Top positive review
177 people found this helpful
It really is small, fast, and it really does just work
on November 7, 2012
The normal experience with Antivirus is that it pesters you to make choices, slows down the computer, takes up tons of space, and takes forever to get to work. Webroot took that and turned it upside down.
DISCLAIMER: I do NOT test the official efficacy (effectiveness, detection rate, etc) of Antivirus Products. I leave that up to the labs (though with this there is some concern about lab tests... More about that below). As such this review is about the product and general experience with it but is not any guarantee or statement of how effective it is.
Praise (The Good Stuff)
- Super-small install. The program is under a megabyte and will download in under ten seconds on most internet connections these days.
- Makes intelligent decisions without harassing the user.
- Upgraded to for free for existing customers.
- Very fast scanning.
- Extremely light on the computer.
- Doesn't bug the user at all normally.
- Highly configurable for power users.
- Works with other products at the same time.
- Has a Mac version available in the same purchase.
Raze (The Bad Stuff)
- Does not operate like conventional antivirus, so may confuse some people who are used to the current stuff.
Haze (Things to Consider)
- Operates via the network, so will not work well (or even install) without a network connection.
- A novice user in the advanced settings can cause havoc.
- Some other products that it can work alongside will complain about it.
- Test results don't seem to reflect reality.
I'm a continuing customer, so mine automatically upgraded to 2013 version without even needing to tell me, have me reboot, or anything else. That is something great to know: If you already have a Webroot subscription, you get to upgrade to this for free. To get a proper review perspective, I uninstalled and reinstalled cleanly on my system. The file is a tiny little thing, under 800kb. No further downloaded data is required for installation, so it walks you through a quick bit of set up and is done. The scan took about 50 seconds and that was it. Done.
In all the time I've had it, it's never bugged me about anything. It doesn't ask if I want to allow things unless I set it to do so. It makes the right decision on its own. It can scan without me even noticing it and it doesn't impact my use of the computer at all. I've installed it on enough computers for friends, associates, and customers of mine that I can say they are very happy with the results.
I can't speak on absolute efficacy, but I can say that instead of the old dozen-plus infection removals a month I'd do with other products for people, only one person has managed to get infected with this in the whole hear I've had the whole SecureAnywhere product on systems and they basically turned off the thing to install the infection because they really wanted the "video.exe" file to show them the video, but then the computer wouldn't boot up after. This is completely contrary to testing that claims it's not too good, because with me monitoring hundreds of users including many who are repeat offenders with infections, I haven't seen anything like what the tests claim.
Literally it's just tremendously easy to completely forget it's there, and that's the way that makes it best. Protect the computer and stay out of the way.
I've also seen numerous users install it alongside other Antivirus programs and not have a problem at all, which goes contrary to old common sense about antivirus. But a few Antivirus packages have complained about it when trying to install and had to be put in line to get them to both work at once (or often just go with Webroot alone when the other program isn't smart enough to know they can work together).
There are basic settings that are easy to set, but there are also a lot of power user settings hidden under the hood (figuratively speaking). I have encountered a few cases where users have poked at the advanced configuration and made a mess of things that I've had to repair, but that required telling them to not touch in the long run.
All in all, the biggest problem I've had with it is explaining it to people who are used to other Antivirus programs and think they are "experts" on the subject because they read a forum or two. I do computer security stuff for a living for over a decade, so I can say that their credentials are a bit lacking, but I can't say that directly. So I put it very simply most of the time: Use it. It won't bug you, slow down your system, or get in the way. With people who I manage the security for, this is easy, since they don't get much of a choice, but it's really made my job a lot easier. For everybody else, if you get an infection anyway, Webroot fixes it for free, even with remote access if necessary and unlike some other companies, they don't consider "reinstall your computer" to be a good solution.
Support is given through a computerized question asking system, a support forum (registration required), primarily a ticketing system to get to real live people, and phone. Despite the fact that most people aim for phone support, I've found the ticket system to be most effective because the program itself knows when you are opening a ticket and sends its diagnostics information to support along with the ticket. It's not a human voice, but it's humans responding who have brains in all cases I've seen and do a darn good job of figuring out the information given to them and getting to a solution.
More importantly, the program just works, so I've never actually had to contact support for a problem.
Really, as an Antivirus, this is something I've been wishing for for 15 years. I am an avid gamer and power user and I want to use ALL of my computer, not "Most of it, but not the part the Antivirus is using". If you have a normal internet connection and like using your computer, not "using your computer except when the Antivirus is scanning or bugging you to make a decision it should make or updating or whatever", then this is an excellent choice for you.
As always, I will answer any questions anybody has about my review to the best of my ability. See my other reviews for examples. Please be sure to let me and Amazon know if the review was helpful to you or not, and if not, please comment and let me know what you would like to know further to help. I will update reviews if/when I have more information available in the future that should be included on the review.