Launched in 2011, Chromebook has become one of the most popular devices running Android and full-fledged Linux applications. With about 30 million units sold every year, Chromebook accounts for 11% of the total PC market.
But how safe are these devices?
Google provides multiple-layered security against various malware. This includes data encryption, sandboxing during malware attacks, recovery mode, automatic updates, and verified boot during system startup. While all these functions are necessary, they are not enough to keep your device safe from external attacks.
Chromebooks are prone to malicious scripts, such as spyware, trackers, and phishing scams. In fact, there are plenty of harmful apps on Chrome Web Stores and Google Play that can infect your device and compromise your account.
Phishing attacks and browser hijackers, for example, can trick users into sharing personal data and installing scripts on their devices. Once the script is installed, attackers can easily steal sensitive data such as login details and financial information. And the worst thing is users don’t realize they are being spied upon until their device starts slowing down.
According to Kaspersky, more than 550,000 new pieces of malware are identified daily and four organizations fall victim to ransomware every minute. Google’s Transparency Report shows that about 2.2 million websites are “dangerous for safe browsing.” The majority of those are phishing sites.
A good antivirus tool can keep you safe from all these attacks.
Below, we have listed some of the best antivirus tools for Chromebook that offer an additional layer of security while streaming, browsing, and downloading content. They protect your existing files and data and keep your device as clean as possible.
Table of Contents
9. Lookout Mobile Security
Price: Starts at $3 per month or $30 per year | 90-day free trial available
Rating: 9.2/10 from 1,140,000+ users
Lookout can be easily integrated into your existing security and endpoint management solutions. It focuses on three types of threats:
- Network-based threats: It effectively detects man-in-the-middle attacks, ensuring attackers do not intercept the network traffic.
- Phishing threats: It protects you against malicious websites that try to run harmful scripts when you visit them.
- Application threats: It detects infected Android apps installed on Chromebooks and warns you if there are chances of losing data.
Lookout gives you access to a cloud-based admin console that shows you the overall health of your device. It continuously monitors the Chrome OS, assigns a level of risk, and shares this data with Google Cloud Identity. Based on how severe the risk is, it may block access to all unknown parties until the threat on the Chromebook is removed.
The platform has gathered security data from about 200 million devices worldwide and over 120 million applications, with nearly 100,000 new apps examined every day. To process such massive volumes of data, it uses artificial intelligence models. More specifically, it employs machine learning algorithms to identify the complex patterns that indicate risk.
The company has partnered with Google to share threat intelligence and develop endpoint security systems for Chromebook and Android devices.
- Easy to install and operate
- Protects your device against the full spectrum of threats
- Leverages AI to analyze data from 200 million devices and 120 million applications
- Features vulnerability management and compliance enforcement
- Heavy, slow scans
- May conflict with VPN apps
8. Sophos Intercept X
Price: Advanced version costs $28 per year per user | Free version is available
Rating: 8.4 from 46,000+ users
Sophos Intercept X protects your Chromebook and privacy without significantly impacting battery life and performance. It utilizes a multi-layer strategy for endpoint protection.
Sophos comes with multiple tools, each designed for specific types of cyberattacks. For example,
- Malware protection tool scans files and apps for harmful content
- Web filtering tool blocks pages with malicious or illegal content
- WiFi security tool checks your connection for man-in-the-middle attacks
- Link checker tool analyzes all links in non-browser apps
- Privacy advisor tool shows apps that access your personal information
- Password tool stores all your account information in a safe database
Sophos utilizes deep learning techniques to protect Chromebooks against both existing and never-seen-before attacks. It combines this AI technology with expert analysis for enhanced threat detection, in-depth investigation of alerts, and targeted actions to remove threats with precision and speed.
Unlike most other security tools, Sophos offers fully-managed services. In addition to notifying you of suspicious behaviors in real-time, the platform takes appropriate actions on your behalf to neutralize even the most complex and sophisticated threats.
- Deep learning malware detection
- Suspicious events detection and prioritization
- Disk and boot record protection
- Data loss prevention
- Can be a little bit of a memory hog
- Setting up an admin portal can be tedious
7. ESET: Malware Protection & Internet Security
Price: Advanced version costs $50 per year per user | 30-day trial is available
Rating: 9.3/10 from 1,000,000+ users
ESET was the first endpoint security platform to add a dedicated layer into its system that protects the UEFI (short for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). It scans the whole firmware, enforces the security of the pre-boot environment, and reports malicious elements to the user.
