Webroot WiFi Security in brief:
- P2P allowed: No
- Business location: United States
- Number of servers: 500+
- Number of country locations: 32
- Monthly cost: $40 billed annually for 3 devices, or $60 for 5
- VPN protocol: IKEv2 (default)
- Data encryption: AES-256
- Data authentication: SHA-256
- Handshake encryption: 2048-bit
We rarely review VPNs that use a white label service, because what’s the point? If it’s just the same as a service we’ve already reviewed with another name slapped on it, there’s little reason to revisit it. We’re making an exception today by taking a look at Webroot’s WiFi Security, which is based on an enterprise product called Perimeter 81 from Tel Aviv-based SaferVPN.
When you first see Webroot WiFi Security there’s no doubt about its SaferVPN roots. The application is almost a carbon copy of SaferVPN, with some minor differences in color and messaging.
We won’t go into too much detail about Webroot’s app as we’ve already taken a hard look at it its foundation in our SaferVPN review. In summary, the app is simple enough to use and lets you choose from a good number of locations.
What sets Webroot WiFi Security apart is that it uses its own BrightCloud Threat Intelligence service to keep VPN users safe online.
Features and services
Webroot doesn’t quite have the full server offering of SaferVPN, with just 36 granular location options instead of 40. The difference is that Webroot isn’t offering any of SaferVPN’s P2P server options, which means WiFi Security is not for anyone who wants a VPN for file sharing. It also lacks SaferVPN’s U.S. streaming servers, but it does offer UK streaming.
Diving into settings, Webroot doesn’t offer the OpenVPN protocol option that SaferVPN does, opting for IKEv2 by default, and then also offering L2TP over IPSec and PPTP.
There’s also the option to connect automatically, a whitelist for networks you don’t want to use with a VPN, and a kill switch to stop internet traffic when you lose connection with the VPN. Webroot’s settings also have the option to disable BrightCloud web filtering, which is enabled by default.
BrightCloud’s web filtering can be turned off from Settings > Web Filtering.
BrightCloud is the key difference between Webroot and its progenitor. So what is BrightCloud filtering? It’s basically a beefed up version of site filtering that acts as an extra layer of protection against malware that you may run across online. If Webroot detects a site as risky, it will throw up a warning similar to the Chrome web browser, but if you still choose to go ahead and visit the site, Webroot will allow you to do so.
Webroot isn’t the only VPN service to offer this kind of monitoring, F-Secure’s Freedome and NordVPN also do, but it is uncommon.
In our tests, which took place at different times over three days, Webroot scored significantly lower than SaferVPN, retaining around 26 percent of the base speed—that’s close to half of SaferVPN’s performance. That said, speeds were very good in the United States, often around 50 percent of the base speed. Speeds were also pretty good for the UK and Australian connections.
Privacy, anonymity, and trust
Webroot is based in Broomfield, Colorado. The company’s business address is 385 Interlocken Crescent, Suite 800, Broomfield, CO 80021. The CEO is Mike Potts and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is Hal Lonas. All of this information is available on the company’s about page.
These are similar to SaferVPN’s privacy policies—a mix of good and not-so-good. It’s great that Webroot’s policy says it’s not tracking your browsing habits (though that’s par for the course for most VPNs), but you can find VPN services that do far less logging.
To sign up for Webroot’s WiFi security you need to supply your full name, address, and email address. That’s a lot of information and is by no means the norm for most VPN services. Webroot accepts payments via credit card and PayPal.
Webroot is a fine VPN. Even though its performance was low I didn’t really experience much in the way of incredible delays or poor performance when using it. If you intend to use your VPN for bandwidth-heavy tasks then you might want to look elsewhere. Webroot also isn’t ideal for anyone trying to stay as anonymous as possible. If you just need a VPN for casual web browsing, however, or if you like the idea of an extra security layer for your browsing then Webroot is a good choice.
Editor’s note: Because online services are often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements over time, this review is subject to change in order to accurately reflect the current state of the service. Any changes to text or our final review verdict will be noted at the top of this article.
Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Webroot WiFi Security uses SaferVPN's Perimeter 81 to create A VPN service with the security company's own web filtering. The speeds are serviceable enough for the most part, but there's no US streaming option. Its not an ideal VPN for people trying to remain anonymous as best they can, but for the average user who just needs to protect their web browsing it'll work.
- Built-in web filtering for added security
- Simple interface
- Speeds are serviceable but not outstanding
- Requires full name and address for sign-up
Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn't like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he's not covering the news he's working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.
WiFi Security is user-friendly, but doesn't have the power or features experienced VPN users will expect. For Webroot fans only.
- Top-quality URL filtering
- Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer
- 7-day trial
- Some session logging
- Below average performance
- No refund period
- Works with official apps only
American security vendor Webroot is best known for its ultra-lightweight antivirus, but the company has now extended its range with Webroot WiFi Security, a simple VPN for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices.
Although the service is branded as Webroot, the apps, underlying network and VPN expertise largely comes from SaferVPN, a capable provider which offers decent performance and some useful features.
WiFi Security has a network of 35 locations spread around the world. That can't match the best of the competition – ExpressVPN has 160 locations in 94 countries – but WiFi Security's locations are well positioned, and most users will have one nearby.
Signing up with WiFi Security doesn't just get you access to SaferVPN's servers. Webroot adds a unique feature (on Windows, Mac and Android) of its own in BrightCloud, the company's sophisticated web filtering technology, to prevent you accessing dangerous websites. Forget the basic DNS-based blacklists offered by a few other VPNs, what you're getting here is just the same up-to-date threat information that powers Webroot's own security suites.
Webroot WiFi Security looks reasonably priced at $40 (£30.77) for a one-year, three device service, which comes to $3.33 or £2.56 a month – although it rises to $60 (£46.15) per year, the equivalent of $5 or £3.85 a month, on renewal. Covering five devices costs $60 (£46.15) for year one, $80 (£61.54) – $6.66 or £5.12 per month – on renewal. So although not as good, it undercuts NordVPN.
To put that in perspective, Private Internet Access currently costs $6.95 (£5.46) for monthly billing, dropping to $3.33 (£2.62) if you pay a year upfront, which covers you for up to five devices.
There are no other subscription options, unfortunately – no monthly billing, no two- or three-year plans with healthy discounts.
Sign up via Android or iOS and you'll get a free 7-day trial. You don't get this option with desktops, but if you create an account with your mobile, you can then sign in with your Windows or Mac, and try out the service.
This is especially important because, unusually, Webroot doesn't offer refunds. That's a definite problem for a VPN, when you've no idea how it'll work for you, so it's important to do as much pre-purchase testing as you can.
Privacy and logging
The policy explains that 'we do not collect or log any browsing activity, IP addresses, downloaded data (or shared or viewed data), or DNS queries.' That is, Webroot doesn't keep your browsing history or log the content of whatever you're viewing or downloading.
There is some session logging, with the service recording the date and time when a session started and finished, the amount of data transferred, the VPN location you've accessed, the country you've connected from (not the source IP address) and the number of devices simultaneously connected through your account.
The policy also reports that 'if your WiFi Security app crashes, logs of what happened on the device for a brief period prior to the crash, which may include some downloaded data and DNS queries, may be logged for troubleshooting purposes only, in order to identify the cause of the crash.'
This leaves us with some questions. Can these logs be connected to your account, for instance? How long might the data be kept for? But if you're concerned, it appears that you can toggle a client setting to stop logs being sent to Webroot, avoiding these issues entirely.
Webroot WiFi Security does have some logging, then, but nothing we haven't seen with many other providers. And having a trusted name like Webroot attached to the service gives us more confidence that the policy is accurate, and there's no other logging going on that we're not hearing about.
Overall, privacy purists will frown at the session logging, but if you're mostly using the VPN for basic tasks – unblocking streaming sites, encrypting access to Wi-Fi hotspots – we see no special need for concern.
Webroot's Windows client (essentially SaferVPN's software with Webroot's web filtering included) has a simple and stripped-back interface which anyone will be able to use, right from the word go. A flag displays your selected location, a list enables choosing from the full set, and you can connect with a click.
