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TotalAV Internet Security Review – Is it worth your money?

How good is TotalAV Internet Security? This review dives into its VPN, ad blocker, data breach checker, and other tools included alongside the antivirus.
Writer: Marc Dahan
Specialist in Online Privacy

Antivirus vendors are trending toward expanding their reach by providing digital security tools beyond an antivirus engine. Today, we’re looking at TotalAV’s Internet Security bundle.

It includes:

  • An antivirus
  • A VPN
  • An ads and tracker blocker
  • Data breach monitoring
  • A junk file cleaner
  • A duplicates finder
  • An application uninstaller
  • A startup program manager
  • A browser data cleaner

But is it worth your money? We’ll find out.

I recommend reading the full review if you have the time. If not, you can find a summary of my thoughts below.

Total AV Internet Security summary

Most antivirus security bundles provide an excellent antivirus engine, a decent VPN, and a bunch of fluff. TotalAV’s offering follows suit, except its antivirus engine isn’t great, and its VPN, despite being fast, suffers from serious connection issues.

It’s difficult to recommend TotalAV’s bundle, given that its flagship product didn’t perform well in our tests, and the VPN service – the second biggest highlight in the bundle – won’t stay connected.

Everything else in its bundle is arguably of limited use. You can either achieve the same thing manually or find free alternatives online. There’s no point spending your money on TotalAV’s fluff, especially given that it can’t deliver the goods on antivirus and VPN.

TotalAV’s Internet Security bundle is not recommended.

TotalAV Internet Security pros and cons


  • Decent prices
  • The app is easy to use
  • Good support


  • Antivirus didn’t perform well under testing
  • VPN has serious connection issues
  • Extra software may not be useful
  • Some extras require additional installs
  • Extremely vague privacy policy

The antivirus

TotalAV - Main UI

The antivirus engine is meant to be the standout feature in the bundle. It has all the appropriate settings and scan types a proper antivirus should have.

You can access the antivirus from the menu bar on the left.

TotalAV - Antivirus Menu

Selecting Malware Scan displays the scan types you can choose.

TotalAV - Scan Types

There are three scan types:

  • Quick Scan
  • System Scan (full scan)
  • Custom Scan

Clicking Quick Scan or System Scan starts the scan immediately.

TotalAV - Scanning

Clicking Custom Scan prompts you to select the files and folders to scan.

TotalAV - Custom Scan

The antivirus Settings can be accessed from either the gear menu on the app’s left or the gear menu at the top right when you’re in the antivirus menu.

TotalAV - Antivirus Settings

An additional Settings page for real time antivirus protection lets you tweak scans.

TotalAV - RealTime Scan Settings

This is all fine and good. But how does the antivirus engine perform?

Antivirus tests

I started testing TotalAV using malware samples from the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research, or EICAR. EICAR provides files that can simulate a virus infection without actually damaging your computer. In my tests, TotalAV failed to detect three out of the four samples used, which isn’t great.

TotalAV Internet Security
Eicar sample 1Allowed
Eicar sample 2Blocked
Eicar sample 3Allowed
Eicar sample 4Allowed

Thankfully, it successfully blocked all three malware samples I used in my testing.

TotalAV Internet Security
Live sample 1Blocked
Live sample 2Blocked
Live sample 3Blocked

Impact on system resources

We measured TotalAV’s impact on system resources.

Quick Scan

TotalAV Internet Security
Control CPU Utilization % (no scan)81
Control Memory Utilization % (no scan)75
Control Disk Utilization (seconds) (no scan)332
Quick Scan Time (seconds)1740
Quick Scan CPU Utilization %94
Quick Scan Memory Utilization %76
Quick Scan Disk Utilization %41

Full Scan

TotalAV Internet Security
Control CPU Utilization % (no scan)81
Control Memory Utilization % (no scan)75
Control Disk Utilization (seconds) (no scan)332
Full Scan Time (minutes)199
Number of scanned objects1200000
Full Scan CPU Utilization %84
Full Scan Memory Utilization %75
Full Scan Disk Utilization (seconds)381

Full antivirus scans are known to consume a lot of system resources, so this was expected. However, I was still able to use my computer without issue during the scan, so that’s a positive.

Antivirus testing methodology

We’ve structured our antivirus testing methodology to provide reliable data on the software’s effectiveness at malware protection and performance.

Our testing process includes:

  • Using malware test samples from EICAR
  • Testing live malware samples, including Adware and Trojans
  • Comparing our own tests with independent antivirus lab test results

In addition, we measure several PC performance metrics and analyze pricing, ease of use, compatibility, and additional features.

We have a dedicated post on our antivirus research and testing methodology if you want to know more about how we analyze antivirus software.


TotalAV - VPN

The included VPN is a potentially useful addition to TotalAV’s Internet Security bundle. While it’s extremely basic, it provided fast speeds as long as I was connected to a nearby server. Speeds degraded quickly when testing servers further away from my actual location.

TotalAV’s VPN supports two protocols:

  • IKEv2
  • OpenVPN

TotalAV - VPN Settings

While both protocols are very secure, I’d stick with OpenVPN. It can more easily pass through firewalls and can be used over TCP instead of UDP.

Here are the speed test results:

TotalAV - Speed Test

  • North America (where I am located): 267 Mbps
  • Europe: 94 Mbps
  • Asia: 68 Mbps

Global: 142 Mbps

Those are pretty good speeds, especially considering the faster WireGuard protocol isn’t available.

