An unusual but fast antivirus program with remote management
Secure Anywhere differs from most antivirus programs, dispensing completely with the need for virus definition database updates. Instead, PCs are monitored and managed remotely via the internet. The version we reviewed is the cheapest product with anti-virus and firewall protection. More expensive versions (costing up to £65 for five PCs) will be available soon and include online backup, a password vault and smartphone protection.
Secure Anywhere's anti-virus detection is completely cloud-based, meaning it needs an internet connection to work. The program itself takes up a mere 709KB on your hard disk and installs in a couple of seconds. It then immediately scans your computer and optimises itself for its configuration. The whole process took a couple of minutes on our test PC. A standard scan took just 24 seconds and memory use was a mere 14MB.
It looks similar to the 2012 version, but with more status information on the main screen. The huge array of advanced settings will please more experienced users, but for others there are simple sliders for basic options. The defaults are well-chosen and most users shouldn't need to adjust them.
The various modules can be turned off temporarily using toggle switches. If there is no internet connection, the software uses built-in behavioural tools (known as heuristics) to detect suspicious activity. It uses the Windows Firewall for incoming connections, but manages outgoing connections itself.
One of the most interesting features is that protected PCs can be monitored remotely via the My Webroot Anywhere website. Users can see the scan history and also set the level of protection. This overrides whatever the remote user has configured, making it great for managing family computers located elsewhere.
Features designed to help prevent identity theft are included with the program adding double checking the authenticity of secure sites such as online banking and social networking sites. The level of protection can be adjusted globally or for specific programs and websites. There are no parental controls though.
Webroot claims that Secure Anywhere will work alongside any other antivirus software - it detects these during setup and adjusts itself accordingly. We experienced no problems running it with Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows 7.
Secure Anywhere is a well-designed program that places few demands on the PC and the remote management feature works well.
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A fast, inexpensive security program with excellent remote management features
Very small and fast; Remote monitoring of PCs; No definition database updates needed; Huge array of advanced settings; Can be used alongside other anti-virus programs
No parental controls
£30 for one PC; one year subscription
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