As an experienced freelance writer for Techopedia.com, Justin strives to provide accurate, informative comparisons and reviews on both B2B and B2C tech solutions — ranging…
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If you’re after the best antivirus for Chromebooks, then you’re in the right place.
We’ve tested the most popular antivirus solutions and ranked and reviewed them – and you can’t go wrong with any of the best Chromebook antivirus solutions on this list. Here are our picks for the best antivirus for Chromebooks.
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TotalAV is our number one-rated antivirus for Chromebooks, thanks to its wealth of features, including real-time monitoring, anti-phishing capabilities, and a VPN, all offered at an affordable price. There’s plenty of competition on the market, though. Here are your best options ranked with an outline of why each one made it to our top 10 list:
Here’s an easy-to-follow comparison table so you can make the best decision when it comes to online security for your Chromebook:
Having explored how Chromebooks can be affected by malware and other malicious software, let’s take a look at the best security solutions — their core offerings, how they compare, their price tags, and each one’s pros and cons so you can choose the best one for your needs.
TotalAV sits at the top of the list thanks to its affordability and excellent malware detection and removal rates. It’s also simple to use and comes with a free smart scan to help get you started.
The free plan can detect and remove malware, and if you upgrade to paid plans, you can get real-time protection.
Malware can be sneaky, but with TotalAV, 100% of malware threats are removed. While some solutions demand a fair amount of computing power to scan for threats, TotalAV requires surprisingly little, meaning it won’t slow your system down.
TotalAV protects more than 25 million devices, which gives it access to a huge virus definition database – so you can rest assured that TotalAV knows how to quickly deal with any malware you might discover.
What’s more, if it comes across a novel virus, it’ll add it to its database – so it’s always up to date with the latest information regarding viruses and zero-day threats.
Real-time protection is offered with the paid versions of TotalAV and can catch security threats in real time while the security scan checks all the apps on your Chromebook for threats.
That’s not all, either. TotalAV also comes bundled with an unlimited VPN – a Virtual Private Network service – that encrypts your online presence, hiding you from most threats.
There’s also the Device Tune-Up feature, which clears all the junk files from your system, increasing the efficiency of your device – while the WiFi checker ensures your WiFi connections remain secure.
To sum it all up, TotalAV is an affordable antivirus with a whole range of features and an extremely comprehensive set of virus definitions that are updated daily. Given that, TotalAV is undoubtedly the answer to the question, “What is the best antivirus for Chromebook?”
If you download the free version of TotalAV, you’ll get access to its Pro features for seven days before it asks you to either upgrade or revert to its basic free plan. The free plan is limited, but you can use its scanner to check for and remove malware.
The Pro plan starts at $29/year for the first year, though the subscription rate does increase for year two.
Surfshark One is a premium security suite that comes equipped with one of the best business VPNs, a search engine, a data breach monitor, and of course, an antivirus that racks up near-perfect scores in the anti-malware department.
It also encrypts your connection with AES-256-GCM encryption, which is among the best standards around. The antivirus scanner is also lightweight, meaning your Chromebook won’t be throttled when running either of the two scans available to you.
The quick scan checks the most vulnerable areas of your system, while the full scan runs an in-depth system scan and looks for all kinds of threats. As with TotalAV, virus definitions are compared against a massive database, which is regularly updated.
Surfshark also offers real-time protection, which ensures your Chromebook won’t download harmful software. What we really liked was the drag-and-drop feature. If you don’t trust a file, simply drag and drop it into the app.
This will scan that particular file and remove any threats. We found the process to be intuitive and not too different from the Custom Scan feature often found with more expensive solutions.
There are also a number of customization options available. You can schedule scans for when you’re away from your ChromeOS device, for example, which is great for time-saving and efficiency.
The data breach monitoring tools also impressed us. These alert you if any of your personal data, like email addresses or credit card information, has been leaked online.
If you’re in the market for a no-fuss antivirus solution that’s not only more affordable than most but is also easy to use and equipped with a host of extra features, including one of the best VPN apps on the market, then look no further than Surfshark.
Surfshark often has deals, so you’ll be able to enjoy a free month with subscriptions – but compared to its competitors, it’s a bargain.
Whatever you decide, rest assured that if you aren’t happy, you can simply request a refund with the company’s 30-day guarantee.
Norton 360 is a perfect match for your Chromebook thanks to its excellent malware detection rates and fantastic real-time protection.
It also comes with the LifeLock feature, which protects you from credit card fraud as well as identity theft. You’ll also get access to one of the best password managers, where you can create, save, and manage your passwords and confidential documents with ease.
Norton for Chromebook also comes with a smart firewall that monitors communication between your Chromebook and other devices and blocks any unwanted or unauthorized traffic, adding another layer of security to your online presence.
