(Last updated on January 12th, 2021)
Webroot or Norton, which antivirus software is a better choice in 2021?
Read this ultimate Webroot versus Norton comparison to make a wise decision.
The internet is great for all kinds of reasons, but it can do more harm than good if you neglect your security and privacy.
These days, malware attacks and identity crimes are happening at an alarming frequency because hackers are not only creating more malware but also utilizing advanced methods.
Do you know over 10 billion malware attacks were detected in 2018? In the U.S., for example, over 8 million computers were infected with malware last year. These numbers are only going to up in 2019, as hackers find new ways to steal your sensitive data, breach your privacy, compromise your financial details, and so on.
While antivirus is important, you cannot rely on a limited freeware that has gaping holes in its defense. Instead, investing in a premium antivirus suite is the only way to guarantee that your devices are protected against a myriad of malware threats; viruses, worms, Trojans, botnets, ransomware, just to name a few.
Best Antivirus Suite for 2020
Overall Score: 9.9/10
60-day money-back guarantee
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.
In this guide, we’ll compare two top contenders for the best antivirus software, Webroot and Norton, to see which software is worth your money.
In a rush? Below is a quick summary of each category.
A Quick Rundown of Winners in Each Category
Winner: Norton. Norton offers a more useful set of features and utilities in its security products than Webroot. Also, Norton’s features are more useful in today’s age as they are focused on protecting user identities and financial information.
2. Malware Protection
Winner: Norton. Norton’s performance in the recent independent tests is quite good, while Webroot didn’t take part in the evaluations.
3. System Performance
Winner: Norton. Norton, once again, registered impressive results in this category, while Webroot abstained from independent tests.
Winner: Norton. Norton’s user interface is more intuitive and less complicated than Webroot’s.
Winner: Webroot. You’ll be able to protect more devices for less money with Webroot.
6. Customer Satisfaction
Winner: Webroot. According to independent sources, Webroot scores slightly better than Norton in terms of customer satisfaction.
Webroot is competitive, but Norton offers a more comprehensive feature-set and better malware protection with minimal impact on system performance. However, Webroot protects more devices for less money than Norton.
Best Antivirus for 2021
- Robust feature-set
- Excellent anti-malware security
- Minimal system impact
- Easy-to-use interface
- Automatic updates
- Trusted by 50 million users
- 100% virus protection promise
- 60-day money-back guarantee
#2 (Very Good)
- Exceptional malware protection
- Little impact on performance
- Trusted by millions of users
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- User-friendly interface
#3 (Very Good)
- Good malware protection
- Trusted by big corporations
- Minimal impact on performance
- Good value for money
- 30-day risk-free guarantee
Now, let’s dig into the details.
First, let’s see what Webroot offers in its security products.
The company’s first antivirus offering is called Webroot Antivirus. This gives you one license to use on a PC or Mac and includes a firewall and scanner; this scanner is automatically updated via the Cloud to incorporate new malware definitions, so you’ll never go without an up-to-date malware defense. You’ll also gain access to an identity-theft protection shield for complete peace of mind.
This suite also comes with a webcam protector to prevent someone from secretly spying on you. There’s also a secure browsing feature to let you surf the web in total safety without having to worry about your financial details being leaked. You also get Wi-Fi security features to protect against intruders and a secure VPN for anonymous browsing across the internet.
Next up is Webroot Internet Security Plus. This suite lets you extend antivirus protection to an entire group of devices. With a single license of this suite, you can protect up to 3 PCs, Macs or smartphones.
The package includes all the features and utilities that are part of the previous suite, plus a password management tool that you can use to store all your passwords and logins.
Another level up is Webroot Internet Security Complete, which is the company’s full-blown security offering. This suite offers everything that’s found in the previous suites, along with an online activity eraser that let you browse worry-free and an optimizer tool that helps your computer run more efficiently. You’ll also get 25 GB of digital space as part of this suite, along with a privacy protector.
A single license of this suite protects up to 5 PCs, Macs, or mobile phones.
All Webroot products come with premium 24/7 customer support.
If you’re interested in Webroot’s business-specific solutions, click this link for more information.
Now, let’s see what Norton offers in terms of features and tools.
Norton AntiVirus Plus is the entry-level antivirus coverage offered by the company. A single subscription of this suite protects 1 PC or Mac.
This package offers a range of useful features including a smart two-way firewall that gets updated regularly to incorporate new definitions, a comprehensive scanner that monitors everything that enters your computer and automatically blocks anything that it deems suspicious or harmful, and a full-blown password manager.
Protection against dangerous links or files is also part of the suite.
Norton 360 Standard is the next package from Norton. This package comes with everything included in the previous suite, along with 10 GB of cloud storage, a secure VPN tool, and webcam protection features.
Furthermore, this suite also includes several dark web monitoring features, which are provided with the help of LifeLock. This monitoring feature keeps track of any sensitive information you put online and alerts you if it’s being used without your knowledge.
A single license of this suite protects 1 PC and 1 Mac or mobile device.
Another level up is Norton 360 Deluxe, another multi-platform compatible suite.
This suite offers everything that’s jammed into the Standard suite, plus 50 GB of cloud data storage as well as a comprehensive parental control module that could be very useful for families.
A single subscription of this suite covers up to 5 devices (PCs, Macs, or smartphones).
Finally, there’s Norton 360 Deluxe with LifeLock Select. With this comprehensive suite, you get everything that’s found in the Deluxe suite, plus a full suite of dark web monitoring, including the LifeLock’s Identity Alert System, a credit monitoring suite, and a finance protection scanner.
