We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research, and also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company. Learn more

Wizcase was established in 2018 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, Intego and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on Wizcase are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

AntiVirus

How We Test Antiviruses

To evaluate an antivirus, our reviewers assess the many security features and claims that a company makes. While many antivirus brands boast complete protection from malware and other cyber threats, many fall short of their own ambitious claims. Even the best antiviruses can’t completely guarantee protection against every threat, but some options stand out above the rest. We may earn affiliate link compensation for purchases made through this site, and the following products — ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, Intego, and Private Internet Access — are owned by our parent company.

Categories of Focus

We review each antivirus using the same testing metrics every time to ensure consistency and ease of comparability across our reviews. We examine the following features of Antiviruses:

  • Purchasing & Downloads

    With any given antivirus subscription, the first thing that our reviews consider is the payment process. We purchase the most comprehensive antivirus suite that the company offers to fully evaluate all of the features and options available. In addition to how easy it is to go through the payment process, we also take a keen look at the following:

    • Does the antivirus attempt to push any additional software on the buyer or otherwise slow down the process?
    • Are there any hidden costs associated with the antivirus? (For example, a discount that soon terminates)
    • How large is the installation file?
    • What sort of payment options are available?

    As opposed to software like VPNs, complete buyer privacy isn’t expected. Although, it is certainly a nice bonus if a company takes privacy seriously. It is expected that a buyer will need to provide some level of information.

  • Ease of Use & Installation

    An antivirus software suite should be easy to download, as most antiviruses are geared toward

    a large general audience. We install the antivirus on all of its supported devices (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux) to ensure that it works as advertised and doesn’t take any additional steps or troubleshooting to set up. We take a look at the following aspects when assessing how easy an antivirus is to use and install:

    • Is there any technical knowledge required to install the antivirus?
    • Are there helpful guides, pictures, or videos available for new users?
    • How easy is it to launch necessary programs, find features, and navigate the user interface?

    We also check and see if the antivirus software has any additional integrations such as a browser extension to see if those are easy to use and add to the experience.

  • Security Features

    To safely evaluate each antivirus against threats, we run each instance in a sandbox and test it against hundreds of sample malware files. These samples include new and old forms of viruses, ransomware, spyware, trojans, keyloggers, rootkits, and more. There are four main security features that our reviewers evaluate:

    • Virus Scanning — We measure how long it takes to perform different types of scans as well as evaluate how accurate the scans are. This evaluation can be influenced by the scanner missing critical trojans, flagging safe files, and by taking a long time to complete. A good antivirus should be able to detect every instance in the test, but a 95% detection rate is considered secure.
    • Real-Time Protection — In this test, we see how well an antivirus can defend an end user against active threats. This includes executing malware files, simulating ransomware blocks, and sample attacks from unique zero-day malware. The best antiviruses can shield users from every instance, but a 90% score is considered reliable enough for most use cases.
    • Phishing & Web Protection — Not every threat you face comes in the form of active malware and trojans. Many threats lurk online behind ads, phishing links, and on dangerous websites. We test each antivirus suite and ensure that it can detect and block malicious links, ads, malware sites, phishing sites, and more.
    • Firewall — A good antivirus will stop threats as they occur and limit their impact on your system. However, the best antiviruses won’t allow those threats to be downloaded in the first place. A robust, independent firewall will stop threats before they become harmful. We evaluate if an antivirus has a firewall and test it against malicious links, ads, and downloads.

    The above list is not exhaustive, as there are many additional security measures that make an antivirus perform well or poorly. We will always make a note of any glaring weaknesses or any superior measures that an antivirus suite has.

  • Impact on System Performance

    Quite simply, we assess the resources that an antivirus uses to perform its necessary functions. A good antivirus will have a negligible impact on your system while still providing stellar protection. We evaluate CPU & RAM utilization while idle and while scanning. If an antivirus uses intensive resources during active scanning, we check and see how quickly it finishes its scans. After all, an antivirus that significantly impacts system performance at all times makes for a poor user experience.

