Is Webroot A Good Antivirus?
Webroot is an internet security company founded in Colorado (Boulder, to be exact) more than two decades ago – in 1997. Right now, the HQ is located in Broomfield, Colorado, with operations in several US cities and worldwide (the UK, Australia, and other countries). In early 2019, Webroot was acquired by a tech giant, Open Text, for ~620 million dollars.
As for the self-titled antivirus, it’s one of the obvious leaders in the field. By 2020, Webroot became a top-three antivirus product in the US with a huge customer base. It isn’t one of those “conservative” programs that rely on outdated techniques to fight online threats. Instead, it takes a different, innovative approach, and has already proven to be trust-worthy. With an extremely low system impact and above-average third-party test results, it’s a safe bet. Moreover, at the moment you can save up to $50 on the special deal.
The pricing policy is user-oriented and offers several packages to choose from. Since Webroot doesn’t require a powerful system for analysis, you can (and should) use it in combination with a more traditional product. Together, they’ll create a double layer of defense against malware and other threats. Considering the 50% off deal, it is more than the right choice. On top of that, Webroot can work alongside Kaspersky, Bitdefender, or any other traditional antivirus. In this Webroot review, we’ll talk about its pros, cons, different plans, features, performance, and lab test results. We’ll also discuss customer support, come up with a verdict, and answer the most popular user questions.
Pros and Cons
- Below-average system impact (on CPU and RAM)
- Fast, thorough, easy-to-launch scans
- Lots of useful extras (even with basic plans)
- A rather affordable price-tag
- Excellent malicious URL blocking
- Includes a reliable Sandbox
- Long-term plans offer 50% discounts
- Works on Win, Mac, iOS, and Android
- Not very consistent in third-party lab tests
- The user interface is a bit too crowded
- Single-device packages are expensive
- Ransomware protection leaves a lot to be desire
- A cloud-based approach to dealing with malware
- Compatible with older hardware and software (OS)
- Runs flawlessly on Windows XP (32-bit) and Mac OS Lion (10.7)
- Has access to an impressive malware database
- Fully supports major desktop and mobile operating systems
- Reasonably-priced (if you commit to long-term subscriptions)
Webroot Features: How Does Webroot SecureAnywhere Work?
Let’s start our Webroot antivirus review by taking a closer look at what this product offers to potential clients. We’ll talk about the available malware protection and scanning features, the web shield, firewall, and other tools/services. In turn, the Sandbox is a highly useful extra, just like the ID theft protection module (Identity Shield).
Sadly, the company doesn’t provide a VPN, optimization for your Smartphone, or a safe browser (for online banking). Still, the list of security features is quite decent and mostly on par with the rivals.
Webroot malware protection is a forward-thinking methods to detect and eliminate malware/other threats. Instead of relying on the so-called “signature baseline,” it uses metadata and behavioral patterns to predict and prevent outside attacks. The program constantly refers to an ever-growing database. Any files/apps that aren’t included there get “special treatment”: Webroot blocks them and sends all the necessary information to the cloud computer.
The local software doesn’t do any “heavy lifting” – it’s the cloud computer’s job. Webroot keeps the potentially dangerous files blocked and follows instructions from the main data center. Once the evaluation is complete, Webroot deletes these files or lets them go, depending on what the final decision is. It is a rather unique but effective approach. If you run this antivirus in combination with a program that uses the blacklist approach, you’ll be well-protected.
On the downside, this brand-new method hasn’t yet been fully adopted by third-party labs, as it’s somewhat hard to test. Read more about that in the “Lab Test Results” section further down this Webroot SecureAnywhere review.
You’ll find a “Scan My Computer” button on the main dashboard of the user interface. Click on it to run a quick scan. Alternatively, you can right-click Webroot’s icon in the system tray and select “Scan” from there. It is important: the Quick scan only checks the RAM, nothing else. You should run a Full scan if you want Webroot to inspect all the hard drives and SSDs in your computer.
Then, there’s the Deep scan. As the name suggests, this is the most comprehensive scan, and it checks Windows system files and rootkits, among other things. Users that prefer to do everything on their own should take advantage of the custom scan. It allows picking the exact apps, files, and folders that should be examined. To launch it, Go to PC Security – Settings; you’ll find the custom scan there.
During our review, we were impressed by how fast the scans are. The Quick scan takes 50 seconds tops; “Full” needs 50-80 seconds (on average). Finally, the Deep scan will be over in less than three minutes. Webroot is known for raising more false flags than you’d expect, but it is a regular thing for a cloud-based antivirus product. The good news is – it detected all the planted malicious samples.