Other features include a secure VPN, Dark Web Monitoring, and Secure Cam. All of these are available on the Norton 360 Standard plan.
The anti-malware engine uses a combination of machine learning, advanced heuristics, and a malware directory to detect anything out of the ordinary, all the up to advanced malware programs like spyware and ransomware.
When it comes to system scans, they can be pretty resource-intensive, but you can rest assured that if there’s anything to be found, Norton 360 will find it.
Norton 360 splits its security tools into separate apps, so you’ll need to download individual apps if you want the full Norton 360 experience – which can be a chore.
Equally, when it comes to the VPN, the service isn’t as fast as its competitors. It’s hardly a deal breaker, though, as it’s more of a security add-on than a focus for Norton Antivirus for Chromebook, which has a huge range of tools and first-class malware detection rates, making it an excellent option for Chromebook users.
Norton 360 offers four packages, each with additional features. It also offers a 14-day free trial, and like many other security solutions, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Nord is one of the best VPN providers, and it also offers excellent Threat Protection. It’s essentially a firewall combined with an ad-blocking tool, and together, they create a powerful filter that keeps you safe from malware, trackers, and ads.
It also comes with an “Always-on” feature for consistent online security. One of the standout features is real-time protection, which monitors downloaded files and takes immediate action if there’s suspicious activity.
Nord has two versions of its antivirus solution – Threat Protection and Threat Protection Lite. The first is equipped with malware scanning, phishing protection, and ad and tracker blockers.
Threat Protection Lite is more limited and focuses on blocking ads and malicious websites. It can’t scan downloads for malware, it can’t block trackers, and it requires a VPN connection to be enabled.
Other features include a password manager that works across all platforms, a data breach scanner that alerts you if your data has been leaked online, and a full 1TB of online storage protected by next-gen file encryption.
It’s important to note that this isn’t a stand-alone product, and you’ll need to get NordVPN to access Threat Protection. That said, it’s one of the best VPN products out there, making it a great option for all-around online security.
What we particularly liked about the product was the seven-day security report. This shows you a summary of exactly what Nord has protected you against so you can see for yourself how effective the product is. If you want to get robust tools for protecting your privacy, Nord Threat Protection is an ideal option.
If you get any of the three packages on offer, you’ll get access to one of the best VPNs available. However, if you want access to one of the top family and business password managers, the data breach scanner, and cloud storage, you’ll need to get the Complete package – which starts at only $5.79 a month.
TrendMicro is a user-friendly security solution that boasts excellent customer support and comes with a social media privacy scanner that makes it stand out from the crowd.
The Social Media Privacy Scanner checks, among other things, who can see your personal information, whether your profile shows up in search engines, whether you can be found by your email address or cell phone number, and whether you can be targeted with ads based on your activity.
You’ll then be prompted to make any changes you want in one place rather than trying to find your privacy settings through your social media apps – a feature we found to be very useful.
When it comes to the antivirus, TrendMicro offers three types of scans. The quick scan inspects the places where dangers are most likely to be found, like your folders, background processes, and registry.
The full scan will look at your entire system, aside from folders that are password-protected or encrypted. Last, you have a custom scan, which lets you choose which folders you want to scan.
The Folder Shield is an unusual feature and allows you to protect files from malware. You can use this feature on local files as well as on cloud storage, so folders in your Google Drive or Dropbox will also benefit from this added layer of security.
Given this, it’s a great tool for securing your cloud storage, your social media accounts, and your Chromebook.
TrendMicro offers its services for Chromebooks with its Premium Security suite and Maximum Security suite, so you will need to upgrade to support your device. The Maximum Security plan costs $49.95 for one year.
ESET is a lightweight, cloud-based antivirus program that’s user-friendly and a popular choice for beginners. Setup on your Chromebook is simple, and an anti-theft tool will help you recover stolen devices.
ESET received near-perfect scores from AV-Test for malware and ransomware detection, and the same can be said for phishing scams. It also gives you the ability to see who logs onto your WiFi. This feature set certainly qualifies ESET as one of the best security solutions for Chromebooks.
Other features on offer include an integrated, interactive firewall, which monitors incoming traffic to ensure anything suspicious is blocked.
You can train the firewall to recognize and stop anything that doesn’t match your activity. There’s also protection for online banking so whenever you visit a recognized financial site, your payment details will be kept secure.
It does this by automatically switching to a secure browser. Something else that’s been bundled with the antivirus is ESET’s password manager – though this is only available on the more expensive plans.
The password manager is equipped with 256-bit AES encryption for added security, and while it may not be the best in the field, it’s a great addition.
