Webroot Wifi VPN Security Review

Webroot Wifi VPN Security is the longest named VPN on the market, but that's all that's remarkable about it. It's not particularly secure, has a weird privacy policy and is missing commonplace features. Read our full review to see why you want to avoid this VPN.

By Brian MurrayWriter
— Last Updated: 27 Mar'19
2019-03-27T01:43:06-08:00
Table of ContentsRating
Features
75%
Good
Pricing
75%
Good
Ease of Use
85%
Very Good
Speed
70%
Decent
Security
50%
Poor
Privacy
50%
Poor
Streaming Performance
90%
Excellent
Server Locations
75%
Good
Customer Service
75%
Good
User Reviews & Comments

Decent
Starts from $ 333 per month
best-VPN-reviews

Webroot is a cybersecurity company that started in the early ‘90s but was recently bought by Carbonite, which you can read more about in our March State of the Cloud. Webroot puts a strong focus on its antivirus service, but it also offers a virtual private network called WiFi Security.

Webroot WiFi Security shocked us in a lot of ways, with high speeds on many of the servers in the U.S. and Europe and the ability to tear through Netflix and the BBC’s VPN detection.

That said, it won’t making our best VPN list because it omits a lot of features that many users would consider critical components of a good VPN. For instance, OpenVPN is missing from the list of available protocols.

Webroot WiFi Security’s questionable privacy policy and overall lack of security make it a great example of a company tackling a problem well from a technical standpoint but failing to offer many of the smaller things that customers look for.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths:

  • Good speeds
  • Performs well for streaming
  • Easy to use
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Built in malicious website filter

Weaknesses:

  • DNS leaks
  • Lacks most secure protocols
  • Poor privacy policy
  • Limited number of connections
  • Inconsistent speeds on some servers

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Features

75% - Good

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, split tunneling and even the OpenVPN protocol, which is arguably the most secure VPN protocol. If you’re looking for a more feature-rich VPN, we suggest reading our ExpressVPN review.

Webroot Wifi VPN Security Features Overview

Starts from$ 333per month

General

Payment methods
PayPal, Credit card
Accepts cryptocurrency
Simultaneous connections
5
Supports split tunneling
Unlimited bandwidth
Free trial available
Refund period
70 days
Worldwide server amount
35
Desktop OSes
Windows, MacOS
Mobile OSes
Android, iOS
Browser extensions
Can be installed on routers

Streaming

Can access Netflix US
Can access BBC iPlayer
Can access Hulu
Can access Amazon Prime Video

Security

Encryption types
256-AES
VPN protocols available
PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2
Enabled at device startup
Allows torrenting
No-logging policy
Passed DNS leak test
Killswitch available
Malware/ad blocker included

Support

Live Chat
office hours
Email support
24/7
Phone support
User forum
Knowledgebase

Pricing

75% - Good

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.

3 Users for 1 Year
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 3 Included Devices
1-year plan $ 3.33/ month
$39.99 billed every year
5 Users for 1 Year
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 5 Included Devices
1-year plan $ 5.00/ month
$59.99 billed every year

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

85% - Very Good

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

70% - Decent

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)
Unprotected (Virginia)1372.075.83
London8868.905.41
U.S. East5867.855.06
Japan19323.092.45
Switzerland12866.14.25
Brazil14214.683.13

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

50% - Poor

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.

Privacy

50% - Poor

Privacy policies make an immediate first impression depending on how long they are. Longer ones are much more likely to conceal sneaky legal language or “ifs” and “buts.” That’s the case with Webroot’s privacy policy.

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.”

No VPN provider should have a privacy policy as long as Webroot’s. If the policy drones on for pages, and the provider is trying to keep your home address and other information on file for as long as it pleases, it’s not private. If you’re interested in what a concise and well-written privacy policy looks like, read our VyprVPN review.

Streaming Performance

90% - Excellent

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.

Server Locations

75% - Good

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

75% - Good

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.

The Verdict

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’re wondering where to go from here to find a more well-rounded VPN provider that will respect your privacy and online security we have an extensive archive of VPN reviews for you to browse.

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 Wifi VPN Security is the longest named VPN on the market, but that's all that's remarkable about it. It's not particularly secure, has a weird privacy policy and is missing commonplace features. Read our full review to see why you want to avoid this VPN.
Starts from$ 333per month
Visit Webroot Wifi VPN Security
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