TotalAV review: A versatile antivirus but is it a dependable option?

Ruheni Mathenge Last updated: June 1, 2022
Disclosure

TotalAV is an excellent solution against viruses, malware, and other cyber threats. But is it really effective? Read this review to find out.

TotalAV, a relatively new UK-based internet security solution, will occasionally appear among big antivirus brands. It is affordable software designed to identify and eliminate potential malware threats on your computer actively. Additionally, the antivirus offers numerous privacy protection and impressive web security features in an intuitive interface.

Although TotalAV may not be the most affordable, versatile, or popular antivirus software, it is a decent all-around solution. In this TotalAV antivirus review, we will look at its performance, ease-of-use, system impact, customer support, and much more.

TotalAV overview

TotalAV is a trustworthy antivirus program that is packed with lots of features. It will offer you protection against viruses, ransomware, spyware, and other types of malware that can severely damage your device.

Here are some of its key features 

  • Real-time malware protection
  • Virtual private network (VPN) 
  • Anti-phishing scam 
  • Smart scanning 
  • Remote firewall 
  • Password manager 
  • Updated virus definitions 
  • Identity theft monitoring 
  • Data breach monitoring

Moreover, the service comes with other features you can explore by subscribing to any of the reasonably priced packages. Also, you can utilize the 30-day money-back guarantee to test the service or the free version if you are on a budget. So, TotalAV is an excellent choice if you want a simple-to-use antivirus with excellent malware detection rates.

TotalAV security features

This software has all the tools you might need in an antivirus application. Combining these features will provide you with decent protection against most online threats.

Malware scans 

TotalAV offers three malware scan types that include:

  • Quick scan – Scans temporary file where viruses usually hide 
  • System scan – Scans the entire system for malware
  • Smart scan – Scans a large but targeted files and folder selection on your hard drive
  • Custom scan – Scans a single file, folder, or the whole disk

I started our test with the system scan that took around 1 hour. Fortunately, it didn’t take a toll on our computer’s performance, which is a great thing. Most of its competitors, like Kaspersky, put a strain on the CPU during such scans. 

I downloaded over 900 test files comprising viruses, ransomware, Trojans, rootkits, keylogging, and spyware malware in this test. The results were remarkable, with the antivirus detecting almost all the files (99.6 %), including spyware and ransomware files. This is great news as some antiviruses don’t consider spyware as malware

If you don’t have the time to perform the full system scan, you can do a quick or smart scan. During my tests, both scans run for about 10 minutes. 

TotalAV offers you several removal options on the malware files it identifies – delete, quarantine, whitelist, or ignore at the end of each scan. If you don’t know how to handle the file or its origin, it is best to quarantine it. On the other hand, you can whitelist a program if it doesn’t show any traces of malware. Fortunately, TotalAV did not present false positives during our tests. 


Real-time protection

TotalAV’s real-time protection is highly effective. It is always active in the background, analyzing programs and scanning downloads to protect your computer from malware

I downloaded various malware files, including ransomware and rootkit, to test the real-time scanning engine. TotalAV immediately identified the malicious files and quarantined them even before we could run the scan. 

For the second test, I used over 500 virus files confined in a compressed (.zip) folder. Again, the antivirus allowed me to download the compressed files but issued a warning when I tried to obtain data from the zipped folder. 

Finally, I did a ransomware simulator test. TotalAV identified the encryption signature of the file and immediately blocked the execution. As a result, the malware couldn’t infect any of the system’s files. 

Real-time malware detection is one of the essential parts of any antivirus program. So, it is impressive to see that TotalAV’s real-time protection is working efficiently.


WebShield

This anti-phishing tool will protect you from phishing threats and other online malware distributors. Phishing is becoming a menace where millions of internet users are lured into providing their sensitive information through fake web pages. 

Popular browsers like Firefox and Chrome have adequate anti-phishing protection. However, adding an antivirus like TotalAV will help to improve the defense to keep you completely safe. 

I was impressed with TotalAV’s anti-phishing tool performance as it detected more phishing sites than Firefox and Chrome during my testing. In addition, it claims to combine the best-known blacklist of dangerous websites and an AI-based detection system to identify phishing sites. Indeed, this works pretty well. All in all, some of its competitors, like Avira and Norton, offer a more advanced and user-friendly anti-phishing protection. 

