Overall Score 82%

Panda Box
Panda Antivirus Software

The Case for Panda

  • In business 25 years (1990)
  • Poor malware removal
  • Lightweight antivirus software
  • Good real-time protection
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Made in Spain
  • India phone tech support
$39.99
$29.99
(1-PC / 1-Year)
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by Josh Christofferson, Co-Editor
Virus & Spyware Protection: 67%

Panda's antivirus protection was a mixed bag. On the positive side, Panda's real-time protection was thorough. More on that in a second.

On the negative side, when presented with virus removal, Panda failed to remove many of the viruses and other malware we test with.

For our first test, we pre-installed Panda onto test PCs we planned to infect. Then, we intentionally infect the test PCs with different viruses and other malware threats (trojans, viruses, adware, and more).

We then activated Panda and ran a system-wide scan on each of the test PCs to see if Panda could find and remove these threats. Unfortunately, Panda wasn't up to the task.

Even though Panda said it blocked about 80% of the threats, it also said it couldn't find any of the threats.

What?

How could Panda "block" the malware without "finding" it first?

  • Panda Antivirus Pro
    Panda Box
  • SCORE: 82%
    Original:
    $39.99
    Discount:
    $29.99
The problem here is similar to the one we saw with AVG, where the perception of security is in the minds of someone using Panda nearly as important as actual security.

After all, what good is your antivirus software if it's reporting contradictory information?

Unfortunately, this wasn't just a case of reporting problems because when we looked deeper, we foundPanda Antivirus hadn't removed anything.

Instead it just blocked the malware from doing any damage; kind of like defanging a snake.

It's our view that this is a poor approach because it's too easy for accidental clicks or consumer confusion to kick in.

Now for Panda's real-time antivirus protection.

Here's where Panda really came through.

During our tests, we installed and enabled fresh, fully updated version of Panda Antivirus Pro onto our test PCs, then we download and install many different types of malware, including viruses, trojans, spyware, and more. Consistently, Panda was able to block and delete threats faster than we could open and install them. Very impressive.

In the end, is it acceptable to have excellent real-time protection, but terrible malware removal?

We say no. Having antivirus software that does half the job is like buying a car without seatbelts. Sure, the airbag may work, but is it worth the risk?


Firewall Protection: 73%

A good firewall is your first and best line of defense against the bad guys trying to get into your computer. It works by regulating all the traffic going in and out of your PC. It's a vital security feature that we take seriously.

As for Panda Antivirus Pro, it's one of the few antivirus programs that includes a firewall by default.

This in-and-of itself is noteworthy since most firewalls only come with Internet Security suites, so we give credit there. However, their firewall security needs improvement.

Our firewall tests showed Panda to be more porous than we're comfortable with. Several ports were wide open, and some of the things we expect a firewall to block weren't.

Overall, it's nice to see the feature, but Panda's execution here could be better.


Resource Usage: 84%

Panda's resource usage was low enough for it to earn a good score. When running idle, there was barely any system impact. When running a full-system scan, Panda Antivirus Pro only drained approximately 10% of overall computer resources.

We were still able to surf and download large files without any noticeable impact on performance.

Panda dragged a little bit during boot-up but only a few seconds more than the competition.

Overall, a relatively lightweight antivirus software.


User Interface: 93%

Click images to enlarge

Panda's user interface by far earns the "most improved feature" award this year. Previous versions were clumsy and crowded.

This year Panda's design team did a great job.

The software is clean, modern, and very easy to read.

Navigation is simple and straightforward for all necessary areas.

There are more advanced options should you need to dig deeper into the settings, and even those are well done.

McAfee and some of the other competitors with poorly designed interfaces would do well learning from Panda's well done interface.


Technical Support: 50%

Last year, Panda was embroiled in a protracted lawsuit involving the FTC and their outsourced tech support firm, "Advanced Tech Support."

The dust has settled from the case, and Panda seems to've fixed much of what we disliked about their old support system.

Thankfully, it now takes just three clicks from the Panda home page to find a toll-free phone number to call for help.

