To help you stay safe, I tested 40+ antivirus apps and narrowed them down to the top 5 for maximum protection on Chromebook. If you’re looking for a quick answer, I found Norton Mobile Security to be the best Chromebook antivirus in 2023. Despite the affordable price, Norton’s app scanner and the browser extension are highly effective against phishing scams and network threats. There’s even a bonus VPN. You can try Norton risk-free on a Chromebook with its 60-day money-back guarantee. Try Norton risk-free on Chromebook

Quick Guide: 5 Best Antivirus Software for Chromebook in 2023

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The Best Antivirus Software for Chromebook — Full Test Results in January 2023

1. Norton Mobile Security — #1 Chromebook Antivirus With Advanced Protective Features

Key Features: Norton is the best antivirus for Chromebooks, with multiple useful tools to defend ChromeOS from various threats. It has a powerful app scanner, a browser scanner to detect phishing attempts, and a security report that gives you recommendations on general device security. You can choose multiple scan types for Chromebooks, including a full app and a WiFi scanner. The app scanner checks apps and extensions before they install to ensure they’re authentic and don’t contain spyware or trackers, but it can also check apps already installed. During my tests, Norton took under a minute to check the apps on my device (almost 64GB). I didn’t notice any slowdown while it was active. The WiFi scanner is an essential feature if you frequently connect to WiFi in cafés or other public places. Norton’s security overview tells you how to improve device security. When I tested this, Norton pointed out that one of the apps I had installed had requested excessive permissions, which I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Additionally, Norton includes the following security features:

Device Report Card — Monthly analysis of scanned WiFi networks, websites, dangerous apps, and overall vulnerabilities. Adware App Advisor — Warns you if apps include intrusive adware before downloading from Google Play. Antiphishing Browser Protection — Securely loads websites to protect against phishing scams. Interactive Privacy Map — Shows you roughly where apps are sending your data and media around the world.

Finally, the integrated VPN gives you access to 30 server locations. I tested these and reached average speeds of 90Mbps with local servers. If you’re traveling abroad, Norton’s VPN servers can even help you access your home Netflix library. Unfortunately, I found the VPN particularly slow with some distant servers like Australia (just 12Mbps). However, I rarely connect to regions this far away anyway. Security-wise it’s a good choice though, with cutting-edge encryption and a no-logs policy to keep your data secure, plus ad blocking for an enhanced browsing experience. While Norton Mobile Security is a great product, you’ll find much better value if you opt for the Norton 360 Deluxe package instead. This plan not only provides all the benefits of Norton Mobile Security but coverage for multiple devices in your home, including desktop computers and malware protection for iOS. You’ll also get extra features like the aforementioned VPN, cloud storage, password manager, parental controls, and more. If you opt for one of the more expensive LifeLock plans, you’ll also get access to Dark Web Monitoring, live credit report monitoring, and more. Norton is then constantly on the lookout for your details on the Dark Web and will alert you if anything is found. It also protects you against fraud or theft of your financial details or cards. It’s not necessary to keep your Chromebook secure, but good for additional peace of mind. See for yourself and try Norton Mobile Security risk-free for 60 days with its money-back guarantee. I tested this by requesting a refund after using the service for 2 weeks. It took less than 5 minutes by live chat, and the support agent approved the refund without asking any questions. I received the money back within 5 days. Try Norton risk-free for 60 days

2. McAfee Mobile Security — Remote Device Theft Dashboard for Easier Chromebook Recovery

Key Features: McAfee’s Chromebook app offers remote anti-theft tools to help you recover your device. You can leave a message on the device’s screen with information on how to return it. If recovery seems impossible, you can remotely wipe all the data. This useful feature allows you to keep your Chromebook’s private data safe at all times. When it comes to blocking harmful files, you can choose from 2 scan types: Advanced scan (scans apps for malicious code) and privacy scan (gives you insight into app permissions). When I tested the scans, I could either remove any harmful files through McAfee or set up an alert so I would be informed of any app permission changes. In a digital world where our privacy is increasingly breached in various ways, this is a feature I was really happy to see. McAfee’s Safe Browsing tool is most important for keeping you safe online. It protects you from websites that attempt to download malware or push unwelcome apps to your device. I’m a fan of this being baked right into McAfee, instead of it being an additional extension which is often the case. Some other security features include:

Identity Monitoring — Alerts you in case personal info like your phone number, emails, social security number (if in the US), and more are found in breaches. VPN — Encrypts your connection so you can browse more safely and anonymously.

