PROS / Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile produced a perfect score in protection tests conducted by AV Test.
CONS / Webroot’s lack of online backup and parental controls is a drawback for those who require them.
VERDICT / Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile Premier is among the very best performers against threats to your smartphone.
Unlike some of its competitors who shy away from submitting their mobile antivirus software to independent test labs, Webroot is unafraid to participate in performance evaluations conducted by two top security software labs: AV Comparatives and AV Test. Both labs report that Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile Premier held its own among the stiffest competition. Webroot’s antivirus software for mobile defends against multiple attack vectors. For example, almost more important than mobile antivirus protection is the ability to block malicious websites that are known to transmit infections or to phish for personal data. Webroot blocks such sites. The Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award goes to Webroot. Let’s examine Webroot’s antivirus mobile security features and usability in detail.
AV Comparatives, one of the most respected software test labs, reports that during tests conducted in August 2013, Webroot’s cell phone virus protection app detected 99 percent of the threats it encountered. Another well-respected test lab, AV Test, ran more than two dozen mobile phone virus protection apps through rigorous test suites in March 2014 to discover that Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile detected every malicious app that AV Test subjected it to. AV Test had collected 2,266 malware samples during the four weeks prior to the test, and Webroot proved itself 100 percent efficacious against them.
Webroot automatically scans apps to determine whether they contain malware. It also detects system issues that may arise within devices and operating systems. If any of your apps have access to personal information or if they can track you, Webroot reveals them. It also identifies which apps access the network.
Although the Android operating system is somewhat difficult to compromise with malware, it does happen. However, the criminal element prefers to engineer hacks that depend more on manipulating you as a human being via phishing attempts. Webroot’s anti-phishing capabilities present warnings about fake websites designed to trick you into sharing personal information, a protection that extends to threats that appear on Facebook and Twitter.
Webroot’s mobile virus protection app includes convenient protection features. For example, if you are receiving unwanted calls and messages, you can block the senders. Webroot doesn’t include parental controls. However, you are probably better off in any case by installing a complete parental control app on your children’s smartphones, rather than relying on the minimal parental control features that some competitors bundle with mobile antivirus software.
The app does not include online backup, which is perhaps not a glaring omission given that most Android users take advantage of cloud-based services to maintain files, pics, contacts, calendar and music. Webroot is also missing any kind of encryption.
Webroot’s anti-theft features greatly reduce the inconvenience of losing a smartphone by way of carelessness, theft or robbery. If you happen to simply misplace your phone and have no means of phoning it to make it ring and reveal its location, you can send a command that makes your phone sound an alert. When you are separated from your phone for more serious reasons, you can remotely view its GPS location, lock it or erase its data (assuming it is connected to the internet). A thief cannot uninstall the app without knowing your password. Should a thief attempt to change the SIM card, your phone will lock itself down.
What effect does Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile Premier have on the performance of your Android phone? AV Test designed tests to answer such a question and found that Webroot performs in such a way that it does not drain the battery unduly. In any case, Webroot includes a battery monitor that collects battery statistics and reveals which apps suck the most juice. AV Test results also show that Webroot does not slow down the device.
Another aspect of usability is whether the security app gets confused into giving false warnings about perfectly safe apps. In the course of installing 841 legitimate apps from the Google Play Store, AV Test reports that Webroot issued not a single false warning. When AV Test installed 489 legitimate apps from third-party app stores, Webroot made just one false warning.
Help & Support
Help and support are available by live chat, telephone and email.
Assuming that you do not need parental controls or backup utilities and you don’t mind the lack of encryption capabilities, Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile Premier could go onto your short list of best antivirus for mobile possibilities. It performs well and does not bog down smartphone performance. It blocks malware and phishing sites, and it gives you the tools to minimize opportunities for identity theft should the device ever escape your grasp.