360 Safe Internet Security review
360 Safe Internet Security nearly has it all, with great protection, some useful features and a simple, intuitive UI. Unfortunately, it has an Achilles’ heel that prevents it from snapping up any awards. See also: What is the best free antivirus of 2015?
Most interesting about this software is that it uses a combination of antivirus engines, with 360’s own cloud engine backed up by QVM II and Bitdefender technologies. Those who upgrade to the Total Security package receive Avira’s engine thrown in too.
Otherwise, the free version’s features are neatly focused on security, with a sandbox where you can drag programs to run isolated from the operating system, and a cleaner that wipes all traces of activity from your browser history, Windows history and Microsoft Office. Look deeper, and you’ll also find internet protection, with URL and download filtering, plus anti-keylogging and webcam-hijack protection plus tools for scanning USB devices.
It’s hard to fault 360 Safe on the protection front: it caught 99% of threats aimed at our target systems. It tends to neutralise more threats than Norton or Kaspersky rather than blocking them, meaning they’re evicted once they’ve made themselves at home, but your PC remains protected either way. This is easily the strongest of the free packages if you’re considering security in isolation.
Unfortunately, 360 Safe can be a little too zealous, resulting in more false positives than any other package on test. It blocked two legitimate applications outright and recommended blocking a further seven, needing user intervention to allow the applications to install. We also found it far harder on system resources than Avast and Microsoft Security Essentials, although it’s better than AVG.
Overall, 360 Safe can be a little too onerous to use and obtrusive, but if its developer Qihoo 360 can sort that out, this will definitely be one to watch.