TotalAV Review 2022 - Too “Cheap” to Be Safe for PC, Mac & Mobile?

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8.8 Excellent!
www.totalav.com
Written by: Nick Polishchuk
Last updated on Jun 27, 2022

TotalAV Overview July 2022

TotalAV is a newcomer to the market but claims to be a globally trusted antivirus. Plus, it seems to offer the same variety of features that you’d find in top-tier antiviruses like Norton and McAfee while being more affordable. However, can it truly perform at the same level as the best antiviruses and be worth your money? I put it through multiple tests to find out.

I was impressed with TotalAV’s reliable real-time protection and its perfect malware detection rate. Both its free and premium plans offer many features, including a VPN from renowned provider Windscribe, an adblocker, a password vault, and a breach detector. This is a lot more value than you get from other higher-priced antiviruses. The only catch is that the low price is only available for 1 year.

Overall, I am pleased with TotalAV’s performance and definitely consider it worth trying. Its free version lasts only 7 days, but it offers a tried-and-tested money-back guarantee that’ll let you test it risk-free for 30 days.

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Security - 10

My tests revealed that TotalAV’s real-time protection, malware scans, and safe browsing tools outperform premium competitors such as McAfee, Bullguard, and Bitdefender. What’s more, the TotalAV app has little effect on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices’ system speed and performance.

Virus Scan — 3 Scan Options to Detect and Block Malware

TotalAV’s free and paid versions offer 3 virus scan options: the full malware scan, the Smart Scan, and the custom scan.

During tests, my team and I performed a full scan on a test computer by downloading malware no older than 4 weeks. During the 22-minute procedure, TotalAV identified 100% of viruses, spyware, ransomware, and other forms of malware, which is the industry average.

Screenshot of TotalAV's virus scan results
You can choose what you want to do with infected files if any turn up during a scan

I also tested TotalAV’s Smart Scan – a basic check of files in the Desktop, Startup, Browser, Folders, Cookies, and Cache. The scan examined over 55,000 files, and while no malware was detected, it found several items for me to optimize on my device. These included:

  • tracking cookies from the sites I visited, and search history
  • junk and duplicate files that clutter up my disk space
  • auto-run programs that slow down my system’s boot time

Antivirus programs can slow down a device when they run in the background, so I paid particular attention to my computers’ system speeds as I tested TotalAV. I found that the slowdown was negligible and didn’t have any noticeable impact on my regular browsing.

However, I did experience minor delays when downloading and installing programs. Compared to its peers, TotalAV causes fewer system delays than most other antiviruses, except McAfee and Kaspersky. That said, TotalAV is still the better choice overall. Kaspersky’s alleged collusion with state powers got it banned from US government agencies, while McAfee lacks TotalAV’s range of features.

I also tracked how long each type of scan took and how many files it included during testing. The speeds were consistent between devices, and are similar to what Norton achieved in our testing.

On a Windows 64-bit PC, the full malware scan examined over 940,000 files in 22 minutes, while the Smart Scan covered 55,000 files in only 5 minutes. On my Mac, the Smart Scan took 22 minutes to examine +900,000 files, and the full malware scan lasted 28 minutes and checked 1,230,000 files.

Keep in mind that there are many variables affecting scanning speeds, such as file size, complexity of malware, age and type of hardware, and many more. So scanning speeds on your device can be vastly different than mine.

Real-Time Protection — Blocks 99% of All Cyberattacks

I needed to know how TotalAV performs in warding off real-time threats. So, I went back to the test computer, where TotalAV detected 99% of new malware discovered in the last 24 hours. That’s impressive for malware only just released for less than a day. Only Norton achieved a perfect score of 100% in the same tests, while the industry average is 97%.

I always prefer a thorough scan, even if it labels a few harmless files as ‘malware’. After all, missing a real threat is the more critical problem. My real-time testing of TotalAV revealed that 0.5% of identified threats were in fact legitimate files. Considering that competitors like Panda falsely flag twice as many harmless files, TotalAV’s result is not a cause for concern.

Safe Site Browser Extension — Blocks Phishing Scams and Ads in Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera

TotalAV’s Safe Site extension includes several features that help you browse safely, privately, without annoying ads and site notifications.

The WebShield feature safeguards your device from ransomware attacks and phishing sites. In my testing, the WebShield flagged more known ransomware links and phishing sites than either of these browsers.

Before it’ll work in the browser extension, you must set up the WebShield through your desktop and smartphone app:

Screenshot of WebShield settings on TotalAV's desktop app
Setting up WebShield took no more than a few clicks on my desktop and mobile

Once you’ve set up WebShield in the app, you can easily turn it on and off in your TotalAV Safe Site browser extension. I recommend you keep it on at all times to guard your browser and device against security and privacy threats.

