Malwarebytes vs. TotalAV — Which Is More Reliable in 2023?

Find the best antivirus for you and your devices.
We compare security, extra features, ease of use, and more to help you decide.
Professional Reviews
Affiliate Commissions
Reviews Guidelines

TotalAV vs. Malwarebytes: Which Is Right for You?

Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd
QA Editor

TotalAV vs. Malwarebytes: Which Is Right for You?

Malwarebytes and TotalAV are popular antiviruses with excellent malware detection rates, real-time protections, and more. However, there are some key differences between the two antiviruses you need to know about.

TotalAV is a comprehensive security package that contains privacy protections, identity theft protections, system cleanup tools, and other additional features. Malwarebytes, on the other hand, is minimalistic and only provides essential malware protection.

Today, we’re going to look closely at TotalAV and Malwarebytes and detail the main differences between them, so you can make an informed decision on which antivirus to go for in 2023.

Malwarebytes vs. TotalAV: Final Verdict:

  • 1st place: Malwarebytes vs. TotalAV: Final Verdict:
  • 2nd place: Malwarebytes vs. TotalAV: Final Verdict:

TotalAV is better for malware protection, features, and PC optimization. If you want a fully comprehensive antivirus package, go with TotalAV.

Malwarebytes is better for ease of use. If you want an antivirus that you can install and forget about, go with Malwarebytes.

Malwarebytes vs. TotalAV: Malware Protection

Malwarebytes includes an effective anti-malware engine that uses a huge malware database alongside heuristic analysis to block all kinds of malware threats, including trojans, worms, rootkits, and more.

I downloaded an archive containing 1,000s of known malware samples to my Windows 11 PC and then ran a full system scan. Malwarebytes completed it in about 3 hours and found 95% of the malware samples — which is pretty good (but not perfect).

I was impressed with Malwarebytes’s real-time protection. It was able to block 98% of the same malware samples when I turned it on. It also includes some pretty good exploit protections that work silently in the background. Each time, they blocked more exploits than the built-in protections of Edge, Chrome, and Firefox.

Visit Malwarebytes

TotalAV uses Avira’s anti-malware engine. This is excellent because Avira’s anti-malware engine is among the best on the market. Like Malwarebytes, it uses heuristic analysis and a huge malware database, allowing it to find all kinds of malware threats — including zero-day threats.

TotalAV was able to find 99.6% of malware samples — which is better than Malwarebytes. To test it, I downloaded the same archive of malware samples that I used to test Malwarebytes and ran the full system scan. Overall, it took an hour to complete (much faster than Malwarebytes’s 3 hours).

I also really like TotalAV’s real-time protection. When I enabled it, the real-time protection blocked every malware sample. TotalAV even stopped malware samples in zipped archives, which is cool.

Visit TotalAV

Malwarebytes vs. TotalAV: Web Security

Malwarebytes includes a free web extension called Browser Guard. It’s compatible with all major web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. Browser Guard protects you from visiting dangerous phishing websites, receiving annoying pop-up ads, and having trackers steal your data.

I tested Malwarebytes’s web extension on Chrome, Edge, and Firefox. Each time, it blocked 90% of dangerous website samples listed on PhishTank. This is much better than the detection rates of most web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox.

Unfortunately, Malwarebytes’s ad blocker only blocked around 35% of ads when I tested it. TotalAV includes a really good ad blocker that consistently gave me much better results.

Visit Malwarebytes

TotalAV includes a decent web shield that works on most major browsers. Like Malwarebytes, it stops you from accessing dangerous phishing websites. However, unlike Malwarebytes, TotalAV’s ad blocker is a separate download, which is pretty annoying.

That said, TotalAV had a 100% phishing site detection rate when I tested it. It uses its own AI-based system, which allows it to block every website listed on PhishTank — including the 10% of dangerous websites that Malwarebytes missed.

