Bitdefender vs TotalAV

Bitdefender and TotalAV are both leaders in the world of antivirus software, but which one is the best?

There are a lot of antivirus software providers to choose from, and selecting the right one can be difficult. I have made the decision simpler for you with a comparison of Bitdefender and TotalAV.

In this article, I will look at both antivirus software and compare their pricing, features, levels of malware protection, and overall performance. I have conducted my own malware and performance tests to gather data to present alongside the latest independent antivirus test results.

Can’t wait to see who the winner is? My choice is Bitdefender. It offers exceptional protection for your device against malware and varying threats. It is easy to use, with outstanding features on top of the antivirus software itself. Whether you browse the internet daily or occasionally, Bitdefender is a very useful piece of software.

If you have more time, please continue reading to find out more.

Summary: Bitdefender vs TotalAV

Bitdefender Premium Security

  • Protection against ransomware
  • Password manager
  • Unlimited and secure VPN

TotalAV Antivirus Pro

  • Ransomware protection
  • System tune-up
  • Cloud scanning
FeatureBitdefender Premium SecurityTotalAV
Antivirus and antispyware
Firewall
Webcam protection
Password manager
Anti-phishing
Ransomware protection
Banking and payment protection
Parental control
Network attack protection
Encrypted storage
Automatically update apps
VPN
PC cloud backup✔(50GB)
File shredder
Performance optimization
Identity theft protection
Run suspicious apps in sandbox

BEST DEAL FOR BITDEFENDER:Save 57% on a one-year subscription and get premium security and privacy tools for up to 10 devices.

BEST DEAL FOR TOTALAV:Save $80 on a TotalAV subscription and get 24/7 live support and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Background

Bitdefender

Founded in Romania in 2001, Bitdefender has over 500 million users all over the world. It offers innovative ways to help keep consumers safe online. It’s not just home users who trust Bitdefender, but many businesses depend on reliable protection too.

TotalAV

TotalAV has become a world-renowned antivirus software provider. With an array of awards already collected for its malware protection and features, TotalAV antivirus has become one of the leaders worldwide. More than 25 million users currently trust this software to keep them safe online. It is owned by Protected.net Group Limited and is presently registered in the United Kingdom.

Pricing and compatibility

Prices vary across antivirus software. There are many options to choose from, including free versions. Although it’s tempting to consider free alternatives, these don’t offer the same protection level that their paid counterparts include. The table below shows the pricing options available with Bitdefender and TotalAV. It is interesting to see that Bitdefender and TotalAV offer free antivirus software, but this will only protect you from the most basic threats.

As you can see above, Bitdefender has an array of plans available to suit your needs. Prices range from free to $149.99 (GBP £108.94) per year. The highest-priced version offers protection for up to 10 devices. You also have the choice of a family pack, a small business plan, or the latest Bitdefender BOX.

TotalAV’s pricing structure is quite simple. The company offers free and paid versions, with the paid version allowing you to protect three, five, or six devices.

If you still can’t decide what the best antivirus software is for you, both have offers to help you. Bitdefender offers a free 30-day trial, so you can try it before you buy. You don’t even need to submit any payment information. TotalAV additionally offers a free 30-day trial on all of its software.

At the time of writing, both brands offer first-year discounts. Bitdefender Premium Security costs $89.99 (GBP £65.39) for the first year while TotalAV offers a huge 80 percent off its paid version. This means that TotalAV Antivirus Pro for three devices costs $19 (GBP £13.80) for the first year. After the first year, you will be charged full price for a subscription.

Both Bitdefender and TotalAV are compatible with all major operating systems including Windows, Android, and macOS devices.

Effectiveness against malware

Malware protection is the main factor to consider when purchasing antivirus software. Malware constantly evolves, creating more sophisticated threats over time. It’s vital that you have the best antivirus software to combat these risks. I conducted some tests to find out which was the best at tackling these issues.

For the first test, I downloaded four test malware files from the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research (EICAR). I then turned off real-time detection to see how they compared. The second test saw me using some live samples to see how well the software performed at blocking them. The results are shown below.

