(Updated on June 11th, 2021)

McAfee or Webroot, which antivirus software offers the best protection?

Both brands are well known and have been protecting devices for over a decade. To figure out which one is the best, we have to pit them against each other. We will compare them using various aspects such as features, malware protection, system performance, user interface, pricing, and compatibility.

Every time you access the open internet, you risk being a victim of cybercrime. Besides malware and ransomware, hackers are also interested in your identity and other sensitive personal data. According to Forbes, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought an increase in fraudulent online activities.

This includes malware, online shopping scams, social security scams, and identity theft. In this continuously evolving threat landscape, you need a paid premium antivirus suite to keep you safe. Other than impeccable malware protection, premium antivirus suites also offer identity theft protection services.

Unlike free products, paid premium antivirus suites offer security and privacy-enhancing features. These include password manager, file shredder, VPN, cloud storage, optimization utilities, anti-phishing, safe browsing, among many others.

Besides the peace of mind, paid premium antivirus suites offer excellent value for your money. Their products are cross-platform, and their subscriptions cover multiple devices.

Summary (Quick Glance)

McAfee and Webroot are reputable cybersecurity giants. They both offer solutions for home use, office use, and endpoint protection for businesses. Their antivirus solutions for home use provide robust protection against online threats, they are cross-platform, and their subscriptions cover multiple devices.

In a hurry? Here is a brief overview of how they compare.

1. Feature’s overview.
Winner: McAfee. McAfee stacks an impressive feature list than Webroot. McAfee also sports essential features not offered by Webroot. These include unlimited VPN, parental control, identity theft protection services, and other advanced features.

2. Malware protection.
Winner: McAfee. Malware, ransomware, phishing scams, and viruses don’t stand a chance against products from both McAfee and Webroot. However, in a head-to-head comparison, McAfee offers more comprehensive protection.

3. System performance.
Winner: Tie. McAfee and Webroot offer protection without compromising your system performance. McAfee scans use fewer resources for background and active scans. Webroot cloud-based protection doesn’t take a toll on your local resources.

4. User interface.
Winner: Tie. Both brands sport a user-friendly interface that won’t hinder your user experience. Their dashboards are well organized, and features are easily accessible.

5. Pricing.
Winner: McAfee. McAfee and Webroot subscriptions have competitive price tags. Nonetheless, McAfee offers excellent value for your money due to its features. Both subscriptions cover multiple devices and carry a money-back guarantee.

6. Compatibility.
Winner: Tie. Antivirus products from McAfee and Webroot are cross-platform. They are compatible with Windows, Macs, Android, and iOS devices. Mac and iOS devices get limited functionality, while Windows and Android devices get the fully-featured product.

Short Verdict

McAfee’s Total protection is a fully-fledged antivirus suite that offers complete protection. It has premium features that Webroot does not provide. Features such as identity theft protection service, unlimited VPN, and parental control. McAfee also gives you excellent value for your money and protects what matters most.

In contrast, Webroot has limited features and doesn’t offer comprehensive protection. However, both antivirus brands offer products that are cross-platform, and support multiple devices.

1. Features Overview

Most security companies offer not only antivirus protection but also a wide variety of security elements. These security components are essential when offering all-round protection. Nowadays, these components are unified with the antivirus to make an integrated suite. No one wants different security components clogging up their system.

These different components are commonly known as features. The more essential and advanced features an antivirus suite has, the better it is. An integrated suite offers you excellent value for your money and its light on your system.

Here are the features McAfee and Webroot products offer.

A few years ago, McAfee used to offer various standalone antivirus suites. It put an end to this practice with its single streamlined product, McAfee Total Protection. Total protection sounds better, impressive, and secures what matters most. This is evident in the many features it packs.

For pricing purposes, the single suite is divided into four tiers. These tiers mimic the traditional like standalone products. The tiers are packed with various advanced features. These features are shared across the tiers with unique additions to each tier. The tiers include; Single device, Individual/Couples, Family, and ultimate.

We will start with the low-end tier – Single Device. As the name suggests, this tier offers protection to a single device. Its features include;

  • Award-winning antivirus engine.
  • Encrypted storage.
  • Home network security.
  • McAfee shredder.
  • Online support from security experts.
  • Password manager.
  • Performance optimizations.
  • Safe web browsing.
  • 1 license of secure VPN.

The Individual/Couples tier packs all the features of the previous tier. Multidevice support and ‘Total Protection’ start at this tier. Unique additions on this tier are as follows;

  • Identity theft protection essentials.
  • Multidevice compatibility.
  • 5 licenses of secure VPN.

The Family tier is similar to the couples’ tier but adds one essential feature;

  • Parental control via Safe Family.

The final ultimate tier gives more focus to identity theft while retaining the family tier features. It offers;

  • Identity theft protection plus.

Unlike the essential package, the Identity theft protection plus offers credit monitoring, 24/7 dedicated agents, and up to $1M insurance.

Mcafee features

Webroot offers affordable and straightforward endpoint protection for home users. Webroot is also a threat intelligence provider for many reputable companies. It also boasts as the pioneer of AI and machine learning tech. You can rely on Webroot to keep you safe from today’s advanced attacks. It has experience and expertise.