TotalAV’s phishing protection is also free, so I see no reason why you’d want to choose Malwarebytes over TotalAV in this category.

Visit TotalAV

Malwarebytes vs. TotalAV: Features

Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy protects up to 5 devices and includes:

  • Malware scanner.
  • Real-time protection.
  • Anti-phishing protection.
  • VPN (virtual private network).

Overall, I quite like Malwarebytes’s VPN. It offers access to over 300 servers located in 30 countries and has excellent connection speeds. However, Malwarebytes’s VPN doesn’t include a kill switch, which is disappointing. If your VPN connection drops, Malwarebytes won’t shut off your internet connection, which could expose your data. TotalAV’s VPN, on the other hand, does include a kill switch.

Malwarebytes has far fewer features than most antiviruses on the market. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Malwarebytes aims to offer the most minimalistic, essential protection that runs without any slowdown to your system — and it works well. If you’re a beginner user and a minimalist antivirus is all you need, then Malwarebytes is a good choice.

Visit Malwarebytes

TotalAV Total Security offers protection on 6 devices and includes more features than Malwarebytes. TotalAV has:

  • Malware scanner.
  • Real-time malware scanner.
  • System cleanup tools.
  • VPN.
  • Password manager.
  • Ad blocker.

TotalAV’s system cleanup tools are its standout feature. After running them, I noticed a significant speed increase on my PC. I also love how TotalAV includes a startup manager, so you can easily control which applications start up with your computer and therefore increase boot speeds.

TotalAV’s VPN works pretty well, too. Unlike Malwarebytes’s VPN, it includes a kill switch, which is pretty cool. If the VPN connection suddenly drops, your internet connection will drop too, preventing any data leaks. I didn’t notice any slowdown with TotalAV’s VPN active either, and I could still stream HD video on Netflix and download files from the internet at full speed. No wonder it’s our top antivirus-bundled VPN for 2023.

Visit TotalAV

Malwarebytes vs. TotalAV: Ease of Use

Malwarebytes is super straightforward to navigate and easy to use. The user interface is uncluttered, well laid out, and allows access to most features with just a few clicks. Downloading and installing Malwarebytes takes only a few minutes. You can download Malwarebytes for free and get started almost instantly.

Malwarebytes’s mobile apps are pretty good, too. The Android version is the same as the PC version of Malwarebytes and just as easy to use. I like how simple it is to schedule scans on the mobile app. Similarly, the iOS version of Malwarebytes is well laid out — however, it doesn’t include a malware scanner due to restrictions with iOS.

Visit Malwarebytes

TotalAV is also easy to set up and use. It has one intuitive dashboard that makes features like the PC optimizer quick to access, and you can run all the tools in as little as one click. Even better, TotalAV only took a few minutes to download and install on my device.

TotalAV also has an online dashboard — which is something I’d like to see Malwarebytes include. The dashboard works like a knowledge base, and it also provides access to TotalAV’s marketplace and lets you see which devices are registered under your TotalAV license. It’s disappointing that there’s no remote device access, though.

Finally, TotalAV includes a feature-rich mobile app with a device-tuneup feature. When I tested it, it cleared over 1,000 MB of junk from my device — something Malwarebytes can’t do.

Visit TotalAV

Malwarebytes vs. TotalAV: Customer Support

Malwarebytes doesn’t offer the best customer support. It lacks live chat or phone support — which is disappointing. TotalAV provides both of these options.

On a positive note, Malwarebytes has a solid knowledge base and email support, but it took them a whole day to get back to me when I sent an email. The support team was helpful and answered all my questions, but it would have been better if they responded a little faster.

Malwarebytes also has a 24/7 chatbot, but honestly, it’s just like a search function for Malwarebytes’s knowledge base. It isn’t much help if you have specific questions.

Visit Malwarebytes

TotalAV’s customer support is much better than Malwarebytes’s. TotalAV offers 24/7 phone support, email, and live chat. It also has a specific support number you can ring in 7 countries.

