Every computer user knows how vital it is to protect their machines with reliable antivirus software. The choice, however, is often overwhelming. Knowing which service to choose can be confusing, but this article will guide you through the pros and cons of two of the leaders in the antivirus software market: TotalAV and AVG.
I have analyzed the merits of both software in levels of malware protection, carried out performance tests, and looked into the pricing in order to help you make your choice.
If you just want the verdict, then the winner is TotalAV. But every user needs to bear in mind their own personal needs when making the choice, so read on further to find out more.
Summary: TotalAV vs AVG
- Ransomware protection
- System tune-up
- Cloud scanning
- Enhanced firewall
- Password protection
- Data shredder
|Feature||TotalAV||AVG Internet Security|
|Antivirus and antispyware||✔||✔|
|Banking and payment protection||✖||✔|
|Network attack protection||✔||✔|
|Automatically update apps||✔||✔|
|PC cloud backup||✖||✖|
|Identity theft protection||✖||✔|
|Run suspicious apps in sandbox||✖||✖|
BEST DEAL FOR TOTALAV:Save 80% on TotalAV Antivirus Pro and protect yourself from malware, hackers, viruses, and other online threats.
BEST DEAL FOR AVG:Save 33% on AVG Ultimate and protect up to 10 compatible devices.
A relatively new arrival in the antivirus market, TotalAV has expanded rapidly in recent years. The UK-based company’s software offers protection to more than 25 million users worldwide. Its levels of protection lead to it being the number one choice for many users.
With its roots in post-communist Czechoslovakia, AVG Technologies offers a suite of antivirus protection to customers globally. From its expansion in the 2000s, AVG is today known worldwide as a safe choice when it comes to online security.
Of note was its acquisition by Avast in 2016, which allowed Avast and AVGs products to share the best features they each had to offer. In late 2020, Avast was acquired by NortonLifeLock (formerly Symantec), the maker of Norton Antivirus.
Pricing and compatibility
Both AVG and TotalAV offer a range of different pricing options, from basic free coverage to premium packages with enhanced levels of protection. There’s an option for every type of user’s specific needs.
Long gone are the days when there was just one desktop computer in the home. Households today own a number of devices, and each one requires protection.
TotalAV offers robust free coverage on one device. Its paid services allow for the protection of upwards of six devices, and it’s compatible with Windows, Mac, and Android.
Right now, TotalAV is offering a generous discount of 80 percent for its paid plans, reducing the price of its premium three-device protection to just $19 (GBP £13.78) for the first year. Additionally, a 30-day free trial lets you gauge its benefits before making the commitment. After the first year, prices change to the figures as presented in the table below.
|TotalAV Antivirus Pro||TotalAV Antivirus Pro (3 devices)||TotalAV Antivirus Pro (5 devices)||TotalAV Antivirus Pro (6 devices)|
|Free||$99.99 per year||$119.99 per year||$149.99 per year|
AVG’s Antivirus pricing is slightly different. Like TotalAV, it offers free coverage. This is a popular choice and gives users AVG TuneUp, a performance optimization tool, in addition to protection against ransomware, phishing, and other threats.
But for an annual price of $69.99 (GBP £50.76), AVG Internet Security offers a more advanced tier of protection, covering a single PC or Mac. Improvements on the free package include webcam protection, a data shredder, and an enhanced firewall. The multi-device product is Windows, Mac, and Android compatible.
The good news is AVG is also currently offering discounts for the first year of use. This reduces the price of its mid-tier Internet Security package by 44 percent, down to just $39.48 (GBP £28.63).
AVG’s top-grade service, AVG Ultimate, is priced at $199.99 (GBP £145.06) per year, covers 10 devices, and is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. The first year is just $77.88 (GBP £56.48), and includes SecureVPN and AVG TuneUp.
After the first year, the prices are as listed below.
|AVG Antivirus Free||AVG Internet Security||AVG Ultimate - 10 Devices|
|Free||$69.99 per year||$119.99 per year|
Effectiveness against malware
Malware (malicious software) threatens privacy and personal information. Protection against these threats is increasingly crucial today due to the fact that so much of our personal data is left on our devices.
Although antivirus software offers protection against malware, it is crucial to test if viruses can still manage to penetrate through their security. I used four EICAR (European Institute for Computer Anti-Virus Research) test files and put both TotalAV and AVG to the test. Additionally, I threw in three of my own tests, using adware and Trojans.
Here is a table of what I found:
|Test File||EICAR Sample 1||EICAR Sample 2||EICAR Sample 3||EICAR Sample 4||Live Sample 1 (Adware)||Live Sample 2 (Trojan)||Live Sample 3
TotalAV offered mixed results. It managed to block just one of the EICAR samples, allowing the other three to filter through. It did, however, manage to flag up all three of my own live samples. It is therefore seemingly robust against Trojan malware.
AVG on the other hand blocked half of the EICAR samples. In response to my adware and Trojan samples, AVG blocked all three.
Both TotalAV and AVG missed the two test files that use HTTPS. This is likely due to them not scanning HTTPS web traffic, which itself can create security holes. TotalAV also missed a text file, likely due to TotalAV only scanning certain file types.
Independent testing website AV-Test and AV-Comparatives provide further data on the two programs’ effectiveness against malware. They utilize far larger data samples than I was able to, providing trustworthy results.
For AV-Test’s testing, TotalAV scored a 98.2 percent protection score in May 2020, and 98.9 percent in June. AVG, however, excelled here, scoring a perfect 100 percent success score for both months.
AV-Comparatives used data from February 2020 to May 2020 in another independent study using over 700 sample threats. TotalAV was awarded a 98.5 percent score, while AVG improved on that with 99.7 percent.
