ESET vs Webroot: Which is best?

Cyberattacks are more common than ever. Surprisingly, home computers are some of the least-protected devices. Reliable antivirus software is still the best way to add a layer of protection to your personal data.

ESET and Webroot are both smart choices, but which is best? In this post, I’ll compare both programs on pricing, features, malware protection, and performance. I’ve run my own malware and performance tests to help decide which one is the best choice for you. To back up my own findings, I’ll review the latest independent antivirus lab tests.

Just want the final verdict? ESET is my winner. ESET offers a variety of antivirus products and exceptional malware protection. It performed well in my own malware tests and those conducted by leading antivirus testing labs. ESET offers a number of advanced security features that Webroot can’t match.

Still want to decide for yourself? Read on for the full comparison.

Summary: ESET vs Webroot

ESET Premium Protection

  • Secure data encryption
  • Safeguards your privacy
  • File shredder

Webroot Complete

  • Anti-phishing
  • Password manager
  • Identity theft protection
No valueESETWebroot
Websitewww.eset.comwww.webroot.com
Antivirus and Antispyware
Firewall
Web protection/anti phishing
Parental controls
Password Manager
Webcam protection
PC Cloud Backup
VPN
Ransomware protection
Banking and Payment Protection
Network Attack Protection
Secure data encryption
Automatically update apps
File Shredder
Performance Optimization
Identity Theft Protection
Best deal (per month)$4.99
Save 25% with a 2 year subscription
$4.33
SAVE 35% on a 1 year plan

BEST DEAL FOR ESET:Get 25% off a 2-year plan and benefit from a 30-day free trial.

BEST DEAL FOR WEBROOT:Save 35% on Webroot Internet Security Complete and protect up to 5 devices.

Background

ESET 

ESET is a Slovakian internet security company, offering antivirus and firewall products to millions of businesses and consumers around the world. ESET was recognized as the most successful Slovakian company in 2008, 2009, and 2010. It has won numerous awards and gained recognition for pushing boundaries in the antivirus industry. ESET has the longest unbroken run of VB100 awards for malware detection and it has passed every test since 2003.

Webroot

Webroot has been working to secure the connected world since 1997. In 2019, Webroot and its parent company, Carbonite, were acquired by OpenText. Webroot protects home users and businesses alike, including tech companies like Hitachi, GFI, NetMotion, and Logic Hub.

Pricing and compatibility

Protecting your devices comes at a price, and it’s important to remember that free antivirus software will only provide a basic level of protection without advanced features.

ESET offers a number of antivirus products to choose from. If you’re looking for protection for a single device on Windows, Mac, or Android, ESET does provide this option. Cover for an Android device is $14.99 (GBP £9.95) per year, while protection for Windows or Mac is $39.99 (GBP £29.90) per year. The top-of-the-range product, Smart Security Premium is $59.99 (GBP £49.90), which is reasonable for all of the added features.

Webroot’s prices start at $39.99 (GBP £22.49) per year for its basic level of antivirus, going up to $79.99 (GBP£64.99) per year for Internet Security Complete. The top-tier option gives you far more protection, providing secure storage and eliminating traces of online activity. Internet Security Complete will protect five devices which include PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones.

Both companies are currently offering discounts. You can get $20 (GBP £14.47) off ESET’s Smart Security Premium product when you opt for a two-year term. Webroot is offering a 35% discount off its Internet Security Complete product, making it $51.99 for your first year.

Still not ready to commit? ESET provides a 30-day free trial on all of its software and Webroot will give you your money back within 70 days if you’re not happy with its products.

Both ESET Smart Security Premium and Webroot Internet Security Complete work with all popular operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Android devices.

ESET and Webroot have reasonable price points. ESET offers much more flexibility around the type of device you want to protect, so ESET is my winner here.

Effectiveness against malware

Malware is the main threat to your internet-enabled device so it’s important that your antivirus software provides excellent protection on this front. I undertook my own tests to see which one delivers the best protection.

I downloaded four EICAR (European Institute for Computer Anti-Virus Research) test files and used three live malware samples, including adware and two Trojans. The results are shown in the table below.

