360 Total Security

360 Total Security may have a generically familiar name, but you are possibly not familiar with the name of the company behind it: Qihoo 360.

More than just an antivirus and malware protection tool – although this is undeniably its primary function – 360 Total Security is a suite of utilities that also offers to clean up and optimise your computer. Things get off to a good start with the protection side of things because Qihoo 360 has chosen to numerous scanning engines (360 Cloud Scan Engine, 360 QVMII AI Engine, Avira and Bitdefender).

The system optimization section is little more than a simple way to access startup items, and although the cleanup options can free up disk space, such tools are becoming increasingly unnecessary these days thanks to larger hard drives and improved software.

There are also lots of supplementary utilities (and a varied bunch it is!) including a ransomware decryptor, registry editor, a firewall, document protection, and sandboxing.

360 Total Security's installer makes a slightly sneaky attempt to install the Opera web browser (which it describes as "safe and fast"). While this certainly isn't as bad as the adware and unwanted extras that could have been included, it's still annoying if you click through too rapidly and find that your default browser changes, seemingly for no reason. 

User experience

360 Total Security is pleasingly simple to use, and the scanning options are all self-explanatory. There are handy recommendations in the Startup section to help you make the right choices about whether to leave individual items enabled or not; you're not left in the dark so you're very unlikely to make any changes that will adversely affect your system.

However, this security suite's primary function is protection. For the most part, malware and virus protection is unobtrusive, although full scans can be slow and have a tangible effect on performance.

Notifications about changes to the registry – often triggered by legitimate software installations – are irritating to the point that you're likely to want to turn them off. But even if you do this, the delightfully easy to use optimisation and malware protection side of things makes the software worthwhile.

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