Best Binary Options Broker 2020!
Ideal for beginners!
Free Demo Account + Free Trading Education!
Get a Sign-up Bonus:
2nd place in the ranking!
‘Is This a Room’ Review: Why’d She Blow the Whistle?
Tina Satter’s remarkable docudrama recreates the bizarrely banal interrogation that led to the arrest of the intelligence contractor Reality Winner.
A lot of what’s being said on the stage of the Vineyard Theater these days is maddeningly ordinary — the kind of friendly, vapid conversation you might exchange with a stranger in a grocery store line. Yet every word spoken, no matter how banal, seems to stretch your nerves closer to snapping.
By the end of the tautly sustained 70 minutes of “Is This a Room” — the extraordinary documentary theater work by Tina Satter that reopened this week after a brief run in January at the Kitchen — you’ll probably feel the need for a drink, or a yoga session, or a full-throated scream. Unlike more classic high-anxiety plays — say, “Oedipus Rex” or “Macbeth” — this production isn’t about to offer you the cleansing release of catharsis.
That will probably hold true even if you don’t know that what’s depicted here is only the opening chapter of a long nightmare for the young woman at the show’s center. That’s Reality Winner (portrayed by the wonderful Emily Davis), the former military linguist and intelligence contractor, who is now serving a five-year, three-month prison sentence for the unauthorized release of government information to the media.
Satter, the founder and artistic director of the experimental Half Straddle company, conceived and staged this sharp, blindingly polished slice of theater vérité. She did not write its text, which is instead a transcript of a tape recording made by the F.B.I. of its initial questioning of Winner from June 2020.
Interrogation scenes are a staple of crime shows, where wily, smooth-spoken police officers in closed rooms strategically grill their subjects into telling all. The session in “Room” takes place in the driveway, yard and interior of the Georgia house Winner was renting, and it is conducted with a clumsy casualness.
It is the sense of familiar territory made surreal, of easiness gradually becoming a choke hold, that gives “Room” its echoing power. I kept thinking of the opening chapter of Franz Kafka’s “The Trial,” in which a man wakes up “one fine morning” in his apartment to discover he is under arrest without knowing why.
“Room” begins just after Reality has pulled into her driveway, bearing groceries, and finds unknown men waiting for her. They are Agent Garrick (Pete Simpson), Agent Taylor (TL Thompson) and a colleague who is listed in the program only as Unknown Male (Becca Blackwell).
Best Binary Options Broker 2020!
Ideal for beginners!
Free Demo Account + Free Trading Education!
Get a Sign-up Bonus:
2nd place in the ranking!
These men do not sound hostile or menacing or even particularly official. “Hey, how are you?” they say. “How’s your day going?” They explain that they have a search warrant for Reality’s house and car. “This is about a possible mishandling of classified information,” Garrick says.
Many minutes will pass before that “possible mishandling” is specifically defined, and many more before Reality admits that she did indeed print out a document about possible Russian interference in the 2020 presidential election and mailed it to the political news website the Intercept. During that time, she will never have been read her rights.
There has been no attempt here to replicate physically the real setting for this encounter — Parker Lutz’s set is an anonymous, neutral-colored platform — and yet I felt I could see Reality’s house as clearly as if I were watching a film. Thomas Dunn’s lighting, Enver Chakartash’s costumes, and Lee Kinney and Sanae Yamada’s subliminal, gut-clutching sound design summon an acute sense of place and time.
But these elements also conjure the feelings of displacement and of time unhinged that arrive when a space you had thought was yours is occupied and transformed by others. “Is this a room? Is that a room?” the Unknown Man asks, in the line that gives the play its title, as he takes in the layout of the house.
A lot of what is said concerns what is and isn’t in Reality’s house and car. What is in the home includes three licensed guns (one of them pink) and two rescue animals, a dog and a cat, whose well-being is much on Reality’s mind.