WiFi Scan is another passive security measure that’s true to its name and a welcome feature that I make frequent use of while traveling. It simply scans networks in your surroundings and notifies you of those that are unsecured. It can even alert you if a network in the range is currently being subjected to an attack so you can steer clear. The cheapest plan is the Basic plan with support for 1 device alongside malware scanning, and basic email and identity monitoring for $29.99 per year. Total Protection costs twice as much, but includes a VPN and increases support to 5 devices. Unfortunately, my main issue with McAfee is its slow VPN, so if you really need a VPN you’re better served with Norton (or you can check our other top antiviruses with a VPN). If not, the Basic plan should have you covered with its other features. I recommend you try McAfee risk-free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee (for subscriptions longer than 1 month). Unfortunately, there’s no easy refund contact option. Instead, I had to request a phone call from the support line to do this. Thankfully I got the call about 10 minutes later and the overall process took another 5 to 10 minutes to be finalized. Try McAfee risk-free for 30 days

3. TotalAV Antivirus & VPN — WebShield for Chromebook Defends Against Malicious Websites

Key Features: TotalAV’s Chromebook app comes with its WebShield extension that integrates with your browser to ensure the websites you visit aren’t dangerous. It has an expanding database of known malicious URLs that it blocks as soon as you visit them. TotalAV protected me from a site containing phishing scams when I tested this myself. As phishing scams are a major threat to your online safety while using a Chromebook, I was really impressed with the addition of this feature. I found TotalAV’s integrated VPN perfect for browsing the internet anonymously. It even works with Netflix US, Disney+, Hulu, and HBO Max. This was a surprise since I’m used to antiviruses coming with low-quality VPNs. As a bonus, you also get unlimited data with TotalAV’s paid plans. Better yet, it’s lightning-fast and I could easily watch 4K streams, alongside browsing and downloading at high speeds. You can use TotalAV’s PIN lock feature to add a password to any app, which is beneficial for physical security if your device is stolen. It can also be great if you share a device or you’re worried about others spying on your data. Unfortunately, TotalAV has no anti-theft features, which would be great to see in tandem with the PIN lock. Other security features include:

Data Breach Check — Monitors whether your email or passwords have been part of a breach. App Malware Scanner — Checks installed apps for malicious code.

The best TotalAV plan for you depends on whether you want a VPN or not, and how many devices you need to cover. If you’re happy without a VPN and protection for 3 devices, the base Antivirus Pro plan for $29.00 per year is the best option. My best-value pick is the Internet Security plan, with support for 5 devices and an unlimited VPN. The Total Security plan doesn’t convince me with the addition of just an adblocker and password manager for such a large price increase. TotalAV is great for budget-conscious Chromebook owners who still want high value. Better still, you can try TotalAV risk-free on Chromebook with its 30-day money-back guarantee and see how it holds up yourself. I tried it myself for a few weeks before requesting a refund from customer support. It did take 2 days to hear back, but my refund was successfully approved and I had the money back in another 2 days. Try TotalAV risk-free for 30 days

4. Bitdefender Mobile Security — Autopilot Mode Configures the Best Settings for Chromebook

Key Features: Bitdefender lets you set up profiles to defend your Chromebook from specific cyber threats. This is an impressive feature since most antivirus programs don’t offer this level of personalization. During my tests, I set up separate profiles for work and streaming that optimized performance and limited interruptions. You can also use Bitdefender to add a PIN lock to protect any app on your Chromebook, which is useful if you’re regularly in public places. You can turn on a setting to auto-unlock all of these apps once you’re connected back to your home WiFi network. The anti-theft feature adds another layer of protection — you can remotely track, wipe, and lock your Chromebook. Another bonus is that every Bitdefender Mobile Security subscription provides access to Bitdefender’s Secure VPN. Unfortunately, it’s too limited to be of much use. You only get access to one nearby server and 200MB of daily data, which is far too little for anything other than basic web browsing. If you want to use the unlimited premium version of Secure VPN with access to more than 1,300 servers in 30+ countries, you’ll need to upgrade to Bitdefender Total Security. I tested its servers and was pleased to find they work with sites like Netflix. When I ran speed tests, I was satisfied with the average of 50Mbps (although it’s a large drop from my base internet speed of 300Mbps). These are some of the other security features you can expect:

Account Privacy — Checks and alerts you if your online accounts have been part of a data breach. Web Protection — Protects you against phishing by checking against an ever-growing list of fraudulent pages. Scam Alert — Protects against dangerous links delivered to you via messaging apps and warns you against forwarding them to others.

Perhaps one of the best reasons to choose Bitdefender over other antivirus providers is its price — you can get its Mobile Security plan for just $19.99 for a whole year! This is less than half of the discounted Total Security package (which becomes significantly pricier after the first-year discount). If you’re just looking for Chromebook protection, the Mobile Security plan is a cost-effective and feature-rich option. You can try Bitdefender risk-free on a Chromebook with its 30-day money-back guarantee. I tested it out for a few weeks before contacting customer service. I was surprised that they took 5 days to reply, as I expect fast support from an antivirus. Fortunately, they didn’t require a follow-up, and I had the money back within 5 days. Try Bitdefender risk-free for 30 days

