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Qihoo 360 Total Security is a Chinese-based company which provides internet security, internet browsers and a mobile app store for their native users. They have been in business since 2005 and have quickly become a growing force in the United States market share for their anti-virus software. Following a business model long-employed in the United States, Qihoo offers free virus protection software. 

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The Good

  • Great products
  • Notable features

Qihoo offers products which operate on several platforms and with good results in detecting and treating virus, malware and other threats.   They score at a comparable level with the competition and offer fairly comprehensive coverage without unduly slowing down users' systems, according to several professional testers as well as via real-world reviews from Qihoo 360 Total Security users. Some of the notable features of Qihoo 360 Total Security anti-virus software include:

  • Qihoo 360 Total Security uses the Avira and Bitdefender databases for their sources on the latest virus information.
  • Anti-keylogging is included as well as anti-webcam hijacking protection.
  • Users may select to enable automatic shopping mode or automatic gaming mode for additional protection during activities which make users more prone to attacks.
  • Qihoo 360 Total Security offers browser plug-ins for the most popular browsers - Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome.
  • Qihoo 360 Total Security does not require extensive system resources which can slow a computer's operation.
  • Independent testing labs give Qihoo  good ratings in detection and removal of harmful software.
  • Qihoo 360 Total Security scores very highly by several independent testing labs for their anti-phishing protection.
  • Sandbox mode allows users to test programs in a safe environment to ensure that they are safe before these programs make permanent changes to their systems.
  • The system interface for Qihoo 360 Total Security is filled with easy-to-follow and oversized icons which control system functions.

The Bad

  • Difficult instructions
  • Basic protection
  • Limited company information

The information on Qihoo's website is written in English which has clearly been translated from Chinese and some of the instructions are difficult to follow.  The company does not have access to live customer support or a US office or phone number.

Independent testing labs found that the default settings only offered basic protection, and in order to receive the full-benefit, one must delve into the interface more and enable all definition databases.  Doing so is not difficult, but might be daunting for novice users.

Qihoo's headquarters and all employees are in China.  Information about the company itself is sparse.

In some detection tests, the product had a higher-than expected false positive rate compared to their leading competitors.  Additionally, the browser plug-ins do not scan for hidden URL-redirects.

The Bottom Line

Qihoo 360 Total Security has many positive features in a free software protection product.  Disturbing is the fact that the product which the company supplied to CNET and other testing labs for testing scored very highly, but CNET later learned that their sample product was not the same one which was distributed to consumers.  As such, the independent anti-virus testing labs withdrew their certification of the Qihoo 360 Total Security product and CNET down-graded their review from 5 stars to 3.5 stars.

The product which is currently available online works well, but the lack of transparency and customer support are adequate for a cautionary recommendation.


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