No valueESETWebroot
Websitewww.eset.comwww.webroot.com
Eicar Sample 1BlockedAllowed
Eicar Sample 2BlockedAllowed
Eicar Sample 3BlockedAllowed
Eicar Sample 4BlockedAllowed
Live Sample 1 (Adware)BlockedBlocked
Live Sample 2 (Trojan)BlockedBlocked
Live Sample 3 (Trojan)BlockedBlocked
Best deal (per month)$4.99
Save 25% with a 2 year subscription
$4.33
SAVE 35% on a 1 year plan

As the table shows, ESET blocked all EICAR samples, as well as the live samples, in real-time. Webroot, however, allowed the EICAR samples, but automatically and silently removed the live samples. This could be due to Webroot not scanning downloads.

From my own tests, it is clear that ESET was superior in protecting my device against malware.

ESET effectiveness

Webroot effectiveness

To verify my findings, I looked at AV-Test, which evaluates home user security products to see how they cope with real-world threats. Its most recent report from May 2020 and June 2020 showed ESET earned a 99.4 percent protection score in May and a perfect score of 100 percent in June. Webroot was not tested by AV-Test in this report.

The next website I looked at was AV-Comparatives, another trustworthy antivirus research website. Its most recent real-world protection test summary from February 2020 to May 2020 gave ESET a protection score of 99.5 percent.

ESET also had zero false positives during this period which is excellent. False positives occur when safe files are flagged as a threat. Webroot wasn’t tested by AV-Comparatives.

ESET performed remarkably in my own tests, blocking all EICAR and live samples. It also had brilliant results from leading antivirus research websites. This means that ESET wins this round.

Impact on PC Performance

So you’ve found the right software package and it delivers excellent malware protection, but what if your device starts to slow down? In this round, I will be looking at the impact antivirus software has on my PC. I tested both ESET and Webroot and captured data on a full and quick scan, and when no scan was being performed.

No valueESETWebroot
Websitewww.eset.comwww.webroot.com
Full Scan Time (minutes)6872
Number of scanned objects930,00011938
Full Scan CPU Utilization %6895
Full Scan Memory Utilization %7063
Full Scan Disk Utilization (seconds) (no scan)510721
Control CPU Utliization % (no scan)3225
Control Memory Utilization % (no scan)6367
Control Disk Utilization (seconds) (no scan)1710
Quick Scan Time (seconds)N/A1
Quick Scan CPU Utilization %N/A37
Quick Scan Memory Utilization %N/A78
Quick Scan Disk Utilization %N/A97
Best deal (per month)$4.99
Save 25% with a 2 year subscription
$4.33
SAVE 35% on a 1 year plan

The table above shows a full scan and a quick scan and the impact it had on my PC performance. As you can see, ESET doesn’t have a quick scan setting. Its full scan was completed in 68 minutes, just under Webroot’s 72 minutes. ESET’s scan went much deeper, scanning 930,000 items.

Webroot’s main selling point is its speed and this is evident by the quick scan taking just one second. This is great if you’re in a hurry and want to quickly scan your PC.

The table above also shows the effect the software had on PC performance when no scan was performed and when a full scan was taking place.

When no scan was taking place, Webroot performed slightly better in all areas, with CPU utilization at 25 percent. For a full scan, ESET performed better with 68 percent CPU utilization.

I checked data from AV-Comparatives’ April 2020 test to see if it portrayed similar results. The performance test looks at how each antivirus software fares during eight common tasks:

  • Downloading files
  • Browsing websites
  • File copying: first and subsequent run
  • Installing and uninstalling applications
  • Archiving and unarchiving
  • Launching applications: first and subsequent run

ESET gained a very fast score for all tasks, with the exception of file copying on the first run, which gained a fast score. AV-Comparatives did not test Webroot.

Both antivirus software has pros and cons in performance. Webroot is ideal for speed with the quick scan setting, but ESET comes out on top in the full scan. ESET scored very close to top marks for performance from independent labs. ESET is my winner in this round.