Web Shield is a browser extension that protects against suspicious files. We’re talking about phishing websites that trick the users and make them believe they can be trusted. A phishing URL is usually a fake copy of a trusted resource (like PayPal, or any other online bank) that steals credentials (logins/passwords) when we enter them. Phishing attacks are one of the biggest threats in 2020 and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Webroot’s Web Shield takes a couple of seconds to install and is active 24/7, keeping tabs on suspicious websites. It is fully compatible with Google’s Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft’s default Explorer and Edge Chromium. On the Mac’s it’s only available on Chrome. The bad news is – we weren’t at all pleased by its effectiveness.
For the sake of this review, our experts deliberately used malicious URL samples to check their performance, and this extension did not block most of them. We’re not saying that it’s useless, and you should still install it for added security. However, compared to Kaspersky’s Protection and Avast’s Online Security, it leaves a lot to be desired.
Firewall and Identity Shield
Webroot’s personal firewall is a bit different from what you’re used to. It doesn’t focus on concealing the vulnerable network ports – that’s the built-in firewall’s job. Instead, it flags apps as unknown, good, and bad. And if an unknown app attempts to share your credit card info with a third party, the Webroot firewall stops that immediately. Next, it turns the “Red mode” on and blocks any ingoing and outgoing traffic.
It’s up to the user to decide which programs are harmless and which ones should continue to be blocked. There will still be some pop-up messages here and there with the firewall warning you of suspicious behavior. But, overall, it’s a more “laid back” type of a tool. The most advanced network exploits try to turn off the firewall and attack the system. We had zero luck with switching it off during our review and saw an “Access Denied” message more than once.
If you click “Settings” next to ID protection on the main dashboard, you’ll get access to the Privacy Shield and Identity Shield modules. They protect against keylogging, unauthorized browser modifications, and man-in-the-middle attacks. The Identity Shield mostly works in the background and fends off phishing attacks. During our test, it proved to be highly effective against sites that steal user data and sites that implement malicious scripts.
In simple words, a “Sandbox” is a safe environment where you can test-run potentially dangerous files/apps. It is a relatively new feature/service and isn’t available with many leading antivirus products. Partially, that’s because the Sandbox is considered an expert-level tool, not something for regular users. However, it’s quite easy to use: all you’ll have to do is choose a file/program you want to check and set specific parameters.
You can allow these files/apps to access the Internet, the user resources, network shares, and more. Next, Webroot will launch them, and you’ll be able to see exactly what they are trying to do. However, the logs aren’t very user-friendly, and you’ll need some expertise to make sense of them. In any case, Webroot won’t let any harm come to your device or operating system.
SafeStart is available with SecureAnywhere Endpoint Protection – an enterprise product. An expert in the field usually administrates business networks; so, he/she won’t have any problems with this sandbox module.
Next up, we have the password manager. It’s not available with the entry-level SecureAnywhere Antivirus package – only with Security Plus and Security Complete. It’s important to say that LastPass, not the Webroot engineers, create this manager. This company is one of the biggest names in the industry, and you can rest assured that your credentials will stay safe.
With the Password Manager, you’ll get access to the Password Vault. It keeps all of your logins and passwords in one spot and syncs them so that it’s easier for you to use them when necessary. And you won’t have to re-enter anything twice when switching from one device to another. Just save your password on a computer, and it will become available on the Smartphone or tablet as well.
Auto-fill is also a part of the package. Once you save a payment, card number, or password, it will be stored in the vault for future access. Overall, Webroot’s Password Manager is an excellent tool.
With Internet Security Complete, the most expensive tier, you’ll get 25GB of secure cloud storage. It can (and should) be used to keep your most private and sensitive data safe and your rights reserved. Webcam Protection, in contrast, is available even with the most basic plan. It will block any apps that try to get unauthorized access to the web camera. Hackers use webcam hijacking tools to take over the camera and watch the user without his/her knowledge.
Then there’s the System Optimizer. Mostly, this is a maintenance and privacy protection service. It does a great job of erasing temp files, browser history, and cookies to free up space and safeguard your privacy. Plus, by getting rid of unnecessary files, it speeds up overall OS performance.
Lab Test Results
As mentioned, Webroot’s unique approach to dealing with malware is hard to evaluate. That’s why there aren’t many third-party lab test results available. MRG-Effitas is one of the few companies that did test this antivirus. Overall, Webroot earned a Level 2 award, which is a near-perfect performance. It detected and stopped every single planted threat.
In contrast, SE Labs gave it a low rating (B) because of the software’s poor protection against targeted attacks. In June 2019, AV-Test did a thorough check of Webroot. It earned a 5.5/6 score in Performance, 4/6 in Usability, and 2/6 in Protection. AV-Comparatives haven’t tested SecureAnywhere in a long time. The latest results date back to 2012 (three stars in Performance, and two stars in Malware Removal).
