Is 360 Total Security Good? Our Short Overview
Qihoo 360, a Chinese company, introduced Total Security to the world in 2014. This isn’t a traditional antivirus: instead, it’s a combination of a maintenance-optimization tool that also features a decent antivirus. With it, you’ll get protection against malware, phishing, and ransomware. One of the most significant selling points of Total Security 360 is the fact that it includes the Bitdefender and Avira engines, and you can easily switch between them.
The country’s biggest and most successful cybersecurity company, Qihoo 360, is about to become even more influential. It’s been around since 2005, and these days, it’s China’s go-to antivirus solution. Advanced cyber warfare attacks – that’s Qihoo’s main focus for 2020-2021. In 2020, when the tension between China and the US turned into a tech war, the firm decided it was time to act.
According to the tech giant’s CEO, they’ve developed a “cyberspace radar system” that has already discovered 40+ attacks from other countries. It’s important to note that back in 2018, Qihoo 360 left the American stock market and moved back to China. And, despite the previous lawsuits, bloatware controversies, and average performance, today, 360 is a leading player in the industry.
The list of additional tools includes keylogger blocking, a sandbox, webcam protection, and more. As for the optimization tools, they are relatively good at improving overall OS performance and freeing up the hard drives. Total Security is a free service, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s so popular these days. Qihoo 360 also offers a Premium edition for 14.99 dollars that has even more tools and features than TS free.
However, despite all these significant advantages, TS is still not as impressive as the free editions of Avast, Kaspersky, and AVG. In third-party lab tests, it falls behind the leaders (including Avira and Bitdefender). For users looking for a top-notch antivirus and not interested in maintenance, Total Security isn’t the best option. In this review, we’ll discuss real-world tests in more details, talk about the maintenance suite, and go over every single pro and con.
- Total security features Bitdefender and Avira engines;
- Comes with a friendly, easy-to-use interface;
- Highly effective and thorough scans;
- Effective optimization tools;
- Cloud-based protection.
- Average lab test results;
- Free edition is full of ad pop-ups;
- Some of the most effective tools aren't available with 360 Free;
- Full scans have a significant negative effect on performance.
360 Total Security Price and Plans
As mentioned earlier, Total Security is a highly flexible and generous product. With it, you can choose available free plans or go with the Premium edition that will cost you money. Let us take a quick look at TS Premium and see how much you will be able to save when committing to it for a longer period.
360Total Security Premium
|Plan (price per year)||1 device||3 devices||5 devices|
|Total Security Premium for 1 year||$19.98||$26.98||$35.98|
|Total Security Premium for 2 years||$17.99||$24.49||$32.49|
|Total Security Premium for 3 years||$12.99||$17.66||$23.33|
First of all, Premium is the only commercial edition of this antivirus. Secondly, the final price depends on how long you’re planning on committing to the paid package. If you go with the 3-year plan, you’ll get to save a substantial amount of money but will have to pay the whole sum for 3 years. However, the first year is available at $19.98 if you pay for one year.
These prices are valid for the 1-device subscription plans; Total Security is also available for three and five devices. Each of these plans prices depends on the subscription duration, so, the most extended subscription helps in saving money significantly. Overall, the pricing policy by Qihoo is more than reasonable, and that’s partially why many users are upgrading to Premium after using the free versions.
Total Security Premium can provide the user with some additional features that make using it more comfortable. For instance, Premium subscription eliminates advertising and allows scheduling cleanups and changing interface theme. Additionally, Total Security Premium provides access to Disk Analyzer for hard drives scanning, Privacy Cleaner for removing all users traces on the Internet, Data Shredder for getting rid of all necessary files and folders on the OS, Driver Updater, and Firewall for establishing additional system security layers. All these features simplify working with this antivirus and expand the range of PC performance.
