Detailed Expert Review
TotalAV provides a powerful malware scanner and some excellent security protections inside an easy-to-use and intuitive interface.
TotalAV’s malware scanner was excellent in my tests — catching virtually all of the malware I downloaded on my Windows computer, MacBook, Android and iOS phones. It scored a 99.6% detection rate, which out of 56 antiviruses ranks among the top 10.
TotalAV also has:
- Real-time malware protection.
- Anti-phishing protection.
- System clean-up.
- VPN (virtual private network).
- Password manager.
- Data breach monitoring.
- Identity theft monitoring.
While I liked most of TotalAV’s features, I wasn’t impressed with the password manager or the ad blocker, both of which are pretty basic. I also didn’t like how TotalAV tried to upsell me during the checkout process.
That said, TotalAV is reasonably priced, secured by a strong anti-malware engine, offers aa 7-day free trial, and comes with a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee. If you’re looking for a simple-to-use antivirus with near-perfect malware detection rates and a couple of really useful internet security features, TotalAV is a good choice.
|Overall Rank||5th out of 56 antiviruses|
|VPN||Yes (with unlimited data)|
|Pricing||Starting at /year|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days|
|Operating Systems||Windows, Android, Mac, iOS|
TotalAV Security Features
I’m really impressed with TotalAV’s 2021 internet security packages.
It has one of the top anti-malware engines on the market, and it comes packaged with a lot of good features — real-time protection, system optimization, a virtual private network (VPN), a password manager, etc.
TotalAV doesn’t have all the functionality of other top antiviruses, but I’m pleasantly surprised to see its core features perform so well.
TotalAV’s malware scanner is a whitelisted version of Avira’s powerful anti-malware engine — this is very good news, because Avira’s malware scanner is one of the best on the market.
TotalAV provides 4 different virus scan types:
- Quick Scan. Scans temporary files where viruses are usually found.
- System Scan. Scans the full system for malware.
- Smart Scan. Scans for malware, junk files, and tracking cookies.
- Custom Scan. Scans a single file, a folder, or your entire disk.
During my tests, I first ran the System Scan, which took around 1 hour on my PC and didn’t noticeably impact my computer’s performance — which is pretty great. Many competitors like Kaspersky put a pretty big strain on my CPU during system scans.
TotalAV’s antivirus scan results were impressive. I downloaded almost 900 test files to my device, including viruses, trojans, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, and keylogging malware.
TotalAV detected nearly all of my test files (99.6%) in my System Scan, including ransomware files and spyware files that I had encrypted on my disk — some competitors don’t treat spyware as malware, so I was glad to see that TotalAV detected these files.
I cross-referenced my TotalAV test results with several of my colleagues’ tests, and the average detection rate was over 99% — well above the industry average of 90%.
In case you don’t have time to run a full System Scan, you can also run a Smart or Quick Scan — during my tests, both of these scans took around 10 minutes to complete.
Once TotalAV’s scan is finished, it offers you several actions to take on any found malware files — delete, whitelist, quarantine, or ignore. If you’re unsure about what to do with a file, or if you don’t know where it came from, it’s best to leave it quarantined. If you know that a program is good, you can choose to whitelist it (and the good news is that TotalAV didn’t turn up any false positives during my tests).
These are great results from TotalAV — if you’re looking for an antivirus with good malware scanning, TotalAV is an excellent choice.
TotalAV’s real-time malware protection is always running in the background, scanning downloads and running processes to stop viruses before they can make any changes on your device.
To test TotalAV’s real-time scanning engine, I download a variety of malware files onto my PC from a secure Google Drive folder.
When I downloaded my first malicious .exe file, TotalAV caught it immediately, and it placed the file in quarantine before I could even try to run it.
For the next test, I downloaded around 500 viruses contained within a compressed (.zip) folder. TotalAV let me download the compressed files, but it issued an alert the moment I tried to extract the data from the zipped folder.
Next, I ran a ransomware simulator. TotalAV detected the file’s encryption-process signature and blocked the execution before the malware could lock up a single one of my system files.
Real-time protection is one of the most important parts of any malware scanner, and I was really impressed with TotalAV’s real-time malware protection.
TotalAV’s Web Shield feature is a tool for blocking phishing sites and malware distributors online. Phishing hacks affect millions of users every year, convincing unsuspecting users to give their financial information, personal data, and even social security info to malicious hackers.
Browsers like Chrome and Firefox include good anti-phishing protections, but most antivirus programs can improve on those free browser-based protections.
