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Best antivirus for Chromebook in 2024


If you think Chromebooks are immune to cyberthreats, you need to think again. In general, they are considered to be quite safe against viruses because they run on ChromeOS, which is modeled after the Linux OS. However, Chromebooks can be affected by malware, and that’s why employing a trusted antivirus for your Chromebook is recommended.

We’ve tested 25 antiviruses to figure out which ones can protect Chromebook users against malicious threats the best. Keep reading to find out if you need an antivirus for your ChromeOS device and which is the best antivirus for Chromebook in 2024.

Top 7 best virus protection for Chromebook

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Akvile Tamasiuniene Ieva Jociūtė author sarunas karbauskas vincentas
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Do Chromebooks need antivirus software?

Yes, Chromebooks need good antivirus software. Although you are likely to face fewer threats on ChromeOS than, for example, on Windows or even macOS, Chromebooks are still vulnerable. A reliable antivirus program will ensure protection against all kinds of threats, to keep you safe.

ChromeOS is designed in 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.

Unfortunately, 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.

The best antivirus for Google Chromebook in 2024 – detailed list

While there are lots of great antivirus programs available on the market, not all of them support ChromeOS. Therefore, we tested 25 top-rated antivirus programs and selected the best ones that work on Chromebook. Our testing criteria included malware detection rates, features, and price-to-value ratio.

1. TotalAV – feature-rich antivirus solution for Chromebooks with excellent malware detection

TotalAV Antivirus
Free version:Yes
Max. devices: 8
Starting price:From $19.00/year
Current deal:Get TotalAV, now 80% OFF!

TotalAV is the best Chromebook antivirus in 2024 due to its excellent malware detection and removal rates, useful security features, and price-to-value ratio. This is a great option if you’re looking for a high-performance, low-budget solution. TotalAV also offers a free plan that has demonstrated great malware detection capabilities during our in-house tests.

Malware detection. During in-house tests, we analyzed both premium and free versions of TotalAV. With the real-time protection feature turned off, we ran the Smart scan to find 10 malicious files. In total, the scan took only 1 minute and 16 seconds. We also tested TotalAV’s WebShield feature using 10 malicious URLs. The results were excellent. As for independent testing, AV-test found TotalAV is 99.9% effective against widespread malware. And the most recent AV-Comparatives report indicated 99.95% effectiveness in online protection.

Features. As expected, the free version of TotalAV is quite limited. It doesn’t offer real-time protection, and the Smart scan doesn’t scan apps and files for malware. However, WebShield, Photos, Videos and Contacts Optimisation, Breach Scan, Secure Browser, and App Lock features function normally. Overall, this is the most feature-rich free version of the antiviruses on this list. But if you want real-time protection, go for the premium TotalAV version. It comes with such additional TotalAV features as VPN, QR Check, Wi-Fi Checker, and Secure Browser.

Pricing. If you are fine with the limitations of the free TotalAV version, you might not spend any money at all. However, if you are interested in real-time protection, the basic Antivirus Pro costs only $19.00/year. It supports up to 3 devices.

2. Norton 360 – best antivirus for Chromebook in 2024

Norton antivirus UI
Free version:No
Max. devices:10
Starting price:From $29.99/year
Current deal:Get up to 58% OFF Norton Antivirus

Norton 360 is another great antivirus for Chromebook. 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. Unfortunately, unlike a few other providers on this list – like TotalAV or Bitdefender – Norton doesn’t have a free version.

Malware detection. We performed hands-on testing to check out how good Norton 360 is at catching malware. The overall scan took only 30 seconds, and it was faster than TotalAV’s scan. However, the antivirus detected 7/10 threats. During our tests, we also assessed real-time protection and the Safe Web feature, which proved to be decently effective. On the other hand, according to independent lab results, Norton can prevent 100% of malware attacks, and AV-Comparatives awarded the antivirus a 99.98% score for online protection.

Features. Norton’s scan only assesses apps, and its main feature is real-time protection. The App Security feature shows newly installed apps, safe apps, and data harvesting apps (e.g., Google Play Books and Dropbox). The Safe Web feature is meant to help identify malicious websites, and Safe Search is a private search engine. Norton 360 for Chromebooks also comes with Wi-Fi Security, SMS Security, and a VPN.

Pricing. Norton 360 subscription plans start at $29.99/year (1 device support). 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.

3. Bitdefender – robust Chromebook antivirus to prevent malware threats

bitdefender user interface
Free version:Yes
Max. devices:15
Starting price:From $19.99/year
Current deal:Get Bitdefender for up to 78% 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. Unlike Norton 360, Bitdefender antivirus offers a free version, which although quite basic, provides an effective malware scanner.