  • Packaged Features & Software

    Most antiviruses don’t come with just a scanner and malware detection software. The biggest companies will bundle additional privacy and security software along with it. These add-ons might include things like a password manager, a dark-web monitor, or even a VPN. We take a look at add-ons to see if they add enough value for the money and if they work as intended. We evaluate this based on the following criteria:

    • Value — Does it offer enough value for the extra cost?
    • Usefulness — Does the average user need this feature?
    • Comparative Analysis — Is this bundled feature better or equal to the performance of a standalone application that performs the same function?

    What we want to glean from this analysis is if a feature is truly worthwhile or if it is just being tacked onto a subscription bundle to inflate value.

  • Pricing

    We look at the features offered by each antivirus and see if it is in line with the price that it is set to determine if it offers enough value for the money.

    By looking at the best antiviruses offer, we can cross-compare it against the competition and come to a verdict. This evaluation also takes into account the price bracket the antivirus is trying to compete in as well as the features it offers compared to other offerings in that bracket.

    We give our recommendations based on the current deals, discounts, and offerings by the antivirus to give gauge whether or not it is a good deal.

    Then, we test the refund or money-back guarantee, if it has one. We see how easy it is to request our money back and see if we have to go through any additional steps like contacting support, filling out a form, or sending an email. An antivirus is judged well here if it provides a streamlined process and refunds the money without pressuring users into additional plans.

  • Customer Support

    Even the best Antivirus suites can have errors or result in problems. We contact the support team of each company on all available platforms to assess whether the responses we receive are swift, comprehensive, and helpful.

    We do this for each support channel such as email, ticket, phone, live chat, and social media. We look for timely, helpful responses that don’t require us to reach out multiple times. We also look for knowledge base pages and user forums for productive self-troubleshooting.

    Since experiences can vary, we aim to reach out to support multiple times during the testing process to get a better understanding of the general user experience.

WizCase is a team of expert cybersecurity researchers that focuses on providing information and insights related to online privacy, security, and data breaches. We rigorously test and evaluate VPNs, Antiviruses, Password Managers, Software, and Parental Control solutions to deliver up-to-date and trustworthy recommendations.
VPN

How We Test Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

To effectively review a VPN, our reviewers conduct a wide range of tests that determine the efficacy of a given VPN’s claims. These tests include but are not limited to: verifying the validity of speed claims, examining privacy claims, and thoroughly testing security features in real-world scenarios.

Categories of Focus

We review every VPN using the same metrics each time to ensure consistency and ease of comparability across our reviews. We examine the following features of VPNs:

  • Purchase & Downloads

    The first aspect we take into consideration with any given VPN review is the payment process. We go through and purchase the most comprehensive plan a VPN offers, and we make note of how much information we are required to give as well as how many options for payment there are. Some key pieces of information we look for in this section go as follows:

    • Are we required to provide extensive personal information? (Name, Address, Bank Information)
    • How many payment options does the VPN offer?
    • Does the VPN offer a way to pay anonymously, such as with gift cards or cryptocurrency?
    • Were there any oddities or hurdles during the payment process?

    A VPN is a tool for privacy and security, so it should only take the minimum amount of information necessary to provide its services. If the company asks for additional personal information then we assess the reasons for this request and judge the validity of the said request.

  • Ease of Use & Installation

    Installation of a VPN can range from straightforward to highly technical. We install the VPN on all of its supported systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. Then, we adjust our settings and make sure that the VPN is properly configured for the given testing device. During this process, we take into account the following criteria:

    • We take note of how straightforward it was to install, sign in, and connect to the VPN.
    • We look to see if the VPN offers helpful guides and options for new users.
    • We take a look at the user interface (UI) to see how intuitive it is to use, especially for non-technical users

    We also evaluate the compatibility of a VPN with popular systems and browser extensions as well as how many devices you can protect simultaneously with a single subscription.

