Company: Total AV
Background: Total AV is a line of consumer protection products by Protected.net, a UK-based cybersecurity company. Like most other cybersecurity products, it offers a range of features split along several product variants. For TotalAV, these variants include Antivirus Pro, Internet Security, and Total Security. The variant we'll look at today is Antivirus Pro, albeit with some reviewer adjustments.
Starting Price: $19/year
Visit Online: https://www.totalav.com/
Review Summary & Ratings
Having looked at many cybersecurity products in this space over the years, I'm not a big fan of many. While most will offer the protection they claim, each often comes with nasty quirks that can significantly degrade your overall device user experience. TotalAV Internet Security is the same, and the question is whether you are willing to overcome those shortcomings.
Total AV Pros: What I Like
1. Competent Defense Capabilities
The essential part of any cybersecurity product or suite doesn't lie in the number of features they offer. It goes right back to basics and boils down to the defense capabilities provided. The critical question here is, “Can TotalAV protect my device?”
Thankfully, the answer to this is positive. Testing with standard EICAR anti-malware test files showed that TotalAV Antivirus Pro could effectively detect and quarantine all signatures. I ran the tests in a sandbox environment, and I don't recommend downloading the test files to experiment.
Impressively, the detections were swift and discreet. This behavior is in stark contrast to some vendors like Kaspersky and Norton, who love to crow about the number of detections and quantities they make.
It's important to understand that dealing with EICAR test files isn't overly impressive since these are known malware signatures. The real test for any defense component will be in heuristics, for which testing is more complex.
2. Feature Set Beyond the Norm
One notable plus that comes with TotalAV Antivirus Pro is its number of value-added perks. Many “first-line-of-defense” solutions offer anti-malware protection alone. TotalAV Antivirus Pro includes utilities like a browser cleaner, system junk file cleaner, and even an application uninstaller.
While these may have been useless a few years ago, they may now be helpful to some. Microsoft has been making a mess of its operating systems lately, and essential tools are less capable than they used to be.
For the less technically competent, it could well be the case that TotalAV serves as your one-stop system protection and clean-up utility. The defense works in the background, and the tools are available via a unified dashboard that launches quickly from your notifications area.
The closest I've seen to this helpful combination comes from some of the premium segments of AV vendors like Avast. However, even then, TotalAV still does better in user-friendliness here.
3. Decent VPN Performance
The regular variant of TotalAV Antivirus Pro doesn't include a VPN. Still, the feature came as part of a test package for this review. The VPN feature usually comes included with the Internet Security version ($39/year).
One important note is that the VPN is the sole distinguishing difference between TotalAV Antivirus Pro and TotalAV Internet Security. Given the $10/yr price discrepancy, you're getting a VPN for $10/year – something you won't find elsewhere.
Compared to most premium standalone VPNs, you'll get access to fewer servers and can only use IKEv2 or OpenVPN protocols. Still, speeds are alright, and I managed to connect to their Singapore server at a test speed of over 411 Mbps on a 500 Mbps Internet line.
The most significant caveat here is that the company behind TotalAV is UK-based. That raises some doubt about its VPN service, especially since no information about logging activities is available.
That's in stark contrast to most reputable VPN companies that offer strict no-logging services. Some, like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, go so far as to audit their services to assure users that they provide a log-free service.
4. Supports Most Mainstream Platforms
TotalAV's entire product suite supports most regular devices like PCs, smartphones, and the like. The only exception is that a Linux variant isn't available. Still, that's not a shortcoming since I don't use an antivirus app on my Linux testbed.
You must consider an alternative if you seriously need an antivirus app on your Linux machine. Several big brands include Linux as one of their supported platforms. For example, Norton and Bitdefender.
5. Few Annoying Pop-ups
A significant bonus is that TotalAV only generates a few pop-ups. As I mentioned, many competitors try to remind you of what they're doing – even if it's unnecessary. In the past, free antivirus apps used pop-ups to bug you to get a paid upgrade. Today, even if you buy a product, they'll use pop-ups to annoy you to update to an even “better” (i.e., more expensive) version.
With TotalAV, the silence was golden, and it brought me back to happier times when companies faced less competition and could produce people-first products. Once marketing teams get involved, the user experience of most products goes to hell and back.
6. Easy to Install and Uninstall
Cybersecurity threats have become increasingly complex today. Many security products combat this by becoming so deeply integrated into system files that getting rid of them can be as challenging as removing a virus.
The most obvious culprit is Norton, which requires a unique application to remove its software if you want to stop it. TotalAV is thankfully fast and easy to both install and uninstall. I've not seen such a smooth onboarding and offboarding process for some time now.
If there's one thing that will encourage you to try out TotalAV, it is this ease of installation and uninstallation.
Total AV Cons: What's Less-than-great
1. Some Performance Degradation
Before I go more deeply into this area, you need to understand that any security product you add to a system will degrade performance. That is a fact nobody can change. The only difference is how much impact each product brand or variant will have on your regular system performance.
The problem with TotalAV Antivirus Pro isn't that it has some effect on system performance. However, the impact can directly affect the user experience. Those intimately familiar with how their devices behave will feel the most difference.
For me, the giveaway was a slight system pause that occurred each time I tried to launch an app after installing TotalAV. It was minor, but there was a short pause after executing any app launch.
That lag got me to run a few tests, and the heaviest app I tried was the game Anno 1800. Without TotalAV installed, my launch time to the first interactive screen was 1 minute 44 seconds. With TotalAV, the time increased by 6 seconds to 1 minute 50 seconds.
Again, to be fair, you'll likely experience this increased launch time with any cybersecurity app. The problem here is the lag after you try to launch anything. It's noticeable and annoying.
2. Conflicts With Some Apps
It was only after several weeks that I noticed something unusual about TotalAV's behavior with some system apps. The most noticeable was the erratic performance of one program I had to use, the Corsair iCue app that controlled my AIO cooler.
Running TotalAV, the app lost control over certain features like LED control. Attempting to launch the app produced varying results, from an application crash to simply not working. Updating iCue failed to help, and the situation cleared stopped when I uninstalled TotalAV.
Attempts to reproduce the failure by reinstalling TotalAV have not worked. However, given the specific timing of what happened, it seems the most likely culprit.
Total AV Plans and Pricing
|AV Antivirus Pro
|AV Internet Security
|AV Total Security
|Real-Time Antivirus Protection
|Eliminate Viruses, Trojans & Malware
|Zero Day Cloud Scanning
|Phishing Scam Protection
|Safe Browsing VPN
TotalAV comes in three variants; Antivirus Pro, Internet Security, and Total Security.
Antivirus Pro costs
$29/year $19/year (when you order with our special discount link) for the first year and renews at $119/year. For a single license, you can protect up to three devices. Internet Security costs $39/year and renews at $145/year. You get the additional VPN feature and can protect up to five devices per license. The most comprehensive option is Total Security which costs $49/year and renews at $179/year. That adds an ad blocker and a password vault and covers up to six devices per license.
Verdict – Is TotalAV Legit?
Total AV is a legitimate product. One thing that makes me slightly edgy is the difficulty I found in digging up information about the company behind TotalAV. Still, they've been around since 2016, and the product seems as solid as any other.
Consider TotalAV if you aren't already using protection or are currently using the free version of any antivirus. Their low introductory price makes it an easy buy, and you're getting some good features.