The best thing with TotalAV’s Web Shield is that you can download it for free as an app or extension. Generally, TotalAV’s anti-phishing tool is really effective compared to other competing brands and compliments the overall package. 


System Tune-up

This feature eliminates junk files, which helps to improve the computer’s performance. The System Tune-Up is one of the best antivirus PC optimizers available. It comprises the following tools: 

  • Startup Manager 
  • Browser Cleanup  
  • Application Uninstaller 
  • Junk Cleaner 
  • Duplicate File Finder 

The Startup Manager feature allows you to decide the applications to run automatically when you boot your computer. Windows OS has a similar feature, but it is hidden in the Control Panel. However, TotalAV makes it easily accessible and effortless to use. 

Application Uninstaller will enable you to remove unwanted or obsolete software to create more space on your computer. Again, the Windows operating system has an identical feature. However, the ‘Add or Remove Programs’ is tedious to use and sometimes isn’t practical. On the other hand, you can easily access the apps, uninstall them and even remove multiple applications at once with TotalAV. 

The Browser Cleanup feature will help to keep your online activities private. Usually, your browsers retain cookies that can be used to track your activities and even steal your information. However, you can eliminate all the cookies at once using TotalAV’s cleanup tool. 

Another notable feature is the Duplicate File Finder. It will help you find and eliminate duplicate files that occupy unnecessary space on your computer. Unfortunately, Window’s Disk Cleanup feature doesn’t offer this function. 

Last but not least, the Junk Cleaner will remove the scrap files retained after you update or uninstall an application. They can take significant space on your computer without your knowledge. For example, I reclaimed over 1GB during testing. In comparison, the Windows Disk Cleanup feature could only find 30MB, which is about 3% of TotalAV. 

These Tune-Up features are not exceptional, but they function effectively, are user-friendly, and are easily accessible from a single location. 


Virtual Private Network (VPN)

TotalAV’s Safe Browsing VPN is a remarkable security feature to protect you from hackers, surveillance agents, ISPs, and other third parties. It functions like any other VPN by encrypting and rerouting your traffic through an intermediary server. In addition, it will replace your actual IP address with a shared one, making it impossible to track your activities. 

Although the VPN feature is fast, it can’t compete with standalone services like ExpressVPN and NordVPN. Also, you should expect your speed to slow down a bit because of the encryption process and rerouting your traffic through a server. 

Ping is the statistic that indicates the amount of time information takes to from the computer to the server and vice versa. A lower ping rate is desirable, especially with tasks such as gaming. The Safe Browsing VPN increased my ping significantly. Fortunately, it didn’t affect the download and upload speeds, which is excellent. 

Besides protecting your online privacy, a VPN is helpful in other ways too. For example, when you connect to a server in another country, you can access geo-blocked content. This means that you can be in the UK and stream movies and TV shows on Netflix US. Unfortunately, popular streaming services update their security protocols regularly to prevent access to copyrighted content with VPN. So, it is not a guarantee that the VPN will bypass geo-restrictions. 

Nonetheless, TotalAV’s VPN successfully evaded the geographic restrictions of the streaming sites that I tested. Unfortunately, although I could access Netflix libraries in various countries, it doesn’t make it to the best Netflix VPNs. For an alluring Netflix streaming experience, you can opt for a trustworthy VPN service like NordVPN.

Overall, the Safe Browsing VPN is safe and reliable. It comes with unlimited data and allows you to connect to servers in over 100 countries. During my tests, the VPN offered sufficient speed and bypassed geo-restrictions of many sites. 


Password manager

TotalAV offers a basic password manager known as Password Vault. However, it can’t compete with many standalone options and is only included in the most expensive package. 

Top password managers on the market like LastPass offer multiple security features like 2FA, biometric login, password sharing, etc. However, TotalAV’s Password Vault does not provide these valuable extras. 

That said, the Password Vault performs exemplary in basic password management. For example, it helps generate complex passwords, stores them in a vault, and auto-fills save logins.