  • Speeds & Latency

    Since VPNs encrypt data, connecting to one will invariably result in an impact on base connection speeds. We look at this reduction and compare it to our base speed, coming out with a set of percentage decreases across a range of different server locations near and far from our home location. We measure the following:

    • Local & International server speeds — download and upload speeds of servers near and far away from our reviews are taken into account. The further away a server is from you, the more significant the reduction in speed becomes.
    • Latency/Ping — this is the amount of time an action takes to register and reach the network host. It can often be measured as input delay in fast-paced tasks like gaming.
    • Streaming Experience — we look at how stable our speeds are, which often translates into how seamless the streaming experience is. We look for noticeable glitches, buffering, or interruptions while connecting to popular streaming platforms.

    While every VPN will impact speeds, the best ones will impact them less. Generally, a VPN does well in this section if it keeps your speeds within 50% of your base connection. However, some of the best VPNs we have tested can retain upwards of 90% of your base connection speed.

  • Server Network

    A good server network is more than simply the sheer number of options that a VPN offers. While a vast network is certainly a large factor in determining how well a VPN does in this category, we look at more facets such as:

    • Server Network Coverage — having a lot of servers doesn’t do much if they aren’t spread across the globe to serve as many users as possible. We look at each VPN’s network to see how diverse the network is and how dense the coverage is in the most in-demand regions.
    • Server Type — good VPNs will offer more than just basic servers to connect to. We look for optimized servers for streaming as well as obfuscated servers that offer additional protections in restricted regions. We also check to see if the VPN allows for P2P connections such as torrenting on all, some, or none of its servers.
    • Server Load — we make sure that a VPN has enough servers to meet the demand of users by taking various speed tests in different locations and at different times.

    Having a good mix of server types, global coverage, and a vast server network leads to excellent VPNs standing out from average offerings in this category.

  • Security & Privacy

    This category is the heaviest-weighted one, since how well a VPN protects your data and ensures your privacy is the main use case. We look at the following criteria to determine if a VPN is safe to use and worthy of trusting with your data:

    • Encryption — there are many safe encryption methods, but the best VPNs employ AES 256-bit encryption. This encryption is used by major financial institutions and governments, and it is proven to be uncrackable with current technology.
    • VPN Protocols — we assess which protocols a VPN offers. These protocols vary in speed, security, and platform support. Most offer the following protocols: OpenVPN (TCP and/or UDP, WireGuard, and IKEv2. If a VPN uses more dated protocols like PPTP or L2TP, this could be a sign of potential security risks.
    • DNS Leak Protection — we run leak tests to see if a VPN has any vulnerabilities where it could be revealing your actual location or data.
    • Obfuscation — our global team tests VPNs in restricted or censored regions to see if they can access the internet freely.
    • Independent Audits — the very best VPNs have undergone independent audits from outside firms that regularly validate the VPN’s privacy policy and security standards.
    • Kill Switch — a good VPN will have a switch that disables your internet connection in the event of an outage or disruption in the VPN’s network.
    • Split Tunneling — this feature allows you to choose which apps or browser instances are encrypted and which are not.
    • Privacy Policy — we read each VPN’s privacy policy to ensure that it isn’t retaining user data or logs. We also take a look at how accessible this information is and how digestible it would be to a standard reader.
    • Company Jurisdiction — while not immediately indicative of a VPN’s privacy standards, we look to see if the company is based in any of the information-sharing alliance countries. (5,9,14-Eyes Alliances) and see if it takes additional precautions if it is.

    We strive to be comprehensive when evaluating the security and privacy of each VPN we review, and we will note any flaws or discrepancies a VPN has with full transparency.

  • Pricing

    We look at the features offered by each VPN and see if it is in line with the price that it is set to determine if it offers enough value for the money.

