TechyJar

Best Free Antivirus for Chromebook

Jason Turtoga

October 3, 2023

TechyJar contains reviews that were written by industry experts and follow the strict reviewing standards, including ethical standards, that we have adopted. Such standards require that each review will take into consideration the independent, honest, and professional examination of the reviewer. That being said, we may earn a commission when a user completes an action using our links, at no additional cost to them. On listicle pages, we rank vendors based on a system that prioritizes the reviewer’s examination of each service but also considers feedback received from our readers and our commercial agreements with providers.

TechyJar contains reviews that were written by our experts, who examine the products in accordance with our professional standards. The reviews take into account the reviewers’ independent and honest evaluation of each product/service.

The reviews published on TechyJar are written by community reviewers that examine the products according to our strict reviewing standards. Such standards ensure that each review prioritizes the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, and takes into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings we publish may also take into consideration the affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website.

TechyJar is a user-focused website reviewing online privacy digital software such as antivirus, password managers, virtual private networks, parental controls, and other web services. Our professional researchers and technical product reviewers have been helping readers make informed decisions about how to start an online business and online privacy until 2023.

Jason Turtoga

October 3, 2023

TechyJar contains reviews that were written by industry experts and follow the strict reviewing standards, including ethical standards, that we have adopted. Such standards require that each review will take into consideration the independent, honest, and professional examination of the reviewer. That being said, we may earn a commission when a user completes an action using our links, at no additional cost to them. On listicle pages, we rank vendors based on a system that prioritizes the reviewer’s examination of each service but also considers feedback received from our readers and our commercial agreements with providers.

TechyJar contains reviews that were written by our experts, who examine the products in accordance with our professional standards. The reviews take into account the reviewers’ independent and honest evaluation of each product/service.

The reviews published on TechyJar are written by community reviewers that examine the products according to our strict reviewing standards. Such standards ensure that each review prioritizes the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, and takes into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings we publish may also take into consideration the affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website.

TechyJar is a user-focused website reviewing online privacy digital software such as antivirus, password managers, virtual private networks, parental controls, and other web services. Our professional researchers and technical product reviewers have been helping readers make informed decisions about how to start an online business and online privacy until 2023.

EXPERT ADVICE: A free antivirus on Chromebook may seem to be a steal deal, considering you get protection for your device without having to pay anything. However, you may still be compromised by several means. It is because antivirus providers design their free versions with limited safety features. Most of the useful features are only available in the premium versions. We strongly recommend using a premium antivirus like Avira to have a comprehensive protection from all types of attacks. Try Avira with 60 days money-back guarantee.

Chromebooks come with the guts of both laptops and tablets and run on Google ChromeOS. That makes them a great pick for when you need a cloud-centric device with great productivity without having the most powerful hardware. When it comes to software, ChromeOS has a good reputation regarding its usability, reliability, optimization, and, most importantly, security. However, it still isn’t immune to malware, and that’s why you need free antivirus for Chromebook.

Table of Contents

When looking for Chromebook antivirus, you will come across many paid and free options. Moreover, it is important to know that other antivirus software that may be compatible with common OS like Windows and macOS may not be compatible with your Chromebook. So, stick with us as we explore the best free antivirus protection for Chromebook, along with other important things you must know.

Why Should You Use an Antivirus for Chromebook?

Although Chromebooks have a good reputation for having good security, that does not mean that they cannot get infected by malware and threats. This security is because whatever you run on your Chromebook will run within a container, so the programs cannot access or change the rest of the system.

Additionally, one of the biggest sources of viruses is “.exe files” and the good thing about Chromebooks is that they cannot run these files. However, the reason you still need to look for Chromebook supported antivirus is that it can be infected by other threats, including:

  • Spyware
  • Trackers
  • Malicious code, etc.

These can affect the device during the application download process or web surfing, and the problems you may face will include slow performance and compromised security. So, even using free antivirus protection for Chromebook will ensure to keep your device free from threats.

How To Select a Free Antivirus for Chromebook?

Whether you are going for a paid one or a free Chromebook supported antivirus, picking the right one is important. Additional services, limitations, pricing, and all other factors vary between different options. So, we must start with your requirements first and then pick the best antivirus.

Otherwise, you will not end up with a great experience, and the security of your device will be compromised. So, here is our guide on how to pick the best antivirus software for Chromebook:

1. Start checking with the availability of a dedicated app and its performance

We need to start by checking the availability of apps from the antivirus company. It is because not all antivirus providers are compatible with ChromeOS, which can be a deal breaker. Android apps are supported on Chromebooks. So, our free Chromebook supported antivirus pick must offer an Android app as well.

After checking the app’s availability, you need to ensure that it offers good performance in terms of hardware optimization and security.