As I tested WebShield, I tried to open known malicious sites with the feature on and it stopped me every single time.

Screenshot of TotalAV's WebShield blocking access to a malicious site
WebShield blocked every malicious site I tried to open

TotalAV’s Ad Block Pro is also accessible through the app and the Safe Site extension. The feature lets you manage which websites can show you ads, and which cannot.

Features - 10

TotalAV provides a wide array of security features. Most antivirus services offer a VPN, a password vault, and an identity theft detector, which TotalAV includes alongside a rich suite of system tune-up features. I was incredibly impressed with the Startup Manager, which is powerful at blocking stubborn programs from starting with your device. I tested all these features, and I’m happy to report that each works perfectly.

System Tune-Up — Optimize Your Device and Browser’s Speed and Performance From a Single App

I think it’s very convenient that TotalAV’s system tune-up features are linked to the Smart Scan. When you run your initial Smart Scan, TotalAV starts finding ways to enhance your system’s performance and points you to these tune-up features. This is what I saw when my Smart Scan finished:

Screenshot of Smart Scan results
Smart Scan shows several ways you can optimize your device and browser performance

You can resolve these items from the same post-scan screen or the System Tune-up menu.

While Windows detected 444 MBs of such “junk files” on my device, TotalAV’s Smart Scan found an impressive 1.01GB with the same search criteria, plus another 1.84GB of duplicate files on my disk. I found it helpful that TotalAV reveals your junk and duplicate files, so you can always see which files you’re about to delete.

The system tune-up suite also contains a powerful App Uninstaller, and a Startup Manager, which lets you control which apps load at the same time as your operating system. Such apps usually delay your device’s boot time, andTotalAV’s Startup Manager surprised me with a long list of all the apps that do this on my computer. These included MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Skype, Firefox, and Chrome; with a simple toggle switch in the Startup Manager, I could disable them from auto-starting.

TotalAV’s Browser Clean-Up feature clears your browser’s cookies and browsing history. This helps you maximize your online privacy, as many websites and advertisers will track your internet activity through cookies. I especially like that TotalAV finds and deletes cookies across all your browsers. I use Firefox, Chrome, and the Edge, and this feature saved me the hassle of clearing each browser individually.

Password Vault Browser Extension— Safely Store Your Login Credentials

I was impressed that the Password Vault safely stores your credentials in one place and works on Firefox, Chrome, and the Edge. Once you’ve set up the Password Vault in your TotalAV app, you can download and activate the Password Vault Assistant extension in all of these 3 browsers. The extension will autofill all your credentials.

And while only Chrome, Firefox, and the Edge are supported, this shouldn’t be an issue for most people given the browsers’ popularity. That said, there’s no Password Vault function in the Android or iOS apps.

Safe Browsing VPN — Browse Anonymously and Circumvent Geo-blocking With a Top-Tier VPN Add-on

Given TotalAV’s generous pricing, I was surprised to see a VPN from the well-known provider Windscribe. Some premium antiviruses, like Norton and McAfee, offer a VPN, but at a higher price point, or only with an auto-renewal subscription.. Using Windscribe’s infrastructure under license, TotalAV lets you browse anonymously and take advantage of country-specific deals with little sacrifice to browsing speeds.

I ran multiple Ookla speed tests to see how well the VPN works, and I was thrilled with the result. With no VPN online, I typically get about 49 Mbps from my ISP. With TotalAV’s VPN server connected to the US, the speeds dipped by 13%.

Screenshot comparing unsecured and US server VPN connection speeds
Impressive browsing and streaming speed for an add-on VPN

I wanted to find out how well TotalAV’s VPN unblocks popular streaming services like Netflix US. Not only did I easily access the Netflix US library, but I got impeccable speeds and video quality.

Screenshot of TV show Schitt's Creek playing on Netflix US
I could easily stream the TV show Schitt’s Creek on Netflix US

I was also surprised to see that TotalAV’s VPN fully supports P2P across all non-US servers. It works seamlessly with most torrent clients like qBittorrent. I tested its torrenting functionality by downloading a copyright-free file and did so quickly thanks to the fast download speeds. Note that my team and I do not condone downloading copyrighted files. Always check your country’s regulation on torrenting before you download anything.

TotalAV’s Safe Browsing VPN may lack the thousands of server locations of other top-rated VPN providers, but it certainly lets you browse privately and get around geoblocking with little effect on network speed.

Data Breach Test — Check If You’ve Been a Victim of Online Identity Theft

TotalAV’s Data Breach Test is a useful tool that tells you what hackers may know about your identity, much like Norton’s Dark Web Monitoring. I entered my email and learned that it’s been affected by 2 data breaches since 2007.

