We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Security software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Qihoo 360 Internet Security review - a free internet security suite with good results

Free (unlimited licence)

Manufacturer: Qihoo 360

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

The Qihoo 360 Internet Security 4.3 doesn't cover itself in glory in terms of performance, but the overall protection of the suite was pretty good. Read our Qihoo 360 Internet Security 4.3 review to find out more.

Qihoo 360 Internet Security 4.3

Qihoo 360 Internet Security 4.3, as the company name possibly suggests, is a Chinese security suite, and is free to download and use. See all software reviews.

The company claims it has 450 million users worldwide, with over 80 percent of the Chinese Windows security software market for starters, but the name is still not well known in the UK. AVG and Avast has the majority of the free ‘sales’ of AV software here. See all CD/DVD autoring reviews.

The initial impression of 360 IS is clean and modern. Though it doesn’t sport the feature set of some of the other products reviewed here, it does have one thing none of the others claim: it uses three different AV engines.

These comprise Qihoo’s own ‘checksum-based’ engine in the cloud; a machine learning QVM engine; and, perhaps the biggest surprise, a BitDefender local engine.  

Working the three together is no mean feat and little icons in the control panel show the status of each engine separately.

As well as AV protection, the program offers support against malware by checking for suspicious use of PC resources and web protection by using a database of known troublesome websites and issuing anti-phishing alerts. There’s a sandbox, too, where you can load untested programs to check they’re no threat and a trace cleaner, which removes browsing history and unwanted media remnants.

Qihoo could be particularly useful on laptops, as it claims to prevent unauthorised webcam access. While this might be more of a problem in mainland China than here, recent revelations about the NSA and GCHQ’s scope of operation with the general public suggest we should be more concerned about unwanted images of us being captured.

What it doesn’t have is specific modules aimed at spam or providing parental control, and there’s no firewall, backup or PC tune-up offering. This software is pretty much an AV product, despite its IS label.

Our 50GB scan test completed in just under 39 minutes and examined 68,146 files. This gave a scan rate of 29.2 files/sec, at the lower end of the performance scale, but still acceptable. A repeat scan finished in 31 minutes, while testing exactly the same number of files. We’re not sure where it made up the eight minutes.

The 1GB copy test took 45 sec without a scan running and 55 sec with one, showing a resource hit of just 22 percent in this particular task. That was with the 360 IS scanner set to the default fastest scan, not the setting for least performance hit.

AV-Test rated the Qihoo engine a full point above both AV and Avast, at 15.5/18.0. This is a very good score for a free AV product. It breaks down to 5.0/6.0 for Protection, 4.5/6.0 for Performance and a perfect 6.0/6.0 for Usability.

Qihoo 360 Internet Security 4.3 Expert Verdict »

System Requirements: Windows XP/Vista 32 bit, 7/8 32/64 bit, 300MHz CPU, 1GB memory, 275MB HD, IE 6.0
  • Ease of Use: We give this item 9 of 10 for ease of use
  • Features: We give this item 6 of 10 for features
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

Although the Performance score, which shows the resource hit, is a bit low, this wasn’t reflected in our own, admittedly simpler, test. The Protection result was pretty good on recent threats, though it dropped down to around 90 percent on zero-day attacks.

  • Qihoo 360 Mobile Safe review: vast array of security and useful phone management tools

    Qihoo 360 Mobile Safe: vast array of security and useful phone management tools

    Qihoo 360 Mobile Safe provides a vast array of security and useful phone management tools, all offered without any charge whatsoever. Read our Qihoo 360 Mobile Safe review to find out more.

  • Symantec Norton 360 v6 review

    Symantec Norton 360 v6

    Norton 360 is Symantec's all-round PC protection tool, hence the number, offering worthwhile PC-boosting extras to the usual internet security suite arsenal.

  • Western Digital My Passport AV review

    Western Digital My Passport AV

    The Western Digital My Passport AV is an attractively compact portable USB 2.0 external hard drive with 320GB of data storage capacity. It is designed without any sharp edges in a glossy black colour.

  • Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile review

    Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile

    Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile is an Android app to protect the vulnerable platform from malware. In lab tests, it had limited malware detection, and in some malware categories its detection was below 40%.

  • Symantec Norton 360 review: a new and impressive internet security suite

    Symantec Norton 360: a new and impressive internet security suite

    Symantec Norton 360 2014 includes core modules to cover anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, a two-way firewall and browser protection, but also provides parental control, online storage, online backup, PC tune-up and identity protection. Read our Symantec Norton 360 2014 review to find out more.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model