There are barely any location-picking extras. You can't filter by continents, for instance. You can't expand a country to see individual locations within it. There are no load figures or ping times to highlight the fastest servers for you.
Webroot has covered the key fundamentals, though. A Recommended list highlights servers you're most likely to use, a simple Favorites system places commonly-used locations at the top of the list, and you can view connection status and access locations by right-clicking the client's system tray icon. It's all very well presented and easy to use.
The only small issue that presented itself is the inability to change to a new server until you've closed the current connection, but that only takes a click, and if you rarely change servers, you're unlikely to care.
A sparse Settings dialog enables choosing your protocol (PPTP, L2TP and IKEv2, not OpenVPN). The client can automatically log in when you access insecure or untrusted networks, and a kill switch stops internet traffic if the VPN drops.
That's almost it, apart from a 'launch at startup' setting. This is more limited than usual as although the client will launch along with Windows, it won't automatically connect. You must do this yourself by tapping the Connect button.
Webroot's web filtering is built-in and activated by default. It's a definite plus for the package and will keep you a little safer, although if you do have any issues with it, you can disable the feature from the Settings panel.
Webroot WiFi Security also has apps for Mac, Android and iOS. A quick look at the Android version revealed very much the same interface as the Windows build, with the same core features. It's not the most powerful or configurable Android VPN app we've seen, but as with the Windows client, it's easy to use and covers the basics well.
Webroot doesn't support OpenVPN, which meant we weren't able to use our automated performance testing tools. Instead, we fell back on our older approach, manually logging in to a sample of WiFi Security settings, then checking download speeds with Speedtest.net, Fast.com and more.
UK speeds averaged a disappointing 40Mbps on our 75Mbps test line. While that's enough for most tasks, the best VPNs manage 60Mbps and more.
European countries similarly managed a below par 30-40Mbps, and a few locations were especially poor. The Netherlands delivered as little as 20Mbps, for instance, less than half what we would expect from a quality VPN.
US performance much was better, ranging from 30-55Mbps when using the US east and west coast servers.
Unfortunately, the problems reappeared when we went long distance, with Australia managing 10-15Mbps on a good day, and Thailand hovering around 5Mbps.
Speed tests rarely give definitive answers, but from what we saw, WiFi Security consistently delivers lower speeds than leading VPNs (though usually still enough for browsing and video streaming). If performance is a priority for you, take the free trial available on the mobile apps, then run your own performance tests before you buy.
As you might guess from the name, Webroot WiFi Security sells itself almost entirely on its privacy and security benefits. The website pays no attention at all to the possibility of unblocking Netflix, iPlayer or other platforms or content which might not be available in your current location.
Does this mean WiFi Security can't unblock anything, we wondered? Nope. Despite only offering a single UK location, the service gave us instant access to BBC iPlayer.
The US servers enabled viewing US YouTube content just as easily. That's not quite as impressive – we've only come across one VPN, ever, which couldn't bypass YouTube's flimsy defenses – but it's still good to know.
Accessing Netflix is the real prize, of course. WiFi Security's 'US East' server was blocked, but connecting to 'US West' got us in. Webroot might not be interested in WiFi Security's unblocking abilities, but from what we can see, the service performs better than most.
The best specialist VPN providers typically provide a host of setup guides, tutorials, troubleshooting resources and more, all designed to help you get the most out of the service.
Webroot WiFi Security is, well, a little more basic. The knowledgebase had 26 articles when we last checked, and although one or two have some valuable details, most include a few lines of text with little that you couldn't have figured out for yourself.
This isn't quite the problem it might be with some VPNs, though, as WiFi Security is relatively straightforward and unlikely to cause you many difficulties. If you run into problems anyway, you can contact Webroot support via a ticket system. That's not going to give you the speedy response of the live chat support available with some providers, but in our experience, Webroot support is generally helpful, reliable and faster than most.
Webroot WiFi Security could work for undemanding folks who just need an easy-to-use VPN to protect browsing and email, but it doesn't have the features, speed, configurability, choice of locations or platform coverage to match the best of the competition.
Every prudent Internet user is looking for a secure tool that would be able to ensure safety and privacy on the Internet. No matter whether it is an antivirus for computer protection or the best VPN software for anonymity on the Web.
Webroot is software exactly of this kind. It offers different products: SecureAnywhere Antivirus, SecureAnywhere Internet Security Plus, and SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete. The company was founded in 1997 with the aim of providing customers and businesses with Internet security.
Tariffs and prices of Webroot VPN
Webroot is known as one of the best antivirus software. However, the company has launched its own VPN recently. Webroot WiFi Security was designed for people who often use public hotspots with different platforms.
The price for the provider starts from $39.99 to protect three devices for a year. In case you’re not satisfied with the number of simultaneous connections, get another plan allowing 5 devices. It will cost you $59.99.
When it comes to paying for the service, choose one of the following methods:
- Bank Cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover Card, JCB Card;
Unfortunately, there is no such option as paying with cryptocurrency.
Note: Some subscriptions begin with a free session, to avoid being charged using a Webroot free trial, you must cancel your subscription before it ends. Webroot doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee.
Info on servers in different countries
New Webroot WiFi Security offers connections to 35+ countries of your choice. Among them servers in the UK, the USA, Canada, Russia, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Singapore, Thailand and other countries.
If you use some of the servers regularly, it will be convenient to ‘favorite’ such locations. They will be shown at the top of the location server list.
It is also possible to select the “Automatic” connection, it allows the app to choose the best location according to your current IP.
Security and Privacy
As for protocols and encryption method of the provider, they are up-to-date. However, we haven’t found any information about OpenVPN. It seems this protocol is not supported by Webroot WiFi Security. In the settings of Webroot VPN application you can choose from:
What is really important is that the VPN uses the most robust ciphering – AES 256-bit encryption. It’s considered to be the most reliable and trustworthy today. It proves that the company takes the issues about security and privacy seriously.
Webroot customer service
You may well face some technical issues even with the best VPN applications. That’s why it’s vital to have a possibility to contact the Webroot team at any time. Fortunately, there’re a lot of ways to get a hold of them. First, you can submit a ticket on the official website, webroot.com.
Such options are also available:
- Find an answer using Webroot interactive knowledge base;
- Send a message for support;
- Call a customer support representative.
Note: You can contact Webroot via call during Webroot business hours in Denver, Dublin and Sydney.
Client Account procedures
We’ve spent a few minutes to get the VPN on our Windows desktop. The process is easy and even intuitive. First, you have to create a Webroot account. You can do this on the official website. Just fill in a form with the necessary information. However, if you have already had Webroot SecureAnywhere Console Account or want to change your password, it’s better to read this information.
Confirm authorization on your e-mail
and download Webroot WiFi Security on your device.
Enter your password and username once again to access the app. Find a server you want to connect and that’s it.
IP Leak test and speed test for Webroot WiFi Security
We’ve connected to the server in France and decided to test the location for IP leaks and speeds. It is interesting to know what is our IP address.
The results are the following:
- No IP leaks detected. Our location is Paris and the IP corresponds to the provided address by the VPN.
- Webroot WiFi Security hasn’t reduced our speeds significantly. The first screenshot shows the speeds without the VPN.
The second – with the running application. As you can see, the speeds are satisfying. 32.90 Mbps will allow you to stream music and HD videos, play computer games online, and many others.
Unfortunately, Webroot WiFi Security works only on the most popular platforms, such as Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. If you need the best VPN app for Linux or configure a VPN on a modern router, you have to choose another provider.
Functions of Webroot WiFi Security
If you still ask yourself “Do I need a VPN?”, look at other functions of Webroot WiFi Security:
- Unlimited data access;
- Protection from malicious websites (available only on Android, Mac and Windows);
- Safe and secure browsing;
- Auto-connects on insecure Wi-Fi networks.
The VPN uses Webroot BrightCloud Threat Intelligence. Such feature classifies web pages to reveal hidden relationships between URLs that signal untrustworthy and malicious websites. In other words, Webroot WiFi Security prevents consumers from visiting risky pages and protects usernames and passwords against any third-party.
