Webroot Review: Is Webroot A Good Antivirus Software?
Webroot is a forward-thinking product, an antivirus with a unique approach to dealing with online threats. The download-installation procedure is effortless and straightforward. Webroot doesn’t require an up-to-date CPU to work: even a decades-old device will be able to handle it. However, when it comes to the user interface, Webroot leaves a lot to be desired.
In third-party lab tests, this software achieved above-average results, which means your device will be well-protected from common threats. The pricing policy is very flexible and offers a choice between three packages. You can protect up to ten devices with the Internet Security Complete Family Pack. Add fast scans, cloud-based processing, and the ability to run it alongside another antivirus, and you’ll get a reliable product.
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.
Pros and Cons of Webroot
Webroot is one of those companies that prefer to make their own way instead of following others. They have been on the market for more than two decades and have HQs in several capitals across the world. Webroot’s very first product was a trace removal agent (called WW – the Window Washer).
In 2008 the company entered the consumer’s market with Internet Security Essentials. Critics and users gave it the highest praise, and, in many ways, Secure Anywhere is a better version of that software.
In 2019 (on the 26th of March, to be exact), Carbonite, Inc. acquired the company for 618.5 million US dollars. Thanks to this deal, Webroot’s specialists now have more time, support, and resources to perfect their antivirus solutions.
- Cloud-based malware detection and elimination
- Works with outdated devices and operating systems
- Fully supports Win XP 32 and Mac OS 10.7 lion
- Features an ever-growing malware database
- Compatible with the four major operating systems
- Competitive pricing (especially for long-term subscriptions)
|Money back Guarantee||70 days|
|Manual Virus Scanning|
|USB Virus Scan|
|Registry Startup Scan|
|Auto Virus Scanning|
|Ease of use||4/5|
- Users looking for an inexpensive, yet effective antivirus solution
- Owners of old computers and mobile devices
- People looking for an alternative to most antivirus products
Reliability And Security
Webroot is a cloud-based antivirus: it only requires up to 15MB of free space on the user’s hard drive. Unlike most antivirus solutions, Webroot doesn’t use a signature baseline. Instead, it looks for behavioral patterns and metadata. Unknown apps (the ones that aren’t in the database) get “suspended” and monitored continuously.
To put it simply, Webroot blocks potentially dangerous files and lets the cloud computer decide what to do with them. Then, once it thoroughly examines these files, the cloud computer “tells” the software on the user’s computer what it should do with these unknown files. That’s precisely why there is almost no system impact: no processing is done on the user’s OS.
Because of this unusual approach, there aren’t many lab test results that would prove Webroot’s effectiveness, and most of them are inconsistent. SE Labs, one of the most respected testers, gave Webroot a “B” rating, which is very low (C is the lowest rating). While protection against malware was well above average, targeted attacks turned out to be a big problem for this product.
MRG-Effitas is another big name among third-party testers. They run two kinds of tests: General and Trojans. These two are quite heavy on any antivirus, and many fail at both tests. With a Level 2 award, Webroot eliminated every single threat (it couldn’t stop the threats immediately, but did get rid of them eventually). In the company’s real-world test, Webroot achieved a 100% level of success. And, it stopped malware from stealing logins/passwords.
As to AV-Comparative and AV-Test, the latest Webroot testing results they offer date back to 2012-2013. Webroot representatives claim that the methods these labs apply are not tailored in a way to properly evaluate Webroot’s efficiency.
Our team of experts also ran several tests to check Webroot’s performance against malware, ransomware, and phishing. They deliberately planted malware samples on the OS, and the antivirus eliminated every single one. To handle these threats, it requires two full scans (don’t worry, they don’t take long).
Strangely enough, Webroot didn’t do anything to stop our ransomware simulator. The simulator took over thousands of files on the OS, and the antivirus stayed idle. In a different test, Webroot still took its time with ransomware, but did, eventually, flag most of the files as corrupted and even healed them. As a result, ransomware protection is the most inconsistent part of this software.
Phishing is another area where Webroot showed excellent results. Overall, it blocked 97% of the phishing websites, which puts it very close to McAfee and Kaspersky with their perfect 100%.
As mentioned earlier, this antivirus doesn’t have a significant impact on the OS and the hardware. In fact, it is one of the least demanding products on the market. That’s because the software doesn’t need the user’s computer/mobile device to process potential threats: the Cloud Computer does all the work. During our Webroot antivirus review, it only added two processes in the task manager, with up to 100MB of RAM usage.
The strain on the CPU and the HDD is also minimal. And, Webroot is fully compatible with decades-old operating systems (Win XP and Mac OS 10.7). Overall, this product’s performance is well above average, and you won’t ever have to worry about how it’s going to affect your OS. Even with a full scan running in the background, the user won’t feel that the system is getting slower.
