Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete (2016)

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Years ago, Microsoft's OneCare security suite introduced the concept of layering backup and system optimization utilities on top of  more typical security features. Microsoft announced OneCare's demise nearly eight years ago, but its legacy lingers on in security mega-suites like Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete. With a thorough system-optimization module and 25GB of hosted online backup and file synchronization, this suite feels more, well, complete than Webroot's entry-level suite, especially for those who don't require spam filtering or parental control.

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For $79.99 per year, you get five licenses that you can use to install Webroot protection on any of your Windows, Mac OS, or Android devices. Symantec Norton Security Deluxe also gives you five multi-platform licenses, for 10 dollars less than you Webroot. However, to get 25GB of backup from Norton you must spring for Symantec Norton Security Premium, which costs 10 dollars more than Webroot.

This suite's main window is indistinguishable from that of Webroot's entry-level suite and standalone antivirus. Even the window title is the same. Differences appear when you open the feature panels at the right, though. Password Manager and Backup & Sync are both available in this top-level suite. And the Utilities pane now boasts system optimization tools.

Shared Antivirus Features
The antivirus protection in this suite is identical to that of Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus (2016). That being the case, I'll refer you to that review for full details and just summarize here.

I couldn't come up with an aggregate lab test rating for Webroot, because none of the six labs I follow include Webroot in their testing. There's good reason for this—Webroot's unusual techniques for handling unknown malware just aren't compatible with most tests. Webroot did earn certification in several tests by MRG-Effitas.

In my own hands-on malware blocking test, Webroot made a clean sweep, detecting 100 percent of the samples and earning a perfect 10 points. Note that this is a new set of samples, so the results aren't directly comparable with earlier tests. Avast Internet Security 2016 detected 100 percent of the previous sample set and earned 9.3 points, the top score against that sample set. Bitdefender Total Security 2016 also took 9.3 points.

In my malicious URL blocking test, Webroot managed 84 percent protection, which is very good. It blocked all access to some of the test URLs and pulverized the executable download in other cases. The all-time top score in this test is 99 percent protection, earned recently by Avira Antivirus Pro 2016.

Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete Main Window

Webroot achieved a phenomenal score in my antiphishing test. I score products by how far their detection rate lags behind that of long-time antiphishing champ Norton. Webroot and Bitdefender are the only recent product that have done better than Norton in this test.

Webroot includes firewall protection starting at the standalone antivirus level, though it relies on Windows Firewall to handle fending off outside attacks and putting all ports in stealth mode. By default, the firewall's program control only takes action on unknown programs when the system is infected, meaning malware has been detected but not yet removed. The firewall proved admirably resistant to direct attack in my tests.

Expert users will enjoy a variety of security-related features, from manual removal of malware to a sandbox tool for safely running suspect programs. However, most users should just leave these alone, unless instructed by tech support.

Note that even with all of the additional suite-specific features, Webroot still had no measurable effect in my system performance tests. It's an absolute lightweight.

See How We Test Malware Blocking

See How We Test Antiphishing

See How We Test Security Suites for Performance

Shared Suite Features
To the feature set described above, Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Plus (2016) adds a password manager and support for Android security. Please read my review for full details.

Webroot's password manager is a licensed version of LastPass 3.2, so it doesn't have any of the new features introduced with LastPass 4.0 Premium. It also lacks a number of features found in LastPass's previous edition, among them password sharing, two-factor authentication, and application password management. It also doesn't include the excellent Security Challenge report that helps LastPass users recover from weak and duplicate passwords.

That said, it totally does the job of a password manager, capturing and replaying credentials, filling forms, handling non-standard logins, and offering a browser-button menu of saved logins. Its password generator helps create unique, random passwords for new accounts and password updates. Overall, though, the password manager looks and feels a bit dated. At the moment, it doesn't work in Internet Explorer; a coming build will fix that.

On an Android device, you get the protection of Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile Premier. This includes antivirus and anti-theft components, as well as an App Inspector that reports on Android apps whose permissions make them potentially risky. When you install the security app, you also get Webroot's SecureWeb browser and the mobile edition of the backup and sync tool, discussed in the next section. SecureWeb protects against malicious and fraudulent sites, and offers read-only access to your stored passwords.

Your online Webroot account provides access to both password manager features and Android antitheft features. You can organize and edit your password collection here, and you can locate, lock, or wipe a missing phone.

Backup and Sync
The Backup & Sync component is probably the most important thing you get by upgrading to Webroot's top-level suite. Setting up this online backup component is a simple matter of following the prompts. When you're done, you'll have a new folder named Webroot Anywhere. Any file you put in this folder is now available online, or in the Webroot Anywhere folder of your other devices. Simple! Panda Cloud Drive in Panda Gold Protection (2016) works in much the same way.

Of course, there's more to it than that. You can add other sync folders, and sync them with folders on some or all of your other devices. Files in a sync folder get backed up to the cloud any time they change, with changes pushed out to your other connected devices. Webroot retains five older versions of files in sync folders, so if you suddenly realize your latest edit was a big mistake, you can go back to an earlier version.

If you designate a folder for backup rather than sync, Webroot treats it differently. It backs up the folder's contents to the cloud according to the schedule you specify, but doesn't sync those files with other devices. You can choose whether to include subfolders, and specify particular file types to include or exclude. Webroot retains ten earlier versions of files in backup folders.

