Webroot is an IT company that specializes in creating and delivering security products that rely on cloud-based intelligence. That means that their security products are very small, with little in terms of system requirements, and rely on your internet connection in order to protect you. But do they manage to protect you efficiently against malware, phishing attempts or network attacks? In this security review, we will talk about Webroot’s premium security product, called Webroot Internet Security Complete and share our opinion about this product and its effectiveness in protecting your Windows computers and devices:
The download and installation experience
In order to download and install Webroot Internet Security Complete on your computer, you must provide your name and a valid email address. Unlike other security companies, Webroot will not let you download and use a trial version for 30 days or more. Instead, you only get 14 days for evaluating their product. Before downloading the installer, you also get an activation key for your product, which you will have to manually copy and paste into Webroot Internet Security Complete in order to activate it. This is not the friendliest approach we’ve seen.
After you get the serial number, you download a small executable file called wsainstall.exe, with a size of 965 KB. Launch it and the installation wizard will start. The first thing you’ll have to do is enter the activation key.
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Then, you can choose where Webroot Internet Security Complete is installed, and you can also chooze to “randomize the installed filename to bypass certain infections”. We’re not sure if that will really help, but we must admit it’s an interesting approach.
Webroot Internet Security Complete will force you to register your product once more, by providing the company with your email address, and will also try to convince you to subscribe to the company’s newsletters and special offers. Fortunately, you can opt out.
Then, the installation wizard will do its job of installing the security suite on your computer. It’s a short process that will only take a minute or two.
Webroot installs only a 966 KB executable file, and Yes! you read correctly. It will act both as your protection service and the main interface for Webroot Internet Security Complete. Seeing that, we were both surprised and afraid at the same time. Can a security suite which installs only one very small file really protect your computer?
Downloading and installing Webroot Internet Security Complete is a strange process to go through. It’s rather peculiar to have to write down an activation key in order to use a trial product, and it’s even weirder to see a security suite that’s less than 1MB in size.
Integration with Windows, web browsers and universal Windows platform apps
When you install Webroot Internet Security Complete, the security suite disables Windows Defender in order to eliminate the possible issues and conflicts that could appear because you run two antivirus products. However, it does not disable the Windows Firewall. We wondered why, since Webroot Internet Security Complete says that it has its own firewall module. But, as we were about to find out, things are not exactly like that. Webroot has something that they call a “firewall”, but it’s not a standalone module that can protect you from network threats. It’s a “firewall” that needs Windows Firewall in order to work .Unfortunately, the company doesn’t state that clearly on their website. And it doesn’t even say anything in its user interface. We had to find about this on a community webpage.
The fact that Webroot Internet Security Complete relies on Windows Firewall means that you will have no issues in using Windows’ networking features. At least we had none when we created a Homegroup or when we associated our test computer to the local Homegroup, or when we used and updated universal Windows platform apps.
When it comes to online security, Webroot Internet Security Complete chooses to install an extension called Webroot Filtering Extension in your web browser, which scans and filters your internet traffic for potential threats. Unfortunately, this extension is only available in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. The other two popular web browsers that we tested - Microsoft Edge and Opera- aren’t covered by Webroot.
Then, we moved on to measuring the impact Webroot has on your computer’s performance. To get an idea on this matter, we checked whether our test laptop increased its boot time after installing the security suite. The boot times we measured were the same. We also looked at the RAM memory the security suite requires to run all its processes. When there was nothing out of the ordinary taking place, Webroot Internet Security Complete used less than 10MB of RAM and when malware was found or when an antivirus scan was running, the consumption went up to 30MB of RAM memory. These are very small values for any modern PC.
To get the complete picture, we also used PCMark 8 to assess the overall performance impact on our test computer. We ran the Home accelerated benchmark tests before and after installing the security suite and we found that Webroot Internet Security Complete had absolutely no negative effect. The score we got was exactly the same with and without the suite installed.
Webroot Internet Security Complete is very well integrated with Windows and all its networking features. However, you should know that the main reason for that is the fact that it relies on Windows Firewall, instead of offering a standalone firewall module. On another note, it’s a good thing that the security suite doesn’t negatively affect your computer’s speed and performance.
Ease of use & configuration
The main user interface of Webroot Internet Security Complete is very simple: it’s all about a minimalistic design, with only a couple of sections and little information displayed. Also, there’s a small number of buttons available. There are a few tabs on the right side, which give access to simple configuration options that are mostly about turning the different protection modules on and off.
If you want to change more advanced settings, click on the Settings button found on the top right corner of the main window. You will find that most of the settings offered by this security suite are controlled by simple checkboxes. Which means that they should be easy to enable or disable, even on devices with touch.
You will find that all configuration options are easy to understand, even if you are not a computer professional. However, it’s also good to know that Help and Support is also available, in case you encounter any issues with the product. The documentation offered on the Webroot site is rather complete and easy to understand. If the FAQ section or the community forums don’t offer enough help, you can also ask for support, using a simple contact form or by giving them a phone call.
Webroot Internet Security Complete is a rather simple security solution, and thus we didn’t really expect to see detailed logs. However, we were pleasantly surprised to see that you get both simple statistics and detailed logs about the things going on your computer.
In terms of alerts and notifications, during the time we tested Webroot Internet Security Complete, we only saw alerts about malware threats. If you don’t like to be disturbed often by your antivirus, that’s a good thing.
Webroot Internet Security Complete is a security suite with a simple user interface, that’s easy to understand and use on any Windows device. Beginners will appreciate the small number of configuration options that are available, while advanced users will consider this a negative.
Go to the next page of this review and see how effective Webroot Internet Security Complete is in protecting your computer from network attacks and malware. You will also see our final verdict for this product.