Webroot Spy Sweeper Review

Webroot Spy Sweeper, Protection vs. Performance

Submitted by notepad on Thu, 2007-01-18 22:23.
Author's Product Rating:
Ease of Use: 
The lowest price: 26.95$
You can buy it at RegNow for that price.
The most powerful detection engine out there uncovers threats others miss. Easy to use and user friendly graphic interface. Includes Anti Virus protection by Sophos. Important rootkit protection. No incompatibilities with other anti-spyware or anti-virus tools such as Microsoft Windows Defender, NOD32 and Kaspersky anti-virus. Very regular Definition updates.
Graphic User Interface is quite heavy and will use allot of system resources. Full system sweep takes too much time even in fast systems. Resident protection is quite heavy even when standard out-of-box configuration is in place. Scan really slow down the fastest pc.

To make this review i installed spy sweeper on two systems, an average 1.8Ghz Intel Pentium 4 with 512Mb of RAM and a 80Gb 7200rpm HD, And my latest acquisition, an Overclocked Intel Extreme Edition Quad Core with 4Gb of RAM and 4 RAID0 150Gb 10000rpm W.Digital Raptor-X HDD's that is definitively one of the fastest system on market.
My first impressions of Spy Sweeper were great. Easy to setup and install an easier to use.

As I surfed websites on both systems with "out of the box" options, something become clear. It really works! In 5 minutes it blocked many threats and malicious codes and all sorts of websites. Unfortunately it also detected a few false positives such as forums login cookies and opposed to login to my webmail account as it decided the login procedure had malicious code in it.

Another issue becomes clear when you use an older system the 1.8Ghz Pentium 4 is an average PC you find ant your neighbors house but to spy sweeper its not enough. Pages took longer to open as it analyzed them and the overall system experience was clearly slower. Nothing that will keep you from whatever you do on an average system but, if you enjoy your speed you will notice a downgrade.

This made me curious so i decided to check the amount of memory used. I was stunned when i saw spysweeper.exe using over 25Mb of system RAM just running on resident mode in factory default settings. For you to have an idea the NOD32 anti-virus system on the highest protection settings spends only about 7Mb and 4Mb on factory defaults.

These 25Mb of memory used by spy sweeper can be compared to 15~20Mb Winamp uses, or to 30Mb Windows media player uses when playing your musics or videos. When performing a full system sweep the used memory goes up to 40 and can reach 60Mb depending on the files it is analyzing, slowing down definitively any kind of system in a way you can barely work with it.

On the protection side it is the best most effective protection engine i have ever seen, it misses nothing. It has a useful rootkit protection, registry protection, cookie protection and above all you never get the annoying message most anti spyware give you that they cannot remove a thereat because the file/program is opened. The GUI is easy to use, on the main page it shows a resume of definitions tells you and lets you update (although it automatic).

All options about sweeps and protection are very well organized and easy to use. And for all you conspiracy theorists out there it has no conflicts with Windows Defender (Anti-Spyware), NOD32 Anti-Virus and Kaspersky Anti-Virus, you can even run all of those at the same time (if you don't know what to do with all your memory and speed...).

I should also wanr you that a full scan took me 1 hour and 26 minutes to completely scan the 1.8Ghz Pentium 4 with 80GB HDD, and over 2 hours to scan the 600GB RAID0 array of Raptors on my new Quad-core.


A good general protection solution with integrated (but optional) anti-virus protection. Easy to setup and use even to the most unexperienced users and regular definition updates make this a very good solution. However it is somewhat demanding on system resources and requires allot of memory for a 24/7 protection. So I would recommend it for medium/high pc's and never for a more modest PC.