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August 7, 2009

360 Antivirus Safe (360杀毒): A BitDefender-Powered Chinese Antivirus


I am not much of a fan for Chinese security solutions, even though i do know a handful of them such as Rising, Kingsoft & JiangMin antivirus. However, there are a number of known foreign security companies who made business ties with China in security solutions development. I see this as a positive news as China has the manpower in the development department for something as important as internet security. Furthermore, China do possess a lot of IT talents (whether professionals or black hats) whom i daresay, even eclipse those of Western IT professionals.

I apparently became a fan of Chinese security solutions when i discovered this pretty nice antivirus, known by the name of 360 Antivirus Safe (360杀毒 in Chinese language) developed by 360 Security Center (360安全中心). Unlike its compatriots who develop their own antivirus engines, 360 Antivirus Safe is built & modified on the foundation of BitDefender's antivirus engine; the development team having formed a technological alliance with the famous vendor. Therefore, 360 Antivirus Safe theoretically should possess a similar detection rate to BifDefender. The antivirus is currently under beta stage, but its presence is already well-received by Chinese communities.

About 360 Antivirus Safe Splash Screen

The Update Module

Interested, i tried 360 Antivirus Safe v1 Beta 3 at the expense of my Kaspersky Internet Security. After a few test-drive, i decided that there are a number of notable strengths and weaknesses about this antivirus:

Strengths:

1. 360 Antivirus Safe is a simple-to-use antivirus.

The Main Menu

Due to its really simplified user interface and simplified functions, anyone of different computing knowledge can virtually operate this antivirus without much consultation or third-party interference. It's likely that even a grandmother could have operated this software alone after a few basic guidance.

2. 360 Antivirus Safe is light on resources.

Resources used by the Antivirus in Game Mode: Extremely low!

While the original BitDefender Engine reportedly consumes memory up to at least 20,000 unit of RAM on idle state, 360 Antivirus Safe (without Game Mode on) hits a maximum of only 8,000 unit of RAM on idle, twice less the amount of resources utilized by the original BitDefender.

3. 360 Antivirus have a decent scanning speed & responsiveness.


The antivirus runs and finishes a quick scan at an astounding two and a half minutes on my PC, which is very surprising. Although one can doubt whether its antivirus engine is really effective or not, you can be certain that it is indeed fast as advertised. I've never experienced any lags or unresponsiveness using this antivirus, even when the protection level slider (as shown above) is slided to the highest level of protection.

4. 360 Antivirus Safe is FREE of charge

According to their official website, 360 Antivirus Safe will always be free of charge, which is good news: we don't find many established Chinese-based antivirus which is freeware bar the free version of Rising Antivirus.

5. 360 Antivirus Safe provides Gaming Mode

The Gaming Mode option in the Configuration Panel

Like BitDefender, this antivirus apparently also uses the much-favored Gaming Mode, where full-screen application & games will not be bothered with constant pop-ups or warnings from the antivirus. The reason i praised this is because there's not much free antivirus in the market that provides such function, not even the free version of BitDefender!

Weakness:

1. 360 Antivirus Safe only specializes in capturing Virus & Worms.

I had a small collection of malware which i unleashed on 360 Antivirus Safe. It caught all the malware categorized as virus & worms, but failed to detect some trojans & malicious settings. After cleaning up the computer with MalwareBytes & visiting the website for more information, i concluded that 360 Antivirus is designed to be efficient at virus-catching, on which i find limited.

2. 360 Antivirus Safe does not support additional language.

Perhaps this has something to do with the company's mission & target market, but still, it is disappointing to find out that there is no additional language support and thus, must understand purely Chinese language in order to work with the antivirus.


Regardless, i find this antivirus a potential competitor and is definitely my favorite Chinese-based antivirus right now.

360 Antivirus Safe runs on Windows XP, Vista & 7. To learn more about 360 Antivirus Safe, you can visit their official website here to learn more of the company (providing that you can read Chinese to a certain extent).

To download the latest v1.0 Beta 3 of 360 Antivirus Safe, click here.

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