Dr. Web Antivirus Review – Things to Know in 2021

Dr. Web Antivirus Review – Things to Know in 2021

Dr. Web is another cybersecurity pioneer whose story goes way back. It is developed by the Russian company Doctor Web. It has been around for three decades and has a huge customer base. However, no reputable labs have tested this product for a long time, so it’s a tad challenging to compare it to leading providers. In this review, we are going to analyze features that Dr. Web provides and answer the main question – Does it have what it takes to protect your devices in 2021?

Is Dr. Web Still Good and Reliable in 2021?

Dr. Web lacks some advanced security features that users are looking for these days. On the other hand, it offers some great features that others simply don’t have. We like that it’s available for all major platforms except iOS and offers some useful extensions for popular browsers.

Dr. Web Antivirus Home Screen
Security Center is well-designed and even not tech-savvy users will find it easy to use

It’s also highly customizable and embedded with tons of the necessary features to make your online activity safer. It lacks features like VPN, safe browser and email protection, but you can definitely count on it to protect you from most common viruses and other types of malicious software. And, it won’t make you break a bank. You’ll only have to pay $35/year to get a full package.

What features Does Dr. Web Lack?

  • One of the weird things you encounter when you first install Dr. web is the absence of a scan button on the main dashboard. Instead, you have to click Security CenterOverall –> the Files and Network menu –> and only then hit Scanner. Overall, the interface could have be friendlier and more intuitive.

Dr. Web malware scanning
Malware scanning took a bit longer than it was with other antivirus solutions

The basic plan doesn’t cover URL filtering, and as a result, it can’t protect the user from a phishing attack. However, Anti-phishing is available in Dr. Web Special Space Suit

Dr.Web doesn’t provide a boot-time scan, meaning that it won’t stop malicious software from executing when you launching your computer. In all fairness though, even top-rated providers don’t always offer that.

There are a couple more features that would be nice to see are VPN, Gamer Mode and Safe Browser. And if the first two aren’t compulsory, everyone could benefit from safe browser for more secure payments online.

Do Their Built-In Anti-Phishing Features Really Work?

The short answer is yes, the inbuilt anti-phishing feature works perfectly, but it’s only available in the Security Space Suite plan. This means the basic plan does not cover URL filtration, and the anti-phishing feature isn’t available for this plan.

Dr. Web Pricing Plans
Anti-phishing is only available within the Security Space subscription

Dr. Web Security Space is a premium package of the suite that protects up to five devices. With this package, you will get advanced features such as SpIDer gate, SpIDer Mail Monitor, Anti-ransomware protection, Data Loss Protection, Anti-Phishing, and many more.

Now let’s move on to more promising stuff.

Does it Block Ransomware Quickly?

Yes, it does. Dr. Web Antivirus decrypts the encrypted ransomware files and folders. Ransomware is the most common type of malware where cybercriminals encrypt your files on the computer, and to decrypt the same, they will demand money. This is a kind of blackmailing where you need to pay a hefty sum to access files that are no longer in your control.

Dr. Web Ransomware Protection Feature
Dr. Web can prevent any app from encrypting your files but you can still specify exceptions

Dr. Web Antivirus detects up to 98% of encrypted ransomware programs, including the Trojan. This is possible through an advanced security algorithm that analyzes and controls the ransomware.

Does Dr. Web have enough to protect you from malware?

Yes, it does. Although it hasn’t recently been tested by cybersecurity labs, its user satisfaction rate is very high. It detects a good share of malware thanks to their database being constantly updated and Dr. Web’s Cloud feature.

Database of viruses and other threats is where providers keep a log of all threats that had been detected earlier. When you scan your computer, your antivirus compares files on your device to those samples and if there’s a match – it means that your computer is infected.

Dr. Web also protects your computer from new malware that is not available in the database. This type of phenomenon is known as a zero-day attack, and it is possible through heuristic technology used by Dr. Web AV.

Dr. Web Exploit Protection Feature
You can prevent exploiting the known vulnerabilities of installed apps with Dr. Web

A blend of the old anti-malware engine and advanced algorithm makes Dr. Web strong enough to fight various types of malware.

