Webroot is a cybersecurity firm that offers a range of products, one of which is its VPN service Webroot WiFI Security.
There aren’t many plans with this VPN and even less customization, but this simplicity may be endearing for newcomers to VPNs.
But Webroot isn’t performing anywhere near the top: it doesn’t have the best protocols, it’s hopeless for streaming and torrenting, and has only half-decent speeds. For the cost, you can get much better.
Pricing & Deals
Webroot offers a three device plan for $39.99 and five device plan for $20.00 extra at $59.99. There are no options for length of commitment, checking you out automatically with a one year subscription to the service.
Webroot WiFi Security Pricing & Deals
It’s usual for a provider to offer savings on longer-term subscriptions, something Webroot doesn’t do. This is disappointing for those looking to strike a deal, but there’s also something to be said about the simplicity of this approach.
It’s also not that expensive as a 12-month subscription – $3.33 a month on the three device plan and $4.99 a month on the five device plan. But there’s still cheaper out there, and you can see them in our guide to the Best Cheap VPNs.
There is a seven day free trial for mobile devices, which is something when considering that Webroot doesn’t offer any refunds.
Standard payment methods are available, including credit cards and PayPal, but there's no cryptocurrency or international options.
Speed & Reliability
Webroot performs in the lower ranks of paid VPNs and is oftentimes quite inconsistent.
The peak average result comes from the UK at 60 Mbps downloads and 46 Mbps uploads. That’s decent performance, but it gets lower for other European servers with 34 Mbps downloads for the Netherlands and, quite bizarrely, just 1.5 Mbps from France.
Across the ocean, USA and Canada perform relatively decently – 20 Mbps and 18 Mbps downloads, respectively.
Australia and Singapore could be better too: 7.60 Mbps and 5 Mbps for Singapore, although performance should be expected to decline over such a long distance.
Platforms & Devices
Webroot covers the most popular platforms and devices, including Windows and iOS, but isn’t compatible with Linux.
Streaming & Torrenting
For a company that prioritizes security and doesn’t advertise its ability to bypass geo-restrictions for streaming purposes, it’s not surprising that Webroot didn’t work with Netflix.
Nor does it work with BBC iPlayer.
What about torrenting? Neither does it support P2P sharing or torrenting on any server.
Webroot is completely useless for people looking for a VPN for streaming and torrenting.
Encryption & Security
For a VPN provider that prides itself on security above all else, it’s disappointing to discover that OpenVPN, the best protocol for balancing performance and security, isn’t available on Webroot.
That’s a big blow in our estimation.
But it does use top encryption – AES-256, which is also used by the military.
A kill switch is also available, which has to be switched on in the settings option under the header of ‘Connections’. Be sure to turn it on.
Enquiring about the ability of Webroot to bypass censorship, after some marketing talk about how it values privacy it finally told us, “we cannot guarantee that you will be able to bypass local geoblocks.”
If you’re heading to a country like China or the UAE you’ll need to use a different VPN.
What Webroot does collect is information that maintains its performance and payment transactions, including:
- Minimal usage statistics
- 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 (but not the IP address)
- The number of devices simultaneously connected through your account
While this seems like a lot, the important details, such as browsing activity, downloaded data, IP address and DNS queries are strictly off-limits.
It still might remain too much for purists, who should consider a truly no logs VPN such as Private Internet Access.
Webroot is based in the US. For a company concerned about privacy, it’s odd that it would be based in one of the most aggressive surveillance countries on the planet.
Jurisdiction is always important to consider for VPN providers because they are subject to the laws of that land. It’s best to be based in a country with privacy-friendly laws.
Ease of Use
Webroot WiFi Security is pleasantly simple to use, with one home screen, a location indicator to change location and a burger menu for settings.
No doubt it trades this ease and simplicity for customization. This will put off the seasoned VPN user looking to configure the VPN.
Head to the installer download section of the Webroot site and download for your device. Simply select where to download the software and that’s it – a loading bar shows and then you can log in.
Within the settings section of the app is a Support page with options including an FAQ, Speed Test, and Support ticket. All of them link you to the website which will open out-of-app in your browser.
To open a support ticket, you must log in to your client account. Once logging on you have to generate a security code and question. Doing that, you have to log in again.
You can then finally get to a ticket page. It’s a bit frustrating.
But it responded quickly and answered the inquiry fine, even if it surrounded it with some needless marketing talk.
The Bottom Line
- Simple and easy-to-use app
- Goos security features
- Hopeless for streaming
- Limited server list
- Jurisdiction in the US
- Performance is okay at best
Webroot prides itself on simple but effective security. A pleasant enough app goes towards that, but don’t expect anything when it comes to streaming and torrenting. Nor can it bypass censorship.
The central undoing is flaws in security, chiefly the exclusion of the OpenVPN protocol.
Webroot is serviceable for newcomers looking for added security – one to run and then let it do the invisible work. To anyone looking for something more substantial, look elsewhere.