5. Panda Dome Antivirus and VPN — Highly Affordable Chromebook Antivirus With Extensive Feature Set

Key Features: Panda’s Dome for Android (which you can install on Chromebook) is the most affordable antivirus on this list while retaining several powerful features. At just $17.49 per year, you get plenty of value, especially if privacy and theft protection are important to you. Panda’s app permission checker promptly discovered that a few of my apps from the Play Store were demanding more permissions than necessary. I was able to deny these in just a couple of clicks. I also added a PIN lock to some apps for extra peace of mind in case of theft or just being out in public. Speaking of theft, you can use Panda Dome to locate your device in the event your device is taken. You can even trigger an alarm remotely in case the device is still somewhere in your vicinity (or spook the thief into leaving it behind). However, due to it being an Android app rather than native for ChromeOS, I wasn’t able to confirm if the remote wipe and motion alert features work. Although Panda’s mobile version is affordable, these savings are all but wiped out if you want the VPN, since it costs an extra $29.99. If I wanted a bundled VPN I’d likely choose TotalAV or Norton anyway, so keep that in mind when making your decision. If you choose a regular Panda antivirus plan that protects Windows and other devices, you should also know that anything above the Essential plan doesn’t add any features to your Chromebook experience beyond extra licenses. It also doesn’t include more than 150 MB/day until you reach the expensive Premium plan. You can try Panda Dome’s Chromebook protection risk-free for 30 days. I easily requested a refund through the online form, which was approved in just 3 hours. I had the money back 8 days later. Try Panda risk-free for 30 days

Warning! Avoid These 2 Antivirus Brands

1. Avast and AVG

Avast is an extremely popular antivirus, but I no longer recommend it since Avast was caught selling private user data. Avast claimed that it wasn’t possible to tie this data to specific users, but cybersecurity experts disagreed. Therefore, I can’t recommend Avast as an antivirus for Chromebook — or AVG which Avast has owned since 2016.

2. Google Play Protect

Play Protect is Google’s free antivirus, which they claim is great for scanning apps and files to keep your Android-enabled device secure. Since Chromebook runs the Android framework alongside ChromeOS, it’s an option for any Chromebook user whose device can access the Play Store. I’d advise against it, however, since testing has shown Play Protect to offer weak malware detection.

Quick Comparison Table: 2023’s Best Antivirus Software for Chromebook

3 Easy Steps: How to Use an Antivirus on Chromebook

How I Tested and Ranked the Best Antivirus for Chromebook in 2023

This is the criteria against which I measured all the Chromebook antivirus apps that I tested:

Malware scanner — The antivirus needs to be able to accurately identify and remove malware while scanning new or existing apps and files. Performance — Chromebooks don’t tend to be very powerful, so antivirus software shouldn’t excessively impact system performance or battery life. Additional features — Apps should include additional security features like WiFi protection, a VPN, and anti-theft. Ease-of-use — Apps need to work well with ChromeOS, with an intuitive interface. Value for money — The antivirus has to be worth the price. The best antivirus apps support multiple device types and simultaneous connections.

Can you get viruses on a Chromebook?

Due to the way they’re set up, Chromebooks are practically immune to viruses. However, this doesn’t mean they’re safe from all other types of malware. Especially if you install third-party apps or extensions, you can fall victim to spyware or browser hijackers, among others. This could potentially even lead to phishing, which doesn’t harm your device but could very directly hurt your finances!

Can a Chromebook get hacked?

In theory, any device is hackable, but in practice, Chromebooks are as close to impossible to hack as any consumer device can be. They use numerous layers of defense on top of one another to form a relatively hack-proof setup. This includes sandboxing apps, verifying bootup and auto-repairing itself, frequently backing up your encrypted data to the cloud, and more. ChromeOS is open-source, so potential vulnerabilities are quickly spotted and fixed. Google even has a standing $150,000 reward for anyone who can prove that they can compromise a Chromebook. As far as I can tell, this was only managed once years ago and never again. The main dangers that ChromeOS users face don’t come from hacking, but from:

Phishing attacks — Fake emails or websites pretending to be from legitimate and trusted institutions can lead to you giving up sensitive information such as logins or banking details. App vulnerabilities — Especially if you install third-party apps to your Chromebook you open yourself up to malware like spyware or adware. Browser hijacking — Dodgy browser extensions can make unwanted changes to your browsing experience, spy on you, or route you to websites where phishing scams could be waiting. Network spoofing — Connecting to an unknown public network can be a dangerous game, from your online activity being tracked or having your sensitive data intercepted.

A premium antivirus for Chromebook can fix this, by stopping all these attacks before they can take hold. Norton Mobile Security is the #1 antivirus for Chromebook — it protects against all of the above dangers, with other additional features like a VPN for heightened online privacy. You can even try it risk-free for 60 days, if you’re not satisfied, getting a refund is quick and easy! Try Norton on Chromebook

Protect Your Chromebook With the Best Antivirus

Chromebook antiviruses are somewhat misunderstood and often falsely advertise their features. Although they’re not required to protect a Chromebook against regular viruses, they offer specific security benefits that can still go a long way in protecting you online. However, finding a good one isn’t so easy! I found Norton Mobile Security to be the best antivirus for Chromebooks. It has reliable scanning for app exploits and excessive permissions, useful features like a VPN and WiFi scanner, and its Android app even adapts well to Chromebook. It’s also surprisingly affordable for such a feature-rich package! Best of all, you can try it risk-free for 60 days, and getting a refund is fast and simple if you’re not fully satisfied.

Summary — Best Antivirus for Chromebook in 2023