Screenshot showing data breach test results
Data Breach Test shows you if, where, and when your personal information has been compromised

Ease Of Use - 10

TotalAV works on Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11, macOS 10.9 and above, Android 5 and above, and iOS 9 and above. The respective apps are simple to install and navigate. Whether it’s for a Windows computer or a Mac, you can download the app right after you pay. I doubt that 3 minutes elapsed between confirming my order to running my first scan.

Desktop App — Manage Your Windows and Mac Device Security From an Intuitive, User-Friendly Interface

If you use both a Mac and a Windows PC, you’ll promptly note that the Apple and Windows apps look vastly different. That said, the Mac app lets you do precisely the same things as its Windows peer, and both are extremely easy to navigate, even with little computer know-how.

Once you open the app on your Windows, you’ll see your real-time protection status and a prompt to run your first Smart Scan. After the initial scan, the page will show your Smart Scan results:

Screenshot showing TotalAV's app homepage on Windows
See your protection status and malware scan results right away

Here’s the same scan results window on the Mac app:

Screenshot of TotalAV's app homepage on Mac
The Mac app gives you access to the same security and optimization features as the Windows app

When you hover your cursor over the left-hand sidebar menu, you’ll quickly access key features, including the virus scan, VPN, Web Shield, and more. You can click through to customize each feature according to your specific preferences.

Mobile App — Extend Protection to Your Smartphones with Convenient Android and iOS Apps

iOS and Android apps are easy to navigate and have a similar appearance that actually mirrors the Windows app. That said, The iOS app lacks the virus scan, real-time protection, and the App Lock, all of which are available on its Android version.

It seems that TotalAV has total trust in Apple’s integral antivirus protection. And, given Apple’s rigorous screening process for its apps, I would trust iOS with device security as much as I’d trust any antivirus, including TotalAV.

Screenshot showing the difference between iOS and Android TotalAV apps
Android and iOS apps are different too —no malware scans on iOS

Instead of a malware scan and real-time protection screen, the iOS app shows whether your iPhone’s built-in security system is active and whether the software version is up-to-date. The iOS app also lets you configure your passcode and Touch ID.

On the Android app, I also found the App Lock—a super-useful feature that lets you lock away sensitive smartphone apps with a pattern.

Screenshot showing the App Lock feature on TotalAV's Android app
The App Lock lets you manage which apps need authorization to be opened

Support - 4

TotalAV boasts “super-fast” technical assistance over 24/7 live chat, email, and phone. The reality is a bit different. While I got my queries sorted out in the end, the process was slow and tangled. I struggled to get the live chat working, and my emails went unanswered. Luckily, I didn’t experience any pressing, technical issues because the TotalAV software is user-friendly and mostly runs without flaws.

That said, I was happy with the TotalAV’s billing department, which I quickly reached over the phone. The agents were fast and helpful, and processed my 30-day money-back guarantee without any issues.

But TotalAV still has some room for improvement, especially if it wants to compete as a premium antivirus company. Top rivals like Norton, McAfee, and Bullguard all offer reliable 24/7 customer support options.

24/7 Live Chat — Glitchy Feature That Took Lots of Effort to Activate

TotalAV offers 24/7 live chat support, but it’s not easy to locate this feature on the website — I could not access it at all while I was logged in.

Screenshot of TotalAV's live chat function
Thankfully, it only took 10 seconds to connect to a TotalAV agent once I filled out a quick online form.

I was having issues activating the TotalAV VPN on my Android smartphone, so the agent gave me step-by-step instructions for adjusting the settings on my device. I’m happy to report that my problem was resolved within 5 minutes.

Though the feature may be hard to find, TotalAV’s live chat service is an effective way to resolve any technical issues. Just make sure to log out of your TotalAV account on the website.

Email — No Response Received During Testing

Don’t waste your time contacting TotalAV over email. I was extremely disappointed with email support because I didn’t get a single reply to the 2 email queries I sent. After 4 weeks of waiting, and raising the issue over the phone, I still did not get a response from the technical support team.

Phone — Easiest Way to Get Live Support

I found that the easiest way to contact TotalAV is over the phone. I called from my location in Canada to test the 30-day money-back guarantee, and the agent was patient, friendly, and accommodating. Crucially, I had no trouble getting the money back.

To speak with a phone agent right away, select “3 — billing support” in the phone menu, even if your query is technical. By pressing “4— technical support”, you’ll get an interactive voice system that tells you to email your query. The live billing agent, however, will always attempt to help.

1-on-1 Support — In-Depth Support on Windows and Mac

If you’re a Mac or Windows user with a need for detailed support, you can request a private consultation. The best way to request it is over the phone. I wanted to try this option for my Android VPN issue, but sadly the 1-on-1 support is not available for problems with the smartphone apps.

