Avatar image of Sam Cook
Sam Cook on in Antivirus

Total Antivirus (TotalAV) is a fully-featured antivirus software suite with a lot to offer. TotalAV provides both a free version and a paid version that expands on the default options. Although relatively new, this antivirus solution is growing in popularity.

In this Total AV review, we took a look at both versions, ultimately finding that the free trial version is useful, but very limited, while the paid version provides some
uniquely valuable features that set it apart from some of the bigger names in the industry.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: TotalAV is offering our readers a $19.99/year deal, which even beats the current deal it has running on its website. Value for money is an important factor in our ratings, we have elected to bump the rating up from 4 to 5 stars based on the discounted pricing. If price is taken out of the equation there are alternatives we prefer, however for a solid, easy to use solution that comfortably beats all of the free (and some of the paid) antivirus software we have tested TotalAV should be on your shortlist.

Update: Due to reader concerns and our recent re-evaluation of TotalAV’s business model and pricing strategy, we’ve lowered the review from a 10/10 to 8.5/10. We’ve found that TotalAV offers a functional antivirus program, but maintains consumer-unfriendly billing practices that can be confusing to many customers and lead to unintended payments and higher-than-expected bills. We recommend any user purchasing this software to read carefully our section on how to avoid adding extra services.

Minimum system requirements

TotalAV makes applications for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS.

For Windows and Mac, that includes standard antivirus protection. For Android devices, you’ll get antivirus protection, an optimizer, and an app manager. The iOS version is notably limited, offering an optimizer to help speed up your phone, and a photo manager that helps you clean up your photos and avoid the dreaded “Storage Full” message.

It’s difficult to tell exactly what the system requirements are for each. TotalAV does not list any information about system requirements on their website. Instead, when you click on “download” for Mac or Windows, or go to the Google Play Store or iTunes, you’ll find that it downloads pretty easily. If there’s a software limitation, you’ll find out pretty quickly. I had no problem downloading the Android or the Windows versions.

Installation and Setup

Installing TotalAV was a bit of an annoying process. First, you have to create an account — something that privacy-conscious individuals who want a free virus program may well balk at. It’s not common to require a login or account information to download a free version of a program. Paid, yes. Free? That’s a bit unnecessary.

Following this, TotalAV will spend a good few minutes updating its virus definitions onto your machine. Only after all of that can you actually install the program onto your computer. In all, installation took me just under 10 minutes, which seems a bit long to install a program. That said, most of that time spent waiting for the full installation was spent updating the virus definitions.


Once installed, TotalAV runs silently in the system tray but will load up the dashboard, at least for the first time. It used almost no space on my CPU and consumed around 20 MB of RAM on my machine. All in all, it keeps a low profile.


TotalAV interface

You certainly can’t fault TotalAV for paying attention to the visuals. The interface on this application is very easy to navigate, although some aspects don’t necessarily make sense.

For example, the meter levels for different the categories seem interesting and helpful at first – until you realize they aren’t at all. Take the “Antivirus” category:

TotalAV severity levels

For me, it shows my severity level as extremely high. 25 threats found? Yikes! Only, those 25 “threats” are only tracker cookies and all from sites that I trust. Yes, tracker cookies are a bit of a questionable measure, but I would not go as far as to say all tracker cookies are severe security threats to my machine.

Outside of this, it’s easy to get to the things you want and need. The “Fix Issues” button at the top makes fixing any problems it does find across all categories a simple process, while the ability to quickly navigate to each category on the left is a nice touch.

Security Features

This application gives you all of the standard items you’re looking for in an antivirus program. You can quick scan or perform a much longer whole system scan to help root out any malware.

The quick scan, however, is not as quick as the name implies. This took around 15 minutes to run, which seems painfully inefficient for a “quick” scan. Granted, too short of a time is not necessarily good, either, as it generally means that too few areas are getting checked, but I’ve had full system scans on other antivirus software last about the same amount of time.

TotalAV virus scan

Compared to the quick scan, the full scan felt more efficient. It took 24 minutes, which is relatively fast for a full-system scan. It was actually very efficient at finding some test viruses I installed, as well as the load of tracker cookies on my system.

Aside from the scanning options, TotalAV provides standard firewall and real-time protection features. Perhaps the more striking and unusual addition, however, is the inclusion of a VPN with the paid version of the program. It’s highly uncommon for an antivirus software to include a VPN, although it does make sense in a way. The VPN won’t keep you from downloading viruses, but the fact that TotalAV decided to add their own VPN solution is somewhat of a nice touch to round out the program’s other features.  

The VPN option has a long list of VPN server locations: over 40. That’s comparable to some of the major VPN providers on the market, making this a decent VPN solution if you’re looking for location variety. I asked TotalAV about whether their VPN service is home-grown or whether it’s provided to them through another party. I was told TotalAV’s “Safe Browsing” VPN is their own, homegrown service.