I didn’t experience any IP or DNS leaks while using the VPN.

Without VPN 

TotalAV - IP Test - No VPN

With VPN 

TotalAV - IP Test - With VPN

Unfortunately, TotalAV’s privacy policy only covers its website, not app usage. I wrote to its Support department about app privacy, and it was like pulling teeth. The rep did their best, and I was admittedly being difficult.

TotalAV - Support Chat 1

TotalAV - Support Chat 2

Ultimately, the rep sent me TotalVPN’s privacy policy (it has a separate website). This is the crux of it:

It’s very vague, stating only that it collects “personal information.” It also states that it will collect your original IP address, which is a negative from a privacy standpoint.

TotalAV is more likely than not to collect a lot of user data. Part of the reason for that is that it’s an antivirus company providing real-time protection and it needs to keep track of what you’re doing to do that. The other part is that it’s a low-quality VPN offering with poor data collection practices.


TotalAV - WebShield

WebShield is TotalAV’s protection against malicious websites. It’s included in the bundle; just enable it to benefit from its protection. In my testing, the feature worked well. Although, by exercising a bit of common sense, one could avoid most of the sites this would block. Several free options provide the same functionality, so it doesn’t add much to TotalAV’s value.

A Settings page lets you more finely configure WebShield’s behavior.

TotalAV - WebShield Settings

Total Adblock

As its name would indicate, Total Adblock is TotalAV’s ad blocker. Again, too many free (and excellent) alternatives for ad blockers exist. So it’s of questionable value here. It worked pretty well in my testing, though some advertising banners still made it through.

TotalAV - Total AdBlock

Being a browser extension, it’s a separate install, which is somewhat annoying.

TotalAV - AdBlock Web Page

It also doesn’t support Firefox, which is a rather significant omission.

TotalAV - AdBlock - Firefox Not Supported

Data Breach Check

TotalAV - Data Breach Check

Data Breach Check will check to see if your email address has been compromised in a known data breach. It’s simple to use. You enter your email and click the Check Now button, which takes you to a web page displaying the results. Again, this is something you could do for free on a site like HaveIBeenPwned.

TotalAV - Breach Check Web Site

Junk Cleaner

TotalAV’s Junk Cleaner will scan your computer for junk files, such as temporary files, orphaned files from past installs, the contents of your Recycle Bin, etc. It works well. However, as is typical with the extra fluff in software bundles, you can find many excellent free alternatives by running a simple web search.

TotalAV - Junk Cleaner Results

The Rest…

TotalAV - Fluff Menu

Welcome to Fluff-Central… The rest of the “apps” in this bundle are very low-priority and are not worth your money. But they’re included, so here’s a quick rundown of their functionality.

Duplicate File Finder

The Duplicate Finder will scan your hard drive for duplicate files, display them, and allow you to delete the duplicates.

Application Uninstaller

It lists your installed apps and allows you to uninstall them. It’s not much different from Windows’ built-in uninstall utility.

Startup Manager

The Startup Manager lists the apps that are set to launch at system startup and allows you to change that behavior. You can do this from the Windows Task Manager just as easily.

Browser Cleanup

The Browser Cleanup will delete cookies, cache, and temporary web files stored in your browser. This feature is browser agnostic and works with most browsers (including Firefox).


The support I got from TotalAV wasn’t bad at all. I actually feel sorry for the rep who would, of course, have a hard time with my questions. They were very patient and did their best to help me out. If the company they’re working in has lousy privacy practices, I can hardly blame the rep.

TotalAV offers support through its online help or web chat. I opted for the web chat because the online help simply didn’t include the information I was looking for. Again, the rep did their best.


TotalAV - Pricing

The bundle I’m reviewing here is TotalAV Internet Security, and there’s only one price for that bundle: $39/year. As such, that’s a fair price for a good antivirus with extras. But there are two caveats:

  1. TotalAV’s antivirus engine didn’t perform very well in our tests, so I’m not sure it’s even worth $39.
  2. It renews at $129/year – at that price, I’m sure it’s not worth it.

TotalAV isn’t charging outrageous prices, but it needs to up its game to be worth it.

Do I recommend TotalAV Internet Security?

No, I do not. And the reasons are pretty obvious.

The main feature of this bundle is the antivirus, which underperforms. Thus, the flagship service is a letdown.

The second most important feature is the VPN. As is the case with most of these antivirus security bundles, the VPN is extremely basic, with minimal options. And while it’s pretty fast, in my experience, it simply stops working within 24 hours and stops connecting. This happened to me three times during my tests. The solution? Uninstalling and reinstalling the software – hardly practical. TotalAV should do its homework.

Another thing I didn’t like about its VPN was its data collection practices. The privacy policy is hard to find to begin with, and then only contains vague statements about the service collecting “usage data” and hollow statements about how it protects that data without ever telling you what that data actually is (beyond confirming that it collects IP addresses).

And then there’s the fluff… Aside from the malicious sites blocker (natively supported in every major browser these days) and the adblocker (for which countless free and better alternatives are available – that will support Firefox, too), it’s all pretty useless. But, software bundles being what they are, the more you throw into them, the better value they appear to be.

In this case, we have a subpar antivirus engine bundled with a low-quality VPN service and a bunch of fluff for $39 the first year and a whopping $129 per year after that.

I’ve reviewed many of the antivirus security packages. And in most cases, while they all contained fluff, at least the antivirus engine was excellent (McAfee, Norton, to name a few). But not so here.

TotalAV Internet Security is not recommended.