2. Look for the additional features provided by the antivirus

To shortlist your options, you must check for the additional features available in the antivirus software. It is because every antivirus comes with some basic features like network monitoring, spyware protection, malware protection etc. At the same time, some features are sold as add-ons, which include parental control, VPN, etc.

Not every provider may offer the same basic and add-on features, but it is still important to check what options you get to improve your experience.

3. Consider pricing of the antivirus regarding your budget

Even when going for the free antivirus, check the price of the tool. Some software is marketed as free, while they only offer a free trial for a limited time. Similarly, some options restrict the features that you can use in the free version. So, eventually, you must upgrade to the premium version. That’s why checking the pricing is important to plan your budget in future.

4. Look for experience offered by the customer support

Customer support is a vital element of a good experience from the best free Chromebook antivirus. You can check for the following options:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Live chat
  • 24/7 availability

If all these are offered, then you can expect a good customer support experience. Even in the worst case, you must get one communication option along with 24/7 availability to resolve any issues as soon as possible.

5. Check malware removal and virus scanning statistics

There are multiple ways to check malware removal and system scanning statistics. Several testing platforms provide the results of both paid and free Chromebook supported antivirus. In addition to those platforms, there are review platforms, and the antivirus website itself mentions the stats about its performance. That will tell you how strong an antivirus is against different types of threats.

6. Finalize your decision after checking customer reviews from various platforms

The last step in selecting your free antivirus for Chrome will be having a look at the customer reviews. You can consider the following options:

  • Customer reviews on antivirus websites
  • Reviews on review platforms like G2, etc.
  • Local and international social media communities

By checking user reviews from multiple sources, you will learn about all the benefits and demerits that will shape your usage experience of that Chromebook free antivirus.

Best Free Antivirus for Chromebook

We picked the best free Chromebook supported antivirus and shortlisted the top 3 options that you can use. With a general introduction to the software along with the key features, pros, and cons, you can easily decide which Chromebook antivirus is the best choice for you.

1. AVG - Best Chromebook Antivirus Free

Free Antivirus for Chromebook Rating:
8.4/10

4.2/5

Ranked #1 Free Antivirus for Chromebook

Features

Pros

Cons

Compatibility

Suppose you want an all-around antivirus solution for all your devices. In that case, AVG will be among your best picks, considering it is available with most devices, including smartphones and computers. Even with its free account, you can protect your Chromebook against malware and scan for already present threats to remove them to enhance security.

While it brings basic security features, it lacks ransomware protection and some other advanced features that are only available in the paid version. However, when it comes to testing its performance. AVG blocks over 99% of the detected malware, keeping your Chromebook safe.

2. TotalAV - Free Antivirus Protection for Chromebook

Free Antivirus for Chromebook Rating:
8.4/10

4.2/5

Ranked #2 Free Antivirus for Chromebook

Features

Pros

Cons

Compatibility

TotalAV shows 100% malware detection results, meaning that your device will be 100% protected. Its free version adds a secure layer of protection to your devices, and the dedicated Android application is compatible with ChromeOS. What makes it a great free antivirus is that it brings a web shield extension that is free and available for multiple browsers.

So, no matter which browser you use on your Chromebook, there will always be an additional layer of protection for you. As you download it on your device, the device will be scanned, and existing viruses will be removed. Apart from this scanning, TotalAV protects suspicious websites since it blocks phishing links.

3. TrendMicro - Free Antivirus Chromebook

Free Antivirus for Chromebook Rating:
8.1/10

4.1/5

Ranked #3 Chromebook Antivirus for Free

Features

Pros

Cons

Compatibility

TrendMicro is the best choice for beginners with Chromebook who need a reliable but free antivirus. It can detect and remove 100% of malware thanks to the AI-backed protection it offers. TrendMicro has a range of applications dedicated to various OS, and that includes ChromeOS as well, making it a good antivirus for Chromebooks.

With TrendMicro free option, you get to use the dedicated Chrome OS application that is optimized and designed for an easy user experience while not having any impact on the performance. You can get multiple layers of protection from identity theft and different types of malware, including device viruses and spyware. Since it is based on advanced machine learning algorithms, the protection gets better every time it detects an issue.

Best Premium Antiviruses for Chromebook

Undoubtedly, a free antivirus will be a good pick for chromebook when you are on a budget. However, for some users, protection is what matters the most, and they cannot compromise on the features best Chromebook antivirus might miss.

So, if you are one of those users who is not looking for a free antivirus, here are our top 4 picks of premium antivirus for chromebook that ensure to protect of your device from every malware and threat.

1. Avira: Best Antivirus for Chromebook

#1 Hand-Picked, Based on Performance and Pricing

Antivirus for Chromebook Rating:
9.7/10

4.6/5

Ranked #1 Best Antivirus for Chromebook

Features

Pros

Cons

Compatibility

Avira is a good combination of performance and easy user experience since it provides solid protection from ransomware. Setting it up and using it is effortless, even when there is a long range of features included in this tool. With over 99% malware detection results, your device will stay protected most of the time. Above everything, it is optimized for Chromebook compatibility since a dedicated Android application is available.