False positives incorrectly identify safe files as threats and is a normal phenomenon to some extent when using antivirus software. During the period of February to May, TotalAV had two false positives, while AVG totaled eight. The industry average is nine false positives, so both programs scored better than average.
Although AVG did win the race in my own tests, in systematic studies, both antivirus packages stand up to test. You can rest assured both will offer robust and comprehensive protection against online threats. With that in mind, let’s look at other factors that are important to take into account when making the choice between the two.
Impact on PC performance
Nothing is worse than software that slows down your computer. Just how taxing is both of these programs on operating power?
I carried out tests to gauge the effect of TotalAV and AVG on CPU and memory usage, running both quick and full scans, as well as a control group during which no scan was running.
|Test Type||Full Scan Time (minutes)||Full Scan Items Scanned||Quick Scan CPU Utilization %||Quick Scan Memory Utilization %||Quick Scan Disk Utilization (MB/s)||Quick Scan Time (Seconds)|
TotalAV took just over 3.3 hours to complete a full scan. Meanwhile, AVG scanned more items and took just 35 minutes—almost 3 hours quicker than TotalAV. AVG is thus the speedier option when it comes to carrying out a deep scan of your device.
Additionally, when carrying out a quick scan, AVG is far less taxing on processing power, using just 36 percent of CPU compared to 94 percent for its rival.
The table below outlines the effects on PC performance when carrying out a full scan compared to if no scan were taking place.
|Test Type||Control 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)|
When running in the background with no scan, TotalAV taxed my computer, using 81 percent of CPU power compared to AVG’s 51 percent. Although AVG did use slightly more memory than its rival, when carrying out a full scan, AVG was much less taxing on both CPU and memory, freeing up my PC’s power for other tasks.
AV-Comparatives provide information on the performance of various different antivirus software. I corroborated my findings by looking at its recent data. They test everyday tasks such as:
- Downloading files
- Browsing websites
- File copying: First and subsequent run
- Installing and uninstalling applications
- Archiving and unarchiving
- Launching applications: First and subsequent run
TotalAV was said to have performed “very fast” on four out of six scores, although it was “mediocre” on installing and uninstalling applications, and “fast” on downloading files.
AVG is also very fast on four out of eight metrics, lagging behind only slightly with a fast score on launching applications and downloading files.
AVG takes the lead here by a small margin with it scoring very fast or fast in all areas.
It can be difficult to consider the number of different features antivirus software offers. To judge how extensive a program coverage is, it’s important to compare it to its competitors. So here I have listed the key features of TotalAV and AVG.
- 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
- Advanced antivirus
- Behavior shield
- AI detection
- Real-time updates
- Do not disturb mode
- Password protection
- Webcam protection
- Data shredder
What do these features mean exactly?
- Cloud scanning: A faster solution to antivirus scanning, offloading scanning work onto the cloud.
- System tune-up: Irons out inefficiencies in your computer’s performance by identifying areas in which its performance can be maximized.
- Protection against phishing scams: Blocks malicious URLs that seek to introduce viruses into your computer. These are common in junk emails, which today can be increasingly hard to identify.
- Webcam protection: There is no scarier thought than imagining someone could be watching you through your screen. Webcam security ensures this cannot occur.
- Data Shredder: Delete files permanently without leaving a trace for hackers and unauthorized agents.
- VPN: Enhanced online privacy allowing your PC to change its IP address and hide its location.
Both antivirus services offer unique benefits. Every user has different needs so it’s important to decide what is best for you. TotalAV’s protection against phishing scams is a winner; it pays to be wary of increasingly sophisticated phishing emails that look legitimate. TotalAV ensures greater protection against these scams infiltrating your computer.
Signup and installation
Just how easy is it to sign up for both of these software? How long does it take to install?
Once you have selected your product, TotalAV takes you through to the checkout page and lets you know how much money you’ve saved. Unfortunately, no monthly payment installments are available, meaning you will have to pay for the full year. (Although as I mentioned earlier, this is discounted in the first year.)
AVG has a clean and easy-to-use checkout process. A free trial is offered and the program can be installed very quickly.
How easy is the interface to use?
There is nothing worse than an unnecessarily complicated user interface when using the software. We want to be able to use the features we have paid for easily.
The opening screen of TotalAV gives you an update on your computer’s protection status and tells you whether you need to carry out a scan. The rest of the menu is easy to navigate and is user-friendly all-around.
AVG’s approach is different. Its home screen lets you know which areas you are protected against, rather than just telling you that you need to scan. This gives you a better sense of whether you want basic or full protection. A smart scan can be carried out in one click.
If you’ve paid for a service, you want to rest assured that any problems can be addressed quickly.
TotalAV offers 24/7 live chat support. Say goodbye to long waits while phoning a customer service line. Chat support is quick and efficient. TotalAV also offers email and phone support, details for which can be accessed in the FAQ and support section of the website.
AVG, on the other hand, only provides a contact form rather than instant access to live support. It does include a support hub where you can browse through answers to common issues. There is no dedicated technical support phone line.
TotalAV vs AVG Conclusion
Both services offer rigorous protection against day-to-day antivirus threats. On industry-level testing, AVG does take the edge slightly, but TotalAV’s protection will likewise cover most everyday security issues. Although AVG is less taxing on PC performance, this difference will be indiscernible with most modern-day devices.
TotalAV’s user interface is clean and user-friendly, and its 24/7 chat support is an extra layer of reassurance. The ability to clean and free up space on your machine will ensure your time online is stress-free. Generous discounts make TotalAV my choice for 2021 and beyond.