The company’s online Knowledge Base includes a few more details on the VPN, such that it uses 256-bit AES-CBC encryption run on the OpenVPN protocol. Beyond this, there’s no information on the VPN. Due to the lack of info and features, I would not suggest using it for the time being if you’re looking for a serious VPN solution. It doesn’t come with any features commonly found on paid VPN services, such as DNS leak protection, kill switch, or the option to change your ports. There’s also no word on a logging policy, something fundamentally important to anyone wishing to use this as a secure, anonymous VPN.

Also unfortunate for those who don’t pay for the service is the fact that TotalAV locks the quarantine option behind a paywall. Because quarantine is only available with the paid version, your options for what you can do with viruses or other malware is limited. You can delete or whitelist viruses, or choose to take no action.

The value in quarantining is the files found and cleaned may be necessary for other programs to correctly operate. Needless to say, you’ll have to be far more particular in how you use the free version given you have no quarantine option, lest you find yourself causing some damage to certain infected programs by mistake while trying to clean them.

Ultimately, the usefulness you’ll get out of TotalAV’s primary functionality is limited if you only stick to the free version.

Other tools

The System Boost features a nice add on. The ability to enable and disable startup programs, for example, is highly useful. It makes hitting Alt+Delete and trying to stop running programs a lot easier, particularly for anyone who’s unsure of which programs they should allow or disallow from running.

Useful as well is the ability to uninstall programs from your computer using the TotalAV client, as well as a function that clears history and cookies from your browsers all at once. Unfortunately, TotalAV isn’t able to pull up the history from Opera, although it does get the cookies.

TotalAV startups

These are all features you’ll have to pay for, however, as they’re somewhat signature to TotalAV. Windows users can streamline these processes that can sometimes be cumbersome to perform in every Windows OS.

The Disk Cleaner tools are not uncommon to other antivirus applications, but if I’ve ever seen a prettier layout for them elsewhere, I couldn’t name any. TotalAV hit the nail on the head with their duplicates cleaning tool. Their junk shredder is also streamlined and extremely useful.

Of course, all of these highly useful additions are, you guessed it, locked behind a paywall.

Effectiveness as a security solution

When you consider what you get with TotalAV, it’s ultimately a good, if not perfect, security solution. Unfortunately, TotalAV is pretty new on the scene, so it has not yet been fully tested by any of the major testing labs.

That said, one must consider what is available through the application. The firewall is there, and it works as intended as far as we can tell. The virus scanner is thorough in picking up threats, although tracker cookies should probably be reclassified in their definitions so they aren’t in the same category as malware. For example, it classified a test virus at the same threat level as tracker cookies (an “orange” on their scale, which falls directly in the threat level meter).

TotalAV Firewall

The addition of the VPN does make it more valuable in this category for some users than most other antivirus solutions, weighing heavily in TotalAV’s corner as a more all-in-one security solution.

The inclusion of industry-standard features on the free version, such as quarantine, would certainly put it on the level of some of the more well-known programs.

It’s hard to fault TotalAV for what it currently has. The only alternative, of course, is to point out again that you can’t use most of these features without paying up first. Yes, you can do the quick scan for free, but the lack of full scan or the quarantine thrown in for the trial version may be a turnoff to some people.

System Impact

As stated earlier, the quick scan took 15 minutes to run. That’s an amusingly long time for a quick scan. While this was running, and even when it was not, I kept getting popup messages from TotalAV telling me about threats to my system that needed to be cleaned.

You can turn off these notifications, but it seems superfluous to tell me about threats I need to clean while I’m running a scan. The popups are also fairly intrusive and take a rather large section of the screen. You can click to close them, but they’ll popup somewhat regularly.

TotalAV popups

On the positive end, even during the system scan, TotalAV used very little CPU. That’s an uncommon benefit, as some programs will simply fill up your processor to the extent that you can’t do much with your computer at all while it’s running. Even more impressive is the fact that it didn’t slow down my netbook at all while scanning. Given a netbook tends to have very limited CPU resources, this may make TotalAV a good option for a good segment of users with lower-end machines.

The application does its duty when malicious files are inbound. The firewall detected my attempt at downloading a test malware file and gave me a warning about it. It then gives you the option to remove, quarantine or ignore the filter and keep downloading the file. It will bring up a rather prominent message on your screen when this happens.

Somewhat annoyingly, the threat detection continued to block my efforts even after I turned it off. In fact, I purposefully turned it off so I could download the test file and see if TotalAV would detect it with a scan. Instead, it refused to let me download the file at all, even with the monitoring features turned off.

Help and support

TotalAV provides several support areas for those looking to use the software. They offer 24/7 live chat on their website, which is something I think more companies should offer. I used this service once to find out information on their VPN service. It took about four minutes to get a response. The service representative was able to answer my question fairly quickly and succinctly after that. 

You can also email them, call them, or use the on-site knowledge base. The knowledge base is only marginally helpful, however, so chances are you’re more likely to turn to one of the more direct contact methods to get in touch with the company.

