Chromebooks have grown in popularity since their release in 2011, becoming the go-to option for many remote workers, educators, and students alike. Being more affordable than traditional laptops but still as reliable, they're all but the perfect device for most users. They even come with better malware protection than most Windows and macOS devices.
However, just because they have increased security doesn't mean they're completely impervious to malicious programs. If you want to ensure that your device is safe and sound at all times, you'll need to get yourself the best free antivirus for Chromebook.
You'll have a wide selection to choose from, but this list will ensure that you get only the best of the best. Take a look.
In this article
Why It's Important to Get a Good Antivirus for Chromebook
ChromeOS is generally considered one of the most secure operating systems, but it's still possible for your ChromeOS device to fall victim to malware.
If you download apps from third-party providers (outside the Google Store), use unreliable Chrome extensions, or frequently visit unsecured websites, your Chromebook can quickly start having issues with malware.
Perhaps the biggest threat to Chromebook users, however, is phishing. Technically a result of human error, phishing scams are becoming more sophisticated by the day. If you fall for them, you could accidentally damage your device by installing malicious software that could monitor your activity, steal sensitive information, and cause your Chromebook to misbehave.
It's because of these risks that you need to start using free virus protection for your Chromebook.
How to Select Free Virus Protection for Chromebook
When choosing a free antivirus for your Chromebook, there are several factors you'll need to consider to ensure that you get the best protection possible. Here's a brief overview of what you'll need to remember:
- Detection rates – detection rates refer to how good an antivirus is at detecting and removing malware. The higher the detection rates, the better;
- Usability – an antivirus that slows down your Chromebook as it's running will only cause problems. Look for those solutions that minimally impact your device performance and ensure greater usability;
- Overall reliability – reliable software that can catch threats in real time and that can detect different kinds of malware (viruses, worms, ransomware, etc.) should always be your priority;
- Bonus features – a free antivirus for Chrome that comes with additional features such as firewall protection or cybercrime protection is always beneficial;
- Ease of use – software with easy navigation, an intuitive interface, and an overall user-friendly design will make your life much easier in the long run and improve your online security.
In addition to these major factors, you should also consider the responsiveness of the support teams, as you'll need their help if anything goes wrong.
You should always check out user reviews before making a decision since they can tell you more about how helpful support teams are and inform you about the software's overall performance.
Best Free Antivirus for Chromebook
|🥇Top 1: TotalAV
|Antivirus Pro – €2.41/month for the first 12 months; Internet Security – €3.25/month for the first 12 months; Total Security – €4.98/month for the first 12 months;
|All-around online protection
|Avira Antivirus Pro – €1.41/month for the first 12 months (approximately $1.51/month).
|🥉Top3: Surfshark One
|Protecting against privacy threats
|Surfshark One – $4.09/month for the first 12 months; Surfshark One Plus – $6.49/month for the first 12 months.
Surfshark One offers a comprehensive security suite for your Chromebook, complete with an antivirus, ad blocker, VPN, cookie pop-up blocker, and its own private search engine. For such wide functionality, it's surprisingly lightweight, enabling your Chromebook to keep running smoothly even during deep scans.
While it's not technically a free virus protection Chromebook, it does have affordable pricing that offers excellent security without forcing you to break the bank.
Pros & Cons
Protecting against privacy threats.
Some of Surfshark One's key features include:
- Private search engine;
- Webcam protection;
- Personal data security reports;
- Real-time breach alerts.
Who Should Use it
As a general rule of thumb, Surfshark One is ideal for those who want comprehensive protection at affordable prices.
Surfshark One antivirus has two different pricing plans with unique deals for 12-month and 24-month subscriptions:
- Surfshark One (12-month plan) – $4.09/month for the first 12 months;
- Surfshark One (24-month plan) – $2.69/month for the first 28 months;
- Surfshark One Plus (12-month plan) – $6.49/month for the first 12 months;
- Surfshark One Plus (24-month plan) – $3.99/month for the first 29 months.
You'll also get a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you don't like everything that Surfshark One has to offer, you can easily cancel the plan before the end of the month.
Bitdefender is among the most popular ChromeOS antivirus options you can get for free. You'll need to download its Android app, which you can use without issues with your device. It has high detection rates and comprehensive protection against malware of all kinds.
Whether you're worried about phishing, ransomware, or anything in between, you can enjoy some peace of mind with Bitdefender on your Chromebook.
Pros & Cons:
Protecting against all malware threats.