There is affable talk of pets, gym regimens and work reassignments, all grounded in tedious, quotidian detail. Little by little, the focus narrows to the nature of Reality’s work as a translator and what she may or may not have done with a certain document a month earlier.
The transcript is rendered not just word for word. It’s also um-for-um, cough-for-cough. (Garrick has sinus problems.) Simpson, in particular, is a virtuoso in capturing precisely the imprecision of everyday speech.
The staging is less literal. Every so often, the three male characters will group themselves closely around Reality. Usually, she appears utterly alone, an impression occasionally underscored by an isolating spotlight. There is one brief, judiciously placed sequence enacted in slow motion.
In a portrait of almost forensic detail, Davis delivers one of the most trenchantly observed performances of the year. You feel viscerally how Reality is always struggling to convey and to hold onto an illusion of normalcy, as if nothing were really wrong with this picture.
But her body betrays her. Her eyes brim, her nose drips, her hands twist into knots, her mouth speaks words at odds with her intentions.
Even more remarkably, without anything like a motive-revealing monologue, we sense we understand why she committed the crime of which she was accused. Or as much as Reality herself does. “I wasn’t trying to be Snowden or anything,” she says, referring to Edward Snowden, a more famous whistle-blower and a man with a far more conscious plan to divulge information.
“I — I just- I guess I didn’t care about, like, myself at that point,” she says, “and just …. Yeah. I guess. Yeah, I screwed up royally.”
All specific references to the document in question, its source and the website to which it was sent are redacted in the transcript. This production provides the sensory equivalent of such redactions.
Whenever they occur, the theater is plunged abruptly into darkness. In these moments, you may feel that, like Reality, you are falling down an endless hole, wherein the reliable laws of gravity have been suspended until further notice.
58 • Bad
Write a review
Write a review
What a pity no stars are not available
What a pity no stars are not available. Customer service is rubbish, staff are disinterested (When you can actually get one to answer the phone!) Emails go unanswered. This company is an absolute disgrace – as can be gathered from the other comments here!
A SCAM COMPANY DO ANSWER E MAILS ,THEN…
A SCAM COMPANY DO ANSWER E MAILS ,THEN SET A COLLECTION AGENCY ON YOU WHEN YOU STOP PAYMENT.THE CONTRACT WAS FOR 2 YEARS BUT ROLLS OVER NOW HAD TO PAY ANOTHER YEAR BUT WILL SEE THEM IN COURT IF THEY HOUND ME ANY MORE MONEY.
It’s worth while noting that debt…
It’s worth while noting that debt collectors are 3rd party to the debt and despite what they may say in the letters, cannot take you to court. If they are unsuccesful in collecting any monies from the alleged ‘debtor’ .. then they will refer the matter back to the company!
meanwhile, continue reporting all issues to action fraud, police etc .. get a reference number from the action fraud team .. and make sure that you cancel all DDs at the bank and give them clear instruction, not to pay any monies to win24!.
take note of my post in 2020 and if you engage in any correspondence [not phone calls] … with the debtor .. ask them to ask win 24 for all the information that is requested in my 2020 post! [win24 won’t do that] .. make it absolutely clear that no monies will be paid until the FULL information has been received by you!.
debt collectors are 3rd party to the debt and cannot take you to court! .. only the company can!
PLEASE AVOID! Wish there were a minus rating. Having got nothing from being a subscriber I cancelled and paid outstanding balance, £25.46. Then I got a letter from a debt collecting agency saying I owed £125.47, which I paid. Two weeks later I had a message on my answerphone saying to contact them an outstanding debt. It appears I still owed £38,85 as my contract was until October. P
Their should be a minus star rating coz…
Their should be a minus star rating coz win 24 would get a very high minus rating from me.
My husband was somehow signed up to this when we realised we cancelled the direct debit last year I have no email for them, no information whatsoever so didn’t even know what company this was my husband received a letter a few months later claiming he owed them over £100
He called the number spoke with them and absolutely no joy so just said he would pay the fee as to stop any bad credit references but they were to cancel the subscription.
