As we all know, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is -- except when it comes to the Chromebook. The laptop is touted for being immune to viruses. Is that true or just hype?
It is indeed true. The reason is simple; you can't install software on Chromebooks.
Since viruses enter computers as executable programs, they can't latch onto a Chromebook. That said, there are some gremlins that can get into the works, but Chromebook easily gets rid of them.
Why are Chromebooks immune to viruses?
Google designed Chromebook OS to be an internet-based system. You can't install software, so you have to use web-based programs such as Google Docs or Microsoft Office Online. Any work you do on a Chromebook, such as writing a letter or a report, is saved to the cloud.
Viruses get into computers as executable programs. So, if you can't even install legitimate software, how will vicious viruses get into your Chromebook? They can't.
If you don't have a robust library of web-based programs, you can find them in the Chrome Web Store. Many of these apps are free. You can also download some apps from the Google Play Store.
Are apps Chromebooks Achilles heel?
While Chromebooks are aces at stopping viruses, they can't block malware attacks. Malware can disguise itself as a web-based app that you find appealing. With Google Play now also offering apps for Chromebooks, the chances of getting malware increase.
Even as Google Play and the Chrome Web Store are continuously scrubbing their sites for malware, some do get through. But the Chromebook is designed to get rid of any malware by offering multiple layers of protection. Those include:
Automatic Updates: Chromebooks are always running the most updated version of the OS, so you don't have to download patches.
Sandboxing: Each webpage runs in a confined area, so if it's dangerous it won't affect other pages or programs.
Verified Boot: Chromebook automatically checks for malware when you start it up, and it fixes any problems before it opens.
Data Encryption: Most data on Chromebooks is saved to the cloud, but anything saved to the computer is encrypted. So it's nearly impossible to be hacked.
One-Step Recovery Mode: If anything goes wrong, you can simply revert to an earlier version that was safe.
Besides offering all those layers of security, depending on the model you buy, a Chromebook can be as inexpensive as $170. If you're really worried about security, a Chromebook might be the best way to go.
Get a Microsoft Office-style suite for free
While Microsoft Office and Google Suites vie for the biggest slices of the office suite market share pie, there are other options available. This open-source office suite features six programs that are similar to Excel, Word, Powerpoint and Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. And the best part is, it's free.