If you have a bunch of devices -- a PC, a Mac, a tablet, an Android phone, an iPhone -- you can protect them all for one low price with Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete (2014). It's got lots of great features for a budget Internet security suite, too, although pricier suites like Bitdefender Total Security (Est. $60 for 3 PCs) still offer more.
Speedy installation, but a "cluttered" user interface. Installation is smooth sailing, PCMag.com reports -- even on systems already infested with malware (which grinds installation to a halt with most security suites). The initial scan pokes along for an hour in PC Advisor's test, though, and it raises a bunch of false alarms at AV-Test.org, knocking its ease-of-use score down to 4 out of 6 there. Although it's Windows 8-compatible, you won't find any touch-friendly tiles here. PC Advisor finds the interface "utilitarian," and Download.com calls it "cluttered."
Stuffed with features -- but no parental controls. Just about every major Internet security maker offers a multi-device license -- but none as cheaply as Webroot. It's also incredibly feature rich: You get an impressive 25 GB of free online backup (synced among your devices), a top-of-the-line password manager, and anti-theft protection for your Android phones and tablets (you'll be able to locate, lock or wipe them if they're lost or stolen). In fact, Webroot has a lot of the same features as premium suites. File shredding, ID theft protector, privacy protection online and on Facebook and Twitter -- it's all there. For parental controls or a really sophisticated tune-up tool, though, you'll need to step up to a premium suite like Bitdefender Total Security.
Unusual methods won't bog down your computer. With its tiny footprint, Webroot will barely slow down your computer -- if at all, tests show. It sniffs out malware differently from other programs. Like others, Webroot can do signature-based detection (but it's via the cloud, so Webroot works best with an Internet connection). But Webroot also watches how programs behave. It leaves unfamiliar programs alone until they try to do something malicious (like steal your credit card number). Webroot then kills the program and reverses everything it did. Static lab tests aren't compatible with this wait-and-see approach, so Webroot doesn't do very well in them. But in real-world malware detection and removal tests at PCMag.com, Webroot tops the charts, right alongside Bitdefender.
This tiny program installs in a flash, effectively blocks and roots out malware, and Neil J. Rubenking barely notices any slowdown on his system. You get five licenses (for PC, Mac, iOS or Android) plus an impressive 25 GB of free online backup. It's an Editors' Choice.
Review: Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete (2014), Neil J. Rubenking, Oct. 16, 2013
Webroot doesn't do well in lab tests that look for immediate malware blocking (Webroot works by watching a program's behavior over time). AV-Test.org has agreed to change its testing procedures as a result, PCMag.com reports. Still, Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete earns an AV-Test Certified label.
Review: Detailed Test Reports, Editors of AV-Test.org, As of January 2014
Webroot's top-of-the-line security suite (despite the 2013 label, this review covers the very latest version) is "a mixed bag," Eddie Cho says. It's lightweight, with great password and backup tools, but Cho finds the user interface "cluttered." Its anti-malware performance at AV-Test.org has dropped off in recent months, Cho points out.
Review: Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete 2013, Eddie Cho, Oct. 18, 2013
4. PC Advisor
Webroot earns only 3.5 out of 5 stars here. It's not a drag on the system, but it lags behind other software in detecting zero-day attacks. Scan times are slow, and Simon Williams isn't a fan of the interface.
Review: Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete 2014 Review -- Protect Up to Five Devices on Windows, OS X, iOS and Android, Simon Williams, Nov. 18, 2013
About 40 users rate the latest version of Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete here. It gets mostly 5-star reviews -- some of which look planted (if the author has never reviewed another product, it's a tip-off), but others look genuine, and negative reviews are posted as well.
Review: Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete -- 5 Device, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of January 2014