Webroot Antivirus Expert Review

Webroot
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5 /5
Rating
$ 29.99 yearly /mo
Starting Price
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Table of Contents

    Our Verdict

    Webroot is an inexpensive and easy-to-use solution to your antivirus needs. Its innovative use of cloud technology to provide real-time checks on malware makes it one of the more unique offerings in the market. 

    Pros And Cons

    Pros

    • Real-time monitoring of malware
    • Low impact on overall system performance
    • Very fast scanning times
    • Takes up a tiny amount of space on your hard drive
    • Several advanced features
    • Extra identity protection features for gamers
    • Fast removal of threats

    Cons

    • Independent testing has shown mixed to negative results
    • The interface can take a little getting used to

    Webroot Overview

    Webroot was founded back in 1997 as a simple web tracer removal tool and has since grown into a market leader in cyber resilience. It was also one of the first antivirus companies to utilize cloud computing and artificial intelligence to stop zero-day threats in real time.

    Its core offering is its Webroot SecureAnywhere package, which is known for its excellent malware detection, high-speed scans, and ransomware protection. It also offers comprehensive business packages and is the trusted antivirus partner of companies like Hitachi, Cisco, and Fujitsu. 

    Today we’ll be focusing on its home computing antivirus options, and if they are the right choice for you.

    How to set it up and uninstall

    You have the option of downloading a 14-day free trial before switching to the paid version, but the install process is the same whichever version your choose. Here are all the installation steps:

    1. Enter your email address on the download page (If you went straight for the paid version, this will be covered in the purchase process)
    2. Download the Webroot software
    3. The installer should run automatically
    4. You’ll be given an activation code via the website, you’ll have to copy and paste this into the installer
    5. The installation should now complete automatically and you’ll be able to access all of its features

    You can remove the antivirus by using the uninstaller that comes with the program, but the easiest way is to use the control panel on your computer:

    1. Click the start button
    2. Choose settings/apps/apps and features
    3. Select the name and click uninstall

    Features

    Webroot has managed to pack a lot into its home protection packages. As well as standard malware and phishing protection, you’ll also get secure browsing, identity theft controls, and incredibly fast scans. As this antivirus is fully cloud-based, it claims it's able to complete scans 60 times faster than its competitors.

    General

    Money-back guarantee

    Yes, 70-day no questions asked, money-back guarantee

    Free version

    No, there’s only a 14-day free trial

    Platform

    Windows, macOS, iOS, Android

    Parental controls

    No

    Email protection

    Emails aren’t scanned, but malicious links and attachments are blocked if you click on them

    Chat

    No, but there is a community forum

    VPN services

    Yes, but this is sold separately

    Smartphone optimizer

    Yes

    USD virus scans

    No

    Automated virus scans

    Yes

    Game mode

    Yes

    Safe browser

    Yes

    Passive mode

    Yes

    Threat Protection

    Anti-spyware

    Yes

    Anti-worm

    Yes

    Anti-trojan

    Yes

    Anti-rootkit

    Yes

    Anti-phishing

    Yes

    Antispam

    No

    Adware protection

    No

    Scanning

    Webroot has an incredibly fast scanning tool. It claims a basic malicious software scan can be completed in as little as 20 seconds, but this was closer to two minutes in testing. This is still much faster than its competitors, though. This is because the antivirus software is completely cloud-based. Webroot takes the heavy lifting away from your computer, putting less of a strain on your processing power.

    You can also choose to scan individual files, complete a full system scan, and schedule scans tailored to your preferences. However, the antiivirus notes full scans are rarely necessary as its real-time threat detection is always on the lookout for attacks, but the option is there for peace of mind.

    Pricing

    Plan

    Price - Annually

    Number of devices

    Top features

    SecureAnywhere

    1 device: $39.99

    3 devices: $49.99

    1 or 3

    Real-time anti-phishing, webcam protection, fast antivirus scans.

    Internet Security Plus

    3 devices: $59.99

    5 devices: $69.99

    3 or 5

    All of the features of SecureAnywhere, plus protection for additional devices.

    In addition, you can secure tablets and smartphones.