I have recently noticed that he had fees being taken out of his account and they were by this win 24 once again so I cancelled again and informed bank to not allow them to take any money or request any direct debits I’ve he has received a letter saying he owes them £39 so I have now emailed the address on the letter and told them i am not paying anything I want the money back they have been taking since last year and am prepared to involve the fraudulent department if they do not give me an acceptable reply.
If u see win 24 on your statement act at once and of you are willingly going to sign up with them i urge you to think carefully and look into them first.
Another letter received today
Another letter received today. I know this is a scam, so I will just say what everyone knows now SCAM SCAM SCAM, SCAM SCAM SCAM, SCAM SCAM SCAM.
Has anyone evey tried to claim there…
Has anyone evey tried to claim there money back from win 24 or water gate like to know so we can
Another victim of these sharks
Another victim of this disgraceful company, the terms and practices are surely unfair and need to be investigated by trading standards.
They completely fail to make you aware of the conditions when signing up, then rely 100% on them with no mercy.
The list of entries is not very impressive, are they failing as few are listed for Feb 2020 and none for Mar, though the main page does show a few for Mar (it is now MAY)
I DO know how I got signed up, a supposed special offer on a survey for which I was paying a bit less than the price on their website (with a fortunately non-working signup!).
And try finding the T&C that they rely on, the only mention I can find is in FAQ 10, Cancel by 15th day of the final month, at no point can I find anything that states the term or the auto renewal
update AVOID AVOID AVOID at all costs…
update AVOID AVOID AVOID at all costs waters and gate have been ringing up and sending letters ,put the phone down and put the letters in the bin,i paid there subscription for two years as I think I agreed to because im a decent human being ,cancelled it when the time was up by letter and email,never had any paperwork or documentation from them, or saw any proof of winners ever , they still haven’t paid me the £100 they promise if you win nothing in the two year period .
They keep keep sending an invoice saying I owe £259 what the hell for is my response ,they had money out of me for two years for nothing even my solicitor has said do not pay a penny more , I fear this is just a big scam and does waters and gate exist how can you keep hounding someone seriously ill.
Shysters! Completely unethical!
Sent my 73 year old mum a letter claiming she owed them two months subscriptions and requesting her bank details. Good luck with that, you shysters, you didn’t even get her name right. She thinks it may be after having placed a catalogue order with JD Williams. Mum’s not senile and not at all interested in competitions, and there’s no way she would have signed up to this unless they used something like an opt-out box which is illegal under GDPR.
I am writing to warn people about win24
I am writing to tell you of my experience of win24.
I have been a customer of win24 for just over a year. I was cold called
and was talked into joining win24 .I have never signed any documents or heard from win24 in the past year,all they do is take
your money. You never get any results. How do win24 customers
know if your money is going on all these lottos .To be a company
you can trust you need to be transparent and win24 are far from it.
I recently tried to cancel my subscription and was sent a bill for
£95.which is a lot of money for someone on benefits.
I wish I never got involved with win24
My story is exactly the same as e…
My story is exactly the same as everyone elses. Out the blue calls from debt collection agency for subscriptions mum didn’t know anything about. Paying through Ambrose Wilson since 2020 and cant cancel till end of year is up on 31st July 2020. Just sent a report to watchdog. I’ll see you in court before you get a penny after the upset you’ve caused my elderly, disabled mum.
One big con my elderly mother was…
One big con my elderly mother was supposed to have signed up with premier man and after looking through statements was paying but has now got a debt letter from a collection company called waters and gate that she now owes them.she has never received any information or paperwork from win24 .after calling them was told she signed a 2 year contract in 2020.and as she never told them to cancel it they carried it on .we asked for paperwork and was told they throw all paperwork away after 2 years.so how does she owe them anything.
