Webroot and Bitdefender are a pair of popular antivirus solutions that deliver different approaches to securing devices. Webroot’s popularity stems from its exceptionally quick scans, while Bitdefender’s robust approach to threat prevention helps it stand out.
But which one is best for you? It depends what you need most in your antivirus solution:
- Webroot: Best for incredibly fast, real-time, AI-enabled antivirus protection utilizing minimal system resources.
- Bitdefender: Best for a feature-rich, flexible, and cost-effective antivirus protection with robust threat prevention.
Webroot vs. Bitdefender at a glance
Webroot has a reputation for being not only lightweight but also one of the fastest antivirus solutions on the market. It lacks a free edition but has four packages to ensure that it meets the security needs of its users.
On the other hand, Bitdefender is a dependable antivirus solution with particularly strong prevention-based security that is thorough yet non-invasive. It’s also one of the solutions that offer an effective free antivirus edition.
|Price||$23.99 to $77.99 for the first year||Free to $94.99 for the first year|
|Core features||• Uninterrupted lightning-fast scans|
• Ransomware protection
• Real-time anti-phishing
• Firewall and network connection monitor
|• Complete and real-time data protection|
• Network threat prevention
• Advanced threat defense
• Multilayer ransom protection
• Anti-phishing and anti-fraud
|Platforms||• Basic: Windows only|
• Plus/Complete/Premium: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, ChromeOS
|• Free: Windows, Mac, Android|
• Plus/Internet Security: Windows only
• Total Security: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
|Ease of use||Less sleek UI compared to Bitdefender||Sleek and modern UI|
|Performance||Faster scans||Thorough scans|
|Free trial||14 days||30 days|
Best for pricing: Bitdefender
Webroot and Bitdefender both offer tiered pricing plans depending on number of devices and level of protection—but Bitdefender comes out ahead with greater flexibility and cost savings.
|Bitdefender Plan||Devices||Cost (first year only)|
|Plus||1-10||$14.99 – $79.99|
|Internet Security||1-10||$24.99 – $94.99|
|Total Security||5-10||$39.98 – $44.99|
Webroot has no free edition but delivers four antivirus plans: Basic, Plus, Complete, and Premium.
|Webroot Plan||Devices||Cost (first year only)|
|Premium||5 + 1 identity||$77.99|
Although Bitdefender has a free edition, it only offers basic antivirus protection for a single device. Most must-have features for device security today such as ransomware protection and more are only available in the premium plans. The Internet Security and Total Security editions can be adjusted with respect to the number of devices that suit you across a one, two, or three-year plan. Internet Security has pricing options for 1, 3, 5 and 10 devices while Total Security has pricing options for 5 and 10 devices.
These and other customization options, the pricing at the time of writing and an effective free antivirus product, make Bitdefender not only more cost-effective but also a more flexibly priced solution in comparison to Webroot.
Best for core features: Bitdefender
Bitdefender’s features are vast and can be categorized according to protection, performance, or privacy. Its core features included in Bitdefender Antivirus Plus include complete and real-time data protection, network threat prevention, advanced threat defense, multilayer ransom protection, anti-phishing, and anti-fraud, among other features. It also includes a VPN.
Upgrades to this plan see the inclusion of more privacy features such as the Privacy Firewall and Parental Control features, of which the latter is not offered by Webroot.
Webroot’s core features include lightning-fast scans without interruptions, ransomware protection, real-time anti-phishing, and a firewall and network connection monitor, among others.
The basic antivirus protection that is only available for a single device offered by the free edition of Bitdefender makes it strongly advisable to subscribe to a premium plan. Nonetheless, the expansiveness of the features offered, which is the standout differentiator of Bitdefender, gives it the advantage compared to Webroot.
Where Webroot does have the advantage is low-cost identity protection features, which are available on its Premium subscription. For those features in Bitdefender, you have to invest in Bitdefender’s Ultimate Security All-in-One Plan at $99.98 for the first year—although you do get coverage for 10 devices, compared to Webroot’s 5 devices.
