Webroot review: summary
Webroot is ranked #19 out of 28 antivirus software.
Webroot does not participate in the independent tests by AV-Test or AV-Comparatives, which is not a good sign. Without these tests, we have no verifiable benchmark to compare it against.
The last time Webroot participated in AV-test trials was in June 2019; it scored only 2 out of 6 points in the protection test. It was in last place out of 20 brands, far behind Norton, Bitdefender, McAfee, and Kaspersky.
On the upside, Webroot includes all essential security features, such as a firewall, password manager (from LastPass), identity theft protection, and an anti-tracker.
- Malware protection: Unknown. Webroot does not participate in the anti-malware protection tests by the independent test labs.
- Speed impact: Unknown. Webroot does not participate in the performance tests by the independent test labs.
- Features: 90%. Webroot offers anti-malware, anti-phishing, a firewall, a password manager, a VPN, and more. It only lacks parental controls.
- Price: 70%. Webroot’s price is not the best. Both Norton and Kaspersky offer more features at a considerably lower price.
If you want the best protection, we recommend Norton.
|Ranking||#19 of 28|
|Operating systems||Windows, macOS, Android|
Below, we have compared Webroot Internet Security Plus to Norton 360 Standard. These are the most affordable products at each brand, which allow you to protect at least 1 PC with the core features:
- Anti-phishing (web protection)
- Password manager
- Unlimited VPN (no data limit)
Test score comparison
We’ve compared the 10 most recent test scores of all antivirus brands. The tests were performed by AV-Test, the German anti-malware test lab. They use three factors:
- Protection (1-6): Antivirus protection against malware attacks.
- Performance (1-6): System slowdown caused by the antivirus.
- Usability (1-6): Frequency of false alarms and disruptions.
We used their results, and this formula, to calculate the final score:
Final Score = 60% Protection + 20% Performance + 20% Usability.
Brands not listed in the table haven’t participated in the analysis by AV-Test. This is usually not a good sign, because most reputable brands partake in the test. Sadly, Panda, Webroot, ESET, and Sophos don’t.
We’ve compared the prices of the top antivirus products for Windows. To make it a fair comparison, we looked at what it would cost us, to protect a Windows PC with the following essential features:
- Anti-phishing (web protection)
- Password manager
- Unlimited VPN (no data limit)
A few notes:
- Some brands are missing features, lowering their value for money.
- Prices are second-year prices in the USA, without first-year discounts.
- Prices are rounded up for readability (e.g., $99.99 becomes $100).
Brands have different prices outside the USA. See those on their website.
We’ve compared the user reviews of all antivirus brands. We’ve used the scores and review count of TrustPilot, a leading user review platform. However, take these results with a grain of salt, as some brands actively attempt to increase their ratings.
Personally, we are wary of exceptionally high scores. Especially those by brands such as TotalAV, known for aggressive marketing and sales tactics.
We consider scores between 4.0 and 4.5 good and realistic. Higher scores are dubious, and lower scores indicate that the brand might have a poor product or customer service. McAfee’s scores, for instance, are worrying.
In the table below are the core products with their features and prices.
The prices shown are from the USA. However, most brands have different prices (and currencies) in other regions. So visit the brand’s website to see the price in your country.
Webroot antivirus review
Webroot relies on cloud technology and heuristic methods to identify threats, minimizing CPU and disk space usage. It provides various scan options such as Deep, Full, Quick, and customizable scans, along with scheduling features. In our experiment with 1,200 malware specimens, Webroot identified 94.3% of them, a respectable outcome but not on par with leading antivirus programs, like Norton or Bitdefender.
In a ransomware test, it stopped only 7 out of 23 threats. Despite these shortcomings, Webroot’s scans are notably faster, averaging 6 minutes. However, users may experience slower internet connections during full system scans.
Webroot includes a subscription to LastPass, a highly-regarded password manager utilizing 256-bit AES encryption and a zero-knowledge framework. LastPass is user-friendly, replete with features, and compatible with numerous browsers.
Premium functionalities encompass two-factor authentication (2FA), secure password sharing, password security audits, account recovery options, emergency access, and dark web surveillance. LastPass also offers a TOTP generator and various secure account recovery alternatives.
As part of Webroot’s internet security package, LastPass renders Webroot’s plans an appealing choice for those seeking a combined antivirus and password manager solution.
Webroot presents multiple shields for online safety, such as Web Threat Shield, Phishing Shield, and Identity Shield. Although these shields deliver reasonable protection against web attacks and phishing sites, they fall short compared to rivals like Norton and Avira.
Webroot’s Identity Shield can identify webcam use but has difficulties blocking keylogging and browser data mining tools.
Webroot’s firewall offered by Webroot is basic, only overseeing outbound traffic and missing advanced options like ARP and DNS spoofing protection. It depends on Windows Defender for inbound traffic, and unlike other antivirus solutions, it doesn’t grant users the ability to manage application rules.
Webroot’s system optimizer is a rudimentary tool that eliminates browser cookies and clutter to safeguard privacy and enhance CPU performance. Nevertheless, it doesn’t provide the user control seen in competitors such as Bitdefender and TotalAV, which furnish more choices like startup managers and duplicate file finders.
Webroot’s sandbox function permits advanced users to examine applications in a protected environment, giving diverse permission settings. However, numerous applications in the sandbox crashed due to permission alterations. While a valuable addition for proficient users, novices may not benefit from it.
Webroot offers a variety of additional features such as manual threat elimination, system analysis, active process management, protection data, and identity theft safeguards. Although many of these features cater to advanced users, the system analysis tools and identity theft safeguards prove beneficial for all.