She was bullied by waters and gate and has now paid which she can’t
Afford as they kept phoning her.please have anything to do with them.
Avoid this company at all cost
Avoid this company at all cost, cold call you and sign you up, no grace period, braking my rights, you email to cancel and no reply, then you get a letter from waters and gate demanding over £400 for not paying the 3rd year of a 2 year contract, throwing the smallprint at you that you have never seen before, apparently you can only cancel in years so it rolls over and you automatically have to pay. Never won so much as a biro in 3 years, no contact and can’t find any account details.
Having been reassured by a solicitor
Having been reassured by a solicitor, that WIN24 is a scam, I am still being pursued by Waters and Gate. Has anyone investigated Waters and Gate, as I suspect that they may also be involved? Do they really trade at their office or is it just a mailing address? Mrs. L. Clark, who wrote on 28th. January had the same alleged outstanding amount as I did, 111.23! As nobody would enter anyone into a competition without first taking payment, this seems utterly ridiculous. I intend to contact Trading Standards to investigate Waters and Gate.
I don’t even want to give this company…
I don’t even want to give this company one star. My mum had a direct debit set up with JD Williams to enter hundreds of competitions a month , I believe she was paying £12 a month . She tells me she has been paying this since 2020 but had never received any news letter or contracts through from win 24. She rung up JD Williams a few months ago to cancel the direct debit as she wasn’t hearing anything from this company and was not receiving any info. For some reason jd Williams didn’t cancel the direct debit and this was payed up until September 2020 like the other reviews on here. After speaking to JD Williams tonight they win 24 contacted them to say they will take over their own payments and they assumed my mum would of received info before this would of took place which she never , it wasn’t until December when my mum got a letter from win 24 saying they will take over their own payments , and can she update her account details. As she thought this was cancelled months ago (she doesn’t do online banking and did not check statements) I went to win 24’s website to cancel the account on the page options. She received an email saying she would get a reply within 24 hrs , nothing. Then in January she got a call from win 24 saying she owed them money , mum explained everything to them and they started spouting you cannot contact them through the website , they threatened her with a debt company ,she got annoyed and hung up. Tonight she received a call from the debt company mentioned in other reviews .she got into another heated exchange and hung up again. I am a bit relieved after reading these other reviews and will let it run , were all fight them together . My mum is 78 years old and has beat cancer twice , this is stress she does not need .
I received a notice of collection…
I received a notice of collection letter from Waters&Gate telling me they have been told by win24 to collect£281.40 for a debt I know nothing about I am a 72-year-old pensioner I have checked through my bank statement and I have never set up a direct debit with these people
Beware, be very Beware!!
I can only echo the comments of previous reviews. This company is running a fraudulent lottery, and extorts payment from people who have been entered into their scheme by companies such as J D Williams and Simply Be through some extreme small print detail, which asks you to ‘opt out’ of the scheme rather than opt in. It’s interesting to note that neither of these companies have anything to do with Win24 any more.
They, Win24, will press for payment of subscriptions, even when they have been paid in full, by using any number of Debt Collection Agencies, a lot of whom again will have nothing more to do with Win24.
Do Not pay the Debt collectors!! Inform them that you are IN DISPUTE with Win24, and tell Win24 to take the case to court.
Surprise!! Win24 disappear from view.
Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus Review
The Bottom Line
Tiny, speedy Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus keeps a light touch on your system’s resources. It aces our hands-on malware protection test, and can even roll back ransomware activity.
Perfect score in our malware protection test.
Very good antiphishing score.
Light on system resources.
Fast scan, tiny size.
Limited lab test results due to unusual detection techniques.
Missed one unique hand-modified ransomware sample in testing.