    By looking at what the very best VPNs offer, we can cross-compare a VPN against the competition and come to a verdict. This evaluation also takes into account the price bracket a VPN is trying to compete in as well as the features it offers compared to other offerings in that bracket.

    We give our recommendations based on the current deals, discounts, and offerings by the VPN to give gauge whether or not it is a good deal.

    Then, we test the VPN’s refund or money-back guarantee, if it has one. We see how easy it is to request our money back and see if we have to go through any additional steps like contacting support, filling out a form, or sending an email. A VPN is judged well here if it provides a streamlined process and refunds the money without pressuring users into additional plans.

  • Customer Support

    Even the best VPNs can have errors or result in problems. We contact the support team of each VPN on all available platforms to assess whether the responses we receive are swift, comprehensive, and helpful.

    We do this for each support channel such as email, ticket, phone, live chat, and social media. We look for timely, helpful responses that don’t require us to reach out multiple times. We also look for knowledge base pages and user forums for productive self-troubleshooting.

    Since experiences can vary, we aim to reach out to support multiple times during the testing process to get a better understanding of the general user experience.

WizCase is a team of expert cybersecurity researchers that focuses on providing information and insights related to online privacy, security, and data breaches. We rigorously test and evaluate VPNs, Antiviruses, Password Managers, Software, and Parental Control solutions to deliver up-to-date and trustworthy recommendations.
Parental Control

How we test Parental Control

Parental control apps are an essential tool for parents who want to protect their kids from dangerous and inappropriate content online. There are two different types of apps that we test, one allows parents to place limits and restrictions on the device, and the other monitors the child’s device and compiles the data for the parents to view in a secure web portal.

We understand that the features must work regardless of which type of parental control you need, and the kids can’t easily bypass the rules. Our review team purchases the app, installs it on the phone, and tries to bypass the restrictions. We also instruct our team to contact the customer support staff with questions and to cancel the account and claim a refund when they’re done testing.

Here’s a breakdown of the factors that are taken into account during a parental control review.

  • Purchase and Download – 5%

    We require all our testers to purchase the parental control apps that they evaluate. Even if WizCase has a relationship with the company, we don’t request a free account, as this could easily lead to bias. The reviewer checks out the different payment methods and whether the price is all-inclusive or whether there are hidden costs to know about.

    We then create a user account and download the app on a computer, Android, or iPhone. Some reviewers actually install the software on their child’s devices, and others use their own devices to test the software. Some of the factors that we take into account are:

    • Is the app available in the Google and Apple app stores? If not, why?
    • Do I have to jailbreak (iOS) or root (Android) the phone
    • Does the app clearly explain what settings need to be changed on the child’s device
    • Will the child see the app on their phone, or is it hidden
    • Does it take up a lot of memory space
    • Does it drain the phone’s battery

    The reviewer assigns a 0-10 score for this category, and it contributes to 5% of the overall grade.

  • Setup – 10%

    Once the app is installed on the child or test device, our reviewer has to set up the rules. The first step is creating a child profile and connecting it to the main account. Then we open the parental dashboard, either on the web or the reviewer can download the parent app on their phone, to evaluate the process of creating rules to enforce on the child’s device.

    Apps that are only monitoring apps don’t always require any setup after the child profile is connected to the main account. In these cases, the 10% weight for the score is transferred to the features.

  • Trustworthiness & Reliability - 30%

    Trust is an important aspect in ranking parental control apps. Users have to change the security settings in their child’s phone and give it access to the device’s GPS, contacts, ability to display over apps, and more. An untrustworthy company can take the data it collects from each child and sell It to the highest bidder. Therefore, we carefully read through the privacy policy to ensure that the child’s privacy and data aren’t being sold.

    Next, we check for reliability. It doesn’t matter if an app claims to have all the best and most important features if they don’t work.

    We tell our reviewers to try and break the rules to see what will happen. This means using the device when it should be locked, trying to bypass the filter and view inappropriate content, or using apps that should be blocked. Then they check the dashboard to see if the app sent an alert to the parents about these actions.

