Is 360 Total Security Any Good?
The short answer – it is ok, but not on par with AVG free or Avast free. In real-world tests, it even lags behind Bitdefender and Avira, although it does use their antivirus engines. All those additional maintenance tools are decent, but if it’s an anti-malware solution that you’re after, 360 Total Security isn’t the best choice among free antiviruses. On the other hand, the fact that this is a free product makes it worth your while.
With it, you get several scanning options, multiple speedup-cleanup tools, and a relatively low system impact. The lab tests are well below average and leave a lot to be desired. As for the paid Premium edition, while it does cost only 15 dollars, it’s still based on the same antivirus engines. So, think twice before picking this software over alternatives like AVG and Bitdefender.
Pros & Cons
While this is a capable product, we can’t recommend it to everyone. As you’ll learn from our 360 Total Security review, it comes with a long list of pros and cons. Take a quick look to see whether you’ll like this software or not.
Highlights of Antivirus
- It is a free product
- An antivirus and PC maintenance tools in one package
- Lots of options and features
- Compatible with Windows XP-10
- Also available on Mac OS and Android
- Low system impact in the background
Developed by Qihu, a Chinese company, 360 Total Security is a free product. With it, you’ll get a PC maintenance suit, along with a decent security tool. The built-in antivirus can protect your device from malware, ransomware, and phishing. The world-famous Avira and Bitdefender engines are at the very core of it, and the user can switch between them.
Furthermore, Total Security offers shopping/webcam protection, a sandbox, and keylogger blocking. With it, you’ll also get automatic Wi-Fi security checks and download-installation of new patches for Win, Java, Adobe, and other popular apps. Also, PC maintenance tools are excellent for speeding up the OS, cleaning up the hard drive, and scheduling tasks.
Features of 360 Total Security
|Money back Guarantee||30 days|
|Manual Virus Scanning|
|USB Virus Scan|
|Registry Startup Scan|
|Auto Virus Scanning|
|Ease of use||5/5|
- Users searching for an all-in-one product
- People with the lower budget looking for a free antivirus/maintenance tool
- Fans of easy-to-use friendly software
Reliability and Security
As we discussed in the intro, 360 Total Security uses the Avira and Bitdefender engines. However, during the lab tests, it performs worse than the free editions of the mentioned antivirus products. And the overall test results are somewhat disappointing. Of all the leading third-party labs, only AV-Test includes this product into its regular tests considering it worthy to be tested.
They rate antivirus software based on three criteria – Performance, Protection, and Usability. In the Protection test, TS earned a perfect score (six out of six); the same is true for Usability. In the Performance test, it only managed to receive a four/six rating; that’s because of the above-average system impact during a scan. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus received a perfect six in all three tests; the overall Avira score is 17.5 out of 18.
Our team of experts ran its own series of tests to see how this antivirus performs against malware attacks. We planted a folder full of malware samples on the HDD, just like we always do during these tests. Some products, like Avira, interfere the second we try to do that. Others (like Webroot, for example) stay idle until the user copies those files to the hard drive.
Total Security, in turn, waited until we were about to launch them. According to the officials, this only happens in the Balanced mode (it’s the default mode). And when you switch to Security, the antivirus will scan every single file that is being saved to the drive. However, during our tests, that didn’t happen, and we still had to launch every file manually.
When Total Security detects malware, a big warning message appears on the screen. If the user does nothing, it deletes that file/app in 30 seconds. At the end of the test, it detected 84% of the malware samples and earned a fair 8.1/10 score. This result is not very impressive, as the stand-alone version of Avira identified 94% of the samples and Bitdefender, in turn, received an impressive 9.3/10 rating.
Whenever the user visits a shopping site, the Secure Online Shopping tool is activated. It prevents unknown apps from launching and protects the user from keyloggers. Plus, it also has hijacking protection. Yet, again, it’s not very effective in real-world tests. We modified a couple of files on the hard drive disk, but that didn’t trigger Total Security.
Our contact at the company claimed that they specifically designed this antivirus to react to actual threats. We do understand their desire to ensure this tool doesn’t affect legit programs. At the same time, we can’t be 100% sure that it’s on par with the best offers on the market.
Phishing websites aim at stealing your credentials by imitating bank sites. They trick users into giving away their logins-passwords by thinking they’re entering their identity data in a safe environment. In our test, we collect dozens of new phishing URLs and check how the antivirus behaves against them.
We were surprised by how well 360 Total Security handled all those phishing URLs. Bitdefender, Webroot, and Norton are the leaders in this field, and this antivirus had a similar detection rate. That is important: a year ago, TS failed at this same test. Thankfully, the company did an excellent job of improving phishing detection in the new version.
Along with malware/ransomware/phishing protection, 360 Total Security also offers robust optimization tools.
