Guardio Review 2024: Straightforward Protection for Your Browser

Is Guardio the fast, lightweight browser extension you need for secure online browsing? In this article, we put it to the test to find out how this Cloud-centric approach protects your privacy.
4.0
Learn More
On Guardio's website

Guardio
  • Fast, lightweight browser extension for more secure web browsing
  • Scans and removes threats while you work
  • Expensive compared to other antivirus programs' first-year pricing
We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Guardio is a decent antivirus software that helps block harmful sites and checks for data breaches. It also works differently from some of the antivirus programs we’ve tested. For one, there’s no time-consuming installation since Guardio is primarily a web browser extension you can easily add to Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and any other Chromium-based browsers. It appears on your browser in seconds with a dashboard view of threats found and blocked.

Guardio comes at a higher price compared to some other antivirus programs, but it doesn't increase in price after the first year. It also offers a limited free plan, and the ease of use and cybersecurity protection it offers may be well worth the price. Its real-time protection constantly checks for threats in the background while you work, blocking malicious sites and phishing attacks. It’s a straightforward product that's simple to use and won’t take any time away from your web browsing. 

In this article
Guardio review at a glance
Who is Guardio best for?
Guardio cost
Guardio features
Guardio test results
Our Guardio experience
Guardio compatibility
Guardio customer support
Guardio alternatives
Guardio FAQs
Bottom line: Is Guardio good?

Guardio review at a glance

Price $14.99/mo
Free plan Yes
# of devices protected  Up to 5
Malware scans Manual
Real-time protection Yes
Phishing protection Yes
Malicious site and file blocker Yes
Data breach monitoring Yes
Learn more Get Guardio

Who is Guardio best for?

  • Recommended for users who want a straightforward, simple way to protect their browser from malware.

Guardio offers protection against malware, identity theft, and phishing on your browser. If you want software that runs in the background while you do your thing, Guardio may be perfect for you. It offers two plans: a free plan with basic browsing protection and a premium paid plan with a full kit of real-time protection tools.

If you’re looking for software that’s simple to use on day one, Guardio checks the box. It also covers up to five people with one paid subscription, which makes it more cost-effective for families. The dashboard gives you an easy-to-understand illustration of possible data leaks, suspicious sites you’ve visited, any hijackers blocked, and more. With all that Guardio delivers, it packs quite a punch.

Guardio pros and cons

Pros
  • Easy to use from day one
  • Premium plan covers up to five people
  • Scans and removes threats while you work
Cons
  • No info on third-party testing scores
  • Expensive compared to other antivirus programs' first-year pricing

Guardio cost

Guardio doesn't offer different pricing tiers. There’s the Guardio Free plan for basic browsing protection, which includes suspicious site detection, on-demand scans, phishing alerts on limited sites, and a history of personal data leaks. However, you can only remove the threats found by purchasing Guardio Premium.

Guardio Premium costs $14.99/mo, putting it on par with some of the more expensive antivirus programs out there if you look at the annual cost. However, Guardio's price doesn't increase after your first year, so that cost stays the same. Cheaper antiviruses may start out at a lower price, but oftentimes the price skyrockets at the start of your second year.

So while Guardio is on the expensive side, we do think it offers value for its focus on browser security and use of innovative technology to negate cyberthreats.

Guardio plans and prices

Free Premium
Price Free $14.99/mo
Number of devices supported 1 Up to 5
Compatible with Chrome, Edge, Safari, Opera, Vivaldi, iOS, Android Chrome, Edge, Safari, Opera, Vivaldi, iOS, Android
Phishing alerts Limited sites All sites
Manual scan
Real-time protection
Data breach reports
Malicious site blocker
Stops unwanted notifications
Ongoing data breach monitoring
Details View Plan View Plan

Guardio offers a no-obligation, seven-day free trial before you commit to buying the extension. Afterward, you can pay for the monthly subscription.

Guardio features

When it comes to browser security, Guardio’s features are nothing to sleep on. Guardio comes with extension neutralizing, which blocks or neutralizes any browser add-ons that are considered harmful. It also comes with real-time protection, which helps guard you against malicious push notifications and phishing attacks.

Both the free and premium subscriptions include identity theft protection in the form of a historical data leak report. This is helpful for spotting potentially compromised accounts so you can take quick action by changing your password — a key step to prevent identity theft. The Guardio Premium plan also includes data breach monitoring, which alerts you if any future leaks compromise your account info.

Malware and antivirus scan

Guardio antivirus software prevents viruses in real time and also gives you the option to manually scan your browser for potential threats as well. 