Similar to most antivirus companies, Webroot offers three levels of security products. An advanced suite, entry-level security suite, and a standalone antivirus. The Antivirus is the lowest package, and it carries most of Webroot’s feature offerings. They include;

  • A fast antivirus engine.
  • Firewall with a network monitor.
  • On-device identity protection.
  • Real-time anti-phishing.
  • Sandbox.
  • System optimizer and cleanup.

Up next is Webroot’s security suite known as Internet Security Plus. This suite has all the antivirus features, and it offers full-scale protection for all your devices. Its security additions are as follows;

  • Password manager.
  • Secure browsing.
  • Webcam protection

Lastly is the advanced suite, which is also Webroot’s top-tier product; Internet Security Complete. This product adds privacy to the mix with multidevice support. Its unique additions include;

  • Online privacy.
  • 25Gb online storage.

Webroot also offers another package similar to the Internet Security Complete suite. This package has no outstanding features but supports up to a maximum of 10 devices. It is called the Family Pack and is suitable for a large household.

Regarding features, McAfee packs a heavy punch compared to Webroot. Besides the essential features, McAfee has other security and privacy-enhancing features that Webroot lacks. They include complete identity theft protection, parental control, a VPN, and other advanced features. A true definition of total protection.

Webroot features

Winner: McAfee

2. Malware Protection

McAfee and Webroot products offer stellar protection against a wide range of threats and malware. This includes evolving malware, ransomware, phishing scams, viruses, identity theft, and other digital threats.

McAfee’s award-winning antivirus makes use of multi-layered protection with machine learning. These technologies help McAfee to offer total protection, fewer false positives, and a faster detection rate. McAfee’s antivirus engine also protects you against ‘fileless’ threats that hide in your systems memory and legitimate files.

On to Webroot, since its inception, it has been refining and renovating its security products. As the pioneers of implementing AI and machine learning onto security products, Webroot offers robust protection. Webroot products also rely on its cloud analysis and threat library intelligence for impeccable protection.

The protection and detection process relies on this cloud-based technology. It also has a sandbox environment that deals with new threats. This environment keeps a log of what the threat does. The real-time cloud-based protection will then determine if the threat is harmful or not. This technology gives Webroot an edge over its competitors.

To test for malware protection, we will rely on independent labs such as AV-Test and AV-Comparatives. However, we will not compare the results as Webroot doesn’t take part in independent lab evaluations. This is because the way Webroot takes care of threats doesn’t allow for AV-Test and AV-Comparatives evaluations.

AV-Test evaluations test antivirus products against zero-day malware attacks, malware infections, and detection of widespread and prevalent malware.

Here are the latest AV-Test results for McAfee.

Malware Protection 1

The AV-Comparatives lab tests on real-world protection and malware protection. Real-world protection tests against malware and malicious websites, malicious URLs, and drive-by exploits.

Here are the real-world protection results from McAfee from  AV-Comparative.

Malware Protection 2 1

Malware protection tests against infections from USB drives and networks. It focuses on malware that relies on the file vector.

Here is how McAfee fared in the malware protection test.

Malware Protection 3 1

From the AV-Test results, McAfee got the highest protection score of 6 out of 6 points. In AV-Comparative, McAfee also didn’t disappoint. Although it got a two-star rating for real-world protection, it bagged the advanced plus three star-rating for malware protection.

According to the lab tests, Malware offers unbeatable protection. Webroot’s advanced protection is highly rated by other private lab tests. The last time Webroot undertook the AV-test was in 2019, and it got a score of 2 out of 6.

Winner: McAfee

3. System Performance

Gone are the days where antivirus suites would hog 90% of your system resources. With the latest updates, antivirus suites can continuously monitor for cyber threats without slowing down your devices. This is true for both McAfee and Webroot products; they have little to no system-performance impact.

McAfee Total Protection is built for both protection and performance. Its background and active scans have a low-performance overhead. McAfee also offers optimization tools that you can use to give your devices a performance boost.

Webroot products are also light on your system performance. Scanning takes place on the cloud, and your computing power can be used for other tasks. Additionally, Webroot’s antivirus client takes a little storage space, about 15MB. Also, Webroot doesn’t need to download threat definitions since protection is mainly cloud-based.

To measure the performance impact, we will once more rely on independent lab tests. Note that Webroot doesn’t take part in these tests. We will have to take the word of Webroot’s private testing regarding its performance.

The AV-Test lab evaluates the performance influence of antivirus products according to your daily usage. These evaluations involve testing against everyday computer operations. These include browsing the internet, downloads, various file operations, installing programs, and launching apps.

Here is how McAfee fared in the latest AV-Test evaluations.

System Performance 5

AV-Comparatives tests the performance effect antivirus operations such as real-time protection have on your system. Here is how McAfee fared in the latest tests.