Webroot WiFi Security was specially designed to protect customers against malicious threats. The software is able to prevent financial and identity thefts. Moreover, the VPN hides your IP addresses and encrypts data to keep you safe on the Web. A Webroot WiFi Security mobile app automatically detects when you’re browsing on a suspicious page - even if you haven’t signed up for anything, and all you did was just download the app. We think this function is extremely convenient and useful. The provider does not offer refund if you have bought the software through Webroot. However, for app store purchases, regular app store refund policies apply.
We encourage you review these Webroot WiFi Security pros and cons when making your purchasing decision.
Advantages of Webroot WiFi Security:
- Free trial;
- User-friendly applications;
- No logs;
- Robust encryption;
- Simple setup;
- Decent speeds;
- BrightCloud Threat Intelligence.
Disadvantages of Webroot WiFi Security:
- Cryptocurrency is not available as a payment method;
- Runs only on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
- Fast connection speeds
- Great Customer Support
- Limited servers
- New product on the market
We have been hard at work reviewing Webroot WiFi Security, one of the newest VPN products available. There is plenty to like about the Webroot VPN. Webroot is actually one of the last big IT security companies to release a VPN product. Companies such as Norton, Kaspersky and Bitdefender have had VPN products bundled with their main security product for well over a year now.
What is Webroot WiFi Security?
Webroot’s latest product is called “WiFi Security” basically, it is a VPN. A VPN is simply a secure connection to a server. It can’t be intercepted and data travelling over a VPN connection is encrypted. This means that all of your internet browsing data is secure. Most of the major security company’s already have a VPN offering, often bundled with their Internet Security product.
Webroot is known for fast, reliable threat detection. The release of a VPN by the company has come a little bit out of left-field. But we’re excited about it!
Like other VPN software, there are a number of server locations available all over the world. Some of these locations include
- USA (Multiple server locations)
Does it work with my current Antivirus software?
Yes! Webroot Security WiFi works with any Antivirus or Internet Security software. Let’s take a look at a few differences between a VPN and Antivirus.
- Antivirus software protects your device from spyware, viruses and malware. It protects files on the computer from being compromised. One thing that antivirus can’t do is protect the internet traffic that runs between your computer and servers all over the world. This is where the VPN comes to play.
- The VPN’s only function is to encrypt the data that moves between your computer and the internet. In the same way that an Antivirus can’t protect your internet data, a VPN software can’t protect your computer from viruses.
The best part is that with a combination of an Antivirus software and a VPN like Webroot WiFi Security, you can protect yourself in any internet connected environment. Let’s consider this situation. You are spending the afternoon in your local coffee shop,
Mobile Apps Available!
Not only can you download Webroot Wifi security for your Mac or PC, but you can also download the Android and Ios app. Why is that important? It means you can keep your browsing data private no matter where you are. If you are anything like me, you probably use your phone just as much as your laptop for internet browsing. You probably connect to free WiFi hotspots around your city without considering the fact that your data could be being intercepted.
How Much Is Webroot WiFi Security and How Many Licenses Are Included?
Surprisingly, Webroot is very price competitive. 3 device licenses start from just $39.99 per year. If you need to connect more than 3 devices you can upgrade to the 5 device license for just $20.00 more!
3 Reasons To Buy Webroot WiFi Security Today!
- An awesome number of servers available – Over 15 server locations available for you to connect to. Having the ability to connect to a server of your choice gives you the freedom to access country-specific content anytime you need it. For example, you might want to access an article or video that is not available in your country. You can use Webroot WiFi Security to connect to a server in another country and access the information you need.
- Connection speeds and data limits – Webroot WiFi Security has no download limits. That means you can connect to any server and download as much data as you like. In our testing, we found that the average download speeds were 7% slower than our standard broadband connection. There will always be a slight decrease in speed when you use a VPN.
- Backed by Webroot – Webroot, formally Spy Sweeper, has been around since the early 2000’s. The company has proven year after year that it can compete with the big players in the IT Security sector. Webroot is renowned for great customer service and actually won the 2017 SC award for best customer service.
Public WiFi is convenient and available almost everywhere, but it isn’t secure. You need a virtual private network (VPN) to protect your online life from cybercriminals and others who use public WiFi to spread viruses and malware, steal your personal information, and spy on your online activity.
Webroot® WiFi Security is a VPN that gives you security and privacy while you work, share, bank, and browse online. But Webroot WiFi Security is different from a traditional VPN. It adds a layer of protection for your valuable information, but isn’t demanding or difficult to set up. It just takes a single tap or click to activate all your protection features, so you know your connection is secure, anonymous, and most importantly, private.
• ULTIMATE PRIVACY: Keeps your identity and personal information secure for your peace
• FAST, SECURE EXPERIENCE: Won’t affect your connection speed
• EASY-TO-USE INTERFACE: Activates full protection with a single tap or click
• AUTO-CONNECT: Automatically keeps you safe wherever you go
• MULTI-DEVICE PROTECTION: Secure up to five devices with one license
• ANONYMOUS BROWSING: Hides your IP address and location so you can’t be tracked
• NO DATA RESTRICTIONS: Won’t impact your data limit
• ZERO ACTIVITY LOGGING: Never monitors, retains, or logs your online activity
• FULL DATA PROTECTION: Protects your online activity from cyber criminals
• GLOBLA COVERAGE: Lets you choose your preferred locations from 34+ countries
Why do I need Webroot WiFi Security?
A busy mobile lifestyle often means you connect with WiFi networks wherever you can find them – coffee shops, airports, train stations, hotels, restaurants, and wherever else they’re available. But you can’t trust everyone who connect to those public networks. Webroot® WiFi Security is private, anonymous, and secure. This easy-to-use VPN keeps you and your family safe, wherever you connect. Download your free trial today!
• Webroot WiFi Security begins with a 7-day free trial, after which annual or monthly
subscriptions are available at $3.99/month or $39.99/year (covers up to 3 devices), or
$5.99/month or $59.99/year (covers up to 5 devices).
• Your subscription will be automatically renewed, and your account will be charged 24
hours before the end of the current subscription period according to the plan you
selected. You can opt out of automatic renewal at any time in your Account Settings.
• Subscription costs will be charged to your iTunes account at confirmation of purchase.
• If you cancel your subscription during the 7-day trial period, you will not be charged.
• Any unused portion of a free trial period is forfeited upon purchase of a full subscription.
Webroot does not collect or log browsing activity, IP addresses or downloaded data.
Due to government restrictions, Webroot WiFi Security service may not be available in the following countries (this depends on ISP, region, and time factor): China, Russia, Egypt, and UAE. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Best-known for its antivirus product, Webroot is an American Internet Security Provider founded in 1997. In more recent years, they decided to enter the realm of VPNs with a new product which came in the form of Webroot WiFi Security.
Available on major platforms such as Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android operating systems, it’s marketed as an online security and privacy product that will keep your personal information well away from cybercriminals and hidden from your ISP.
Good for unblocking Netflix and iPlayer, Webroot WiFi Security VPN provides access to 35 locations spread throughout the world in countries such as the UK, USA, and Germany.
In our complete Webroot WiFi Security VPN review, you’ll find out everything you need to know about what it has to offer, as well as how it stacks up against the competition. So, without further ado, here’s all you need to know.
Security and privacy
In terms of security features, you’ll find that you have multiple options at your disposal, which includes the following:
- Unbreakable AES 256-bit encryption
- Malicious website protection
- IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP protocols
- IPv6 leak protection
- Kill switch
As you can see, OpenVPN isn’t an option, which is somewhat disappointing considering it is said to be one of the most secure methods available. In spite of this, our Webroot WiFi Security VPN review found that this VPN performed well in terms of preventing IP address leaks and offering a backup in the form of a kill switch during service interruptions.
However, something that’s worth bearing in mind is that Webroot is based in a Five Eyes country, which means that your data may end up in the hands of the authorities if you aren’t careful.
Does Webroot WiFi Security log your data?
Short answer: some.
