TotalAV Antivirus Review and Prices
Various strategies are used by security organizations to offer antivirus protection. Some only focus on the fundamentals, eliminating persistent malware and avoiding any further infestations. Others keep adding useful extras. To the latter category TotalAV Antivirus Pro belongs. It includes a valuable set of extra tools in addition to restoring the real-time protection that was lost from the free edition. Unfortunately, even the existence of real-time antivirus protection is insufficient to make this product a top pick, despite the fact that its rating has improved since our previous assessment as a consequence of better outcomes in external lab testing.
For three PCs of protection, TotalAV is listed for $99 per year. That is expensive; Bitdefender, ESET, and Kaspersky offer three licenses for $59.99 each, Webroot charges $49.99, and F-Secure costs $39.99. Although McAfee AntiVirus Plus costs $59.99 a year, you get unlimited licenses to secure all of your household’s Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS gadgets.
TotalAV doesn’t have separate pricing tiers, just like Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security. Instead, you must purchase a more sophisticated solution if you want more licenses. For a list price of $119 per year, TotalAV Internet Security includes VPN protection and offers you five licenses. At a cost of $149 per year, TotalAV Total Security increases that to six licenses and includes an ad blocker and a password manager.
With one significant exception, the main window of this product’s dark theme is nearly identical to that of the related free antivirus. Due to real-time protection not being (and being unable to be) enabled, the large status indicator in the free version always shows a yellow warning status. Your status changes to the peaceful green of complete protection after you upgrade to Pro.
Six icons are present on a left-rail menu. A submenu for malware protection, internet security, and system tune-up appears when three of them are pointed to. The other three activate Settings, Family Account Sharing, and Password Vault.
It’s interesting to use family account sharing. Any antivirus subscription that comes with multiple licenses gives you the option to use those licenses to defend family members. Their installations, however, continue to be a part of and subject to your membership. With TotalAV, you can give people their own accounts and unused licenses. You won’t want to waste any licenses given the hefty cost of this software.
With the Free Edition Shared
Many antivirus providers include complete protection in their free offering while counting on extra features or a restriction to personal use to increase sales of the premium edition. In a very rare move, TotalAV eliminates vital real-time protection from TotalAV Free Edition in addition to added features. We weren’t impressed with that decision, as you can tell from the review.
TotalAV was not mentioned in test results from any of the four antivirus labs that we monitor at the time of our most recent assessment. It now appears in two, scoring well. In tests conducted by the AV-Test Institute, it came close to earning the maximum 18 points, but its score of 17.5 was still high enough to qualify it as a Top Product. In addition, it received Advanced+ certification once and Advanced certification twice in three tests conducted by AV-Comparatives.
TotalAV received a cumulative lab score of 9.2 out of a possible 10 points based on those two lab findings. All four testers gave Kaspersky a perfect 10 out of 10. It received three Advanced+ ratings from AV-Comparatives and 18 points from AV-Test. Along with receiving 17.5 points from AV-Test, Avast Free Antivirus, AVG, Bitdefender, ESET, and G Data also received three Advanced+ ratings. The rating for TotalAV is respectable but not exceptional.
As previously indicated, the subscription version of TotalAV offers real-time security not present in the free version. However, the same WebShield component also provides defense against phishing websites. By imitating bank websites or other safe websites, phishing sites attempt to steal your login information; when you log in to the false page, you give the bad guys access to your account. We didn’t need to repeat the laborious and time-consuming antiphishing test because that protection is the same whether it is free or paid for.
TotalAV outperformed many rivals in detecting 89% of the confirmed phishing sites at the time of our previous evaluation. In the most recent exam, that mark fell to a dismal 73%. In the most recent testing, Bitdefender and Norton discovered 99% of threats, while F-Secure and McAfee managed 100% detection.
Enhanced Real-Time Protection
We open a folder containing malware samples that we have collected and studied to begin the practical malware protection test. For many products, the brief file access that takes place when Windows Explorer obtains the name and size of each file is sufficient to start a real-time scan. Others don’t start a real-time scan until right before the sample executes.
The free TotalAV antivirus did neither of those because it lacked real-time defense. We didn’t give it a big fat zero because it removed 85% of the samples during the necessary install-time scan, which is far better than in its last review.