While using it is extremely easy, you don’t miss out on any important features like the free antivirus. Here, you get a network scanned along with web protection. The camera and microphone of your Chromebook are also protected, and there is a password manager available as well. Hence, Avira offers you complete peace of mind as a premium Chromebook antivirus.

2. Bitdefender: Best Antivirus Protection for Chromebook

Antivirus for Chromebook Rating:
9.7/10

4.7/5

Ranked #2 Best Antivirus for Chromebook

Features

Pros

Cons

Compatibility

The next premium Chromebook antivirus is Bitdefender, which has a great reputation for consistency in its performance. It protects your Chromebook from all types of malware and threats by scanning for new threats and removing the existing ones quickly. Bitdefender can catch up to 100% of malware and threats and still perform quickly regardless of the low-spec hardware of a Chromebook, considering its laptop form factor.

If you perform a full scan with Bitdefender on your Chromebook, it can be demanding. There is a dedicated Android application with an easy setup on the Chromebook, making its usage easy. Bitdefender also provides a VPN with its Chromebook antivirus for private and safe online presence, but it comes at a 200MB data cap.

3. Norton - Best Antivirus Software for Chromebook

Antivirus for Chromebook Rating:
9.6/10

4.8/5

Ranked #3 Best Antivirus for Chromebook

Features

Pros

Cons

Compatibility

Another option for you is Norton Chromebook antivirus, which also comes with a premium plan. Here, we will be focusing on its premium version. Norton is a personal security company that provides multiple solutions, and the best antivirus software for Chromebook from Norton is Norton 360. It can protect any device, including your Chromebook since it comes with a dedicated Android application.

If you find something missing in the basic app, you can download additional applications to get additional features like password management, parental control, and VPN. Norton is a reliable Chromebook antivirus since it is reputed for detecting all viruses and threats present on a system. With its real-time scanning and protection, your Chromebook will always stay clear of potential threats.

4. ESET: Best Chromebook Antivirus Protection

Antivirus for Chromebook Rating:
9.5/10

4.7/5

Ranked #4 Best Antivirus for Chromebook

Features

Pros

Cons

Compatibility

With many of safety features of ESET compatible with Windows and Android OS users, it may not make a good choice for Apple Ecosystem users. However, it is still a great Chromebook antivirus. On Windows and Android-based devices, it can catch all malware samples and protect your devices most of the time. With ESET, you can utilize the system cleanup function that enables you to clean off any unnecessary and bad files from the Chromebook.

With great security features, it still misses some, including a VPN that is usually a part of most premium antivirus for chromebook, but ESET misses that. Regardless, users get peace of mind while using it thanks to the 30-day free trial along with a money-back guarantee for 30 days as well.

Visit website above or see our ESET review.

Step-by-step guide to installing a free Chromebook supported antivirus

Since Chromebook OS comes with an experience much like that of using an Android tablet, the steps of installing software are also similar. So, if you want to install a paid or free antivirus, here are the steps you can follow for the easiest experience:

1.     Select the app and locate it in Google Play Store

First, we need to select the application of Chromebook antivirus. Some providers have an Android application available on the Google Play Store, while others require you to download it from the web. The ones available in the Google Play Store are better, considering their easy installation and reliability of coming from a source.

2.     Download and install

Search for the application and click Download. It will only take a few seconds to download the application on Chromebook. Now, the application will be installed on Chromebook.

3.     Open the App and finish the setup process.

Installing antivirus for Chromebook isn’t done yet. We need to open the application after it installs to finish the installation process.

4.     Log in and set up any additional features.

Now, we either sign up or log in with our previous account with that platform. It will enable usage of the free and premium features. By using our account, we can also set up any additional features according to the requirements.

Reasons why you must avoid free antivirus on Chromebook

A free antivirus on Chromebook may seem to be a steal deal, considering you get protection for your device without having to pay anything. However, you may still be compromised by several means. It is because antivirus providers design their free versions with limited safety features. Most of the useful features are only available in the premium versions.

So, if you want to stay away from such an experience, here are some reasons why a free antivirus for Chrome must be avoided.

1. Limited malware protection

A free antivirus does provide basic protection from viruses and threats, but they are not that powerful and reliable. Sometimes, the antivirus may not be powerful enough to deal with sophisticated threats, which can leave your system unprotected against threats. Zero-day threat identification, ATP protection, and ransomware protection are some features that are not available in the best Chromebook antivirus if you go with the free plan.

2. Irritating ads appear frequently

When you go for free antivirus software for Chromebook, most of the time, you get an Android application from the Google Play Store. The issue with these apps is that they show a lot of ads. You might be scanning your device, and the application will show an ad midway. Some applications require you to watch ads to gain free scans, while some apps always show ads on specific areas of the screen.