Our experts also ran a series of tests, mainly to check how it performed against ransomware and phishing. Sadly, Webroot’s ransomware protection leaves a lot to be desired. We ran a planted simulator, and the antivirus did nothing to stop it from corrupting the system. We reran the same test, and while the results were better, they still lagged behind the leaders. Overall, it blocked 97% of the phishing websites, which puts it very close to McAfee and Kaspersky with their perfect 100%. So it really makes Webroot enter to top 10 antiviruses ever.
Webroot is cloud-based antivirus software, which relies on the data center’s computer to do all the heavy calculations. That’s why it has a very low system impact. It only needs around 130MB of RAM to work in the background and adds two processes in the task manager. The CPU’s impact is also extremely low, and you’ll be able to run Webroot on outdated machines.
It runs flawlessly on Windows XP (released in 2001) and Mac OS 10.7 (saw the light of day in 2011). Even when you launch a full or a deep scan, you won’t feel the extra load on the system resources. The support systems also include Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 (32-bit and 64-bit editions). Macs are supported from 10.7 to 10.15 (Catalina). Android 6 and iOS 10 or newer are fully compatible as well.
As for the minimum requirements, a computer running on an Intel Pentium/Celeron or an AMD Athlon/Duron/K6 should be fine. On the hard drive, Webroot only takes 10MB of space. For the browser extension, you’ll need Goggle 11, Explorer 11, Firefox 3.6, Safari 5, and Opera 11 or higher.
|Internet Security Plus||$44.99/year|
|Internet Security Complete||$59.99/year|
|AntiVirus for Gamers||$29.99/year|
Free and Trial Version
Sadly, there’s no free edition of the Webroot antivirus. The good news is – you can always get a free trial and test-run the product on your system. All major packages offer 14-day free trials, which is quite generous. You’ll get the full versions without any limitations. Once the trial period runs out, you won’t be automatically charged for a new month’s subscription.
It’s very easy to get the test period: go to the official website, select For Home – Free Trials – and pick the one you like. The website will ask you to share some personal info (name, email address, and current residence, but not credit card number). On top of that, the company offers a 70-day money-back guarantee: it allows you to request a refund and get all of your money back.
Webroot for Home
With Webroot, you get to choose one of the four available home packages. This antivirus has a user-oriented pricing policy and is a highly affordable product. You can purchase protection for one, two, or three years. As always, users may earn (or, rather, save) some money if they commit for the long run. Let’s take a closer look at each plan and see which ones suit you best.
Webroot AntiVirus is the entry-level Webroot package, and it’s priced accordingly. Here’s what AntiVirus has to offer:
- Advanced anti-malware protection for desktop computers;
- 24/7 data and identity protection;
- Anti-ransomware protection;
- Anti-phishing and malicious URL blocking;
- A powerful firewall that monitors the network and keeps it safe
- Fast, thorough scans.
As you can see, the basic Webroot package is quite feature-packed and will protect you from threats. Sadly, it doesn’t cover mobile devices – iOS and Android. For that, you’ll have to upgrade to a higher tier. Other than that, users on a budget can rely on AntiVirus to safeguard their systems and devices from outside attacks. Here are the prices:
- Protection for 1 device: $29.99
- Protection for 3 devices: $37.49
Webroot Internet Security Plus
If Smartphone protection is important to you, we recommend taking a closer look at Internet Security Plus. It includes all the features and modules from the entry-level package plus fully supports mobile devices. And, it packs the company’s Password Manager. Here are the prices:
- Protection for 3 devices: $44.99
- Protection for 5 devices: $69.99
If you’re working from an office or don’t need an antivirus for your tablet/phone, Security Plus might not be the most reasonable pick. But, you will get to save some money if you pick this package over AntiVirus.
Webroot Internet Security Complete is the most expensive and the most feature-packed plan. Internet Security Complete adds two important extras to what Security Plus has to offer. First of all, with it, you’ll get 25GB of secure storage. That means your precious data will stay safe, and you’ll be able to access it anywhere. Secondly, ISC will protect your identity, which is very relevant in 2020.
Hackers these days are using advanced malware to monitor browsing habits and steal credentials by recording keystrokes. ID Protection will block keyloggers, spyware, and targeted attacks, keeping your logins/passwords safe. Security Complete covers five devices simultaneously and costs 59.99 US dollars per year, which is more than fair.
Webroot AntiVirus for Gamers
In a way, this is like an AntiVirus Plus package. Yes, it builds on the least expensive tier but adds a couple of useful features. As the name suggests, this plan aims at making a gamer’s experience as smooth as possible. It eliminates any pop-ups or lags while you’re playing. You won’t have to switch to a “Gamer’s Mode” – everything happens automatically.
Moreover, the system impact is lower than ever, while the antivirus is still effective against malware attacks. It includes a system optimizer that gets rid of browser history, caches, and cookies. AntiVirus for gamers won’t cost you much: $29.99 dollars for the standard 1-device-one-year subscription. It’s not a particularly impressive plan, but can be useful for an avid gamer.
