There is no question about the quality of a Chromebook. As a matter of fact, it is one of the highly praised options out there, with one of its positive points being well-optimized. This laptop operates on Chrome Operating System, one that is based on Linux. Despite the fact that Chromebooks are known for their speedy performance and the availability of app selections for users, security is one of the foremost concerns among many users. For quite some time now, rumors and talks about the level of security of Chromebook have circulated the web.
Top 5 Antivirus Software for Chromebook
According to experts, their Operating System is the most secure out there, while others claim that it is actually vulnerable, especially because Chromebook does not require the presence of antiviruses. This myth, however, is fading away quite slowly. While there is truth to the idea that Chromebook can survive without installing antivirus software, reality dictates that it will only do so for a while. Just like other Operating Systems, installing your Chromebook with any antivirus is a good idea. The thing, though, is that there are several out there these days, making the selection process quite hard. To help you out make a sound choice, the list below contains the top free antivirus apps for Chromebook.
Short of Time? See Our Top 5 for September, 2021
1. Malwarebytes – Privacy Protection Guaranteed
2. Bitdefender – VPN Service Built-In
3. TotalAV – Wide Range of Coverage Against Viruses
4. Avira – Ransomware Protection Genius
5. ESET – Best Deal for Newbies
4 Reasons Why You Need an Antivirus for Chromebook?
🥇1. Malwarebytes – Our Best Pick for September, 2021
MalwareBytes Top Features
Malwarebytes at a Glance
Malwarebytes recently announced that this app can now be used on Chromebook. It offers reliable protection against adware and malware. If you require extra security for your Chromebook, Malwarebytes is the best option. It features built-in Chromebook security, adding an extra thrust to your protection via thorough scanning and a heuristic approach to artificial intelligence scanning.
Malwarebytes use virus signatures in identifying unknown threats. These signatures have been time-tested. This only means that it explicitly focuses on real viruses that other users have already encountered. Even though the software includes some signatures and malware, they are only limited to certain active threats. This further allows this antivirus to leave a smaller footprint since there is not much signature database that will consume the space on your Chromebook.
One thing interesting about Malwarebytes is that it does not mainly depend on virus signatures. However, it uses its own heuristic analysis, checking into a program’s structure, behavior, as well as other factors that determines whether it is a legitimate program or malware. Another reason for choosing Malwarebytes is that it comes with a privacy audit feature. It allows you to have access to every app on your Chromebook.
As you initiate this feature, the software will then provide you with a list of permissions along with specific data on which apps can specifically control your hardware, have access to your network, track location, or which have actually granted permission. You also have the option to uninstall apps that you think are offensive or revoke their permissions. To learn more about Malwarebytes for Chrome, please check our product review & comparison written by our antivirus-app experts.
🥈2. Bitdefender – VPN Service Built-In
BitDefender Top Features
Bitdefender Quick Overview
A reason why Bitdefender made it to the list of the best free antivirus apps for Chromebook is that it offers good features, both for the free and the paid versions. One of the features in this app is a built-in VPN, which is accessible in both versions. It also uses the servers and services of AnchorFree while keeping its own security.
The built-in VPN function for Bitdefender is a rebranded version of the Famous Hotspot Shield Elite VPN. This feature provides up to 200MB of free traffic daily. On the other hand, the premium version has a VPN which allows you to choose the locations from all over the world with its unlimited bandwidth. This antivirus app also offers high-end protection from malware. This is done through a monitoring feature that alerts you the moment that your email is exposed to a data breach. It also has an autopilot feature that enables you to patch holes in security.
This app also runs a number of programs via a secure environment in order to make sure that they function normally, and then release it as a standard part of the Chromebook so that you can confidently use it without worrying it to be malicious and questionable. If you are planning to upgrade to the paid version, you can expect to have access to some useful tools for adware removal. It can be installed to up to 3 Chromebooks. You can also take advantage of features such as a vulnerability scanner, password manager, and a secure browser.
🥉3. TotalAV – Wide Range of Coverage Against Viruses
TotalAV is recognized as one of the most dependable cybersecurity companies these days. Their products get high marks from test laboratories. They also top this list of the best free antivirus apps for Chromebook because of its enhanced malware detection features, alongside other valuable security tools. This antivirus also comes with a free version that can be tested without the need to pay any upfront subscription fee.
