Internet security is a competitive market, and new brands have to struggle to make their voices heard. TotalAV has only been around for a few years, but it's already started getting some serious attention. The reason is simple — TotalAV's antivirus technology can definitely compete with the big brands like Norton and McAfee, and even smaller, up and coming brands like Bitdefender and Malwarebytes.
Those internet security giants have spent many years building up their reputations. Norton's antivirus engine has been tested to the limits by independent malware labs. AVG's malware database has thousands of entries. So why should you trust TotalAV to protect your devices and personal information?
I’ve spent many hours testing TotalAV. I first tested this brand a few months ago, and I wasn't all that impressed. But the TotalAV team has been working hard since then, adding new features and making improvements.
TotalAV is still not perfect. But this feature-packed, simple-to-use application does have a lot to offer. And although they don’t shout about it, TotalAV’s antivirus engine is backed by some seriously powerful third-party technology.
TotalAV uses the exact same antivirus technology as market-leader Avira and highly-respected VPN provider Windscribe, so when you use TotalAV, you’re using the best German-developed antivirus software as well as the best Canadian-produced VPN technology — so you know exactly what to expect.
Here's everything you need to know about TotalAV to help you decide if it’s worth your money.
TotalAV Antivirus Features Overview
|Remote Firewall Access||Y|
|Protection against Phishing Scams||Y|
|Real-Time and Automatic Virus Scans||Real-time — Y, Automatic — Y|
|Automatic Virus and Software Updates||Virus update — Y, Program update — Y|
|Languages available||English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch|
|24/7 support||Y — for Ultimate Antivirus users|
|Money Back Guarantee||Y — 30-day money-back guarantee|
Total AV Antivirus Review 2019 (Don't use before you watch!)
TotalAV Antivirus Security Features
Like many internet security brands, TotalAV calls itself an “antivirus” application. But in addition to viruses, TotalAV protects against all kinds of malware — including threats like ransomware, spyware, and adware. It has one of the top set of anti-spyware features we've seen in any antivirus software.
You should be aware that virtually none of these features come with the free version of TotalAV. The free version is basically just an antivirus scan — which is to be expected, as you don't really get many features with a free antivirus solution. If you're looking for a free antivirus program, there are much better options.
We don’t tend to recommend free antivirus products over their paid versions, and especially not TotalAv, which will continuously annoy you with its endless popups, telling you to upgrade:
The premium features of TotalAV are extensive. If you're prepared to pay for a subscription, you can access the following features:
- System Tune-Up — helps your device run smoothly.
- Password Vault — keeps your account credentials safe.
- Safe Browsing (VPN) — protects your data on public Wi-Fi networks.
- Web Shield — prevents you from visiting malicious websites.
TotalAV provides two types of malware scans: Quick Scan and System Scan.
I ran the System Scan, which took around 10 minutes. It didn’t noticeably impact my computer’s performance, meaning I got to use my PC as the scan ran in the background, without me even noticing.
The results were highly impressive. System Scan detected 12 out of the 15 ransomware files I’d placed on my computer and all 3 of the viruses.
This is pretty good — most of our top antivirus software missed a few viruses here and there (some viruses weren’t indexed in their malware libraries, and some of the antiviruses didn’t have the features to catch these viruses in the first place), so this is actually a pretty great result.
Once it's done scanning, System Scan offers the option to quarantine, delete, whitelist, or ignore each malware file.
These are great results from TotalAV — comparable to big names like Norton, McAfee, and Avira. And there’s a reason for this: TotalAV is a white-label version of Avira’s antivirus technology.
This is reassuring — Avira has over 30 years of malware-fighting experience and provides one of the best antivirus products on the market.
TotalAV’s Real-Time Protection monitors your device at all times, scanning files as you download or run them.
Real-Time Protection is enabled by default. You can turn it off, but you shouldn’t. You also shouldn’t notice any impact on your computer’s performance.
To try out the Real-Time Protection feature, I downloaded a few viruses and ran some ransomware tests.
When I downloaded my first virus file, TotalAV caught it immediately, placing it in quarantine before I could even click it.
