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Best antivirus for Chromebook in 2022


Simple to use and very affordable, Chromebooks are a preferred computer choice for many, especially schools and universities. They can appear more secure than traditional Windows machines, but they aren’t immune to all cyber threats, unless you use an antivirus.

In reality, Chromebooks can still get malware and be tracked by malicious third parties, so you need a service that is independent laboratory-approved. However, you should be aware that not all software works on this type of operating system.

So keep reading as we’ll break down the features, advantages, and more of the full list of the best antivirus for Chromebook OS.

Best Chromebook antiviruses

  1. TotalAV – best antivirus for Chromebook
  2. Norton360 – great antivirus all-rounder
  3. Trend Micro – Chromebook OS with top additional features
  4. Avira – great antivirus for beginners
  5. Bitdefender – feature-rich antivirus for Chromebook

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Why do Chromebooks need antivirus software?

Google Chromebooks have a reputation of being secure because 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 virus – 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. In our next section, we’ll help you pick one that works brilliantly on Chrome OS.

Best antiviruses for Chromebook – our detailed list:

While there are lots of great antivirus programs out there, not all of them work on Chrome OS. Here, we’ve pulled together a list of our favorites that work well on Chromebooks:

1. TotalAV – best antivirus for Chromebook

TotalAV Antivirus
Price:From $19.00/year
Free version:Yes
Customer support:Guides, FAQs, phone, online forms, live chat
Current deal:🔥 Get TotalAV, now 84% OFF! 🔥

TotalAV is an excellent antivirus option for a Chromebook. It provides top protection against all kinds of threats for an amazing price – as well as includes some top additional features. This is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a high-performance low-budget solution.

The package includes a web filter that blocks malicious websites, an app lock for additional protection on certain apps, and a data breach checker, which sees whether your personal information has been leaked to the public. Antivirus features like real-time protection offer top protection from malware at all times.

For Chromebook users, TotalAV offers a great Android app that is easy to use on Chrome OS. This app also comes with a VPN, so you can browse more securely and hide your browsing information – at no extra cost. And if you need any help, 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.

To find out everything you need to know about TotalAV, read our TotalAV antivirus review.

2. Norton360 – affordable all-rounder antivirus

Norton antivirus UI
Price:From $9.99/year
Free version:No
Customer support:24/7 live chat and phone
Current deal:🔥Get up to 83% OFF Norton Antivirus 🔥

Norton is synonymous with the world of antivirus software – and for a good reason. It’s 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.

Norton 360 comes with dark web monitoring, parental controls, and a secure password manager. You’ll also get access to Norton’s pretty good VPN service. But what puts Norton360 ahead of a lot of its competitors is one-of-a-kind features, such as LifeLock. It helps you manage your personal accounts, keeps you safe from social security, credit frauds, and alerts you to any potential threats and scams. It protects more than your devices – it also protects your personal life.

While Norton doesn’t officially say it supports Chrome OS, its Android app is perfectly tailored for a Chromebook. And if you need any help, Norton boasts a very impressive list of customer service channels, including email, phone, and live chat support.

Considering all this, it’s no surprise that Norton 360 costs a little more than some other provividers. But, at $9.99 for the first year, it’s excellent value for what you’re getting.

Want to know more? Check out our Norton360 antivirus review.

3. Trend Micro – solid Chrome OS antivirus with additional features

Trend Micro antivirus banner
Price:From $19.95/year
Free version:Yes
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.

This is more than just your regular run-of-the-mill antivirus software. On top of an antivirus, Trend Micro offers additional tools, beyond just catching malwareThis includes Wi-Fi security, a VPN, password manager, payment protection, and a cleaner app for optimizing your Chromebook's storage.

Setting up the antivirus on your Chrome OS device will be very simple, as the provider offers a fully-fleshed-out Chrome OS app.

Once that app is set up, you'll find that it does the basics pretty well, too. The scans are entirely customizable and are done very quickly. However, we did discover that it uses slightly more than an average amount of system resources, and has overall mixed malware protection scores. Still good enough – but lagging behind some of the competition.

However, with all the excellent additional tools, great apps, solid ease of use, and a dedicated Chrome OS app, all starting at $19.95/month – TrendMicro is an excellent Chrome OS antivirus.

Read more in our in-depth Trend Micro antivirus review.

