Chromebooks are a popular device choice for many, especially for education purposes. In addition, Chrome OS is known to be a more secure solution since it does have built-in protection from some malware threats. However, there are still plenty of online threats that Chromebook isn’t immune to.
Malware threats, third-party trackers, and other online viruses can still target your Chromebook while browsing online, streaming, gaming, or studying. The only reliable solution to prevent attacks against your device and data is with antivirus protection to scan your Chromebook for existing viruses and protect you in real time. However, not all antivirus is compatible with Chromebooks, and finding one that works well can be a struggle.
We tested the top-rated antivirus software on the market to find the best ones that work with Chrome OS. The testing criteria included compatibility with Chromebooks, malware detection rates, features to enhance your security, and value-to-price ratio.
Top 5 best virus protection for Chromebook
- TotalAV – best antivirus for Chromebook in 2023
- Norton 360 – feature-loaded Chromebook antivirus
- Bitdefender – Chromebook antivirus with excellent malware detection
- Trend Micro – beginner-friendly Chrome OS antivirus
- Avira – simplistic antivirus with a free plan
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Why do I need antivirus for Chromebook?
Google Chromebooks have a reputation for being secure from malware threats. However, that doesn’t make them immune to malware threats.
The Chrome operating system is designed in such a way that each app is run within its own container. This prevents programs from being able to make any changes to the rest of your system. Also, Chromebooks can’t run .exe files, which keeps them safe from many malware infections.
But that’s only one type of malware – and Chromebooks can still be infected with trackers, spyware, and other malicious code while you’re surfing the internet or even downloading apps from the Google Play Store. An infection like this can slow down your device or compromise your sensitive data.
A good antivirus program will offer much better security for your Chromebook by protecting it from online threats. So it’s a good idea to sign up for an antivirus provider.
The best antivirus for Chromebook in 2023 – our detailed list:
While there are lots of great antivirus programs available on the market, not all of them support Chrome OS. Therefore, we tested our top-rated antivirus software and selected the best ones that work on Chromebook. Our testing criteria included compatibility, malware detection rates, additional features, and price-to-value ratio.
1. TotalAV – best antivirus for Chromebook in 2023
|Customer support:||Guides, FAQs, phone, online forms, live chat|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get TotalAV, now 84% OFF! 🔥|
TotalAV is the best Chromebook antivirus due to its excellent malware detection and removal rates, useful security features, and price-to-value ratio. This is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a high-performance low-budget solution.
Malware detection. Based on independent testing, TotalAV catches 100% of 4-week-old malware threats. We tested it ourselves, and our results matched up. In addition, virus scanning isn’t too demanding on your system resources.
Compatibility with Chromebook. TotalAV has an excellent Android app that’s easy to set up and use on Chrome OS. It’s feature-rich (containing most of the features available in the Windows app version), and is easy to use and navigate.
Features. TotalAV Android app comes with features like real-time protection that catches virus threats in real-time and a Security scan that scans all apps for potential threats. Additionally, there’s a reliable VPN to encrypt your data online, a Device Tune-Up feature that clears up junk files, a Wi-Fi checker to ensure that your connection is secure, and more.
TotalAV is the most optimal and secure antivirus to pick for Chromebook. It’s secure, feature-rich, and easy to use. If you’ll run into some issues,
TotalAV offers email and live chat customer support. In our tests, they responded in excellent times.
For all you’re getting, TotalAV is reasonably priced, with its Pro plan starting at just $19.00 for the first year, and it supports up to 3 devices.
To find out everything you need to know about TotalAV, read our TotalAV antivirus review.
2. Norton 360 – feature-rich antivirus solution for Chromebooks
|Customer support:||24/7 live chat and phone|
|Current deal:||🔥Get up to 66% OFF Norton Antivirus 🔥|
Norton is a well-regarded company with long years of experience, and Norton 360 is the star of this company’s personal security suite. With one simple product, Norton 360 can protect just about any device, this includes your Chromebook, too.
Malware detection. Norton is excellent at catching malware threats. Based on independent lab testing – it can catch 100% of malware threats and minimally impacts your device performance. Our in-house testing only supports the detection rates, and short scans are easy on your system. However, a full system scan is heavier on device resources.