For the next test, I downloaded a virus contained within a compressed (.zip) file. TotalAV let me download the compressed file and look inside it. But it took quick action when I tried to extract or run the infected file.
Next, I tested some ransomware. Ransomware continues to be an increasingly serious cybersecurity threat that costs the global economy billions each year.
TotalAV immediately noticed and quarantined the ransomware files I placed on my computer.
TotalAV’s Real-Time Protection is quick and effective, and it didn’t slow down my computer.
TotalAV’s Password Vault lets you securely store, organize, and retrieve all your login credentials.
I’ve tested some of the best premium password managers on the market. So I was skeptical that TotalAV’s Password Vault would meet my high standards. However, I was pleasantly surprised.
When you first use the Password Vault you have to choose your master password.
TotalAV then indicates how strong your master password is.
For security reasons, TotalAV never receives your master password — it’s stored on your computer in encrypted form. So if you forget it, you’ll be locked out of your Password Vault forever.
One great feature is that TotalAV can import any passwords you have saved in your browser with one click.
TotalAV’s Password Vault can generate very strong passwords. You can choose how many characters a password contains and whether it includes numbers and/or symbols.
The Password Vault provides icons for most well-known websites, so you can easily locate the password you need.
It won’t be necessary to look up your passwords often. Once your Password Vault is set up, TotalAV asks you to install the Password Vault browser extension for Firefox or Chrome.
A browser extension makes filling in passwords much easier.
Some free password managers, such as KeePass, don’t include a browser extension by default. This means you have to switch between the application and your browser whenever you want to log into an online account.
Once you’ve installed the Password Vault browser extension, the TotalAV logo appears next to your address bar. 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.
There’s one problem — unfortunately, the TotalAV mobile app doesn’t provide access to the Password Vault. This means you’ll probably need to rely on fingerprint or PIN access to log into your online accounts via mobile.
But overall, TotalAV’s Password Vault works well, looks great, and is very simple to use.
TotalAV’s System Tune-Up keeps your computer running smoothly. It also frees up disk space, and deletes unnecessary personal information that could compromise your privacy.
System Tune-Up includes the following tools:
- Startup Programs
- Uninstall Applications
- Browser Manager
TotalAV’s Disk Cleaner also belongs on this list — but for some reason, it’s considered a separate feature.
The Startup Programs feature lets you control which applications run automatically when you boot your computer. Applications that boot at startup can slow down your computer, and they can even be unsafe.
The Startup Programs tool is nothing special. Windows includes an almost identical feature with the same toggle-switch interface.
The Uninstall Applications feature can help you create space and remove unwanted or obsolete software from your computer.
Note the “Quick Tip” — “Only remove applications you no longer wish to use.” This might seem obvious, but it could stop someone permanently deleting important documents. I like the way TotalAV explains simple things to users.
Again, Windows provides the ability to uninstall applications. However, I’ve always hated the Windows “Add or Remove Programs” tool. TotalAV makes it really easy to remove several applications at once.
The Browser Manager tool helps you keep your online activity private. Your browsers store cookies that can track your behavior and sell your personal information.
The Browser Manager lists each browser you have installed and lets you clear all your cookies at once.
Finally, the Disk Cleaner feature lets you clean up duplicate files or junk files.
TotalAV’s Disk Cleaner will find and let you delete duplicate files that take up unnecessary space. Windows’s standard Disk Cleanup application doesn’t have this function.
The Disk Cleaner can also clean up the 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.
None of these tools are ground-breaking. You already have some of them on your computer — even if you rarely use them. But by improving these tools and bringing them all together under TotalAV's great user-interface, the System Tune-Up feature offers something of real value.
The Web Shield protects you against phishing websites that steal your personal information. It also lets you access some security features within your browser.
I had real problems getting Web Shield to work. But with a little effort, I eventually got it working.
The Web Shield browser extension is OK, except for the “Safe Search” tool.
Safe Search redirects web searches through TotalAV’s own search engine. This supposedly gives you more secure search results. Chrome did not like Safe Search and tried to stop me using it.
Safe Search also checks web links to verify their safety. This function also failed to work. Some links showed green for “safe”, but most didn’t register.
I’m sure that other people have had more success with Web Shield. However, given my great experience with the desktop application, this feature was disappointing.
