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 a browser plugin option. We were pleased to see that its performance has improved significantly since last month, 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 is quicker and better at streaming.
- Inexpensive first-year subscription
- Good speed test performance
- Streams US Netflix
- No UK streaming
- Becomes more expensive after first year
- Review Price: £35.82
- UK price: Three devices £35.82/year; five devices £53.73/year
- US price: Three devices $39.99/year; five devices $59.99/year
- Renewal billed at £53.73/£71.64 and $59.99/79.99 per year
- Supports OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, PPTP
- Clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
What is Webroot WiFi Security?
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.
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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 definitely 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||129.76Mbps||126.96Mbps||86.48Mbps|
|Webroot WiFi Security FTP||n/a||123Mbps||n/a|
We were generally pleased by Webroot’s performance in our transfer speed tests, although its US HTTP transfer speeds were a little slower this time around at 86.48Mbps (10.81MB/s). Webroot’s HTTP performance was consistently above average, with UK speeds of 16.22Mbps and 15.87Mbps from endpoints in the Netherlands.
If you need to use FTP servers at all, though, you should get a different VPN provider – neither UK nor U.S. endpoints could reliably handle the protocol in our tests, although we got a decent 15.38MB/s FTP download speed from the Netherlands, at least.
Streaming media support remains limited, with only Netflix and Shudder in the U.S. working consistently – UK services iPlayer and All 4 generally detected our VPN connection.
Related: What is a VPN?
Should I 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 actually 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 does not collect their browsing activity, downloaded data (or shared or viewed data), or DNS queries.”
Its initial subscription fees are reasonably priced, working out at around £35.82 per year for a three-device account and £53.73 per year for five devices. However, automatic renewals are enabled by default and are a bit expensive at £53.73 and £71.66 per year respectively – by comparison, a six-device subscription with faster and more streaming-capable NordVPN costs £64.26.
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 a browser plugin option.
We were pleased to see that its performance has improved significantly since last month, 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 is quicker and better at streaming.
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