Fast and effective anti-virus software
Lots of anti-virus software manufacturers claim that their products use ‘cloud' technology, which means that scanning for threats is done by sending file activity information to a remote computer over the internet rather than by comparing it with a list of known viruses that is stored on the PC itself.
Most programs combine both kinds of scan but Webroot's Secure Anywhere Antivirus dispenses completely with a database on the PC, and puts everything online.
There are several advantages to this. Firstly, virus updates are made unnecessary – all this information is stored on Webroot's servers and updated continuously as new threats are discovered.
This in turn means that the PC software has little work to do – everything is done on remote computers, so all the software has to do is send information about suspicious activity for checking. If the PC is offline, Secure Anywhere uses behaviour-based rules (known as heuristic detection) to spot suspicious behaviour.
We installed the cheapest version (called Antivirus) and were surprised to find installation only took a few seconds. A full scan ran automatically, taking less than two minutes. The more expensive Essentials version includes a firewall and the even-dearer Complete has other features.
The interface was simple and straightforward, although it is possible to tweak more advanced settings. One interesting feature is that protected PCs can be managed remotely using a web-based ‘console'.
There were some bugs and omissions, though – changes don't take effect until a remote PC is restarted and, when we uninstalled the software from one computer, it still showed as ‘protected' in the web console. Nevertheless, this is a great idea for people with households full of PCs.
A Sandbox allows users to run suspicious programs in such a way that they can't harm the PC. There are advanced diagnostic tools for checking on running services and file activity.
One great aspect of Secure Anywhere is the speed of scanning (an on-demand Deep Scan that checks for rootkits only took about a minute on our PC's 2,000GB hard disk) and the tiny amount of memory it uses.
Webroot says the program can even be used alongside any other security software without the risk of conflict, and we ran it with Microsoft Security Essentials with no problem. It monitors web downloads, web searches and link clicks, too.
Full disk scans are not needed, according to Webroot, as the software constantly monitors the entire PC. However, you can do a complete custom scan of all hard disks if you wish, and this took just as long as using any other anti-virus product.
Secure Anywhere is an excellent product for people fed up with resource-hogging anti-virus software. It has some novel and useful features, and is fast while providing excellent security.
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Fast and well-designed anti-virus software that won't slow your PC down
Fast; very easy to use; remote web management; works with other security software
Web console doesn't show offline PCs; remote changes to PC protection don't take effect immediately
Phone 0845 082 2498
£25 per year (one computer - £30 per year for three computers)
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