Home Software Review - 360 Total Security

360 Total Security is an easy-to-use and highly popular multi-platform anti-virus and anti-malware tool with impressive features in a lightweight form.

360 Total Security, by Qihu 360 Software Co Limited, has been designed to deliver an easy-to-use anti-virus product for its customers, offering real-time protection to their Windows PC, OS X Mac, or Android-based system. Impressively, the product is free and is in use by over 560 million people worldwide.

The PC version comes in two forms - All-In-One and Essential, the primary difference being Essential contains anti-virus protection, while All-In-One includes tools to clean and optimise your computer's performance. Having used 360 Total Security I find it very user-friendly, light on system resources, and a great bargain. It has a number of compelling features which I enjoy, as below.

360 Total Security includes both anti-virus and anti-malware in one package. It also includes multiple engines, titled 360 cloud scan engine, 360 system repair engine, 360 QVMII AI engine, Avira engine, and Bitdefender engine. It is pleasantly surprising that one small system provides multiple scanning technologies to ensure protection. Additionally, the app includes a sandbox where suspicious files can be placed and easily retrieved or deleted by the user. This helps you test out something if you are uncertain, and gives confidence you can recover a file if a false positive occurs. As a software developer it's not uncommon to have .exe files be blocked because they are unknown and untrusted, being your own app which you just wrote and know full well is safe.

Included features also include privacy protection when using your webcam and keylogger blocking to protect passwords. It scans all downloaded files, it blocks malicious websites such as phishing sites, and it includes online shopping protection to protect credit card and personal information.

At a system level, 360 Total Security includes an impressive host of features, including USB drive protection, network threat blocking - especially useful for those who travel and tend to rely on public WiFi, malicious behaviour blocking, file system protection and registry protection.

Users can elect to scan files when saved and when opened, can use either the Bitdefender scan engine or Avira scan engine, both of which have large databases of virus details for maximum safety.

A great feature of 360 Total Secuity is the Patch Up feature which attempts to repair damaged documents, covering a wide range of popular document file types like Word, Excel and PDF, as well as more obscure items like Java and Flash files.

The list goes on; 360 Total Security includes a Wi-Fi security check to advise on the password strength of your Wi-Fi as well as DNS security check. It can optimise your computer by cleaning up junk files and tidying broken or faulty plug-ins, providing for an improved computer experience. A Speed Up feature similarly allows you to optimise startup items, scheduled tasks, application services, system services and network performance.

It really is an impressive software suite particularly for free, for multiple platforms, and with a light footprint on your resources. 560 million people can't be wrong; you may well find it the anti-virus tool of the future.



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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.


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