Ease Of Use
Installation is easy: all you have to do is pick a subscription plan, download the installer, and follow on-screen instructions. Webroot doesn’t require the user to share any credit card information (only an email). Once you go through registration, the antivirus will automatically download onto your hard drive. Click on the setup file, and wait for it to install the software and run a scan.
After the simple installation process, a user will have to deal with not-so-user-friendly Webroot’s interface. The main flaw of the dashboard is the abundance of menus. For an experienced user, this won’t be a problem, as they will figure everything out in a couple of minutes. But, for a regular person, all those menus, buttons, and icons might be a bit too much.
There is a lot of text next to each menu, and, most of the time, it’s a bit hard to find a setting/option you need. That’s a pity because some of Webroot’s features are “hidden,” like the Custom Scans.
But, it’s not all bad: the antivirus works flawlessly on its own, meaning you won’t have to change anything to optimize its performance. All you have to worry about is the green check on the right: if it’s there, that means your OS is protected.
Right below it, Webroot shows information about the latest scan, its duration, the next scheduled scan, and the number of removed threats. Info on the subscription plan (or, rather, how long it will last) is located in the lower corner.
To the right of this window, the users can switch Real-time Shield, Web Shield, and Firewall on and off. For a regular user, that’s more than enough information to start using this antivirus.
To run a quick scan, click the “Scan My Computer Button.” Or, you can just right-click on this software’s icon in the tray and launch a scan that way. This scan only checks the RAM; the Full scan goes through all the hard drives. The Deep scan is very thorough and looks for rootkits and Trojans.
Customs scans are also available. For some reason, they aren’t on the same menu as the other scan types. To launch Custom scans, go PC Security – Settings – Custom Scan.
For this Webroot review, we ran all possible scans on our office computer to see how they perform in real-world tests. The scan takes only 50 seconds on average to complete (even though the company claims it doesn’t need more than 20 seconds).
The Deep scan is also swift and finishes in 50-80 seconds; the Full scan requires three minutes. The detection rate is very high, and Webroot flagged every single one of our planted threats. False alarms were also raised, but that’s a common thing among similar products. The users are free to check every single file/folder/app on the OS by right-clicking on it.
Available Packages And Pricing
Let us take a look at the available subscription plans before discussing their pros and cons.
- SecureAnywhere AntiVirus: $29.9 ($2.50 per month; protection for one PC/Mac, one year)
- Internet Security Plus: $44.99 ($3.75 per month; protection for three devices, one year)
- Internet Security Complete: $59.99 ($5.00 per month; protection for five devices +25GB Storage, one year)
- Internet Security Complete Family Pack: $159.99 ($13.3 per month; protection for ten devices +25GB Storage, one year)
Every single package is available with a 14-day free trial. Furthermore, there’s a Money-Back Guarantee that lasts for 70 days. It means you can get a refund at any time within that period. Compared to the regular 30-day refund promise, Webroot offers a very generous deal.
SecureAnywhere AntiVirus is the entry-level plan, and it packs a decent set of features. True, the price-tag is a bit too expensive for comfort, but, again, it’s a solid pick. Important note: With AntiVirus, you’ll be able to protect a Windows or Mac OS; Android and iOS aren’t available. Only up to three devices can be protected for three years – that’s the most you can get out of this plan.
Here is a list of all the AntiVirus features:
- Advanced Protection For Win/Mac
- Ransomware Protection
- Anti-Phishing (Real-Time)
- Firewall + Network Connection Monitor
Internet Security Plus. In many ways, IS Plus is the best package: it comes with everything the previous plan has to offer and more. The most significant difference – Internet Security Plus is fully compatible with Smartphones/other mobile devices. Five devices for three years – that’s what you can count on with this tier. Protection for logins and passwords is a nice bonus.
Internet Security Complete. If you need 25GB of storage on the company’s secure servers, IS Complete is your best bet. Furthermore, it is excellent at eliminating traces of online activity. The same five devices/three years deal is still on the table. The only difference between this package and the Family Pack is that with the latter, you get protection for ten devices.
Email is probably the most outdated form of support, but it is still available with Webroot. You’ll get an answer within 3-4 hours, which is quite alright. Email support is at your disposal 24/7, and our team was surprised by how professional and helpful the agents are.
The official website also offers a live chat, which is much faster and easier. However, they only provide help for pre-sale questions. Phone calls are probably the golden middle: you get to talk to a real person, and response time is minimal.
Important note: customer support can be accessed through the company’s accounts on Twitter and Facebook as well.
Alternatively, you can try to fix problems on your own by checking out the knowledge base. The system will ask you to type in 3-5 words before coming up with a search result. The dedicated forum is an excellent addition to support and the knowledge base. Finally, there’s an extensive FAQ page where the users will find answers to the most frequently asked questions. Summing up, Webroot’s customer support is one of its strongest suits.