How to Avoid Extra Charges

While TotalAV offers a steep discount on their services, it’s easy to rack up extra charges with the service if you’re not careful. You can avoid these excess charges by following these steps (with a step-by-step visual guide).

Step 1: Avoid selecting addons during the sign-up process on the first post-signup screen

After you make the initial purchase, you’ll be greeted with this screen. Do not click on Upgrade Now. Instead, click on No thanks, continue.

Step 2: Avoid addons on the second post-signup screen

As with the previous screen, you will want to click on the greyscale box with Continue Without This Add-On. Do not click on the Add Safe Browsing (VPN) Now

Step 3: Avoid addons on the third post-signup screen

You will be greeted with another post-signup screen offering more addons. Here, do not click Add on any of the screens. Instead, click Continue at the bottom of the screen.

Step 4: Avoid addons on the fourth post-signup screen

As with the other post-signup screens, do not click Add. Instead, at the bottom, click on the small text link that says No Thanks, I don’t want 50%off my account addons. Do NOT click on the large blue link.
Step 5: Cancel before the first year, and sign-up again with the discount, or contact customer support to turn off auto-renew

Your TotalAV account will auto-renew at the undiscounted rate after the end of the first year. This will include the two “free gifts” (Enhanced Firewall, System Boost) you received, but could not reject, when you first downloaded signed up for the program:

You will be charged for both ($19 each), plus the full price of the software ($99) once the auto-renew hits. This cost is unavoidable unless you cancel before the first year is out, or speak to customer service to turn off auto-renew. TotalAV mentions this auto-renew policy on the bottom of the signup page, and in their user agreement, as pictured below:

Overall impressions

TotalAV is a low-profile, fully-functioning application with a lot of character. In today’s time, a company needs character to distinguish itself from the crowd. And the antivirus software market is very crowded indeed.

It’s a powerful program, to be sure, and the fact that it’s not a system hog is nice. Nevertheless, it could use some sprucing up of its signature features, like the VPN, to be a truly viable alternative to the major contenders. Additionally, if TotalAV wants to improve both its image and its customer base, it needs to do away with the billing practices that lead some consumers frustrated and angry when they see the first automatic payment come through.

Furthermore, TotalAV might want to drop the requirement to sign up for an account just to use the trial version and to even download the program at all. This is nothing more than a method to collect data on potential customers, and it’s definitely the wrong way of doing things. I confirmed this to be the case after I started getting emails from the company trying to offer me discounts within hours of downloading the free trial. Within 36 hours, I’d already received two emails offering discounts and encouraging me to sign up for a full account.

The company should also drop the pretense in the free version. There’s so little you can do with the free version that it’s effectively not worth one’s time. Sure, you can quick scan and remove anything you find with the quick scan, but you can’t even utilize the quarantine, so you’ll have to be extra cautious with how you use it.

TotalAV packs a useful program in a pretty package then doesn’t let you use it unless you pay up. The price is competitive, however, easily matching some of the top names in the industry, while providing almost equivalent security features and then some.

Note: While competitively priced, even at full cost, the discounted $19.99 pricing offered to Comparitech readers makes TotalAV very good value. Value for money is one of many elements we factor into how we rate a service; based on the currently discounted pricing we have elected to bump the score of TotalAV up from a 7 to an 8 out of 10.

79 thoughts on “TotalAV Review 2018: Is it too good to be true?

  • the WORSE software and customer support i have delt with.. totalAV caused multiple crashes when it did it’s first updated on my 1 week old custom built computer with 7 programs on it, complete system lock-ups forcing me to hard reset my machine when totalAV updated and now when my machine comes out of sleep makes me think that TotalAV could actually damage my hardware, support told me to uninstall windows defender and sent me tutorial on how to remove a program, i replied explaining windows defender is integrated into windows 10 and cant be uninstalled only disabled which it was from the start. they replied with the same email saying uninstall windows defender and sent me tutorial on how to remove a program again….. facepalm… they then told me to start removing programs as other programs are causing the issues.. i use Steam, Battle net, spotify and a few benchmark and performance testing programs like aida 64 and msi afterburner, nothing that causes conflict with any other antivirus. few weeks later TotalAV picked up a game mod file as a potential threat and put a warning overlay on my screen which is fine, i put the 2 file back on usb stick and removed them from the computer but 2 hours later and i’m still trying to get rid of the overlay so i can see my screen, support tell me to start removing programs and sent me the same tutorial on how to remove a program.. at this point they are starting to frustrate and insult me by wasting my time so i ask again how do i get rid of the overlay or who do i contact to refund the broken and unfinished software. guess what.. they replied with you need to remove conflicting programs and sent me tutorial on how to remove a program because 1 of the 7 programs i use but are not currently not running causes the issues with and only with TotalAV so if you use Steam, Spotify, Battle net, Aida64, MSI Afterburner, CPU-z or Intel Extreme Tuning you may have issues with TotalAV. i canceled my subscription today and found not only that i can’t get a refund i also lose the 1 year with 2 other devices i had not used which is fine because at this point because i’d pay to not deal with TotalAV or TotalAV support (Lack Off) how they get a rating above 1 stars is beyond me. i wonder how much they pay for those ratings


    not intuitive
    can cause system instability
    no support at all
    reports of TotalAV taking money from people’s bank accounts months to a year after subscription was canceled

  • I have just installed TotalAV and paid for the version. My computer (XP) is now unusable seemingly massively slow. I’ve had to uninstall to regain use of my computer. How do I continue , ie stop future payments etc.