System Performance 2 2

From both labs, McAfee achieves outstanding performance results. In AV-Test, McAfee got a performance score of 6 out of 6 points. AV-Comparatives awarded it the highest, advanced plus three-star rating. On the other hand, Webroot boats that it is 60 times faster than its competitors. Its 20 seconds scan time beats McAfee scan time.

Winner: Tie

4. User Interface

Your user interface preference may or may not impact your user experience. Generally, both McAfee and Webroot products sport a well-organized user interface.

McAfee got a design overhaul that gave it a new look. The latest McAfee Total protection product sports a streamlined and classy interface. The dashboard on the main window is decluttered than before. It houses the three feature categories, namely, PC, Web, and Identity. At the top, it gives you alerts and reports via the status banner.

Mcafee interface

On to Webroot, if you loved the Windows Aero theme, you will love Webroot’s interface. Its products pack a simple yet intuitive interface. The main dashboard is divided into three abstract areas. The top-left area shows your license period, your device’s status, recent scan results, and it includes a scan button.

The bottom-left area gives you access to the Webroot Community, expert advice, and security news. Lastly, the right area houses essential features, functionalities, and the advanced settings button.

webroot interface

You won’t experience a problem navigating and accessing various features in both products.

Winner: Tie

5. Pricing

McAfee offers four subscription plans for its four tiers. The subscriptions cover multiple devices, and they also carry a 30-day money-back guarantee. Additionally, McAfee offers you a 100% virus removal guarantee or your money back.

Here are the first-year introductory prices for McAfee at the time of this review.

  • The Single device subscription goes for $34.99 per year per device.
  • The Individual/Couple subscription costs $39.99 per year for 5 devices.
  • The Family subscription retails at $44.99 per year for 10 devices.
  • The Ultimate subscription costs $109.99 per year for unlimited devices.
McAfee ProductsRegular Price Discounted Price
McAfee Total Protection (1 Device)$79.99/year Check here
McAfee Total Protection (5 Device) $99.99/yearCheck here
McAfee Total Protection (10 Device) $119.99/yearCheck here

Webroot also offers four pricing plans for its four products. The subscriptions are also multidevice, and they carry a 70-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked. The subscription prices at the time of this review;

  • Webroot Antivirus subscription costs $29.99 for 1 device.
  • Webroot Internet Security subscription retails at $44.99 for 3 devices.
  • Webroot Internet Security Complete subscription goes for $59.99 for 5 devices.
  • Webroot Family Pack subscription costs $159.99 for up to 10 devices.
Webroot ProductsRegular PriceDiscounted Price
Webroot Antivirus$39.99/yearNo Discount
Webroot Internet Security Plus$59.99/yearNo Discount
Webroot Internet Security Complete$79.99/yearNo Discount
Webroot Business Products$150.00/yearNo Discount

From the price sheet, both brands offer competitive prices for their antivirus products. Both pricey and expensive depending on the devices supported. However, a close overall look reveals that McAfee subscriptions give you the best value for your money. Additionally, it has comprehensive features that Webroot does not offer.

Winner: Bitdefender

6. Compatibility

McAfee and Webroot products support multiple devices and are cross-platform. They are compatible with Windows, Macs, Android, and iOS devices. Similar to other antivirus products, Windows and Android products pack the most features and are the most targeted. Their counterparts, Macs and iOS, pack essential protection.

This is because Macs and iOS devices have a closed system. These operating systems are less susceptible to malware and virus.

Winner: Tie

Final Thoughts

McAfee Total Protection offers the best and comprehensive protection. It has a wide array of features, including unlimited VPN, parental control, and identity theft protection services. Unlike its limited security for macs and iOS, identity theft protection covers all the devices. Its award-winning antivirus engine is also effective against online and offline threats.

McAfee gives you the protection you need and covers all the bases of comprehensive security. On the other hand, Webroot also provides the required protection. However, its features are limited when compared to what McAfee offers.

We recommend McAfee Total protection as the best product between the two. It gives an excellent value for your money, its multidevice, and it offers top-tier features.

Frequently asked questions

Which is better, McAfee or Webroot?

In a head-to-head comparison between McAfee and Webroot, McAfee wins in most aspects. Although both are great antivirus products, McAfee Total protection offers the best-in-class protection. It also gives you a comprehensive identity theft protection service.

Can I have McAfee and Webroot at the same time?

Yes, but it is not recommended as the performance overhead will be high. If performance is not a problem, you will likely get many false positives from both products. Additionally, there’s no need to have two of them as McAfee can give you almost everything Webroot offers.

Is McAfee worth it in 2021?

McAfee is a recommendable antivirus suite for 2021. As most services are going digital due to the Covid-19 pandemic, identity theft will rise. In this case, you will need McAfee’s identity theft protection services.

Is Webroot worth the money?

If you are not concerned about how identity theft has evolved, you might give Webroot a chance. However, you will be missing the value of money offered by McAfee. Moreover, you will also miss out on unlimited VPN, parental control, and other advanced features.

Is Webroot a good antivirus software?

Webroot is a solid antivirus with robust protection against a wide range of online threats. Its high-end product, Internet Security Complete, will offer you the required protection. It also has better features than Webroot’s other products

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