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Some things you need to know about Webroot
on December 15, 2016
If you’re reading this you probably have already searched a variety of tech sources for the “best” antivirus software and, like me, consistently found Webroot near or at the top of the list. Buying antivirus software is one of the most dreaded computer-related task most people face … just reading the daily headlines reinforces that computer hacking is real and proper protection is necessary. You want to make the right choice in buying antivirus software but there seem to be so many negative horror stories about antivirus software. Here’s why I ended up with Webroot.
The first thing I want to share is that I have been buying antivirus software for over 20 years, for business and home, and I am not married to any one brand. In fact, over time, I have bought and used nearly every brand sold. And yes, some of them were true horror stories.
When WIN 10 came along I made the decision not to add any third-party protection at all to what is already part of the WIN 10 suite (Windows Defender). While most independent experts agree that Defender isn’t the best solution out there, they also agree that it is good enough for most people who use their computer for casual everyday use. Defender has the huge benefit that it has almost no negative impact on computer speed or performance and it works totally in the background and never nags or bugs you (unless there is a reason to alert you to a problem). Another major benefit of Defender is that is updates itself (in the background) so you are always assured of being protected against the latest threats.
IF you want to add more protection to your computer but you like the positive benefits of Defender, Webroot is one of the best options out there.
SOME THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. Unlike most software there isn’t really an “old or new” version of Webroot. As long as you are running one that is compatible with your computer’s operating system Webroot works like Defender in that it is really merely an interface to their online services where all the actual “smarts” are located. That is why Webroot won’t work unless you are online. You don’t have to worry about updating to a “new” version each year or doing periodic downloads because (as Webroot calls it) it is “always up to date”.
2. Because Webroot doesn’t install a large number of files directly on to your computer, it utilizes very little of your computer’s resources, thus most people will probably never notice any difference in computer speed or performance.
3. When the term of your license runs out you don’t have to buy a new disc and reinstall the program. Buying a new license just allows the software to continue to run for another year (or whatever the term of your license is). There is good news and bad news in that. The makers of Webroot don’t seem to have figured out how to reward existing customers who want to renew their license. Instead, when their “offer” is sent to you as your license is about to expire their “special” price is ridiculously high. I mean all they’re doing is giving you permission to use their software for another year, you would think they would/could offer you a special price for you loyalty, but no. Which forces people like me to simply buy a whole new disc from whoever has it on sale for the best price at the time. Fortunately my renewal time is around Black Friday each year and I am able to buy a whole new disc for peanuts.
4. People who review Webroot usually have mostly positive things to say (except for the license renewal issue discussed above) but too many of them mention how Webroot has a nag box that appears on your screen every time you turn your computer on. Not true, or at least not fully true. Yes that will happen, but all you have to do is uncheck that feature in the advanced settings box and you will never see any messages from Webroot unless you have an intrusion alert (or your license is about to expire). The fact that Webroot doesn’t have nag boxes is one of the major reasons I prefer it over Brands X, Y and Z.
5. When you first install Webroot it does a quick scan and tells you your computer is “safe”. Don’t believe it. The FIRST thing you should do is force a deep scan. Webroot makes doing that harder to find than most of their competitors. To do a deep scan, open you file manager (the screen that shows you your hard drives) and right-click on each available drive, starting with your boot drive (usually your C drive) and choose “Scan with Webroot”. Then sit back, the deep scan will take a long time, depending on how full your drive is and how fast it accesses files it can take up to a couple of hours. There will be a dialogue box with a progress bar, how many threats were detected, elapsed time, etc. It’s best not to do anything else (multitask) at the same time until the scan is completed.
This is the third consecutive year I’ve made the conscious decision to choose Webroot over other brands of antivirus software. In that time I’ve never had a virus infect my computers, I’ve never noticed a slowdown of my computer’s performance, I’ve never been annoyed by needless advertising popups, and I’ve been able to protect 3 devices for a full year for about five-cents a day. I like that.