360 Total Security Free Version
While most free antivirus/maintenance products are highly limited, 360 Total Security Free is a very capable suite. With it, you get dozens of tools for optimization and as much as three antivirus engines. Recently, the team added anti-ransomware protection, and for a free service, it is a fantastic addition. Here is a list of all the essential features:
- Keylogger Blocking (prevents cybercriminals from copying your keystrokes and accessing your bank account);
- Webcam Protection (stops hackers from taking over the webcam and controlling it);
- Online Shopping Protection (notifies the user of any “shady” phishing websites);
- Downloaded File Scan (self-explanatory: scans any files downloaded to the computer for signs of malware);
- Wi-Fi Security Check (this one includes DNS security check and Password Strength);
- Junk Cleanup (removes any unnecessary files and frees up hard drive space);
- Speed Up (optimizes OS performance, including network performance).
360 Total Security Antivirus Trial Version and Money-Back Guarantee
There’s no trial version available for Total Security 360. But, you can always count on a 30-day money-back guarantee: it allows the user to get a full refund. As with most antivirus products on the market, to get a refund, you’ll need to provide the email address that you used when purchasing one of the available packages.
To cancel a current subscription, go to the official website, log into your account, and manage everything from there. Besides, when you’re in the purchase window, there’s an auto-renewal option right below the actual plan. Unchecking it will make sure the current plan won’t automatically charge you once the end of the subscription is reached.
As for the payment options, both credit cards and PayPal are available. The website will ask you to provide a first name, last name, zip code, country, and email, along with the card number.
360 Total Security Coupons and Discounts
360 Total Security provides coupons and discounts up to 50% for each plan and number of devices several times a month. For instance, some offers are available at PennySaviour.Com. But for your safety, it is better to purchase the antivirus via official website that provides discounts from time to time.
360 Total Security Pros
Total Security Features Bitdefender and Avira Engines
That’s right: Qihoo found a way to include anti-virus engines from both leading services into 360 Total Security. You can easily switch between them in the Scans menu – it takes a couple of clicks to get there. Sadly, neither one of these engines is as good as the “original” standalone editions of Bitdefender and Avira that perform much better in real-world tests.
On the bright side, you can also select a cloud-based engine that uses an entirely different approach when dealing with malware. The ability to use several engines to check your operating system is quite appealing, as that dramatically increases the chance of Total Security detecting and eliminating a wide range of threats.
Highly Effective and Thorough Scans
As for the scans, you have a choice between Full (available from the main menu), Quick, and even Scheduled scans. While the quick scan runs through the most important (and vulnerable) sections of the OS in less than three minutes, the full scan needs up to one hour to complete. But, it’s very thorough and checks all the files and folders on a user’s computer.
The Custom scans do precisely what the name suggests: allow you to set up custom checks and pick which drives/folders/files/apps should be checked. And don’t forget that Total Security comes packed with three engines, including the Cloud engine, Bitdefender, and Avira. It would be a good idea to run scans with all three engines once a month to make sure the OS is safe and sound.
Effective Optimization Tools
Can you see the Cleanup icon on the dashboard, in the bottom left corner? All you need to do to access it is to click on it once; next, hit the “Scan” button – Total Security will automatically start a junk files/plugin scan. While it won’t make wonders happen, the positive effect on performance can be quite significant. That’s especially true for older operating systems that you’ve been running for two years or more.
The speedup is also quite useful: it’s located right above Cleanup in the main menu. It’s just as simple as all the other tools in 360; click the Optimize button and let it try its best at improving performance. Together, the Total Security tune-up tools will be a good routine to run once a couple of months. Compared to rival products, they are well above average.
The best thing about the cloud-based engine – it detects threats in real time, and the database is continually being updated. That means you will be protected from all the latest threats (which can’t always be said about leading solutions like Kaspersky). The engine is continuously monitoring the system, looking for any suspicious activity.
When you switch to cloud-based protection, system impact is significantly reduced during scans. Still, as we said earlier, it is highly recommended to use all the available engines during a scan to make sure there are no malicious files left on your drive. Make a habit of always scheduling a full scan that includes all the engines and give Total Security some time to perform all tests.