Best for ease of use: Bitdefender
Bitdefender is convenient to pick up in that it doesn’t require you to sign up or provide your payment information prior to downloading any of its 30-day trials. Right off the bat, Bitdefender presents an appealing and modern user interface, with a simple step-by-step installer.
On the other hand, note that although Bitdefender is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, its free antivirus protection is only available on Windows. The free version of Bitdefender on macOS and Android is a fairly basic virus scanner. Only Bitdefender Total Security is accessible to all of the above operating systems.
Webroot provides a free 14-day trial for its antivirus products. Prior to downloading these antivirus products, though, you’re required to sign up by providing your name, email address, and country of residence.
Webroot’s Basic antivirus edition is only available on Windows, but all other versions include PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and even ChromeOS compatibility, which means you can seamlessly enjoy the same antivirus products whenever you switch devices. For iOS, Webroot offers a secure web browser due to the strict and effective built-in security controls and tools.
Unfortunately, although its user interface is designed to be consistent across Windows and Mac, it still comes off as a bit dated and less intuitive compared to Bitdefender.
Best for performance: Webroot
Webroot can be installed even when you already have other antivirus applications installed in your system, which is not the case with Bitdefender. Bitdefender urges you to uninstall other security applications before proceeding with its installation to prevent crashes and performance dips.
Webroot lives up to its reputation as an antivirus with blazing fast scan. It deep scanned 46,025 files on my Windows system in just 46 seconds without notable system performance impact, whereas Bitdefender clocked in at 4 minutes and 9 seconds for just over 6,000 files with some noticeable stress on system resources.
In fact, Bitdefender lets you know that its full system scan is a complex one and that it may take a while for the first scan but highlights that future scans will likely be faster as they will adjust based on your system. A full system scan took 1 hour, 48 minutes, and 44 seconds for 382,838 scanned items, or 59 items per second. Webroot handled a full scan of 178,696 items in 31 minutes and 3 seconds—a considerably quicker 96 items per second.
Additionally, I looked up performance comparisons between the two products on AV-TEST Institute, a reputable antivirus test lab and interestingly, the most recent results for Webroot were from June 2019 whereas Bitdefender posted impressive results on its December 2022 tests. Nonetheless, Webroot edges past Bitdefender thanks to its lightning quick scans with low impact on my system resources.
Top 3 Webroot and Bitdefender alternatives
Webroot and Bitdefender are among the best in the business for antivirus protection, but there are other strong contenders as well, including Avast, Malwarebytes, and Avira.
Avast delivers a simple and straightforward approach to not only antivirus protection, but also web security. Its pricing plans are quite simple and it offers a great free antivirus plan.
Malwarebytes Premium offers a smart antivirus product combined with a next-generation VPN for strong real-time protection to protect customer devices against viruses and malware.
Avira provides great value for comprehensive real-time protection against malware and it includes a firewall, password manager, and a free VPN.
How we evaluated Webroot vs. Bitdefender
We evaluated Webroot and Bitdefender by signing up for free trials of their premium products and exploring their capabilities hands-on. We also used the product websites, official documentation, customer reviews, and evaluations from verified antivirus test labs such as the AV-TEST Institute as secondary resources to augment our first-hand findings.
Bottom Line: Choosing Webroot vs. Bitdefender for your antivirus protection
Overall, Bitdefender tops Webroot as the better antivirus solution in most categories, including core features, pricing, and ease of use. On the other hand, if you seek a straightforward, lightweight and fast antivirus solution, or one that offers inexpensive mobile security and identity protection, Webroot may prove to be preferable.
It’s worth remembering that Bitdefender also offers a free version for those on a shoestring—but if you’re serious about protecting your personal or company data, you’d do far better to invest in one of the paid tiers of either antivirus solution.
Even so, always remember that antivirus tools cannot completely secure your devices and systems from cyberthreats. What they can do is significantly shrink your threat vectors, and help you to catch and recover quickly from attacks that do get through.