The scan feature is a new addition to Guardio and one we're happy to see. While real-time protection is optimal, it's sometimes hard to tell if your antivirus is working as intended. A scan feature like Guardio's gives you some control as well as a feeling of reassurance that Guardio is, indeed, guarding your browser on your behalf.

Guardio notes the scan should take 30 seconds or less, and when we ran ours on a Chrome browser packed with almost 20 different extensions and almost as many tabs open, it was over and done with in a flash. We also noticed no slowdowns while Guardio scanned our browser for suspicious activity and were able to continue working while the scan finished up.

Along with real-time protection, Guardio offers the option to manually scan your browser for threats.

Phishing protection

Guardio protects against phishing emails by blocking pop-ups that are made to scam you or send you to a malicious website. However, its website admits that the product won’t stop legitimate pop-ups from platforms you use, like food delivery websites, because these sites make money from ads. 

Guardio’s harmful site blocks also protect you against phishing attacks. It blocks sites that could be malicious, so you won’t even have the chance to click on malware.

Firewall

Although Guardio offers some great features, we didn’t see a firewall mentioned anywhere on its website or the app. Maybe the company thought that features like suspicious site alerts and blocking dangerous downloads were enough protection without needing a firewall.

The product website does show that it protects against hijacking with its real-time removal feature. That may help when using public Wi-Fi, but an included firewall would be nice.

Real-time protection

Guardio’s real-time removal feature simply needs to be toggled to the on position to detect hijacking attempts. It keeps hackers from altering your browser’s settings without your permission. You can set your preferred search engine underneath the setting. And if you have malware on your browser, Guardio will fix it for you once you install the extension.

Ransomware protection

While the Guardio website doesn’t explicitly report ransomware protection, we believe the features help cover ransomware, too. For instance, Guardio blocks any dangerous downloads before they can get to your computer. 

Guardio also alerts you to new websites or websites with low credibility in case they’re malicious. By blocking and notifying you about these sites, it can help stop hackers from taking over your device remotely.

You won’t get a specific tab showing how ransomware protection may work with this software, though. We recommend keeping all options toggled on for the most effective security protection.

Guardio settings for harmful site blocks, dangerous download blocks, suspicious site alerts, and webcam & microphone alerts.

Anti-fraud protection

This is another area where Guardio doesn’t mention anti-fraud protection specifically, but it does have anti-phishing features that block malicious emails and webpages from stealing your personal data or payment information. 

Additionally, data breach monitoring alerts you to immediate data leaks, so you can take action if your data has been exposed. The Guardio website has a section on the steps to take after a data breach, which can be helpful in the case of fraud or identity theft.

Guardio's section for data breach history and monitoring.

Bonus features

We’ll be the first to admit you won’t get a lot of extras with this software. We think the bonus features it does provide are pretty solid, though. Not only do you get regular malware protection, but you also get data breach notifications, dark web monitoring, and a feature to stop unwanted notifications.

  • Data breach notifications: The data breach notifications help keep your identity safe by sending immediate alerts of data leaks. You also get up to $1 million in identity theft insurance coverage with the Guardio Premium subscription.
  • Dark web monitoring: Guardio uses your email address to search the dark web, checking for personal information or data that can be tied to that address. The program continuously monitors the dark web for these data mishaps.
  • Unwanted notifications: Once you install the Guardio extension, it disables any found malware. It also stops adware that sends you unwanted notifications and advertisements. That includes malicious and annoying push notifications that keep popping up while you’re online.
  • Explicit content blocking: Guardio helps remove explicit clickbait ads for a cleaner and safer browsing experience.

Guardio test results

Since Guardio is relatively new, we didn’t find any third-party testing sources for this browser extension. Still, with our testing, we were impressed with the information it showed right away. The software found possible data leaks as far back as 2016. This LinkedIn breach affected millions of users, so it was interesting to see that it may have affected password and email information from that platform. Guardio also neutralized a browser extension as soon as we began using the software, which is promising.

In our second round of testing, we pitted Guardio against the European Institute for Computer Anti-Virus Research's (EICAR's) anti-malware test files. Here's how it did:

Test Guardio score
Malware detection Mixed
Potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) detection Pass
Phishing detection Fail
Test results as of 10/25/2023.

As you can see, Guardio isn't flawless, but we didn't expect it to be since it primarily focuses on browser protection and we were testing with the free plan, which lacks blocks for harmful sites and downloads.

But Guardio managed to block manual malware download attempts as well as malicious .ZIP and .WINRAR files, and it blocked PUAs successfully as well. For the free plan, we call that a win.

One odd thing we experienced during our testing was that Guardio didn't alert us, though we did find recorded log entries when we visited our dashboard. This may become confusing if you try to download a file but can't, but the issue could have been on our end and not Guardio's.