However, what you need to be aware of is that certain session logs occur with Webroot WiFi Security VPN. This includes the date and time of when your sessions begin and end, which VPN location you have used, how many devices you are using, in addition to the amount of data which has been transferred.
This type of logging might be somewhat concerning to privacy perfectionists. But, for the average user who is looking to protect themselves when using open networks and bypass geo-restrictions should be absolutely fine.
Speed and performance
When reviewing Webroot WiFi Security VPN, we found that speed and performance was a mixed bag. On many of the servers, the speeds were below average which means that you might struggle to perform demanding tasks such as streaming HD or 4K video. But, for normal tasks such as light web browsing, you should be fine.
With that being said, we found that some of the servers didn’t experience much of a slowdown – it just takes some trial and error. Soon enough, you will be able to find the servers which offer decent performance in terms of upload and download speeds.
When it comes to your choice of servers, you’ll find that there are 34 locations at your disposal with over 700 servers to choose from. However, this is somewhat limited when compared to the top dogs of the VPN industry, which provide access to thousands of servers in dozens of countries.
Ease of use and multi-platform support
With native applications available for most of the major platforms, you’re relatively limited to a short list of options when getting Webroot WiFi Security VPN up and running on your devices. Operating systems supported include the following:
If you would like to get the service set up on a device which is running Linux, you won’t have the option to with Webroot WiFi Security. This will be disappointing to any user who happens to have a device running that particular OS. You’ll also find that you cannot install the service on a router either.
Unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms
One of the most common uses for a VPN is unblocking geo-restriction policies. Netflix and BBC iPlayer are two popular streaming services, and we found that we were able to access them with Webroot VPN.
However, some users reported that Netflix was able to identify that a VPN was being used. So, this will certainly be quite frustrating in that you will need to try different servers or perhaps not even have the option to use a VPN at all.
P2P and torrenting
Secure torrenting is an absolute must in this day and age with there being an ever-increasing number of people around the world getting into trouble for downloading and streaming copyrighted material.
P2P and torrenting are not supported on any of the Webroot WiFi Security VPN servers.
If you download torrents and would like to keep yourself protected, you’ll need to keep looking for another VPN.
Online censorship in China and elsewhere
China is a country renowned for being extremely strict when it comes to censorship and online surveillance. For that reason, you need to be careful when browsing the web and downloading content to avoid a run-in with the law. The Great Firewall of China and similar restrictions in other countries will block access to certain websites and services, which leaves you with no choice but to use a VPN.
However, there is no specific information to suggest that Webroot WiFi Security VPN is suitable for use within countries such as China. Therefore, you’d be far better off continuing your search for the best VPN for China.
One of the strong points of Webroot WiFi security is that their customer support is decent. It didn’t take long for us to get the answers we were looking for, with plenty of options available for users to make full use of:
- 24/7 ticket-based support
- Call centers
- Knowledge base
- FAQ section
Unfortunately, there’s no live chat available.
When you sign up via mobile, you’ll find that you can take advantage of a 7-day trial which allows you to try out the service before buying. This is even more appreciated due to the fact there are no refunds available if you are unhappy with the service.
In terms of price plans, you are limited to a 1-year subscription only, which allows you to protect up to three devices. Although, for an additional fee you can protect up to five. Here are the options at your disposal:
- 1-year up to 3 devices – $40 ($3.33 a month)
- 1-year up to 5 devices – $60 ($4.99 a month)
Webroot accepts PayPal and credit cards as forms of payment, which is commonly seen when purchasing a VPN subscription. But, those with privacy concerns will find that anonymous payment methods such as cryptocurrency, unfortunately, aren’t available.
It’s clear that Webroot WiFi Security has its benefits in terms of enhancing your online privacy when using open networks and browsing the web at home, all thanks to the solid 256-bit encryption and minimal logging.
However, there are many reasons why you can obtain better value for money by choosing a different VPN provider. This includes the lack of server choice, the absence of torrenting support, and inconsistent speeds. There are many other options out there on the market which offer each of these benefits and more for a similar cost. So, it’s well worth bearing this in mind before you hit that buy button!
Webroot WiFi Security is a fairly new VPN from American security company Webroot. The company’s primary focus is on computer security, so it makes sense that their VPN has the same priority. The Webroot website markets the VPN as a companion to their popular antivirus software.
Webroot WiFi Security isn’t trying to be everything, but instead focuses on protecting you with reliable, strong security features through a simple interface. It can’t unblock Netflix or any other popular streaming services, so if streaming is a priority to you, we recommend NordVPN instead.
Below is an overview of Webroot WiFi Security’s key features and overall performance:
Webroot doesn’t make any promises about unblocking streaming content. It simply isn’t the focus of their service at this point in time. Webroot even acknowledges on the help section of their website that you may not be able to access streaming websites like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon at all while using their service. If you’re looking for a VPN for streaming, take a look at the best VPNs for Netflix.
While this may not matter if you are using the VPN on a work device, for example, this creates a big problem for those of us who use streaming sites regularly. Even if you are located in the US, it’s not ideal to have to turn off your VPN whenever you want to watch Netflix.
Webroot WiFi Security does not support P2P sharing or torrenting on any of their servers.
Consistently fast connection speeds are extremely important when you are looking for a VPN. Webroot’s server network includes 35+ countries, and they claim to have multiple servers in each location.
We had mixed results in our speed tests. By far the best connections speeds were found by connecting to nearby servers in the US.
With a base speed of 70 Mbps, Webroot’s local US servers were able to consistently give us speeds of around 40 Mbps.
Connections speeds for server locations farther away were mixed. Our speeds when connected to Germany ranged from 13-25 Mbps.
Across the world in Australia we were only getting around 5 Mbps.
Though it can’t compete with the speeds of some of the top VPNs, we were still pretty impressed with Webroot’s speed when we were connected to nearby servers. However, don’t expect to get consistently fast speeds with this VPN when connecting to servers farther away.
Webroot WiFi Security offers some strong security features and well-rounded protection. This VPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, and users can choose between PPTP, L2TP, and IKEv2 protocols. OpenVPN is supported on all platforms except iOS.
Windows, Mac, and Android users can take advantage of an automatic kill switch, although it currently isn’t an option for iOS. This ensures that your online activity isn’t compromised by a sudden connection drop.
Webroot also has an auto-connect feature that will automatically activate Webroot WiFi Security if you connect to an unsecured network, even if the VPN is turned off.
Their Webroot BrightCloud Threat Intelligence web-filtering feature protects you from risky or malicious websites. This is a nice plus, because it offers an extra level of protection against identity theft and malware. Web-filtering is only available on Windows, Mac, and Android devices.
Webroot WiFi Security’s existing security features function well and offer strong basic protection, although some of the most impressive features aren’t available for iOS.
Webroot does collect and process the following information each time you use the VPN:
- Billing information and email addresses
- The date and time your session began and ended
- The amount of data transmitted during the session
- The VPN location you connected to
- The VPN country you connected from (though not your exact location or IP address)
- The number of devices simultaneously connected to your account
Webroot does not collect any of the following data:
- Your browsing activity
- Downloaded data
- DNS queries
- IP addresses
This means that Webroot doesn’t collect any information about your activity and data.
They also make it clear that they have the right to share your personal information with affiliates and third-parties for processing, storage, or marketing purposes, but they do provide several ways to opt-out.
Though Webroot’s logging policy may not be ideal if total privacy is your top priority, we appreciate their transparency.
Webroot has native apps available for:
They currently don’t support any other platforms. The interface and features are similar across all of the apps with the exception of iOS, which is the only app that doesn’t come with a kill switch or web-filtering.
Price and Value for Money
Webroot’s plans all include the same features, and purchasing options differ depending on whether you are purchasing through the website or a mobile app.
On the website, you can only purchase a yearly subscription. You can choose between a three device and five device plan. The yearly subscription comes at a discounted price for the first year, but the price goes up for renewal.
On the iOS app, you also have the option to choose a monthly plan that is billed through your Apple Store account.
Webroot doesn’t offer any money-back guarantees, but you can take advantage of a 7-day free trial if you download the Android or iOS app.
