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(Last updated on September 5th, 2020)

McAfee or Webroot, which is better for your protection needs? Read this comprehensive, data-driven comparison to make a smart decision.

In this ultimate guide, you’ll see what’s included in the security suites offered by McAfee and Webroot, as well as how both software compare to each other in terms of malware protection, system impact, user interface, cost, and popularity.

Do you know the AV-Test institute registers over 350,000 new malware samples every day? It is hard to imagine a digital life without a reliable antivirus software suite.

Antivirus software is an important tool that protects your data, privacy, and identity from a range of dangerous malware threats, like viruses, worms, exploits, ransomware, Trojans, etc. (all collectively called malware).

And if you’re wondering what malware can do, it can corrupt/slow down your system, steal your sensitive details, breach your privacy, drain your bank account, and more.

According to experts, it is dangerous to think that you don’t need a security program. Even if you only visit well-known sites, avoid shady links, download from trusted sources, you still playing with danger if don’t have antivirus protection on your computer.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Now that you know why antivirus software is important, let’s start the detailed comparison between McAfee and Webroot.

Important Note

Best Antivirus Suite for 2020

(All the best security products examined)

Editors' Choice Award Winner 

Overall Score: 9.9/10

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During the past few months, we examined and reviewed over 50 antivirus suites from the biggest names in cybersecurity. We did this so you can confidently choose the best antivirus software to protect yourself and those you love.

Overall, Bitdefender is our #1 antivirus software for 2020, because of its excellent, flawless performance in all the recent independent lab evaluations we considered, particularly those conducted by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.

Right now, we think that Bitdefender Total Security 2020 (currently at 60% off) is the best antivirus package available in the market. Apart from providing excellent anti-malware protection, it offers all the advanced premium features and utilities that must be there in a high-end package -- and best of all, it offers excellent value for money. You can protect up to five devices (PCs, Macs, or smartphones) with just one subscription.

If you need protection for more than five devices, we highly recommend Bitdefender Family Pack 2020. It will cover all the internet-capable devices in your household with the Total Security suite, so your family will be protected no matter what goes wrong.

First, let’s look at the security suites both companies offer.

McAfee Security Suites
McAfee Total Protection (Windows & Mac)
McAfee LiveSafe (Windows and Mac)
Webroot Security Suites 
Webroot Antivirus (Windows & Mac)
Webroot Internet Security Plus (Windows & Mac)
Webroot Internet Security Complete (Windows & Mac)

If you don’t have time to read this whole comparison and want the answer straight away, check out the graphic below and also read our short verdict to make a decision.

McAfee vs Webroot Infographic

Short Verdict

Overall, McAfee is a better option than Webroot. McAfee’s products come with a more comprehensive feature-set and put a minimal impact on system performance. Also, McAfee is cheaper than Webroot, especially if you want to cover multiple devices.

Our recommendations: If you want to get the highest level of security and performance, there's no better choice than Bitdefender, which protects over 500 million devices worldwide.

We have reviewed, ranked, and rated all the best antivirus software products out there, and we think that Bitdefender Total Security 2020 (currently at 50% off) is the best antivirus package you can buy right now. You can protect up to five devices (PCs, Macs, or smartphones) with just a single subscription of this suite.

If you need protection for more than five devices, Bitdefender Family Pack 2020 is the best option for you.

Looking for Mac-specific protection? Check out Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac for complete peace of mind.

Now, let’s begin the detailed comparison.

What’s Included in McAfee’s Antivirus Suites?

Back in the day, McAfee – like other antivirus companies — used to offer a progressively stronger range of antivirus suites, which included McAfee Antivirus Plus and McAfee Internet Security.

These days, the company offers two security suites (McAfee Total Protection and McAfee LiveSafe) on its official website.

McAfee Total Protection is the company’s most popular and best-selling antivirus package. It includes almost all the premium protection-related features/tools that are found in most high-end security packages.

Beside excellent protection against all kinds of malware threats (including ransomware, spyware, viruses, worms, Trojans, rootkits), it offers an advanced two-way firewall (proactively guards your network against hijacking attempts), a file shredder (lets you securely delete your confidential files so no one can recover them), a File Lock feature (helps you create encrypted drives on your computer where you can store your sensitive files), and a Vulnerability Scanner (checks for vulneraries that hackers can potentially exploit).

A parental control module (helps control what sites your children can visit, how much time they can spend online, etc.), a Network Manager (protects you WiFi network against malicious attempts and intruders), and an anti-spam filter (blocks junk/phishing emails) are also part of the “Total Protection” suite.

