Unlike many other Antivirus software suites out there, Total Antivirus (or TotalAV), is one antivirus software suite that is as close to being fully featured as any other.
Does that automatically translate to being a great antivirus software suite?
Well, you’re going to have to read the full review (or skip to the verdict part straight away) for that.
To be fair to the people behind TotalAV, this antivirus software suite does offer a lot of features when compared to some of the other antivirus software suites.
Moreover, in order to attract more customers, it has a free version and a paid version (which obviously comes with extra features).
If you’re one of those people who just like to use an antivirus software application for the sake of it, with the default options, then you should probably stick to the free version of TotalAV. We’ll explain later why that wouldn’t be a wise choice in this case.
Regardless, this review is sufficient to cover both the free version and the paid version.
But do take note that even though we are reviewing both the versions here, users who are prone to opting for free versions should take heed and know that the free trial version of TotalAV is a very limited antivirus software suite indeed.
The paid version, on the other hand, offers a lot more unique features which are both valuable and effective.
In fact, these extra features are the reason why TotalAV is considered to be the top up and coming antivirus software suite in the antivirus market.
TotalAV System Requirements
First off, we’re glad to inform you that TotalAV offers native applications for almost all operating systems and platforms. TotalAV supports Windows, Mac, Android and the very popular iOS.
And since TotalAV has native apps for all operating systems, it becomes quite a complicated task to calculate the precise minimum system requirements.
As far as official sources go, TotalAV makes no mention of any minimum system requirements on its official website.
When you click on the download button (if you’re using Windows or Mac, otherwise for Android you’ll have to go to Google Play Store and for iOS, you’ll have to access iTunes), the software application downloads to your device. Rather fast, if we may add.
With that said, if your device doesn’t have the raw power to run TotalAV, you’ll know it by the way it will run on your system very quickly.
In general, if you bought your computer or mobile device in the last four or five years then you’re pretty much on the same side.
TotalAV Setup, Interface, And Installation
The process of installation is anything but smooth. Not that it’s awfully difficult, but you will have to put in some effort to get it up and running.
To install TotalAV, you’ll first have to sign up on the official website which requires an account. You’ll have to create your account first.
Anyone who values his privacy wouldn’t like the fact that you have to register first before you can use the antivirus software application. It’s even for people who want to try out the free version because you’ll have to give up your information for much less in return.
Truth be told, it is very rare that an antivirus software company requires registration for the trial version of its products.
Besides, if you’re paying for the product then it makes total sense to ask users for their information but as far as free version goes, it is considered best practice to offer that for free and without any account.
When you have finally downloaded TotalAV, you’ll notice that it will take some more time to update its virus definitions. These will be downloaded directly on your machine.
After that’s done, the installation process will actually begin and will take around ten to fifteen minutes, which is not short by any measure.
Perhaps TotalAV isn’t at fault here because the actual installation of the antivirus software is quick, it is the virus definitions that take the bulk of the installation time.
To its credit, once TotalAV is installed on your machine, it quietly runs in the background and gives you an icon to interact with, in your system tray. Click the icon and it will show you the main dashboard.
The TotalAV version we tried out didn’t consume many resources. If you have a decent CPU, it will have no effect on it, while it will eat up around 20MB of your memory.
In short, TotalAV manages to keep a low profile while running on your machine.
As far as visuals are concerned, after installing the actual antivirus software, it is easy to see that the developers behind TotalAV have put in a lot effort and have paid particular attention to it.
In other words, you’ll find that you’ll be able to navigate through the antivirus application’s interface rather easily and quickly.
There are some rough corners though. Some sections of the interface don’t make much sense and we’ll get to those right now.
Take, for example, the TotalAV antivirus meter levels. Yes, the app has meter levels for various categories. On the face of it, that might seem helpful but all it does is confuse the new user.
The other problem with so many categories is that, they also show tracker cookies as threats. Tracker cookies are obviously things you shouldn’t have on your machine but you’ll be mistaken if you think all tracker cookies are threats.
Apart from this small little problem, everything else seems to be in place. There is a prominent Fix Issues button which fixes any problems that the anti-virus software might have found on your machine.
You can also change categories of threats fairly quickly with the intuitive menu.
If you’re talking about standard features in any given antivirus program, TotalAV has got them all. Mind you, that only means that TotalAV has got all the standard features. We’ll come to the extra ones in a bit.
