Webroot WiFi Security VPN Review 2023 – Is it any good?
Webroot WiFi Security is a VPN product from Webroot, a big American security name. The VPN is operated by Carbonite, Inc., which is based in Boston and is owned by Canadian company OpenText.
Webroot WiFi Security was developed as an addition to their antivirus system, and it can be purchased either as a standalone or as part of a bundle with Webroot Antivirus. This makes it sound like just an extra, and in some ways, it is. The VPN service is a white-label product licensed from Israeli-based Safer VPN.
Webroot has obviously made some changes and added an original touch, and this Webroot WiFi Security review will look at the VPN in detail.
Before we start, here are some highlights of the VPN:
- A white-label product
- Based in the US
- Medium-size server network
- Simple clients without advanced features
- Web filtering intelligence
The VPN doesn't compare with top providers such as ExpressVPN or the relatively young Surfshark VPN in terms of what it offers. Nevertheless, it a product worth looking at, and we’ll analyze everything to help you determine whether it suits your needs.
What can Webroot WiFi Security do?
Apart from the obvious privacy and security, Webroot WiFi security VPN doesn’t promise much in terms of special capabilities. In fact, they don’t promise anything on their website.
Nonetheless, we were able to determine what the VPN can and can’t do during our Webroot WiFi Security review.
Webroot is one of the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer as it has a special server dedicated to unblocking the streaming service. The server is quite fast, and we were able to unblock BBC iPlayer outside the UK without trouble.
However, the same doesn’t apply to Netflix and other US-based streaming services by extension. Webroot only has two servers (or locations) in the US, and neither of them is dedicated to streaming. This is a strange omission considering that Safer VPN has a dedicated Netflix server in addition to the BBC iPlayer server, and most VPNs with dedicated servers usually have one for Netflix.
If you want a VPN that you can use to unblock Netflix US, you may need to look at the best VPNs for Netflix. A highlight among them is Surfshark VPN, whose entire server network can stream on Netflix and can unblock 18 Netflix catalogs.
Is Webroot WiFi Security Secure?
Webroot WiFi Security is a secure VPN, although it doesn’t offer the best privacy. Below is a detailed look at its privacy and security features.
Webroot WiFi Security VPN is based in the US, which doesn't help ensure privacy. This is because the US government conducts heavy online surveillance, and VPNs are often served with subpoenas to submit user information. On their website, Webroot states that they may share any information they have if they need to comply with the law or respond to a legal process. So, what information does Webroot WiFi Security collect?
“WiFi Security servers log the following information each time you activate and use WiFi Security (each, a “Session”):
- Date and time on which the Session began and finished.
- The amount of data transmitted during the Session.
- To which VPN server location you are connected.
- The country you’ve connected from (we do not hold IP addresses).
- The number of devices simultaneously connected through your account.
We also collect Anonymous logs of what happened on the device, which may include some downloaded data and DNS queries.”
The VPN states that they do not collect or log user activities, which is pretty much a standard practice among VPNs. However, the fact that the VPN collects your source country, the server you connect to, and the timestamps of your connection doesn't sit well with users looking for maximum privacy.
This is because it will be easy to correlate a user account with particular activities associated with a Webroot IP address in case of a legal process. A VPN such as ExpressVPN does not collect any usage or connection information, and their servers run on RAM (not hard disk) to make sure no information is stored. Further, the VPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, a region that is not under any repressive rules.
Apart from data collection, we tested using multiple servers whether Webroot WiFi Security leaks any data. Despite the fact that the VPN doesn’t have a DNS/ IPv6 leak protection feature, all the servers we tested did not leak any information.
This is good to see, although the lack of DNS/ IPv6 leak protection functionalities makes it hard to say every server is safe from leaks.
Being a security company, Webroot doesn’t disappoint in this aspect. The VPN uses the AES 256-bit encryption standard to encrypt all data transmitted through the network. SHA 256 is used for data authentication, and an RSA 2048-bit key is used for handshake.
Overall, this is very good security, although SHA 256 could be upgraded to HMAC SHA 256.
Webroot VPN’s security is further enhanced through the company’s BrightCloud Threat Intelligence to filter malicious websites. There’s also a kill switch that helps prevent user information from leaking out in case the VPN connection is lost.
