Webroot Internet Security Essentials review

Price when reviewed

Webroot Internet Security Essentials – or WISE, as it cleverly abbreviates – is the company’s first home security suite due for release in January 2009, but it feels like a mature product. The interface is clean and sensibly laid-out, and we found its green and grey colour scheme calming. It’s a shame, then, that getting to the front-end after booting was such a drawn-out affair, with nearly 30 seconds of CPU activity while WISE was initialising.

Webroot Internet Security Essentials review

Still, our impressions improved once the package was up and running. In our malware detection test, WISE scored 88% – equal with Kaspersky, although slightly behind the frontrunners. Its 57% score in the web test was respectable too, placing it joint fourth along with BitDefender. And while it didn’t make our test PC wholly invisible or invulnerable to network attack, it did lock it down so that only one serious vulnerability could be detected.

The suite has a few rough edges: we don’t expect a firewall to ask whether Internet Explorer can access the internet. And when a new version of the program became available, it required us to re-enter our licence key – which it helpfully provided in the same requester. We were also nonplussed by its offer to add an Ask toolbar to our browser: we don’t expect pushy advertising like this in commercial software.

The price isn’t bad, though, considering you get a backup module with 2GB of online storage – not enough for a media collection, but ample for the important files. In all, it’s a well-conceived, functional package – not a top performer in every area, but if you have a fetish for green and grey you could do a lot worse.


Software subcategory Internet security


Processor requirement N/A

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Linux supported? no
Operating system Mac OS X supported? no

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