The basic TotalAV application allows you to perform a quick scan. You can also opt for the much deeper system scan which can detect most malware items but of course, that will consume more resources and will take longer.
Be warned though, the quick scan isn’t as quick as it should be. Some users have reported to have spent a total of fifteen minutes waiting for the quick scan to finish. Now fifteen minutes isn’t an awfully long period of time but when it comes to quick scan it is.
That, of course, doesn’t mean that quick scan should be able to scan your machine in ten seconds. Generally, when a quick scan is too quick for its own good, it means that the quick scan isn’t checking for potential threats in all the necessary areas.
Our experience and research tell us that you’re better off performing full scans rather than quick scans. The full scan on TotalAV should take you about 28 minutes.
TotalAV scans are pretty reasonable and you can expect it to catch most test viruses. It takes good care of tracker cookies too.
We’re going to move away from scan operations now and on to other standard features such as a firewall and real-time protection.
But you don’t really need to know about them more than you already know right?
Perhaps the most unexpected feature included in an antivirus software suite is a VPN service. TotalAV has it.
You might be asking yourself, what was the purpose of including a VPN service in an antivirus program.
Well, let’s start off by learning that the VPN service comes only in the paid version of TotalAV.
As mentioned earlier, it is highly unusual for an antivirus application suite to have such a feature (a VPN service).
But if we can put some more thought into it, we may be able to understand why TotalAV does so.
We all know that a VPN is pretty useless as far as protecting you from viruses and other malware is concerned.
So, the only reason left is completeness. TotalAV, it seems, wanted to provide its paid users the most complete package any antivirus program could.
TotalAV VPN Service
The TotalAV VPN service offers users over 40 servers which are more than what many dedicated VPN services offer. In other words, TotalAV VPN service is a reasonable choice as far as a VPN service is concerned. At least it can offer a lot of variety in its server selection so it isn’t entirely useless.
If you just head over to the Knowledge Base center at TotalAV’s official website, you can read through some of the finer details about the VPN service.
The TotalAV VPN service uses a 256-bit AES-CBC encryption which is pretty neat and runs on an OpenVPN protocol which is secure.
You’ll have a hard time find any other information about the VPN service on the official website.
Dedicated VPN services come with bonus features such as DNS leak protection feature, a reliable kill switch feature and settings for modifying VPN ports.
TotalAV doesn’t talk about any of that.
Moreover, there is no official word on TotalAV VPN service’s log policy which is absolutely critical when it comes to users who are privacy-conscious.
What you must know is that if you’re looking for a VPN service, TotalAV isn’t it. It is an antivirus program that comes with a VPN service on the side.
If you’re looking for a great VPN service then read this best VPN provider guide here.
Let’s talk about the actual antivirus program now.
The free version of TotalAV isn’t that useless for the reason that there is no quarantine option. If the antivirus program finds a threat on your machine then you can either delete it or whitelist it. Or you can choose to not take any sort of action.
You can quarantine a specific threat only in the paid version.
So what’s the problem with not having a quarantine option?
Well, the problem is that sometimes you need the quarantine option to know if a file identified as a threat is actually a file that is needed for another program.
To put it another way, you can’t just delete any found that with the click of a single button unless you want your operating system to get wrecked.
If you for the free version of TotalAV then you’ll need to watch out for deleting important files by mistake with no quarantine option.
And just for clarity’s sake, TotalAV’s free version is not worth your time. There are better free alternatives out there in the market.
TotalAV Other Functions
TotalAV comes with other useful functions as well such as a System Boost feature, disable/enable startup program feature and others.
There is also another feature which allows you to stop running programs in the background with much ease. Just press Alt + Delete and you can easily stop running programs. You can allow any program you want and disallow the ones you don’t want.
Additionally, TotalAV also comes with a bonus feature of uninstalling installed programs. The antivirus software suite also allows users to clear history and cookies from all browsers with the help of a single button.
The only exception is the Opera browser. For some reason, TotalAV’s clear history and cookies function don’t work with it.
If it wasn’t clear enough already, then know that these features are only available in the paid version of the antivirus software. Perhaps the people behind TotalAV think that they deserve to get paid for their trademark features and perhaps they are justified in thinking that.