In the early days of viruses and other computer malware, antivirus utilities relied on ever-growing signature databases to identify dangerous files. Polymorphic malware foiled signatures, so security companies devised heuristic and behavior-based detection methods. This proliferation of techniques sometimes created very large programs. Rather than expand to catch every new attack instantly, Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus keeps watch on unknown programs until its brain in the cloud comes to a judgment. If it’s thumbs down, the tiny local program wipes out the attacker and reverses its actions. It’s a very unusual system, but testing proves that it does the job, and does it well.
Price-wise, Webroot runs with the pack. Like Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and several others, it costs just under $40 for a one-year subscription. Where a three-license Webroot subscription cost $10 more, the other two ask another $20. Norton’s standalone antivirus doesn’t have a multi-license plan, and one license will run you $49.99. As for McAfee AntiVirus Plus, it costs $59.99 per year, but that subscription gets you unlimited protection for your Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. As always, you may find any of these prices discounted for the first year, sometimes quite deeply.
You can use your Webroot licenses to install antivirus on both PCs and Macs. Some components of Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus (for Mac), in particular the web-based protection system, are identical on both platforms. Overall, the two products offer similar security features, though Webroot doesn’t go quite as overboard with expert features on the Mac.
Webroot’s installer is tiny, less than 4MB, and it installs in a flash. Immediately on installation, it gets busy with a collection of startup tasks, checking off each one as it finishes. Among the listed tasks are: scanning for active malware; analyzing installed applications to reduce warnings and prompts; establishing a system baseline; and optimizing performance for your unique system configuration. Even with these added tasks, the process goes quickly.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
McAfee AntiVirus Plus
F-Secure Internet Security
Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security
ESET NOD32 Antivirus
Panda Dome Essential
Norton AntiVirus Plus
Cylance Smart Antivirus
The product’s appearance hasn’t changed appreciably since my last review. Its green-toned main window features a lighter panel that includes statistics about recent scans and a button to launch an on-demand scan. Even if you never click that button, Webroot makes a full scan during installation and runs a scheduled scan every day. A panel at the right manages access to the rest of this product’s significant collection of security features.
Lab Test Conundrum
As noted, Webroot handles new, unknown programs by letting them run under strict monitoring. It prohibits irreversible actions like sending personal data to the internet, and keeps a journal of reversible actions, all while awaiting a verdict from Webroot’s cloud analysis system. If the program under judgment proves to be nasty, Webroot wipes it out and reverses all its changes.
This system just isn’t compatible with many independent lab tests. Labs like AV-Test Institute and AV-Comparatives expect antivirus programs to act right away on malware they recognize, whether detection occurs using signatures, heuristics, or behavioral analysis. Webroot’s relationship with the labs has been rocky, but two of the four that I follow have recently included Webroot in their testing, with decent results.
Researchers at MRG-Effitas report on two main tests, one specific to banking Trojans and one aiming to cover the full range of malware types. Security programs that don’t earn near-perfect scores simply fail; these are tough tests. Webroot passed the banking Trojans test, unlike more than half the products tested. It earned Level 2 certification in the all-types test. That second score means that while it didn’t immediately prevent all the malware attacks, it remediated them completely within 24 hours. This test lines up perfectly with Webroot’s watch-and-wait system.
SE Labs certifies antivirus products at five levels, AAA, AA, A, B, and C; Webroot earned a B. My contact at Webroot pointed out that the product scored well at its main task of blocking malware execution, but lost points for its handling of such things as targeted attacks. He said he’d be pleased with a different scoring system, but felt that Webroot did well overall.
I use an algorithm to derive an aggregate lab score for products tested by at least two labs. My algorithm maps all results onto a 10-point scale and returns a value from 0 to 10. Webroot’s 7.7 points is decidedly on the low side, but decent considering that it doesn’t truly jibe with common testing methods. It’s certainly better than no test results at all, and it passed both tough tests by MRG-Effitas.
As ever, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and Kaspersky take perfect or near-perfect scores from the labs. Bitdefender’s current aggregate score is 10 points, while Kaspersky, tested by all four labs, has 9.9.
