Even though it doesn’t have the name recognition some competitors like McAfee or Kaspersky have, TotalAV still offers a terrific value for an antivirus suite with fantastic features. As a white label of Avira, a well known and established German antivirus, it promises a safe and well-trusted technology, for half the price. I was impressed with how well TotalAV works when you download it, and how thoroughly it scans through all your files. Some users have complained about the company’s billing practices, but I found that in general my subscription was handled well. Overall, TotalAV is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a more security-oriented antivirus, instead of one that focuses on internet protection.
The most important thing for me when it comes to antivirus is how well a product can keep malware, ransomware, spyware, and other attacks out of my computer, and TotalAV aced this test. The company is very young (less than two years), so it doesn’t have the reputation competitors do, but its protection matches any rival. My first test was to let TotalAV scan my computer and detect a folder I’d loaded with malware. I was happy to see it removed more than two-thirds of the malicious files and it only notified me once when it did, something other antivirus suites could learn.
Virus Detection at its Finest
I was also impressed with how well TotalAV does when it detects viruses that have already snuck into my PC. In the test, the antivirus found every single infected file and was able to quarantine or delete it, though it did take some time to complete. The company’s security tools also scan for malware when you visit websites, checking for suspicious links. However, if you really want protection on the web, you can use the company’s Web Shield extension (which is available for both Chrome and Firefox). When I opened my browser with Web Shield activated, I visited a few websites I know are malicious, and the program stopped almost 90% of the malware I found.
Handy Guide is Provided
Another useful feature if you’re worried about your identity being stolen is the company’s phishing protection. It may not be as comprehensive as McAfee or Bitdefender, but TotalAV’s phishing defenses were still able to protect my personal details and steer me away from dangerous websites very often. This is a good sign as phishing websites don’t always look dangerous at first sight. One great perk of downloading TotalAV’s Antivirus Pro or Ultimate Antivirus is that you receive a handy antivirus eBook. This digital guide includes great resources on how to protect yourself better, how to detect malware, and what to do when you find it.
Finally, I was pleased to see TotalAV includes a remote firewall to protect you from any incoming attacks. You can also control your devices’ firewall settings remotely, ensuring you can keep yourself safe, even if you’re not at your PC. When your device may be downloading a risky file or malware, your firewall will always notify you before it becomes a problem.
Safely Connect to the Web with a VPN
One of my favorite additions to TotalAV’s package is the VPN, which lets you browse the web anonymously and keeps other people from stealing your personal data. The company’s Safe Browsing tool encrypts all of your browsing data and masks your IP address—your computer’s “home” address—to give you a protected browsing experience. Many antivirus suites don’t include this, so I was happy to see that TotalAV included it, and more importantly, that I found it works great. I had few problems finding the right connection, and I was able to access all my favorite content with no problems. Even better, Safe Browsing is available on all the devices supported by TotalAV, including PCs, Macs, iOS devices like iPhones and iPads, and Android tablets and smartphones.
Optimize Your PC to Run Smoothly
After a while of using your PC every day, it’s normal for it to slow down. After all, downloading programs, files, and heavy usage constantly overload your hard drive and memory. TotalAV offers a useful disk cleaner that scans through your computer’s many folders to find any junk files, duplicates, and other useless data that’s filling up your hard drive. This can help you by making your computer run more smoothly and giving you more space to store new files.
Additionally, TotalAV helps you improve other settings on your devices to make them work as best as they can. This includes helping you reduce startup time, lag, and improving your CPU’s speed. If you spend most of the time on your browser, TotalAV cleans it up for you and removes any unwanted applications, toolbars, and other extensions you may have installed without realizing.
Protect Your Privacy with Powerful Tools
To help protect your privacy when you’re online, TotalAV gives you four great tools to defend against the unknown threats on the web. The first is a handy Adblocker extension which keeps annoying ads off your favorite websites. Many times, ads contain hidden files and links to malware that can infect your computer without you realizing. Additionally, if you browse to a part of the web you don’t know, Safe Site will keep you safe by alerting you before you open a new URL. One feature I was happy to see TotalAV include was a password manager, which helps when you have multiple accounts across the internet and can’t keep track of all your passwords. This utility lets you keep all your passwords in one secure location and lets you log in to websites and apps more easily.
Learn About How to Protect Yourself
Even with the best antivirus, the most reliable way to stay safe when you’re browsing the web is to know what to avoid. If you choose the Antivirus Pro or Ultimate Antivirus options, you will also receive an Antivirus eBook that gives you an in-depth look at the best ways to defend yourself when you browse the web. This includes learning the important red flags to keep an eye out when you visit a new website, different behaviors that could indicate danger, and what to do when you detect threats. If you’re an inexperienced PC owner, or simply want to improve your knowledge to stay safe, this is a great perk that many competitors simply don’t have.
Ease of Use
It was great to see that TotalAV gives you protection for all the major devices and operating systems, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. When you finish choosing your antivirus package, you can manage all your downloads from an online console which makes it easier to know exactly what you’re downloading. When you finish downloading the right application, installing TotalAV is as easy as clicking on the downloaded file.
After a quick login, you’ll be able to start using TotalAV. The antivirus’ main interface is also clean and easy to understand, which is useful for beginner users and those looking for a no-frills solution. The main screen includes four large icons which cover the major categories (Antivirus, System Boost, Disk Cleaner, and Web Security), and you can click on each to manage specific settings in every category. Lower on the page is a useful chart that shows you each category’s status, along with the results of the most recent scan and how severe the issues detected were. This is a wonderful way to help you better manage your antivirus and always know what’s going on with your PC.
Even though it’s still one of the youngest Antivirus companies on the market, TotalAV already stands out for its approach to customer support. No matter which plan you choose, you can easily contact the company via email, phone, and even a live chat that is available directly on TotalAV’s website. I found that all three methods were useful for having my questions answered, but live chat is probably the most convenient for regular users, as it can give you the quickest answers. The company’s call center is also useful for most billing questions, though if you’re looking for 24/7 support over the phone, you’ll have to upgrade to the Ultimate antivirus suite.
I found the company’s support staff to be well trained and able to answer all my questions effectively. If you’re like me, however, you’ll prefer to look for the answers yourself before calling anyone. In this case, you’re still in luck, as TotalAV has a terrific knowledge base that includes answers to many common issues users have, as well as a comprehensive FAQ section that resolves most questions you could have. Overall, I was impressed with TotalAV’s support, though it should be noted that some users complained that the company’s billing practices can be confusing.
No matter which of TotalAV’s three plans you choose, the company offers excellent value. The company’s Essential antivirus has all the vital antivirus features including malware and ransomware protection, phishing detection, a firewall, and its Web Shield. You also get access to the company’s PC optimization and disk cleaner tools, which help your computer more efficiently. The company’s Pro package gives you access to the password vault and the antivirus eBook. The Ultimate antivirus also gives you protection for your smartphone as well as 24/7 customer support. If you’re looking for protection for your own computer, your best option may be the Essentials package, as the Pro only adds the password vault. If you’re looking to protect multiple devices, however, the Pro and Ultimate bundles protect 3 and 5 devices, respectively. Overall, if you want the full set of features and prefer access to support when you need it, the Ultimate package is your best bet. Especially if you prefer to use your mobile devices over your PC, neither the Pro nor Essential packages include mobile apps, so you would have to pay for them separately.