  • Do not use TotalAV!!

    They will increase their prices and trick you with their billing process.

    I went from £3.99 per month to £9.99 and they also changed a free safe browing service to £93.60 a year.

    I cancelled soon after but they continued to take money from my account. I had to cancel with my bank.

    I am currently fighting for a refund.


  • I bought a paid version of Total AV, First attempt at use indicated that “Doh all my licenses wherein use” now how could that be when I have one computer, the one I downloaded and purchased it for.
    So I went to the Live Chat button, NOPE, no such thing, called the support number, Nope! tells you to send them an email. Total fraud, do not do business with these scam artists.

  • I downloaded the free version and scanned my computer. it came back with a load of threats found so I thought I better purchase it. why not ay? so cheap. although I’m sure it said it was free? anyway. I paid, ended up paying for the year, and did another scan….oh look, ZERO Threats found. absolutely disgraceful. I went on to their online chat and demanded a refund. they tried to offer me next years subscription for the same price, which I already assumed it would be. told them no and I want a refund now. which apparently they have done and I should get back in the next 48hours or sometimes 7 days. Their software might work but if they are happy to Lie and deceive their customers from the outset then they don’t deserve any of our money.

  • Worst Antivirus software. Its a big piece of shit. Please please never buy Total AV. Makes you PC unusable. Even a click will take ages to action. My machine started taking 30 mins to start. Then to Mozilla it started taking 15 mins. I wished I could worse words to use.

  • i have a scan running with Total AV antivirus and i found out that Yahoo mail has send me malware on my computer that automatic my internet browser has been startup when i startup my computer so i have the mail from yahoo removed en a day later i have instal Total AV the antivirus has the malware that yahoo has dune to me removed from my computer the company yahoo is very poor and don’t i like it

  • my motto is if a company is tricky with its offering, pretending it has a good free version and in reality trying to sell its full version that is the only one that really works properly and then being funny about the charges, then its not a company that deserves trusting

  • Sam, I agree with everything you posted about this product and web site and I appreciate your accurate description of this service. The one thing I noticed very quickly when I attempted to take advantage of the $2.99 introductory price was the complete lack of any clearly defined information regarding pricing and monthly payments. They also use a very effective “tactic” of bombarding a potential customer with overwhelming amounts of information, flashy script and rapid fire page overlays to try and get you to purchase additional services. My advice is to stop, take your time and read everything presented before you click on any response. While I’m not suggesting TotalAV is doing anything illegal they are simply attempting to take advantage of the fact that most people either gloss over or completely ignore most “fine print” related to stuff like this. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you actually read an entire “user agreement and/or licensing information” for something you purchased. Another thing I noticed when using this software is that many of the services they offer seem to be nothing more than an “overlay” type program that sits on top of Windows and utilizes the features built into the operating system. Some of the features can be done within most versions of Windows above XP and while Defender isn’t by any means a robust or complete virus software program I don’t have to pay a monthly fee for the “basic” services. I decided to discontinue my subscription only a day after I downloaded the program and set it up because it seriously bogged my system down (it ran noticeably slower and I have 12GB of RAM!) and they set up an automatic payment deduction of $8.99 for 2/6/18 the day I purchased the basic service. Now I know I’m no mathematical genius but even I know that $8.99 per month does not equal $19.99 a year. It’s $107.88 for 12 months plus the $2.99 introductory fee and what ever other charge they might potentially stick me with without my knowledge or consent. I followed their Cancellation Policy on their web site so we’ll see if they actually live up to their promises. Personally, I think I’ll just stick with a software company I feel a bit more comfortable with. I know Norton Antivirus is expensive but they’ve been around longer than just about anyone else and they know what they are doing. So has McAfee. Stick with what works…

  • Anche io ho avuto disavventure con totalav. Innanzitutto dicevano che vi erano 4 criticità nel mio computer ma quando ho pagato ed istallato il programma di queste criticità neanche l’ombra. Poi mi è stata chiesta una somma di € 19,90 ma mi è stata addebitata sulla carta di credito 23,18. Ho scoperto, infine, che il mio acquisto prevedeva rinnovi automatici a prezzo pieno. Tutto ciò sarebbe stato anche poco se avesse funzionato ma sul mio computer vi è un malware che fa comparire una pagina di aiuto ogni tanto sia con Chrome sia con Office. Avevo acquistato questo programma per eliminare la criticità ma dell’eliminazione neanche a parlarne. Ho esercitato il diritto di recesso previsto per acquisti a distanza e sono in attesa ma della risposta in poco tempo neanche l’ombra. Bloccherò la carta di credito se necessario ma spero che altri non cadano in inganno come sono caduto io

    • Roberto,

      avrei bisogno del tuo aiuto se possibile. Un mio amico ha installato questo antivirus pensando di aver fatto un affarone, ma poi leggendo meglio le varie recensioni ha capito che si trattava di Scam. Lui ha mandato un’email per annullare il contratto qualche ora fa. Se non dovessero rispondere, mi consigli di telefonare a un numero verde presente nella sezione contatti sul loro sito? Tu sei riuscito ad annullare il contratto e ottenere il rimborso?