Webroot WiFi Security Features
Webroot WiFi Security VPN lacks some of the advanced features you may find in NordVPN or Surfshark, but it still offers some modest functionalities.
The VPN gives users the freedom to select their preferred protocol. You can choose from the protocols below:
- OpenVPN: This is the most recommended protocol when using a VPN as it offers the best balance between security and speed.
- IKEv2: IKEv2 has become a widely accepted protocol as it is secure enough and offers good performance in terms of speed. It is also very reliable.
- L2TP Over IPSec: This protocol is very secure, but it is quite slow and therefore hampers performance.
- PPTP: This is a simple protocol that has been around for a long time. It is very fast, but it can’t be relied on for security. It can be useful while streaming.
There’s also a default Automatic option that selects the best protocol for you depending on how you are using the VPN.
BrightCloud Web Filtering
BrightCloud Threat Intelligence is Webroot’s most significant addition to the licensed VPN. It is an advanced web-filtering feature that protects users from malicious or risky websites. It operates by warning users on the browser, but if you think the site is safe, you can still access it. You can argue that a browser such as Chrome already does that, but the feature is still a useful addition as it operates on a powerful and frequently updated database.
Automatic Kill Switch: The WiFi Security Kill Switch is a security feature that prevents exposure in case the VPN disconnects unexpectedly. It does this by stopping all internet connections. The feature is available on Windows, Mac OS, and Android.
Apart from these, WiFi security also allows users to secure WiFi connections automatically and manage trusted connections.
Webroot WiFi Security Server Network
Webroot VPN provides 700+ servers in 34 countries and 36 locations around the world. This is a small server network especially when you consider that NordVPN has 5,500+ in 56 countries. ExpressVPN leads with 3,000+ VPN servers spread across 160 locations in 94 countries in terms of distribution.
Having a good distribution of servers ensures that users from all over the world can connect to fast servers and that they can access content from any region. That said, Webroot WiFi security does well in that it has servers in Africa and South America, two regions often ignored by VPNs.
Webroot VPN doesn't do well in specialized servers as it has only one – UK Streaming. This is a huge disappointment as they have eliminated some of the specialized servers found in SaferVPN.
Does Webroot WiFi Security support torrenting?
Webroot VPN does not support P2P traffic and torrents. The company has not included the torrenting servers available in the SaferVPN network, and so filesharing fans may need to look at the best VPNs for torrenting.
Pricing & Plans
Webroot WiFi Security pricing and plans were some of the biggest disappointments we encountered during this review.
On their website, the VPN only offers annual subscriptions plans with no option for a shorter plan. This is unlike any of the top VPNs as almost all of them start with a 1-month plan, which is also the main plan used to compare VPN prices.
Webroot VPN’s annual plan is grouped into two in regard to the number of devices a user wants to secure:
- Annual plan for 3 devices: Costs $39.99, which is equivalent to $3.33 a month.
- Annual plan for 5 devices: Costs $59.99, which is equivalent to $5.00 a month.
Most VPNs today offer a minimum of 5 simultaneous connections, and so that is the price we’ll use in comparison.
Users can get a better deal with SurfShark, which is a fully-featured VPN. The VPN costs the same amount (or $59.76 to be specific) for a 2-year subscription, which is then switched to an annual plan after the two years.
That said, we managed to find a workaround while doing this Webroot WiFi Security review. If you wish to get a monthly plan, you can subscribe to the VPN through the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store. The app provides a monthly subscription plan that costs $3.99 for 3 devices and $5.99 for 5 devices.
However, Webroot VPN apps are only available in 17 countries. This is a huge inconvenience as some users who subscribe through the website may not be able to access the iOS and Android app.
VPN + Antivirus Bundle
Being a security company, Webroot also provides a VPN plus Webroot Antivirus bundle. The Antivirus is known as Webroot SecureAnywhere, and it normally costs $37.49 for a 3-device annual subscription. Together with the VPN, Webroot charges $64.98 for an annual subscription, which saves $12.5.
Does Webroot Security VPN have a free trial?
Webroot does not provide a free trial for their VPN. However, to comply with App Store and Play Store policies, the company allows users to test the VPN free for 7 days. You can take advantage of this and create an account through their mobile app.
