Old Webroot vs. WSA? A friendlier, brisker, safer take on internet security.

  • 21 May 2012
  • 7 replies

Userlevel 7
Here at Webroot, we see so many customers (and potential customers) ask “what’s the difference between Webroot SecureAnywhere and the older Webroot products?”
The short answer is a winning combination of compatibility, unmatched speed, efficiency, and protection.
The longer answer is this:
Internet Security Trendsetting
Unlike sports, there is no such thing as the “seasoned veteran” when it comes technology, and terms like “classic” and “old school” typically mean your product is outdated and slow. In fact, the only way veterans survive in the tech world is if they have a quality product that is constantly being updated (if not reinvented) with the newest technology. One of the few exceptions has been the internet security industry as a whole. For far too long, internet security companies have been playing it safe, reluctantly avoiding to stay current with the ever-evolving technological trends. Needless to say, every internet security software company (including Webroot) had dug in deep to remain conventional. That is until WSA came along and kick-started the internet security revolution!
In the not-so-distant past, trying to run two antivirus programs at once on your computer was a tall order. Occasionally, they would accuse one another of being malicious. Often, they would butt heads when a potential threat was detected. And always, they would bring your computer speed down to a turtle-like crawl, basically rendering it useless unless you were the Slowsky turtle family from the Comcast commercials. With SecureAnywhere, Webroot created something that, while designed to fulfill all your internet security needs and more on its own, is also compatible with any other antivirus software.
Basically, this is how it works - a typical antivirus software program aggressively scans for malicious files, and each file is placed on “temporary arrest” until the scan is done, meaning other programs can’t access it during that time. Now as a secondary antivirus falls under the “other program” category, you can imagine what happens when its scan tries to access the file already on lockdown via antivirus #1. Best case, it becomes a cutthroat competition to scan the file first. Worst case, one of the antivirus programs classifies this struggle as an “attack” and tries to block the process. Now, instead of protecting you, both programs are engaging in a bare-knuckle boxing match while your computer has its resources drained and sits there vulnerable towards malicious attacks.
Webroot SecureAnywhere, on the other hand, works differently. While it may lock a file when it is being scanned, if another antivirus is already taking care of it, Webroot won’t try to take over and thus will not cause a conflict. This is because SecureAnywhere doesn’t wholly rely on the traditional system of definition sets to determine whether or not a file is malicious. Instead, we closely monitor file behavior and system interaction, examining only files that present risk.  This same advanced behavioral detection technology allows SecureAnywhere to realize that another antivirus on your computer is a “good guy” and lets it “go to work” on the blocked file.
A Cloud Made of Silver Lining
Today, “The Cloud” is the cool kid on the block that everyone wants to be friends with because his edgy personality and willingness to break away from the norm will take your social life to previously unimaginable heights. In the world of technology, that “everyone” is every company, “edgy personality” means being a technological trendsetter, and the “norm” is what everyone who has touched a computer was used to before “The Cloud” came to town and shattered their perceptions of what the internet can do. In other words, promising “to take their social life to previously unimaginable heights.” But while many companies today claim to be “cloud-based”, with SecureAnywhere, Webroot has completely embraced “The Cloud” and revolutionized the internet security industry as a result. Talk about a good friend.
Rebuilding our product from the ground up with implementation of a cloud-based platform is the main and most important difference between SecureAnywhere and former Webroot (and other security software) products. The result is the aforementioned 1-2-3 punch of speed, efficiency, and protection.
  • Speed: Perhaps the most noticeable of the three, utilizing the cloud has allowed us to create a product that is seriously fast. How fast? Think instantaneous downloading of the product, 1-2 minute scanning, mind-boggingly fast.
  • Efficiency: Being in the cloud gives Webroot SecureAnywhere the unique opportunity to be the least intrusive and most hassle-free internet security software available. Over are the days of manually downloading resource-intensive signature files and constantly updating definitions to ensure you are protected. Now, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and let the cloud-based detection system automatically do all the work for you. Did I mention Webroot will scan your computer automatically every day too? Oh, and the whole program is about 100 times smaller than the older versions of Webroot.
  • Protection: You say: “That’s awesome and all but… doesn’t all this speed and efficiency compromise my protection?” And I say: “Absolutely not.” In fact, it vastly enhances it. Webroot SecureAnywhere combines the entire security-definitions database of former Webroot products with cloud-based threat detection and a new behavior-recognition technology that works cohesively to protect against zero-day attacks and new, ever-emerging threats. If Webroot finds a threat, it moves it automatically to quarantine, and rescans your computer.
So there you have it. Smaller, lighter, faster, stronger.  If you haven’t made the switch yet, what are you waiting for?!

7 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +23
Cheers Yegor. I really appreciate and enjoy reading these in-depth posts by the Webroot team 🙂
Userlevel 7
Glad to hear that you had a good read The_Seeker! :D 
I really appreciate your positive feedback!
Userlevel 7
Badge +56
Thanks Yegor for the great info of the previous versions of Webroot and the new WSA 2012 ;)
Userlevel 7
Thank you Yegor for the excellent information about WSA. Being a user of the old Webroot product for many years, I can say the new WSA is 100% better. 😃
Hi, I'd like to ask what is the difference between WSA vs the
Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete?
thank you!
Thank you. @ work right now can't watch video just yet, but if i am coming from the old 2010 world where i was using the plain purple/yellow box that says Webroot antivirus with spysweeper and i want to keep it at that for my 3 computers, what is the "today's equivalent"?

the WSA or the WS complete?
Userlevel 3
Hi darbebo,

Unlike the 2011 version of Webroot AntiVirus, Webroot SecureAnywhere 2012 version does not rely on traditional antivirus definitions, is smaller, runs scans more quickly, and is designed to co-exist with other security software installed on the same system. This new program represents a revolutionary new method for protecting your information and privacy and we are very excited to offer it to our customers.

To learn more about Webroot SecureAnywhere, we recommend you view the video tutorial at the link below.

Cloud antivirus protection vs. traditional antivirus protection

Webroot SecureAnywhere has many similar features to Spysweeper plus a whole lot more. Please take a look at this comparison chart to see all the features offered in Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus, Essentials, and Complete.