Safe Browsing (VPN)
TotalAV doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel here (unlike most antivirus software on the market). They simply add-in a market-leading VPN (Windscribe) into the product — meaning you get a popular, feature-heavy VPN as part of your TotalAV license! That’s a great deal!
More and more internet security products are coming with a VPN. Even Dashlane — a password manager — includes one.
TotalAV’s VPN comes with unlimited data, so you can stream as much high-res video as you want.
To access TotalAV’s VPN, choose “Safe Browsing (VPN)” from the sidebar and select which region you want to connect to.
TotalAV’s VPN can connect to servers in 60 locations. Most people will choose the location closest to them, which is usually the fastest. I chose France, and TotalAV connected me within a few seconds.
There’s another smart use for a VPN. When you connect to a different country, you can access all the web content available in that country. This means TotalAV users in the UK can watch the US version of Netflix, and vice versa.
TotalAV’s Safe Browsing (VPN) is quick and reliable, with unlimited data and an impressive amount of server locations. But even premium users will need to pay extra for it.
TotalAV Antivirus Plans and Pricing
TotalAV seems to have had a reputation in the past for a misleading renewals policy. A couple of customers seem to have been surprised that their subscription price went up after the first year. I can’t see any evidence of these issues now. There are huge discounts available, but TotalAV makes it very clear that these only apply for the first year. There’s nothing deceptive about that.
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. While they do try to keep you on board with some discounts, they aren’t at all pushy.
There are a couple of free products, and three basic pricing tiers:
- Essential Antivirus
- Pro Antivirus
- Ultimate Antivirus
Note that even Ultimate Antivirus users need to pay extra for Safe Browsing (VPN) and TotalAV's premium ad-blocking browser extension, Ad Block Pro.
However, here’s some insider info: Once I’d purchased a product, TotalAV was throwing discounts at me. You might find that the premium features get cheaper once you’re through the door.
|TotalAV Ultimate Antivirus||TotalAV Pro Antivirus||TotalAV Essential Antivirus|
|Platforms||PC, Mac, Android, iOS||PC, Mac, Android, iOS||PC, Mac, Android, iOS|
|Number of Device Licenses||5||3||1|
|Advanced Ransomware Protection||✓||✓||✓|
|Real-Time Antivirus Protection||✓||✓||✓|
|Virus, Trojans, Adware, Spyware & Malware Protection||✓||✓||✓|
|Protection Against Phishing Scams||✓||✓||✓|
|Free Up System Space with Disk Cleaner||✓||✓||✓|
|PC Performance & Optimization Tools||✓||✓||✓|
|Remote Firewall Protection||✓||✓||✓|
|Stay Safe Online with Web Shield Extension||✓||✓||✓|
|Web Browser Cleaner & Manager||✓||✓||✓|
|Safe Password Vault||✓||✓||x|
|24/7 Priority Super-Fast Support||✓||x||x|
|Smartphone Optimizer & Protection||✓||x||x|
|30-Day Money-Back Guarantee||✓||✓||✓|
The free version of TotalAV is essentially just the “System Scan” and “Web Shield” features.
One the one hand, it’s free — so you can’t complain, right? But there are better free antivirus options. For example, AVG Free Antivirus offers real-time protection and some optimization tools.
If you only want to test out TotalAV’s virus-scanning capabilities, give the free version of TotalAV a try — you’ll get a reliable, meaningful set of results.
TotalAV Essential Antivirus
TotalAV Essential Antivirus offers all of TotalAV’s virus-scanning features, including System Scan, Real-Time Protection, and System Tune-Up.
TotalAV Pro Antivirus
TotalAV Pro Antivirus offers access to an “Antivirus eBook”, the Password Vault, and 2 extra licenses — so you can install TotalAV Pro Antivirus on 3 devices in total.
I never managed to find the "Antivirus eBook", so I don’t know if it’s any good. But the Password Vault alone makes this a worthy upgrade. And to use the Password Vault effectively, it’s important to have those 2 extra licenses.
TotalAV Ultimate Antivirus
TotalAV Ultimate Antivirus brings your total licenses up to 5, and it also offers priority tech support and some mobile optimization tools.