And unlike with other providers, it’s easy to get hold of ESET’s customer support team. No matter what problem you have, the team’s personnel are always willing to help.
The smart firewall definitely gives ESET a competitive edge – and the password manager and secure browser only add to the level of security the antivirus offers for Chromebooks.
If you aren’t ready to commit to ESET yet, try the 30-day free trial, which doesn’t require any credit card details.
It’s worth noting that the basic plan doesn’t offer support for Chromebooks, so you will need to upgrade to higher-tier plans.
Avast’s free antivirus for Chromebook enables you to scan for malware, ransomware, and many other digital threats, and this can all be done in the background, meaning it won’t slow your Chromebook down. Avast also score 100% malware detection rates with AV-Test and earned itself a “Top Product” certificate.
This puts it among the best antiviruses on the market today. Other features on offer include advanced anti-tracking protection, webcam, and microphone protection and a VPN.
This enables you to browse privately and avoid being targeted with ads, and you can be confident that your microphone and webcam are secure.
Avast for Chromebook also includes a data breach scanner that checks the dark web and other sources to ensure your personal details haven’t been compromised and leaked, and while it’s not as in-depth as competing tools, it’s a great addition.
Given all this, we rate Avast’s free antivirus for Chromebooks as the best in its class.
Avast undoubtedly offers one of the best free antiviruses for ChromeOS, and it comes with an array of features. If you choose to upgrade, the Premium plan is a very well-rounded security suite that can cover up to 10 devices – we recommend trying it today.
Avira is a powerful cloud-based antivirus with one of the best malware scanners around. It’s so good Avira has licensed its malware scanner to competitors like TotalAV. What’s more, if you’re looking for a ChromeOS antivirus that’s free, then Avira is a definite contender.
The comprehensive free plan includes a password manager that’s as good as stand-alone products, as well as ransomware and real-time protection, plus other features you’d normally have to pay for, like adware protection.
Being cloud-based means it’s lightweight, and it won’t slow your machine down. It offloads CPU-intensive processes to an online server, where it can use advanced tools to scan for viruses and malware.
It then compares what it finds against a large malware directory to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. The sheer amount of scans on offer makes Avira shine compared to its competitors.
Smart Scan check your entire system, looking for any vulnerabilities, which can range from privacy issues to app permissions that have unnecessary access to your data.
There are also more advanced options like rootkit scans, external device scans, and local drive scans, which tech-savvy individuals can take advantage of.
These scans are highly specific and can save you time as they won’t tackle your entire hard drive. With this amount of control plus access to so many powerful features, it’s easy to see why Avira is on this list.
The free plan is one of the most comprehensive plans on the market, and Avira’s paid plans also offer incredible value for money.
That said, going for the Prime package is likely the best choice for Chromebook users, and with it, you’ll get a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Malwarebytes’ Chromebook antivirus is a minimalist product with all the core features an antivirus needs, like real-time malware protection, anti-ransomware capabilities, and web protection.
If you’re looking for a straightforward, easy-to-use security solution, Malwarebytes is a great option.
Additional features include the Browser Guard, which is a free web extension that protects against trackers, pop-up ads, phishing sites, and exploit attacks.
Malwarebytes has a VPN on offer, but you’ll have to upgrade to the premium + privacy VPN account. The VPN offers some good features but isn’t necessarily best in class. It has over 500 servers in 40 countries, which is reasonable considering that top providers like TotalAV only offer around 30 server locations.
Another strong feature of the VPN is the WireGuard protocol. Since it’s one of the fastest and most secure protocols around, it’s great to have it integrated.
There are some limitations with Malwarebytes, though. For example, there’s no firewall or data breach monitor, and there are no device optimization tools.
This would be a good fit for those looking for a simple antivirus, and its offering is perfectly workable. What’s more, the low cost certainly makes up for the missing features.
A strength of Malwarebytes is its pricing. The most expensive personal antivirus plan starts at just under $100 a year, while a basic plan costs $60. There’s also a 14-day free trial and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
The Chromebook McAfee antivirus app is a popular, user-friendly security solution equipped with features like a VPN and password manager.
Its malware scanner also performs well, detecting most malware threats it comes across that may affect ChromeOS.
McAfee offers sophisticated security features like constant online threat monitoring. Doing this protects you from threats like ransomware and crypto-jacking, where your device is hacked, and its resources are used to mine for cryptocurrency.
There’s also a vulnerability scanner, which looks for essential security patches and notifies you if any of your apps need to be updated – enabling you to remedy weak points in your security.
There’s also a pretty intuitive firewall that allows for granular control, such as opening ports for services on other devices to access your system, for example.