      Grazie in anticipo!

  • My first Packard Bell had a large 540 MB hard drive and 8 Megs of memory in 1995.
    I now have an iMac 27 loaded with JPGs, most having duplicates. I downloaded Total AV yesterday after reading several reviews. I was more interested in the extras than the anti-virus. I found over 25,000 duplicates (jpg) but I also found that if you want to fix any problems, you are prompted $$ and go from there. I like Total AV and unless a problem comes up I will keep it. I think it is worth the full price which will be in effect in one year.

  • I just downloaded it and it said it was a free version but its not really as when you want to fix the Issues it finds you have to purchase it to remove the Threats so it isn’t free at all, i will just stick with Avast.

    • Yep, I found the same thing
      They advertise free free everywhere, but they keep asking for money so the end result is – its NOT free. When I downloaded it, it said ‘found 4 problems’ and I wander if this is just a scam. I understand it cast money to develop but they get it from advertising. I downloaded Avast and bingo, problems fixed, it said I can upgrade but no pushing for it.

      • yep, it told me I had a load of issues so I paid for the full version. Once that downloaded I scanned again and guess what. NO ISSUES!! what a scam. I’m currently trying to get my money back.

  • I wish I had read this review before going through a purchase. In my case I did not understand this was a subscription model and whilst they offered $19.00 for the first year it was not until after the confirmed purchase that this was a yearly subscription and that it would renew automatically the following year for $99. I immediately emailed to cancel they replied by offering to keep the $19 subscription for life and only after a second after reply which I then had to again confirm cancellation did they agree to cancel. However, I had ticked the unlimited devices box for an additional $35. When I emailed them about this they replied saying that they could not refund additional services (which I had not received and now could not use as they had refunded the main product that needed them).

    • I got caught too with their special Black Friday offer of $2.99 ; not realising was the first month discounted price from $8.99 a month to be automatically charged.
      With the $2.99 deal, it was chargedvas son as I entered my credit card number : no chance to review and confirm.
      It took 4 e-mails to get the auto payment canceled.
      Specilal offer of Lifetime $2.99 a month or $19.99 a year was promoted.
      A real bad way of doing business.
      Lesson learned : no such thing as a special offer.

  • Agree 100% of the page review. I purchased 2 products and when I realized still by safe browsing needs to be purchased, asked them to cancel my purchase. Got no response rather than automated emails, so opened dispute case via PayPal. Now they showed up and answered, asking to close my dispute in PayPal and they guarantee to refund. I did for one and waiting to see how they respond . If it works , then I close my 2nd dispute in PayPal.
    I don’t know maybe I go with Bitdefender

  • I am having most of the same problems recorded here. Keep getting directed to a payments page whenever I attempt to delete threats. I will cancel my subscription as soon as I figure out how!
    By the way, I have payed already!

  • I appreciate the in depth write up. I will probably give Total AV a shot.
    Auto renewals remind me I to check ALL my PayPal payments more often.

  • Hi Sam,
    Based on your experience, would you mind advising/suggesting between these three:
    “PC Protector”, and

    which one is preferable in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, and yearly subscription and billing system? Thanking you very much in advance.

  • Hi Sam,

    I would recommend that you add a warning note on the main body of this article to avoid people accusing you of providing misleading information.
    Until I read through the comments on your article, TotalAV seemed like a great product available against a low yearly fee. TotalAV does not seem to be open about their pricing scheme. The low entry cost is tempting, but increasing the price to 4 or 5 fold for the 2nd year needs to be clearly communicated at the time the person subscribes to the service!

    • Hi Veen,

      I am sorry you feel this way! While I can verify that I am not an “agent” for TotalAV, I can also verify that TotalAV is also not a scam, from what I’ve tested and researched. However, their subscription policies, which are stated prior to signing up, do leave much to be desired. This is something we did not discover upon testing the first time but did discover upon recent re-review, which will be posted in the future. We thank our readers for alerting us to this particular concern with the company’s business model which we weren’t aware of during testing, given the fact that we received a free download for testing purposes, as is common practice.

  • hello, how Total Av update his antivirus? must of the programs I had before you could see it or they tell you update, also they do it in a daily basis, In a chat I had with total Av, (Joe D Edwards) He told how to do it manually, I follow his instruction but it did not work , one thing I noticed was, that it take to long to answer my question, I asking ,if I am running the latest version of Total Av. I never got an answer . I have the 19.99 paid version, but they try to sell me the 45.00 internet cover , they charged to my credit card, I told them I did not want that yet, hopefully they refund my money, I have to check on that now that I saw all this comments I got to this site trying to find out how the total v. update.. good work in all those comments.-

    • Hi Jose,

      Updating should be simple through the program itself. There are typically places indicated within the program for where you can click to update certain features.