Dr. Web comes in various packages: KATANA and Security Space. These are based on an advanced algorithm and capable of detecting and removing dangerous malware. 

Dr. Web KATANA doesn’t follow the conventional analysis process to check whether the program is legit or not. The reason is that cyber criminals are aware of the rules, and they can easily bypass those restrictions. Hence, KATANA goes through the advanced algorithm to check the program in real-time, and if any suspicious program is found on the computer, it automatically removes it.

Dr. Web Security Space is the most valued version in this bundle that offers complete protection against malware, ransomware, and other deadly viruses. If you go with this version, you can skip KATANA.

Is Your Traffic Private With Dr. Web Antivirus?

Yes, the traffic is somewhat private with Dr. Web Antivirus, because it follows cryptographic protocols and doesn’t monitor the transmitted data. The entire process is done through SpIDer Gate that analyzes the behavior of HTTP traffic. If it finds any suspicious traffic, then it blocks it.

Dr. Web SplGate for traffic monitoring
This feature will help you prevent harmful activities affecting browsers and messengers

SpIDer Gate is an amazing feature of Dr. Web Antivirus that monitors the flow of HTTP traffic in real-time and restricts the infected page in any browser. Even for advanced security in the web browser, it scans the SSL traffic and creates a safelist and blacklist based on the applications.

SplDer Gate Settings

The scan process is the criteria established to maintain the list. For instance, the scanned applications are kept on the blacklist, and unscanned are listed in the whitelist.

But, it doesn’t have a built-in VPN, which means that your ISP and websites you visit still can see and collect your IP-address and some of your internet activity. Stand-alone VPN products are better than the built-in ones anyway, and we recommend you to purchase one if you’re looking for a complete privacy.

Scanning Process

Dr. Web Antivirus is best known for its security features, and it offers three modes of scanning process. But it’s not a piece of cake to access this feature since the scan button isn’t available on the main dashboard as you would think. So, you need to follow the conventional path to reach there, i.e., launch the Security Center, move to the Files and Network Menu, and then click on the Scanner button.

Dr. Web Scanning Option

Here, you will get three scan modes, i.e., Express, Full, and Custom. The Express Scan is for the critical system objects, whereas Custom Scan is for those who look to scan specific areas of their device without spending a ridiculous amount of time. If you go with the Full Scan, the app will scan all the files available on the device along with removable media. However, Full Scan takes a long time and if it finds a heavy application,  the waiting period may increase.

Scanning modes of Dr. Web antivirus

The best part of Dr.Web’s scanner is stop/pause button. After starting the scan, you can stop it midway, and you no longer need to wait to cancel the scanning process until it completes.

Scanning files with Dr. Web

What Other Features Does It Provide?


This feature is introduced to safeguard your network and also to keep your files secure. In short, whenever it finds any suspicious network, then it blocks the same in no time. So, it enables you to access the network that is digitally certified.

However, if you are aware that the network is safe and legit, then you can enable such a network from a firewall setting. The filtration method of Dr. Web is quite good because it retains a separate log to monitor the packets sent through the network. Through this log, a firewall keeps an eye on every pack and thus prohibits suspicious activities.

If you go through the downside of the firewall feature, then the biggest one is the active duration. It is continuously active and sends frequent pop-up messages. These messages may annoy you, but the best part is that your network is secured.

Dr. Web AV CureIt

CureIt is an additional utility of Dr. Web Antivirus, and it is favorable for those users who need an independent malware scanner. You can run the same without any problems because it doesn’t conflict with any antiviruses or applications. Even if you are using an antivirus, you can simultaneously utilize CureIt to safeguard your computer.

You need to download it from the Dr. Web Antivirus product section to access this malware scanner. Once the download is completed, just run the file and then start the scanning process. Here, in the scanning part, you can include or exclude the files as you wish, such as root files, boot sectors, and others.

Dr.Web CureIt window

The downside is the availability, which means Dr. Web CureIt is for Windows OS (32 & 64) bit. So, Mac and Linux users can’t access the salient features of CureIt. Moreover, It comes with a price and to get it, you need to spend only $20.

SpIDer Mail Monitor

SpIDer Mail monitors your emails and blocks the suspicious ones that contain potential threats. These include viruses, spam and phishing emails. This feature is essential, because phishing was the most widespread cyber threat in 2020.