In my tests, TotalAV’s phone support team always answered instantly. They consistently gave me specific instructions for simple and complicated problems, making learning TotalAV much more straightforward than learning Malwarebytes.

TotalAV also replied to my emails in about 18 hours, which is better than Malwarebytes’s 24-hour response time. Again, the support staff was helpful, clear, and concise when advising me about any problems I had.

Finally, TotalAV’s live chat is pretty good. It’s only accessible in certain countries, but the chat team was consistently helpful and responsive. They even helped me with follow-up questions after they resolved certain issues!

Visit TotalAV

Starting Price
Money Back Guarantee
Free Trial
30 Days
60 Days
Ease of Use
Latest Positive Review*User reviews are not verified
May 17, 2023
Good Antivirus
I've been using this for approximately four years and it's excellent.
Vladimir Medakovic
May 17, 2023
good product
works well, no issues so far. Great for the price.
Jul. 23, 2021
I had a shit tone of malware left after a ransomware attack and it removed...
Gucci G
Feb. 12, 2021
i had a "yahoo virus", the virus was deleted within a few minutes
Latest Negative Review*User reviews are not verified
Marc Silverberg
Feb. 9, 2023
Stay Away!
Total AV is the most disreputable company I have ever dealt with. They...
Feb. 5, 2023
Michael Weser
Mar. 31, 2022
Support SERIOUSLY Lacking!!!
I have been trying to get support for a licensing issue and now a refund...
bob venezia
Mar. 23, 2022
poor customer support
bought subscription for 3 devices thinking it would cover my laptop and...
Our Verdict
Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd
QA Editor
Malwarebytes and TotalAV are both pretty good, but TotalAV comes out on top. While Malwarebytes is minimalistic and suitable for beginner users who want essential malware protections, I really like the number of features TotalAV offers in one intuitive dashboard. This includes a helpful malware scanner, excellent real-time protection, a great PC optimization tool, and more. Malwarebytes’s malware scanner is pretty good, too, but I’d really like to see more features — such as a PC optimizer and additional support options for beginner users. You can try Malwarebytes with a 60-day money-back guarantee and TotalAV with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Time To Decide Which One Is Best For You

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find the best antivirus for me?

The first thing to do is to understand what you need — all antiviruses come with different internet security tools to help you stay protected, so identifying what level of protection you want will help you figure out which product is right for you.

Some antiviruses have a virtual private network (VPN), some have safe browsing extensions, and some have a password manager. Some only work on certain operating systems, while others cover all operating systems across multiple devices.

It’s important to compare the best antiviruses on the market to find the perfect one with the functionality you need.

What makes an antivirus secure?

A high-quality antivirus suite will detect, flag, and remove viruses and various types of malware. It will also offer real-time protection against all threats, regardless of whether you are browsing the internet, downloading software, shopping online, or opening email. For additional security, many antivirus suites offer a VPN, secure storage, and a password manager — these things all add several layers of protection against various cyber threats.

For more information on how antiviruses work, read this.

What do I need to look for when searching for an antivirus?

An antivirus needs to protect against all types of malware — trojans, rootkits, worms, spyware, viruses, ransomware, and anything else that might cause damage to your devices. This is done in a variety of ways, but the most essential feature of an antivirus is real-time protection — this makes sure that an active threat is effectively stopped before anything serious can happen.

Other things to look for include — excellent detection rates, fast system performance, included extra features (like a VPN, password manager, etc.), easy-to-use interface, good customer support, and overall value.

Go here for a list of the best antivirus software of 2023.

How do I know if one antivirus is better than another?

When researching antiviruses, it’s a good idea to visit a few well-known antivirus software websites such as Norton, McAfee, and Bitdefender to directly compare each antivirus’s features.

You can also look at the expert opinions of our reviewers at to find the most up-to-date and unbiased information about the best cybersecurity products on the market today.