Panda Antivirus Pro 2017 Review

Panda Top 10 Best Antivirus

Panda Antivirus Pro 2017 offers protection against all kinds of known and unknown threats while not slowing down your computer or interrupting your online experience. Panda has been around since 1990 and has a lot of experience in the security world.

Price

Panda offers prices similar to most other antivirus companies with the option to buy multiple licenses if you need to protect multiple PCs. They do also offer 2 and 3 year subscriptions for a discounted price. The following prices are for 1 year subscriptions which offer automatic virus updates throughout the subscription term.

1 Year Protection Subscription:

1 PC 3 PCs 5 PCs 10 PCs
$39.99 $49.99 $79.99 $129.99

You can download Panda Antivirus Pro 2017 from their website (www.pandasecurity.com). Their shopping cart is a bit cluttered as they try to tack on items to your purchase. They offer an extended 45-day, money-back guarantee but it costs an extra $5.99 which we don't think is worth it. They also offer extended download service for $9.99 where they keep access to your download link available for the duration of your subscription. This is also not worth it, just make a backup of the downloaded install file after you install Panda. They do offer a backup CD for $12.02 if you wish to have a physical CD. They also offer PC Tune-Up service where one of their tech staff will login remotely to your computer and tune it up for $29.99. This is a nice feature if you've never cleaned out your system or your system is running slow. Also be aware that they sign you up for automatic subscription renewal during checkout. Just scroll down to the bottom of your shopping cart if you wish to remove automatic renewals.

Features

Panda has many great features included standard. The offer "Panda Cloud Technology" which is a new protection model based on user community feedback (See "Protection Level" below for more info). Panda includes a personal firewall which is a nice feature for an antivirus program. Usually you have to purchase the more expensive Internet Security suites to get this protection. It also offers a home network manager which checks the security status of all the computers on your home network and displays statistics about each device on your network.

Panda includes a multimedia/gaming mode which disables popup messages, updates, and scans while you are using a full screen program, like playing a game or watching a movie. A virtual keyboard is also included as a nice add-on feature. This allows you to use your mouse to enter passwords and sensitive information via the virtual keyboard preventing malware like keyloggers from intercepting your information.

If malware is preventing you from starting Windows, Panda offers a SafeCD recovery disk which you can boot to clean this particularly bad malware. The "SOS Virus" feature allows you to submit suspicious files directly to PanaLabs' engineers for analysis. You don't have to wait until the file becomes a problem. If you are worried about it, Panda gives you the tools to take care of it.

System Requirements:

OS: Windows XP (32-bit), Windows Vista (32/64-bit), Windows 7 (32/64-bit)
CPU: 300MHz Processor or faster
Memory: 512MB (Min) / 1GB (Recommended)
Hard Drive Space: 265MB Free Space
 

Screenshots (click to enlarge):

Main Screen Protection Settings Statistics

Ease of Use

The Panda software installs very quickly. The user interface is organized very well with tabs across the top of the main screen offering quick access to common tasks. The best protection settings are configured automatically during installation, but you also have a nice amount of control over these settings. Some features like the firewall require a restart to enable, which was a little bit of a pain. Also the USB Vaccine feature and Safe Browser feature need to be downloaded and installed as add-ons. These are great features (See "Protection Level" below for more info) so again it is a pain that these are not included with the main program installation.

Panda indicates your system's protection status in the user interface home screen. This shows a green check when there are no security problems and a red "X" when a problem or threat is found. The problem is listed in the main screen and with a single click of the "Solve" button, Panda can fix the problem automatically. Panda has a nice range of statistics and reports which are clearly organized and at your finger tips. You can easily see malware Panda has discovered and cleaned, and your current system health.

Protection Level

Panda includes many great protection features. It provides immediate protection against all types of known and unknown threats. By using Panda's "Collective Intelligence" and "Panda Cloud Technology", new threats are identified quickly and in a matter of seconds updates are sent to all other Panda customers providing the latest protection available. Using minimal bandwidth, you are kept up-to-date instantly as new threats emerge. Using their "TruPrevent" technology and advanced behavioral analysis, Panda is able to protect you from these emerging new threats.

The "Panda Safe Browser" opens your browser in a safe environment so you can surf the web without worry. If you happen to visit a malicious site, your computer remains protected. We just didn't like that we had to download a separate file and install this feature as it was not included with the main program. Panda will also scan existing programs on your computer for vulnerabilities and report them to you. Panda's firewall is a nice feature which offers an additional layer of security that you usually don't find in stand alone antivirus programs. The firewall can be configured easily and doesn't interfere with common programs like Outlook, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox.

Another nice protection feature is the "Panda USB Vaccine" which will scan your USB drives for infections when they are inserted into your computer. It can also disable the automatic running of programs from your USB, CD, or DVD drive giving you another layer of protection. We didn't like again how this nice add-on feature had to be downloaded and installed after the main program installation.

Panda received some good scores from AV Test (www.av-test.org) and AV Comparatives (www.av-comparatives.org) independent real world antivirus protection tests. These are two very respected, independent antivirus test groups. AV Test indicated that Panda does a good job at detecting and preventing malware from entering your system but it has a tough time repairing damage from malware threats.

Panda received an ADVANCED rating, from AV Comparatives for their effectiveness in everyday real world protection and threat removal. During AV Comparatives testing 49 of 1898 threats were not detected. Panda offers good protection against today's malware, although we would have liked to see higher scores for their ability to repair damage from the malware.

AV Test Scores:

OS Protection Repair
Windows 7 83% 67%
Windows XP 92% 50%

AV Comparatives Real-World Protection Test Rating:

ADVANCED

Performance

Panda performs very well thanks to some innovative features. It reduces resource consumption as its malware database is on the cloud, not your PC. By enabling Panda's CPU load management system, scans and updates will only occur when your computer is not in use. This allows you to work and surf the web without any noticeable lag. Updates for virus definitions download very quickly with Panda.

It still makes sense to set Panda to perform full systems scans in the early morning hours when your computer is most likely not in use. Panda receives slightly above average ratings from AV Test and very good ratings from AV Comparatives for performance. It ran very well on our system and we did not notice it slowing us down.

AV Test Scores:

OS Usability (Performance)
Windows 7 75%
Windows XP 75%

AV Comparatives Performance Test Rating:

ADVANCED+

Customer Support

Panda has some nice options for support on their website. They offer video tutorials, and also have a tech support forum and product knowledge base. The down side is that they only include 24/7 email support with your purchase. Phone support is available for an additional cost and there is no live chat support option. Although their support staff is quick to respond to emails. Panda does have a Security Info section of their website which offers a ton of resources to learn about the latest threats and what to do to protect yourself. They also offer "ActiveScan 2.0", an online scanner that can remove viruses from your system if those viruses are preventing you from installing Panda.

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