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Guardio is decent, although not the best, antivirus software that lets you navigate the online world safely by blocking harmful sites and checking for data breaches. It also works differently than some of the antivirus programs we’ve tested. For one, there’s no time-consuming installation since Guardio is an extension you can easily add to your chosen web browser. It appears on your browser in seconds with a dashboard view of threats found and blocked.
Guardio will clean up your browser and remove malicious threats, but it comes at a steep price. With Guardio, you don’t even need to run scans. As long as you have real-time protection, the software constantly checks for threats in the background while you work. It’s a straightforward product that is simple to use and won’t take any time away from your web browsing.
Who is Guardio best for?
Guardio test results
Our Guardio experience
Guardio customer support
Bottom line: Is Guardio good?
Guardio review at a glance
|# of devices protected||1-5|
|Learn more||Get Guardio|
Who is Guardio best for?
- Recommended for users who want a simple browser extension and dashboard without needing control of scanning or extras
Guardio offers protection against malware, identity theft, and phishing to give you better online security. If you want software that runs in the background while you do your thing online, Guardio may be perfect for you. It has a fair price that doesn’t offer different tiers, so you know what you get upfront.
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 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
- Easy to use from day one
- A subscription covers up to five people
- Scans and removes threats while you work
- No info on third-party testing scores
- No scheduled scans
- Doesn’t clear dashboard notifications, so old information is still present
When it comes to online security, Guardio’s features are nothing to sleep on. Guardio comes with extension neutralization, which blocks or neutralizes anything considered harmful. It also comes with real-time protection, which helps guard you against malicious push notifications.
The Guardio Premium subscription covers identity theft and provides a hotline you can call to report the event. That prevents identity theft from getting worse and helps you mitigate the damage quickly. The downside is you’ll need to read through seven pages of legal jargon to be sure you’re handling everything correctly on your end.
We did find the software lacking in some areas, though. Our dashboard gave us no option to run a manual scan or schedule a scan. Although it runs in the background while you’re online, we still like having the option to run a scan whenever we want. Also, beyond the browser extension, we can’t find where Guardio can scan for existing malware or check external devices, which many of the antivirus software programs offer. It also only works on Chromium-based browsers, so if you aren’t using one of those, this browser extension won’t work for you.
Malware and antivirus scan
This is one of those areas we found lacking with Guardio. Although this antivirus software prevents viruses, our dashboard gave us no option to run manual scans or scans of any kind, for that matter.
According to the Guardio website, it will clean and speed up your browser while protecting your private information. None of that is in the user’s control, though. You must trust the program to run as designed and keep your browsing efforts secure. As you can see, there is no option to run a scan from the dashboard.
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 protects you against phishing attacks. It blocks sites that could be malicious, so you won’t even have the chance to click on malware.
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 protection feature. That may help when using public Wi-Fi, but an included firewall would be nice.
Guardio’s real-time protection 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.
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. In addition, you get webcam and microphone alerts in case you left your camera or microphone enabled on an open tab. Guardio also alerts you to new websites or websites with low credibility so you can be more cautious 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.
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.
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 reporting immediate data leaks to you. You also get 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.
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.
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.
Our Guardio experience
Overall, our Guardio experience was positive. We tested the browser extension on our Macbook Air M1, running the Big Sur OS 11.3. During testing, we opened numerous browser tabs to see what the antivirus picked up while we were online.
Although there weren't any scans to run, we liked how quickly the harmful extension was removed after we downloaded Guardio. The account monitoring was a big plus for us because, in addition to the testing we mentioned, it showed other possible compromised data, like our IP address, name, and phone number.
Guardio didn’t pick up any malware or hijacking attempts. We kept all the features turned on so that we had all the coverage the browser extension offers.
The simplicity of Guardio is something that will appeal to many people. There is only one subscription plan, so you aren’t weighed down with options. The browser extension download is fast and simple. None of the features are difficult to use because they all run in the background. There’s nothing for you to do except keep them turned on.
Although Guardio’s browser extension only works on a desktop browser, the identity protection features will work on your mobile device. Right now, there is no Android app, but there is one for iOS devices. The extension is built for Google Chrome, specifically.
The browser extension works on any Chromium-based browser, so if you have the following browsers, you’re all set:
- Microsoft Edge
- Samsung Internet
- Amazon Silk
Guardio customer support
Guardio provides users with 24/7 email support. You can email email@example.com with issues or questions. 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.
As we discussed previously, there aren’t different pricing tiers with this extension. There’s Guardio Free, but it only comes with basic browsing protection, which includes suspicious site detection, on-demand scans, and a history of personal data leaks. However, you can only remove the threats found by purchasing Guardio Premium.
You have two options for pricing, though. You can pay monthly, which results in $119.88/yr, or you can pay for one year in advance, bringing the total down to $71.88/mo. That seems a little steep to us since you can get antivirus protection from McAfee for two years and pay $79.99/first yr with coverage for up to 10 devices.
We do think the browser extension has value, but not enough when compared to more thorough antivirus software with options for quick and full scans that check external devices and files.
Guardio plans and prices
|Price for first year||Free||
|# 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|
|Webcam and microphone alerts|
|Stops unwanted notifications|
|Data breach reports|
|Ongoing data breach monitoring|
|Details||View Plan||View Plan|
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 good 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.
The drawback is that you don’t get much control and can’t run scans whenever you want. It’s also a little pricey compared to other software like Bitdefender, which gives you more in-depth virus scanning and includes features like parental controls and file shredding.