The security report shows you how secure your device is and what changes ESET has made to protect you against malware. The premium version is packed with extra features like a network inspector, adware detector, protective anti-theft functions, and scheduled scans. It also has a malware database to identify scam websites.
ESET is capable of identifying new variants of a known malware family as well as previously unseen scripts that indicate malicious behavior. To do this, it performs deep analyses of files stored in the disk and scripts running in the process memory.
The platform uses advanced machine learning models to provide the lowest possible false-positive rates. These models learn from both static and dynamic analysis, and they are well-configured to coordinate with ESET’s advanced memory scanning, malware detection, and behavioral analysis technology.
- Scans behavioral events such as running processes, files, and registry keys
- Checks the local cache for known malicious content
- Comes with anti-theft tools
- Full Disk Encryption
- Quite expensive
- Limited features in the free version
Price: $29 per year per user
Rating: 7.8/10 from 12,600+ users
ScanGuard is a lightweight yet powerful antivirus engine that helps you keep sensitive information out of the wrong hands. It is packed with several simple-to-use tools. For instance, you can run quick scans and delete detected malware with only a few clicks.
The real-time protection tool runs silently in the background without impacting performance. It identifies harmful files before they can infect your device. This protection tool consists of
- Malware guard to protect you against malicious programs like Worms and Trojan Horses
- Ransomware guard to block attackers from accessing or encrypting your personal files
- Spyware guard to block automated programs that gather data without your knowledge
- Adware guard to block unwanted adverts and hidden malicious scripts
Unlike most other antivirus apps, ScanGuard offers a reliable VPN for private browsing. You can use this VPN (as an added benefit) to bypass Geo-restrictions or hide your online activity. It offers connections to 35+ server locations, mostly in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
However, you have to purchase the VPN separately; it is not included in Scanguard’s protection package.
Overall, it’s a value-for-money platform with good features like a browser manager, and disk cleaner, password vault. It is a great option for users looking for a lightweight, all-in-one security solution.
- Prevents unwanted advertising and fraud
- Doesn’t require a lot of resources, thus saving battery life
- Offers VPN
- Disk cleaner and system tune-up optimization tools
- High renewal prices
- Since it’s a relatively new platform, it doesn’t have a large database of known malware
5. Avira Free Security
Price: Free | Prime version costs $35 per year
Rating: 9.2/10 from 710,000+ users
With Avira, you can browse the Internet and make transactions with complete confidence. It safeguards your device from online threats like spyware, ransomware, and crypto-mining scripts.
In addition to scanning viruses and detecting threats in real-time, Avira comes with advanced repair functionalities. Last year, the platform successfully fixed about 90 million files.
Its cloud-based scanner compares your files against millions of known malware and uses heuristics to identify zero-day threats. And since it’s a cloud-based tool, it offloads the resource-intensive process of analyzing files to a cloud server. This means it can scan your local files against all emerging threats without slowing down your Chromebook.
The platform allows you to run various scans, including very specific ones, such as a rootkit scan. If you don’t want to check every option individually, just run a Smart Scan to quickly check for system vulnerabilities and performance issues. Its scanning algorithms have been licensed to numerous vendors, including Systweak and TotalAV.
The company has been developing security solutions for more than three decades. According to their official website, Avira doesn’t share your data with 3rd parties such as advertising networks, tech giants, or the government.
- Simple password manager
- Cloud-based analysis of emerging threats
- Secure VPN (500 MB per month for free)
- Blocks infected websites and trackers
- The free version displays ads
4. TotalAV Antivirus
Price: Free | Pro version costs $29 (for the first year) and renews at $119 per year
Rating: 8.9/10 from 140,000+ users
TotalAV antivirus is packed with all the essential features you need to detect and remove malware from your Chromebook. This includes
- Real-time protection to check folders and executables for threats every time your device accesses them
- Advanced cloud scanning to quickly analyze known and previously unseen zero-day threats
- Anti-malware to detect and remove all types of malware
- Anti-ransomware to detect and warns you about file-encrypting attacks
- Anti-spyware to identify and halt all spyware developed to snoop on and exploit your data
- Anti-adware to spot and remove annoying advertising software
The platform also offers a range of integrated optimization tools. You can easily manage unnecessary files that take up significant space, release memory to speed up your device, delete duplicate images, and block in-play video ads.
TotalAV continuously updates its security solutions to protect your device against the latest cybersecurity threats. It also takes care of your personal data. You can use its data breach checker to see if your data has been exposed in recent breaches.