Compatibility with Chromebook. The Android app is easy to install and set up with your Chromebook. In addition, it’s feature-rich and simplistic to navigate for beginners. One drawback is that to get certain features, it will require getting additional apps – that includes the password manager, VPN, and parental control features.
Features. Norton Android app comes with LifeLock, which keeps you safe from credit fraud and ID thefts. More so, there’s Safe Search to protect from online threats, Wi-Fi security to scan your connections, real-time protection from malware, and other useful features.
Norton 360 is an excellent choice to use with Chromebooks. Apart from needing to download extra apps for some features and heavy resource use with full system scans, there’s not much to dislike about this antivirus.
The cheapest Norton subscription starts at $19.99/year and supports 1 device only. With more device coverage, Norton becomes quite expensive. However, it does offer excellent value for money, and there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Want to know more? Check out our Norton 360 antivirus review.
3. Bitdefender – robust Chromebook antivirus to prevent malware threats
|Customer support||Email, phone, live chat|
|Current deal||🔥 Get Bitdefender for up to 67% OFF! 🔥|
Bitdefender is one of the most popular and well-known antivirus brands on the market, with a great reputation for consistently delivering top-notch protection from malware and other threats. It can also remove existing malware quickly and easily.
Malware detection. Both independent testing and our in-house tests confirm – Bitdefender catches 100% of malware threats. In addition, the quick scan was pretty easy on device resources, while the full scan was a lot heavier and more demanding.
Compatibility with Chromebook. Bitdefender offers one of the most feature-rich Android apps, that is easy to set up on Chrome OS devices. This app version is feature-rich and easy to use, even for beginners.
Features. Bitdefender has all the necessary features to protect your Chromebook. That includes a malware scanner, Web protection to prevent visiting malicious sites, a VPN (data capped at 200 MB per day), identity protection that scans the Dark Web for leaked information, and more.
Bitdefender does have some drawbacks as well. The VPN feature is too limited to be useful, and the cheapest plan only supports 1 device.
However, if you choose this antivirus for Chromebook, you can purchase the Antivirus Plus plan for $19.99 for the first year and then $59.99 a year after that.
If you want to find out more, check out our Bitdefender antivirus review.
4. Trend Micro – solid Chrome OS antivirus for beginners
|Customer support:||Phone, email, chat|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get Trend Micro, now 54% OFF! 🔥|
Trend Micro is a modern antivirus software provider, offering AI-powered security protection, plenty of excellent browsing tools, and intuitive applications – including an excellent option for Chrome OS.
Malware detection. Based on independent lab testing, Trend Micro is capable of blocking 100% of malware threats. Our in-house testing has shown that a full scan also catches 100% of malware; however, a quick scan has found none of the threats we’ve placed. One negative drawback is that Trend Micro scans require quite a lot of system resources.
Compatibility with Chromebook. Trend Micro offers a fully-fleshed-out Chrome OS app. It’s very easy to set up on your Chromebook, and once it’s all done, you’ll find that it has all the basic features needed.
Features. This is not the most feature-rich antivirus provider, especially for Chromebook. There’s Social Media Privacy Protection feature, PayGuard for secure online shopping, and Dark Web monitoring. You can also get a VPN proxy for an additional price.
Compared to other providers on this list, Trend Micro does have space to grow. It lacks in features and is pretty heavy on your device. However, you can trust this antivirus to catch all malware threats.
You can purchase Trend Micro at $19.95/year, and get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read more in our in-depth Trend Micro antivirus review.
5. Avira – easy-to-use antivirus with a free plan
|Customer support:||24/7 live chat and community support|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get 1 year of Avira at 43% OFF! 🔥|
If you want free antivirus for Chromebook, Avira might be the ideal solution for you. Although its paid plans come with a lot more features, its free plan still offers pretty good antivirus protection with solid defense against ransomware and other forms of malware.
Malware detection. According to independent lab testing, Avira catches 99.2% of malware threats. Our in-house tests were more promising since this antivirus caught all 100% of the threats we’ve planted.
Compatibility with Chromebook. Avira’s Android app supports Chrome OS natively, so it’s perfectly optimized to work with your computer. It’s easy to set up and navigate, even for beginners.