By far, the Pro edition performed better. The moment the folder opened, notifications began to accumulate. With a link to view the list by filename and threat name, it simply displayed the amount of threats in a single pop-up rather of cluttering the screen with them. 78% of the samples were caught immediately.
Any samples left over after the initial carnage are launched as the second round of this test. TotalAV has already caught quite a few more. It discovered 93% of threats and received 9.3 points, the same as Kaspersky Anti-Virus.
The best product tested using this set of samples is Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, which received a perfect score of 10. As you move down the scale, G Data, Sophos, McAfee, and Norton each received a score of 9.8, 9.7, 9.6, and 9.5.
The malware sample sets utilized in this test are made up of actual malicious programs that we have diligently collected and examined. As a result, we continue to employ the same samples throughout time. We use a feed of recently identified malware-hosting URLs provided by testing lab MRG-Effitas to gauge how each solution responds to the most recent infection. Both the removal of the malware download and the barring of access to the URL are credited to the defensive product.
The free version of TotalAV had to rely exclusively on WebShield’s capability to divert the browser from risky pages because it lacked real-time protection to evaluate those downloads. It performed poorly, blocking just 20% of attacksâ€”nearly the lowest mark in this test.
We conducted the test again, this time utilizing the most recent malware-hosting URLs, to see if TotalAV’s real-time protection could be of use. The premium edition stopped 88% of harmful URL detection and real-time malware download removal attempts. That’s good, but you’re still only in the top half of all exam takers.
Both McAfee and Vipre score a perfect 100% when it comes to preventing malware downloads. With 99% protection, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, G Data, and Sophos aren’t far behind. Although TotalAV’s 88% isn’t even close, its score of 88% is still much higher than the free edition’s 20%.
My testing makes use of numerous distinctive hand-coded tools that perform activities like launching phishing-related websites and documenting how the tested product responded. When using each of these tools for the first time, TotalAV displayed a message stating that it had found a “rare file” and needed to conduct additional research. It gave each a clear report on their health after a little delay.
I attempted to install roughly 20 outdated Soft360 utilitiesâ€”tools that are undoubtedly not in common use todayâ€”to further test this functionality. Indeed, before approving them, TotalAV gave a fourth of them the unusual file treatment.
It makes sense to pay extra attention to unusual files. Norton carries out a similar action. The few seconds that must pass before TotalAV discloses genuine unusual files is more than worth it in order to have the chance to stop a zero-day attack.
Security programs gained a well-deserved reputation for consuming system resources and impairing system performance many years ago. Security firms changed to designing security products within the product from the beginning to reduce performance impact. Some go above and above by introducing components meant to actively improve performance, like TotalAV. By selecting Run Smart Scan on the home page, you can activate the majority of these functions at once.
The scan has five steps, the first of which is a rapid malware check. Then it checks your startup applications, evaluates browser security, looks for duplicate files, and finds system garbage. The entire process only takes a few seconds.
A summary of the scan’s results is shown when it is finished. Malware Threats, Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs), Tracking Cookies, Junk Files, Autorun Programs, History Entries & Cookies, Security Recommendations, and Duplicate Files are the eight categories that make up the list.
Take care of any malware or PUAs that TotalAV discovered right away. then read the remaining material at your own pace.
By seeing what you do and where you go online, tracking cookies assist advertisers and other trackers in building a profile of you. These are different from the useful cookies that save information like your website settings. Clear them using the app.
Cached Windows updates, recycle bin contents, temp files, and Windows error reports are all categories under which TotalAV divides junk files. You can click to view a list of the specific items that belong to each category, but it is only a list of filenames without any date, size, or other information. Most users will simply click to delete the unnecessary files. This function, which is permanent in the Pro edition, expires 48 hours after it is first used in the free version.
The startup program manager in Norton AntiVirus Plus allows you to set any program to launch after a delay or reversibly deactivate any program that launches immediately at startup. G Data provides a comparable service. The startup apps are simply listed by TotalAV, and you can reversibly disable them. It is identical to what you can accomplish using Task Manager. This is yet another free edition feature that expires after 48 hours.