360 Total Security Cons
Lab Test Results Leave a Lot to be Desired
Mediocre antivirus protection is one of the most significant downsides of Total Security. Still, in the most recent lab tests ran by AV-Comparatives, it managed to earn a perfect 6/6 score in Protection. In Performance, it achieved the same rating, while earning 4/4 in Usability. Compared to Bitdefender and Kaspersky with their perfect 18/18 scores, this is quite a decent achievement, especially for a maintenance suit.
In our in-house tests, we always use a folder full of malicious samples and release it to the OS. Different antivirus programs react differently to this: some of them interfere as soon as they see any suspicious activity; others “attack” the files only when they’re trying to copy themselves to the hard drive.
Total Security can do both, depending on the mode (in Security, it’s continuously monitoring the drives and prevents any attempts of planting malware; in Balanced, it waits until the files make their way onto the system). In this test, it detected up to 85% of the malicious files. You might think that this is an excellent performance, but standalone versions of Bitdefender and Avira eliminated 94% of the malware.
On the bright side, Total Security is excellent against phishing websites, which are steadily becoming the biggest threat for modern-day users. It showed results similar to Webroot and Bitdefender and kept all the dangerous URLs at bay. A quick fact: we ran the same tests last year, and 360 wasn’t nearly as impressive.
Online Shopping Protection automatically kicks in whenever you enter a shopping website. It is quite good at protecting against hijacking and keylogging. It’s important to note that while we were satisfied by its performance against outside threats when we planted ransomware samples on the system, it failed at detecting them.
Pop-Ups in Free Edition
It’s as simple as that: to use the free product, you’ll have to get used to the constant ads. The only way to get rid of them is to upgrade to the paid version, which costs 14.99 dollars a year. It’s a common practice for free software to be full of ads; however, Avast, Kaspersky, and Bitdefender are a lot less “contaminated” with advertisements.
Some of the Most Effective Tools aren’t Available with 360 Free
In the Pros, we mentioned that Total Security offers a generous line-up of useful tools. However, some of the most effective ones only come as a part of the Premium edition. We’ll go over every single additional tool in the Extra Features section. For now, it’s important to stress out that the entry-level functionality is still quite decent and on par with most rivals on the market.
Still, we consider this to be a con, as the leading maintenance tools on the market offer more free features. Besides, compared to rivals, most of the free tools are underpowered and won’t be as effective.
Full Scans Have a Significant Negative Effect on Performance
While working in the background and running through the drives and folders in the regular mode, 360 has a light impact on the system. But when you run scans, especially the full scan, the strain on the system CPU, RAM, and hard drive raise exponentially. This is especially true for the Avira and Bitdefender engines. Even if you have a modern-day computer, we would advise against running any heavy apps when there’s an active scan.
And now, let’s take a quick look at how 360 Total Security performed in various real-world tests. We carefully examined tests ran by several leading third parties and are happy to share the results with you.
AV-Comparatives, one of the most recognized independent testers, gave it the Advanced+ rating back in 2014 for real-world protection. In the performance test, it only earned 2 stars out of 3.
AV-Test, a similarly respected company, checked Total Security’s capabilities in 2017. Back then, it got 5.5/6 in Performance, 3.5/6 in Usability, and 4/6 in Protection (1/6 with the default engine). Yes, the results were lower than average, and the product hasn’t been significantly improved over the last 2 years. Interesting fact: during the 2013-2014 period, the Qihoo solutions managed to perform a lot better.
That same year (in 2017), SElabs tested 13 antivirus products from different companies. Total Security had a Legitimate Accuracy of 95% and a Protection Accuracy of 27% (with a total of 70%). That earned it the last place on the list, while Norton and Kaspersky took the lead.
360 Total Security Extra Features
We already discussed the tools and features that are available with the Free editions of Total Security. Here, we’ll go through all the extra stuff that comes with TS Premium – the paid version. Overall, the users get access to seven new tools, and while they might not be essential for most, they still present a decent value. And one more thing: with Premium, there are no ads that pop up regularly.
This assistant is an excellent tool for tidying up a desktop without spending hours on it. To-do lists, shortcuts, advanced file search – that’s what you can expect the Desktop Organizer to help you with. If a cluttered desktop with tons of files, folders, and apps sounds familiar, then you might want to give it a try. Once you let this tool take care of the desktop, everything will start to look a lot better.