Features. Avira has a fairly impressive suite of security features for paid subscriptions, including a system optimizer, an email breach scanner, theft prevention, an app lock, a network scanner, microphone and camera protection, and web protection. There’s also a password manager (paid subscription only), and a VPN with a data limit of 100MB a day available for free users too.
For a rather high subscription price (compared to other antiviruses on this list), Avira does offer a more limited experience. The VPN is essentially useless, malware detection is a bit unreliable, and only paid customers get a dedicated support team.
You can purchase Avira for $30.99/year and cover up to 1 device only. However, there is a 60-day money-back guarantee.
For more information, read our Avira antivirus review.
6. ESET NOD32 – lightweight antivirus software for Chromebook
|Customer support:||Phone, email, chat, guides, FAQs|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get ESET, save up to 15% 🔥|
ESET is one of the most popular antivirus choices among beginners and is excellent for Chromebook users. It offers a lightweight application with essential security features as well as some extra additional ones for creating an even more secure online environment.
Malware detection. ESET is a very reliable malware detection service, according to independent lab tests. It scored a perfect result after catching 100% of virus threats. Our in-house tests can support that as well.
Compatibility with Chromebook. ESET is a cloud-based antivirus with an easy-to-use Android app that you can easily set up on your Chromebook. However, navigating this app can be difficult for beginner users.
Features. The core ESET security package includes ransomware protection that flawlessly detects threats and stops them from compromising your safety. There’s also protection for online banking that ensures your payment data is fully protected. In addition, you can get a password manager and the Anti-theft bundle of features to stay immune to criminals or track your device in case of emergency.
Even with all the impressive malware detection rates, ESET isn’t higher on this list. It’s a feature-light solution, especially when compared to other antivirus mentioned, is on the pricier side, and the app can be confusing to navigate.
To have the most basic ESET protection on your Chrome OS, you would need to pay $39.99/year. And for a more fleshed-out experience, there are two more subscriptions to choose from – and they will cost a little more.
Find out more details in our in-depth ESET NOD32 review.
How we tested and selected these antiviruses
To create our list of the best antivirus software for Chromebook we tested out top-rate antivirus providers. These tests allowed us to narrow the list down to the best out of the best, covering various price points, and offering the best combination of price and quality.
Here’s a more detailed list of our testing criteria when choosing the best antivirus for Chromebook:
- Android app for Chrome OS. To get on our list, the antivirus software had to offer an Android app to be set up on a Chromebook. More so, the Android app had to be well-developed, feature-rich, and provide needed security features. Therefore, we tested each provider’s Android app quality, ease of use, and whether they met our quality requirements.
- Malware removal. We analyzed independent testing lab results on how successful these antivirus software were with malware removal. Only those providers with above 80% malware detection rates.
- Virus scanning. We tested the providers’ virus scanning capabilities. For this, we got 10 malware files placed somewhere on the device and then ran different virus scanning options to see how successfully the antivirus found, isolated, and removed the malware from the Chromebook. The minimum requirement was for the antivirus to catch at least 8 out of 10 malware.
- Additional features. Top-rated antivirus software usually comes with additional features, like device optimization tools, parental controls, VPNs, or password managers. So, we also checked the providers for any additional perks and how well they worked.
- Customer support. If anything goes wrong with your antivirus protection, you’ll want to be able to reach out for help. Each of the antivirus programs on our list provides a range of customer support options that we tested ourselves.
- Price. Whenever you’re considering a lengthy subscription, price is important. That’s why we included a range of options at different price points to suit your needs and budget.
Best Chromebook antiviruses compared
|TotalAV||Norton 360||Bitdefender||Trend Micro||Avira||ESET NOD32|
|Compatibility||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android||Windows, macOS, iOS, Android||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS||Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS||Windows, Linux, Mac, Android|
|Malware detection rate||100%||100%||100%||100%||99.2%||100%|
|Price||From $19.00/year||From $19.99/year||From $19.99/year||From $19.95/year||From $30.99/year||From $39.99/year|
|Review||TotalAV review||Norton 360 review||Bitdefender review||Trend Micro review||Avira antivirus review||ESET NOD32 review|
How to install antivirus on Chromebook
Even though Chromebooks are supposed to be secure, you can (and should) download antivirus software to prevent any malware and virus threats. The easiest way to install antivirus software is by downloading it from the Google Play Store.