4. Avira – great antivirus with a free plan

Avira user interface
Price:From $30.99/year
Free version:Yes
Customer support:24/7 live chat and community support
Current deal:🔥 Get 1 year of Avira at 40% 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.

It has a fairly impressive suite of security features, including a system optimizer, an email breach scanner, theft prevention, an app lock, a network scanner, microphone and camera protection, and web protection. Paying customers also get access to Avira’s password manager and its VPN, although it’s worth noting that the VPN comes with a limit of 100MB a day.

Elsewhere, Avira’s Android app supports Chrome OS natively, so it’s perfectly optimized to work with your computer.. Paid customers also gain access to a dedicated customer service team –and the free users will get to use FAQs on the website and the online community.

Are you interested in all the additional premium features? You can get them: with a Pro plan starting at $30.99 a year.

For more information, read our Avira antivirus review.

5. Bitdefender – feature-loaded antivirus for Chromebook

bitdefender user interface
PriceFrom $17.99/year
Free versionYes
Customer supportEmail, phone, live chat
Current deal🔥 Get Bitdefender for up to 70% 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.

The software comes stacked with useful features: this includes security recommendations, an email breach checker, web protection, an app lock, and anti-theft protection. You’ll even get a VPN thrown in on all its paid plans, although it’s worth noting that this has a daily limit of 200MB.

What makes it stand out even more is that the Bitdefender app works just as well on your Chromebook or Android device as it does on Windows, macOS, or iOS. It’s straightforward to use too, which makes it an ideal choice for people used to Chrome’s clean, simple interface. And if you do get stuck, 24/7 customer support on live chat and phone is available on all pricing plans.

Speaking of which, Bitdefender is competitively priced, with its Antivirus Plus costing $17.99 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.

6. ESET NOD32 – lightweight antivirus software for Chromebook

ESET NOD32 banner 1
Price:From $20.00/year
Free version:Yes
Customer support:Phone, email, chat, guides, FAQs
Current deal:🔥 Get ESET, save up to 50% 🔥

ESET is one of the most popular antivirus choices among beginners and is excellent for Chromebook users. It offers a lightweight application with the most essential security features as well as some extra additional ones for creating an even more secure online environment.

Thisantivirus software suite includes several different layers of protection in one place. A password manager helps you protect your logins and passwords, and you can encrypt your most sensitive files. Plus, the Anti-theft bundle of features helps you stay immune to criminals or track your device in case of emergency.

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. And the best part is that this antivirus is cloud-based and carries a large part of the processing to its servers.

To have the most basic ESET protection on your Chrome OS, you would need to pay $20.00/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

We tested all the most popular antivirus providers on a Chromebook – as well as some less popular sleeper options, and picked the ones offering the best combination of price and quality.

Here’s a more detailed list of everything we looked for when choosing the best antivirus for Chromebook:

  • If it has an Android app optimized for Chrome OS: If you’re a Chromebook user, you’ll need an antivirus solution that will work well on your device. Therefore, we only included providers that have Android apps which work well on Chrome OS and offer a good user experience.
  • Malware removal: For any antivirus solution, it’s essential to choose one that can detect and remove malware and other viruses. To find this out, we examined lab results and did our own tests, only selecting software that offered consistent protection.
  • Additional features: Customers rightly expect a lot more for their money than just malware protection. Hence, we’ve chosen solutions that come with additional features, such as VPNs, password managers, and parental controls.
  • 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.
  • 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.

How to choose the best Chromebook antivirus

If you’re looking for antivirus software for your Chromebook, you should first check how old your device is and whether it’s able to download Google’s security updates. If it’s so old that it’s no longer supported by Google, you’ll need the absolute best protection money can buy. This might mean paying a bit more for a premium service, such as TotalAV.

On the other hand, if your Chromebook is still relatively new and able to download Google’s security updates, you can afford to shop around for a good deal – and maybe look for some additional features, extra devices you can use the antivirus on, and more.

Pro tip

We recommend protecting yourself with an antivirus that has a good Android app, optimized for Chromebook. Our top pick is TotalAV Antivirus.

Try TotalAV

If you’re struggling to decide which antivirus to choose for your Chromebook, do your research. There are loads of excellent reviews out there written by antivirus experts who have tested the products for themselves. You can find our list of recommendations earlier in this guide. And if you need any more help, let us know in the comments section.