Test FileEICAR Sample 1EICAR Sample 2EICAR Sample 3EICAR Sample 4Live Sample 1 (Adware)Live Sample 2 (Trojan)Live Sample 3
(Trojan)
BitdefenderBlockedBlockedBlockedBlockedBlockedBlockedBlocked
TotalAVAllowedBlockedAllowedAllowedDetectedDetectedDetected

As the table shows, Bitdefender detected and blocked all four EICAR samples while TotalAV only blocked one EICAR sample, and allowed in the other three. All live samples were detected by TotalAV, but not blocked from being downloaded.

Even with these findings, I wanted to back them up with results from independent tests.

AV-Test is a testing organization that evaluates the protection provided by antivirus software. Some of the latest results from May 2020 and June 2020 showed that Bitdefender scored an exceptional 100 percent in real-world testing, which included 339 samples. TotalAV scored a little less with 98.2 percent in May and 98.9 percent in June.

I also looked at AV-Comparatives, another independent test website. The most recent real-world protection test from February 2020 to May 2020 presented Bitdefender with a score of 99.3 percent. TotalAV scored a little lower, with 98.5 percent.

AV-Comparatives also show results for false alarms. These false alarm tests highlight how accurately a file is identified depending on whether it is an actual threat or safe to use. A lower score is better. Bitdefender came in among the top five performers in the test, picking up seven false alarms. TotalAV fared even better, recording only two false alarms.

Although TotalAV scored slightly better in the false alarm test, I couldn’t ignore Bitdefender’s perfect score in the AV-Test’s assessment. As such, Bitdefender is the winner in this round.

Impact on PC performance

An important factor when purchasing antivirus software is the effect it could have on your PC’s performance and speed. The last thing you want is to spend money on software only for it to slow down your PC. Below are the results from tests I carried out to see if my PC was impacted. 

Test TypeFull Scan Time (minutes)Full Scan Items ScannedQuick Scan CPU Utilization %Quick Scan Memory Utilization %Quick Scan Disk Utilization (MB/s)Quick Scan Time (seconds)
Bitdefender110420000056813577338
TotalAV19912000094154751740

The table above summarizes the full and quick scan functions on both Bitdefender and TotalAV. Bitdefender took 110 minutes to complete a full scan in comparison to TotalAV’s 199 minutes. Bitdefender also scanned an impressive 4,200,000 items, far more than TotalAV. TotalAV’s quick scan took 1,740 seconds, making it one of the slowest quick scans I’ve seen.

So, how did these scans affect the PC’s performance?

The table below highlights the effects Bitdefender and TotalAV had on my PC when no scan was present, and when a full scan was in motion.

Test TypeControl CPU Utilization % (no scan)Control Memory Utilization % (no scan)Control Disk Utilization (MB/s) (no scan)Full Scan CPU Utilization %Full Scan Memory Utilization %Full Scan Disk Utilization (MB/s)
Bitdefender32746556813577
TotalAV817533210082101

As you can see above, Bitdefender had very little impact on my PC’s performance when a scan was not taking place. In comparison, disk and memory utilization were both much higher with TotalAV, resulting in a larger impact on the PC’s performance.

I wanted to compare my results with AC-Comparatives’ findings. The test outlines the impact antivirus software has on PC performance when running these eight common tasks:

  • Downloading files
  • Browsing websites
  • File copying: first and subsequent run 
  • Installing and uninstalling applications
  • Archiving and unarchiving
  • Launching applications: first and subsequent run

In the April 2020 test, Bitdefender scored an extremely fast rating overall. The exception was file copying on the first run. TotalAV scored very fast in all except for installing and uninstalling applications (this gained a poor score) and downloading files (this received a fast rating).

As you can see from my own tests and independent tests, Bitdefender outperforms TotalAV in terms of its performance and its impact on the PC. TotalAV scored admirably, but Bitdefender shines as an excellent malware protector, whilst having little impact on your device.

Features

There are more features to think about other than the antivirus scanner itself. These will help enhance your PC’s protection when using the internet. I have chosen some of the stand-out features from both Bitdefender and TotalAV to help give you an idea of which one offers the most protection for the best value.