    If the reviewer was able to bypass a rule, the next step was to see whether there was a way to prevent the child from getting around the rules. For example, if we find that a parental control app only works with certain browsers, does it have a feature that allows parents to block any browser that it can’t monitor? If it does, we will make a note of that in the review.

    We test the accuracy of the features. From location tracking and geofences to web filters with general categories or keyloggers and social media monitoring, accuracy is a crucial piece of the monitoring process. We always check whether the data sent to the parental dashboard matches the experiments that we’re doing on the child or test phone.

    Does the app update in real-time? If we lock the device, does it take effect immediately, or will the child have 5 or 10 minutes before the system sends an update to the child’s device? Similarly, if the app has location tracking, will we see their live location or get an update from several hours ago? These are important questions, in extreme cases, getting notifications or updates late can have a huge impact on the safety of your child.

    We can combine the results from these categories and anything else related to trustworthiness and reliability to create a score from 0-10. This impacts 30% of the overall score.

  • Features - 40%

    There are features that we expect to find in a parental control app.

    • Web Filter: We look over the different categories to see whether they cover all types of inappropriate content. The number of categories isn’t as important. Sometimes, it just means that the company divided one category into multiple parts to sound more impressive. An app with 60 categories doesn’t necessarily have a better filter than an app with 17 categories. We check to see if the filter is customizable, does it include a list of keywords and phrases, and can we add a URL to a block or allow list.
    • Screen Time Limits: Setting rules for how much screen time a child can have per day is very important. We look for flexible scheduling, daily limits, and creating a screen time schedule. If the app lets us set rules for what apps and websites are available at set times, they get a bonus.
    • App Management: We want to set rules for app use, including setting time limits for how long an app can be used per day or blocking an app completely.
    • Location Tracking: The reviewer checks the location tracking feature multiple times during the testing process. When possible, they also create a geofence, which sends an alert when the phone enters or leaves a designated area. The goal is to see if it’s easy to set up and whether the alerts are sent in real-time or on a delay. Lastly, we check the location history to see how far back it stores the data and view the accuracy.
    • Social Media: We instruct the reviewer to get on social media during the testing process. It’s important to understand the level of monitoring the app has for different networks. Can it recognize the content, or does it just have the option to block or limit the app?
    • Activity Reports: The parental dashboard is the nerve center of the app. Not only can you remotely control all the different features, but it should also be easy to view the data. We look for clearly marked sections. Graphs and charts are an easy way to display information. We look for information on how much time is spent on the device, what websites were opened, details about app usage, and alerts.

    The criterion for monitoring apps is a little different. These apps are installed to give parents insight into exactly what their children are doing online. It doesn’t set filters or limits, as that would force the child to change their behavior.

    • Keyloggers: We look through the logs to see how well the keylogger works. Is it recording keystrokes on every app and browser? Can it reveal content from unsent emails or text messages?
    • Screenshots: Whether it takes a screenshot on a schedule or with each new action, we have to make sure the feature is working properly.
    • Call and Message Monitoring: While some monitoring apps record phone calls, others just save the call logs and contact information. We want to ensure that the features work. If it’s recording the call, we listen to the call to ensure the quality is good. We also try to bypass the restriction by making calls through VoIP apps to see if they’re monitored.
    • The goal of message monitoring is similar. We check if the app records SMS, iMessage, and other instant messenger platforms.
    • Reports: Monitoring apps collect so much data, and it can be hard to keep it organized and find important information. We look through the dashboard to see whether we can quickly find the logs or screenshots or if we need to read through hundreds of logs before finding something. The better apps have an alert system, which highlights problematic data for quick access.

    These are some of the main features we look at in both parental control and monitoring apps. Additional features are a bonus and can help improve the score of the app. Having powerful features that work is the most important aspect that we look for in a parental control app. Therefore, it is worth 40% of the overall grade.