Moreover, the platform is regularly tested by industry-leading figures for its performance and capability to detect and remove threats
- Real-time protection against real-time threats
- Advanced cloud scanning and scheduled smart scans
- System tune-up tools
- Does not slow down your Chromebook
- Free version doesn’t include VPN
- Higher renewal rates
3. Bitdefender Mobile Security
Price: Monthly/Yearly web protection costs $1.5/$15 | 14-day free trial available
Rating: 9.4/10 from 360,000+ users
Bitdefender automatically scans your whole device once you install it, and lets you know whether installed apps pose any danger. It uses a vast malware directory and machine learning models to identify both known and emerging threats.
It can perform four types of scans:
- System Scan: A detailed analysis of the whole system for vulnerabilities
- Quick Scan: A lightweight scan of the core system files and temporary files where malicious scripts are typically stored
- Vulnerability Scan: Analyze application settings and software updates to spot privacy risks
- Custom Scan: Scan any drive, folder, or executable files for potential threats
Since the scanning process happens in the cloud, the antivirus takes fewer CPU resources and disk space during scans.
Bitdefender has an autopilot system that acts as a “personal security advisor,” giving you detailed insights into your system security. It can recommend actionable plans based on your system requirements and usage patterns.
It also offers a VPN, adding an extra layer of privacy. The VPN encrypts all internet traffic (to protect your online presence) and secures your connection when you are connected to public WiFi networks. The free version, however, is limited to 200 MB of traffic per day.
The Premium VPN, which costs $40 per year, has no traffic limit and gives you access to 4,000+ servers in over 49 countries.
Overall, Bitdefender is a reputed all-in-one security platform. It is usually ranked among the top security solutions providers when independent test labs prepare their reports.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Easy cloud-based management
- Prevents sophisticated cyber-attacks
- Adds multi-layer ransomware protection
- Anti-theft system
- Full VPN requires separate subscriptions
Price: Free | $3.75 per month or $50 per year | 30-day free trial available
Rating: 8.9/10 from 410,000+ users
Malwarebytes provides top spyware detection and virus protection while aggressively combating ransomware, phishing scams, and Potentially Unwanted Programs or Potentially Unwanted Modifications (PUPs / PUMs) software programs.
It displays the access privileges of all applications installed on your device, so you know exactly what information you are sharing with whom. Keep tabs on which applications can track your location, access your personal files, or charge you extra in hidden fees.
Unlike other security vendors that use a lot of technical terms, Malwarebytes explains things in plain English. On its official website, you can find how many people are running the trial version, free version, and premium versions. Where is the platform being used worldwide? What threats are being identified the most, and how often?
Although the free version doesn’t include real-time protection, it allows you to scan the entire device on demand for any threat. If it detects a malicious code, it quickly removes it from your device. You can also scan URLs to protect yourself from phishing websites, malicious links, and online scams.
Overall, Malwarebytes is a decent antivirus platform with an industry-average detection rate of about 95 percent. In addition to detecting malicious programs and spyware, it delivers a safer browsing experience across all your devices with reliable privacy protection.
- Simple interface, speedy scan
- Gives a comprehensive overview of your device
- Detects non-malicious, but annoying PUPs
- Blocks third-party ad trackers and in-browser cryptojackers
- Detects and blocks over 4 million threats every day
- Updates can be intrusive with pop-up messages
- Sometimes quick scan fails to capture some infected files
1. Norton Mobile Security
Price: $15 for the first year and renews at $30 per year | 14-day trial available
Rating: 9.4/10 from 1,750,000+ users
Norton merges antivirus and security features to protect your device against malware, ransomware, spyware, and various other cyber threats. It is known for its advanced real-time protection and excellent malware detection rates.
The platform gives equal importance to your online privacy and personal information. Its VPN services secure your online presence by encrypting your internet traffic in real-time. It also blocks attackers and spyware from accessing your data when your device is connected to public WiFi.
Norton Secure VPN has some great features such as split-tunneling, ad-blocker, and no-logs policy. Plus, if the VPN connection drops, the platform will disconnect you from the Internet to maintain your privacy.
The platform continuously checks for the latest security patches and operating system updates to protect your Chromebook against unknown attacks that try to leverage system vulnerabilities for wrongful purposes.
It creates a detailed report card showing the overall health of your device. This report contains a one-month analysis of scanned device vulnerabilities, risky applications and websites, and potentially harmful WiFi networks.
Overall, Norton is probably the perfect antivirus software for Chromebook that provides complete protection against all types of malware. And it comes with a lot of useful security features, including cloud backup, dark web monitoring, and parental controls.