  • I recently fell for this by purchasing the “discount” subscription. Having looked through my paypal i was shocked to find a reoccurring charge of £178 annual fee which i promptly cancelled. Ive also just sent an email to them to say how disappointed I am that this was not more prominently placed so I would be aware that this is what I was agreeing too and asked them to ensure that I am not re-billed again because I will not be renewing.

    • Thanks for checking in Julia,

      We agree that the change in price after the first year should be more prominently stated. We’ll be updating the article in the near future to that effect thanks to our readers like yourself.

  • May 4, 2017

    Planning to purchase TOTALAV, I ran the free version on my computer with the understaning that I could acquire it for $20. TotalAV found a number of threats to my computer, and I became hooked to the idea of purchasing it. However, when I went to buy this package, I was informed that I had not committed quickly enough and thus I would have to pay $30. This feels like a strong arming, and a deceptive, dishonest practice. I will not be purchasing TotalAV.


    • Thanks for checking in, Rachael. As others have noted, the program appears to work great, but the pricing and subscription policy TotalAV employs could use attention.

  • There are a lot of useful comments here about questionable marketing practices which make me feel relieved that I have not proceeded beyond looking at the unpaid trial. A succession of mails suggesting that my computer is at risk unless I send money to delete threats of which they have warned me led me to suspect this was ransomware, and led me to the discussion of your review. I wonder if anyone has found a means of blocking these questionable messages?

    • Hi Alan!

      We did go back in and test the sign-up process after the succession of comments that gave us some concern. We’ll be adding in that update regarding what we found some time in the near future. As for getting rid of the messages, you should be able to enter in an unsubscribe somewhere. That option is usually near the bottom of marketing emails like. I don’t have any coming to my inbox so I can’t say for sure, but let me know if you find it and are able to discontinue those messages.

    • Hi Kevin!

      Cyberghost was unfamiliar to me, but I did look this up. Did you purchase Total AV, or install the trial version? If you purchased it, did you also purchase the VPN? There may be a conflict in trying to run Total AV’s VPN service and Cyberghost simultaneously. There’s also the possibility that Total AV’s code identifies Cyberghost as a virus or piece of malware. Some VPN services can appear this way, depending on how the program operates. The unfortunate aspect to anti-virus software like Total AV is that they can mislabel programs at times or just experience conflicts with other programs.

      Did you try uninstalling Total AV to see if Cyberghost worked again?

  • i would like to know how to contact Total AV…I am very disappointed with it. It said it was free then they charged me about $50 and asked for more money…I cannot use it as a pop up comes up on top of it – asking me to trial Total AV…I was told my money would be refunded. I will have to check on this. So why is a pop up coming up asking me to trial Total AV if I am already on it? And how do I get rid of this Pop UP?
    I am a senior on a pension and this is like senior abuse..

    • I am a senior at 73 years of age . I don’t understand how they could charge you when there is no credit card info asked for on installing the free version? I installed the free version a few minutes ago. Even if it did ask for a credit card in the free version ….uninstall it and run away.

      • Hi Frances,

        Thanks for checking in. TotalAV has no way of changing if they collect no credit card information. The free version can be upgraded to a paid version, but this requires a specific process. Outside of this, they have no way of charging.

  • I’ve been using this anti virus programme for 6 months now which I got for 9 NZD . I have found it to be a great anti virus programme for my needs and it works well with my other anti virus programme as well. I have had no problems running it on windows 10 build 1607 and I’m now running it on the pre-release of windows 10 build16170 and have had no issues with it to date. When I first brought it they had it on special for 19 dollars for a yr but when I checked my account they had taken 28 New Zealand dollars . No where did it say that the price was in USD . I got in contact with customer service to cancel the service and explained why I was doing it , they replied within 10 min with an apology and a offer a big discount if I would like to keep using there service . TO date I have found their customer service to be exceptional and there anti virus programme is doing a great job at keeping my system clean , it has even picked up a couple of viruses that my other anti virus programme didn’t detect .

  • Beware of Bit-Defender they practice many of the same scams as TOTALAV.
    I purchased a years subscription for 19.95, it did a good job of protecting my computers, but their business practice are what I consider a scam.
    When it was time to renew, Bit-Defender accessed my PayPal account turned on the preauthorized renewal switch (which I never agreed to) and increased the price to $89.95. At this point I started a PayPal dispute against them and when Bit-Defender found out that a dispute is filed with PP, they shut down my Bit-defender on all my devices. I have no protection !
    Now I’m in the process of finding a new Virus protection program while I wait for PayPal to get my money back, Hopefully !