3.     Restrictions on premium features

It is a common problem for free antivirus to restrict users from premium features. These apps are available with limited features, and sometimes even the essential facilities are not available. The most common functionalities that are limited for premium users include:

  • Firewall protection
  • Advanced protection
  • Real-time scanning

It means that the protection you get from the free version is not completely protecting your device.

4.     Bad customer support experience

Good customer support experience is often prioritized for paying customers. For example, if a company provides a ticketing-based customer support experience, the tickets of premium users may get a higher priority over free users. That may not be the case with every company, but it is a common thing for free antivirus to have slow and unresponsive customer support experience.

5. No security guarantees

Even when an antivirus is found to detect and remove over 99% of malware on a device, if you go for the free antivirus version, you may not get any of those guarantees. It is because the company may face legal issues if a customer sues them for bad performance. So, they do not provide any performance assurance, always leaving room for mistakes by the tool.

6. Bad hardware optimization

Bad hardware optimization is another issue with free Chromebook supported antivirus. Chromebooks do not come with the most powerful hardware in the laptop world since these are not performance-oriented. However, when an antivirus is not optimized to perform well on less hardware, it may make the performance of your Chromebook bad. This way, the security from that antivirus comes at the price of your device’s performance.

7. No frequent updates

If we compare a paid and a free antivirus on Chromebook, the paid ones will get updates more frequently. It is because companies don’t leave any room for mistakes in their paid version. So, every little loophole in the tool is resolved with frequent updates. Meanwhile, the free versions only get an update every once in a while.

Reasons Why Premium Antiviruses for Chromebook are The Best

Now that you know the potential consequences of using free antivirus, there are several reasons why using a premium antivirus will be a better choice. Here are a few reasons for picking premium ones instead of a free Chromebook antivirus.

1.     Comprehensive protection from all types of attacks

Going for a paid option instead of free antivirus ensures comprehensive protection. When you use a paid tool, it comes with all types of protection, scanning, and checks, so no existing threats are left, and the new ones are not allowed to impact your device.

2.     Real-time protection through scanning

The well-optimized paid antivirus software provides real-time protection through continuous scanning. Even when they are continuously running, they do not consume a lot of hardware resources like the free antivirus . Thus, the performance of your device is maintained without compromising on security.

3.     Both offline and online protection

Getting a paid antivirus instead of a free antivirus brings both online and offline protection. The offline protection scans your device for available malware and removes it. Meanwhile, online protection helps against:

  • Network threats
  • Phishing sites
  • ID theft
  • Payment and card frauds
  • Email viruses
  • Suspicious file downloads, etc.

Hence, the chances of security vulnerability decrease.

4.     Security guaranteed

Paid antivirus is the best antivirus for Chromebook since you get a guarantee about performance. Companies are going the extra mile to ensure that your device is free from all types of malware. It adds a layer of reassurance shown by the confidence of antivirus companies in the performance of their product.

5.     Great customer support experience

The customer support experience with paid antivirus is always better. The premium tools provide multiple options for contacting them. Moreover, the customer support service is available 24/7. Hence, whenever you counter a problem, you can get it resolved as soon as possible.

6.     Premium antiviruses come for all devices

When you get a free antivirus, you may not get the account to work on other devices, including computers and smartphones. However, premium antiviruses work for all devices. They have dedicated applications available for multiple operating systems and platforms, so all your devices are under complete protection.

7.     Advanced security features bundled with the best antivirus for chromebook

To decide what is the best antivirus for Chromebook, you must look for advanced security features. While all of them are not available with the free plan, premium versions have the most advanced security features. In fact, some of them come as add-ons like:

  • VPN
  • Password managers
  • Extensions
  • Firewall enhancement
  • Parental control
  • Network protection, etc.

With these advanced features, the chances of getting your security compromised due to free antivirus software for Chromebook are minimized.

Final Remarks

Chromebooks run on ChromeOS, which is designed differently than other common operating systems. Qualities like not running .exe files and executing every application in a different container protect the system to a certain extent, but that does not make the system 100% secure. That’s the reason why using paid or free antivirus for Chromebook has become essential.

It does not matter whether you are using this device for work, education, or entertainment. If your device is not protected by antivirus for Chromebook, it will always be at risk of getting infected. So, you can use the tips and guide above to find the best free antivirus Chromebook option and install it on your device. This way, your data will be secure, and the performance of your device will not drastically decrease.

Best Chromebook Antivirus  Roundup

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Jason Turtoga

About the Author

Jason Turtoga is a full-time digital marketer, a blogger, and affiliate marketing expert with 10 years of experience. Before starting this blog, Jason managed a small digital marketing team for a large number of affiliate, SaaS and product review blogs.

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