The absence of additional security features is forgivable, but the major downside is the lack of a mobile version. This is a big issue for a user like me because I use the password manager for almost everything from financial apps, social media accounts, etc. In fact, I haven’t memorized any of my passwords since the password manager generates and stores them. Besides my PC, I also use my smartphone to browse the internet. Therefore, it is disheartening that I can’t access the password manager to store my complex password.

So, TotalAV’s Password Vault is a great way to safeguard your passwords on your computer. However, if you don’t like the lack of a mobile app, you can check out these best password managers available today.  


How TotalAV Password Vault works

TotalAV requires you to create a master password that you will use to access your password vault. There is also an option to import your passwords from other password managers or browsers. 

Once you configure the Password Vault on your computer, you can use the web extension that identifies saved logins and auto-fills them. After this, you will notice a padlock icon in the password and username fields on any login page you visit. Tap on the padlock icon, and a Window will pop up. The Password Vault browser extension will auto-fill the password field with a single click. 

Overall, TotalAV’s password manager is not pleasing as it lacks advanced features and a mobile app. However, it has the basics, and the provided features (auto-fill and auto-save) work pretty well. While TotalAV should enhance its password manager, it is a decent option to manage your passwords on your computer. 

Usability and setup

TotalAV is effortless to configure and use. In fact, the entire installation process will take you less than 5 minutes to complete. 

The interface is well designed, aesthetically pleasing, and bug-free. Although the software has many features, you won’t feel overwhelmed or confused. For example, each of the main features is assigned an icon on the sidebar, including Internet Security, Malware Protection, and System Tune-Up. Also, the advanced options are available in the settings menu if you would like to customize your experience. 

Most antivirus programs like BullGuard bury the scan customization options behind multiple setting menus. Fortunately, TotalAV has made it extremely easy to schedule and adjust the antivirus scans.

Moreover, TotalAV provides an online dashboard that has FAQs and video tutorials. However, it doesn’t offer remote device access like some of its competitors, such as Norton. Nonetheless, there is an option to buy extra features from the TotalAV Online Marketplace. 

Overall, TotalAV offers an excellent user experience, conveniently placed features, a modest online dashboard, and easily accessible settings. 

TotalAV mobile apps

TotalAV provides antivirus apps for both Android and iOS devices. These are some of the features you will get with the mobile apps. 

  • VPN 
  • Malware scanning (Android only) 
  • App locker (Android only)
  • Device tune-up 
  • Data breach monitoring 
  • Device tracking (iOS only)

The virus scanning tool is only accessible on Android devices as the iOS platform doesn’t contract viruses. However, there are still tons of other malware that specifically target iOS devices. 

TotalAV’s virus scan was easy to use, quick and accurate during my tests on an Android phone. My device usually worked without any performance issues as the scan ran in the background. However, the battery drained much faster. 

Furthermore, the TotalAV Android app also comes with real-time protection. It successfully detected all the malware samples, but there was a significant drain on the battery. 

The Tune-Up feature is also available on the mobile app. It will help you free up space on your device and make it run smoothly. For example, I could reclaim over 1000 MB of space on my phone. 

Having a VPN on your mobile phone is necessary if you use public Wi-Fi hotspots to access the internet. It will anonymize your traffic, preventing your ISP, hackers, and other third parties from tracking your activities or stealing your data. TotalAV’s VPN for Android works really well in this effect. Besides, it will also provide you access to servers around the world. 

Overall, the TotalAV mobile app has useful features, and the malware scanner works very well. Also, the Safe Browsing VPN will protect your device from hackers and other cyber threats. However, if you want a decent internet security app for your phone, you can check out these best antiviruses with VPNs

TotalAV system impact 

TotalAV has minimal impact on my computer’s system during both quick and full scans. This is a huge benefit as many antivirus programs will burden your processor such that your computer cannot perform tasks. 

The antivirus understands its assignment when malicious files find their way into your computer. For example, it detected my attempts to download a sample malware file and warned me against it. In fact, the download process was stopped. So, if a file you want to download is blocked, you will need to deactivate web filtering, but it’s not advisable. 

