Given that you’re reading this Total AV review right now, it’s probably safe to say you take computer security seriously. You’re probably also wondering how Total AV antivirus compares to the competition, particularly when considering its almost impossibly low price.
Our recommendation: McAfee
With so many antivirus products in the market, there is none that’s like McAfee. With over 18.9 billion devices protected on a consistent basis, McAfee’s ability to deal with malware attacks come unmatched! McAfee has a dedicated database that is adept to deal with all sorts of virus attacks whether they may be online or offline. To browse their programs, check out their programs here!
During the course of my Total AV review, I’ll be attempting to address some of the most pressing questions about this popular computer security suite. Examples of which include:
What is Total AV?
Is Total AV safe?
Does Total AV Free provide sufficient protection?
Is Total AV legit?
Is the Total AV App easy to use?
How effective is a Total virus scan?
Above all else, I’ll be attempting to ascertain if and to what extent Total Antivirus represents good overall value for money. After all, you can’t realistically review Total AV without paying close attention to its ultra-low subscription price. For Mac users, I recommend our MacKeeper review, and for Linux users check out this post. In addition, check out the best antivirus for your iPhone here in this review.
Still, there’s more to robust and reliable antivirus software than low prices alone. Read on for all you need to know about this popular software suite in my in-depth Total AV antivirus review below.
Is Total AV That Good?
At the risk of jumping straight to the conclusion, the short answer is…well, it depends entirely on who you ask. Total Antivirus reviews vary significantly from one user to the next, in accordance with individual preferences, priorities and requirements.
From one perspective, you could easily say that yes - Total AV is a fantastic software suite, which for a seriously low price provides outstanding protection. To such an extent that it’s not a million miles from some of the biggest names in the antivirus game – most of whom sell their subscriptions for exponentially more.
Along with a superb suite of advanced security features, Total AV also comes complete with a quality VPN and the whole thing is controlled by way of an intuitive and user-friendly dashboard. All for a rock-bottom price of just $30 per year. We covered the best VPN antivirus suites in this post. Not in the same price range, though.
On the downside, actual scanning options are somewhat limited and the scans themselves aren’t particularly quick to carry out. In addition, there are quite a few Total AV reviews out there that don’t paint the most positive picture of how the company handles auto renewals. Not the biggest of deals if you’re planning on sticking with it anyway, but something to keep your eye on nonetheless.
Ambiguous as it may be, the answer to the question is therefore…possibly. Total AV is indeed great, but comes with several minor drawbacks you’d expect from more or less any software suite available at such a low price.
Total AV Summary
Getting down to business with the specifics, Total AV is billed as a feature-packed anti-virus software package that covers all important bases. Along with a free version (which is strictly limited in terms of features and functionalities), there’s a premium paid version of Total AV which costs just $29.99 for the first year. For this remarkably low price, you benefit from reliable protection from viruses, spyware, ransomware, malware and more.
For some time, the folks behind Total AV were criticized for having a somewhat sketchy refund policy and billing system in place. One that made it unnecessarily difficult to cancel your subscription or request a refund, which didn’t go down too well with many. Thankfully, this has all been turned around – comparatively few complaints with how things are handled today.
As much as anything else, it’s worth noting that the paid version of Total AV comes complete with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you are not completely convinced with how it gets the job done within the first month, you can simply notify the Total AV team and you’ll get every penny of your money back. A great show of confidence on their part, which is always reassuring.
The free version isn’t bad for a trial of what’s on offer, but doesn’t offer nearly the kind of protection needed to serve as a standalone anti-virus suite. In addition, it’s also worth noting at this point that this initial $29.99 cost is actually just a special deal for the first year. After which, significantly higher prices apply – check the Total AV website for full details of current costs. For businesses, our reviews cover specialized antivirus software packages. Some tools like Vipre Antivirus also offer business protection in their premium packages.
Still, they make it pretty clear that it’s an introductory deal only and also provide all the information needed to cancel your subscription if you don’t want to auto-renew after the first year. It’s also possible to manually deactivate the auto-renewal system, though it would be preferable if it was eliminated from the equation entirely.
Minimum System Requirements
To be frank, taking specific system requirements into consideration isn’t really necessary. Which is a good thing, given how Total AV doesn’t actually give any clear indication as to what kind of hardware you need! Something that occasionally leads to concern and confusion, but Total AV is a comparatively lightweight piece of software that’s not exactly resource-hungry.