Did we mention that TotalAV’s paid version also comes with a Disk Cleaner and is it shiny looking or what?
Given that the disk cleaning feature is something that every other antivirus program offers, TotalAV’s has the edge because of its neat design. Their cleaning tool takes care of duplicate files fairly easily and the shredding tool is pretty well built.
Too bad you won’t get to experience any of those features in the free version of TotalAV.
But hey, there is always the paid version.
Does TotalAV Really Fit The Bill As A Security Service?
Well, if you think about what you’re paying for the program than TotalAV is sufficient as a security solution. It isn’t perfect as you would have probably figured out by now.
The one thing that goes against TotalAV in a big way is that it is relatively new in the industry and hence hardly any known antivirus testing lab has tested it properly.
If we’re talking about the antivirus software application itself then it is clear that TotalAV is a decent package.
It has a firewall, a virus scanner that picked up a good amount of threats, a tracker cookie hunter (though it could be improved by not mixing it up with threats such as malware etc) and a VPN.
The bonus VPN feature does make it a worthwhile package but of course, the quality rather than the quantity of features matter most when it comes to antivirus software applications.
However, if TotalAV wants to reach out to a wider audience then it will have to make more standard features available in the free version of TotalAV. Right now, it can hardly be called barebones.
Can Your System Handle TotalAV?
As mentioned earlier, TotalAV does take a good amount of time for its quick scan. Moreover, if you don’t run TotalAV in the background, it will still annoy you with threat popup notifications.
Of course, you can disable these annoying notifications but TotalAV can improve the overall experience if the antivirus program doesn’t give out threat notifications while it is performing a quick scan.
Then there is the problem of popup notifications being a bit too intrusive. They take a pretty good portion of the screen and you always have to click on them in order to make them go away.
The one positive aspect of TotalAV is that it doesn’t eat up a lot of CPU even when it is performing system scans. A lot good antivirus programs tend to hog your CPU resources and as a result, you can’t do anything else while you’re running their system scans.
TotalAV also performs well on laptops and that is good news for people who have lower-end computers from the early 2000s.
As mentioned earlier as well, TotalAV is pretty solid when it comes to detecting incoming malicious files. The firewall does its job to the fullest as well by giving a warning to the user about a potential malware infected file during any given download process.
The paid version allows you to either remove the file or quarantine it. You can also ignore the warning and continue with your download. That doesn’t mean it won’t annoy you with threat detected notifications.
TotalAV Customer Support
Thankfully, TotalAV provides 24/7 live chat through their official website. This is a feature that is extremely useful to attract more customers and retain more.
There are also other options to communicate with TotalAV staff. You can,
- Email them
- Call them
- Use their official website’s Knowledge Base section (though it isn’t likely to help since it isn’t sufficiently fleshed out)
So What’s The Verdict on TotalAV?
TotalAV is still a young player in the old antivirus software suites industry. Even though it has a fully fleshed out software application and a lot of trademark features, it will need time to represent itself as something different from the standard antivirus software package.
Otherwise, TotalAV is a moderately powerful antivirus program that doesn’t bog down your computer machine. Add to that the fact that it comes with its own VPN service, it has the potential to become one of the top players in the antivirus software suites industry.
The first thing TotalAV should do, in order to climb up the antivirus software suites rankings, is to do away with the requirements of a sign-up and a login for the free version of the software. It would be better if it dumps this requirement from all types of downloads altogether.
Forcing new users to input their details before they have even made up their mind about using the program doesn’t give a good impression. All it does is make the new user suspicious as to why a new antivirus company wants to collect so much data on customers who may not even buy their final product.
On that note, the TotalAV staff should go light on sending out potential discounts and other promotional offers to its new users. If someone wants to sign up for the premium account, he/she would do so on his/her own. You don’t have to send them reminders about the upgrade every 18 hours.
The free version should be drastically upgraded. Right now it has nothing useful to offer apart from a simple scan. If TotalAV can’t do that then it should remove its trial version and offer only its paid version with a money back guarantee or something.
If you’re lucky enough (and catch TotalAV premium account during one of its discount periods) then you can have the paid version of the antivirus program for about $20. The price is competitive and you can bet that the paid version of the antivirus program offers plenty of features. Some of which you are unlikely to use though.
We give TotalAV a 7 out of 10.