  • I recently purchased the TotalAV Pro. In having an issue with Windows Defender in Windows 10 ver 1607, I was told that unlike most every other Anti-virus, anti malware program, TotalAV does not remove or suspend Windows Defender. Also, TotalAV is not yet certified for Windows 10. Windows 10, ver 1607 does not recognize TotalAV as being installed, and will not allow Windows Defender to be turned off.

  • There is a web site that claims total AV is a scam and top10 antivirus programs is part of that scam. I have notified PayPal and Total AV that I do not want to have the automatic renewal option, but I have not yet fully cancelled my purchased program ($19.99). According to what I know, since I just purchased the program, I do have some time. Sam, can you please confirm what we are dealing with here it is important to know.

    • Hi D’Angelo, if you’ve recently signed up you do still have time to cancel. TotalAV does not begin the automatic renewal at the full rate until 1 year after you’ve fully signed up for the program. However, we conducted a re-review of their subscription process and policy, which we will be adding to this article in the near future. We found some things we did not like, but we did find TotalAV to be a scam. What we did find is that there are some subscription policies that are not user friendly, leading customers to feel they’ve been tricked.

  • I purchased the program for my wife’s iMac today for 19.99, which was the advertised rate. When my wife checked her PayPal account she saw that there was an automatic renewal in the payment schedule for $100! This automatic renewal is NOT mentioned on their normal information, but I discovered it buried in the user agreement. I cancelled the renewal with PayPal and contacted Total AV that I did not want the automatic renewal and if they could not eliminate it to cancel the program and give my wife a credit.

    • Hi John,

      I just saw your second response. You are correct in that assessment. This information is made available prior to completing the sign-up process, but with a somewhat unobvious link, and then only discoverable on their Terms of Use page.

  • BUYER BEWARE! This company, if not an outright scam, is practicing deceptive marketing and purchasing policies. They make it impossible to find out what the introductory period is and when it will finish. They will not tell you how much these services are once they go full price. Even if this information is available, it is buried in some obscure location in some obscure page. In other words, they do not make this information easy for anyone to find, which screams DECEPTION! As a matter of fact, I wonder with all of the negative reviews I have found on this company, if this overwhelmingly positive article was bought and paid for by the company itself. Any integrity Sam?

    • Hi Brandon,

      When we tested TotalAV, it was with a free subscription, so we did not have to go through the normal sign-up process and exchange any funds with the company. That’s a normal process with product testing. However, in light of recent comments, we’re signing up under a pseudonym to test the service and see if we experience these same issues. We’ll be updating the article accordingly if we discover TotalAV is engaging in shady business practices.

  • Total AV is a scam, or at best, extremely deceptive. DO NOT give them your credit card info, they will make you pay dearly for it. There is no information on their website stating what the introductory term is, and there is no information on their website about what it will cost moving forward. Even if they managed to bury the terms and pricing in some obscure link on the 55th page of some b.s. agreement, it is still DECEPTIVE PRACTICES, who’s sole aim is to screw you out of as much money as possible with out you knowing what is coming down the pike until it is too late to do anything about it. STAY AWAY!!!!!!!

  • Guys, Beware !

    I paid for TotalAV in December 2016 using PayPal. At £22.00 I considered it good value. But then I happened to check details of the TotalAV account under PayPal and it shows a recurring annual payment of £178.80 setup indefinitely! I was certainly not aware of it and only found it by accident. This is stealth and deception of the worst kind I have experienced in many decades of online transactions.

    • Hi Shabbir,

      Sorry to hear about this sticker shock! One thing we always take into consideration at Comparitech when rating services is the price and how that company manages its contracts. Hidden renewal fees and difficult cancellation and arbitration policies are something we don’t like here.

      I looked into TotalAV’s policy on this one. It appears in their Terms of Service, Section 5, they outline how they handle automatic renewals. They state that automatic renewals occur only based on the term you signed up for (e.g., month-to-month or yearly). The yearly subscription term will obviously be pricier than month-to-month as a one-time payment.

      That said, if you signed up for £22.00 only to find a yearly of well above that, there might a few things happening here. One is that you likely purchased the service at the discounted rate, which at the present moment is 70% off the regular purchase price. There’s a chance that you got the discounted price, which is temporary, and does not not carry over to the renewed pricing.

      Still, the £178 renewal cost you mentioned seems a bit high, and is definitely troubling. What package did you purchase initially? We’d like to investigate this more to determine whether TotalAV is following its prescribed terms and uses policy regarding pricing.

      • Yes, be warned about TotalAV. The same thing was done to me by TotalAV. I paid US$29 for a years subscription and then TotalAV automatically set up a recurring annual debit for US$99 each year with out making this clear when I initially signed up. I therefore immediately cancelled the PayPal recurring debit. How dare TotalAV help themselves to my credit card with out first making sure that I authorised it. I will be changing to another Anti-Virus program in a years time because of this deceptive arrogant manner this company does business.