All the various elements on the desktop will be categorized depending on their type. It also allows creating your own “boxes” and putting multiple files/folders/apps into them. There’s even a To-Do List feature that works exactly like the real thing, only in your computer. Finally, Screen Lock will, well, lock the computer and prevent any prying eyes from taking peeks at your personal data.
There’s nothing unusual about this tool. Just like all the other shredders, it has only one task – to delete whatever you want it to delete permanently. It’s a known fact that files/folders deleted through the standard Windows/Mac/Android tools can be recovered by people with the right set of instruments and knowledge. With the Data Shredder, you can rest assured that nobody will ever be able to bring back what you erased.
You might not know this, but every single thing you do on a computer leaves “footprints” that can be easily traced. The list includes recent activities, browser history, system settings – all of that. Privacy Cleaner can get rid of all these traces with one single click.
This is like the more advanced version of the standard Windows tool. With it, you can take a quick look at the files that are taking the most space on the hard drives and get rid of junk. The Disk Analyzer sorts everything by size, meaning the biggest files will be on the top.
DU does precisely what the name suggests – finds the latest drivers to the apps installed on your computer and updates them. When there are dozens of apps on the device, it’s hard to keep track of everything, including new updates. Furthermore, Driver Updater always stores the original versions of the drivers so that you can restore everything to how it used to be.
Think of the Total Security firewall as an additional layer of defense to improve security. It isn’t any better or worse than all the other firewalls that come with antivirus/internet security suits. Constant bandwidth usage monitoring, blocking of suspicious activity on the network, and protecting the system from outside threats – that’s what it does.
Total Security free already includes the Cleanup tool, but you can’t schedule anything with it. Well, the Premium edition fixes that and allows the user to set up regular cleanup procedures to keep the system in good shape.
If you have a crypto wallet, then you’ve probably heard about the blockchain. It is a forward-thinking, secure, and flexible platform that’s well-protected from all sides. At the same time, there’s one vulnerability that the developers can’t fix, and that’s the private key a user needs to access his/her wallet. Cybercriminals don’t even need to hack the blockchain architecture. All they have to do is steal the password, and they’re in.
That’s when the Anti-CryptoMiner comes in. It’s a browser extension (currently, only available for Google Chrome) and will take less than a minute to install. Total Security offers it for free, and you don’t have to own any of its antivirus products to use this extension.
Another thing: without proper protection against this new threat, you’ll be vulnerable to crypto miners that have a significant impact on system resources. This type of malware “mines” cryptocurrency without your consent. The Anti-CryptoMiner is capable of securing not only your wallet but also PC that the attackers might pick as a target.
While the previous feature/service aimed at eliminating miners on the browser level, the Virtual Vault works a bit differently. It provides industry-leading algorithms and a 2-way authentication routine to safeguard both your wallet and sensitive files. Speaking of the algorithms, the Virtual Vault uses AES-256 and RSA-4096 encryption (highly favored by militaries and big-time companies).
The list of supported cryptocurrency includes Bitcoin and Etherium, to name a few. And, it can protect important files/folders of your choice. Plus, it’s also available for free, and we highly recommend taking advantage of this powerful Total Security module. Low system impact, an intuitive interface, and raving reviews from the experts are all excellent reasons to try the Virtual Vault out. A quick note: you’ll need to request an extra verification step manually.
Ransomware is a relatively new type of malware that encrypts user files and prevents them from getting access. And in most cases, the only way to gain back control is to pay the hacker on the other side of a ransom. Mainly, they target documents (.docx and .rtf files). To protect yourself from this threat, you can use Total Security’s Anti-Ransomware Tool.
The automatic backing system is one of the best things about this feature. It kicks in and backs up any documents upon modification, allowing you to use the copies even after the originals fall victim to ransomware. By default, the backup files are saved for 30 days. The Ransomware Terminator works in real-time and monitors the OS 24/7 to prevent malicious tampering and system crashes. Last, but not least, this tool is available for free.