SplDer Mail Monitor Window
Good news for email power users – Dr. Web will protect you from email viruses

The SpIDer Mail continuously monitors your emails, looks for vulnerable software or phishing activity, and subsequently removes it. The good part is that it doesn’t require your participation whatsoever.

Parental Lock

Kids aren’t aware of threats some websites carry, which puts the computer is at the edge of risk.

Dr. Web Parental Control Feature
The Parental Control feature is a life-saver for parents in the digital age

Dr. Web AV offers Parental Control features to keep kids away from the potentially inappropriate content. It’s fairly easy to use and additionally allows you to block some folders you don’t want your kids to access.

Are There Any Lab Test Results?

Unfortunately, Dr.Web hasn’t been tested by reputable labs for several years in a row. 

The last time AV-TEST evaluated Dr.Web’s products was in 2017. Back then Dr. Web received a maximum available score of 6 for its performance, but only 3.6 out of 6 for malware protection which isn’t enough to compete with leading providers.

We believe it’s about right for today as well since Dr.Web hasn’t developed more advanced real-time protection features or anti-phishing tools yet.

How Much Does The Dr. Web Subscription Cost?

The subscription cost varies from product to product: Dr. Web Premium, Dr. Web Mobile, and Dr. Web Mobile Life. The premium cost starts from €0.06/day, whereas mobile subscription starts from €0.03/day. However, if you go with Dr. Web Mobile Life, then you will have to spend €39.99 for the subscription.

Dr. Web Security Space Suite for a single PC will cost €33.90/year. For 2 devices, the price is €39.90/year, and it increases as per the number of devices increased. The total number of devices you can use is 5, just at €83.90/year.

If you want to secure your mobile with Dr. Web Antivirus, then the suite will cost 15.80 EUR for 2 years.

On the off chance, if you want to go with the lighter package offering good utilities, then KATANA is good, and the cost of this product is €29.90/year for a single computer. The price varies depending on the number of devices, and the maximum allowable devices are 5 at €74.90/year.

Is Dr. Web Antivirus a one-time payment?

No, Dr. Web is a subscription service as most of its competitors. You can choose a 1-year or a 2 -year plans, but it will be automatically renewed after the chosen subscription period will be over.

It also has a demo version available on their website and 30-day money-back guarantee.

Will It Slow Down Your Computer?

Most antivirus products slow down a computer because their apps are heavy-weight, have clunky interface, and complex redundant algorithms. But Dr. Web Antivirus works differently, and in general, it doesn’t slow down a computer.

However, some users complained that their computer becomes slower after moving to the new version of Dr. Web Antivirus. This is practically possible because SpIDer Gate usually blocks suspicious networks, and as a result, the computer acts slower. There are also other potential reasons why your computer can get slower, for which we recommend checking out this article.

The general recommendation is always to try to keep your antivirus product and OS up-to-date and reduce the clutter.

How can you use Dr. Web Antivirus on Mac?

Dr. Web Antivirus offers ample features to the Mac users, such as a scan of auto-run objects, network drives, archives, and others. Moreover, it also provides an HTTP traffic monitoring feature and also removes the viruses in no time. Now, let’s see how to use Dr. Web Antivirus on a Mac device.

Installation process

  • To access this Antivirus, you need to download and install the same. The process is very simple, just visit the official website of Dr. Web Antivirus, move to the product section, and then select the respective product.
  • If you want to go for a demo mode, click on the Trial button and then download the file.
  • Now, move to the application folder and then double-click on the downloaded file to start the installation process.
  • While installing, the terms and agreement page will appear on the screen. Read it carefully, and click on the Agree button to proceed ahead. Soon, the admin password will be asked, and you need to provide the same.  
  • Once the installation process is done, Dr. Web Antivirus will start automatically.

License Activation Process

As you have installed the trial version of Dr. Web Antivirus and it is valid for 30 days and after that, you need to register it using the valid license serial key. To do the task, follow the steps listed below.