- Quick, at-a-glance summary
- Proactive malware blocker
- Suspicious network detection
- Blocks fraudulent websites
- Good detection rates
- Frequent software updates
- Initial setup may take time
- Can slow down your device when scanning large files
Other Equally Good Chromebook Antivirus
10. AVG AntiVirus
Price: Free | $3.89 per month or $46.68 for the first year | Free trial available
Rating: 9.5/10 from 7,550,000+ users
AVG antivirus is a decent security platform that protects you against a wide range of malware, including ransomware, adware, spyware, and more. It covers three core areas of your digital world: security, privacy, and performance.
Once you install it on your Chromebook, you can browse and make transactions online with confidence. It protects your login credentials and financial data on any WiFi network and warns you about scam emails and phishing websites.
AVG adds an additional layer to your privacy protection. It allows you to hide images and sensitive files in a password-protected vault, lock applications with PIN codes, and set email alerts if your device’s security has been compromised. Plus, it is packed with optimization tools that help you free up disk space, delete hidden junk, and analyze your application usage.
In a lab test performed by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, AVG Antivirus achieved a malware protection rate of 99.98%, outperforming similar services offered by McAfee, ESET, and Avira.
11. Kaspersky Internet Security
Price: Free | $5.49 per month or $36.99 per year | 30-day trial available
Rating: 9.4/10 from 3,890,000+ users
Kaspersky’s three-layer defense engine works tirelessly to protect your data and device. In addition to blocking various types of malware, it also removes complex threats such as spy applications, crypto lockers, and XSS attacks.
Its advanced scanning system can detect sophisticated threats like keyloggers, rootkits, botnets, and man-in-the-middle attacks. Once identified, you can remove these threats manually or let Kaspersky handle them for you.
Kaspersky lets you configure individual settings and features, making it easier to manage your security and privacy from anywhere. It even assists you during the installation process, so you don’t download unnecessary programs.
It comes with a range of tools to guard your identity and internet activity. The free VPN, for example, routes all your data traffic (up to 300 MB per day) through an encrypted virtual tunnel. Another tool called ‘Webcam Protection’ stops unauthorized access to your webcam and makes sure no one is spying on you.
12. Trend Micro
Price: One year license costs $19 | 30-day trial available
Rating: 9.1/10 from 125,000+ users
Trend Micro has decades of experience in developing security solutions. It serves millions of individuals and hundreds of thousands of businesses across clouds, networks, devices, and endpoints.
The platform is equipped with various advanced threat defense models optimized for environments like Google, Microsoft, and AWS, and central visibility for faster detection and response. It can protect you against ransomware, spyware, and fake banking apps. You can even scan individual URLs to check the authenticity of the web page.
Plus, there are plenty of configuration options to manage the device’s performance and battery life.
Unlike other security software, Trend Micro monitors links in WhatsApp, Facebook, and other social networking apps, and alerts you of risks before you click them. It also checks your WiFi and notifies you when your device is connected to an unsecured network.
All in all, Trend Micro has an easy-to-use interface, runs smoothly in the background, and keeps you protected.
More To Know
How to choose the best antivirus for your Chromebook?
Selecting an antivirus tool depends on how much protection you need. If you just need a basic defense against known malware, install a free version of a highly-rated antivirus engine. If you need a greater depth of protection and more security features, you will have to spend some money. However, you need to consider these factors before making a purchase:
- What kind of security risks do you face, and what level of protection do you need?
- What device and operating system are you using?
- Does the software provide real-time protection against unknown, emerging threats?
- Do the antivirus vendors provide managed services?
We recommend you go for cloud-based software. It will have a smaller resource footprint and can quickly respond to newly emerging threats. Plus, you don’t have to manually download or upgrade the software every week.
How to remove annoying pop-ups and toolbar from Chromebook?
If you are seeing too many pop-ups, random extensions, or different search engines on your homepage, chances are your device is infected. You need to remove or reset the Chrome settings to delete malicious scripts you might have downloaded/installed accidentally while browsing the Internet.
To do this, go to Settings > Advanced > Reset and cleap up > Clean up computer, and then click Find. If Chrome asks you to remove unwanted programs, click Remove. Restart your device, and everything will get back to normal.
Additional Tips To Make Your Device More Secure
There are several ways to configure your Chromebook to make it more secure. For example, you can
- Turn on two-factor authentication for your Google account
- Install updates as soon as they are available
- Enable sleep locking
- Installed extensions like HTTPS Everywhere that will keep you on encrypted sites
- Remove bad extensions and unverified themes