Malware detection. Bitdefender scanned the device in just 15 seconds, and it was able to detect all 10 malicious files, leading to a 100% success rate. During our in-house test for the Bitdefender full review, we also assessed the Web Protection feature, which successfully blocked all 10 malware-containing URLs. AV-Test confirmed our findings – Bitdefender can protect against 100% of malware.

Features. The only feature that the free version of Bitdefender antivirus has is the malware scanner, but it is as effective as the scanner available with the premium version. This version has Web Protection, Scam Alert, VPN (200MB/day limit), App Lock, App Anomaly Detection, Account Privacy, and Anti-Theft features. This is one of the best features of this suite, as you can use it to remotely snap a photo upon a failed unlock and locate, lock, or wipe your device.

Pricing. If you choose this antivirus for Chromebook, you can purchase the Mobile Security plan for just $14.99/year (1 device) or choose the Antivirus Plus plan for $19.99/year (3 devices).

4. Trend Micro – solid Chrome OS antivirus for beginners

Trend Micro antivirus banner
Free version:Yes
Max. devices:10
Starting price:From $19.95/year
Current deal: Get Trend Micro, now 54% OFF!

Trend Micro is a modern antivirus that offers AI-powered security protection, plenty of excellent browsing tools, and intuitive applications, including an excellent option for ChromeOS. The free version of Trend Micro is truly worth the consideration, as it comes with plenty of impressive features.

Malware detection. As we tested the antivirus for our in-depth Trend Micro review, we focused on the free version’s abilities to detect malicious threats. In either case, both free and premium versions use the same malware database. The scan took just a couple of seconds, and after detecting threats, it suggested activating the premium Trend Micro features. Our in-house test results were confirmed by AV-Test – the report indicates a 100% success rate at anti-malware protection.

Features. The free Trend Micro version includes a Malware security scan, Real-Time scan, Wi-Fi Checker, App Stop, and Social Network Privacy features. The paid version includes such additional features as a Pre-Installation scan, Web Guard, Fraud Buster, Pay Guard Mobile, App Freeze, App Manager, Parental Controls, Social Network Privacy, Lost Device Protection, and a Secret Snap.

Pricing. Trend Micro plans start at $19.95/year, and users get a 14-day free trial to test the antivirus without commitment.

5. Avira – best free antivirus for Chromebook

Avira user interface
Free version:Yes
Max. devices:50
Starting price:From $26.99/year
Current deal:Get 1 year of Avira at 43% OFF!

If you want free antivirus for Chromebook, Avira is certainly one option to consider. Although its paid plans come with many more features, its free plan still offers pretty good antivirus protection with a solid defense against threats.

Malware detection. During our in-house Avira antivirus tests, we tested the Smart Scan, and its abilities to detect malicious files. Unfortunately, it wasn’t able to detect all tested malware samples. On the other hand, AV-Test found that the antivirus can successfully catch 99.8% of malware.

Features. The free version of Avira antivirus includes the Smart Scan, Call Blocker, Identity Protection, VPN (100MB/day limit), Permissions Manager, and App Lock features. The premium plans come with such additional Avira features as Web Protection, Microphone Protection, Password Manager, and Optimizer. Surprisingly, you cannot change the interface that is more suitable for tablets, and you only get to use an interface that’s meant for Android phones. In short, Avira is certainly not the most user-friendly antivirus on this list. TotalAV is superior in that regard.

Pricing. You can purchase Avira for $26.99/year (1 device coverage). Although the price is steep, there's a 60-day money-back guarantee that you can take full advantage of.

6. ESET NOD32 – lightweight antivirus software for Chromebook

ESET NOD32 banner 1
Free version:Yes
Max. devices:5
Starting price:From $49.99/year
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 additional ones for creating an even more secure online environment. ESET’s free version is also quite decent.

Malware detection. To assess ESET’s malware detection abilities, we tested both Smart and In-depth scans, which you can choose in the settings. The Smart scan took 3 seconds, while the In-depth scan only lasted 7 seconds. Both scans detected 9/10 threats (90% success rate). To test the Anti-Phishing feature, we used 10 malicious links, and it successfully prevented access to 8/10 of them. ESET’s malware detection score by AV-Test is 99.6%.

Features. The free ESET version offers Smart and In-depth scans, real-time protection, and a Security Report. If that’s not enough, and you want the extra benefits, the premium ESET NOD32 version also includes such features as Anti-Phishing, Payment Protection, Network Inspector, Anti-Theft, App Lock, and Security Audit.

Pricing. To have the most basic ESET protection on your Chrome OS, you would need to pay $49.99/year. And for a more fleshed-out experience, there are two more subscriptions to choose from – and they will cost a little more.