Knowledge Base — Video Tutorials, How-to Guides, and Articles for Non-Urgent Questions

The Knowledge Base resources provide an excellent overview of how TotalAV apps work, but you can’t rely on it for troubleshooting. There are videos and articles with installation tutorials, and overviews of every feature on the desktop and mobile apps. There are also billing guides and general FAQs.

But when I typed in “Android VPN not connecting” into the search field, it returned 14 articles, neither of which addressed my issue. So if you’re experiencing a technical problem, it’s always faster to ask TotalAV’s support representatives over chat.

Price - 10

TotalAV’s prices are far lower than those offered by Bullguard, Bitdefender, and Norton. The catch is that these low prices only last for 1 year. After the promotional period ends, you have to pay the full price. That said, you can always cancel and get a prorated refund. And, if you cancel within 30 days of subscription, you get all your money back – I tried this, and it works. So there’s no risk in trying TotalAV’s paid plans for 30 days.

I found that the Internet Security bundle offers by far the best value. That said, all 3 paid plans provide a sturdy antivirus protection, a host of useful features, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Helpful Tip: After I subscribed, TotalAV offered me several add-ons, such as extra licenses, at a discounted rate. After I canceled my subscription, TotalAV’s billing agent tried to get me back with an even cheaper offer of only $19.00 for the first year.

Free Trial Antivirus Pro Internet Security Total Security
Device Licenses Unlimited 3 5 6
Malware Protection
Real-Time Protection
System Optimization Tools
Web Shield
Browser Cleaner & Manager
Mobile Apps
24/7 Customer Support
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Cloud Scanning
VPN
Ad Blocker
Password Vault

Free Trial — Basic Virus Scanner for 7 Days Only

This free antivirus offers a 7-day free trial of TotalAV’s malware detection and removal tool along with its system optimization features. Despite lacking the essential real-time protection, the free product’s malware detection works on par with the paid version. Oddly enough, these scans only work on desktop apps, while their smartphone peers offer only some of the extended features.

Antivirus Pro — Cheapest Antivirus Package

This is the most affordable plan that gives your device TotalAV’s comprehensive set of security essentials. This plan also covers up to 3 devices — an excellent deal, considering that Norton’s, McAfee’s, and BullGuard’s cheapest plans come with a single license. .

Internet Security — Best Value for Money (Includes VPN)

The Internet Security plan offers 2 additional licenses and the Safe Browsing VPN feature. With a total of 6 covered devices and an unlimited VPN, this plan gives you the top value for your money. This is a truly attractive package compared to top competitors like McAfee and BullGuard, which do not provide a VPN service with their mid-range plans.

Total Security — Premium Plan With Full Suite of Features

The Premium plan includes all the same features as Internet Security, with 6 licenses, the Ad Blocker, and the Secure Password Vault. With a total of 7 protected devices, this is the top choice for larger households.

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Like most premium antivirus companies, TotalAV offers an unconditional, 30-day money-back guarantee with every paid plan. If you’re not fully satisfied with TotalAV, you can easily get your full refund. All you need to do is contact billing support by email (billing@totalav.com) or via phone. Here are the phone numbers you can use:

  • US: 833-201-8681
  • UK: 0800-357-602
  • Australia: 1-800-952-291
  • Canada: 833-201-8681
  • Europe: +44-808-169-7741
  • International:+1-833-201-8681

As part of my review, I wanted to check how easy it is to cancel my subscription and get a full refund. I’m based in Canada, so I dialed the local number and chose “3-billing support” in the automated menu. I waited less than 1 minute before an agent picked up my call.

The process took less than 5 minutes. All I needed to provide was my name, postal code, email, and reason for canceling. I simply told the agent that I changed my mind, and I was offered a 34% discount in response. When I declined, the agent completed my refund. She advised me that the money will be back in my account within 5-7 business days, and I got a confirmation email right away.

Screenshot of TotalAV's refund confirmation email
I was pleasantly surprised to get my refund only 2 days later!
Total Security
$49.00 per year
Antivirus Pro
$29.00 per year
You Save 41%
Internet Security
$39.00 per year
You Save 20%

Final Verdict

Based on my tests, TotalAV is one of the best antivirus providers and offers superb value for your money (especially with the massive discount you get in the first year!) Its malware detection rates are perfect, and its 99%-effective real-time protection is second only to industry-leader Norton 360.

In addition to its strong malware protection, TotalAV offers a vast range of extra security features. These include a suite of system tune-up tools, a password vault, an ad-blocker, an identity theft detector, and unlimited VPN from the acclaimed provider Windscribe. Few antivirus competitors provide this many add-ons, and certainly not at TotalAV’s low prices.

That said, TotalAV’s customer service has some room for improvement. While the representatives are friendly and helpful, the response times are abnormally long, and essentials like live chat are challenging even to locate. This is in stark contrast to premium competitors like Norton 360, where it takes less th