You can purchase a subscription on the website using:
- Major credit cards (including Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and JCB)
Webroot offers a number of resources to help with installation and troubleshooting on their website, including:
- How-to guides on installation and setting up additional features
- A searchable Knowledge Base that provides answers to a number of FAQs
- A Webroot community forum to post questions and browse previous answers
You can also submit a message to Webroot support, which is available 24/7, or call a customer support representative during business hours.
In our experience, messages with simple questions are answered fairly quickly (though not immediately) by the 24/7 Webroot support, but for more complex issues you may have better luck with the customer support line.
All of the Webroot WiFi Security native apps are very easy to set up and use. The interface is simple, and the app will automatically connect you to the fastest server available with a single click.
The stripped-back design is a plus if you don’t want to spend time manually configuring your VPN. Features like web-filtering, Automatic WiFi Security, and a kill switch are turned on by default, so you can simply install this VPN, click connect, and get started.
It’s also very straightforward to turn off any features that you don’t want.
On the other hand, what you see is what you get. There are very few settings available, so you don’t have much freedom to configure the VPN if you’re an advanced user.
Webroot WiFi Security offers a very user-friendly interface and strong protection, complete with key features like secure encryption and a kill-switch. Additional features like web-filtering are a plus.
If your main goals with a VPN are security and ease of use, this VPN has a lot to offer. However, this VPN isn’t a great choice for geo-spoofing, since you’ll have trouble accessing Netflix and other popular streaming sites. It also doesn’t support torrenting. For high-speed streaming and torrenting, we recommend you check out NordVPN instead.
Webroot has been around since the early 90’s, though the company recently received a second life when Carbonite acquired it in early 2019. Although the antivirus part of Webroot, the main part, is solid, the VPN falls behind in a number of areas. There are some strong points, but Webroot WiFi Security won’t be making our best VPN list any time soon.
In this Webroot WiFi Security review, we’re going to cover all of the high and low points of the service. If you’d rather just start with the best virtual private network on the market, head over to our ExpressVPN review. It’s the best service we’ve tested, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, to boot.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Good speeds
- Performs well for streaming
- Easy to use
- Reasonable pricing
- Built in malicious website filter
- DNS leaks
- Lacks most secure protocols
- Limited number of connections
- Inconsistent speeds on some servers
Alternatives for Webroot Wifi VPN Security
Webroot WiFi Security is geared toward people who want a hassle-free VPN experience. Because of that, it offers some features that are nice to have, but keeps things bare-bones.
The application is available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Linux users are left in the dust, though, as are those who want to run the VPN through a browser extension. You can’t set up the VPN on routers, either, which makes it more difficult to protect all of your home’s devices at once (and flies in the face of the “WiFi Security” name).
It offers several protocols, including IKEv2, L2TP and PPTP. Though those protocols are fast, they aren’t the most secure options. We’ll go into more detail about their security later, but if you’re curious about VPN protocols, you should give our VPN protocol breakdown a read.
When you open the settings, you’ll find a short list of checkboxes. They contain options such as connecting automatically on start-up or turning the killswitch on or off. There’s also a web filtering option that helps block potentially malicious websites. Though that’s nice to have for those concerned about online security, it’s not as good as using a real antivirus (read our best antivirus software guide).
Certain features are missing from Webroot WiFi Security, though, including DNS leak protection and split tunneling.
Webroot Wifi VPN Security Features Overview
Starts from$ 333per month
PayPal, Credit card
Worldwide server amount
Can be installed on routers
Can access Amazon Prime Video
VPN protocols available
PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2
Enabled at device startup
Malware/ad blocker included
When it comes to Webroot WiFi Security’s pricing, your options are limited. There are two plans on offer, both of which are for one year. There are no monthly or multi-year plans. The first plan comes with up to three connections, while the other allows for five.
Webroot WiFi Security doesn’t offer a free trial or accept cryptocurrency. That said, it does offer a generous 70-day refund policy if you’re unhappy with the service, which somewhat makes up for the lack of a trial period. It’s the longest refund in the business, beating out even CyberGhost’s generous 45 days (read our CyberGhost review for more on this excellent service).
If you’re just looking to hook up personal devices — perhaps a desktop and a laptop — the three-user plan is competitively priced. Even the five-user plan’s price isn’t outrageous, but it would be nice to see an unlimited connections plan.
It’s also uncommon to find a VPN service that won’t allow users to sign up on a monthly or quarterly basis. If you’re looking for an affordable VPN plan that offers unlimited connections, as well as a great monthly rate, we recommend reading our Windscribe review after you wrap up here.
On the other hand, many VPN providers offer discounts for people who plan to use a VPN on an ongoing basis and want to sign on for longer periods of time. If paying upfront for a long-term plan appeals to you, we suggest checking out our NordVPN review. NordVPN is an all-around great provider and offers plans for two and three years at appealing prices.
Ease of Use
When it comes to ease of use on the website, Webroot somewhat misses the mark. The website is laid out in a way that can make navigation confusing, especially when it comes to its WiFi Security VPN service. That’s mainly because Webroot’s antivirus is the focus of the website. The VPN is put on the back burner.
Once you find where you need to go, though, signing up and installing the client is easy. From that point on, it’s smooth sailing. The client is laid out well and user-friendly. At first, all you’ll see is a vibrant green window with the flag of the country you’re going to connect to and an orange button that says “connect.”
Click the flag or the small location symbol next to the “connect” button to open the server menu. It lets you look at the available locations to connect to and is easy to browse. The list has an automatic option at the top that picks the fastest available server, three “most recommended” options, including France, Germany and the U.S., and an alphabetized list of countries.
The list has the names of each country as well as their flags, which helps with quick browsing. There’s also a search function at the top if you know where you want to connect.
At the top right is a button that opens the menu screen. The menu screen is laid out well and, as mentioned, bare-bones. If you’re someone who wants complete control over how your VPN is configured, that could be seen as detrimental, but there’s something to be said for the simplicity of Webroot WiFi Security’s interface.
There are five tabs at the top of the settings window, and each one has a handful of clearly explained options. The tabs cover protocols; general settings, such as running on start-up and notifications; connection settings, such as the killswitch; the malicious website blocking web filter and contacting support.
Speed is a mixed bag with Webroot WiFi Security. From our testing, the overall picture seems to be that the North American and European servers are high quality, while the Asian and South American servers are not up to the same standards.
|Location:||Ping (ms)||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)|
When connecting to a U.S. East Coast server, which are most likely in New York City, making them about 400 miles away from our testing location, we see a slight increase in ping, but a negligible loss of speed.
Moving farther away to the servers in London, which are roughly 3,800 miles from us, we see only a slight rise in ping time and little loss of speed. The Swiss servers also see impressive performance given the considerable distance.
The story is different when testing servers on other continents, though. For example, connecting to Japan, which is around 6,800 miles away from us, loses more than half of our sustained download bandwidth. Brazil paints a similar picture performance-wise, despite being about the same distance as London from us.
Though the ping times on some of the servers aren’t terrible, they aren’t low enough to play competitive games on. If your aim is to play restricted games, or play on other servers, check out our best VPN for gaming roundup to see which VPN will give you the best edge.
That said, many of the servers we tested do have excellent speeds. The London server performs well and loses little of our sustained speeds.
Server speeds are inconsistent, though, making Webroot WiFi Security a risky choice if you rely on fast internet speeds. If you’re looking for reliably impressive download or upload performance, then take a look at our list of the fastest VPNs.
Security is the weakest area for Webroot WiFi Security. As we touched on earlier, the protocols offered are far from ideal, with IKEv2 being the default protocol.
IKEv2 sets up a security association between your computer and the server that’s being contacted with things such as a cipher and a traffic encryption key. What that means is it’s the fastest VPN “protocol” in most cases, and the security is modestly good but not as good as a true tunneling protocol, such as OpenVPN.
The other options are worse, with L2TP being a reasonably secure tunneling protocol and PPTP being out of the question for anyone because it’s outdated and not secure. Neither one is as robust in terms of security as OpenVPN, which most providers offer because it’s free and open source.