The long and short of it therefore being that if you have a reasonably modern device or system with an up-to-date OS, it’ll probably run just fine. Total AV is available for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS, in all instances putting relatively little strain on System Resources. It would be useful for at least a basic indication of minimum system requirements to be provided, but it’s not the end of the world.
Feel free to direct your questions at Total AV, however, if you’re concerned as to whether or not your system can handle it.
Installation and setup
Total AV recently overhauled its subscription, download and installation procedures for the better. Previously, it wasn’t possible to download and install Total AV, without first signing up for an account. This meant that irrespective of whether or not you decided to become a paying customer, you still have to give them a full rundown of your personal information.
Today, it’s the other way around – you can download, install and decide whether or not to purchase the software first, after which you’ll be requested to open an account if necessary. Far preferable for those who prioritize their privacy – that being the vast majority of people shopping for anti-virus software.
The actual software download takes mere minutes to complete, after which the installation process is over within 10 minutes. Slightly longer than some comparable security suits, but most of this time is spent updating virus definitions to ensure you are protected from all the latest threats. In any case, you’re looking at around 15 minutes in total from start to finish, which really isn’t bad.
Total AV has been designed from top to bottom to keep a low profile, running silently in the background and consuming next to no RAM or CPU time. Even when conducting its most intensive scans, Total AV doesn’t have any noticeable effect on the performance of your system. Ideal for those running slightly older or slower PCs and laptops, which can be slowed to an absolute crawl by more power-hungry antivirus software.
This is one of the areas in which Total AV scores top marks, having clearly been developed from the ground up with the everyday user in mind. The user interface has been overhauled significantly since Total AV was first launched, resulting in a dashboard that’s attractive, easy to navigate and very easy to get to grips with.
Take the time to adjust dozens of advanced settings if you which, though the default setup Total AV launches with is fine for most everyday purposes. Hover your cursor over the items to the left of the screen to quickly access a variety of features, or hit the button on the main dashboard to start the ‘Smart Scan’ process.
The streamlined and simplified nature of the user interface makes it particularly user-friendly on mobile devices with comparatively small screens. Even if you’ve no experience whatsoever using computer security software, you’ll have no trouble getting to grips with the basics of Total AV. Even its more advanced features are relatively easy to find and use, which makes for a refreshing change.
Primary Security Features
For the most part, Total AV delivers everything you would expect from a top-shelf anti-virus suite at an almost suspiciously low price. It almost seems too good to be true, but Total AV appears to be the real-deal when you consider its primary security features. Most of which are, of course, exclusive to the paid version, but this is the norm.
Manual and scheduled scans are all well and good, but nonetheless provide way too much time for potential threats to slip the net and pose a threat to your system. This is where real-time protection is essential, and is also an area in which Total AV excels.
Put to the test by countless independent laboratories, Total AV has demonstrated its capacity to instantaneously detect and deal with malware in downloaded files and executables. Manual scanning is still essential to ensure nothing escaped its attention, but real-time scanning and detection is where the real protection lies with quality antivirus software.
Other Privacy and Security Features
Along with the primary features and functionalities outlined above there are also several additional privacy and security tools included in the package. The most prevalent and useful examples of which being as follows:
Data Breach Check
Duplicate File Finder
Again, what makes the whole thing more interesting is how these top-shelf features form part of an ultra-affordable anti-virus suite. For the first year while the introductory offer applies, just $30 for complete coverage is no less than remarkable.
Still, be sure to check exactly how much more you’ll be paying after this introductory period, which is reviewed and altered by the Total AV team from time to time.
Effectiveness as a Security Solution
Could you get away with running Total AV as a standalone security suite on its own? The short answer is yes - Total AV has evolved into one of the most effective and reliable AV suites money can buy right now.
Assuming you go for the paid version (which is really the only version worth using), you’ll be looking at a comprehensive list of features and functionalities to rival any top-name security suite.
In terms of system scanning, real-time protection, customization, simplicity, user friendliness and so on, there’s very little negative to say about what’s on offer.
All with the added bonus of a lightweight solution that doesn’t put much of a strain on system resources. Independent tests have demonstrated the capacity of Total AV to keep up with the latest and most of secure threats, so you’re unlikely to fall behind the curve and be left exposed.
Just to emphasize that point once again – the free version of Total AV is not suitable as an effective security solution in its own right. It’s a good option for seeing how Total AV works and checking out its dashboard, but doesn’t really provide the protection you need.