For online protection, McAfee offers a browser extension, called WebAdvisor. It blocks malicious websites, protects you on social media, and automatically scans every file you download from the internet.

The great thing about this suite is that it lets you protect up to 10 Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS devices (in any combination) with just one license.

McAfee also offers the Virus Protection Pledge with the “Total Security” suite if you subscribe for its auto-renewal service. The promise is that in the event of malware infection, a McAfee expert will remotely access your computer to remove malware or give you a full refund.

Another suite that the company offers is McAfee LiveSafe. It includes everything jammed into the “Total Protection” package, plus 1GB of secure cloud storage.

Note: Both McAfee Total Protection and McAfee LiveSafe are compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices.

Features Included in McAfee Security Suites

What’s Included in Webroot’s Antivirus Suite?

The company’s entry-level premium antivirus package is called Webroot Antivirus (compatible with both Windows and Mac platforms). Besides providing excellent protection against all kinds of malware threats, the package offers a Network Connection Monitor (keeps an eye on your WiFi network), an advanced firewall, and webcam protection.

Protection against malicious/phishing websites that try to steal your sensitive financial data is also incorporated into the suite.

Another level up is the more advanced Webroot Internet Security Plus. It offers everything included in the entry-level suite, plus an advanced password manager (encrypts all usernames, passwords, and credit card details stored on your computer) and protection for tablets/smartphones.

Next up is Webroot Internet Security Complete. It includes everything found in the “Plus” suite, plus a System Optimizer (improves system performance and erases browsing activity) and an automatic backup utility (comes with 25 GB of secure online storage).

Note that all Webroot security suites are compatible with Windows and Mac platforms.

Webroot Antivirus Suites

All Webroot security packages come at different price points depending on the number of devices you want to protect. (I will cover the pricing information later in this guide.)

McAfee vs Webroot: Which Software Provides Better Malware Protection?

Malware protection component (also called detection engine) is the most important part of a security suite. After all, it is the component that protects you against viruses, spyware, ransomware, rootkits, worms, and other threats (all collectively called ‘malware’).

To see which of the two product is better in terms of malware protection, I will see the most recent lab tests conducted by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives – two well-known and respected independent security laboratories.

AV-Test’s most recent two-round examinations were conducted in July and August 2018. Participating products were tested against 275 samples of zero-day malware and 19,474 samples of widespread malware.

McAfee was one of the few antivirus products that received the highest 6 out 6 rating in the examination, due to its flawless 100% detection rate against both types of malware samples during both rounds of testing.

McAfee's protection test result when conducted on Windows 10 by AV-Test on Jul-Aug 2018

Webroot didn’t participate in the AV-Test’s most evaluations.

The experts at AV-Comparatives conduct a range of tests to see how well a security product identifies and prevents against malware-infected files/URLs, but the two main tests are Real-World Protection Test and Malware Protection Test.

The most recent Real-World Protection Test report published by AV-Comparatives includes combined results of all the tests conducted between February and June 2018.

McAfee received the highest ADVANCED+ award because of its near-perfect 99.6% protection rate and low false positives’ count.

***False positive is counted when a security product falsely identifies a clean file or URL sample as malware-infected.

AV-Comparatives real-world protection test awards - February to June 2018

In the most recent Malware Protection Test — which was held in March 2018 — McAfee blocked 99.95% malicious samples with 10 false detections. It received the second-best ADVANCED award in this test.

AV-Comparatives malware protection test awards - March 2018

On the other hand, Webroot’s performance is unknown as it no longer participates in the AV-Comparatives tests, too.

Overall, McAfee is our pick in this category as it offers excellent protection against all sorts of malware threats.

Winner: McAfee

McAfee vs Webroot: Which Software Puts Less Impact on System?

Another important point of comparison between both software is the impact they put on system performance.

Antivirus software, like other computer programs, needs some percentage of system resources to do their job, which means your computer performance (or computer speed) may suffer if your security product is resource-intensive.

I will once again look at the most recent independent lab tests to see how much impact both products put on computer performance.

AV-Test’s examination measures the average impact a security product puts on computer performance while carrying out everyday computer tasks, such as visiting popular websites, downloading/installing applications, launching applications, copying files, and more. The impact of each security product is measured in terms of the slowdown it caused on a standard and a high-end PC.

McAfee was among the few products that received the highest 6/6 rating from the AV-Test experts in this test.