Browser cookies and history entries, though to a lesser extent, could both reveal your online activities to a prying eye. In Chrome, Edge, and Firefox, TotalAV examines the recent history and cookies. Each has a complete list that you may examine, but there is no way to exclude specific items. The same action may be done by opening a window in any modern browser by hitting Ctrl+Shift+Delete. That might be significant for those who are using the feature for free when it expires.
The security suggestions are not what you might anticipate. TotalAV advised against making any settings adjustments. Instead, it advised doing a complete system scan, configuring mobile devices with security, and reporting email accounts for a data breach check. The last option accesses a page on TotalAV’s website that discloses that the free HaveIBeenPwned website provides the breach information.
You are wasting space if your computer is overloaded with big duplicate files. The duplicate document, image, and video files are found by TotalAV, which then provides a list of all of them. The text turns red as a warning if you unintentionally select all of the items in a set before you click to eliminate the duplicates.
Duplicate removal is not a special function of TotalAV. Both Trend Micro Internet Security and Avira Prime provide a comparable service. The linked antivirus programs of these two security suites, however, do not do a repeat scan.
Smart Scan compiles a good selection of system changes, despite the fact that some of its operations are duplicates of what you could do in Windows or in your browsers. Make sure to run it sometimes.
Additionally, you are free to use the system tweaking tools on their own without performing a complete Smart Scan. Junk Cleaner, Duplicate File Finder, Startup Manager, and Browser Cleanup are all directly accessible from the menu that appears when you click the System Tune Up icon in the main window.
Application Uninstaller is the fifth item, and it makes sense that it doesn’t start with Smart Scan. The system is scanned for installed applications, and you can select which ones you want to uninstall. The list is identical to what you would see if you selected Programs and Features in the Control Panel, therefore Windows Store applications are not included.
This feature’s advantage over Control Panel is the ability to choose numerous apps and have them all uninstalled at once. Additionally, it tries to automate the procedure as much as possible to reduce user involvement. I selected Chrome, Firefox, and Opera for testing.
TotalAV took care of everything else. For Chrome and Opera, I had to decide whether to delete browser data together with the browser installation and provide an explanation for the removal. For Firefox, TotalAV only displayed the default uninstaller program. Because it came behind the TotalAV window, I almost missed it.
Yes, TotalAV gives you access to these system optimization tools. However, in some circumstances, you could achieve what these tools do by using Windows or your browser’s built-in functionality.
A submenu with four items appears when the Internet Security icon in the left-rail menu is clicked: VPN, WebShield, Ad-Block Pro, and Data Breach Check. The fact that VPN and Ad-Block Pro have a lock icon next to them indicates that the default antivirus does not include these functions. The VPN may be unlocked by upgrading to TotalAV Internet Security, and the ad blocker and password manager, which receives its own main menu icon, can be unlocked by upgrading again to TotalAV Total Security.
To view the settings for this feature, open the WebShield page. However, the default setting is perfectly secure. Most users won’t require or desire any changes.
Once used, the Data Breach Check item in a Smart Scan report disappears. You can check as many email addresses as you’d like, even addresses that aren’t yours, by selecting the same item from this menu. Hey Bill Gates, it appears that 79 breaches have included you! Once more, breach analysis is provided by the HaveIBeenPwned website, which you may access immediately and without spending any money.
A Significant Improvement
TotalAV performed poorly in our hands-on testing and didn’t have any test results from the labs when we last evaluated it. TotalAV Antivirus Pro now has respectable (but not exceptional) ratings from two different testing labs, demonstrating its suitability for the task. Additionally, it performed better in our testing for dangerous URL identification and hands-on malware protection. It has improved, moving from a two to a three, but it still falls short of the greatest.
With so many antivirus programs vying for your attention, it’s no surprise that we’ve chosen a few as our best picks. Both Kaspersky Anti-Virus and Bitdefender Antivirus Plus regularly receive perfect or nearly perfect ratings from independent testing laboratories, and both come with some helpful extra features. The smallest antivirus we’ve encountered, Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, excels in our own malware prevention test. Additionally, McAfee AntiVirus Plus enables you to safeguard any device in your home with only one subscription. These Editors’ Choice products are all less expensive than TotalAV as well.