That said, all of those protocols have AES 256-bit encryption added to them to aid in obscuring your data. If you’re curious about encryption and what that means, consider taking a look at our description of encryption article.
A red flag in addition to the lack of secure protocols is that during our testing we found that Webroot WiFi Security is full of DNS leaks. Every server and protocol got picked up on our internet service provider’s DNS server.
If you’re want to know more about what that means, read our what are DNS leaks article. In summary, it means that even though you’re connecting to the internet through a foreign server, your computer is still contacting and sharing information with your ISP or, in some cases, your government.
The lack of secure protocols and the DNS leak issue mean that people trying to get around internet censorship should avoid Webroot WiFi Security. If you’re looking for a way to punch through China’s Great Firewall, for example, you should take a look at our best VPN services for China roundup.
At the start, it claims that it doesn’t log or collect browsing activity data. If you read further, though, that appears to be untrue. The policy outlines five things that Webroot WiFi Security logs, including date and time of usage, amount of data transmitted during use, which server you connected to, the country you connected from and the number of devices linked to the account.
Though your IP address isn’t kept on record, according to Webroot, the country you’re in is. That’s something of an irrelevant distinction, though, because it keeps your home address on record to process payments. The policy then says that the information is kept “for as long as is necessary in the purpose for which Webroot collects it.”
Given the DNS leaks that we picked up in our testing, we thought Webroot WiFi Security wouldn’t be able to pierce through the BBC’s or Netflix’s intense proxy denial capabilities. It proved us wrong.
Without changing a single setting, we were able to access BBC iPlayer and watch BBC content. The story was the same for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and all other streaming services we tested.
The performance was good, too, with videos only taking a few seconds to load and defaulting to 1080p or, in some cases, 720p. There were no interruptions or buffering issues, and if the player defaulted to 720p, it often moved up to 1080p when the connection was more stable.
Though Webroot WiFi Security did surprisingly well at accessing geoblocked websites, we urge you to investigate other options because of its security and privacy issues. If you’re trying to get to BBC content, check out our best VPN for BBC iPlayer roundup. If Netflix is what you’re after, read our how to beat the Netflix VPN ban article.
Webroot WiFi Security has 35 locations that are spread evenly across the globe. There are locations in Africa, North America, Asia, South America and Europe, meaning you have a good chance of finding a nearby server, no matter where you may be.
The locations that most people will make use of are covered, including the U.S. and UK. Though they’re spread out well, 35 servers is an anemic number. If you’re trying to find the VPN that offers the most locations, check out our HideMyAss review. HideMyAss has a stunning 280 locations in 190 countries.
Customer service was a mixed bag with Webroot WiFi Security. There are several options for how to get support. There’s a live chat feature on the website, but it’s only available on the checkout page and is geared toward answering any final questions people may have while shopping.
When we got in touch with the people on live chat, they were able to answer our questions and responded quickly. We also created a support ticket to get help with a simulated problem through email. As of the time of writing, it has been three days since we made our support ticket and we have still not heard back.
Webroot’s website also has an extensive user forum where you can ask questions to the community and get answers from other users. It’s laid out well and easy to use. On the other hand, the massive knowledgebase is useful if you can find the right section, but it’s more difficult to navigate because it prioritizes answers about Webroot’s antivirus and other programs.
Webroot WiFi Security executed many of the technical aspects of being a VPN provider well. The server locations are chosen well and distributed all over the globe. Many of the servers offer impressive speeds and the VPN’s ability to access geoblocked content was among the best we’ve seen.
That said, it misses the mark when it comes to security and privacy, which are arguably the two most important aspects of a good VPN provider.
If you have experience with Webroot’s VPN or any of its other services, let us know about it in the comments below. We love hearing from you and, as always, thanks for reading.
Webroot Wifi VPN Security Review
An insecure VPN with features missing.
Webroot’s VPN service has a decent range of security features, although its lack of support for less than entirely typical use cases means that it probably won’t suit anyone except the most mainstream users, who’d probably still prefer to have the option of a browser plugin.
- Inexpensive first-year subscription
- Good speed test performance
- Excellent streaming performance
- Becomes more expensive after the first year
- Review Price: £30.28
- Clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
- Supports OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, PPTP
- UK pricing: £30.28 per year for three devices, £45.43 per year for five devices, renewal billed at £45.43/£60.58 per year
- US pricing: $39.99 per year for three devices, $59.99 per year for five devices, renewal billed at $59.99/$79.99 per year
Built on SaferVPN’s infrastructure, Webroot WiFi Security has gone from strength to strength in recent tests, dramatically improving its streaming performance and putting in top-notch UK and Netherlands speed test results.
A one-year subscription is cheap, too, but we’re wary of the renewal costs and would like to see broader device and operating system support.
It’s increasingly common for major internet security software makers to provide virtual private network (VPN) services among their product range. In the case of Webroot, a subsidiary of Carbonite, its VPN service is a white-label version of the SaferVPN backend infrastructure, whose operator, Safer Social, is based in Israel.
On top of that, Webroot incorporates its own BrightCloud Threat Intelligence to provide an integrated Web Filtering feature. Unusually, it doesn’t cost more than SaferVPN’s own-brand service.
Webroot WiFi Security – Features and usability
Clients are available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, but there’s no Linux support, no browser plugins and no instructions for connecting routers or other devices. This is a VPN for typical home users rather than people with more complex requirements.
Note also that the iOS app doesn’t currently have a kill switch to cut off internet traffic and thus protect your privacy if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly. All the others do, but you’ll have to enable it in settings.
The Windows client’s core interface is simple, with an instant connection button and the option of opening a list of endpoints by country, with 34 available locations. There’s also a dedicated UK streaming server.
It has a somewhat wider range of settings than many of its big-name online security rivals’ VPN apps, allowing you to define trusted Wi-Fi networks, configure start-up behaviour and switch VPN connection protocols.
Webroot WiFi Security – Performance
|Webroot WiFi Security HTTP||110.96Mbps||100.64Mbps||40.96Mbps|
|Webroot WiFi Security FTP||n/a||141.29Mbps||74.42Mbps|
As a comparison, average HTTP download speeds for the entire January 2020 VPN group test, measured from a test system in the UK with a high-speed fibre connection, were 81.41Mbps from UK endpoints, 89.42Mbps for the Netherlands and 43.02Mbps from the US.
Webroot was one of the fastest UK to UK, and UK to Netherlands VPN services in our latest batch of tests. Its US performance wasn’t too shoddy, either, coming in only just below average. You could happily go about your online life at these speeds without feeling excessively burdened by your VPN.
Streaming media support has improved massively. Everything worked, including the services with the most rigorous geo-location checks: Netflix, BBC iPlayer and All 4.
Although it still dropped the ball on the UK FTP connection test, Webroot’s US endpoint now handles the protocol without any fuss.
Should you buy Webroot WiFi Security?
Webroot WiFi Security bills its headline feature as the ability to automatically connect and protect you by routing all your internet traffic via its encrypted tunnels whenever you connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi network. This is a pretty standard use case for VPNs and most of its rivals have the same feature built in.
It also provides the usual assurances of protecting your privacy online and region-shifting to access streaming content. Some logs are kept, including session timestamps, the VPN server the user connects to and the country they connect from, as well as housekeeping data such as the number of simultaneously connected devices.
However, Webroot informs us that WiFi Security does not collect users’ entry or exit IP addresses. It also says it does not collect users’ browsing activity, downloaded data (or shared or viewed data), or DNS queries.
Its initial subscription fees are reasonably priced, working out at around £30.28 per year for a three-device account and £45.43 per year for five devices. However, automatic renewals are enabled by default and are a bit expensive at £45.43 and £60.58 per year respectively – by comparison, a six-device subscription with faster and more streaming-capable NordVPN costs £64.58.
Webroot’s VPN service has a decent range of security features, although its lack of support for less than entirely typical use cases means that it probably won’t suit anyone except the most mainstream users, who’d probably still prefer to have the option of a browser plugin.
We are pleased with its ongoing improvement in streaming performance and continued high transfer speeds, but we’re distinctly unimpressed by the amount that subscription fees go up when users renew. Private Internet Access is a faster and cheaper alternative, while NordVPN and ExpressVPN are better for streaming enthusiasts who want broader device support.
