Webroot claims the fastest, lightest, most powerful anti-virus software yet with SecureAnywhere

Cloud-based anti-virus focuses on instant virus prevention over removal, offers near-instantaneous protection from zero-day threats

Security software vendor Webroot has thrown the proverbial gauntlet down to its competitors with the launch of its new consumer-level protection software, SecureAnywhere. The new software is almost entirely based in the cloud and requires only a very small software footprint on consumers' computers, freeing up the system resources often hogged by traditional anti-malware, firewall and anti-virus products.

Most anti-virus software maintains a suite of software on users' computers along with a bulky database of virus 'definitions' (signatures characteristic to each virus or malware variant). Webroot SecureAnywhere turns this traditional anti-virus model on its head, storing definitions and the majority of virus-identifying components in an online 'threat intelligence network' — this means storage and processing demands on end users' computers are greatly lessened.

Independent testing on the new Webroot SecureAnywhere software by Sydney-based PassMark reports that its install size of a mere 6MB is 98% smaller than the average size of leading antivirus products (ESET NOD32, Norton 2011, Trend Micro 2012, AVG 2011, Kaspersky 2012, and McAfee 2011), and that Webroot's initial system scan is 3.5 times faster on average. Subsequent system scans take less than two minutes and will reportedly run capably in the background without interrupting users' system activity.

The key to Webroot's speed and small footprint is the power of its online component, which remotely assesses files and identifies threats through file behaviour and data signatures. The amount of data uploaded and downloaded to and from Webroot's servers is only small, and once a file signature is classified as a threat Webroot's servers allow any computer running a subsequent scan to check for that file signature or behaviour. Because of this Webroot claims 'instant protection' against new threats — no client-side updates are needed for new virus definitions to be checked against. Webroot's cloud-based operation also means that virus definition updates do not increase the amount of data stored on users' computers.

The reliance upon cloud-based protection requires an Internet connection for possible threats to be identified and properly catalogued in Webroot's worldwide servers, but SecureAnywhere's offline component records all system activity while an Internet connection is not available, prevents any known threats and later submits data for assessing and cataloguing once Internet access is re-established. Webroot says that SecureAnywhere can be used alongside competing anti-virus products without interference for increased security.

The latest software release from Webroot includes a mobile component — the company has released free and paid apps for the Android operating system and a free app for Apple iOS (with a paid suite coming in November), comprising antivirus protection, secure Web browsing, password management and other phone-specific features.

Webroot's software is intended to be user-friendly but also customisable for power users, and includes a number of different components (like a firewall, system process shield and Web threat shield) that can be used or ignored as required. The Webroot SecureAnywhere software is available now in a range of configurations for basic or multi-user environments:

Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus - 1 PC: $39.95; 3 PCs: $49.95

Basic antimalware service that delivers all of the high performance, protection and management benefits of Webroot SecureAnywhere

Webroot SecureAnywhere Essentials - 3 PCs: $59.95

Mid-level security suite that extends protection with:

Windows firewall management

Identity protection securing transactions like online banking

File backup and synchronization across PCs and browsers

2GB of online storage

Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete - 3 PCs & 3 mobile devices: $79.95

Premium security suite that also includes:

Password management and synchronization across multiple PCs and mobile devices

10GB of online file storage

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags antivirus

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?