McAfee for Chromebook also has a stealth mode, so you can hide your device and block specific IP addresses and connections, giving you plenty of privacy options.
Something else we liked was the array of tutorials available. This and the intuitive UI makes McAfee very accessible for beginners. Plus, if you’re struggling, their customer support is second to none, and there’s nothing the team won’t be able to help you with.
McAfee has a range of affordable plans, which all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 30-day free trial. This means you can take advantage of the service for a whopping 60 days without any risk.
Does Chromebook need antivirus? It’s sometimes suggested Chromebooks don’t necessarily need an antivirus as they’re equipped with virus protection tools out of the box. ChromeOS is also based on Linux, which is considered one of the most secure operating systems around.
That said, malware for Chromebooks is a problem, and there’s always the risk of your machine being infected with malware, so it’s vital to protect yourself with the best antivirus for Chromebook.
You can potentially be exposed to a virus on Chromebook by:
The answer to the question, “Can a Chromebook get a virus?” is hence a resounding, “Yes.”
Paid antivirus services offer more protection from a wider range of threats and often come bundled with other security features like a VPN, a password manager, and the ability to block specific websites. Some even allow you to back your data up on a secure server.
When it comes to the best antivirus for Chromebooks, there are a few key factors to weigh up when comparing different products. These are the areas we considered when ranking our reviews.
Many solutions like TotalAV and SurfShark are available for download from the Google Play Store. In fact, it’s the only place you can download an antivirus for Chromebooks. For other devices, check out our guide to the best antiviruses for Android and the best antivirus for Mac.
It’s important to note what features you’re after, as some of these may only be available on a higher-tier plan. This is especially true with cheap and free solutions – so make sure you can scan your Chromebook for viruses and malware to your requirements.
Cost will always be a factor you need to keep in mind with any purchase. The same goes for an antivirus program. While there are some free solutions out there, we recommend opting for paid plans, as they offer more features, such as VPNs and password managers, to increase your security, as well as more in-depth scans.
We also considered details like trials and guarantees, which are invaluable for providing confidence in a purchase, and of course, value for money in terms of what the products deliver.
Chromebooks have little storage and aren’t the most powerful devices, so you should consider whether or not the choice you make will affect your Chromebook’s performance. A solution like SurfShark requires very few resources to run.
Another important factor you should keep in mind is the quality of customer support offered. If you’re trying to get rid of malware or another questionable application that seems to have infected your computer, contacting an expert can often make a big difference.
It’s a great idea to get an antivirus for Chromebook. Here’s how to check for malware on Chromebook and get an antivirus started on your device.
Our team of experts has compiled numerous guides on antivirus solutions. Here, you’ll find the best of the bunch for further reading:
Although the security on offer with Chromebook is a good starting point, we recommend covering all angles to ensure airtight protection for your device. For this, there’s no better solution than TotalAV.
As our pick for the best antivirus for Chromebooks, you’ll get a wide range of security features, including complete ransomware protection, fast scans, and excellent browser protection. That’s not to mention that there’s an excellent free tier on offer and even better customer support.
You can also use your TotalAV account to protect all your devices across Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and, of course, Chromebooks.
The best antivirus for Chromebook that’s free of charge is Avast, thanks to its wide range free features, like real-time protection, malware protection, and a firewall. Another great Chromebook antivirus that’s free is Avira, as it comes with a free VPN and is lightweight, so it won’t slow your machine down.
Chromebooks are pretty safe as they don’t allow executable programs to run on the device itself. That said, Chromebook malware is an issue, and there certainly are viruses on Chromebook today. So – does a Chromebook need antivirus? Ideally, yes.
Chromebooks have built-in antivirus protection as part of the ChromeOS operating system. Features include automatic updates, sandboxing, verified boot, data encryption, and more. However, third-party antiviruses for Chromebook can offer targeted scans and robust firewalls, as well as additional security features like VPNs, data breach monitoring, and parental controls.
When you boot your Chromebook up, it runs a verified boot, automatically scanning the Chromebook for viruses. If it manages to find any malware, it will typically attempt to auto-repair itself. If you have a commercial antivirus installed on your machine, you can likely choose from quick, full, scheduled, and targeted scans.
Thanks to the built-in security features like sandboxing and data encryption, Chromebooks are safe for online banking. However, it’s recommended you get additional security protection for your Chromebook for an additional layer of security if you are using sensitive services.
If you’ve been searching for Intego or Bitdefender for Chromebooks, for example, you’ll find that there’s no ChromeOS antivirus available from these providers.
As an experienced freelance writer for Techopedia.com, Justin strives to provide accurate, informative comparisons and reviews on both B2B and B2C tech solutions — ranging from product reviews to CRMs, security software, and beyond.
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