  • Pricing and Refunds 10%

    We train our reviewers to look at more than the final monthly or annual price. They take into account all the features and extras that come with the subscription package. Then, they compare it with similar apps to evaluate the value our readers will get for the price.

    With this calculation, it’s possible for a more expensive product to have a better score than a cheaper option because the user gets better parental control tools for their money.

    We also look at what’s included in the package. How many devices can it monitor? Does it only work with computers or mobile devices, or is it compatible with all major platforms?

    When our reviewers are finished testing the parental control app, they cancel their account and request a refund. If they are required to give a reason, they can’t say that they were just testing the app for a review. We want to ensure that they receive the same treatment as any other subscriber. They mark down the steps they had to take to request the refund, whether it was through the accounts setting dashboard or speaking with customer support about their experience, and how long it took to receive the refund.

    Pricing and refunds are worth 10% of the overall score

  • Support – 5%

    We instruct our reviewers to contact customer support staff and ask questions about features, technical issues, and account management. We want to find out if the chat is handled by bots or real people. If there’s no chat option, they send an email and give them a score based on the quality of the answer and the response time.

    The reviewers also go through the FAQ section, watch tutorial videos where available, and read customer forums. This is done to see if we can find answers to our questions without having to speak with anyone.

    While good customer service is a big plus, it is rarely a difference-maker when it comes to selecting a parental control app. Therefore, it only contributes to 5% of the total score.

    Final Scores or Parental Control
    At the end of the comprehensive testing process, our reviewers look at all results and calculate the overall score. As noted above, each category contributes a different percentage to the overall score.

    Purchase and Download: 5% Features: 40%
    Setup: 10% Pricing and Refund: 10 %
    Reliability and Ease of Use: 30% Support: 5%

    We include the score for each category in the review, along with a clear explanation of our experiences and so our readers will understand the rating. The overall rating is located at the top of the review. If the score is 9.0 and higher, it is a great choice, and it scored well in each part of the test. If a product scores an 8.0 or higher, that means that the app works, but is probably missing some features.

    We don’t recommend parental control apps that are ranked 7.9 and below. These apps don’t work very well, may have security issues, or the app makes a lot of promises that it doesn’t back up. In these cases, we often recommend that the reader looks at other reviews on our site and link to relevant pages.

WizCase is a team of expert cybersecurity researchers that focuses on providing information and insights related to online privacy, security, and data breaches. We rigorously test and evaluate VPNs, Antiviruses, Password Managers, Software, and Parental Control solutions to deliver up-to-date and trustworthy recommendations.
Password Manager

How We Test Password Managers

To evaluate the performance of a password manager, our reviewers conduct a series of tests to determine how secure, reliable, and easy to use each one is. These tests include but are not limited to: testing auto-fill features, examining privacy and security measures, and assessing the user interface for clunky or missing options. A worthwhile password manager should securely and easily store passwords for a great many sites and use cases.

Categories of Focus

We review every password manager using the same metrics each time to ensure consistency and ease of comparability across our reviews. We focus on the following features for password managers:

  • Purchasing & Downloads

    Before we assess the core features of a given password manager, we take into consideration how streamlined and secure the sign-up, payment, and installation process is. We purchase the most comprehensive plan available, and we make a note of any challenges we encounter. We take a keen interest in the following:

    • Are there any hidden costs or upsells during the payment process?
    • How many payment options are offered?
    • Is there a way to pay anonymously, such as with a gift card or with cryptocurrency?
    • Does the company require any excess personal information?

    While total anonymity isn’t expected from a password manager, it is a valuable insight into the company if it protects its users’ information by allowing them to sign up anonymously. If a user is required to provide additional personal information then we assess the reasons for this request and judge its validity.