Here’s how to install antivirus on Chromebook:
- Open Google Play Store and choose an antivirus. We recommend TotalAV, now 84% off!
- Download the antivirus app.
- Install the software onto your Chromebook.
- Open the app and finish the installation process.
- Log in or set up an account.
- Start using your antivirus software to keep your machine safe.
Does Chromebook have built-in antivirus?
Yes, Chromebooks have some antivirus protection built into them, in much the same way that Android, iOS, and Windows have in-built security features. However, this level of protection won’t make your Chromebook immune to malware and other online threats.
The security for Google Chromebooks includes not being able to run .exe files, which is how a lot of malware is able to infect devices. Also, the Chrome operating system ensures that each app is run within its own container, which stops programs from making changes to the rest of your system.
Built-in Chromebook antivirus can help minimize some attacks, but that isn't enough to keep it safe from malicious code, data breaches, and spyware. Untrustworthy websites, opening suspicious emails, or even downloading apps from the Google Play can all infect your device.Get full protection with TotalAV
Using antivirus software is a sensible idea for Chromebook users, just as you would for any other device. Good antivirus software will let you scan your device for malware and give you a security assessment, making it harder for threat actors to crack your network. Better still, most antiviruses also come with plenty of additional features to improve your online security.
What is the best free antivirus for Chromebook?
We tested out all the best-known free antivirus programs on the market, as well as some less famous challenger brands. Overall, TotalAV is the best free antivirus software for Chromebook. It performed exceptionally well for a free product, delivering excellent protection against malware.
Beyond this, TotalAV also comes with a whole raft of top-notch security features, including Safe Site extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers, and a comprehensive Smart Scan, which cleans your system by finding junk and duplicate files. Most importantly of all, it supports Android and works flawlessly on Chromebooks, delivering a smooth, user-friendly experience.
And if you did want to upgrade to TotalAV's paid version, TotalAV is an affordable solution, which you can even try for free.
Video review: best antivirus for Chromebook
Tired of reading? Check out our video review of the best antivirus for Chromebook, including various price points, and learn what features are the best for Chrome OS.
While Chromebooks have some built-in tools to protect your device and data from malware threats, those features are not enough. There are so many online threats that can target your device. Therefore, the best way to protect it is with reliable antivirus software for Chromebooks.
Based on our testing, TotalAV is the best antivirus for Chromebook. This antivirus has an easy-to-use Android app that can easily be set up on your Chrome OS device. In addition, this antivirus is feature-rich, offering not only virus scans, a firewall, and malware protection tools but also device optimization features, a VPN, a password manager, and identity theft protection.
TotalAV also has excellent malware detection tools. When we tested it, this antivirus caught 100% of the malware threats. More so, it only costs $XX/month and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for testing the service before committing to a long-term subscription.
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Do Chromebooks need antivirus protection?
Yes, Google Chromebooks need antivirus protection. While they come with some in-built antivirus features, the protection provided isn’t foolproof. You can download a malicious app from the Google Play Store or fall victim to an online scam or phishing site. And as Chromebooks become more popular, there will only be more risk from malware. So, you’ll need to download a good antivirus program to protect your device from all online threats.
Are Chromebooks safe for online banking?
Chromebooks aren’t very safe for online banking, as they’re closely integrated with the Chrome browser. This makes it only as safe as any other browser you might use, which means it’s not particularly secure. While Chrome gets regular security updates and is generally pretty safe, it’s a popular target for cybercriminals. So you should definitely consider using antivirus software to protect your device and data from cybercriminals.
Can Chromebooks get hacked?
Chromebooks are vulnerable in certain areas, particularly the browser, so they can get hacked. Luckily, most antivirus software currently focuses on browser and internet security, so it’s a great tool to add to your device to increase your online protection.
How do I check my Chromebook for viruses?
The easiest way to check your Chromebook for viruses is with a reliable antivirus, we recommend TotalAV as the best antivirus for Chrome OS. That way, you can run a scan on your whole system to check it for malware or any other weaknesses. In turn, it will not only clean your device if there are any threats but also will protect you from malware in the future.