TotalAV customer support 

TotalAV offers three main mediums to contact customer support: email, live chat, and 24/7 phone support. Unfortunately, the live chat option isn’t accessible in some countries, but you can get around it by using Chrome’s incognito mode

Alternatively, you can use email support. However, although the agents are helpful and knowledgeable, they are a bit slow. For instance, I got some problems setting up the VPN, so I contacted the support through email. Unfortunately, the response came after 20 hours, which is a pretty long time compared to its competitors like McAfee and Norton

Besides, TotalAV also has country-specific support and in-country phone numbers in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Spain, and Germany. In addition, the provider has telephone numbers for ‘Europe’ and ‘International’ if you live outside these countries. I tested it, and the agents gave me precise, helpful, and quick support. 

TotalAV plans and pricing

TotalAV is competitively priced for the features it offers. The problem is that the company will try to upsell you when you are already purchasing your subscription. For example, I received around five pop-ups selling me more features. 

Its competitors like Bitdefender, Avast, McAfee, and Norton combine all superior features in a single premium package. So, it would be nice if TotalAV could improve the purchasing experience and introduce a one-click process for its top-tier product. 

Generally, TotalAV is an affordable internet security software, but unfortunately, the company makes the purchasing process a little more complicated than necessary. As a result, I have highlighted the TotalAV’s packages with their features, so you don’t buy unnecessary additional options. 

Thankfully, all the products come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. I have verified the refund process, and I can authenticate that it is legitimate. In fact, I received my money within 24 hours of requesting it. 

Here is a table of TotalAV plans and their features 

Total Security Internet Security Antivirus Pro Free Antivirus 
Supported OS Windows, macOS, Android, and iOSWindows, macOS, Android, and iOSWindows, macOS, Android, and iOSWindows, macOS, Android, and iOS
Number of devices 6531
Real-time protection X
Advanced ransomware protection X
Anti-malware scanner 
Anti-phishing protection  
Cloud-based malware scanning ✓ (Optional) X
System clean-up tools X
Virtual private network (VPN)XX
Adblocker XXX
Password manager XX
Mobile app 
Phone and email support 
30-day money-back guarantee Free 

TotalAV Free Antivirus: Free on-demand scanner

TotalAV’s free version is a tremendous on-demand antivirus scanner with useful anti-phishing protection features. So, the free plan is a reliable option if you only want to remove malware from your computer. However, it lacks real-time protection, which means you won’t get around-the-clock protection against malware. 

This is a letdown compared to its competitors’ free version like Avira that offers real-time protection, a web shield, optimization tools, and mobile protection. Nonetheless, TotalAV’s free antivirus will introduce you to the product, and it is straightforward to upgrade your subscription for more features. 


TotalAV Antivirus Pro: Basic paid plan 

TotalAV’s Antivirus Pro package has features such as malware scanner, real-time protection, anti-phishing, and system tune-up. However, it lacks essential features like a VPN, password manager, and ad blocker.

I have tested these features, and they work very well. Although the Antivirus Pro is a great plan, the Norton 360 Standard package has more features. However, the former covers more devices than the latter. 


TotalAV Internet Security: Best value plan 

This package gives you access to all Antivirus Pro plan’s features, a VPN with unlimited bandwidth, five devices, and an ‘Antivirus eBook.’ Fortunately, it is cheaper than McAfee’s Total Protection plan. 

Basically, the eBook is useless as you can get most of the internet security advice it contains from our website. However, the multi-device support and a VPN make TotalAV Internet Security the best value plan. 


TotalAV Total Security: Extra protection 

This plan allows you to connect up to 6 devices and has all the features you may need in antivirus software. However, it isn’t desirable as it charges too much money for unnecessary features. In fact, some of its competitors, such as Bitdefender and Norton, support more devices and offer more useful additional features. 

As I previously mentioned, TotalAV’s password manager is a disappointment, and you can get better free standalone ad blockers. So, the additional cost on the Total Security plan does not match up with the functionality. 


Effectiveness of TotalAV as a security solution

Forthrightly, TotalAV is a good if not an excellent antivirus program, considering what it offers. The company has fine-tuned its product with only a few years of operation, although there is still room for improvement. For example, it should be more transparent on pricing and make it easy to deactivate the automatic renewal. 

Even so, it would be best if you considered what the software provides. For instance, it has a firewall that functions effectively. Also, the malware scanner is thorough in identifying and eliminating threats. Finally, the inclusion of a VPN makes TotalAV more valuable than most other antivirus applications on the market.