Also impressively, in each of our test calls, we were speaking with a rep in less than two minutes after dialing; in some cases it was under one minute.

Unfortunately, Panda's fees for so-called "Premium Support," i.e. virus removal are steep.

Getting the reps nailed down to a price without a long song-and-dance was challenging, but ultimately it looks like the minimum fees for virus removal come in at just under $130.

With VIPRE and ESET both offering their customers free U.S.-based phone tech support and free virus removal, it's hard to justify fees like these. (Which is no doubt part of the motivation Norton had in doing away with their fees this year.)


Conclusion - Overall Score: 82%

  • Panda Antivirus Pro
    Panda Box
  • SCORE: 82%
    Original:
    $39.99
    Discount:
    $29.99
  • Great real-time antivirus protection
  • Poor malware removal
  • Won't drag down your system
  • Expensive tech support
Panda Antivirus Pro made a few strides in the right direction this year, including a great interface and stellar realtime threat protection.

We can't ignore that Panda's malware removal was below average. And we can't ignore Panda's expensive technical support fees either, particularly when it's still done offshore.

Little by little Panda is becoming a player in the space again. This just isn't their year.


Software Version 2016
Supported Operating System (OS) Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP
Minimum RAM Required 256 MB
Minimum Space Required 240 MB
Required Processor Speed 300 MHz
Money-back Guarantee 0
Software Manufacturer Panda Security
Click images to enlarge
Home Screen
Scanning
Devices
Wi-Fi Monitor
Antivirus
Process Monitor
Safe Browsing
Firewall
Support
Application Control
USB Protection
Rescue Kit
Virtual Keyboard
Settings
iPhone location service Helps you locate your lost iPhone (however, you can already do this with your iPhone. No extra software needed).
Wi-Fi Protection Helps keep your wifi network safe from hackers.

Antivirus Software Comparison


Rank Winner 2nd Place 3rd Place 4th Place 5th Place 6th Place 7th Place 8th Place 9th Place 10th Place
Score 95%93%90%85%82%78%77%76%74%73%
Antivirus Software

All Software Available for Instant Download
VIPRE Box
SAVE 30%
$39.99
$27.99
ESET Box

(no discount)
$39.99
Norton Box
SAVE 43%
$69.99
$39.99
Bitdefender Box
SAVE 58%
$59.95
$24.99
Panda Box
SAVE 25%
$39.99
$29.99
AVG Box
SAVE 20%
$49.99
$39.99
Avast Box

(no discount)
$39.99
Kaspersky Box

(no discount)
$39.95
McAfee Box
SAVE 58%
$59.99
$24.99
Avira Box

(no discount)
$44.99
Works with
Win 10
Works with
Win 8x
Works with
Win 7
Works with
Win Vista
Works with
Win XP
Malware Protection
Low Resource Usage
Social Network Protection
USB Scanning
Email Scanning
Easy to Use
Tech Support Based In
U.S.A.
U.S.A.
India
India
India
India
Costa Rica
Philippines
India
Germany
Support Fee for Virus Removal $0 $0/$50* $19.99 $99.99 $59.94 $119.00 $119.00 $99.99 $89.95 $0
*Fees for virus removal may apply in some cases.


Explanation of Features


  • Malware Protection: Viruses, spyware, and trojans are all considered "malware" these days. Which software offers maximum protection against all forms of malware?
  • Low Resource Usage: Protecting a PC is important. Doing it while using as little CPU and memory is just as important.
  • Social Network Protection: There are just as many threats on Facebook and Twitter as well as other social sites. Good social network scanning is important.
  • USB Scanning: USB and other portable drives are one of the most dangerous and neglected points of entry for viruses and other malware. Good USB scanning is vital.
  • Email Scanning: Email has a long history of being an easy entry point for malware. Being able to detect and block threats to your PC is important.
  • Easy to Use: Is the software easy to use? Do the settings make sense? Is the software well organized? How well does the software compare?
  • Tech Support: No one wants to call tech support. Ever. If you do need to contact support, are they helpful, responsive, and accountable?