With the surprising popularity of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), more traditional antivirus companies have been getting in on the act with their own VPN offerings. Few of these, however, are impressive on their own and Webroot Wi-Fi Security VPN is no exception. Webroot provides an adequate VPN service, but "adequate" is a hard sell in a crowded space, and without the bundled antivirus product from Webroot, Wi-Fi Security doesn't make a strong case for itself.
What Is a VPN?
When you switch on a VPN, it creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and a server operated by the VPN company. Your data travels through the tunnel, protecting it from being spied upon by bad guys lurking on public Wi-Fi networks or your own ISP looking to make a buck by selling your data. Out on the web, your true IP address is hidden and your traffic appears to come from the VPN server, providing a little more privacy online.
VPNs are simple and powerful tools, but they can't solve every security problem. You still need a password manager and should activate two-factor authentication wherever possible. And while some VPNs say they will screen out some malware, I prefer to rely upon standalone antivirus because it's far more capable.
Pricing and Features
Most VPN services offer subscriptions plans of various lengths, with increasing levels of savings for longer subscriptions. Not so for Webroot Wi-Fi Security. Instead, Webroot offers two one-year plans: a $39.99 plan that allows up to three devices to be connected simultaneously, and a $59.99 plan that raises the device cap to five.
If you're looking to add value to your Webroot purchase, you can snag a Webroot Wi-Fi Security VPN subscription with a year of Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Plus for $69.98. That's compared to Internet Security Plus' usual price of $59.99. That bundle price is only for three devices for both antivirus and VPN. None of my top-rated VPNs offer an antivirus bundle, it's worth noting.
I generally use monthly plans for comparing pricing between VPN services, but that would do a disservice to Webroot. A quick survey of VPN annual pricing shows that Webroot's pricing is on the low side. NordVPN costs $83.88 per year, Private Internet Access costs $39.95, a Plus-tier ProtonVPN subscription costs $96, while Tunnelbear costs $59.88.
Although Webroot offers what looks like a competitive annual price, the fact that it offers only three licenses for the money means it doesn't offer competitive value. NordVPN, for instance, allows up to six devices with a subscription, CyberGhost allows 7, and Private Internet Access a hefty 10 devices. Surfshark VPN, Windscribe VPN, and Avira Phantom VPN notably place no limit on the number of devices you can connect simultaneously.
Choosing a longer subscription term will definitely save you money, but I recommend against purchasing longer plans, at least initially. Instead, prospective VPN purchasers should use short-term subscriptions or free versions to try out a service before committing to an annual plan. There are so many quirks and foibles to VPN use, and it's better to test out a VPN for a few bucks a month rather than be stuck with a long-term subscription that doesn't meet your needs.
If you're short on cash, there are many excellent free VPNs out there. TunnelBear and AnchorFree Hotspot Shield both offer strong free options, but limit your data to 500MB per month and 500MB per day, respectively. ProtonVPN's free subscription tier does limit the servers you can use, but places no limit on the amount of data available to free users. It's the best free plan we've yet seen. Webroot does not offer a free or trial version of its service, but does offer a 7-day trial period on all app store purchases.
Webroot also does not support P2P file sharing or BitTorrent on its servers. That's unusual, as nearly every other VPN service I have tested has taken a hands-off approach to the controversial file sharing system. TorGuard VPN hangs its reputation on BitTorrent support, and offers add-ons like 10GB network access and static IP addresses that appeal to seeders and leechers alike.
If you're looking to purchase a VPN anonymously, Webroot will also leave you disappointed. While the company accepts major credit cards and PayPal, you won't be able to use cryptocurrency. Nor can you exchange prepaid gift cards for service, as you can with Private Internet Access.
VPNs are not a new technology, and there are now several different ways to create a VPN connection. I prefer the OpenVPN protocol, which has a reputation for speed and reliability and is open-source. That means that its code is available to be picked over for any potential vulnerabilities by anyone and everyone with the inclination to do so.
Webroot Wi-Fi Security does not support OpenVPN, which is unfortunate. Thankfully, it supports my second choice: the IKEv2 protocol. The company also supports the older and less secure L2TP/IPsec and PPTP protocols on PCs and Macs. I don't recommend using either of these options if you can help it. Someday, we'll hopefully all be using WireGuard with our VPNs, but that probably won't be for some time.
Servers and Server Locations
VPN companies place servers in different locations across the world in order to meet demands of customers. The more server locations there are, the better the odds of finding one nearby, which should yield lower latency and better performance. More server locations also means more options for spoofing your location.
Webroot covers some 35 countries, which is on the low side. ExpressVPN, on the other hand, has servers in 94 countries, NordVPN supports 62 countries, and TorGuard covers some 53 countries. I am not especially impressed with the geographic distribution of Webroot's server locations, either. I like that the company offers three locations in Central and South America, and but would like to see more than just one server location for the entirety of Africa.
Webroot notably does offer VPN servers in some locations known for their repressive internet policies, including China (Hong Kong) and Russia.
The number of servers a VPN offers is largely tied to the number of subscribers. The more people paying to use your service, the more servers you need to support them all. The exact number also changes frequently as more are spun up to meet demand, or taken offline in favor of better hardware. It's still an important figure to consider, despite those caveats, as a paltry selection of servers gives customers fewer options to find a good connection, and can lead to overcrowding. Webroot Wi-Fi Security offers 700 servers, which is a solid figure. It's still tiny compared to the behemoths of the industry, however. NordVPN leads the pack with well over 5,200 servers, while Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, and TorGuard can all boast having more than 3,000 servers.
Some companies offer specialized server options. NordVPN, for instance, lets you connect to the Tor anonymization network via VPN. Similarly, ProtonVPN lets you bounce your connection between multiple VPN locations. Webroot notably provides servers specifically for UK video streaming, which is sure to be handy for some.
Many VPN companies make use of virtual servers. That's when a single hardware server plays host to several software-defined servers. Virtual servers can, notably, be configured to appear to be somewhere other than where their hardware host is located. Some companies use this smartly, by placing hardware servers in safe locations and creating virtual servers for less-safe locations. Other companies are less transparent about their use of virtual servers, keeping users in the dark about where, exactly, their data is flowing. That's a nonissue for Webroot Wi-Fi Security. The company tells me it only uses virtual servers to meet increasing demand, and then only in the same approximate geographic region as the server you selected. You'll be connected to the location you select, or at least very close to it.
Your Privacy With Webroot
When you switch on a VPN, you're protecting yourself from bad guys and your ISP, but you are also potentially vulnerable to the VPN company itself. That's why it's important to try and get a sense of what efforts each company makes toward protecting your privacy.
WiFiSecurity does not collect your browsing activity, downloaded data(or shared or viewed), DNS queries,or IP addresses.
That's excellent, although it is slightly undercut by the following sentence, which says that Webroot may collect crash data that includes anonymized data and DNS logs.
For its part, Webroot is based in Colorado, in the US. Its parent company, Carbonite Inc, is based in Boston. Both, I am told, are Delaware companies, and have offices internationally. This would appear to mean that the company operates under the legal jurisdiction of the United States, but there's a small wrinkle. Unlike other VPN services, Webroot Wi-Fi security is a white-labeled product. It's not made by Webroot. The company licenses the product from SaferVPN, which is based in Israel. Webroot, however, says that it handles the subscriptions.
Legal jurisdiction matters, for privacy reasons. While the US doesn't have mandatory data retention laws, unlike the UK, it does have a notoriously robust intelligence-gathering operation. Other companies tout their legal jurisdiction as a benefit to customers. NordVPN is based in Panama, and ExpressVPN operates under the authority of the British Virgin Islands. Both say that their respective location acts as a buffer against aggressive law enforcement requests and protects user privacy.
Webroot says this is a nonissue. A company representative told me, "because Webroot WiFi Security does not collect sensitive user data, it would not be able to provide such data in response to a legal request." The representative told me that Webroot only logs the date and time of connection, the amount of data transmitted, the number of devices in use, the VPN server a user connects to, and their country of origin—but not the user's true IP address. That's good, but other VPN services manage to collect even less, or use clever tricks to provide even more anonymity to users.