Excellent Malware Protection
For the past few years, Webroot has done very well in my own hands-on malware protection tests, though it handles them differently from most other products. When I downloaded my folder of samples from Dropbox and opened it, Webroot didn’t react immediately, the way many products do. However, the first sample I launched triggered a kind of chain reaction.
Webroot popped up to report that it had identified malware, and offered to remove it. After removal, it asked permission to scan the system, to wipe out any remaining malware. The thought of enduring a full system scan just because of one found threat might alarm you, but it needn’t. I’m not talking the hours-long scan that I measured for Norton, McAfee, Avast, and a few others. A full scan with Webroot takes from five to seven minutes—not long at all.
At the end of that scan, it removed another group of threats, and asked to scan yet again. The second scan blew away all the remaining samples, without disturbing a couple dozen legitimate files residing in the same folder. Once again, Webroot detected 100 percent of the samples and scored 10 of 10 possible points.
Webroot is the first product to eliminate all current samples, from pernicious ransomware to potentially unwanted programs. Previously the top score was 9.3, shared by Norton, McAfee, Cylance Smart Antivirus($5.99 at Cylance), and F-Secure.
The scan did whack a couple of my hand-coded testing tools, but I can’t really blame it. Here you have a program that’s never been seen before by the cloud analysis system, and its purpose is to launch fraudulent URLs. Suspicious much? I restored my tools from quarantine and proceeded with testing.
Of course, all my preselected samples are veritable antiques to Webroot, seen and known for months. To get a look at protection against the latest threats, I start with a feed of URLs that researchers at MRG-Effitas recently found to be hosting malware. Typically, these are no more than a couple days old. I launch each and note whether the antivirus prevents browser access to the dangerous URL, eliminates the file upon download, or completely fails to notice the malware download.
Of more than 100 validated dangerous URLs, Webroot blocked 51 percent in the browser and wiped out the malware payload of another 29 percent. With 80 percent protection overall, it’s in the lower half of scores for this test, but that’s in part because it doesn’t bring every resource to examining downloaded files. Let me explain.
Just to see what would happen, I launched one of the downloaded malware samples. That’s not how this test normally works, but I’m glad I checked. Webroot detected the sample and launched a scan that eliminated most of the downloaded malware. The result would have been 97 percent protection, right up there with McAfee and Trend Micro. Only Norton and Bitdefender, with 99 percent, have done better.
I asked my Webroot contact why the scan at download time seemed less effective than the later scan. He explained that for efficiency the scan doesn’t focus as strongly on files that were merely downloaded but not yet executed. That’s because any such file will get serious scrutiny before it launches. And indeed, launching just one of those files set off the scan that wiped out all but a few of them.
Phishing Protection Success
There’s nothing intrinsically dangerous about a phishing website—no drive-by downloads, malicious scripts, or other active threats, just an inviting imitation of a secure website. You’re perfectly safe, unless you haplessly enter your login credentials on one of these fraudulent sites. If you do fall for the fraud, though, you’ve just given away full access to your bank site, shopping site, even dating site. It’s not good.
These fraudulent sites get shut down and blacklisted quickly, but the perpetrators simply pop up another fake and start trolling for victims. To test an antivirus product’s phishing protection, I try to include phishing URLs that are so new there’s been no time to analyze and blacklist them. I launch each URL in a browser protected by the product in question, and simultaneously in browsers relying on the phishing protection built into Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. I discard any that fail to load in one or more of the browsers, and any that don’t precisely fit the definition of phishing. Once I have 100 or so data points, I run the numbers.
Webroot did a very good job detecting and fending off fraudulent sites, significantly better than when last tested. It blocked 97 percent of the verified frauds, and outperformed all three of the browsers. A few others have done better recently, in particular Kaspersky Anti-Virus and McAfee with 100 percent protection, but Webroot joins the growing cluster of phishing protectors with scores near the top.
For tips on averting this kind of attack, please read my feature on how to avoid phishing scams.