  • Ease of Use & Installation

    Installing a password manager should be easy to do even if you don’t have a ton of technical knowledge. We assess the installation by running through the process on all supported devices (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, & Linus) and see how much technical know-how it requires. To ensure that we get the correct results, we make adjustments to settings based on our system and operating system as required. During the process, we also take into account the following criteria:

    • How easy is it to install the application and requisite browser extensions?
    • Are there useful tools and directions for creating a secure master password?
    • Does the company offer any instructional guides or videos for new users?
    • How easy or difficult is it to navigate the user interface and access the vault?

    We also look for any imposed limitations such as device limits or sub-account creation caps with a single subscription.

  • Vault Security & Encryption

    The best password managers ensure that your valuable passwords and personal data remain secure. We look for the following security measures:

    • Encryption — We find what level of encryption each password manager offers. AES-256-bit encryption is the standard.
    • Two-Factory Authentication (2FA) — We test all authentication methods and review each if a password manager offers multiple solutions.
    • Privacy Measures — The best password managers keep zero logs and employ a zero-knowledge architecture so that they are never in possession of your data.
    • Account Recovery —  We take a look at the account recovery options in the event that a user loses access or forgets their master password.

    Password managers are likely to be judged well in this section if they offer some or all of the above options for users.

  • Essential Features

    In this section, we assess the core features of every password manager to ensure that they are effective and work as intended. These features include but are not limited to the following:

    • Password Generation — We look at how easy it is to generate new and secure passwords.
    • Password Storage — A good password manager should have unlimited storage, folder options, and account-sharing tools for family plans.
    • Auto-Fill — Using a password manager online should be easy. We check widely-used sites and see how effective the password manager is at automatically filling in passwords and sensitive information.
    • Password Changing — We test automatic or 1-click password changing features and see if they work as marketed.

    A strong password manager should excel in at least 3 out of 4 of these categories, if not have strong options in all of them. It is expected for some password managers to be more focused on certain areas, but each one should include basic functionality in all categories.

  • Pricing

    We look at the features offered by each password manager and see if it is in line with the price that it is set to determine if it offers enough value for the money.

    By looking at what the very best password managers offer, we can cross-compare against the competition and come to a verdict. This evaluation also takes into account the price bracket a password manager is trying to compete in as well as the features it offers compared to other offerings in that bracket.

    We give our recommendations based on the current deals, discounts, and offerings by the password manager to give gauge whether or not it is a good deal.

    Then, we test the password manager’s refund or money-back guarantee, if it has one. We see how easy it is to request our money back and see if we have to go through any additional steps like contacting support, filling out a form, or sending an email. A password manager is judged well here if it provides a streamlined process and refunds the money without pressuring users into additional plans.

  • Customer Support

    Even the best password managers can have errors or result in problems. We contact the support team of each password manager on all available platforms to assess whether the responses we receive are swift, comprehensive, and helpful.

    We do this for each support channel such as email, ticket, phone, live chat, and social media. We look for timely, helpful responses that don’t require us to reach out multiple times. We also look for knowledge base pages and user forums for productive self-troubleshooting.

    Since experiences can vary, we aim to reach out to support multiple times during the testing process to get a better understanding of the general user experience.

WizCase is a team of expert cybersecurity researchers that focuses on providing information and insights related to online privacy, security, and data breaches. We rigorously test and evaluate VPNs, Antiviruses, Password Managers, Software, and Parental Control solutions to deliver up-to-date and trustworthy recommendations.
Software

How We Test and Review Software

Most software companies claim that their product is the best. Our goal is to find out whether these claims have any merit. Here is how we test the product and determine its score.

  • Download, Installation, and Account Creation

    This is the obvious first step. Since the title of each page is How to Download the Software for Free, we look for a free and legal way to download the official software. Sometimes the software is completely free. Other times, it’s a free trial or money-back guarantee. If we can’t find a free way to try the software, we won’t review it.

    We then write the exact steps we took to download and install the software. We include relevant screenshots to ensure that our readers don’t miss a step and end up on a purchase page.