Features

To be more competitive in the antivirus market, software developers bundle in extra protection tools. Many antivirus products come at a premium price, so it’s important to know what you are getting for the money. I’ve listed the features for both ESET Premium Internet Security and Webroot Complete and picked out a few of the ones you’ll find most useful.

ESET Premium Internet Security

  • Multi-platform protection
  • Safeguard your privacy
  • Enjoy premium features
  • Legendary antivirus technology
  • Privacy protection
  • Anti-theft
  • Minimal power usage
  • Install and forget

Webroot Complete

  • Advanced threat protection
  • Protection that stops ransomware
  • Anti-phishing
  • Lightning-fast scans
  • Protects account logins and passwords (LastPass)
  • Eliminates traces of online activity
  • 25GB of secure online storage

ESET Premium Internet Security

  • Premium features: ESET’s premium features allow you to encrypt your files and removable media and store and organize your passwords.
  • Anti-theft: This feature will enable you to track and locate your device if it gets lost or stolen and will identify thieves via your device’s camera.
  • Minimal power usage: If you use your device for gaming, this feature will enable you to do so without slowdowns. It will disable pop-ups and activate a battery-saving mode.

Webroot Complete

  • Lightning-fast scans: As discussed, Webroot’s selling point is speed and quick scans. The scans will finish checking your system within 20 seconds.
  • LastPass: LastPass is the most trusted password protector and will securely hold all of your passwords and other personal information.
  • 25GB of secure online storage: This feature will allow a backup of your important data. Whether that’s photos or music, it gives you 25GB of secure storage.

There are an array of excellent features offered by both companies, but the anti-theft feature and minimal power usage from ESET give it an overall edge.

Signup and installation

After researching relentlessly for the right antivirus software, you don’t want to waste any time in signing up for and installing it.

On selecting your product, ESET takes you swiftly to checkout, outlining the product and price. You’ll be able to select add-ons on this page such as mobile protection or encryption. There’s an option to choose monthly payments, which is great if you want to spread the cost, without paying a lump sum.

Webroot provides all payment and customer information on one page. It gives you an option to increase the number of devices, which comes at an extra cost. During checkout, Webroot adds on a software CD automatically, which increases the cost by $9.99 (GBP £7.23), so just remove this if you don’t want to purchase it.

Both ESET and Webroot are easy to install and it takes just a few minutes after purchase to complete the setup. The signup process is easy to follow so whichever software you choose, you shouldn’t have any issues.

How easy is the interface to use?

Ease of use is another important factor to consider. A more complex interface can waste time and leave you feeling frustrated.

ESET interface

ESET’s interface is modern in design, giving it a futuristic appeal. The left-hand panel will allow you to navigate to scans, tools, setup, and support with ease. In each of these headings, you’ll find access to your additional features. This could be cumbersome, for example, if you just want to navigate to a quick scan. The bottom panel will allow you to check your network protection, access the password manager, and go to the secure data option.

Webroot interface

Webroot features a more dated interface. A key difference is that you can access all of your additional features from the home page in just one click. You can easily see your scan’s progress, the total number of scans, and your subscription date.

Customer support

In the event of something going wrong with your software, or if you have an urgent question, you need someone with experience to turn to.

ESET provides phone support for its US customers from 6am to 5pm if you prefer to speak to someone in person. If not, you can access support through email. There’s also lots of help on ESET’s website, including answers to installation questions and other general inquiries.

Webroot is available via the phone during business hours, or you can log a support ticket on the website. You can also ask the community of other Webroot users, which may be a quicker way of getting a problem resolved. The website support section provides answers to many common questions.

ESET vs Webroot Conclusion

This comparison has shown ESET wins on malware protection and performance, which are the two most important factors to consider before choosing the right software. With data unavailable on Webroot from recent independent tests, it’s difficult to verify any of my own findings and data. ESET trumps Webroot in terms of features too, offering a more comprehensive list of privacy tools. ESET is my winner.

See also:

ESET vs Webroot FAQs

Can I use ESET and Webroot together?

To avoid software conflicts and damage to your system we'd recommend not using ESET and Webroot simultaneously. If you have ESET installed on your system and try to install Webroot at the same time you'll likely receive a prompt asking you to remove the other product first.