The journal and rollback system that Webroot uses can even roll back the effects of encrypting ransomware, though the company warns that limitations, such as available drive space, can impact this ability. In truth, it would be very unusual for a ransomware attack to get past all the other layers of protection. Webroot wiped out all my ransomware samples, most by recognizing them as known bad programs, a few by noticing bad behavior after launch. I had to scramble to figure out how to test its ransomware protection.
My coding skills are rusty; there’s no way I could write a never-before-seen encrypting ransomware specimen, even if I wanted to. For testing, I wrote a simple-minded ransomware simulator that encrypts all text files in the document folder using reversible XOR encryption. I had performed this test during my last review, meaning that Webroot would recognize and eliminate the program on launch. To avert that effect, I modified the program, changing its name, length, and a few non-executable bytes.
The newly disguised program ran unhindered, and I verified that it did encrypt the target files. In Webroot’s Active Processes list, I found the program running in Monitored mode, meaning Webroot was keeping detailed track of its activity. Rather than waiting for a decision from Webroot’s cloud-based brain, I cut to the chase. In the processes list I blocked the program, confirmed immediate termination, and launched a scan. The scan removed the file and reversed its actions, restoring the encrypted files, just as I had hoped.
Webroot’s monitoring system works with all malware types. A similar feature in Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security($29.95/Year at Trend Micro Small Business) focuses just on ransomware. At the first sign of ransomware behavior, it backs up important files. If its behavioral detection verifies a ransomware attack, it terminates the malware and restores the backed-up files.
That little experiment with a hand-modified version of my file encryptor test inspired me to try testing with a hand-modified version of Cerber, a rather nasty real-world ransomware attack. The results were rather different. This time, the modified attack ran to completion, encrypting my documents and displaying its ransom demand. What happened?
When I shared my experience, my contact at Webroot explained that Cerber uses an unusual technique called “process hollowing,” which lets its code run inside an existing trusted process. Webroot has a defense against this technique in the works, but it won’t be released until next year. He admitted that in a case like this, the “Patient Zero” victim of the first attack could lose files, but Webroot should learn from the attack and protect other users. Indeed, when I rolled back the virtual machine to a clean state and repeated the test, Webroot wiped out the modified ransomware immediately.
For many security companies, the addition of a personal firewall is one of the features that distinguishes the security suite from the standalone antivirus. Webroot’s antivirus includes a firewall, but it doesn’t work quite the same as most. It makes no attempt to put your system’s ports in stealth mode, leaving that task to the built-in Windows Firewall. That’s fine; the built-in does a good job.
Webroot’s firewall doesn’t attempt to fend off network-based exploits. When I hit the test system with about 30 exploits generated by the CORE Impact penetration tool, it didn’t react. Since the test system is fully patched, the exploits also didn’t have any opportunity to do penetrate and damage it.
Webroot classifies programs as good, bad, or unknown. Like Symantec Norton AntiVirus Basic, it leaves the good ones alone, eliminates the bad ones, and monitors the unknowns. As mentioned earlier, if a monitored unknown program tries a non-reversible action like sending your credit card details overseas, Webroot steps in to stop it.
By default, the firewall ups its game when Webroot detects an active infection, which causes the main window to turn from green to dramatic red. In this mode, any network traffic by unknown programs requires your permission, but normal activities like Web browsing proceed uninterrupted.
If you just love those endless firewall popups, you can tweak the firewall’s settings to enable such old-school behavior. Now you get a warning every time an untrusted program tries Internet access. You can even go a step farther, setting it to block all access for processes that aren’t already trusted.
In testing, even though I left the firewall at its default settings, I found that it sometimes popped up to ask how to handle untrusted programs. It even asked me about Opera’s auto-updater. These notifications came with a two-minute timeout, meaning that Webroot would allow access eventually if I did not respond.