  • Go to the official website of Dr. Web Antivirus, move to the dashboard, and then click on the License button.
  • On the next page, you will get the product details and a form, fill the same with a valid email address, name, and your region. After filing the form, click on the Buy button.
  • After that, a payment mode will appear, select the one as per your need and complete the task.
  • Once the payment is successfully made, you will get the license serial key on your registered email address.
  • Now, go to your mailbox, and note down the serial key.
  • Next, go to the Dr. Web license page, and here you will find the box for the serial key, enter the keys that you received in your email and then click on the Activate button.
  • That’s it; your installation and activation process is done.

Does It Offer Protection For Mobile Devices?

Yes, it protects mobile devices from all types of malicious applications and also decrypts and encrypted ransomware files. Moreover, it also controls harmful web content and kills viruses. So far, the Dr. Web antivirus is available for Android devices only and does not cover iOS.

The users will get many features in an Android device, such as Antivirus, Anti-theft, Antispam, Parental Control, URL filtering, Firewall, and Security Auditor.

What Can We Say About Dr. Web Technical And Customer Support?

Dr. Web offers three support options:

Self-support through a knowledge base

Submit a request

24/7 phone support (Russia only)

The majority of modern antivirus products will offer you live chat, but Dr. Web doesn’t have this option.

Pros and Cons

Pros of Dr. Web

  • The product price is affordable and is the best in the market.
  • It is compatible with major Operating Systems such as Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.
  • Dr. Web comes with additional security features.
  • Dr. Web AV offers bundled firewall.

Cons of Dr. Web AV

  • Lack of URL Filtering
  • No recent independent lab tests.
  • No live support
  • Limited privacy features

Is It Good Enough As A Standalone Protection Package?

Yes, Dr. Web Antivirus is good enough as a standalone package since it offers a wide range of features to tackle any viruses, such as Anti-malware, Anti-ransomware, Anti-phishing, parental control, HTTP traffic monitoring, and many more. These features are quite sufficient to secure any computer or a network. IF you’re looking for the extended privacy, we recommend using it together with a VPN product.

Dr. Web Competitors or Alternatives

If you’re looking for a decent Dr. Web alternative, we suggest to go with one of the products that have great lab test results and offer more security features. Bear in mind that those options are more expensive, though. Here are some good providers:

  • Malwarebytes
  • Kaspersky
  • Panda
  • AVG
  • Avast

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Devices Can You Protect With Dr. Web Antivirus?

Dr. Web Antivirus is available for multiple devices starting from 1 all the way up to 5 devices. In short, it can protect up to 5 computers, and it depends on you to choose how many computers (within a threshold) you want to secure through this antivirus.

Is Dr. Web Scanning Engine Good?

Yes, Dr. Web scanning engine is really good because it fetches the authentic result and also prepares the log sheet to monitor the suspicious activities. Dr. Web has completed their journey of 28 years and is still running on. While on the journey, it retains a proprietary antivirus engine.

Is It a Reliable Antivirus Provider?

Yes, Dr. Web is a completely reliable antivirus and you can trust it to protect your computer. It provides all essential utilities to keep viruses away from your device.

Can You Try Dr. Web Free Before Purchasing?

Yes, you can go for the trial mode to check the performance of Dr. Web, but the trial period is valid for only 30 days. But this time is sufficient to judge any product based on the performance.

Do Android Users Need Dr. Web Software?

Yes, Android users must protect their device from Dr. Web as it provides Anti-malware, Anti-phishing, Anti-ransomware, and many features to safeguard the Android device. The cybercriminals are targeting smartphone users too, as they keep the bank credentials on their phone, and it becomes very much easier for cybercriminals to achieve the goal.

Do Apple Products Need Virus Protection?

Apple does have an inbuilt protection feature, but every device has its limitations. Hence, Apple does also need virus protection because, in the modern-day, it has become much easier to bypass the security layers of any device.

How To Remove Dr. Web From Your Device Completely?

The removal process of Dr. Web is very simple and it is just like removing any other application from the OS. If you are a Windows user, then move to the Control Panel, select Programs, and get the list of applications. Select Dr. Web and then click on the Uninstall button located at the top of the menu bar.

However, if you face any issue or fail to remove Dr. Web, then you can go with the Dr. Web Remover tool that is available on the official website.

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