Webroot used to focus its attention solely on system utilities and antispyware programs, such as Spy Sweeper, arguably it’s most popular product. Starting in 2006, Webroot widened its security net and now offers a fleshed-out lineup of antivirus products, the one reviewed here being its flagship suite.
Green and purple is a garish combination, but the color scheme is about the only thing Webroot gets wrong with the UI.
In making the transition from antispyware specialist to an all-encompassing security vendor, Webroot didn’t build its own scan engine and instead uses one provided by Sophos, a well-known security lab. This comes wrapped in a clever UI that’s one of the best we’ve seen. Webroot lays out the program’s four main functions—PC Security, Sync & Sharing, System Cleaner, Identity & Privacy—within easy reach via four large squares. A green checkmark or yellow exclamation point in the upper left corner of each square gives you a quick status report. Hovering over a square expands it to show additional information, like the next scheduled scan, as well as a link to edit settings. Clicking a box brings up a tabbed menu that consolidates all the advanced features into a single, manageable window. It’s a brilliant design with an intuitive flow.
Curiously missing from Webroot’s top-of-the-line security software are parental controls. In the plus column, Webroot includes 10GB of online storage, about five times as much as most other suites offer, and something we might actually use. We also appreciate Webroot’s quiet nature, as it doesn’t bombard you with pop-ups or silly questions it can figure out on its own.
Webroot did a good job thwarting spyware and zero-day threats, but toward the end of testing, it fell for one of the oldest tricks in the book by letting a fake AV program take control of our test bed. Even a safe-mode scan proved futile. The high RAM use didn’t earn any brownie points, either.