The best antivirus program you have never heard of

 

There are many security programs, but most people tend to stick with the ones they know. Popular programs include AVG Antivirus, Avira, Bitdefender, Norton, Kaspersky, and Panda. There are a few dodgy programs that masquerade as security software, so it is wise to be suspicious of unknown ones. What about Qihu 360 Internet Security? Would you trust it? Is it any good?

Have you heard of Qihu? Who? It was founded in Beijing, China in 2005 and in June 2014 it claimed to have just under half a billion users. That is a lot of users for a company that probably few people have heard of.

The company has several products and I download and installed 360 Internet Security. This is a 160MB file that is 342MB when installed – antivirus software is pretty big these days. As far as I can see, this is free of charge and there are no adverts. There is no option to pay at the website or in the program, so I don’t know how the company makes money. Not that I’m complaining, I love free stuff.

  Qihu 360 Internet Security

The blue interface you can see in the screen shots is customisable and several different themes are provided – dark, light, green, brown and so on. All look really good and the program functions are very easy to access.

There are the usual Quick Scan Full Scan and Custom Scan buttons that are common to all antivirus software. There is real-time protection of course, but you can manually run scans and they can be scheduled to occur at regular intervals too, such as daily, weekly and so on.

A scheduled scan can be quick or full and a quick one looks at just the most obvious places malware may be lurking and the full scan looks everywhere. One minor flaw is that root kit detection is turned off by default and you have to go into the settings to turn it on. It would be better to be on as the default.

  360-internet-security2

360 Internet Security is unusual because it uses three virus detection engines – 360 Cloud Engine, QVM II Engine and Bitdefender. The engines are shown as icons in the bottom left corner of the window. In the settings you can choose which antivirus

All security software claims that it protects your computer, but some is more secure than others. Instead of testing it with the handful of viruses I have, I rely on specialist virus software testing companies like AV-Test and AV-Comparatives. They test antivirus programs against thousands of virus samples.

AV-Test results are here and here, and AV-Comparatives is here – download or view the PDF of the monthly results.

The test results for Qihu 360 Internet Security are excellent and the software clearly offers better protection against malware than many well-known rivals. AVG is one of the most popular free antivirus programs, but Qihu’s results at AV-Test and AV-Comparatives are both superior.

 Qihu 360 Internet Security

There are a couple of useful extras in the program and there is a sandbox. Open the Sandbox window and you can add programs to it. When these are run, they are isolated from the rest of the PC, so even if they are malicious, they cannot infect or damage the system. The sandbox is useful for testing downloaded software that you suspect might contain viruses, spyware or adware. The sandbox can be cleaned and programs removed after testing them.

The other extra is a privacy cleaner and this erases your web browsing history, Windows history and Office history.

If you want a good antivirus program that offers excellent protection free of charge, get Qihu 360 Internet Security. It does not offer parental controls, privacy features that prevent personal information being divulged, a firewall, online backup and so on. It is just plain and simple, but effective antivirus without the bloat.


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