Backup settings include things such as skipping hidden and system files, deferring backup when on battery power, and displaying a warning if my backup storage became too full. Most users won't need to change these. The Scheduler lets you pick specific days of the week for backup, and set it to back up at a certain time of day, or every so-many hours. But if you do nothing at all, it backs up every day; simple.

When you log in to your Webroot account online, you get easy access to all of your synced and backed-up files, including their previous versions. You can move or delete a file, download a local copy, or download it as a zipped archive. You can also download an entire folder as a zipped archive. There's no restore function as such, just the ability to download.

Webroot doesn't let you create links to securely share backed-up files or folders the way Norton, Panda, BullGuard Premium Protection (2016), and others do, which is too bad. All three of those suites let you create a time-limited link to give a friend access to a file or folder. Norton and Panda also let you add a password to the link. That's a feature I'd like to see Webroot add.

Android Backup
When you use one of your licenses to install protection on an Android device, it also installs the Android version of the backup system. This is a separate app named Backup&Sync.

The app functions as a file manager for your documents and data files and also gives you access to what it calls Remote Containers. Under Remote Containers I found all of the backup and sync folders from my other installations. Here I could delete any file, save a local copy, or open the file. Of course, opening the file is only possible if it's an image or some other cross-OS file type. As for local files, the most important option is the ability to upload any document or folder to the cloud server.

Tapping Camera at the main screen got me a handy collection of features. I had no trouble uploading all media files or just selected ones to cloud storage. I also got the option to take a photo or video directly to the cloud.

That's about it. You can check the status of files queued for upload, if you've queued up a bunch. A simple settings page lets you limit background file transfers to ties when you're connected via Wi-Fi, and set a PIN code for access. This app doesn't seem quite as slick to me as the Windows version, but it does the job.

System Analyzer and Optimizer
A security suite that uses a lot of system resources could offset any slowdown it might cause by adding system optimization, but that doesn't describe Webroot at all. As noted earlier, Webroot had no effect on system performance in my tests, so any benefit you get from its system optimization tools is all gravy.

Opening the Utilities panel on the main window reveals two buttons, Optimize Now and System Analyzer. The latter is similar to Norton's Diagnostic Report in that it checks your hardware, software, and security status. However, Norton offers to fix some of the problems it finds, while Webroot leaves all the fixing up to you.

On my test system, the hardware component found a great deal of disk fragmentation, and also advised upgrading to a dual core processor. The software scan found many temporary files taking up space. Shifting to the detailed report view revealed one more recommendation; change your account password every 90 days.

I was nonplussed by the report in the Threats category, though. It said "An antivirus product is installed but not protecting the system." What the heck? It turns out that under Windows 8 and up, Webroot and the Action Center don't always get along. With a little help from support I got past this glitch. I ran the built-in Windows defrag tool to fix fragmentation, and let Webroot itself wipe out temporary files. A subsequent System Analyzer scan scored 100 out of 100 points. Hooray!

Optimize Now
When I launched a System Optimizer scan, it took just seconds to report that it had freed up 300MB of disk space. By default, this tool cleans up Windows temporary files, empties the Recycle Bin, and wipes recent history in Windows and your browsers.

By digging into Advanced Settings, you can include quite a few other elements in the cleanup. These include memory dump files created after a Windows crash, Flash cookies, and the contents of the Microsoft download folder, among other things. If you do add more items to the cleanup list, be aware that there's no undo feature. If you wipe the download folder and then realize it contained something important, you'll just have to download again.

Secure Erase
I didn't even notice this suite included a secure deletion feature until I saw it in the advanced settings. Once I realized it was there, I checked the right-click menu for files and folders. Sure enough, there was a new menu choice, "Permanently erase with Webroot."

Typically a secure deletion utility overwrites a file's data and then deletes it, bypassing the Recycle Bin. In its out-of-box state, Webroot doesn't do any overwriting. All it does is delete the file and skip the Recycle Bin. You can set it to overwrite the file with random data three times or seven times before deletion. That's definitely better protection against forensic recovery, but naturally takes longer.

If the Shoe Fits
Many people get spam filtered by their email provider, rendering a local spam filter pointless. Parental control is useless if you don't have kids, or don't want to monitor your kids. With a powerful antivirus, password management, 25GB of hosted online backup, and more, Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete can be an excellent security suite for the right user. And it definitely won't cramp your style by gobbling system resources.

Even so, it's not our Editors' Choice for security mega-suites. That honor goes to Bitdefender Total Security 2016, which also offers excellent protection and has more features than you can shake a stick at. Looking at cross-platform multi-device suites, we have two Editors' Choice products. Symantec Norton Security Premium also gives you 25GB of online backup, along with 10 installation licenses. If that's not enough, consider a McAfee LiveSafe (2016) subscription with no limit on the number of devices covered.

Sub-Ratings:
Note: These sub-ratings contribute to a product's overall star rating, as do other factors, including ease of use in real-world testing, bonus features, and overall integration of features.
Firewall:
Antivirus:
Performance:
Antispam: n/a
Privacy:
Parental Control: n/a

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