360 Zip (Compression Software)
If you’re looking for a free tool for compressing files and folders, 360’s Zip might be a good pick. First of all, it is quite fast and does a wonderful job of compressing in 42 formats. Yes, the list includes more than the regular RAR, ISO, and ZIP archives. Secondly, it’s also capable of detecting malware hidden inside of archives, and that’s something not every single antivirus can handle.
What 360 Zip does is it checks every single compressed file before opening it, thus eliminating the chance of infecting the OS. This software implements Total Security’s cloud engine capabilities for that. The user isn’t required to do anything: the program scans archives on its own, in a fully automatic mode. Fast, reliable, and highly secure – that’s what 360 Zip is all about. It is a good pick for compressing movies, video games, music, text files, and more.
Check our comprehensive 360 Total Security features table below.
How to Install
Ease of use is one of the most important aspects of any antivirus or maintenance suite. Most users will be pleased by how straightforward the installation procedure is. All you have to do is go to the official website, download the installer, and follow the on-screen instructions. It’s important to note that 360 Total Security doesn’t necessarily require you to get rid of a pre-installed antivirus product.
To start using the software, you won’t have to go through with registration (or provide any credit card info for the Free edition). Officially, both 32- and 64-bit versions of the Windows OS are supported, starting with Win XP and up to Win 10. As for the Mac desktop computers, Total Security is compatible with MacOS X 10.17 (and higher). Android is also supported. Just go to the official website and click the free download button.
And while the Mac and Android users won’t get the full potential of this security suite, the corresponding apps are still quite good. Installation doesn’t take more than 3 minutes, and there’s no need to restart the system to complete the process.
360 Total Security Interface
Although TS is not just an antivirus but a collection of various tools and features, everything is clearly laid out and easy to access. All three apps (on Win, Mac, and Android) work flawlessly, and the big, colorful icons help in navigation. In the Premium version, it is possible to change the default theme (go to the Settings menu, and you’ll find this option there).
On the left side of the screen, you can see all the major categories of Total Security. They are one click away and give access to scans, speedup tools, full checks, and more. Again, all the icons are self-explanatory, and you know in advance what to expect from Virus Scan, Speedup, Cleanup, and Full Check. The Tool Box includes all the additional features like the Firewall.
Summing up, we want to say that if you’re looking for a security-optimization tool for your system, Total Security will be the right choice. It offers several decent tools and features for improving overall performance; they are available for free. However, if it’s an antivirus that you need, then it would be best to look elsewhere. Although TS works with three powerful antivirus engines, it’s not as strong against malware as the industry leaders.
Again, for maintenance on a budget, this is a fantastic product. With it, you can take advantage of the highly effective cleanup tools, set up multiple scans, and enjoy a user-friendly interface. On the downside, most of the features and tools aren’t that useful, and with Total Security free, you’ll be “attacked” by a cloud of ad pop-ups. Furthermore, while in idle mode, system impact is incredibly low, during a scan, it’s well above average.
So, before you purchase the Premium edition (or pick the free edition over the likes of Kaspersky, Bitdefender, and Avast), make sure this is what you need for your system right now. For example, Malwarebytes and PCMatic could be good alternatives as maintenance tools.
To get in contact with the Total Security customer support team, you can use the ticket system or send an email. Or, better yet, reach them on social media:
360 Total Security FAQ
Is 360 Total Security a good antivirus?
Is 360 Total Security safe to use?
Is 360 Total Security completely free?
How much is 360 Total Security?
- 1-Year Plan: $12.99
- 2-Year Plan: $35.98
- 3-Year Plan: $38.98
How to cancel 360 Total Security?
Best 360 Total Security Alternatives in 2021
We have collected the most suitable 360 Total Security comparisons for you in case if you believe that this is not your option.
Here is the list:
- 360 Total Security vs TotalAV
- 360 Total Security vs Avast
- 360 Total Security vs Norton
- 360 Total Security vs McAfee
360 Total Security Antivirus Features 2021