Webroot delivers real-time defense against malicious code
Solution provides an effective triple shield for home and small offices against viruses, spyware, and other Net nasties
To protect and serve
The Network Shields go a long way toward helping prevent infections. Here, Webroot will block access to common ad sites, lock down the HOSTS file, and most important, deny access to Web sites known to be sources of malware. Webroot maintains the list of potentially malicious Web sites and updates it daily. When testing this feature, I tried to browse a lyrics Web site that Webroot deemed a threat. The solution prevented access to the site and displayed a warning as to why it was blocked. The system does allow a user to access a site if he or she believes it was blocked incorrectly (at the user's own risk, of course). In this release, there is no way to whitelist a specific Web site while blocking others, meaning that if a user returns to the same blocked site at a later time, he or she will have to go through the blocked/override process again.
When Webroot detects viruses or malware, the default action is to quarantine them. I found it very easy to manage the items in my quarantine and even rescued programs. Users can right-click a quarantined item and tell Webroot to ignore it on future scans. Another feature I like is that Webroot creates a list of scanned items, and as long as they haven't changed since the previous scan, Webroot will skip over it, reducing overall scan times.
I tested all aspects of Webroot's detection ability, trying to infect my test PC over the network and Internet. I attempted to compromise my system first by copying infected files from a network share, then by pushing files to a file share on the test systems. Both times Webroot either blocked the file as it was being copied, or when accessed, it prevented me from infecting my PC. This was true no matter how the virus was packaged: as a normal file or compressed inside a zip archive. Testing over the Internet involved malicious Web sites as well as virus-infected e-mails. In all cases, Webroot correctly denied access with no false positives.
Fight fire with fire
Webroot's Desktop Firewall is available free of charge to Webroot customers, and it comes bundled with the AntiVirus with AntiSpyware package. Unlike a lot of other "free" utilities, Desktop Firewall actually comes packed with quite a few features, far surpassing Microsoft's built-in firewall. There are customizable levels of protection, and it allows for different security profiles for home, office, and remote access. It includes a learning mode that builds a baseline profile for CPU use, running processes and such, and works with the baseline to clamp down on unusual activity. Also included are real-time lists of running processes and port usage to help identify abnormal activity.
Webroot AntiVirus with AntiSpyware and Firewall is a very good value and offers a lot of first-rate protection for a very reasonable price. The real-time malware and virus protection work very well, and the quarantine service is easy to manage. I like how the various shields worked together to provide the overall security posture while still allowing a level of customization. When shopping for an anti-virus, anti-malware product for your home office or small business, don't overlook Webroot's offering.