(Last updated on January 18th, 2021)
Webroot or ESET, which software is a better option in 2021?
Read this ultimate Webroot vs. ESET comparison to make a smart choice.
When it comes to malware attacks, we see no chance of them slowing down in the foreseeable future, certainly not this year.
According to research, cyber-attacks are going to remain more prevalent this year than they ever were in the past. Did you know that the AV-Test Institute records a whopping 350,000 new malware samples every single day?
That’s right! And you should also know that home computers are the poorest defended targets for hackers — the reason being a lack of proper anti-malware protection.
A robust premium antivirus is what is needed to provide complete protection against rapidly emerging malware and cyber threats. Premium software is equipped with innovative technologies like real-time monitoring and ransomware protection to detect and stop these attacks.
Remember, if you’re relying on the flimsy firewall of free software, you’re in a pickle. Your free software can only provide you basic protection but doesn’t stand a chance against emerging threats. So, get yourself a premium software if you wish to ensure the safety of your loved ones.
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Overall, Norton 360 Deluxe (currently at 70% off) is our pick for the best antivirus suite in 2021. It is competitively priced and comes with almost everything you could possibly ask for, such as a firewall, a fully integrated VPN, dark web monitoring, cloud backup storage (50GB), a password manager, and parental controls. You can cover up to 5 PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablets with this suite.
If you want full-on identity protection and don’t mind paying more, Norton 360 with LifeLock Select (currently at 35% off) gives those in the US a full range of identity protection features, more backup space (100GB), as well as all the above.
In our guide today, we present a detailed review of two competing antivirus companies, Webroot and ESET. We’re going to grind these companies on crucial criteria like product features, malware protection, system performance, and more.
Let’s find out which one of these brands is a better choice for you this year.
In a rush? Below is a quick summary of the comparison, and who comes out as the winner and for what reason.
A Quick Rundown of the Winners in Each Category
Winner: ESET. ESET offers several more advanced features compared to Webroot.
2. Malware Protection
Winner: None. Both companies displayed substandard performance in the assessments they attended. That’s why no one wins this category.
3. System Performance
Winner: ESET. Both companies performed well on one of the tests. But ESET wins by a small margin.
Winner: Webroot. Webroot offers an intuitive and much more efficient interface than ESET.
Winner: Webroot. Webroot offers more value for your bucks compared to ESET.
6. Customer Satisfaction
Winner: Webroot. Both companies received decent ratings on independent websites. But Webroot wins by a small margin.
Here’s a simple equation. The more features a product offers, the more comprehensively it will serve your protection needs. Let’s find out what value both Webroot and ESET provide in terms of their product features.
Let’s start with Webroot.
The entry-level product by the company is called Webroot Antivirus. This product covers protection for a single PC or Mac. The features included in this package are:
- Top-level Malware Protection against all kinds of malware threats, including ransomware protection.
- An Anti-Phishing feature secures you from sharing information on fake websites.
- Identity Protection is also part of the suite that protects your identity over the internet in real-time and encrypts your personal information.
- The package also includes quick scans called Fast Scans that can finish checking your system within 20 seconds.
The next tier of protection comes with Webroot Internet Security Plus. The extra features in this package include:
- A Password Protector that saves all your passwords in a secure place and restricts access to them.
- This package can protect up to 3 devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Webroot Internet Security Complete is the flagship product by the company and provides the most comprehensive coverage with some more advanced features, such as:
- Smart Security functionality that can encrypt your online activity so that hackers can’t study your web usage pattern.
- An Optimizer helps to improve the system speed by freeing up computer resources from unnecessary processes.
- You also get 25 GB of Online Storage with this package so you can maintain a backup of your important data.
- This suite provides a universal license for up to 5 devices, including PCs, Macs, Tablets, and Smartphones.
Webroot offers 24/7 premium customer support to all its customers.
Now let’s see what ESET offers in comparison.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus is the first offering from the company, which is a PC-only software. This product offers many advanced features, such as:
- Premium Protection against all kinds of malware and cyber threats.
- Ransomware and Spyware protection is also included to provide you complete safety against hacker’s activities that could result in ransomware attacks.
- Similarly, a Website Shield secures your personal and financial information while online surfing or shopping.
- An Exploit Blocker also comes built into the software to protect against malware disguised as legitimate requests.
- A Cloud-Powered Scanning module fast-tracks your scans by whitelisting safe files for future reference.
