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Panda Antivirus Pro 2011 Review


Manufacturer: Panda Security

Product: Antivirus, Antispyware, Firewall

Licenses: 1 PC

Systems: : Windows 7 (32 & 64-bit), Windows Vista (32 & 64-bit), Windows XP (32-bit)

Overall Score: 9
Panda Antivirus 2011

Best Price

$31.99

Review

Overall: 9

Panda used to be a darling of the geek world up to a few years ago, then it entered a sort of lethargy. OK-ish security, but bloated as many others. Simply, not a top choice. All of that has dramatically changed with their new line of 2011 products. Panda Antivirus Pro is technically a top quality product, both in signature-based and behavioural mode, with a great user interface and minimal impact on system resources. Strongly recommended.

Pros:

  • Very high detection rate
  • Extremely light on resources
  • Very appealing user interface
  • Cost-effective for multiple licenses

Cons:

  • Average scan speed

Detection rate: 9

Panda Antivirus Pro 2011 shows a high detection rate which seems to have been improved with the introduction of the new heuristic modules (both generic and specialized). There is a fair amount of "false positives".

Light on resources: 10

The 2011 version of Panda Antivirus is surprisingly gentle on system resources. Even during a full scan, there seems to be a sort of "capping" mechanism in action, so that the CPU power allocated to the scanner is never more than 50% and the memory consumed at steady-state is floating around 75MB. Panda even allows a further option dubbed "CPU load management, which reduces CPU usage during scans to prevent other tasks from slowing down. We were able to work on a 3 year old desktop with several applications, including the most common e.g. Outlook, Word and Excel without excessive draw-back. And all of that while getting an almost perfectly smooth video streaming on Internet Explorer. That's really remarkable.

Ease of Use: 9

Panda Antivirus Pro 2011 shows one of the best user interfaces, very simple and easy to follow. For the vast majority of users, Panda's tendency to take decisions on their behalf will be welcome, while the more technically savvy might find the reduced level of "interaction" very puzzling. The firewall setup, for example, is as good as it gets from immediately after the installation, and intelligently adds applications to the whitelist, without too many obnoxious requests. It works well too, as your computer enters an immediate "stealth" mode.

Features: 9

  • Scans files in real-time and on-demand, detects and eliminates viruses, spyware, Trojans, rootkits, bots and other malware
  • Scans emails before they reach your inbox, regardless of your email program
  • Scans Internet traffic regardless of your browser type
  • Scans Instant Messaging traffic in MSN Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and AOL
  • Removes all traces of clutter left by spyware on your PC
  • Genetic Heuristic Engine combines advanced algorithms to detect new variants of the most dangerous malware families
  • TruPrevent Technologies 2.0 silently analyze the behavior of programs, blocking those that try to damage your PC
  • Personall Firewall, with Smart auto-configuration, Intrusion prevention and Wireless Monitor
  • Panda Antivirus Pro includes an anti-Phishing Filter
  • Multimedia/Gaming Mode (no interruptions while playing)
  • Anti-Banking Trojan Engine: specialized heuristics and generic detection techniques ensure maximum protection for online transactions
  • Anti-Rootkit Technology, which detects and removes silently-installed rootkits used by malware or hackers to evade traditional antivirus products
  • Automatic daily updates
Some brand new features introduced in Panda's 2011 security products include:
  • Panda Safe Browser (Sandboxing): you can run a suspicious program insulating it from your computer. Should it reveal itself to be a malware, you would just shut it down without compromising your computer. Very handy.
  • Virtual Keyboard. Write your password in a safe way, preventing any tracking of what you type.
  • Multimedia/Gaming Mode. In a nutshell, it is like putting the antivirus in "silent" mode. Essential to play without interruptions!
While not revolutionary, those additional features keep Panda Antivirus firmly in line with the best offers available on the market

Scan Speed: 7

Panda Antivirus Pro 2011 does a good job at keeping the scanning time in the same range as many other products. Unlike many others though, you do not need to schedule it out of hours, as the computer is still totally usable for normal office applications. And many of them, at the same time, too, for that matter.

Value for money: 10

Panda Antivirus Pro 2011 has many new security features and by including a good firewall too, the overall feature set is second to none. All in all, it does everything a normal user needs and does it very well. Combined with the fact that you get a generous license to install it on up to 3 computers, it makes it for a very, very compelling antivirus solution. Only minor set-back we could note down is the parsimonious update policy.

Specifications

Supported Operating Systems

  • Windows XP 32-bit
  • Windows Vista 32 and 64-bit
  • Windows 7 32 and 64-bit

Hardware and Software Requirements

  • Processor: Pentium 300 MHz or faster
  • RAM: 128 MB without TruPrevent; 512 MB with TruPrevent (1 GB recommended)
  • Hard Disk: 265 MB free space
  • MS Internet Explorer 6.0
  • CD-ROM drive

Supported Browsers

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher
  • Mozilla Firefox 2 or higher
  • Google Chrome

Screenshots