McAfee's performance test result when conducted on Windows 10 by AV-Test on Jul-Aug 2018

The experts at AV-Comparatives also conduct a similar study, called Performance Test. They execute few common computer operations and assign an impact score (the lower, the better) to each participating product depending on the negative impact exerted during the test.

In the most recent Performance Test, which was held in April 2018, McAfee received the highest ADVANCED+ award from the experts, due to its impressively low impact score of 6.9.

AV-Comparatives performance test awards - April 2018

Webroot, on the other hand, did not participate in any of the mentioned lab tests.

McAfee is our pick in this category as it received perfect results in the independent performance tests.

Winner: McAfee

McAfee vs Webroot: Which Software Offers Better User Experience?

First, let’s delve into the McAfee’s interface.

Recently, McAfee’s interface, which used to slightly old-fashioned and complicated, has gone through a major facelift. The newly released interface is simple, light, and bright – in colors of light blue, white, and grey.

Along the top is a horizontal menu with five modules, namely Home, PC Security, Identity, Privacy, and Account. Quick links for Settings, Support, Alerts, and Tips are also available on the right side of the bar.

Home, which is the default view, tells you your protection status and has buttons for running different types of scans. At the bottom, you’ll find either 2 or 4 tiles to do different things, like setting up the True Key Identity Manager, clearing your browser cookies and more.

PC Security, Identity, and Privacy tabs contain relevant features and their settings. Accounts window contains information about your subscription plan.

McAfee interface as seen on Windows 10

Now, let’s go over the Webroot’s interface.

At first glance, Webroot’s interface seems crowded and complicated. The amount of information available on the main screen may overwhelm you, it is by far the busiest antivirus program interface I have come across.

A prominent, rectangular-shaped section shows your protection status, along with information about when the last scan took place and when the next scan is scheduled to run. A button to launch a quick scan is also available in the section.

Below the section is a button that takes to the Webroot Community where you can learn more about the product.

On the left side, you will find different modules arranged in a vertical manner. Each module contains relevant features/tools.

Clicking the Advanced Settings button, which is placed at the top-right corner of the interface, takes you to a page with all the advanced options.

Webroot User Interface as seen on Windows 10

Overall, McAfee offers a better and more intuitive user experience than Webroot.

Winner: McAfee

McAfee vs Webroot: Which Software is Less Expensive?

McAfee ProductsRegular PriceDiscounted Price
McAfee Total Protection (1 Device)$79.99/yearCheck here
McAfee Total Protection (5 Device)$99.99/yearCheck here
McAfee Total Protection (10 Device)$119.99/yearCheck here
Webroot ProductsRegular Price
Webroot Antivirus$39.99/year
Webroot Internet Security Plus$59.99/year
Webroot Internet Security Complete$79.99/year
Webroot Business Products$150.00/year

McAfee’s security products are slightly cheaper than Webroot’s.

Winner: McAfee

McAfee vs Webroot: Which Software is More Popular?

Now, let’s see which software is more popular among the antivirus community.

Statista is an independent company that regularly reports on the market share held by leading anti-malware (or antivirus) products. According to their most recent report, which was released in August 2018, McAfee is third on the list of top antivirus products (sorted by market share captured) with 11.73% market share. Webroot, on the other hand, takes the seventh spot with close to 7% market share.

Statista's anti-malware market share report as of August 2018

OPSWAT also provides insights and updates on the market share held by leading antivirus products. Their findings, which were was updated in September 2018, were more or less the same as Statista’s.

OPSWAT Anti-virus Market Share Report (September 2018)

It is clear that McAfee is more popular than Webroot.

Winner: McAfee

Final Thoughts

Both McAfee and Webroot offer a range of antivirus suites to match your protection needs.

Independent lab tests prove that McAfee offers near-perfect malware protection with minimal impact on system performance. On the other hand, Webroot’s performance is unknown as it no longer participates in the independently conducted examinations. Also, McAfee offers more security-related features and utility tools in its security products than Webroot.

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Overall Score: 9.9/10

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Editors Choice Award Winner

Our recommendations: After reviewing 50 antivirus suites from some of the biggest names in the cybersecurity realm, we believe that Bitdefender Total Security 2020 (currently at 60% off) is the best antivirus suite for 2020 in terms of value for money. You protect up to five devices (PCs, Macs, and smartphones) with a single license of this suite.

Got more than five internet-capable devices? We found that Bitdefender Family Pack 2020 is the best option out there in terms of value for money.

If you are still unsure, Bitdefender offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and exceptional customer support, so you there is nothing to lose.

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