- A Game Mode lets you enjoy your games or movies uninterrupted by blocking pop-ups.
Next up is ESET Internet Security that includes everything from the previous package in addition to a few extra features:
- A firewall protects your important data and blocks unauthorized access to your private information.
- A Personal Firewall is also part of the product that shields you from hackers or other malicious attacks while being connected to public Wi-Fi.
- You also get Network Attack Protection securing your device against malicious network traffic and external threats.
- Furthermore, Botnet Protection also keeps your device safe from botnet malware and becoming a link for hackers.
- Using Webcam Controls, you have complete authority over what apps can access your webcam settings, which prevents hackers from trying to tap into your camera settings to plant spyware.
- An AntiSpam Shield keeps your inbox clean of junk and unwanted emails.
- A Hardened Browser secures your personal and financial information that you type during banking or shopping transactions.
- Lastly, you can locate your missing or stolen devices using an Anti-Theft Module included in the product.
ESET Smart Security Premium provides the highest tier of coverage from the company. In addition to all the features from previous packages, this suite also offers a couple more features:
- A Secure Data module protects all kinds of data that you share online, have on your device, or removable media. So that all your information remains safe from encrypted attacks.
- In the same fashion, a Password Manager saves your usernames, passwords, and related information in a secure place and makes them inaccessible to others.
ESET also provides security solutions specifically designed for Mac users. The company offers two Mac-specific products, namely: ESET Cybersecurity and ESET Cybersecurity Pro.
All ESET products offer single device licenses.
ESET offers 24/7 free support in your local language for all customers.
If you’re interested in ESET’s business solutions, follow this link more information.
Winner: ESET. Both companies provide an array of premium features. Although, features like Exploit Blocker, Cloud-powered Scanning, Botnet Protection, and Game Mode, give ESET an edge over Webroot.
2. Malware Protection
Malware Protection is undoubtedly the single most significant criterion for any antivirus software. An antivirus product that doesn’t offer complete and consistent malware protection isn’t worth your money.
So, let’s see how Webroot and ESET compare in this area. For this purpose, we’ll look at some independent test results from AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.
First, we’ll look at the AV-Test Protection Test evaluations. AV-Test scores products on a scale from 1-6, 6 is the best score. Webroot didn’t appear in the latest evaluations. However, it did participate in the May-June 2019 assessment, so we’ll consider that.
Webroot got a poor 2/6 score on this test. The disappointing performance in the last assessment could be the reason not to appear again.
ESET also did not participate in this test. In fact, ESET didn’t join any of the AV-Test evaluations after December 2017.
Let’s move to AV-Comparatives and see if our companies took part in the Real-World Protection Test or not. This organization rates tested products on a 5-star scale. Once again, Webroot is nowhere to be seen on this test.
However, ESET did appear on this one and went home with the lowest STANDARD award.
Winner: None. Both companies didn’t appear in one of the tests (considering AV-Test’s June 2019 Protection Test). Where they did appear, they showed disappointing performance. That’s why no one wins.
3. System Performance
If malware protection is A-Okay, but the system slows to a crawl. I mean, who wants that?
No one. Exactly. That’s why we’re going to see the effect of our brands on the system performance.
Let’s go back to the same organizations for their Performance Tests. Webroot got an almost perfect 5.5 out of 6 score on the Performance Test by AV-test.org.
In the Performance Test by AV-Comparatives, ESET went home with the highest ADVANCED+ award.
The above scores for both companies show that they have a much better competence in the system performance category.
Winner: ESET. Both companies showed decent performance on the tests they appeared in. However, ESET wins by a small margin.
In the world of one-click-operations, a complex user interface is no one’s choice. That’s why the more intuitive and user-friendly an interface, the happier the customer.
Let’s see what kind of user experience both Webroot and ESET bring to the table for their customers.
Webroot interface has a simple design and is quite easy to use. All the functions and settings are accessible right from the Home screen that also displays a scan summary and updates that let you know the security status of your device in one glance.
There’s also a “Learn more” button where you can get guidance about the functions you don’t understand. Overall the information and access buttons on the Home screen are well-organized and present no challenges.
This interface doesn’t offer much room for customization, which might be an issue with some users.
Now let’s see how ESET’s interface compares.
The first thing that will strike you about ESET’s interface is its fresh and uncluttered look. However, the interface is too simplistic, with just a few key icons placed on the Home screen.