TotalAV’s Web Shield performed well in my testing, detecting more phishing sites than Chrome or Firefox. TotalAV claims to use the best-known blacklists of dangerous websites as well as its own AI-based dangerous website detection system. And indeed, it works well. That said, I still think that some competitors like Norton and Avira have a bit more advanced/user-friendly anti-phishing protections.
One good thing about TotalAV’s Web Shield is that it’s available to be downloaded for free as an extension or an app, with no purchase necessary. Overall, TotalAV’s anti-phishing tool is also really good – better than most competing brands and definitely a valuable tool in the overall package.
TotalAV’s System Tune-Up is an excellent tool for clearing out junk files and speeding up computer performance.
System Tune-Up includes the following tools:
- Startup Manager.
- Application Uninstaller.
- Browser Cleanup.
- Junk Cleaner.
- Duplicate File Finder.
The Startup Manager feature lets you control which applications run automatically when you boot your computer. If you have an older computer — or a new one with a lot of bloatware pre-installed on it — then chances are you have a ton of unnecessary programs slowing down your computer’s boot sequence. The Windows operating system includes an almost identical feature with a similar interface, but it’s buried deep in the Control Panel — I appreciate that TotalAV offers this feature in an easy-to-access location.
TotalAV’s Application Uninstaller feature can help you create space and remove unwanted or obsolete software from your computer.
Again, the Windows operating system provides the ability to uninstall applications. However, I’ve always hated the Windows “Add or Remove Programs” tool, which frequently doesn’t work as intended. TotalAV makes it really easy to see your applications, uninstall them, and even remove several applications at once.
The Browser Cleanup tool helps you keep your online activity private. Your browsers store cookies that can track your behavior and sell your personal information — but with TotalAV, you can clear all your cookies at once.
TotalAV’s Duplicate File Finder can find and delete duplicate files that take up unnecessary space — Windows’s standard Disk Cleanup application doesn’t have this function.
Finally, the Junk Cleaner cleans up junk files left behind after you uninstall or update an application. These can take up a lot of space on your computer. I was surprised to find nearly 1 GB of junk on my computer. For comparison, Windows Disk Cleanup only found 30 MB — around 3% of what TotalAV discovered.
TotalAV’s system tune-up features aren’t revolutionary, but they all work really well, they’re easy to use, and I appreciate the convenience of having all of these tools in one easy-to-access location on my computer.
Safe Browsing (VPN)
TotalAV’s Safe Browsing VPN is an excellent security option for users looking to protect their internet activity.
For those who don’t know, VPNs (virtual private networks) work by rerouting a user’s internet traffic to a secure server, which encrypts their connection and hides their device behind an anonymous IP address.
Keep in mind that VPNs will always slow down your connection a little bit. This is perfectly normal because VPNs encrypt your connection and reroute your signal to another server — the further a VPN server is from your location, the slower your speed will be. It’s recommended that you connect to the server nearest to your location, so that you won’t lose a lot of speed. The good news is that TotalAV’s VPN is pretty fast — faster than a lot of competitors — with over 100 server locations all over the world.
Here’s my speed test without Safe Browsing running:
And here’s my connection speed while I was connected to a secure VPN server here on the West coast of the USA:
Ping is a statistic used to measure the amount of time it takes information to travel from your computer to a server. TotalAV’s VPN slowed down my ping a lot, but that’s not a big deal. What’s more relevant are the download and upload speeds, neither of which were badly affected by TotalAV’s VPN.
In addition to protecting your privacy, there’s another smart use for a VPN. When you connect to an international server, you can access all the web content available in that country. This means users in the UK can watch the US version of Netflix, and vice versa. However, streaming sites are constantly updating their security protocols to block VPN users from accessing their copyrighted content, so there’s no guarantee that this will work as intended.
That said, TotalAV’s VPN was able to remove geo-restrictions in my tests — I was able to access Swedish Netflix from my parent’s house in the USA, with a fast enough connection that I could still watch movies in HD.
Overall, TotalAV’s Safe Browsing VPN is quick and reliable, with unlimited data and a pretty good number of server locations. During my tests, TotalAV’s VPN provided me with a fast connection, and I was very impressed with its geo-unblocking capabilities – I was able to bypass Netflix’s restrictions and access content from around the world. TotalAV’s VPN is one of the best I tried — comparable to some of the biggest names in the VPN industry.
TotalAV’s Password Vault feature is a basic password manager that isn’t as good as many standalone competitors — and it’s only included in the most expensive TotalAV package.
