Webroot is an IT company which specializes in creating and delivering security products that rely on cloud-based intelligence. That means that their security products are minimal, with little regarding system requirements, and rely on your internet connection to protect you. But do their antivirus products manage to efficiently protect you against malware, phishing attempts, and network attacks? In this review, we assess the company's premium security product, which is called Webroot Internet Security Complete. If you want to know whether it is a good choice for protecting your Windows computers and devices, read on:
What is Webroot Internet Security Complete good at?
Webroot Internet Security Complete is a good security suite for:
- People who want a good antivirus engine that can protect them efficiently from offline malware and also from online dangers
- People who want an antivirus product with a simple user interface
- People who need an antivirus solution that has a negligible effect on the performance of their computers
Webroot Internet Security Complete vs. Webroot Internet Security Plus
Webroot Internet Security Complete provides the same security tools as does Webroot Internet Security Plus. The differences lie in the fact that the Internet Security Complete also includes:
- A tool for eliminating traces of your online activity
- 25 GB of cloud space for you to store data and sync it across all your devices
Unless you want these two offers, the more affordable Webroot Internet Security Plus might be a better deal for you.
Pros and cons
There are some good things to say about Webroot Internet Security Complete:
- The antivirus engine is good at detecting and removing malware threats from your Windows computers and devices
- The web shield manages to protect you from accessing dangerous websites, if you use Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge
- The security suite has no adverse effect on your computer's performance
- The antivirus engine is extremely fast at scanning your computer for malware
- The user interface is simple and easy to use
- The firewall protects you efficiently when connected to public networks
There are also a few negatives about this security suite:
- The antivirus module does not scan and clean removable drives, such as USB memory sticks or SD cards, even if it finds an infected file on them. It only cleans the first infected file that it detects, when you try to run it. It is an unfortunate approach to handling removable drives carrying malware
- The firewall module is weak when you are connected to private networks
- Advanced users might prefer to have some more control and configuration options
- Most of the bundled tools are not useful. Those that could be useful are not easy to use
- There are no parental controls included, and there is no VPN service to protect you when you connect to unsafe networks, like public ones usually are.
Webroot Internet Security Complete is an average security suite. Some things about it are positive: it has a tiny footprint on system resources, the firewall is effective when you connect to public networks, and the antivirus engine is fast at scanning your computer. It also offers a simple user interface, that is easy to use and configure. However, this antivirus product fails in several ways: the handling of malware infected removable drives is unfortunate, the firewall is not great if you set your network profile to Private, and the user interface lacks advanced options. We are moderately satisfied with what Webroot Internet Security Complete has to offer to its users, so we recommend that you try it first, before purchasing it.
The download and installation experience
To download Webroot Internet Security Complete, you must provide a name and an email address. Unlike other security companies, Webroot does not let you use a trial version for 30 days or more: you only get 14 days for that. Before downloading the installer, you also get an activation key for your product, which you will need to activate it. After you get the product key, you download a small executable file called wsainstall.exe, with a size of 1.19 MB. When you launch it, the installation wizard starts, and the first thing you must do is enter the activation key.
You can also choose where to install Webroot Internet Security Complete, and whether you want to "randomize the installed filename to bypass certain infections." We are not sure if that can help, but we must admit that it is an interesting approach.
Webroot Internet Security Complete forces you to register your product once more, by providing the company with your email address, and also tries to convince you to subscribe to Webroot's newsletters and special offers. Fortunately, you can opt out.
Then, the installation wizard does its job and installs the security suite on your computer. It is a short process that should only take a minute or two.
Webroot installs only a 1.19 MB executable file, and Yes! you read correctly. It acts 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 tiny file protect your computer from malware?
Downloading and installing Webroot Internet Security Complete is a strange process to go through. It is somewhat peculiar to have to write down an activation key to use a trial product, and it is even weirder to see a security suite that is only about 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 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. However, as we were about to find out, the truth is not exactly like that. Webroot's firewall needs Windows Firewall to work for it to be able to protect you. Apparently, Windows Firewall deals with inbound traffic, while Webroot's firewall deals with outbound network traffic.
The fact that Webroot Internet Security Complete relies on Windows Firewall means that you should have no issues in using Windows' networking features. At least we had none when we created or when we associated our test laptop 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 - are not covered by Webroot.
However, it also includes a so-called Web Filtering Driver which can provide additional protection against online dangers, in other browsers or apps. In our tests, it looks like this shield works in Microsoft Edge, but it does not work in Opera.
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 the security suite requires running all its processes, and we found that Webroot Internet Security Complete used about 11 MB of RAM, which is very little.
To check whether the internet or local network speeds are affected by Webroot Internet Security Complete, we also ran a few tests with Speedtest.net and with LAN Speed Test. The speeds that we measured were the same before and after installing the security suite, which means that it has no negative impact on data transfers within the local network or on the internet.
Webroot Internet Security Complete is well integrated with Windows and its networking features. One of the main reasons for that is the fact that its firewall works together with Windows Firewall. It is also a good thing that the security suite does not negatively affect your computer's performance or the data transfers on the internet. On the other hand, the web filtering extension it offers is available only for Firefox and Chrome, although the web filtering driver should work with other browsers and apps too.
Ease of use & configuration
The main user interface of Webroot Internet Security Complete is straightforward: it is all about a minimalistic design, with only a couple of sections and little information displayed. Also, there are 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 in the top right corner of the main window. 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.
Most configuration options are easy to understand, even if you are not a computer professional. However, it is also good to know that Help and Support are also available, in case you encounter issues with the product. The documentation offered on the Webroot site is complete and easy to understand. If the FAQ section or the community forums do not 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 did not 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.
Regarding alerts and notifications, during the time we tested Webroot Internet Security Complete, we only saw alerts about malware threats. If you do not like to be constantly disturbed by your antivirus, that is a good thing.
Webroot Internet Security Complete is a security suite with a simple user interface, that is easy to understand and use on any Windows device. Beginners might appreciate the small number of configuration options that are available. However, advanced users might consider this a negative.
On the following page of this review, you can see how efficient Webroot Internet Security Complete is at protecting your computer from network attacks and malware. You can also see what additional features are bundled with this security suite, and check our recommendations for what settings you should consider adjusting.