(Last updated on January 20th, 2021)
Webroot or Malwarebytes, which software is a better option in 2021?
Read this ultimate Webroot vs. Malwarebytes comparison to make a smart choice.
Have you ever heard of the term “web application vulnerability”? If yes, do you know how much it accounts for cyber-attacks?
To make things simple, let us tell you that a web application vulnerability is a weakness in the website code that allows hackers to gain some control of the site, and possibly the hosting server.
The only way to prevent falling prey to these security holes is having a system in place to detect and block them before they can harm important data on your computer. This can only be done through real-time threat detection and vulnerability scanning tools.
If you have a premium antivirus installed on your system, you are in safe hands as premium software incorporates real-time monitoring and vulnerability scanning. However, if you rely on a free software, like most people, you’re probably already a malware victim, you just don’t know it yet.
That’s why we recommend you to have the latest anti-malware program installed on your devices to guarantee complete peace of mind for you and your family.
Today we have two well-known antivirus brands, Webroot and Malwarebytes, competing against each other to win out as the better product of the year.
Best Antivirus Suite for 2020
Overall Score: 9.9/10
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Right now, we think that Norton is the best antivirus software your money can buy. It regularly earns perfect or near-perfect scores from independent labs and has the least impact on system performance compared to rival products. Its products combine top-notch security with an array of excellent security features and, best of all, offer exceptional value for money.
Overall, Norton 360 Deluxe (currently at 70% off) is our pick for the best antivirus suite in 2020. 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.
We’ll examine these brands for their protection capabilities, impact on system speed, value vs. money ratio, and more. So, stick with us if you want to find out which of these products is a better choice 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: Webroot. Webroot has a more extensive feature-set than Malwarebytes’.
2. Malware Protection
Winner: None. Due to inadequate performance from both companies in this category, nobody wins.
3. System Performance
Winner: Webroot. Webroot was slightly better on the independent tests compared to Malwarebytes.
Winner: Both. Both companies have equally intuitive and user-friendly interfaces.
Winner: Both. Both companies provide similar value with one or another of their suites.
6. Customer Satisfaction
Winner: Webroot. In this category as well, Webroot got slightly better customer satisfaction ratings than Malwarebytes.
Webroot shoots ahead of Malwarebytes when you consider features, system performance, and customer satisfaction. While Malwarebytes has a great remediation tool, it lags behind Webroot in key areas like protection and performance. However, Malwarebytes is slightly cheaper than Webroot.
Let’s get some details now.
We’ll start our guide by comparing the feature-sets from both competing brands and see which one has a more extensive and relevant array of features.
We’ll start with Webroot.
The first paid product from the company is the Webroot Antivirus. This package provides complete malware protection for your devices. The advanced features that come with this product are as follows:
- Advanced Threat Protection for 1 PC or 1 Mac.
- Ransomware protection is also included in this package to save you from money-related frauds.
- Cloud-Based software updates always keep your antivirus program up to date on the latest challenges.
- The product also incorporates real-time anti-phishing features to keep you safe against malicious websites.
- Webcam Protection is also integrated with this product so that you and your family can stay safe from spying activities of hackers.
- A firewall and network connection monitor keep you alert to any external threats on your Wi-Fi network.
- The suite also saves you against identity-related frauds and secures your personal information to prevent misuse by hackers.
- You can also run “lightning-fast scans” for a quick security check of your device. These scans take no more than 20 seconds to finish.
The next product from the company is called Webroot Internet Security Plus, which can protect up to 3 devices, including mobile devices. This suite gets everything from the previous package with the addition of:
- A Password Manager, powered by LastPass®, secures all your passwords and login credentials so that hackers can’t gain access to this information.
- Mobile Security is also included in this package for your Android Phones, Tablets as well as iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
- The flagship product by Webroot is called the Webroot Internet Security Complete Suite. This product is a full-blown offering from the company and includes the following additional features:
- A system Optimizer works as a privacy protection and system maintenance tool. The feature helps improve system performance by deleting unnecessary files and reclaiming valuable space on the hard drive.
- You also get the automatic backup facility and secure online storage for up to 25GB to protect your important files from loss.
- You can protect up to 5 PCs, Macs, tablets, or smartphones with a single license of this suite.
All Webroot customers get 24/7 premium support.
Now let’s look at the range of antivirus features from Malwarebytes.
Malwarebytes has a free software, called Malwarebytes Free, that we’ll consider first. This is a Windows-only software that provides basic protection against malware threats but lacks advanced features of the paid products.
Malwarebytes Premium for You is the first paid option from the company. It’s a pretty comprehensive suite for an entry-level product and covers protection for all kinds of devices. The features included in this product are as follows:
- A top-grade firewall provides real-time monitoring and keeps your devices and data safe from all types of malware and cyberattacks.
- Regular Updates to the firewall always keep it ready to defend you against the latest malware threats.
- The suite offers multi-platform protection for Windows, Android, and Chrome OS devices.
- A virus removal feature called Remediation Tool cleans your device of any pre-existing viruses from before the installation of this software.
- You have the option to either run automatic scans or schedule your scans according to a time that suits you.
- The suite also incorporates functionality to save your device from all kinds of hacking activities such as botnet protection, spyware protection, etc. This feature is exclusive to Windows devices.
- Identity protection and anti-phishing tools are also part of this package to provide you complete security if you happen to land on a malicious website. This feature supports Windows and Android devices only.
- An on-going threat detection utility prevents any malicious application from connecting to your device. If it detects any malware components on your system, it instantly removes them. This feature is specific to Android and Chrome devices.