Webroot’s alliance with Allstate delivers exceptional identity theft protection for US users. However, we find some features unnecessary and suggest that Wi-Fi security and a game enhancer would be more valuable additions.
Installation and user experience
Webroot is simple to install, configure, and use, making it an ideal choice for those seeking an uncomplicated antivirus solution. The interface is neat, straightforward, and user-friendly, providing effortless access to various features.
The process of scheduling scans is intuitive, and Webroot offers options to customize scan schedules further. The browser-based control panel for managing devices and passwords is well-organized and easy to navigate. Although Webroot offers fewer features than Norton, its simplicity makes it suitable for novices.
In conclusion, Webroot is a well-designed, easy-to-install antivirus solution for Windows and Mac computers. It offers a convenient scan scheduling menu and a helpful dashboard. While its simplicity appeals to beginners, we believe Webroot could enhance its offerings with more useful features and improvements.
The Android version of Webroot Mobile Security includes an antivirus scanner and a secure web browser, while the iOS version only has a secure browser. In comparison to Norton’s comprehensive offerings, Webroot’s app is quite minimal.
When tested on a Samsung Galaxy, the app detected 93% of test malware files and took less than a minute to scan the phone. However, the app’s features are limited, with recent updates removing useful tools like an app scanner and lost device protection.
Webroot’s customer support options include telephone support, FAQs, user guides, email support, a community forum, and Best Buy Geek Squad support (for Best Buy customers only).
Unfortunately, phone support is available in limited regions and languages. Although Webroot’s phone support, online community, and email support are generally helpful, their support system is not as internationally accessible or varied as competitors like Bitdefender.
Webroot’s antivirus scanner is fast and lightweight but less effective than competing products. It detected 94.3% of malware samples during testing and had some performance issues. In comparison, Bitdefender and Norton detected 100% of malware in tests.
Webroot has some extra features, such as a password manager, system optimizer, and a separately sold VPN, but these features are not as impressive as those offered by other brands.
How do we test antivirus software?
The best antivirus software offer virus protection, identity theft protection, and privacy protection for Windows, macOS, and Android. Some also offer security features for iOS and Linus.
To evaluate which providers are worth your money, we run 11 tests:
> Test 1: Anti-malware protection test
We analyze antivirus software’s capability to detect and eliminate known and unknown malware, using heuristic analysis for behavior monitoring.
We conduct in-house tests and analyze those from labs like AV-Test, SE Labs, and AV-Comparatives to determine the best malware protection.
Malware includes adware, keyloggers, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, trojans, viruses, worms, and more. Other cyber threats, usually not classified as malware, are (zero-day) exploits, hacks, identity theft, phishing attacks, scams, and social engineering.
> Test 2: False positives test
False positives occur when antivirus software misidentifies legitimate software, files, or websites as malicious. We rely on AV-Test’s large-scale analysis of false positives in its usability test to guide our evaluations.
> Test 3: System performance test
We measure the CPU load during antivirus software system scans and consider AV-Test’s performance results on the slowdown caused by antivirus software when opening websites and handling software.
> Test 4: Firewall test
We evaluate two-way firewalls that filter incoming and outgoing data and allow users to set rules to regulate data streams. We use the ShieldsUP! test to determine if the antivirus software blocks all ports.
> Test 5: Password manager test
We assess password managers’ ability to create, store, and autofill secure passwords, as well as additional features like two-factor authentication and biometric login.
> Test 6: Virtual Private Network (VPN) test
We evaluate built-in VPNs on their security, privacy, speed, compatibility with streaming services, unlimited data access, and support for peer-to-peer networks and torrent clients.
> Test 7: Parental control test
We examine parental control features, such as screen time rules, website/app blocking, and real-world location tracking. We test these features on a device and attempt to circumvent them, checking if the activity is accurately reported in the parental control admin.
> Test 8: Anti-phishing protection test
We evaluate antivirus browser extensions that block phishing sites by installing them and attempting to visit dangerous URLs.
> Test 9: Ransomware protection test
We assess security suites’ ability to prevent data encryption through exploit prevention and behavioral detection during ransomware attacks.
> Test 10: Bonus features test
We test any additional cybersecurity tools such as:
- Ad Blocker
- Dark web monitoring (identity protection)
- Email protection
- File encryption
- File shredder
- Gaming mode
- Microphone protection
- PC maintenance features
- Secure browser (hardened browser to protect your online banking)
- Secure cloud storage (cloud backup)
- Spam filter
- Startup optimizer
- Tune up tools
- Virtual keyboard
- Webcam protection
> Test 11: Operating system and multiple devices test
Operating system and multiple devices: We test antivirus software on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices and award bonus points for unlimited device protection.
> Test 12: Ownership and reputation test
We analyze the trustworthiness of antivirus companies, especially concerning customer data. We read press releases, news articles, and privacy policies to determine their reputation.
Sources and tools
Below are the sources and tools we’ve used to test the antivirus software:
- Apple Platform Security
- AV-Comparatives Consumer
- AV-Test Android
- AV-Test macOS
- AV-Test Windows
- GRC Firewall Test
- Microsoft Defender
- SpeedTest VPN
- Trustpilot Security Software
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the most frequently asked questions.
Is Webroot a good antivirus program?
How do we test antivirus software?
We analyze the protection from malware, the performance impact on a PC, and the number of false positives. On top of that, we test various security features such as the firewall, password manager, VPN, and more.
Author: Tibor Moes
Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab
Tibor is a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur. He has tested security software since 2014.
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