Whether you’re using your Chromebook for work, gaming, or streaming, safeguarding it against malware is non-negotiable. Take a look at our curated list of top antivirus solutions to stay one step ahead of evolving cyber threats.
ChromeOS has a solid reputation for security, mainly due to its unique approach of running apps in isolated containers. This minimizes the risk of apps exploiting system vulnerabilities. But let’s be clear: ChromeOS isn’t invincible against malware. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to the best antivirus protection for your Chromebook.
In a rush? Scroll down for a quick rundown of our top picks.
- Norton: Our top pick for Chromebooks, Norton delivers comprehensive protection, including a VPN, advanced malware scanning, and parental controls.
- TotalAV: Easy on the wallet, TotalAV offers excellent malware detection, password management, and system optimization features.
- Bitdefender: Feature-rich and backed by stellar customer support, Bitdefender provides ransomware protection, webcam security, and minimal system resource usage.
- Malwarebytes: Specializing in software auditing, Malwarebytes offers real-time malware scanning, application audits, and robust anti-phishing features.
- Avira: Ideal for beginners, Avira provides banking and payment protection, automatic updates, and user-friendly apps designed specifically for Chromebooks.
OUR TOP ANTIVIRUS RECOMMENDATION
The best antivirus for Chromebook
With so many antivirus products available for Chromebook, choosing the provider that ticks all of the boxes for your individual needs can be a daunting experience. To ensure you get a mix of the best value with malware protection, we’ve scoured the web to find the best options.
Here’s a list of the best antivirus for Chromebook:
Money-back guarantee: 30 Days
Norton has rapidly become one of the most reputable providers of consumer internet security, offering a range of suites ranging from antivirus protection to all-round internet security suites on Chromebook and all other major platforms.
When I tested Norton against inert and live malware samples, it detected and removed all of them during real-time and on-demand scanning. Norton 360 has several packages depending on your requirements, with significant discounts for new subscribers. Features include parental controls, a VPN, a password manager, and more. 27/7 support is included with all plans, and its apps are suitable for entry-level users.
- Comprehensive identity monitoring suite
- A vast range of security tools
- Excellent malware blocking
- Multiple package options available
- Higher priced packages than many competitors
TOP ANTIVIRUS FOR CHROMEBOOK:Norton offers all-round protection for Chromebook, with antivirus, parental controls, and webcam protection. All plans include a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Norton review.
TotalAV is a great option for users who want premium malware protection on a budget, with plans offering heavily-discounted prices for users that sign up for 12 months or more. While TotalAV didn’t block every inert and live malware file I put it up against, it blocked most and detected others, meaning it was aware of the threats but didn’t know how to remove them. Fortunately, TotalAV updates malware databases frequently, so I have no doubt its detection and deletion capabilities will improve.
Aside from malware detection, TotalAV includes performance optimization tools to speed up your system, automatic app updates, a built-in firewall, and a password manager. Apps for Chromebook are sleek and easy to use. Free users and premium subscribers get access to 24/7 live chat support, perfect for when you need to speak with someone.
- Dark web monitoring
- Excellent pricing options
- Premium user-interface
- Can be difficult to cancel
BUDGET CHOICE:TotalAV includes everything you need to secure your Chromebook on a budget. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with all plans.
Check out our review of TotalAV.
Money-back guarantee: 30 Days
Bitdefender includes the most internet security tools alongside real-time malware scanning on our list. Users will benefit from webcam and microphone protection, PC cloud backup, and network attack protection. During my testing, Bitdefender blocked every threat it came up against in real-time and on-demand scanning.
Its app for Chromebook has a premium feel and is easy to navigate with the most popular tools right in front of you. One of the downfalls I had with Bitdefender is in its cancellation process. Although it provides 24/7 live chat, its support agents could not cancel my subscription, which led to a ticket being raised and the refund being processed sometime later by email.
- Perfect testing lab results.
- Large number of features for the price
- Unique features such as multi-layered ranswomare protection
- Live chat is unavailable for canceling
BIGGEST RANGE OF ADDONS:Bitdefender includes many extra security tools, including webcam and microphone protection, a password manager, and network attack protection. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Find out more in our full Bitdefender review.
Malwarebytes continuously keeps its malware definitions up to date, making it a great option for dealing with the latest threats. Malwarebytes failed to block two inert virus samples in our in-house tests, achieved a 98% detection rate in real-time, and it scored 99% with its on-demand scans. The impact on system resources is relatively low, and its apps offer a clean and minimal layout comparable to Microsoft Defender.
Live chat, email, and ticketing support are available, and my canceling experience was straightforward and dealt with immediately. If you require a VPN, Malwarebytes does offer this in its top-tier plan, but it is incredibly pricey with such a small upgrade.
- Regularly updates malware definitions
- Canceling is easy
- Customer support is excellent
- The upgrade to its VPN product is pricey
- No discounts on first-year pricing
REGULAR MALWARE UPDATES:Malwarebytes keeps up with the latest malware threats. Plans include a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Money-back guarantee: 30 days
Avira makes my list of the top antivirus providers for Chromebook because of its simplicity and almost nonexistent impact on system resources. Avira was nearly a perfect performer in my malware tests, blocking 99% of all threats used in testing, including malware.
While Avira isn’t the most feature-rich option on our list, it offers banking and payment protection, a password manager, and ransomware protection. For entry-level users, its app is one of the most straightforward I’ve used on a Chromebook. Unlike some of the other best antivirus providers for Chromebook, Avira offers its support via email and phone but not live chat.
- Avira prime offers VIP customer support
- The free version outperforms some paid providers
- Includes a password manager
- Disabling auto-renewal is tricky
- It has suffered security breaches in the past
GREAT FOR BEGINNERS:Avira's apps for Chromebook are ideal for entry-level users looking for essential malware protection. It offers a 30-day cancellation policy on all plans.
View our full Avira review.
How to install antivirus on Chromebook
Some of the providers on my list state that their software doesn’t work on ChromeOS, including Norton. However, I’ve tested each antivirus and can confirm their apps work just as well on ChromeOS as on an Android device, offering the same features as you’d expect from a macOS or Windows version of the software.
Here’s how to install antivirus on Chromebook:
- Open Google PlayStore and perform a search for your chosen provider.
- On the provider’s app screen, click install.
- Click open once the download finishes.
- Read and accept any license agreements that appear.
- If required, enter your account credentials to sign in.
if you experience any errors during the installation process, ensure your device is up to date and using the latest version of the antivirus software.
Antivirus for Chromebook FAQs
Do I need an antivirus for Chromebook?
While using antivirus software with Chromebook is not mandatory, we’d recommend it. Thanks to the way Chromebook sandboxes its apps to ensure they cannot exploit system vulnerabilities, it makes the OS more secure. Unfortunately, malware threats are becoming more sophisticated, and some threats likely evade tools put in place to protect your system.
Can you use two antiviruses at the same time?
While you can use two antivirus applications simultaneously, it is not recommended. Using dual antivirus apps can cause a conflict that can make your system unstable, and in some cases, it can cause permanent damage.
What's the difference between on-demand scanning and real-time scanning?
At a base level, an antivirus offers two types of malware detection; on-demand scanning and real-time scanning. On-demand scanning searches your Chromebook for threats other antivirus products may have missed and checks for threats introduced via offline mediums such as external USB drives or network drives.
In contrast, real-time scanning runs in the background of your system and searches for threats that are distributed online via a malicious website or file download.