    Internet security complete

    $79.99

    5

    All of the features of SecureAnywhere and Security Plus.

    In addition, you’ll get 25GB of online storage and traces of your online activity will be erased.

    Antivirus for gamers

    $39.99

    1

    Background system optimizer for fast performance, additional protection against loss of personal data and webcam protection.

    Discount

    Most packages will offer at least a $10 discount for your first year when you sign up. Discounts increase by an additional $10 for every extra year you add to your package. The only plan where no discounts are applied at all is the Internet Security Plus option for five devices. This will always be charged at full price.

    Privacy and security

    Privacy

    Perhaps the best privacy feature is the real-time threat assessments. It's constantly being updated with the latest developments in malware and phishing attacks and is always on the lookout for them when you’re browsing.

    Its firewall will scan websites to detect any data theft attempts if you land on a malicious page. It also scores near the top when it comes to anti-phishing protection, and blocks 99% of attempts in testing.

    If you’re looking for additional privacy, Webroot also offers a virtual private network option. This can be bolted on to one of your existing packages at a discount, or you can purchase it separately.

    Security

    The most up to date independent testing carried out was done in June 2019 by AV-Test Product Review. It tested against 2428 samples of malware and found it was able to detect it 98.98% of the time.

    However, when tested against zero-day malware attacks and email threats, Webroot was only 66.5% effective. This highlights one of its weaknesses; with no email scanning options, you’re reliant on real-time detection that might not always be completely up to date.

    Performance and protection

    Being cloud-based, you’ll barely notice Webroot running on your device at all, and it takes up only a very small amount of processing power. It was rated a 5/6 by the AV-Test Product Review in the performance category in June 2019, giving you comfort that this antivirus isn’t going to slow down your machine.

    Malware protection

    In testing, the software has decent malware detection. As noted above, though, it has struggled in testing to identify malware on zero-day attacks, and attacks via email. 

    Ransomware protection

    Webroot can sometimes be overzealous in its ransomware detection. In the same June testing carried out by AV-Test Product Review, it picked up 33 false positives of legitimate programs as ransomware. Other products usually have false positives down in the single digits.

    Phishing detection

    Users benefit from a good web shield filtering system that will mark certain websites as safe or dangerous. It’s an intuitive tool and you’ll get information on types of attacks like man-in-the-browser, key-logging, and screen-grabbing.

    Spyware detection

    It can be difficult to find information on the effectiveness of this antivirus’ spyware as no independent testing has been done. Spyware detection is covered by the same real-time detection methods that are used for other types of malware.

    Firewall protection

    Webroot’s firewall not only protects you against external threats; it also monitors outgoing traffic to pick up any potential data theft attempts.

    Lab test results

    Given the cloud-based nature of what’s on offer, independent testing organizations have found it difficult to perform detailed testing. It has only been tested once by AV-Test Product Review in June 2019 and once by SE Labs in early 2020.

    AV-Test gave an overall protection score of just 2 out of 6, given Webroots failure to identify zero-day malware threats, managing to detect just 66% in a sample of 307. The SE review was much more generous, giving it an A rating overall and an 85% accuracy level.

    Until more independent testing is done, the jury is still out. These scores may not even be representative of its true potential, as many testers struggle to test the unique, real-time nature of the antivirus.

    Ease of use and interface

    If you’re unfamiliar with antivirus programs, it might take you a little longer to get to grips with Webroot’s interface. This is due to the number of options and choices that are available. You can schedule scans, review the different types of attacks that have been blocked, activate a safe start sandbox feature that lets you run suspicious programs safely and initiate a general health check of your system.

    You can also access the customer service team directly from the interface, which is useful as it may take you a little while to get to grips with everything.

    Customer support

    Before contacting any issues, you can find answers to common problems and FAQs via the website. There are also a number of help videos and how-to guides to help you out. These include screenshots and make solutions obvious. You can also check the community forum, which currently has more than 50,000 topics posted for discussion.

    If you’re still unable to resolve your issue, you can raise a support ticket directly with the customer service team. You can do this via the website, or directly from your Webroot interface.