To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Webroot Internet Security Essentials 2011 review

Webroot Internet Security Essentials 2011
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £34
inc VAT

Webroot provides 100 per cent protection against malware – unfortunately, it stops a lot of legitimate software from running and installing too.

The core features of Webroot’s Internet Security Essentials 2011 are designed to provide comprehensive protection against viruses, spyware, rootkits and other malicious programs. We were pleased to find that it delivered the promised level of defence, blocking 68 per cent of test threats as soon as our browser loaded them. It had no trouble cleaning up the remaining infections after they got through its first line of defence; a few temporary files were left behind but there was no way for them to be run.

This came as something of a surprise when we compared these protection results with those from our last test of Webroot Security Essentials, back in 2009. It soon became clear how Webroot was achieving such complete defence when it flagged up 68 per cent of false positive test programs as malicious, all with a firewall notification that, after a few seconds, defaulted to blocking our attempt to install or run the programs.

Webroot Internet Security Essentials 2011

It’s easy enough to set up a firewall exception for one program, but it rapidly becomes tedious if you need to do it for over two thirds of the software you try to install. Generally, we regard a failure in our false positive tests as a relatively minor issue, but the extent to which the problem manifested here makes it a serious concern. You can disable the firewall, but that leaves your PC vulnerable to malicious intrusion attempts.

Webroot has a number of extra features, including Sync & Sharing, which provides 2GB of online backup and storage via a rebranded version of SugarSync’s excellent service, and a range of system tools including utilities to help you safely erase files and clear your browser cache.

Although the online storage is useful, extras are irrelevant if the core functionality doesn’t work properly. Webroot’s approach to protecting you against malware appears to largely involve “protecting you” against everything, and leaving it up to you to decide what constitutes a real threat.

For the same money, you can get Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security 2011, which doesn’t provide online storage but does protect you against malware without interfering with legitimate programs.


Price £34
Rating **