Quick Heal Total Security 17

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The difference between a basic security suite and a mega-suite is simply that the mega-suite adds features above and beyond the minimum. Backup is one common addition, as are PC tuneup and some form of encryption. Quick Heal Total Security 17 adds device control and an extensive PC optimization utility to the features in Quick Heal's basic suite, but its pricing is out of line with the competition.

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A one-year license for Quick Heal Total Security costs $74. If you want the typical three-license pack, that price goes up to the peculiar sum of $124.80 per year, quite a bit more than almost all competing products. Panda Gold Protection does cost more, $131.99 for three license, but it's a rare exception. For barely more than Quick Heal's one-license price, Webroot and Symantec Norton Security Premium give you five licenses. McAfee charges $89.99 per year, but puts no limit on the number of devices you can protect.

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Do Your Reading
You won't confuse this product with Quick Heal Internet Security 17, because they're color coded. The basic suite is tinted blue, while the mega-suite is green. Other than the color difference, the only other distinction is an icon labeled PCTuner, next to the big Scan button.

With most security product lines, I step through the apps one by one, starting with the standalone antivirus. My suite review summarizes what I learned about the antivirus, and focuses on suite-specific features. And my mega-suite review summarizes the suite review.

In Quick Heal's case, as with McAfee LiveSafe and a few others, I'm taking a different tack. Only two significant features distinguish this product from Quick Heal's basic suite, and one of them is a separate app. Please read my earlier review (linked above) for a full explanation of the features shared by the two suites, and then come back here to learn about what the mega-suite brings to the party.

Data Theft Protection
I paged through the five content panels on the main window, comparing Total Security to Internet Security. I didn't find any differences until the last panel, External Drives & Devices. Here I found an option to automatically scan any Windows Mobile device that connects to the computer. If you are one of those rare few who eschews iOS and Android in favor of Windows Mobile, this may be helpful.

More significant is Data Theft Protection. By default, when you turn on this feature it causes the PC to open external devices (USB drives, memory cards, CDs, DVDs, and so on) in read-only mode. It doesn't work on floppy drives, but who has a floppy drive these days? With devices in read-only mode, a spy or sneak thief can't steal your secret documents.

You say you're not worried about spies stealing your recipes and cat pictures? This feature can also help if you have a problem with kids bringing infected USB drives home. When you configure the software to completely block access to external drives, you eliminate the possibility of infecting your computer from a poisoned USB drive.

If that seems too extreme, you can configure Quick Heal to allow mounting of USB drives with authorization. First, open the settings window and add a password to protect your configuration. Back on the Data Theft Protection page that the third option, Authorize USB Drive, is now enabled. Select that and save your changes. Now when you mount a USB drive you get a cryptic password prompt. When you enter the password, access to the drive is permitted.

A similar feature in Avira Antivirus Pro lets you give each USB device a permanent thumbs-up or thumbs-down. However, Avira still lets users whitelist an unknown drive even when settings are password-locked, which defeats the purpose of this feature.

Quick Heal doesn't remember USB drives from one use to the next, so you must enter the password every time. The device control feature in G Data Total Security and TrustPort Total Protection combines the best of both. Once the administrator has whitelisted a drive, others can use it without needing a password. But only the administrator can whitelist a new drive.

You'll notice I said administrator rather than parent. This kind of device control is something that's most useful in a business setting. It's a tad odd in Quick Heal, which is specifically aimed at the consumer.

Separate PCTuner
You reach Quick Heal's PCTuner by clicking an icon in the main window's bottom panel, next to the Scan button. Clicking it opens Quick Heal PCTuner 3.0, also available as a separate product for $20.

The Tuneup Now button can launch four tasks: Disk Cleanup, Registry Cleanup, Traces Cleaner, and Defragmenter. Quick Heal doesn't stop to show you what it found; it just proceeds to perform the three cleanup tasks. If somehow it cleans up something it shouldn't have, you can reverse its actions.

Disk defragmentation happens on the next boot. It's not all that relevant in modern Windows versions, which defragment automatically during idle time. I worried about being locked into a lengthy defragmentation session on reboot. However, I found that the defragger runs in text mode, before most of Windows has loaded, and doesn't take terribly long.

Using PCTuner's left-side menu, you can run those four tasks on demand, set them to run on a schedule, and fine-tune how they work. But that's not all PCTuner can do for you.

Clicking Tools at left reveals several useful additional features. Secure Delete prevents forensic recovery of your deleted sensitive files by overwriting their data before deletion. By default, it overwrites the file's data once, using random bytes, which should prevent software-based recovery. If you're truly paranoid, you can crank it up to the three-pass DoD standard, thereby foiling hardware-based recovery. There's also an option to add a right-click menu option to securely delete any selected file or folder.

The Duplicate File Finder searches the drives or folders you specify for identical documents needlessly taking up space. Files don't have to have the same name, as the app checks contents. As with the similar feature in Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete and BullGuard Premium Protection, you can easily delete all but one from each set of duplicates. And by default, it uses Secure Delete on the dupes.

Startup Booster lists the programs that launch at startup and lets you remove any of them from the startup sequence, but it's poorly implemented. Trend Micro Maximum Security and Norton let you reversibly disable startup items and easily restore them later, or set them to launch after a delay. BullGuard and Bitdefender Total Security Multi-Device 2017 measure how much each item adds to boot time. Norton reports each item's resource usage and prevalence in the Norton community. As for Quick Heal, it offers no information beyond the name of the item. If you choose to remove an item, you must go to the separate Restore section to bring it back.

The Service Optimizer is much more impressive; I haven't seen another product with a similar feature. Instead of asking the user which non-essential services to disable, it offers a series of questions in four categories: Network, System, Performance, and Security. For example, it asks whether you connect to a VPN, whether you use Bluetooth devices, and whether you log in to computers on other domains. Based on your answers, it adjusts which services launch automatically. That's smart!

The Reports section of the menu lists each of PCTuner's actions. Selecting one gets you a list of all the times that action has been used. And double-clicking an item from the list displays details on the settings for that action, the time required, and so on.

Low Bang for Your Buck
Quick Heal Total Security 17 includes everything from the basic Quick Heal Internet Security suite: a firewall that failed some basic tests, an antivirus that didn't completely remove detected malware, a limited parental control system, and more. It adds an effective PC optimization tool and an external device control feature that's more suited to business than home use. And its pricing is out of line with the competition.

If you're looking for a security mega-suite with a ton of useful features check out Kaspersky Total Security or Bitdefender Total Security. Both of these Editors' Choice products are significantly more effective, both get top scores from the independent labs, and both give you five licenses for less than Quick Heal's three-license subscription price.

Sub-Ratings:
Note: These sub-ratings contribute to a product's overall star rating, as do other factors, including ease of use in real-world testing, bonus features, and overall integration of features.
Firewall:
Antivirus:
Performance:
Privacy:
Parental Control:

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