Our Guardio experience

Overall, our Guardio experience was positive. We tested the browser extension on our MacBook Pro running macOS Monterey and Chrome 117.0.0. During testing, we opened numerous browser tabs to see what the antivirus picked up while we were online.

After installing the extension and signing up for a free account, Guardio started an initial checkup and notified us it found potentially harmful sites. We were able to view a detailed report that noted when we visited the harmful site, the site URL, and a threat level. 

Guardio scans your browser for potential threats and sends you a report after to show you more details about any malicious activity it found.

After the initial checkup, Guardio prompted us to try a free seven-day trial of its Premium plan. If you opt in for this, be sure to leave yourself a reminder to cancel before the seven days are up. Unless, of course, you prefer the premium version.

One feature we were excited to see in our second round of testing with Guardio was a manual scan. Previously, we couldn't find an option to scan our browser for malicious apps or extensions, but now Guardio offers a 30-second scan. While its real-time protection may render a scan somewhat pointless, we do like the extra control it provides as well as a sense of reassurance.

Along with your typical cybersecurity features, Guardio also focuses on browser security and allows you to control your extensions through your dashboard. You can toggle extensions on or off, see star ratings and the number of users, and activity logs. There's also a pre-install alert option that gives you a heads up if a malicious extension tries to install itself without you knowing. Premium users get automatic removal of harmful extensions as well.

The simplicity of Guardio is something that will appeal to many. The browser extension download is fast and simple. None of the features are difficult to use because they all run in the background and can quickly be toggled on or off. There’s nothing for you to do except keep them turned on and run a scan if you feel the need.

Guardio compatibility

Although Guardio’s browser extension only works on a desktop browser, the identity protection features will work on your mobile device. You can download Guardio on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, depending on which type of device you use.

The browser extension works on any Chromium-based browser, so if you have the following browsers, you should be all set:

  • Google Chrome
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Vivaldi
  • Opera
  • Brave
  • Samsung Internet
  • Amazon Silk

Guardio customer support

Guardio provides 24/7 email support. You can email support@guardio.io with issues or questions. Support can help with scam assistance and help with identity recovery if you become a victim of identity theft. 

We did email them to ask about manual scanning options and are waiting to hear back. We find it interesting that the title of the help page is “Speaking with customer support,” but you don’t speak to anyone. There is no phone support mentioned.

Guardio alternatives

Guardio has its strengths, but it may not be the antivirus protection for you. We've collected some alternative antivirus programs you can consider instead: 

  • TotalAV: TotalAV is another antivirus known for its user-friendliness and it has a free plan you can try out. We also like that TotalAV has near-perfect third-party testing scores, so you'll have vetted cyberthreat protection.

    Get TotalAV | Read Our TotalAV Review

  • Norton: If you're seeking a full cybersecurity suite, you can't go wrong with a Norton 360 plan. On top of its top-notch antivirus protection and firewall, you can get a password manager, parental controls, a VPN, and more features all with one subscription.  

    Get Norton 360 | Read Our Norton 360 Review

Guardio FAQs


+

Is Guardio legit?

Guardio is a legit product. It is a Chrome extension that you can get from the Google Chrome Web Store and Microsoft Edge Add-ons.


+

Is Guardio free?

According to the website, Guardio has a free option for basic browsing protection.

Guardio also offers a no-obligation, seven-day free trial to test the product. After the trial period ends, you can purchase a monthly subscription.


+

Is Guardio safe for Chrome?

Guardio is safe for Chrome, as it was built specifically for Google Chrome. It will work on any Chromium-based browser.


+

Is Guardio Premium worth the cost?

Guardio Premium may be worth the cost if you want a simple product that runs in the background while you’re online. If you want an antivirus that’s more interactive and puts you in control, this may not be the product for you.

Bottom line: Is Guardio good?

Guardio is a straightforward, easy-to-use browser extension that offers solid protection for someone wanting a program that doesn’t require much user input. You get features that need only to be turned on to work, and the dashboard is friendly and intuitive.

Guardio may not provide a full range of protection, but it's good at what it does. We do wish it was less pricey, especially when compared to other antivirus software. However, Guardio's price doesn't go up after your first year while many other mainstream antivirus programs' pricing does.

4.0
Learn More
On Guardio's website

Guardio
  • Fast, lightweight browser extension for more secure web browsing
  • Scans and removes threats while you work
  • Expensive compared to other antivirus programs' first-year pricing
Author Details
Patti Croft is a seasoned writer who specializes in all things technology. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and carries a wealth of hands-on experience thanks to her background as a technical analyst and security specialist.