webroot Antivirus + Spy Sweeper PDF Print E-mail

webroot Antivirus with Spy SweeperPros: New user interface is simple, attractive, and well-designed. Scanning and updating occur automatically. Very effective malware blocking and cleanup, especially of rootkits and scareware. Full scan is speedy.

Cons: In testing it took many hours to scan some of the malware-infested systems.

Bottom Line: Webroot's latest antivirus/antispyware utility was well worth the wait. It's been intelligently redesigned with an eye to simplicity, and it did very well in all aspects of testing, both malware cleanup and malware blocking.


With the growing use of computers & Internet, computer security issues are popping up and so are mushrooming antivirus solutions in the market. Everyday a new antivirus product is launched in the market with a thousand promises to safeguard a customer's computer.

Webroot is one of the oldest and trusted antivirus products in the Worldwide PC Security Market. Its latest Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus is an advanced antivirus solution and proclaims the features of an antimalware too. It scans for virus and worms trying to harm the user's computer. It also keeps an eye upon the internet traffic to the user's system as also warns the user against malicious sites containing spyware and worms which may prove to be futile for the computer. Moreover, Webroot Technical Support is there to help the customers in any instance of problematic issues.

Unlike viruses, spywares try to steal valuable information from the user's computer to send it to some else intended to use it for unfair purposes. Webroot identifies these spies and terminates them from the user's system. It also bars the malwares & spywares to enter the system too. In true sense, it insulates the user's computer from the trespassers.

The main features of Webroot are featured below

• Easy installation

• User friendly interface

• Malware detection expertise

• Free cloud space

• Gamer mode

• Multilayer security

Webroot is light antivirus software so it can easily be installed on a computer without hogging on much space on a computer. It can easily be installed by the user yet sometimes a user may find some problems in installation. Webroot Tech Support is ever ready to help the users in the installation procedure.

Automated Protection

You won't find a big "Update Now" button on Webroot's main screen. By default, the app downloads and installs all signature updates automatically, with no user interaction required. Even better, updates to program modules happen in exactly the same way. Simple!

Keeping with the theme of simplicity, Webroot automatically scans your system for malware when the system is idle. There's no need to schedule scans for a particular time. In fact, if you try to schedule a scan, it points out that automatic idle-time scanning makes scheduling unnecessary. Of course, you're free to disable idle-time scanning and schedule scans a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

By default Webroot, applies all of its malware-smashing technologies during a full scan. It scans memory, the Registry, and the full file system, it looks inside archives, and it uses direct disk scanning to detect rootkits. Despite all this activity the scan is quite fast. On my standard clean test system, it took just 18 minutes. Webroot subtly discourages changing these settings by making you first enable custom settings and then edit the configuration.

Real-time protection comes from over a dozen "shield" modules. Initially Webroot auto-configures these for "recommended protection," meaning all but a couple of them are turned on. Here, again, if you want to make changes you must first enable custom settings. The average user will do just fine with the recommended protection level.

Effective Malware Cleanup

I installed Webroot on my thirteen malware-infested test systems and ran a full scan of each. While the scan on my clean test system finished quickly some of the infested systems took hours and hours—but I'm not complaining. I've had to spend days of my own time with tech support just to get some products installed and functioning. Webroot took care of the malware all on its own.

Internet Connection Shield

Internet Connection Shield forms the first line of defense, automatically blocking any program's access to known malware-hosting sites. When I tried to re-download my current malware collection Webroot blocked over 40 percent of those whose URLs were still functional. For the rest, File System Shield kicked in to scan once the download finished and immediately wiped out more than half of those remaining. These two components blocked three quarters of my samples before or immediately after download.

Many real-time antivirus utilities check for malware every time a file is accessed, even the minimal access that occurs when Windows Explorer displays the file's details. Webroot's File System Shield checks files that get written to disk, but it doesn't re-examine files already existing on the system. That's the job of Execution Shield, which prevents execution of malicious files.

When I attempted to execute already-downloaded copies of my malware samples Execution Shield blocked 80 percent of them before they could even launch. I also tried hand-modified versions of the samples that were blocked at launch. Execution Shield missed about a third of these, leaving them (one assumes) for the other shields to handle.

Malware Cleanup Ratio

As in the malware cleanup test, Webroot excelled at my breakout tests for specific threat types. The good news is that it detected 100 percent of my commercial keylogger samples and scored 9.0 for keylogger blocking. Only Spyware Doctor came close, detecting 93 percent and scoring 8.9. The bad news is that I give little weight to the keylogger-blocking test. If Mikhail Semenko is sitting at your desk installing a keylogger, no software can help you.

Like Spyware Doctor, Ad-Aware Pro and Ad-Aware Total Security, Webroot also detected 100 percent of the rootkit samples. With 9.2 points it didn't beat Spyware Doctor (9.3 points) or Ad-Aware Pro (a perfect 10.0) but it did better than Ad-Aware Total Security (8.8 points).

In the scareware test, Webroot tied for the top both in detection percentage and removal score. Along with Malwarebytes and Ad-Aware Pro it detected 89 percent of the scareware threats and blocked them perfectly to score 8.9 points.

Webroot's numerous protective shields did a seriously impressive job protecting my clean test system from malware infestation, especially rootkits and scareware. It even aced the keylogger-protection test.

Low on False Positives

Webroot includes a number of other shields that react to specific system changes made by any program. If a program installs a Browser Helper Object, tries to add an ActiveX control to Internet Explorer, or if it attempts to launch from an Alternate Data Stream, the corresponding shield will pop up and ask you whether to allow it.

These popups aren't hard to handle. If you're installing a new browser enhancement of some kind you'll want to allow the ActiveX and BHO installations; if an ActiveX or BHO message pops up up out of the blue, block it. Almost no valid programs try to launch from Alternate Data Streams—that's a rootkit trick! So you can always block that one.

The behavior that trips up many antivirus programs involves modification of the startup sequence. A huge number of perfectly valid programs add themselves to the startup sequence at install, or upon changing configuration, or both. Some programs report all of these and require your permission. Webroot wisely limits Startup Shield warnings to activity by known malware.

You can also dig into Startup Shield and control which valid programs are permitted to launch at startup. You could do the same using the Windows built-in MSCONFIG utility, so this feature is slightly redundant. At least it isn't outright dangerous, like the AutoStart Manager in Ad-Aware Pro, which can easily disable essential Windows components.

When I installed twenty PCMag utilities Webroot warned (accurately) that two of them wanted to install a Browser Helper Object. It didn't gripe at all about the rest. Spyware Doctor's behavior guard feature, by contrast, frequently popped up text-laden boxes reporting valid files as suspicious.


Despite of all the positive factors, few users are also face issues with Webroot Antivirus products. Following are its few common problems: -

1. Issues in installing the Webroot product

2. Unable to install its latest updates

3. Problem in activating the antivirus

4. Unable to install the upgraded Webroot version

If you are facing any of the above or other problems with Webroot, then it is recommended to take help of experts instead of self-troubleshooting as it can lead your computer to crash or other consequences. To help you out, the Webroot Technical Support is the handiest ever help available to its customers in such any trouble.