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Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus review

Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus is light on system impact, but also just light on ability.

Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus Review
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

In theory Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus could have carved a niche out for itself as the perfect antivirus solution for low-end, older computers. Sadly it's just just not very good and struggles to justify its cost.

For

  • Fast
  • Works on older hardware

Against

  • Poor at stopping new malware
  • Expensive for what it offers
  • Outclassed by others on the market

Chances are that you haven’t heard of Webroot, but this Colorado based tech company has been making computer protection software since way back in 1997, with its first antivirus program making its debut in 2006. But how does this relative underdog stack up against the best antivirus software on the market? Do the giants of the industry like Norton and Kaspersky have anything to worry about? Probably not, but there are some situations where Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus might actually be the best option.

Modern antivirus programs are designed to run on modern machines, whether that be a home computer or laptop. This means that they can be quite resource hungry, especially on older machines that don’t have the processing power to keep up. By contrast, Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus is designed to be lightweight, using minimal system resources to keep your device safe.

But how does the feature set stack up to the other options out there? Stick with us and we’ll take you through everything that Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus has to offer.

Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus review: Features 

Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus is the entry level program from Webroot, so a lot of the usual bells and whistles that you might see on other antivirus programs aren’t available as standard. Things like password protectors and cloud storage backups are locked away in Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Plus and Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete, which are more inline with the best internet security software than traditional antivirus suites.

So what do you get for your money? Well Webroot offers antivirus protection for both PC and Mac devices, though there is no support for smartphones (again, this can be found in the higher tiers). But what you do get is a comprehensive antivirus software that protects you from all manner of malware including viruses, spyware and ransomware. You can get coverage for either one or three devices, and choose how many years you want to subscribe for.

(Image credit: Future)

There’s also a built-in firewall, which is a nice addition that even some of the big names don’t bundle in with their antivirus software. This will keep you safe from incoming threats by blocking unauthorized access to your system. Beyond this, you also get virus scanning capabilities with several opinions, so you can run a quick scan regularly and a deep, full system scan every now and then.

The main advantage that Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus offers is, as we mentioned earlier, in its footprint on your system. The file size is tiny and the lack of extras features means that Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus runs quietly away in the background without ever causing slowdown on your device.

That’s about it though. As antivirus software goes, Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus is fairly barebones even by entry level product standards.

How good is Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus? 

Now this is where things start to get a little tricky. When evaluating antivirus software and their capabilities, we lean on industry experts like AV Test and AV Comparatives. These specialist websites perform regular and extensive testing on all of the top antivirus software to determine how effective they are at blocking malware attacks, while also evaluating the effects that software has on your computer’s performance. Great, so what’s the issue?

Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus isn’t on either of these websites’ regular testing schedules, so they only have limited data on Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus’s performance. AV Test last analysed Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus back in June 2019 so we have to bear in mind that the situation may have changed since then. 

(Image credit: Future)

With that being said, Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus did not perform particularly well in the latest round of tests blocking just 66.5% of 0-day malware attacks that were set against it. It did much better against established, widespread malware blocking 98.9% of the 2,428 samples that were unleashed upon it. So what can we take away from this? Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus is great at blocking the known values, viruses and malware that have been around for a while but it struggles to take on new threats.

As for AV Comparatives, it hasn’t covered a Webroot product since 2012. Given its performance in the AV Test evaluation though, it’s easy to see why. There are just far more effective programs out there to protect your devices with. Based on this limited, but rather worrying data, we can’t recommend Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus over the competition. It’s better than no antivirus, but that’s about the best we can say.

Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus review: Price 

OK, so Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus isn’t as good as the big names in the field. That’s to be expected, but if the price is right then it still might be a compelling option for people on a tight budget, right? Wrong.

Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus costs $29.99 to cover a single device for a year. For that price, you could get three devices covered using Bitdefender Antivirus. You can also get coverage for three devices for $37.49 for the first year, but this is more expensive than just about any other service. And if you really only need a single device covered then you could get Norton 360 Antivirus for $19.99 for the first year.

There are some savings to be made if you pay for multiple years up front, but the competition offers these deals too, so Webroot still ends up being more expensive than its rivals.

To summarize, Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus is more expensive than the competition while offering a markedly worse service.

Should I use Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus?

No. Short and sweet, but that’s the truth of it. Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus has an incredibly spartan feature set and performs significantly worse than every other antivirus program that we reviewed in industry standard tests - if it can even get into the testing pools at all. To top it all off, Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus isn’t even any cheaper than its rivals, in fact it's more expensive than some of the biggest names in the game.

It’s better than having no protection on your computer, but considering the fact that you can get Avast Free Antivirus for the princely sum of zero dollars, we can’t even recommend it as a last resort. If you’re running an antique computer from the land that time forgot and nothing else will run on it, maybe this will be your best option. Otherwise, avoid.