  • Features

    The reviewer looks through the software website to make sure they understand what features are included in the software they downloaded. Often the free version or free trial version has limited access to all the features. If we review a feature that isn’t included in the free version, we make it clear to the reader, so there are no surprises or disappointments.

    With most software reviews, we highlight three or four of the main features that we believe are most important to our readers. We include as many screenshots as possible to illustrate the feature.

    This is the most important aspect of the review, and so it carries the most weight. The main focus is on the features available for the free or free trial version. For free trial software, we want to make sure that the user can get value from the free features. Another big factor is how well the features work and if they are easy to use.

    Our review team understands that the definition of easy to use will vary based on the product. For example, a high-level coding platform isn’t designed for someone that’s never coded before, so it’s expected that the platform will be more complex.

  • Uninstallation

    After the testing process is over, our reviewers uninstall the software from their computers. We document the process with screenshots. In a case where we had to create an account or add a credit card to activate a free trial, we go through the steps to cancel the account and avoid unwanted charges at the end of the trial period.

    Final Scores for Software Downloads

    After the download and review process is complete, the reviewer determines a rating based on a score from 0 – 10. The reviewer doesn’t assign a score to each section, just one overall score for the software.

    Our Commitment to Transparency and Honesty

    WizCase takes pride in providing our readers with honest reviews for a wide range of cybersecurity, parental control, antivirus, and downloadable software. Our mission is clear; we don’t let personal biases or affiliate commissions determine how we review and rate the software.

    We understand that software responds differently in certain environments or devices and undergoes frequent updates. Therefore, we encourage feedback from our readers and have updated or changed ratings based on comments we’ve received.

  • How We Rank Software in Comparison Posts

    The WizCase blog is home to many comparison posts, such as Best Free PDF Editor and Best Password Managers, Best Digital Editing Software, and more. These rankings are not based on which affiliates pay the largest commission or a random selection by the reviewer. The reviewer downloaded and tested each software to give it an honest ranking.

    Here is how we test the product and determine its score.

  • The Offer

    Many of our comparison pages have the title “Best Free…” So it’s understandable that many of the comments we see are along the lines of “Why is your number 1 choice a program that costs money?” The answer is simple; there’s a free option, free trial, or no-questions-asked money-back guarantee. The offer must allow access to main features and the ability to export the work when done.

    For example, if someone is looking for the best digital editor, we recommend Photoshop, which has a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Our reader has unlimited access to the software and can export the work before they cancel the subscription. For a short-term project, this is the best option. We aren’t trying to trick anyone; we include this information in the review.

  • Features

    This is the most important factor in deciding where a product ranks. Our reviewers download the software, test all the major features, and compare it to the other options on the list. There can be some subjectivity here because an important feature to the reviewer might not be important to a different user. That’s why it’s essential to remember that our reviewers are regular people, not product salespeople. It’s also why we have a list of 3 to 5 options and don’t only recommend what we believe is the best.

    The reviewers rank each of the products based on the availability of the features. Many free programs block the top features unless you pay, how well they work, and all the extras that are included in the software.

  • Ease of Use

    Our teams test every product that they review. If we have an article about the top 5 free PDF  editors, they’ll download all the free options they find and attempt to complete the same function on them all. Not only does this allow them to see which is best, but they can also determine which ones are easier to use. Ease of use can also be subjective, but we look for clearly marked menus, tutorials, quick access to tools or features, and the ability to get the desired results without too much trial and error.

    We review some advanced software that the average person can’t just pick up and start using. This is why it’s important that we compare it to other software in the same category. Once the three testing phases are complete, our reviewers can set the order for their recommendations.

WizCase is a team of expert cybersecurity researchers that focuses on providing information and insights related to online privacy, security, and data breaches. We rigorously test and evaluate VPNs, Antiviruses, Password Managers, Software, and Parental Control solutions to deliver up-to-date and trustworthy recommendations.
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