A major concern among VPN companies is that they could simply harvest your data and sell it to third parties. It's a valid concern, considering the checkered history of free VPNs and the fact that using a VPN could give that company as much insight into your online activity as your ISP. Happily, Webroot says it only makes money off subscriptions and is not in the business of harvesting or selling information.
Some VPN companies have begun commissioning third-party audits to prove to customers they are good stewards of user data. I applaud the effort, but it is worth noting that not all audits are the same: a small, targeted audit doesn't do much to assure skeptical customers. Webroot says that Wi-Fi Security has undergone a third-party audit, but that those results cannot be released. That's unfortunate. It is, however, notable that Webroot would not have white-labeled SaferVPN's product without vetting it first. After all, it's Webroot's reputation on the line.
Webroot has also not participated in the Center for Democracy and Technology's VPN questionnaire, which puts companies on record about their policies and activities. However, many of the questions asked by the CDT match my own, which Webroot answered.
Hands On With Webroot
I tested Webroot Wi-Fi Security on a Lenovo ThinkPad T460s laptop running Windows 10. This is, importantly, the exact same laptop I have tested every other VPN I have yet reviewed. Keep this in mind.
Webroot Wi-Fi Security proved to be one of the most difficult VPNs to test. When I first installed the application, I found I was unable to use the internet at all while the VPN was connected. Webroot was kind enough to have an expert remote into my PC and poke around for answers. His conclusion was that some other VPN had messed up the Lenovo's network settings and had prevented Webroot's app from functioning correctly. I reset my PC from its built-in restore partition, reinstalled Webroot, and, lo and behold, it worked. Shortly thereafter, I had to test another VPN so I uninstalled Webroot, installed the new VPN, and discovered that it too unable to connect. Once again, I wiped the machine and started over without issue. It did, however, raise the possibility that it is, in fact, Webroot that is causing the problem and not other VPNs. That said, it seems extremely unlikely that most of you are installing 30+ VPNs at a stretch, and I have nothing more than anecdotal evidence to back up my experience.
A more concrete problem I had with Webroot Wi-Fi Security was that it's very hard to find information about the service on Webroot's website. Basic information, such as a list of servers, is buried in a community message board. There's also no clear link from the main page to where you can download the Webroot apps. Again, I had to Google until I turned up a support article that included the link. If Webroot is going to be serious about offering this product, the company needs to make it easier to find reliable information about it, and a trustworthy path to downloading the application. Google is not a solution.
Once it was up and running, I found the Webroot Wi-Fi Security app to be a simple, stripped-down affair. A vibrant orange button stands out against a green background, inviting you to click. Doing so will automatically connect you with what Webroot believes is the best VPN server. I prefer VPNs that take this route and make it very easy to get up and running quickly.
You can choose a different server location by clicking the map pin icon on the connect button. Doing so opens a new window that is designed completely differently, with a rounded search box and boldly colorful flags. It looks quite nice, I just wish Webroot was a touch more consistent with its design. ProtonVPN and others do an excellent job of providing a cohesive experience, even as you move across platforms, let alone within one app.
From this window, you can search for a VPN server location, or browse the list. I appreciate that Webroot puts its specialized streaming server at the top along with recommended servers. However, other VPN apps, like NordVPN, let you drill down to specific servers rather than just the country. That's handy for when you need to find a working server in a specific region, although Webroot's approach is fine for most users.
The Settings window is accessed from the hamburger menu and pulls up a few additional features, which I discuss below. It's a very straightforward experience, but also one that underscores the few features Webroot provides.
When you're using a VPN, you want to be sure it's actually working and not leaking your IP address or DNS information. I confirmed that with Webroot active, my IP address was changed and DNS requests were sent to different servers.
Webroot and Netflix
Not all websites and services play nice with VPNs. Some banks, for instance, may flag your activity as suspicious if you connect via VPN. Netflix also tries to block VPN users, but for a different reason: using a VPN can let you access video content that's only available in certain countries. If you hop on a UK server, for instance, you can use your VPN to see whatever Netflix is serving up across the pond.
Watching Netflix, at least domestically, won't be a problem with Webroot. I had no trouble watching The Fifth Element while connected to a US server. Netflix is very proactive about finding and blocking VPNs, so keep in mind that a VPN that works today may be blocked tomorrow.
Several VPN companies have begun adding on features that do more than protect your web traffic. TunnelBear, for instance, offers a standalone ad-blocker as well as a separate password manager called RememBear. Webroot doesn't go that far, but it does include a few useful features.
In the Webroot app, you'll find an Auto Connect option, which automatically activates the VPN when you connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi network. You can also manage a list of trusted Wi-Fi networks that don't need VPN protection (although I would argue for using a VPN as often as possible). The Kill Switch feature does the opposite, suspending all online communication if the VPN is disconnected accidentally.
Webroot also includes a web filtering option. This might sound like a parental control feature, but it's not. Once activated, your VPN will use Webroot's branded Brightcloud Threat Intelligence, which screens out malicious sites. That's useful, albeit perhaps a bit redundant given the filtering built into web browsers these days. Strangely, this feature is not enabled by default.
Speed and Performance
Using a VPN adds complexity to your internet connection, which usually manifests in higher latency and lower speeds. To get a sense of that impact, I run a series of tests using the Ookla speed test tool, and then find a percent change against a baseline. You can read all about how this testing works in exhaustive detail in the aptly named feature "How We Test VPNs."
(Editors' Note: Ookla Speedtest is owned by j2 Global, the parent company of PCMag's publisher, Ziff Davis.)
In my testing, I found that Webroot Wi-Fi Security increased latency by only 20 percent, well below a median result of 100 percent. The service reduced download speed results by 85.6 percent, a hair better than the median result of 87.2, and reduced upload speed results by 84.5 percent, a hair worse than the overall median result of 82.5.
You can see how Webroot Wi-Fi Security compares in the chart below, which shows the top ten performers out of the approximately 36 VPNs I have reviewed.
The current titleholder of fastest VPN goes to HideIPVPN, but Webroot's performance is commendable. I don't consider these results to be a comprehensive assessment of a VPN company's capacity. It is, however, very useful for comparing services. Keep in mind that your individual experience will vary depending on where you live, and when you use a VPN.
Webroot Wi-Fi Security VPN on Other Platforms
Webroot provides apps for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. Linux users will have to look elsewhere for a serviceable VPN solution. The company does not offer proxy plugins for browsers, which spoof the location of only your browser traffic.
Webroot also doesn't appear to offer support for connecting your router to a VPN, which spreads protection to your entire network. Most VPN companies will at least provide instructions on how to do this, and some will even sell you a preconfigured router. Unfortunately, Webroot's online documentation and support for Wi-Fi Security are quite scattershot, making it difficult to find answers to these questions.
Close to the Mark
Webroot Wi-Fi Security brings just enough to the table to make it an adequate service. It has a reasonable number of servers and server locations, it offers the minimal number of simultaneous connections, and has a simple but no-frills app. But the field of VPNs is quite crowded, and adequate barely cuts it. While its annual price compares favorably to the competition, its subscriptions are less flexible and offer less value than other VPNs. It's also badly in need of clear, useful information to help its customers. Webroot Wi-Fi Security VPN is a reasonable add-on to your Webroot antivirus package, but on its own, the VPN product just isn't particularly impressive.
We continue to recommend our four Editors' Choice winners: NordVPN, for its comprehensive solution; Private Internet Access, for its streamlined experience; ProtonVPN, for its technical excellence and affordability; and TunnelBear, for its friendliness.
Webroot Wi-Fi Security VPN
Simple apps on all platforms.
Good speed test scores.
Antivirus bundle option.
Few server locations.
No BitTorrent support.
Does not support OpenVPN.
Confusing online support.
The Bottom Line
Webroot offers this no-frills VPN as a standalone product or an add-on to your Webroot antivirus purchase. It's a serviceable option, but you can find more flexible pricing and more robust features elsewhere.