BitDefender Versus WebRoot

BitDefender Versus WebRoot: How to Defend Against Malware

When it comes to virus protection, whether you’re protecting your own devices or a customer’s, you have plenty of options. Many MSPs go with industry-leader BitDefender, but WebRoot is another antivirus solution to consider. Both companies offer various products, including scalable antivirus solutions. BitDefender and WebRoot also integrate with popular MSP software such as ConnectWise, Kaseya, and Datto; although, each company offers unique integrations.

So what makes one product stand out from the other? My team and I at GenerationIX in Los Angeles took some time out to review both solutions.

Comparing WebRoot and BitDefender

When comparing BitDefender and WebRoot, you may notice that the former is an “NGAV.” These next-generation antivirus programs look at the behavior of potentially harmful files in addition to comparing the file data to that of known malware to determine if the file might be malicious. Compared to traditional antivirus solutions, NGAV can better sniff out issues before you download them and identify risks to your system and network that may not yet be known and wouldn’t exist in the database of a traditional antivirus program. NGAV can also contribute to the identification and response to emerging threats.

This may be why so many MSPs and IT professionals recommend BitDefender over WebRoot, which is a traditional antivirus and tends to miss more malware. One professional not-so-kindly described WebRoot as “almost as useful as using Windows Calculator as an anti-virus.”

The Appeal of WebRoot

Why do organizations continue to use WebRoot when it leaves them at risk? To start, MSPs have to contact BitDefender for custom plans, while a company can purchase a 1-year license to Webroot Business Endpoint Protection for $30 per “seat”, a price that even the smallest business can afford. Many people might assume that BitDefender prices are significantly higher than WebRoot because of this. However, WebRoot and BitDefender are quite similar when you compare their products for small businesses, and MSP pricing for both typically costs around $1 per endpoint. You may also be able to work out a better plan with the company if you need several hundred licenses or already use certain RMM solutions. For example, WebRoot deals are available for MSPs that use Atera, and SolarWinds users may be able to save on BitDefender.

Software integration may also sway an MSP from BitDefender to WebRoot, especially if it’s more affordable.

Aside from price, some companies may have been lucky to avoid infections with WebRoot, but that doesn’t mean they’ll always be so lucky. Users who aren’t conscientious about potential infections can increase the likelihood of infection by downloading email attachments or browsing risky sites. But if an infection isn’t particularly vicious, it may go unnoticed, and users may assume that WebRoot is doing its job.

Strengthening WebRoot

Finally, performance matters. If your devices and servers struggle while running BitDefender, it may pay to look for an alternative solution. Both BitDefender and WebRoot offer free trials, so you can see it the service performs well or if the UI is intuitive. And if you do prefer WebRoot, you can add layers of security to reduce your vulnerability. For instance, you might deploy a DNS-based security tool such as Cisco’s Umbrella to your network to prevent phishing and other attacks. In fact, WebRoot offers its own DNS protection; each yearly subscription costs an additional $30 per device.

As long as you’re aware of WebRoot’s weaknesses, you may be able to make up for them. However, many MSPs simply choose BitDefender because it’s a more reliable option. Even if WebRoot costs less, you have to weigh its price against the cost of halted downtime, data retrieval, and infection removal if WebRoot fails to protect your devices and malware gets through.


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