- Cleanup can be found on the dashboard: you can access it by hitting an icon on the main screen. Just click on “Scan” to check the plug-ins and junk files in the system and tidy it up a little bit.
- The Speedup is also located in the dashboard and can be activated with one single click. All you’ll have to do is select “Optimize” and wait for this tool to do its job. Compared to other tune-up software, 360 TS is quite solid.
- Patch Up automatically updates the most common programs, while Wi-Fi Check performs DNS security/password strength checks.
- Secure Online Shopping and Sandbox are also a part of the package.
And if you purchase the 360 Total Security Premium package, you’ll get access to even more features.
360 Total Security Performance
Compared to similar products, Total Security requires a bit more resources to run. First of all, it needs 1.5GB of hard drive space; second, it adds three background processes, with up to 200MB of RAM consumption. That’s more than the industry average, but not enough to make the regular users feel the extra strain. This product does take longer to install than most of the competition, though.
We ran a series of tests to see precisely how 360 Total Security affects system performance. The results were pleasantly surprising: this product doesn’t slow down the download of apps. At the same time, the speed of launching websites will drop by 8%; copying operations will slow down by 12%. Don’t worry: these are well below the industry averages.
Important note: when Total Security is working in the background, it doesn’t have a significant impact on performance. Yet, when you launch a full scan, it will take at least 1.5GB of RAM, and that will have a severe negative effect on older computers. If you have 8GB of RAM, the scan’s impact won’t be nearly as dramatic.
Ease of Use
To install 360 Total Security, you’ll need to download a small installer and follow the instructions. Even if you already have antivirus software on your device, there won’t be a message asking you to delete it. Another big pro: no account/registration is required. One final thing: Both 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows are supported, and they perform flawlessly.
This product is compatible with Win XP or later, MacOS X 10.7 or later, and even Android. Sadly, the Mac OS and Android versions aren’t as strong as the Windows version. And to get the free Android suite, you’ll need to download it on Google Play. Once Total Security is installed on the device, you won’t have to restart the OS; click on its icon, and that’s it!
360 Total Security Interface
The user interface is very simple and logical: the icons and menus look inviting. Navigation is fast and hassle-free; everything is cleverly laid out. Besides, if you don’t like the original theme, you can always change to something different in the corresponding menu (only in Premium). To change the language, go to Settings – General – Language.
All the essential categories are listed in the left corner. Those include Full Check, Virus Scan, Speedup, Cleanup, and Toolbox. All you’ll need to access these menus is one single click. As you might have already guessed, the additional features can be found in the Tool Box (the Firewall, Data Shredder, and Driver Updater are some of the available tools).
The Full Check runs a complete scan of the system, not just a malware scan. To get access to more specific scans, go to the “Virus Scan” menu; there, you’ll find three options.
The Quick Scan does precisely what its name suggests: it only takes 3-5 minutes to complete. The Full Scan, in turn, takes longer to complete (up to 55-60 minutes), but it also goes through every single file and folder on the OS. It would be a good idea to run Full Scans once a month to make sure your operating system is safe and sound. Finally, there are the Custom Scans. They allow the user to hand-pick the files and folders that should be scanned by 360 Total Security.
You can also save several custom scans and go back to them at any time in the future.
Interesting fact: this product is packed with several antivirus engines, and you can pick which one will perform the scan. The list includes the Avira and Bitdefender engines, the Cloud engine, and more. Such an option will help to make sure your OS is free of any malware.
What Comes with 360 Total Security Premium?
As mentioned earlier, 360 Total Security Premium gives access to several additional features. Most importantly, it’s ad-free; plus, with it, you can schedule cleanups and change the interface theme.
- The Disk Analyzer scans the hard drives to check which files are taking the most space and how they’re scattered around the local drives.
- For getting rid of your traces on the Internet, and any other activities, use the Privacy Cleaner.
- The Data Shredder is a unique tool for complete removal of any files/folders on the OS.
- The Driver Updater speaks for itself: it regularly checks and downloads all the latest drivers.
- And finally, the Firewall adds a layer of security to the system.
Total Security Premium costs $15 per year and protects three devices.
Support and Customer Service
On the official website, you’ll find a support menu with lots of options. There’s a dedicated blog that updates every 1-2 weeks and includes industry news and company news. In the Help section, you must pick among Virus Scan, Business, Account, and other topics, and only then get some answers. First, the system will ask you a couple of questions to get a more detailed description of your problem.
Then, you’ll have to provide a name, email, and type in your question – it usually doesn’t take long for support agents to respond. Or, you can always directly send a message to support (by using this email: email@example.com). The email-based approach is a bit outdated, especially compared to the live chat.
We were pleased by the support team’s eagerness to help, but some experts were less educated than others.
360 Total Security Video Review: is it enough?