Webroot for Business
Endpoint Protection. It isn’t just a regular antivirus, but rather a security suite. It includes web filtering, anti-malware modules, protection against phishing, ransomware, and more. Here are some of the solutions/tools you’ll get:
- Contextual threat intelligence;
- Fast, thorough scans;
- Cloud-based controls (console)
- RMM, PSA & BI integrations;
- Evasion Shield (protection against file-based attacks and malicious scripts);
- Enhanced automation; scalability.
Endpoint Protection is available for 150 US dollars per year. And, we highly recommend taking advantage of the 60-day free trial.
DNS Protection. This is an anticipatory module: it blocks network attacks before they can harm the system. Mostly, it focuses on phishing and ransomware – one of the biggest threats for businesses in 2020. By redirecting all traffic through a cloud-based DNS security solution, it ensures the safety of your data. This module can’t be bought on its own. Instead, it becomes available with a free trial as an addition, an extra layer for Endpoint protection.
Security Awareness Training. As the name suggests, this is an education process. It helps the staff learn more about cyber threats and how to handle them. SAT teaches how to avoid phishing attacks, how to spot suspicious activity, report potential threats, and more. Similar to DNS Protection, the SAT is only available With Endpoint Protection.
Carbonite Endpoint. Backup protection is essential for mobile businesses, and that’s exactly what Carbonite Endpoint is all about. Multi-device protection, enterprise-grade backup, and remote access are all a part of the deal. It also provides cloud-to-cloud backups for Microsoft’s 365.
Webroot WiFi Security
Webroot WiFi Security is a standalone product – a Virtual Private Network – that will turn you into a digital shadow. It is available for all major platforms, both desktop and mobile. It will ensure security when you work, browse the web, share sensitive files, and do online banking. Wi-Fi Security follows the zero-logs protocol, meaning it doesn’t log any user activity and doesn’t share it with third parties.
Hackers, targeted ads, internet service providers, and even government agencies are all known to spy. And you don’t want anybody to see your private photos or financial data while you’re online. Here are some of the features that you’ll get with this VPN:
- A secure connection;
- Stable internet speed;
- Ease of use – the VPN is one click away;
- Multi-device support;
- Auto-connect on unsecured networks (like public Wi-Fi);
- Safe banking/shopping.
With Wi-Fi security, you can choose one of the following packages:
- Protection for three devices: $39.99
- Protection for five devices: $59.99
- Wi-Fi Security + Internet Security Plus: $69.98
Webroot fully supports iOS and Android – the most popular online platforms. You can download the apps on the App Store and Google Play, respectively. Both products are 100% free and don’t have any limitations. The mobile editions will protect you while you’re browsing, banking, and shopping.
Compared to rivaling antivirus programs, Webroot mobile apps hold their own and do an excellent job keeping the users safe. We highly recommend installing them on your mobile device even if you’re not planning on purchasing any of the Webroot SecureAnywhere packages. Here’s a list of the standout features:
- Secure browsing (anti-phishing and ID protection; URL filtering);
- Mobile threat protection (blocks mobile-exclusive malware before it can damage the OS);
- Lost/stolen phone location (allows the user to find and block a lost/stolen device. You can lock and wipe an Android phone remotely);
- Automatic scans (the Android app automatically scans the drive, new apps, and updates);
- Low impact (doesn’t have a high impact on system resources or the battery).
On the official Webroot SecureAnywhere website, you’ll be welcomed by a live chat – the fastest means of communication with tech support. Sadly, it only covers pre-sale questions, but can still be quite useful. For everything else, you should use the email support system. During our antivirus review, we were pleased to learn that it takes less than three hours for the staff to respond. Fans of social media can get a hold of the support agents on Facebook and Twitter.
Phone calls are also available: go to Contact Us on the website, and find several phone numbers. On the same page, you’ll see different menus – Home/Home Office, Business, Threat Intelligence, and Offices. Choose one depending on the product(s) you’re using and the kind of help you’re looking for. If you prefer to fix problems on your own, check the User Guides and the Blog on the Resources page.
There are also useful how-to videos and an extensive FAQ section with answers to the most popular questions. The FAQ is divided into three parts – Windows PC, Mac Computers, Android, and iOS. Overall, customer support deserves our praise and does an amazing job of helping out its clients using Webroot.
Webroot Antivirus FAQ
As a standalone antivirus, Webroot is a reliable choice. It can run along with a more traditional program, making your system almost impenetrable. It is equally decent as a home product and a business solution. In third-party lab tests, Webroot performs on par with the leaders. The bottom line is – if you’re looking for a forward-thinking, low-impact, capable, and affordable antivirus, Webroot might be an excellent pick for you.
The 14-day free trial, 70-day money-back guarantee, free mobile editions, and protection for up to five devices are even more reasons to consider it.