Panda Antivirus Pro Review

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Pros: Third-party test labs endorse the performance; Integrated with proprietary firewall; Rescue CD-ROM will boot an already infected PC

Cons: Technical support is via email only

Verdict: Panda Antivirus Pro is one of the top products for protecting against malware.

Panda Antivirus Pro ranks among the best antivirus software available. Most importantly, it provides superb protection from viruses and other malware that might be inclined to infect your computer. It's also among industry leaders in removing and repairing malicious software that has already taken hold. Panda has packaged other features, including an integrated firewall, with the antivirus software, contributing to the products ease of use, effectiveness and versatility.

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Regardless of the value of streamlined interfaces, customization settings or any other appealing characteristics, antivirus software must effectively protect your computer from the millions of threats, both known and unknown, that stand ready to attack. Panda Antivirus Pro has consistently excelled in rigorous testing by several independent testing labs. Most significant are the tests performed by AV-Test, a German IT-security institute which rates such products in the categories of protection, repair and usability.

The protection component of the testing rates how well individual antivirus applications protect an uninfected computer from incoming threats. That includes malware in email attachments, resident on infected websites or resident on removable media like flash drives or CDs and DVDs. Repair effectiveness evaluates how well the protection application removes malware that has already found its way onto your computer. Finally, the usability score considers how the software contributes to your experience while using your computer. It looks at the human interface such as threat messages and your options in dealing with them. It also evaluates the effect of the application on your computer's overall performance. Antivirus software has been notorious for slowing down overall computer performance, especially during the scanning process. The highest-ranked products are those that run in the background, virtually unnoticed by the user.

Panda Antivirus Pro is among the most highly ranked products against each of the above criteria. As a result, AV-Test has awarded the Certified Security designation. Other respected testing organizations, including ICSA Labs and West Coast Labs, have also certified this software.

The antivirus and antimalware threat changes constantly. As such, a static protection product is of little value. Panda utilizes a cloud-based system known as Collective Intelligence to gather and analyze threats as they appear. By participating in the program, users' computers share the details of malware as soon as it's encountered. Panda is thereby able to analyze the threat and disseminate a solution to stop rapidly spreading pathogens. In addition to its collective cloud-based efforts to identify and combat new threats, the application uses heuristic scanning to identify programming behavior of unidentified malware to determine if it acts like a virus, worm or other threat.

Panda Antivirus Pro affords numerous layers of protection but allows you to enable or disable them as you see fit. That includes the option to employ the included Panda Safe Browser for use while surfing the web. This browser will automatically isolate any potential threat until it is thoroughly analyzed and deemed safe or a danger. Additionally, you have the option to use the integrated firewall, the virtual keyboard to thwart the identity-stealing efforts of keyloggers or the gaming mode that allows for uninterrupted playing of full-screen games or movies. Furthermore, you can take advantage of Panda's Home Network Manager to protect and monitor the computers on your home network. The application also allows you to create a rescue disc to be used in the event that your computer won't boot because of infection.

Panda Antivirus Pro will protect your computer against the full range of viruses, worms, spyware and the myriad other forms of malware threats that exist online and in files shared via removable media. It works reliably, unobtrusively and completely automatically but also allows for customization, as you may desire. The numerous optional features integrate smoothly to provide a comprehensive combination of protection and ease of use.

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Laptop Mag & Tom's Hardware
Software Type Security
Platforms Windows
Required Processor
Software Required OS: Windows 7 (all editions), Windows Vista (64-bit, 32-bit), Windows XP Home, Windows XP Pro, Windows XP Media Center
Required RAM 512 MB
Disk Space 275 MB
Company Website