        • Hi Keith,

          Per recent comments, we’ve conducted a review on TotalAV’s subscription policies. We’ll be updating the article with our findings on this in the near future. However, per your comment, we did find that TotalAV provides a notification (if small) early in the sign-up process that they will begin automatically charging you at the full rate after one year. They don’t make this obvious, and they do not have any information about this in your user account after signing up, although you can find this stated on their Terms of Use page as well.

      • Hello Sam,

        Thank you for looking into this.

        Let me clarify. In December 2016 I purchased Total AV Ultimate for 3 devices (I cannot discern a version or product type from either the invoice or their ‘dashboard’). I bought an annual subscription at what was then heavily discounted price of £22.80. This is for personal use. I paid using PayPal. While checking my PayPal account, I realised that my account had been setup to pay £178.80 every year from December 2017 onward ! Of course I did authorise the initial payment of £22.80 but I was never asked if I would be willing to pay renewal at such inflated prices. I would not have known about it had I not checked my PayPal account. I regard this as stealth and deception.

  • I’ve been looking for another anti-virus program. Read many reviews on the well known programs, and I was impressed with Total AV. After reading your review I decided too download the paid version of essential. I found it very easy, had no problems. I’ve changed from my long-standing use of Kaspersky, not because of problems, but my general uneasy feeling about Kaspersky. We’ll see how it works.

    • Hi Kathleen!

      Thanks for dropping a line. Glad you found our review helpful. Please do let us know if you run into any issues that we might be able to help resolve. We’re always interested in knowing about issues so we can update our review as needed if the program appears to not be living up to the expectations we set in the review.

      I’d like to hear more about your reasons for dropping Kaspersky. That’s one we’ve reviewed rather favorably, so it would be great to know why you have apprehensions, and if we need to update or re-review that software.

      Thanks again!

  • Good article.

    I found exactly the same in that it keeps directing me onto a payment page to delete threats which are just cookies. I feel a bit misled as it’s not really free if you have pay to get any threats removed.

    • Hi John,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. While we rated the service high, that was also an issue with their service that I pointed out that I did not like.

  • wow I had no idea how many problems this found on my PC! took a few minutes to scan as i have never used anything like this, but it removed all in seconds! Good Review, thanks for your suggestion. Paul

  • hello there. i have just downloaded Total AV Essentials, but when i tried to contact someone from Total AV either by 24/7 chat or Email…i have heard nothing. Im now quite nervous that i have bought and paid for a scam service. as it was because i read your review that i purchased this product, can you please investigate for me to ensure that both you and I have been scammed by this product?

    thank you in advance

    • Hi Judith!

      We contacted TotalAV about this issue, as we received several comments, including yours, that appeared to have a similar complaint. TotalAV informed us that it is common for some customers to have different accounts for paid and free service and that there is sometimes and inconsistency when attempting to upgrade to the Essentials version with the wrong email address. Hopefull, this helps.

    • I am like Lea. So now what do you say to us Sam? Gee I’m sorry, I thought it was an isolated case. I was like Lea, also bought the Essentials, yet their website didn’t even let me get to the download. After the credit card information was taken it led me to a new screen that tried to get me to buy an upgrade “before it’s too late.” After I selected “continue without upgrade” it kicked me into a blank dead end screen. No download, no nothing. Contacting customer service got me nowhere. Being scammed is what I call it. Don’t buy it. Go to a company with more reputability. If you are like me dispute the charges and claim their 30 day refund (IF they actually honor that). Your best option is to keep on shopping. If you purchased this software download get your credit card company to cancel the purchase.

      • Hi Fred!

        We contacted TotalAV about this issue, as we received several comments, including yours, that appeared to have a similar complaint. TotalAV informed us that it is common for some customers to have different accounts for paid and free service and that there is sometimes and inconsistency when attempting to upgrade to the Essentials version with the wrong email address. Hopefull, this helps.

      • Hi Fred,

        I’m sorry you are having issues! We have contacted TotalAV to learn more about this issue. We will let you know when we get a response.

        I would also like to note that we here at Comparitech rate the services based on our own testing of it. At times, services can change, while other users may experience issues with services we’ve rated that we did not run into during product testing. We appreciate your pointing out issues. If we find that TotalAV does not provide an adequate response to ours (and your) issues, we will adjust our rating accordingly.

    • Hi Judith,

      Sorry to hear about your troubles! We can confirm that TotalAV is a legitimate service and not a scam. However, we don’t have any impact or influence over their customer service. Please do keep trying to get into contact, however.

      • Sam, I just purchased TotalAV for $19.99 for my wife. She checked her account and the automatic renewal for $100. I notified my credit service we did not want the automatic renewal and I notified Total AV customer service. I advised them if they could not cancel the automatic renewal I wanted to cancel the program and get a credit. Sam, can you please check further to confirm if they are a scam or legit? Another web site claims they are a scam.

        • Hi John,

          We’ve received several comments related to this issue, and we’re currently checking on it now. We’re in the process of signing up under a pseudonym to test whether TotalAV is utilizing poor businesses practices on this end. We’ll update our article when we have some more details.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.