Webroot's SecureAnywhere internet security suites have been renowned for their low footprints on a PC or laptop. The latest 2013 release, in its Complete version reviewed here, includes system clean up, online file backup and Android smartphone and Android tablet protection. That's in addition to the core functions of anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing and a firewall. See also: Group test: what's the best security software?
Installation of Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete 2013 is straightforward and the main control screen shows a lot of useful status data. The program has had no Windows 8 Metro-tile makeover, although the software is billed as Windows 8 compatible. It shows a business-like tabbed interface throughout, which is better suited to the amount of information on display.
The six tabs in Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete 2013 are Overview, PC Security, Identity & Privacy, Backup & Sync, System Tools and My Account. Overview includes live counters on the number of events and processes which have been monitored and the time since the last scan. PC Security offers control over scans, while Identity & Privacy deals with the identity shield and password management.
Backup & Sync handles the 10GB of online storage provided in the package and System Tools includes several apps which help clean up your PC; it freed up 2.5GB of storage in nine seconds on our test system.
Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete 2013: Android app
The Webroot Android App is a freebie, but may be worth using as it ties in with your main Webroot account. It can also be used to remotely disable your phone, should it be stolen. However when lab-tested in early 2012, Webroot's Android app was found to be patchy at detecting malware aimed at Google's mobile platform. See also: Best Android apps.
Results of our usability testing shows the Webroot engine is unusual in lots of ways. It took only 5 min 37 sec to complete the 50GB scan of files, which is quick, but only looked at 29,859 of them, which isn't very many.
Each company's evaluation process for the files its software examines is different and around 30,000 isn't the lowest we've seen by a long way, but the software doesn't appear to fingerprint files – in a repeat scan saw it tested exactly the same number as first time around.
With Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete 2013 running in the background, a 1GB file copy took 41 sec, which is one of the lowest times we've measured and with a full system scan running in the background, the time only rose to 44 sec, a mere 7 percent increase. With Bitdefender, this is the lowest system load we've seen.
Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete 2013: performance scores
The test lab AV-Test scored the suite at 12.5/18.0 under Windows 7, which is enough to get it certified, but is at the lower end of the products tested.
Breaking this down into the three measured categories, it scores 5.0/6.0 on Protection, which is its ability to spot and deal with brand-new threats, and the same 5.0/6.0 on Usability, which reflects the light footprint and fast scanning we saw.
Where it falls down is in the Repair category, where it only scored 2.5/6.0. This is its ability to deal with established threats and to repair a system after an attack.
It's below average in all three parts of this test: the detection of widespread malware, the removal of all active components and the correction of unwarranted critical system modifications.