With TotalAV Ultimate Antivirus’s 5 extra licenses, this is a great option if you want to share TotalAV with others.
However, TotalAV is not the best choice if you’re looking for an antivirus to use as a family. Consider Norton instead — it offers many more licenses and some impressive parental controls.
TotalAV Antivirus Ease of Use and Setup
TotalAV is easy to set up and use. Installation took less than 5 minutes.
I really like TotalAV’s user interface. It’s well-designed, attractive, and bug-free. Although there are many features, you never feel overwhelmed or confused.
On the main screen, you can access all of TotalAV’s features via 6 large buttons. There’s also a sidebar to help you to navigate around the application.
While the desktop application is flawless, I had some serious issues with the “Web Shield” browser extension, as mentioned above.
TotalAV users also get their own online Dashboard. You can access this via the TotalAV website. It has video tutorials and FAQs covering everything you need to know. You can also purchase extra features from the TotalAV Online Marketplace.
I like how TotalAV explains every feature in simple terms, both via the Dashboard and in the desktop and mobile applications. TotalAV provides a straightforward user experience, making it a particularly good option if you’re inexperienced with antivirus software.
TotalAV Antivirus Mobile App
TotalAV offers mobile apps for Android (Oreo 8.1 and above) and iOS (11.3 and above). I tested it on Android P (version 9).
Once you’ve logged into the mobile app, you can see your device’s current battery and storage levels.
Swipe from the left side of the screen to bring up a side menu, providing access to features, settings, and support.
The Antivirus Scan is quick and easy. I was able to use my phone normally throughout the scan without any noticeable performance issues.
The scan detected the test virus I had placed on my phone.
The TotalAV mobile app also provides real-time protection. You can see if real-time is running via your notification bar.
Unfortunately, however, the real-time protection didn’t notice when I placed a test virus on my device.
The TotalAV mobile app also offers a “Cleaner” to help free up space on your device and keep it running smoothly. The Cleaner found over 650 MB of junk on my one-month-old phone.
The App Lock feature adds an extra layer of security to your chosen apps by letting you lock them with a password or PIN.
Perhaps best of all, the “Safe Browsing (VPN)” feature is accessible from your phone.
You probably spend a lot of time connected to an unsecured connection when using your phone. So having a VPN on your phone might be even more important than having one on your computer.
The TotalAV mobile app offers a good range of features and is a pleasure to use.
However, there are better antivirus mobile apps available. Kaspersky, for example, can help you find your device if it’s stolen and will link with some wearable devices. But the TotalAV mobile app makes a fine companion to the desktop application.
TotalAV Antivirus Customer Support
If you need to contact customer support, TotalAV provides plenty of options, including:
- Live chat
- Video tutorials
Phone numbers are also available 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’ve found TotalAV’s support team helpful and polite — but they were sometimes a little slow to respond.
Here’s an example of an interaction with the support team:
I had an issue setting up VPN access, so I contacted support via a form on my Dashboard. I got a really great response, but it took around 18 hours.
Note that I was on the Pro Antivirus package at this point, so I didn’t have 24/7 priority support.
Overall, however, TotalAV’s support team will make you feel like you are a valued customer.
The Bottom Line on TotalAV Antivirus
TotalAV takes Avira’s strong antivirus technology and offers a powerful, user-friendly internet security package. Although I found problems with the mobile app and browser extension, the desktop app is well-designed and bug-free. Even if you’re new to antivirus software, you’ll find that TotalAV is easy to set up and use.
TotalAV can get expensive. Even if you pay for the Ultimate package, you still won’t get access to every feature. But there are some great discounts available for the first year. If you’re willing to upgrade, you’ll have everything you need to stay safe online.
Impressive malware detection rates and an easy-to-use interface make TotalAV a great choice of antivirus software — even when compared to better-known brands.
What We Like:
- Powerful protection against all types of malware.
- User-friendly and attractive design.
- Some excellent extra features, including a Password Vault and Safe Browsing (VPN).
What We Don’t Like:
- Accessing some of the best features can be expensive.
- Serious issues with the free Web Shield feature.
- Unreliable real-time protection on the mobile app.