Bitdefender Premium Protection

  • Unlimited VPN traffic
  • Priority support
  • Device optimizer
  • Window, macOS, Android, and iOS protection 
  • Parental control 
  • Multi-layer ransomware protection 
  • Protection against malware, spyware, adware

TotalAV Antivirus Pro

  • Ransomware protection
  • Protection against phishing scams
  • Protection against adware and spyware
  • Free up system space
  • System tune-up
  • Web shield extension
  • Browser cleaner and manager
  • Cloud scanning

Here are the feature highlights of both:

Bitdefender

  • Unlimited VPN Traffic: VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. This is a vital tool that protects you online. By encrypting your internet traffic, the VPN protects your online presence and secures things such as passwords, bank details, and personal downloads. 
  • Multi-layer Ransomware Protection: This safeguards all your documents, videos, pictures, and music against malicious ransomware through a multi-layered approach.
  • Device Optimizer: If you’re not a fan of software sending you unnecessary notifications, this is a very helpful feature. It will halt those annoying popups by detecting when you are working, playing, or watching a movie on your device.

TotalAV

  • Cloud scanning: Want the quickest protection against zero-day malware threats? Cloud scanning will do this by scanning your device regularly and protecting it quickly.
  • System tune-up: System tune-up finds any possible areas that could help boost the performance and speed of your device.
  • Protection against phishing scams: This tool is fantastic at blocking the latest phishing URLs. This helps protect you against harmful malware and scans on your device.

You’re spoilt for choice with Bitdefender and TotalAV, thanks to their additional features. Nevertheless, Bitdefender’s VPN and multi-layered tools can’t be ignored. They block malware and provide ultimate protection against any threats.

Signup and installation

The signup and installation process should be straightforward for all users, whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro. Bitdefender has a clear and simple design on its homepage, clearly showing what product you have chosen, your discount, and the plan type purchased. Bitdefender also plainly states that your plans are on auto-renewal, but it doesn’t show a subscription length option.

TotalAV is very easy to use. Once you’ve selected a product, you are taken straight to the checkout page. As with Bitdefender, TotalAV clearly shows the amount you are saving to reassure you that it’s the right choice. ‘Free additional devices’ and ‘free tune up’ are noted alongside the amount you’re saving on these features. The option for monthly payments isn’t available, which is a bit disappointing as TotalAV’s prices are somewhat more expensive than Bitdefender’s. 

How easy is the interface to use?

Antivirus software is something you will use quite regularly, so it’s important you find it easy to operate.

Upon opening Bitdefender’s dashboard, it immediately informs you if you are safe. There is a quick scan option along with the choice to open the VPN and access the safe pay section. The left panel gives you easy access to additional features with an option to use support if required. What stood out to me was the color scheme of gray and green. I found this very appealing to the eye, making it easy to read all the information.

TotalAV has a very simple design. For those who are less experienced in using antivirus software, this could be a welcome sight. Once you open the software, you are informed that your PC is protected, and you have the option to run a simple smart scan. As with Bitdefender, the left-hand icon is very helpful in letting you navigate to malware protection, adjust your personal settings, and use many more features.

Customer support

All the best antivirus software providers offer reliable customer support. Bitdefender offers 24/7 assistance through telephone, online chats, and a ticket system. There is a large online support hub to help solve non-urgent issues, with very helpful how-to videos too.

TotalAV also offers 24/7 live chat support via its website. This is quick and easy to use, and often the most popular method of communication with customers. There is also the option to contact TotalAV via email or phone. Comprehensive FAQs and other support documentation are available on the TotalAV website.

Bitdefender vs TotalAV Conclusion

There are many great features included with Bitdefender and TotalAV. Overall, Bitdefender has come out on top. By comparing two of the top antivirus software providers on the market today, it’s clear to see Bitdefender has one of the best performance rates in the antivirus world. 

Offering exceptional malware protection, Bitdefender will also keep your details private with additional features like a VPN. TotalAV offers a great first-year discount, but is a more expensive option in the long run and offers fewer features than the Bitdefender suite. Nothing is more important than your privacy and protection, and Bitdefender is a leader in this class.

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