The next product is the family suite called Malwarebytes Premium for Home. This suite has the same features as the previous package, but it comes with 3 licenses. If required, you can add more devices as well (up to 10).
Malwarebytes offers premium customer support to its customers via email, online chat, or phone.
Malwarebytes provides several business-specific security solutions such as Malwarebytes for Teams, Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection for companywide servers, and Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection and Response. Follow this link for more information.
Winner: Webroot. A lot of Malwarebytes features are exclusive to specific platforms. Besides, Webroot provides a lot more features compared to Malwarebytes.
2. Malware Protection
Our next criterion and probably the most crucial aspect of an antivirus software is malware protection. Let’s see how our brands compare in this area.
AV-Test And AV-Comparatives are two well-regarded organizations in the malware industry that conduct independent tests gauging antivirus software on capabilities such as malware protection and system performance.
We’re going to take help from these institutions and use their test results to measure our two brands against each other for their protection capabilities.
First, let’s take the Protection Test from the AV-Test Institute. Since Webroot didn’t participate in the latest assessment of August 2019, we are going to go with the June 2019 edition for the sake of comparison.
Webroot performed poorly on this test and received mere 2 points out of a total of 6 points. That’s probably the reason it didn’t participate in the later assessments.
Malwarebytes was not any better than Webroot and also received 2 out of 6 score.
We can’t consider the assessments carried out by AV-Comparatives in this comparison because both products didn’t partake in any of those evaluations.
Winner: None. Both products gave a disappointing performance during the AV-Test assessment. So, we’re not going to nominate a winner.
3. System Performance
No one wants an antivirus software that slows down the processing power of a device. Let’s see how both Webroot and Malwarebytes affect the system speed of the devices they protect.
Let’s go back to AV-Test.org once again, this time for their Performance Test, and see if our products performed any better this time.
Webroot performed much better here and got an almost perfect 5.5 out of 6.
Malwarebytes also received a decent score with 5 out of 6 points.
These ratings indicate that both products have a much better system performance competence compared to the malware protection they provide.
Winner: Webroot. Webroot wins this category by a small margin.
Let’s take a look at both companies’ user interfaces to find out which one brings a better user experience for customers.
Webroot uses a simple design for its interface, putting everything you need to know or access right there on the Home screen. This utility makes the interface easy to understand and use.
Even novice users won’t find any challenges with this layout. If, however, you can’t understand something, you can click on the “Learn More” button towards the bottom left corner of the screen and find out more about different features and settings.
As simple and intuitive it is, the interface gives you little choice to makes any changes in the name of personalization, which may be annoying for more seasoned users.
Now let’s see how Malwarebytes’ interface compares.
Malwarebytes interface has an extremely neat look even with a lot of information in a small space. This interface is pretty well-organized. You’ll find all the information and updates on a grey panel to the right-hand side of the interface.
On the other side of the screen, a black vertical strip contains access buttons for features like Scan, Quarantine, Reports, and Settings. You can also manually start a scan by clicking on a big “Scan Now” button located toward the bottom of the interface.
Malwarebytes interface is quite user-friendly and easy to operate. However, if you’re using the free version, you may be annoyed by frequent pop-up notifications.
Winner: Both. Both interfaces are equally intuitive and user-friendly. Despite a sharp contrast in the look of the interfaces, both offer similar accessibility and information on the Home screen.
Now we’re going to take a look at the pricing plans from both Webroot and Malwarebytes to see which one gives you more bang for your buck.
The first product from Webroot, the Webroot Antivirus suite, costs you $29.99 per year for 1 device. The company charges $44.99 per year for Webroot Security Plus, covering 3 Windows and Android devices. The second suite is much costlier compared to the entry-level product.
Internet Security Complete costs another $15 more at $59.99 per year for 5 devices, including Windows, Mac, and Android devices.
|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 compare Malwarebytes’ prices.
Malwarebytes, Premium for You costs $39.99 per year for 1 device (PC, Mac, Chromebook, or Android).
Malwarebytes Premium for Home charges you $59.99 per year for up to 10 devices.
To find out the costs of Malwarebytes’ business-specific products, see the table below.
|Malwarebytes Products||Regular Price||Discounted Price|
|Malwarebytes Premium for PCs||$39.99/year||Check here|
|Malwarebytes Premium for Mac||$39.99/year||Check here|
|Malwarebytes Business Products||Varies||Check here|
Winner: Both. Webroot’s first product is much cheaper than Malwarebytes’. Whereas, Malwarebytes Home edition provides more licenses and caters to the needs of any entire family.
6. Customer Satisfaction
Our comparison comes to an end with this final criterion i.e., customer satisfaction. Let’s find out what actual customers think of both our brands.
For this purpose, we are going to look at the customer satisfaction ratings from two review collecting sites: Consumeraffairs.com and G2.
Consumeraffairs.com has a scale based on a star system where 5 stars indicate the highest rating. G2 also uses a 5-star scale plus another 1-5 points scale.
Consumeraffairs.com gave Webroot an excellent 4-star rating. Malwarebytes was a bit behind with just under 4 stars.
On the G2 website, Webroot achieved an excellent 4.7 out of 5 score for its Threat Intelligence rating, whereas Malwarebytes was just on Webroot’s tail with a 4.6 score.
Winner: Webroot. Both products received excellent customer satisfaction ratings from both sources. But Webroot wins this category by a small margin.
This has been a fierce competition. Both Webroot and Malwarebytes tied in two categories, while Webroot won three categories in which two were secured by very small margins. However, both companies need to improve their malware protection and appear in more independent tests to establish better credibility.
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.