Web of Trust vs SiteAdvisor

Website safety rating services are important to utilize if you want to ensure maximum protection online. You might find something written about a suspicious website if you Google search the name of that site, but you've got a much better chance of getting an accurate image of a given website's reputation from services that are specifically designed to report on website safety.
Two of the more well-known website safety rating services on the internet right now are Web of Trust and SiteAdvisor. Read on for a comparison between these two tools.

             Rating Method

McAfee's SiteAdvisor uses its own web crawler to test websites for malware, spam, or anything else that might be suspicious. The end result is then displayed in a website’s safety rating report. A web crawler is essentially a bot (program) that visits websites to read their information. 

Web of Trust vs SiteAdvisor
Web of Trust vs SiteAdvisor 

Web of Trust functions differently than SiteAdvisor in that its website safety ratings are calculated only from user feedback. The score you see displayed is literally derived from previous user ratings for that site. This is called a crowd sourced approach to obtaining information for a service. 

The key advantage of a crowd sourced approach with website safety rating services is that it tends to be more accurate and in-depth. On the other hand, a service that uses a crawler isn't open to the interpretation of users—a site is either safe or unsafe, depending on what the crawler picks up.


Both of these website safety rating services are really straightforward to use. For SiteAdvisor, you simply navigate to the service home page, type your URL into the search box, and click “Go” to view the results.

There is also a SiteAdvisor browser extension available for common internet browsers such as Chrome and Firefox, and a premium version that costs money for extra features like Protected Mode that requires users to input a password if they want to download from suspicious sites.
For MyWOT, the process is pretty much the exact same, except there is no premium version—everything is free to use. Go to the home page, type the URL into the search bar, and click the magnifying glass to get your website safety rating. 

Web of Trust also has an extension but at the time of writing, it is offline due to updates.

             Community Presence

McAfee's SiteAdvisor tool is pretty simple in that it literally only displays a website's safety rating; there are no user reviews. For people seeking further support, you can visit the McAfee community forums that contain thousands of discussions under a number of sub-headings related to online security

Given the crowdsourced nature of WOT, it is unsurprising that this service has a strong community presence. Underneath the website safety ratings, you'll find in-depth reviews posted by users that highlight why they think a given site is safe to browse or not. 

There is also a dedicated forum where users discuss issues relating to particular types of unsafe websites that are trending.


There is no point in saying one of these services is better than the other, as they both take different approaches to website safety ratings. SiteAdvisor uses an approach based on an algorithm, while Web of Trust is all about gauging website safety from user feedback. Both services are easy to use, while Web of Trust has a more dedicated community presence due to its crowdsourced approach.
If you plan to visit a previously unknown website, it would be wise to use both of these services (or services like them), if you want to get a complete picture of how safe that site is.

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