The best password managers on the market, like Dashlane and LastPass, provide a variety of security features like biometric login, multi-device password syncing, 2-factor authentication, and password sharing — TotalAV’s Password Vault doesn’t offer any of these useful extras.
However, TotalAV’s Password Vault does basic password management really well — generating complex passwords, storing them in my vault, and auto-filling saved logins was super easy with TotalAV. While I can forgive TotalAV’s password manager for lacking a few additional features, it has one big downside — there’s no mobile version!
Let me explain why this is a big deal. Normally, I use my password manager for everything. Social media accounts, financial apps, my Slack and Asana logins for work, streaming services, all of my passwords have been generated and saved in my password manager — I don’t actually know any of my passwords. I also frequently use my phone to surf the internet (go figure!). So, when my password manager is the only place where I store all of my highly complex passwords, and I can’t access my password manager from my phone, then I can’t access any of my password-protected accounts!
However, if you don’t really need a password manager on your phone, then TotalAV’s Password Vault feature is a decent way to protect your passwords on your computer. On the other hand, if the lack of a mobile app is a deal-breaker for you, check out the best password managers in 2021 which all come with excellent Android and iOS apps.
Here’s how TotalAV’s password manager works:
TotalAV asks users to enter a secure master password, which they will use to access their password vault. It also offers to import passwords from your browser or previous password manager.
Once you have Password Vault set up on your desktop, you can use TotalAV’s Password Vault web extension, which detects saved logins and conveniently auto-fills them. When you visit any login page, a padlock icon appears in the username and password fields.
Click the padlock icon and a window pops up. The Password Vault browser extension fills the password field with one click.
The Password Vault browser extension is simple and reliable, detecting logins even on tricky 2-step login pages.
Overall, I’m not a fan of TotalAV’s password manager — it doesn’t have any advanced features and it doesn’t have a mobile app. But it does have all of the essentials, and all of the provided features (including auto-saving and auto-filling) work well. While I’d like to see TotalAV improve its password manager a bit, I do think that it’s a solid choice for users looking for a simple tool for managing their passwords on their computers.
TotalAV Plans and Pricing
TotalAV’s antivirus is a well-made piece of internet security software, and it’s priced competitively for most of its features. So, it’s bizarre to me that TotalAV’s website contains very little useful information, and the company shamelessly tries to upsell users who are already buying their product.
When I was buying my subscription for TotalAV, I had to close 6 different pop-up windows asking me to pay for more features — including an offer to sell me an “Antivirus eBook” for 12 dollars! (If you’re looking for helpful resources to learn about internet security, allow me to recommend our 100% free website!)
TotalAV obstructs your purchase with flashy offers for all kinds of features, from unlimited device coverage to a cloud-based malware scanner and a subscription for Ad-Block Pro.
I decided to make a little collage out of all the annoying pop ups:
Competitors like Norton, McAfee, Avira, and Bitdefender bundle all of their premium features with their premium plans. If you’re buying Norton’s top-tier product, you’re getting all of Norton’s top-tier features. It’s a simple, one-click process to get the product you want. But with TotalAV, no matter which product you buy, you are going to be repeatedly offered additional features, and if you buy all of these add-ons, then TotalAV’s plans become a lot more expensive.
TotalAV even has the nerve to represent these tacky add-ons as “special limited time deals”, when they’re actually over-charging you for basic features that many competitors bundle with their plans for a reasonable price. It’s so annoying!!!
With all that frustration out of the way, I’ll say this — it’s totally possible to get an affordable internet security suite from TotalAV. The company just makes it a little harder than necessary! That’s why I listed out TotalAV’s plans with their included features so you don’t have to worry about getting upsold during purchase.
All TotalAV products have a 30-day money-back guarantee. I’ve even tested the refund process, and I can confirm that it’s genuine. I actually got my refund only one business day after requesting it!
TotalAV has 3 basic pricing tiers:
No matter which version of the software you buy, TotalAV will still try and upsell you on features you don’t need — however, these are the features that each plan provides:
|TotalAV Total Security||TotalAV Internet Security||TotalAV Antivirus Pro||TotalAV Free Antivirus|
|Platforms||PC, Mac, Android, iOS||PC, Mac, Android, iOS||PC, Mac, Android, iOS||PC, Mac, Android, iOS|
|Number of device licenses||6||5||3||1|
|Advanced ransomware protection||✓||✓||✓||x|
|Real-time antivirus protection||✓||✓||✓||x|
|System clean-up tools||✓||✓||✓||x|
|Cloud-based malware scanning||✓||✓||✓ (optional)||x|
|Virtual private network (VPN)||✓||✓||x||x|
|Phone and email customer support||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|30-day money-back guarantee||✓||✓||✓||Free|
Free, But Not Worth It: Free Antivirus
The free version of TotalAV is essentially just an on-demand antivirus scanner with anti-phishing protection.
