file or folder you can overwrite them once or several times. Webroot is quite flexible, allowing you to quickly overwrite three times (DOD 5220.22-M, or the National Industry Security Program’s standard), seven times (National Security Agency level), or use the Gutmann method for 35-times. Going a step further, you can set a specific number of overwrite passes up to 100 for even stronger (read: paranoid) wiping.
Window Washer is simple enough for just about any user-level. The interface is straightforward and effectively organized into logical tabs that allow quick access to every element of the program. Explanations and step-by-step instructions are integrated into the more advanced tools, and the processes to perform most functions are quick and self-explanatory.
When you start permanently deleting files from your computer you’re getting into risky territory. The last thing you want to do is completely remove a critical system file. Luckily, the privacy software has built-in safety measures designed to prevent you from accidentally deleting crucial files. Of course you can still delete even essential files if you really want to, but if you get carried away and try to remove something like a system folder or all of your photos, the software warns you to make sure you aren’t making a mistake.
More than just being easy to navigate and actually use, the privacy software is also resource efficient. While other programs may monopolize your PC memory, this program won’t slow your system to a halt. The typical “wash cycle” doesn’t even last long enough to interfere with your normal computing. You can also program periodic washes to run automatically on a schedule, or when you close specific programs.
The software itself is easy enough to use that you likely won’t need much help, but additional assistance is available. There is an in-program help directory, or you can get personalized assistance online or via telephone or live chat. For advanced help you can use Webroot’s GoToAssist, a remote tool that lets a support specialist access your computer to walk you through a solution.
Window Washer includes protection and privacy for your PC and internet activity. It’s easy and effective to use this application to protect your sensitive information and maintain a high level of privacy. With all the right features, Webroot Window Washer is effective and powerful, yet flexible and affordable.