How do I install antivirus on my Chrome OS?

Even though Chromebooks are supposed to be secure, you can (and should) download antivirus software. The easiest way to install antivirus software is by downloading it from the Google Play Store.

Here’s how to install antivirus on Chrome OS:

  1. Choose an antivirus with an Android app. We recommend TotalAV, now 84% off!
  2. Go to the Google Play Store and download the 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.

Installing an antivirus on your Chromebook from Google Play

If you’ve got a Chromebook, the easiest way to install antivirus software is by downloading it from the Google Play Store.

Here’s what you need to do to install Chromebook antivirus from Google Play:

  1. Open the Google Play Store.
  2. Search for your preferred antivirus app, for example, TotalAV.
  3. Install the software.
  4. Open the app.
  5. Log in or create an account.
  6. Enjoy using your Chromebook without worrying about viruses.

Sideloading the app on Chromebook using Linux mode

If you use Linux on your Chromebook, you might want to sideload the app.

Here’s how to sideload the app on Chromebook using Linux mode:

  1. Go to your Settings and select Linux (Beta) and then Develop Android Apps.
  2. Enable ADB debugging.
  3. Restart your Chromebook.
  4. Confirm that you want to enable ADB debugging.
  5. Download the APK you want to install.
  6. Go to Files, choose My Files and then Linux files, and place your downloaded APK there.
  7. Open the terminal and type in sudo apt install adb and press Enter.
  8. Type in adb connect arc and hit Enter, then confirm that you want to use USB debugging.
  9. If your Chromebook has an ARM processor, use this command: adb install [name of your apk].apk. If your Chromebook uses an Intel or AMD processor, use this command: adb -s emulator-5554 install [name of your apk].apk.
  10. Find the installed app in your app launcher, and open it.
  11. Log in or create an account.
  12. Start using your antivirus software to scan for viruses.

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.

Cybernews pro tip

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 hackers 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.

If TotalAV isn’t to your liking, we’d recommend trying Avira’s free plan, which has performed consistently in lab tests to offer extremely robust protection against malware. It has a strongly-integrated user interface on Android, which makes it a fantastic choice for Chrome users. You even get access to Avira’s password manager and limited VPN, which is pretty impressive for a free antivirus program.

Conclusion

Chromebooks are considered to be very secure devices, and they do have some built-in protection. However, this won’t be enough to protect you from all viruses. And as Chromebooks are growing in popularity, cybercriminals are finding more ways to infiltrate Google’s security measures to infect Chromebooks.

Therefore, we recommend downloading a strong antivirus program to protect your device from all online threats. When you’re shopping around, you should make sure your chosen antivirus software is compatible with Chrome OS. Android apps will normally work fairly successfully on Chromebooks, but it’s worth checking whether your choice is optimized for Chrome.

Aside from that, you’ll need to choose software that delivers flawless malware detection and protection to ensure your device is safe at all times. We’ve selected what we believe are the best antivirus solutions for Chromebooks earlier in this guide to help you decide which one to choose.

We hope this guide has told you everything you need to know about the best antivirus for Chromebooks. If not, let us know in the comments section below!


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FAQs

Comments

Elizabeth Dean
Elizabeth Dean
prefix 5 months ago
Learned a lot in short time.Thank you.
Susan
Susan
prefix 6 months ago
"Bitdefender - Best antivirus for Chromebook" - Per a chat with a rep a few minutes ago, Bitdefender does not work on Chromebook at all!
Cybernews Team
Cybernews Team
prefix 6 months ago
Hi!

Chromebook OS is based on Android, meaning that a lot of antiviruses that have apps for Android will work on Chromebook as well. However, there is always a possibility that it won't work on older Chromebook OS.

Regarding the customer support agent claiming that Bitdefender doesn't support Chromebook, there could be several reasons for that. It could be that given the unpopularity of Chromebook OS, antivirus providers such as Bitdefender or Norton don't invest in testing their products or developing native apps for it. In such cases, it is easier to say that a product doesn't work than to say that they actually haven't tested it.

All in all, despite what the customer support or sales representatives say, since Bitdefender has an app for Android, it should work on your Chromebook just fine. We suggest giving it a try.
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