By buying a Chromebook for personal or enterprise use, you’re entering a world teeming with stability, smoothness, and lightning-quick speeds. In addition, Chrome OS is generally regarded as sleek and minimally adorned, which takes out the unnecessary clutter and provides a surprisingly efficient operating system that you can use on a day-to-day basis for getting work done.
One of the most touted features of Chromebooks is how they are exceedingly secure laptops. We’ve covered an article explaining how Chrome OS keeps safe from viruses and what methodologies are implemented for that to be done, so be sure to check that out for detailed information on this topic.
Considering how proactive these devices are in terms of security, there’s a bevy of other factors that can still make your Chromebook vulnerable to malicious content. These include phishing scams, fake third-party applications, and Chrome extensions. In those cases, it’s probably for the best that you scan your Chromebook for malware from time to time, but not all antivirus software is up to the task for this arduous job. In this article, we will list down the top 5 free antivirus software for Chromebooks to guarantee your operating system never bows down in the face of hackers. Let’s begin.
The best antivirus software to get for Chrome OS
1. Malwarebytes Security
The first entry on the list is the all-powerful Malwarebytes Security known to get rid of malware and other malicious content from your device like no other. It comprises a boatload of features and is fully equipped to handle all the evil baddies you could encounter online. This includes ransomware, Trojans, viruses, and more. Although Malwarebytes Security falls in the premium range of antivirus software, its free-to-use features are capable enough to handle your basic protection requirements. If you would like the assortment of advanced features that Malwarebytes offers, you will have to opt for one of its paid plans, either monthly or yearly. The latter is cheaper and will set you back for about $12 per year. However, we highly recommend purchasing the annual plan for more protection and other functions that enhance the user experience.
Malwarebytes Security can easily be installed on your Chromebook through the Google Play Store. Most modern-day Chrome OS laptops come with this functionality, opening the door to the world of Android applications and games for Chromebooks. When writing this article, Malwarebytes Security has over 10 million downloads and a remarkable 4.7/5.0 overall rating, so you’re definitely making the right decision to get this antivirus software, as several other people have. According to reviews of users who have tried Malwarebytes, this antivirus is nothing short of brilliant. It gets the job done in due time and never slows the system down, unlike other poorly-built software. Furthermore, due to the courtesy of Chrome OS optimization, this application runs like a charm and offers you features like freeing RAM, malware prevention, and privacy control. As far as free antivirus software is concerned, Malwarebytes Security does a lot more than suffice.
2. Avast Antivirus
Avast Antivirus is a big name in the computing world. It’s an exceedingly popular desktop-oriented antivirus software that takes care of more complex operating systems than Chrome OS, such as Windows and macOS. Now that the Google Play Store allows Chromebook users to download and use Avast painlessly, the game has just got a lot harder for all those who would try to hack your device. Avast is highly reputed because of the features it entails within its interface. Chrome OS is famous for incorporating an isolated sandbox environment which makes it impossible for viruses or malware to become malignant and affect other areas of the operating system other than the Chrome tab, application, or extension where it was contracted. This containment method makes Chrome OS stay at the top of its game, which is exactly the ideology of Avast.
Avast Antivirus has another feature called “Browser Cleanup” that scans Google Chrome for unwanted extensions and other processes that you have not used for a considerable period of time. It, therefore, strategizes to clear up space and free RAM on your Chromebook to maintain performance levels and never let your device slow down. The Automatic Software Updater of Avast Antivirus is quite possibly the best feature that this application has to offer. It allows Avast to check your installed applications for updates consistently. When it detects that there is one available, it commences the process automatically while saving your time and minimizing the security risks. As mentioned earlier, you can download Avast from the Google Play Store without any complications. At the time of writing, it boasts over 100 million downloads, far more than Malwarebytes Security. So get Avast on your Chromebook and bid farewell to your days of malware-driven worries.
3. AVG Antivirus
AVG Antivirus is what millions of people have been using ever since they got their PC. The long-standing era of this application dates back to its release, which happened more than two decades ago. Presently, AVG still marks an outstanding impression due to the benevolence of its high-end features, smooth operation, and profound stability. In terms of value for money, there’s no topping AVG Antivirus. You would have to pay a monthly or yearly fee for premium-grade features in other antivirus software, but that’s not the case with AVG. Top-of-the-line functionality that includes App Lock, Wi-Fi Security Scan, Photo Vault, and Hack Alerts costs not even a single dime. Apart from just being an antivirus software, AVG goes out of its way and brings much more to the table. For instance, you get to check your Wi-Fi’s upload and download speed and use the built-in VPN to browse with anonymity.
Not only can you scan your Chromebook’s applications, games, files, and other data in real-time for malware, adware, or everything similar, you can also receive alerts if your passwords get leaked out somehow. At the time of writing this article, AVG Antivirus boasts more than 100 million downloads on the Google Play Store and over 7 million reviews in which most lie on the positive end. It takes up less than 30 MB of storage, so don’t worry yourself about any performance lags or system hanging in the wake of installing this application. AVG Antivirus is something that a plethora of people can vouch for, as you’ve understood by now. It’s optimized for use on Chrome OS, and you can effortlessly install it on your device and enjoy stellar protection from malware consistently. One of the best parts is that AVG’s most sought-after features are absolutely free, thereby giving you a sense of security that you won’t be paying for anything once you’ve got AVG on your side.