If you’re just trying to get malware off of your computer, TotalAVs free plan isn’t a bad option, but the lack of real-time protection means that you won’t be protected from any future malware infection. Avira Free Internet Security offers real-time protection, system optimization tools, a web shield, and good mobile protection.
TotalAV’s free antivirus will remove malware from your device, but it’s pretty limited — I don’t recommend anybody settle for a free antivirus, but if you’re absolutely refusing to pay for internet security, then Avira is a better choice. Although if you just need a simple anti-malware scanner, TotalAV will be fine.
Basic Paid Plan: TotalAV Antivirus Pro
This plan offers all of TotalAV’s essential features for up to 3 devices, including:
- Malware scanner.
- Real-time protection.
- Anti-phishing protection.
- System tune-up.
As mentioned above, I tested all of these features and I found them to be excellent.
The Antivirus Pro plan is a good choice if you need a solid antivirus package for up to 3 devices, and the iOS and Android plans that come with it are pretty good too.
Best Value Plan: TotalAV Internet Security
This plan offers access to the “Antivirus eBook”, a VPN with unlimited browsing data, and all of TotalAV Antivirus Pro’s features for up to 5 devices.
The eBook is basically worthless, containing the same basic internet security advice you could get from reading our website. But the VPN and multi-device support make this the best value TotalAV plan for pretty much everyone.
Most Additional Protections: TotalAV Total Security
This plan brings your total licenses up to 6, and it also offers priority tech support, an ad blocker and the password manager feature.
I’m not a big fan of this plan — it charges too much extra money for features that are just not very important. If you want to get coverage for more devices, you can purchase additional devices with the Internet Security plan.
As mentioned above, I don’t love TotalAV’s password manager, and if you need an ad blocker, then there are plenty of free ad blocking tools out there.
Total Security just doesn’t provide enough functionality for the additional cost. You should just buy TotalAV Internet Security and a good password manager.
TotalAV Ease of Use and Setup
TotalAV is easy to set up and use, and installation took less than 5 minutes.
Overall, I really like TotalAV’s user interface. It’s well designed, attractive, and bug-free. While there are many features in the software, I never felt overwhelmed or confused.
TotalAV’s main features each have their own icons in the sidebar, including Malware Protection, Internet Security, and System Tune-Up.
And if you want to customize your antivirus experience, all of the advanced options are found in TotalAV’s settings menu.
I really appreciate how easy TotalAV makes it to schedule antivirus scans — some programs like BullGuard hide their scan customization options behind a lot of unintuitive settings menus. But TotalAV’s are easy to access and adjust.
TotalAV users also get their own online dashboard, which is easily accessed from the Settings menu.
TotalAV’s online dashboard has video tutorials and FAQs, but it doesn’t provide remote device access, which some competitors like Norton offer in their online dashboard. You can also purchase extra features from the TotalAV Online Marketplace.
Overall, TotalAV provides a straightforward user experience, with conveniently laid out features, easily accessible settings, and a decent online dashboard.
TotalAV Mobile App
TotalAV offers complete internet security apps for both Android and iOS users. I tested them on my Samsung Galaxy and iPhone 8, both running the latest versions of their respective operating systems.
These are TotalAV’s mobile features:
- Malware scanning (Android only).
- App locker (Android only).
- Device tune-up.
- Secure in-app browser.
- Data breach monitoring.
- Device tracking (iOS only).
TotalAV’s virus scanning is available only for Android — this is because iOS devices can’t get “viruses” (but there’s plenty of other malware that targets iOS!).
During my tests on my Android phone, TotalAV’s antivirus scan was accurate, quick, and easy. I was able to use my phone normally throughout the scan without any noticeable performance issues, but there was a significant drain on my battery.
TotalAV detected all of the Android-specific malware files I had downloaded onto my Samsung Galaxy in just a few minutes — I was pretty impressed.
The TotalAV Android mobile app also provides real-time protection — it detected all of the test malware I placed on my phone (great), but it also drained my battery life very quickly (not great).
The TotalAV mobile app also offers system tune-up to help free up space on your device and keep it running smoothly. TotalAV found over 1,000 MB of junk on my Android, and it also cleared out a ton of duplicate photos on my iPhone.
TotalAV’s VPN for mobile users is also really good — it worked well in my testing, providing encrypted access to servers around the globe.