Some of Bitdefender's key features include:
- Cloud scanning;
- Bonus VPN;
- Web protection;
- Instant threat detection;
- Improved online privacy.
Who Should Use it
Bitdefender is best suited for Android and Chromebook users.
Bitdefender's basic Android and Chromebook antivirus is completely free. However, if you want more functionality, you can upgrade to Bitdefender Total Security:
- Bitdefender Total Security (5 devices) – €4.95/month for the first 12 months (approximately $5.29/month).
With Total Security, you'll get coverage for all popular operating systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and ChromeOS.
Avira might be the best overall antivirus solution for Chromebooks. It has everything you need – a generous free plan, powerful features, advanced malware detection tech, and more.
It even offers its proprietary tech for malware scanning to other antivirus developers.
It's cloud-based, so your Chromebook won't be affected by Avira running in the background. You can easily perform any task or process without noticing Avira is even active.
Pros & Cons:
All-around online protection.
Some of Avira's key features include:
- Malware protection;
- Hacking protection;
- Theft prevention;
- Email breach scanner;
- Microphone and camera protection.
Who Should Use it
Avira is best for those who need malware protection with a reliable VPN.
Avira has generous free virus protection for Chrome, but if you want to get more from it, you can upgrade to its paid plan:
- Avira Antivirus Pro – €1.41/month for the first 12 months (approximately $1.51/month).
The pricing will be more expensive if you need coverage for multiple devices.
If you need a free virus scan for Chromebook that comes with powerful features and capabilities, TotalAV is the way to go. It's affordable yet robust, with excellent detection rates and advanced online and offline protection.
It protects against viruses and zero-day threats and lets you browse web pages and download content securely.
Pros & Cons:
Some of TotalAV's key features include:
- System tune-up;
- Data breach monitoring;
- Smart scans;
- Real time protection;
- Unlimited VPN bandwidth (with paid plans).
Who Should Use it
TotalAV is best for those who need family account sharing.
In addition to its free plan, TotalAV offers three additional pricing plans:
- Antivirus Pro – €2.41/month for the first 12 months (approximately $2.58/month);
- Internet Security – €3.25/month for the first 12 months (approximately $3.48/month);
- Total Security – €4.98/month for the first 12 months (approximately $5.33/month).
The plans offer coverage for 3, 5, and 6 devices, respectively.
Last but certainly not least, we have Avast. One of the most popular antivirus solutions for all device and OS types, it offers excellent protection for your Chromebook. It also has a free browser extension you could use instead of downloading the app from the Google Play Store.
It's a bit heavier on your Chromebook than some other free virus protection solutions for ChromeOS, but it still delivers outstanding performance with high detection rates.
Pros & Cons:
Basic protection of your Chromebook.
Some of the key Avast features include:
- Malicious app detection before installation;
- Network security verification;
- Sensitive Image name flagging/blocking;
- Notifications about password leaks.
Who Should Use it
Avast is best for price-conscious consumers as its free version is quite robust.
Avas has a pretty generous free antivirus software for Chromebook. Still, if you want to unlock more features, you'll need to upgrade to one of its paid plans:
- Avast Premium Security – $4.16/month for the first 12 months (10 devices);
- Avast Ultimate – $6.66/month for the first 12 months (10 devices).
Comparison of the Best Free Chromebook Antivirus: Pricing Plans & Specs
|Malware Detection Rating
[Bonus] How to Recover Chromebook Data if it Gets Lost Because of a Virus
Whether you use an antivirus for Chromebook (free or paid), it's still possible for your device to get infected with malware – most commonly due to human error. After all, even the best antivirus software can't protect your device if you download malicious programs.
If a computer virus leads to data loss on your Chromebook, you'll need the help of Wondershare Recover It to get it back.
Recoverit can retrieve all file formats in a matter of seconds, regardless of the cause of their data loss – a virus infestation or anything else. Here are the easy-to-follow steps:
- Install Recoverit on your Chromebook and head to Hard Drives and Locations;
- Select a location to start your scan;
- Recoverit will automatically start scanning the location;
- Preview recoverable files after scanning;
- Click Recover to get your files back.
It's always a good idea to have recovery software like Wondershare Recoverit installed on all your devices as you'll always have a fast and efficient way to get your essential files back after a scenario such as a virus attack.
While Chromebook is generally considered safer than traditional laptops, it still needs additional layers of protection against malware and viruses. Any of the antivirus solutions included in our list will help up the ante on your online and offline security. Moreover, Wondershare Recoverit will have your back even when these antiviruses aren't enough to protect your vital files.