4. Avira Antivirus
Some call Avira the best antivirus software out there, but that is purely up to you to decide. People in the same boat as you, looking for high-quality yet free software to help steer clear of malicious content, took their faith in this application and found out to be working quite well. The sole reason that this is true is that Avira Antivirus has been out for a long while now. It’s been subject to constant improvements and new additions, thereby making it the antivirus software it is today. Users who have tried the paid version of the app have been simply amazed at the breadth of functionality offered by Avira, which is why millions of customers have it as their go-to antivirus software. Avira comprises App Lock, Free VPN, System Optimizer, and Identity Protection to talk about some of its popular features. Apart from much more, all of these are totally free, although some restrictions do apply, such as the daily limit of the built-in VPN is merely 100 MB.
In addition to that, Avira has a feature called Privacy Advisor that shows you what applications are demanding permissions from your system. If you catch an app trying to access something, it’s not supposed to. You can deal with it right away. At the time of writing this article, Avira has more than 10 million downloads on the Google Play Store and a 4.6/5.0 overall rating, which should give you an idea of this antivirus’s credibility. Avira tends to operate silently as a background process while you use your Chromebook. It’s fairly lightweight and won’t hinder your usual experience with your device, not even downloads. Some users have labeled it to have an aesthetically pleasing design as well. It’s stupid easy to use, and the number of tools it’s packing for your device’s protection is no less than pure delight. We highly recommend that you try it at least once on your Chrome OS laptop.
5. Bitdefender Antivirus Free
If you’re looking for completely barebones antivirus software for your Chromebook that scans your whole device for spyware or other forms of viruses, we recommend Bitdefender Antivirus. It’s an extremely lightweight application and takes utilizes lesser than 10 MB of your storage. You install it on your laptop using the Google Play Store, launch it using your Chromebook Launcher, permit it to access your storage, and run the scan – that’s it. There’s no set of advanced features or anything like that, and that is why we think something similar to this kind of functionality should be given a shot on your Chromebook, especially if it’s a lower-end model. Therefore, this app has been made incredibly light and super fast.
Since not all people have top-notch Chromebooks, antivirus software like Bitdefender could come in handy. At the time of writing this article, it has over 5 million downloads on the Play Store and a 4.7/5.0 overall rating. Its hassle-free operation has led it to become the people’s favorite. Whenever you launch it and scan your Chrome OS using its Autopilot technology, the defense for your device goes live, and the Bitdefender symbol starts to appear on the Status Tray of your Chromebook, which is located in the bottom-right corner. That means that your device has a protective shield around it now, and any malware attempting to head its way will be denied vigorously. Bitdefender is a popular antivirus solution on Windows and other operating systems as well, so make sure you’re getting the free edition from the Play Store and nowhere else.
Bonus entry: ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus
While ESET Antivirus might not come off as totally free, we couldn’t go about it without mentioning it on this list. ESET gives you a 30-day trial of the premium version of the application, where it lets you enjoy all the deluxe-class features it has up its sleeve. However, it does have quite a collection of free features, such as real-time scanning, on-the-go USB scanning, real-time reports of malware, activity logs, and antivirus functionality. If you decide to dole out some money and purchase ESET’s paid version, you’re in for state-of-the-art features such as Payment Protection that keep your payment methods secure and always under the relentless shield of ESET. It’s a world of online banking, and many people have set their credit cards up to shop online and transfer money. ESET goes out of its way in cases like those and keeps your credentials safe and sound from ransomware.
ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus has over 10 million downloads on the Google Play Store currently, and more and more people are opting for it each day. Furthermore, it boasts a 4.8/5.0 overall rating and an immense number of appreciative reviews. A genuinely nifty feature in this application lets you schedule your scan times based on what you do. For example, plugging in your charger can trigger ESET to scan your computer. This will keep your forgetfulness at bay and will keep your Chromebook’s protection levels to a high standard. Last but not least, purchasing the premium plan will land all the features of ESET on more of your devices if you have them. People don’t usually hesitate to purchase ESET’s premium version as they can easily protect the rest of their family members’ devices.
Chromebooks and top-tier native security go hand in hand, but even the best of us aren’t entirely perfect. While you can breathe a lot easier on Chrome OS in terms of malware invasions, it’s a great idea to have an antivirus installed on your device before any unfortunate event. Ransomware attacks are presently on the rise on Windows and other operating systems, so having an antivirus is bound to maximize your protection and double down on a Chromebook’s already-polished capabilities.
In this article, we’ve shown you the top 5 free antivirus software that you can download right now on Chrome OS. Since all of them can be easily grabbed from the Google Play Store, you should have no problem during the installation process. With that being said, we truly stress that you give each of them a try to find out what suits your requirements the best. Chrome Ready wishes you good luck!