If you use public Wi-Fi on your phone (coffee shops, libraries, airports, etc.), then having a VPN for your mobile devices is crucial. It keeps your browsing data from being spied on by hackers that prey on public Wi-Fi users.
Still, if you’re looking for a decent internet security app with a good VPN for your mobile devices, TotalAV’s mobile protections will keep your device safe from hackers and web-based threats.
TotalAV Customer Support
If you need to contact customer support, TotalAV provides a few different options:
- Live chat.
- 24/7 Phone support.
I was initially unable to access TotalAV’s live chat. I later found out that it’s blocked in many countries (I’m in the USA), but I was able to get in touch with the live chat team by going into Incognito mode in Chrome. This workaround was pretty easy, and I found TotalAV’s live chat support to be responsive and helpful.
TotalAV’s email support team was very helpful and knowledgeable, but they were slower than I would’ve liked.
I had an issue setting up VPN access, so I contacted email support via a form on my dashboard. I got a really great response, but it took around 18 hours.
For phone assistance, TotalAV provides country-specific support and in-country phone numbers for the following locations:
- United States.
- United Kingdom.
If you live outside of these countries, there are also telephone numbers listed for “Europe” and “International”.
I called TotalAV’s customer support team a total of 5 times, and each time, I was given clear, helpful, and quick support.
I called TotalAV about various technical questions, billing issues, and to make sure my cancellation and refund were going through. I spoke with workers in the UK and Jamaica, and I was never placed on hold for more than 15 minutes.
TotalAV’s 24/7 phone support is really impressive, and I think it more than makes up for the slow response of the company’s email support team.
Is TotalAV a Good Antivirus & Internet Security Product?
TotalAV offers a good, user-friendly internet security package with near-perfect malware detection rates and cybersecurity extras like anti-phishing protection, a VPN, and a password manager.
TotalAV’s desktop and mobile apps are well designed and bug-free, and all of the features are intuitive, reliable, and easy-to-use. The anti-phishing protection is better than Chrome and Firefox’s built-in protections, the device optimization tools are excellent for improving system performance, and the VPN is one of the best on the market — fast, reliable, and capable of removing geo-restrictions.
I’m not too happy with TotalAV’s password manager which is too basic, and I was frustrated with TotalAV’s pricing options – even if you pay for the most expensive package, you still won’t get access to every feature, and the company is constantly trying to upsell customers, which I think is pretty annoying. But TotalAV is reasonably priced, and it has both a 7-day free trial and a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee.
Overall, TotalAV has impressive malware detection rates, useful internet security tools, and an easy-to-use interface — all of these things make it a great piece of cybersecurity software.
Frequently Asked Questions About TotalAV
🤔 Is there a TotalAV free trial?
Yes, when you download the free version of TotalAV, you’ll be able to activate a free trial that lets you explore the full version of the software. You’ll have free access to most of the features outlined in this article, including real-time cybersecurity protection and system optimization tools.
The free trial expires after 7 days. However, if you want to test TotalAV for a longer period to ensure it’s the right antivirus software for you, you can purchase the full version with a 30-day full money-back guarantee. I tested the money-back guarantee, and I was reimbursed in just 24 hours.
🤔 Do I have to run virus scans manually with TotalAV?
No. You do have the option to run antivirus scans manually. However, you can schedule automatic antivirus scans to happen on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis.
You can also select the hours you want the scan to occur in.
🤔 Is TotalAV compatible with my operating system?
To install TotalAV, you’ll need to have installed either Windows 7 or above or OS X 10.9 or above. To use the TotalAV app on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll need to have iOS version 11.3 or higher. For Android users, you’ll need to have Oreo 8.1 or higher.
Note: TotalAV has stopped supporting certain versions of Windows and macOS operating systems, including Windows XP and Vista, and OS X 10.8 (even though the official TotalAV applications page still lists Windows XP and Vista).
🤔 How do I install TotalAV?
Once the file (TotalAV.dmg for Mac or TotalAV.exe for Windows) has downloaded, locate the file and open it. The installation wizard will appear and prompt you to install the software.
Once the installation is complete, you’ll need to sign in to your TotalAV account to activate the full version of the software.
Note: Your device must be connected to the internet when installing TotalAV, as the software will need to check for virus database updates. You also need to make sure you have all other antivirus apps removed from your device, or they will interfere with TotalAV’s real-time scanner.
To install TotalAV on your mobile device, open the Google App Store or the Apple App Store and download the app. Once downloaded, launch the app and input your TotalAV account login credentials.