7. Malwarebytes – privacy-friendly Chromebook antivirus

Malwarebytes-banner
Free version:Yes
Max. devices:20
Starting price:From $38.24/year
Current deal:Get Malwarebytes, now 25% OFF

Like others on the list, the Malwarebytes Chromebook app neutralizes malware and protects against various online threats. However, it also audits existing apps with a Security Advisor feature.

Malware detection. There are no recent independent lab test results we could reference here, but we performed in-house testing to review Malwarebytes. Unfortunately, this antivirus has earned the last spot on this list for a reason – it only detected 5/10 malicious files. Nonetheless, despite the poor test results, the antivirus has a lot to offer in the features department.

Features. This antivirus neutralizes adware, spyware, hijackers, and PUPs. Malwarebytes also audits app privileges for safe personal data management and displays the results in the Security Advisor dashboard. Coupled with its Privacy VPN (included in the premium plan), it offers to enhance Chromebook privacy.

Pricing. To get the most out of Malwarebytes, you'll have to pay $38.24/year. You can also test it out risk-free using the 60-day money-back guarantee.

How we tested and ranked Chromebook antiviruses

To create our list of the best antivirus software for Chromebook, we tested 25 top-rated antivirus providers by simulating device infection and monitoring the system's performance during antivirus scans and real-time protection. To perform testing, we used the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook (8GB RAM, 256GB eMMC storage, Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 7c Gen 2 processor, ChromeOS 121).

In-house tests allowed us to narrow the list down to the best of the best antiviruses, 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 had to offer an Android app compatible with a Chromebook. Moreover, 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.
  • Independent tests. We analyzed independent testing lab results in regard to how successful these antiviruses were with malware removal. We only included providers with malware detection rates above 90%.
  • In-house tests. We tested the providers’ scanning capabilities. For this, we used 10 malware files placed somewhere on the device and then ran different virus scanning options to see how successfully the antiviruses found, isolated, and removed malware from the Chromebook.
  • 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. Every antivirus 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 antivirus for Chromebook compared

TotalAVNorton 360BitdefenderTrend MicroAviraESET NOD32Malwarebytes
LogologologologologologologoMalwarebytes
Rating
4.9
4.7
4.6
4.2
4.2
4.3
4.1
Malware detection rate (independent test results)99.9%100%100%100%99.8%99.6%NA
Free versionYesNoYesYesYesYesYes
Max. devices810151050520
Money-back guarantee30-day60-day30-day30-day60-day30-day60-day
Starting priceFrom $19.00/yearFrom $29.99/yearFrom $19.99/yearFrom $19.95/yearFrom $26.99/yearFrom $49.99/yearFrom $38.24/year

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 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:

  1. Open Google Play Store and choose an antivirus. We recommend TotalAV, now 80% OFF
  2. Download the antivirus app
  3. Install the software onto your Chromebook
  4. Open the app and finish the installation process
  5. Log in or set up an account
  6. Start using your antivirus software to keep your machine safe

Does Chromebook have a built-in antivirus?

Yes, Chromebooks have some antivirus protection built into them, in much the same way that Android, iOS, and Windows have built-in security features. However, please be aware that even this level of protection won’t make your Chromebook immune to malware and other online threats.

The built-in antivirus protection within Chromebooks consists of multiple layers of protection:

  • Updates. Chromebooks install updates automatically to ensure that users are running the latest and most secure version.
  • Sandboxing. Web pages and apps run in sandboxes (restricted environments) on Chromebook devices. This way, threats are always isolated.
  • Verified Boot. In the event of threats escaping sandoxes, your device is protected by a Verified Boot feature, which repairs any corrupted elements whenever you restart your device.
  • Encryption. Sensitive user data is stored in the cloud. It is encrypted using hardware that makes it virtually impossible to breach the data.
  • Recovery Mode. Chromebook users can always restore the device to a previous version just in case something goes wrong.

Although Chromebook users are relatively safe with these built-in security measures, there are still threats that can tamper with users’ security and privacy. To ensure optimal security, we recommend installing a trustworthy antivirus compatible with ChromeOS, like TotalAV.

What is the best free antivirus for Chromebook?

We tested the best-known free antivirus programs on the market, as well as some less famous brands. Overall, TotalAV is the best free antivirus 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, it supports Android and works flawlessly on Chromebooks, delivering a smooth, user-friendly experience.

Another worthy free antivirus for Chromebook is Bitdefender. Its free plan offers pretty good antivirus protection and a solid defense against cyberthreats. Its user-friendly interface and minimal impact on system performance make it a great pick.

Conclusion

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 excellent Android app that can easily be set up on your Chrome OS device. It not only has virus scans, a firewall, and malware protection tools but also device optimization features, a VPN, a password manager, and identity theft protection. So, if you’re concerned about your Chromebook’s security, this antivirus pick is ideal.


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