How to uninstall Total AV

TotalAV is a trustworthy antivirus program that can safeguard your device from malware and other cyber threats. However, you may need to uninstall it for whatever reason, like maybe you want antivirus with a better password manager and VPN. Below is a step-by-step guide on uninstalling TotalAV on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

How to uninstall TotalAV on Windows XP

Indeed, there are computers that still use Windows XP. Here is a guide on how to uninstall it.

  1. Press the Windows icon on your keyboard or click on the one on the bottom left corner of your home screen.
  2. Then click on ‘Settings‘ and choose ‘Control Panel.’
  3. Select ‘Add or Remove Programs
  4. Find TotalAV on the list and click on it
  5. Click the ‘Change/Remove‘ button
  6. Click ‘Yes‘ on the system notification will appear asking you if you want to uninstall the app.

Uninstall TotalAV on Windows Vista, 7 and 8

  1. On Windows 7 and Vista, click on the ‘Start‘ button to launch the Start Menu.
  2. Select the Control Panel option
  3. On Windows 8, open the start screen and click on the Control Panel app
  4. Choose ‘Uninstall a Program
  5. Click on the ‘Program and Features‘ icon when using the classic view control panel. 
  6. A window with the list of uninstalled programs will appear. Select TotalAV from the list.
  7. Then, click on the ‘Uninstall/Change’ button
  8. Click ‘Yes’ on the system notification that will appear asking if you want to delete the program

How to delete TotalAV on Windows 10

There are two main ways you can uninstall TotalAV on Windows 10

First method:

  1. Click on the Windows icon on your screen
  2.  Navigate to the TotalAV application and right-click
  3. Then, press ‘Uninstall

Second method:

  1. Click the Windows icon on the screen
  2. Then click on ‘Settings
  3. Select ‘System’ and click on ‘Apps and Features’
  4. Choose TotalAV from the list. There is an option to sort apps by name
  5. Click the ‘Uninstall‘ button

Remember to restart your computer to delete the app completely.


Uninstalling TotalAV on Android

The process of uninstalling TotalAV on Android is straightforward. There are two main methods to do it:

  1. The first one is through the ‘Settings’ menu. Find ‘Apps’ or ‘Application Manager’ depending on the device you are using
  2.  Next, click on the TotalAV application
  3. Go to the App’s details and pick the ‘Storage’ option and then click on ‘Delete Cache‘ and ‘Delete Data‘.
  4. Get back to the App’s details and click the ‘Uninstall App’ button.

The second method is to find the TotalAV app in the App’s menu on your device. Tap on the icon and hold it. Then, click on the ‘Uninstall’ button near the icon.


How to uninstall TotalAV on macOS

The process is extremely easy. Click, hold and drag the TotalAV app to the ‘trash’. Alternatively, right-click on the TotalAV app and select ‘move to Trash’. Remember to restart your computer to finish the uninstallation process.


The method to uninstall TotalAV on iOS

  1. Locate the TotalAV app icon on the screen
  2. Tap and hold it for a second.

A table with options will appear. Click ‘Delete’ and then ‘Confirm.’


Best TotalAV alternatives

There are several reliable alternatives to TotalAV that you can try. The options below provide strong security and privacy. 

McAfee 

McAfee is one of the most popular brands in the cybersecurity space and has performed exemplary in our previous tests. The two companies have a similar pricing scheme, although TotalAV’s first-year discounts are better. However, McAfee trounces TotalAV in terms of malware protection and additional features.  


Bitdefender 

Bitdefender is a robust security solution with a long-standing reputation. The antivirus performed well with high malware scan scores in our recent test. In addition, it has more additional useful features than TotalAV. 


Webroot 

Webroot is the best budget-friendly alternative to TotalAV. It has an effective malware scanner, excellent password manager, and decent additional features. There is also a system optimizer, web protection, and 25GB cloud storage. 


Conclusion 

TotalAV is a popular antivirus program that has come a long way within a short time. It’s highly competitive with affordable plans and robust protection algorithms. In addition, the software has a friendly interface, runs fast full scans, has low system impact, and has decent malware protection. Moreover, the VPN successfully bypassed geo-restrictions, but the pricing scheme and password manager weren’t impressive.

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