Webroot Internet Security Essentials consists of a Sophos virus scanner, a Privacyware firewall and online backup based on Webroot’s servers. But it lacks parental controls, antispam and browser-based antiphishing, and struggled with its core task: malware identification.

Webroot Internet Security Essentials identified only 89.6 percent of AV-Test’s malware zoo. It also disappointed in heuristic tests, detecting just 39.8 percent. The suite did a good job of identifying and removing rootkits, but was mediocre at adware identification, with a score of 90.4 percent.

The licensed firewall uses an old-school approach: it starts out in a training mode for seven days, after which it will prompt you about any new software it notices. Webroot Internet Security Essentials’s backup feature offers 2GB of free online storage, but we encountered server problems. The suite also had difficulty keeping Windows Security Center notified; we got false alerts about a ‘missing firewall’ and the suite being out of date.

While the Webroot Internet Security Essentials interface looks good and has a clear presentation, some aspects need tweaking. For one thing, locating activity logs is a challenge. This is an important oversight, since you may go searching for those logs to learn the filenames and locations of quarantined items – alert pop-ups don’t list either of these.