You have to go to a sidebar to access more functions by clicking on the “Tools” button. This bar also houses other access buttons, such as Home, Computer Scan, Update, Setup, Help, and Support.
The company seems to have emphasized more on keeping the interface straight-forward even if it means a few more clicks to get a job done.
Winner: Webroot. Webroot’s interface is much more functional and intuitive compared to ESET’s.
Yes, we want our devices and information protected. What we don’t want is a big dent on our budgets because of that. So, let’s take a look at product pricing from both Webroot and ESET and see how heavy they are on our pockets.
Webroot Antivirus comes for $29.99 per year and protects 1 device. Webroot Internet Security Plus comes for $44.99 per year and protects 3 devices (minus Macs).
Finally, Webroot Internet Security Complete costs $59.99 per year for 5 PCs, Macs, Tablets, or Smartphones. Each product is $15 costlier than the earlier package, which is quite steep.
|Webroot Products||Regular Price||Discounted Price|
|Webroot Antivirus||$39.99/year||No Discount|
|Webroot Internet Security Plus||$59.99/year||No Discount|
|Webroot Internet Security Complete||$79.99/year||No Discount|
|Webroot Business Products||$150.00/year||No Discount|
Now let’s review ESET’s product pricing.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus costs $39.99 per year for 1 Windows device. This price is quite high for an entry-level product.
ESET Internet Security offers 1 universal license at the cost of $49.99 per year.
ESET Smart Security Premium costs you $59.99 per year also for one license only.
For Mac-specific products, ESET Cyber Security and ESET Cyber Security Pro cost $39.99 and $59.99 per year, respectively. Both these suites also cater to only 1 device.
All of ESET prices are pretty high, given you only get a single device license.
For the business solutions offered by ESET, check the table below.
|ESET Products||Regular Price||Discounted Price|
|ESET NOD32 Antivirus||$39.99/year||Check here|
|ESET Internet Security||$49.99/year||Check here|
|ESET Smart Security Premium||$59.99/year||Check here|
|ESET Multi-device Security||$69.99/year||Check here|
|ESET Cyber Security for Mac||$49.99/year||Check here|
|ESET Business Products||Varies||Check here|
Winner: Webroot. Webroot’s prices are more reasonable when compared to ESET’s as it offers more licenses in later tiers.
6. Customer Satisfaction
Happy customers don’t only become repeat customers; they also bring in more business. That’s a rule of thumb. Let’s find out how satisfied customers are with Webroot and ESET.
We’re going to look at the customer feedback ratings on two different websites: Consumeraffairs.org and G2.
Consumeraffairs.org averages out the customer responses on a 5-star scale. Webroot got a decent 4-star rating on this website. ESET was also at par with a 4-star rating of its own.
Now let’s see how our products compare on the G2 website, which ranks the products both on a 5-star scale as well as on a 1- 5 point system. Webroot got a fantastic 4.7 (4+ stars) score from this source for its Threat Intelligence.
ESET was just a tad-bit behind with a 4.5 score.
Winner: Webroot. The ratings for both companies demonstrate that customers are generally happy with them. However, Webroot wins by a tiny margin.
Both Webroot and ESET seem to be chasing after each other throughout the comparison. ESET wins major categories of features and system performance. Whereas, Webroot wins all the later categories. We’ll put both companies on the same level for that reason. However, both brands need to improve their malware protection capabilities radically.
Our recommendations: If you want to get the highest level of security and performance, there's no better choice than Norton, which protects over 50 million users worldwide.
After reviewing dozens of antivirus products from some of the biggest names in the cybersecurity realm, we believe that Norton 360 Deluxe is the best antivirus suite available on the market. It provides flawless anti-malware protection without slowing you down. Plus, you get almost all the advanced features you could ever want.
If you're willing to pay more for advanced identity protection features, we recommend Norton 360 with LifeLock select (only available in the US). It's a bit pricey but worth the price.
Anas Baig is a consumer privacy advocate and cybersecurity journalist by profession. Has has more than 7 years of professional experience under his belt. Anas has been featured on numerous media publications including The Guardian, Lifehacker, The Next Web, Infosecurity Magazine, Security Boulevard, Hacker Noon, CMS Wire, IAPP, SC Magazine, and many others. His interest includes Digital Privacy Rights, Information Security, Networking, Privacy, and Data Protection.