A benefit of having TotalAV as your antivirus app for Chromebook, is that it offers different levels of protection. Among the features that are offered include online shopping protection, regular scans for antiviruses, heuristic monitoring and ransomware protection, or even a firewall and web browsing security.
Every threat possible on Chromebook is covered by TotalAV. From antiphishing and antimalware protection to virus and worm control, TotalAV is an amazing choice. The best part about this app is that it will only have a minimum impact on the operations of your system, even when completing a full scan. At the same time, the Android products of TotalAV are robust and highly regarded because of performance. This software also utilizes a real-time scanner in order to stamp out malware right at the point of entry.
TotalAV Top Features
Avira – Ransomware Protection Genius
Another name that is popular in the cybersecurity industry is Avira. This antivirus software is an excellent security product that has been added to this list, thanks to its built-in protection for ransomware. Aside from the capacity to scan local files, apps, and external devices for malware, this built-in ransomware also protects you against devastating attacks. Avira even has an Android app that is also compatible with Chromebook.
If you are storing important data on your Chromebook and are concerned about being a victim of ransomware exposure, it is recommended that you synchronize your data automatically to your Google Drive. By doing so, the ransomware protection of Avira prevents malware from easily encrypting your information and possibly extorting you to pay for a decryption key.
Another feature of Avira is the excellent malware scanner, which provides protection in real-time, protecting your identity by means of tracking data breaches for your information. It also rates the app automatically depending on the privacy concerns. Avira has been considered as being among those few vendors that use a sensor network is backed up by an international base of customers. This helps in detecting threats the moment that they surface in the world every day, in real-time.
The network is composed of malware scanning and local machine learning and is found in the midst of a cloud-based security scanning feature. About 200 thousand potentially suspicious or unknown files are being uploaded every day to this cloud-based security service. The web protection feature of Avira is a bonus. This feature provides reasonable protection by blocking potential access to suspicious sites, blocking questionable links, and even highlighting risky results in search engines.
Avira Top Features
ESET Antivirus – Best Deal for Newbies
The ESET antivirus app is described as the best option for beginners, thanks to its easy-to-navigate and very intuitive interface. Some programs for Chromebook are only limited to a certain portrait mode, one that is usually designed for mobile devices. However, ESET works in breaking such a limitation through its full-screen experience, which is easy to use. One of its features is the real-time malware protection option. Similar to the features of other products under this name, this antivirus app depends on NOD32, which uses both signature detection of viruses and advanced heuristics in detecting emergent threats in the Smart Security Premium.
ESET works by hunting down malware and viruses with a cloud-based file reputation service. This feature provides the assurance that the virus signatures are updated all the time. It analyzes the files on the Chromebook, as well as the downloaded ones, checking for similarities with known viruses. This software can look for infected files. Then, either it removes the files, or cut the code if other solutions are not possible. Aside from a very dependable malware scanner, this app also features other interesting inclusions. For example, it comes with a network scanner that checks for vulnerabilities on the WiFi network, antiphishing features, anti-theft features, and others that provide the necessary protection against malicious websites. It also has a security audit feature that checks all apps.
ESET Top Features
How to Choose the Best Free Chromebook Antivirus
While it is true that Chromebook is a very secure laptop, which means that it may not require third-party antivirus apps for protection, there is no harm in installing one on the Chrome OS. When selecting an antivirus app for Chromebook, there are things that need to be taken into consideration. Here are some of them:
Files that are accessible for download coming from the internet may be infested with viruses and other elements that could be dangerous to the system. Therefore, it is best to have an antivirus app that provides scanning upon file download.
Another feature that should be included in your chosen antivirus app is email scanning. This will help your computer from accidentally having its hard disk wiped out while preventing your data from being exposed to privy eyes.
Speed and Performance
Speed and performance also need to be taken into consideration. Any kind of software that features a quick scan or a speedy scan will do if you need to do a scan in the fastest way possible. This is very convenient, particularly if you are not the type who spends a huge amount of time using your laptop.
Our Top Pick
Chromebooks are pretty secured thanks to their in-built protection against viruses and malware. If you feel like you need an additional layer of security for your Chromebook, browse through our carefully researched list of the most suitable solutions for the job. We recommend considering a second layer of security because in-built security for any device, whether it’s a Chromebook or not, is not the best way to secure your device. There’s always a level of risk you should be aware of. If you opt for a Chromebook antivirus, you’re reducing this risk as much as possible. As a top pick, we can definitely recommend Malwarebytes.