The credit monitoring feature tells you if your credit suddenly plummets since this is usually associated with identity theft. The identity alert system tells you if your information or identity is being used over the internet in suspicious ways, or in ways that don’t match up with your normal behavior.
Norton also offers the Million Dollar Protection package with this suite. If you become a victim of identity crime while you’re a LifeLock member, you will be compensated for expenses you incurred and money stolen from you.
Norton provides premium 24/7 customer service through several channels, including email, online chat, and phone.
Winner: Norton. It’s clear that Norton offers more security-related features and utilities in its security suites than Webroot. Also, Norton puts more emphasis on protecting user identities and safeguarding financial information.
2. Malware Protection
A robust antivirus program should be able to defend your computer against all kinds of malware threats. Any software that doesn’t perform well in this regard isn’t going to be worth your time and money.
To determine which of the two software boasts better malware defense, we can look at the recent independent lab tests conducted by unbiased testing organizations.
AV-Test is one such testing organization. Their security experts regularly evaluate the performance of all well-known antivirus vendors in three different categories: Protection, Performance, and Usability.
Their recent evaluations were conducted in Jan-Feb 2019. Norton’s demonstrated excellent malware protection capability against both widespread and zero-day malware samples, earning a perfect 6/6 rating in the “Protection” category.
Webroot, on the other hand, didn’t participate in the recent AV-Test evaluations for unknown reasons.
AV-Comparatives is another popular independent security lab that regularly assesses antivirus software, releasing charts and reports that are freely available for everyone. In their recent Real-World Protection test, Norton got the second-best ADVANCED award, due to its impressive protection rate and low false positives’ count. (False positive is when an antivirus wrongly deems a clean file or URL as harmful.)
Webroot didn’t participate in this examination either.
Winner: Norton. Again, Norton is our pick in this category, as Webroot’s impact on system performance is unknown.
3. System Performance
While malware defense is important, a software that significantly slows down your computer isn’t worth your money either.
Let’s see which antivirus software is better in this regard.
In the “Performance” category of AV-Test evaluations, Norton got a perfect 6/6 score, indicating that it’s incredibly efficient at using system resources and won’t slow down your system.
The experts at AV-Comparatives also conduct a similar test, called Performance Test, to measure the impact of different antivirus software on system performance.
The most recent version of the test was conducted in October 2018. Norton got the highest ADVANCED+ award in the analysis, because of its low impact score of 6.7.
Webroot, as mentioned earlier, didn’t take part in the recent independent tests conducted by both AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.
Winner: Norton. Independent lab tests prove that Norton puts a minimal impact on system performance, while Webroot’s performance is unknown.
Good antivirus software should be intuitive and easy-to-use.
First, let’s examine Webroot’s user interface.
Webroot’s user interface is simple and non-intrusive. The central hub is very easy to understand and accessing all of its operations only requires a few clicks. There are several tutorials and “learn more” buttons scattered across the dashboard, allowing those who are not very computer literate to quickly make sense of its functions.
This simplistic design doesn’t allow you to change settings or personalize the interface in any significant way. Therefore, those who are used to computers prefer having more direct control over their antivirus performance will be left wanting since Webroot does almost everything for you for the sake of simplicity.
Now let’s examine Norton’s user interface.
Like Webroot, Norton also relies on a straightforward user interface that doesn’t have a lot of complexity. While Webroot’s interface is only optimized for computers, Norton’s interface is compatible with all devices, including tablets and mobile devices.
The interface uses bright colors, and all features and functions are very clearly marked. Norton also makes use of pop-ups to inform you of changes in the antivirus software or potential threats. These can get annoying sometimes, but they do a good job of instantly informing you whenever something requires your attention.
Winner: Both. Overall, both Norton and Webroot offer a simple, easy-to-use user interface.
Another important aspect you should consider is pricing.
Let’s see how much both software cost and how many devices you can protect with each security product.
Webroot Antivirus, which is the first offering from Webroot, protects one PC or Mac for $29.99 per year. The next tier of coverage, Webroot Internet Security Plus, costs $44.99 per year and provides licenses for three devices. Finally, Webroot Internet Security Complete protects up to five devices for $59.99 per year.
|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|
Norton Antivirus Plus costs $39.99 per year for one license, which can be used to protect either PC or Mac. Norton 360 Standard costs $49.99 per year for two devices, while Norton 360 Deluxe costs $59.99 per year for five licenses.
Finally, Norton 360 Deluxe with LifeLock Select, the premium offering from Norton, costs $99.99 per year for five devices.
|Norton Products||Regular Price||Discounted Price|
|Norton Antivirus Plus||$59.99/year||Check here|
|Norton 360 Standard||$79.99/year||Check here|
|Norton 360 Deluxe||$99.99/year||Check here|
|Norton 360 with Lifelock Select||$149.99/year||Check here|
|Norton 360 with Utimate Plus||$349.99/year||Check here|
|Norton Small Business Security||Varies||Check here|
Winner: Webroot. Webroot provides you with access to more licenses for less money than Norton.
6. Customer Satisfaction
One last thing we can check is how both Webroot and Norton compare in terms of customer satisfaction.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a well-known company that collects genuine user feedback for companies and averages it out into an A to F score. Both Webroot and Norton have an excellent A+ rating from the BBB, indicating the customers are generally satisfied with the service they receive from both companies.
Winner: Both. Both Webroot and Norton score equally well in terms of customer satisfaction.
Webroot is competitive, but Norton is the better choice as it offers more security-enhancing features and utilities in its security products. Also, independent tests prove that Norton is better than Webroot in terms of both malware detection and the impact on system performance.
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.