Does Webroot Security VPN have a money-back guarantee?
No, Webroot does not offer a money-back guarantee. If you subscribe to the VPN, you can only cancel to avoid the next billing.
Accepted Payment Methods
The Webroot website only accepts major credit/ debit cards and PayPal. This means that you will have to submit your details to Webroot as you can’t pay through cryptocurrency. If you’d like to remain anonymous, you can have a look at the best VPNs that accept Bitcoin and other cryptos.
Getting started with Webroot WiFi Security
The Webroot WiFi Security website is a part of the larger Webroot company, and so using it and getting information about the VPN isn’t very smooth. Once you on the main website, you need to go to the main menu and look for the VPN page under the products category.
From there, you can then choose a plan, and you will be directed to the subscription page. Unlike most VPNs, you will be required to provide billing information besides your email address and payment method. After that, creating an account will only take a minute.
Downloading the VPN client is not simple either as the VPN page doesn’t have a download button. In our case, we had to Google “download Webroot WiFi security app” just to access the download page. Later on, we found that the link is only provided in the knowledge base, which is not in any way convenient.
Apart from that, the Webroot VPN download files are quite small (just over 10Mbs) and easy to install.
Which devices & platforms does Webroot WiFi security support?
Webroot is compatible with most devices, and it can be installed on:
- Android 6 (Marshmallow) and newer
- iOS 10 and newer
- Mac 10.10 (Yosemite) and newer
- Windows 7 and newer
To test out the apps for this Webroot VPN review, we installed the Windows app on a PC running Windows 10.
The app installation only took 1 minute. We then logged in using the email address and password we created our account with. Below is the app’s homepage.
Right away, you could see the app has been ported from SaferVPN. Nonetheless, it was quite easy to use, and we didn’t experience any issues.
You can secure your connection with a single click, and you will be connected to the best server, depending on your location. To switch servers, click the location icon beside the connect button or click the flag in the map section. An extra window will open, and you can select the country or region you’d like to connect to.
You can also customize your connection by clicking the settings option under the hamburger button on the top right side. There, you can set the general behavior of your app and select your preferred protocol.
Under the Connections tab, you can enable the Kill switch.
You can also enable Bright Cloud Web Filtering under the web filtering tab. After you are satisfied with the settings, you can then connect your VPN to a server of your choice and browse privately.
The mobile apps look similar to the desktop apps and are just as easy to use.
How fast is Webroot WiFi Security?
Despite the small server network, we found Webroot WiFi Security to be surprisingly fast. To test the VPN, we first did a base test while not connected to any VPN. We then carried out several tests using nearby servers (same 0country & neighboring countries) and distant servers (different continents).
On average, we recorded a speed loss of just 10% to 20% when using nearby servers. Distant servers averaged 15% to 30%. Overall, this is quite impressive.
Note: All tests were carried out using the OpenVPN protocol.
Webroot WiFi Security Customer Support
As you would expect with a VPN company that provides multiple other products, Live Chat is not an option for Webroot VPN. However, the company provides impressive ticket support, and we got a reply within 1 hour.
There’s also a knowledge base that provides more information about the VPN and a user guide section that is helpful to users experiencing technical difficulties.
Pros & Cons
- Simple app
- URL filtering intelligence
- Works with BBC iPlayer
- Impressive speeds
- Antivirus bundle option
- No BitTorrent support
- Keeps some logs
- Inflexible pricing
- It doesn't work with Netflix
- No money-back guarantee
Why is Webroot WiFi Security not connecting?
If you are experiencing connection issues, you can try a different server, disable the kill switch, or restart the app.
What is Webroot Internet Security Plus?
Webroot Internet Security Plus is a bundle that includes both WiFi Security and Webroot SecureAnywhere.
Can I add Webroot Antivirus to my VPN subscription?
Once you purchase your VPN, you can only buy Webroot SecureAnywhere as a separate product.
How do I activate Webroot WiFi security?
Webroot login requires a username and a password, not a license code. You need to create an account to log in.
Webroot WiFi Security is a decent VPN from a respected security company. The VPN can be a good addition for people who already use Webroot Antivirus and a great product for those that only need a simple VPN to secure their connection. However, Webroot VPN doesn’t offer much else. You can get more functionalities at the same price with a different VPN provider.
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