On the basis of the improvements made over the past couple of years in particular, Total AV has emerged as a serious competitor on the high-end AV software scene.
I’ve already mentioned that Total AV isn’t particularly resource-hungry, but it’s a point that warrants repeating. Particularly given the fact that it’s far from the fastest AV suite on the market, when it comes to the time it takes to perform scans. Still, waiting a little longer is a small price to pay for such robust scanning and protection – especially when considering how Total AV runs silently and invisibly in the background.
Even when working on a modest laptop or netbook, there’s no major system impact to report. You may encounter the occasional tiny bit of lag when launching power-hungry programs or apps, but that’s about all. The same also applies with mobile devices, which in most instances suffer no noticeable slowdowns at all while Total AV does its thing.
Help and Support
This is another area in which Total AV has come on leaps and bounds over the years. Questionable customer support used to be an issue, though is no longer a cause for concern. Telephone numbers are available at national rates for a long list of countries, though I personally found the live-chat facility to be far more convenient.
Available on a 24/7 basis and provided in a wide variety of languages, you’ll rarely find yourself waiting more than 5 minutes for a response – even at peak times. Email response times are a little less impressive, but you wouldn’t use email to communicate anything urgent or time critical, anyway.
The full list of contact and communication options currently provided by Total AV is as follows:
On that note, it’s worth highlighting that the FAQs and video tutorials are extremely useful and quite comprehensive in nature. More often than not, it’s unlikely you’ll need to contact the customer support team for most everyday queries. All the basics (and plenty of advanced stuff) are covered in a solid suite of informational resources, which all customers gain free access to.
Phone numbers charged at the applicable national rate are available for the following countries:
Multilingual support is always a bonus where security software is concerned, as is the ability to consult with representatives by multiple channels. All in all, excellent customer support and a huge improvement over past performance.
How to Avoid Extra Charges
I couldn’t realistically write a Total AV review without acknowledging the proverbial elephant in the room. I said at the beginning that Total AV seems almost suspiciously or impossibly cheap, offering so much for less than $30 per year which is precisely the case during the first year – there’s nothing out there that offers more for less money.
But here’s the thing – this initial $30 introductory rate expires at the end of the first year. After which, you’re automatically transferred onto the standard tariff – published as $99 per year at the time of writing. On one hand, that’s still not a particularly eye-watering price for such a superb anti-virus suite. When you consider what you’re getting for less than $10 per month, it’s actually a small price to pay.
Nevertheless, it does mean that Total AV pits itself directly against the biggest and most established names in the business. You can pick up just about any top-tier anti-virus suite these days for around the same price, which inevitably brings alternative options into contention. That said, nobody offers an introductory annual rate quite as competitive as Total AV.
More importantly, it’s the auto-renewal aspect of the whole thing that’s something of a sticking point for some. It’s not an uncommon tactic, but is nonetheless unnecessary. You have to cancel your subscription manually before it expires, otherwise you’re enrolled for another year and charged the full rate. Avoiding extra charges therefore means setting a reminder and ensuring you cancel at the right time, unless you’re happy to continue…which you probably will be.
There’s also an impressive 30-day money-back guarantee that covers every purchase, so you can apply for a refund within the first month if you’re not totally convinced.
Putting all the pieces together, it’s hard not to be impressed with what Total AV brings to the table. Packed with exceptional features and a surprisingly powerful for such a low-profile piece of software, Total AV is making its presence known as a real contender. Even when considering the standard $99 annual cost after the initial trial period expires, it’s still not a lot to ask for such comprehensive and robust protection.
If considered entirely on the basis of its $30 for the full first year, Total AV is borderline unbeatable. There’s really nothing you can get right now for this kind of money that delivers such outstanding protection for an entire year. Even if you decide not to go ahead and continue with the full-price version, you’ll have gotten spectacular value for money out of your $30 investment.
Just as long as you remember to cancel your subscription in time – precisely where some would like to see Total AV alter its policies. Automatically enrolling customers on a subscription plan more than three times more expensive than the introductory rate really isn’t necessary. It’s a small irritation in an otherwise outstanding package, which from a 2020 perspective really could do with being removed.
Our recommendation: McAfee
Although the product we talked about are notable in the market, it doesn’t come close to McAfee. McAfee is a leading antivirus company in the cybersecurity industry due to its unique line-up of programs catered to dealing with malware and antivirus attacks. No wonder over 18.9 billion devices are protected using McAfee! Check out their security programs here!