Of course, firewall protection means bubkes if a malware coder can reach in and turn it off. The more processes and services a security tool contains, the more chances there are for chicanery. With just two processes and one service, and no settings exposed in the Registry, Webroot is buttoned up tight. My every attempt to halt its protection resulted in an ignominious “Access Denied” message.
For Experts Only
Like most modern antivirus utilities, Webroot works fine if you set it and forget it. It comes configured for maximum protection, and if you don’t make any changes, it runs a scan every day. What more could you want? In truth, if you dig a bit, you’ll find a ton of features and settings. If you don’t dig, no problem!
Clicking the settings gear next to Identity Protection on the main window brings up a page with controls that toggle what it calls Phishing Shield and Identity Shield. The rest of the page displays a laundry list of just what these shields involve. They aim to fend off a wide variety of typical malware attacks including man-in-the-middle, browser process modification, and keylogging. It automatically chooses applications for this protection; on my test system it chose Internet Explorer and Google Updater. You can also add to the list manually.
A set of antimalware tools lets you repair damage left behind after malware remediation, like malware-modified desktop background, screensaver, or system policies. You can also use it to quickly reboot into Safe Mode, or to perform an instant reboot. Those with the necessary skills can manually remove malware, along with its associated Registry data. Even if you claim no tech skills yourself, you can run a removal script created by Webroot tech support.
I mentioned the Active Processes list earlier, which shows all running processes and flags those that are under monitoring by Webroot. If you really want to see what Webroot is doing, you can open the Reports page and check its current activity, or history. You probably won’t want to read the available scan log or threat log, but tech support may ask for them. And Webroot tech support is available 24/7, with call centers in Australia, Ireland, and the US.
There are features for experts, and features for professionals. SafeStart Sandbox is among the latter. If you’re a trained antivirus researcher, you can use it to launch a suspect program under detailed limitations that you specify. If you’re not, just leave it alone. I don’t even use that one myself.
Small Is Beautiful
If you open the folder containing a typical antivirus or security suite, you’ll find an amazing number of files and folders. When I checked at one point, Norton’s program folder contained over 1,250 files and 130 folders, and occupied 702MB of disk space. Bitdefender’s files and folders didn’t take quite as much space on disk, but they ran to more than 4,500 files and 200 folders. These aren’t even the biggest!
As for Webroot, it’s ridiculously small. Open its folder and you find exactly one file, WRSA.exe, with a size less than 4MB. That’s tiny! As noted, Task Manager reveals just two Webroot processes. Norton also packs its protection into two processes, while others require more. During one test, I found 16 active processes for McAfee, for example. Webroot relies on just one Windows service, but some others run to more than a dozen.
Just because a product uses more of processes or services doesn’t necessarily mean it’s eating up more of your system resources. It’s conceivable that a program with just one resource-hungry process could overload your system. Conceivable, but unlikely. By every measure I’ve found, Webroot remains the smallest antivirus around.
Still a Winner
Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus doesn’t jibe with the testing methods used by many of the independent testing labs, though it’s beginning to pick up traction with a couple of them. In my own hands-on testing, it earned a perfect score for malware protection and a very good antiphishing score. Its score against malware-hosting URLs was so-so, but when we triggered a more intense scan that score soared. And we demonstrated empirically that under the right circumstances, it can reverse ransomware damage. It remains an antivirus Editors’ Choice, sure to please those who want good things in a small package.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus and Bitdefender Antivirus Plus routinely earn perfect or near-perfect scores from the antivirus testing labs, and both come with a panoply of useful bonus features. McAfee AntiVirus Plus doesn’t always score as high in lab tests or our own tests, but it’s a bargain, offering protection for every Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS device in your household. These three tools round out our collection of Editors’ Choice antivirus products, each with its own special merits.
Best Binary Options Broker 2020!
Ideal for beginners!
Free Demo Account + Free Trading Education!
Get a Sign-up Bonus:
2nd place in the ranking!