Panda Protection is a free antivirus program, perfect for those who use their computer a little or a lot. Panda offers a free version of its antivirus software, along with a premium version. You may be thinking that you can get by with just the free version, but I have reviewed the pros-and-cons of both. And that includes the benefits the paid version offers. If you’re unsure which is the right protection for you, read on and learn more about this antivirus software.
What is Panda Security?
An antivirus program which automatically collects threats from other users who have installed the program. This means it is constantly up to date on viruses that can attack your computer. Plus it is aware of threats which may try to target your computer in the near future.
It is supported by Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP and comes with a real-time antivirus engine. This engine allows the program to catch any threat before they can do any damage to your computer. It also has the ability to scan websites, URLs and extensions, and detect any malicious intent that may be lurking. It works well on most Windows operating systems, although it works better on some than others.
Free or Premium?
Obviously, the most important question should be answered first. What does the premium version do, that the free one can’t? The free version provides a real-time engine which constantly works in the background to ensure your security. Additionally, it can automatically update, unlike a lot of other free antivirus programs. If you don’t run into malware too often, then free Panda virus protection isn’t all that bad.
The pro version starts at $27.99 per year and does a whole lot more. It can scan and treat detachable drives, meaning no more corrupted hard drives or USBs. It also allows users the option of creating a CD to clean up your computer. That is especially useful if the virus is interfering with start-up screens.
Furthermore has the ability to scan websites for malicious intent, notifying you immediately if it finds anything. It’s great for people who like their spyware to do the hard work for them in the background. Meaning, this premium panda antivirus will not interfere with your day-to-day activities at all. And that is even true when a malware scan is underway, and more.
Windows 10 Protection
Windows 10 is probably the best OS to run Panda Protection on. When testing the software did not interfere with my PC performance in any significant way. And can confirm that it did a great job of recognising threats and removing them before they could do damage. It also ran well in the background, minimising any worries that I had about my computers speed. And the gaming mode makes it ideal for those who run their gaming PCs using Windows 10.
Windows 8 Protection
Although supported by Windows 8, Panda malware scans can significantly slow down the PC. However, it did score near perfect for scanning and blocking threats, and a near perfect score for ease of use does make it a good option for Windows 8 PCs if you can stand the marginal slowing down of your PC.
Windows 7 Protection
Scoring high for the overall detection and elimination of threats, Panda Protection is probably not suitable for this type of OS. It didn’t stand out when distinguishing between good and bad files, and it slowed down the computer considerably, interfering with the overall performance quite a lot, making the normal, everyday running of this PC a lot harder.
Windows Vista and XP
Although it struggled in recognising legitimate files, Panda virus protection is a good option for this OS. It only slowed down the computer by 150 seconds, compared to the industry standard of 221 seconds. It also was able to detect and eliminate threats fairly well, better so than it did on the newer Windows operating systems.
Panda Antivirus Pro comes with a gaming mode which allows you to launch full-screen games, without having to worry about pop up reminders or schedules scans. It runs well in the background, meaning you can leave it on without worrying about lag interfering with gameplay, and the scans won’t interrupt you midway through an important game.
You can lock the program with a password, meaning that nothing can be scanned or detected unless you authorise it. This is another good option if you don’t want your children to be messing about with it, running scans when you are trying to do something. This works well because, unfortunately, Panda does have a habit of slowing down the computer while it is running a scan or clean-up.
Bearing this in mind, it is worth noting that the premium version of the Panda virus protection allows you to schedule scans. This means that you can set all scans to be run at the end of every day, or at a time when you know you’re not going to be using the computer.
Files and folders can be blocked
For whatever reason, you may not want all files and folders to be scanned for malware or threats. The premium version of Panda Protection allows you to block certain files, folders or extensions from the scan – so if you know you don’t want a certain file being scanned then it worth looking into this option.
Known and Unknown Threats
Panda virus protection not only scans all threats, but it distinguishes between known and unknown threats. It then lets you control what you do with them. It will scan browsers, messages and detachable files for unknown threats and you get to pick which ones to target, or to target none of them. Panda Protection also gives you the option of storing these events in a log, useful if you want to go back over the threats that have been found previously, and something that businesses are investing in to keep them safer in the future.
With the premium version, you can access an option to block certain sites, domains or folders from being accessed without a password. If you have children you may want to consider this as it is a great way of keeping them safe online.
Protection beyond your computer
With the premium version of Panda malware scan, you can also addon the option to protect mobile devices. This means that if you would like to protect your whole household from threats then you can. Another good option is being able to choose how many different products you would like to protect so you know that everyone in the house is covered by this spyware.
CD or USB rescue
Perhaps one of the best features of Panda Protection Pro is that it allows you to create a CD or USB drive to use if your computer isn’t booting up because of the malware on it. This takes out the risk of having to manually remove any malware, which is a risky practice because it can result in losing data or system files. Having the option to have a rescue USB takes the risk out of it, meaning it can remove the threat as simply as putting the USB drive into the computer.
With the premium version of Panda Protection, you can have access to their customer support team during business hours. For 24/7 coverage you will end up paying an additional fee that includes telephone and live online chat support. However, they do have an extensive FAQ and forum page, so if your problem is fairly straightforward or common, then you may be able to find a solution there.
Ultimately, Panda Antivirus Protection does what it says on the tin. There are no amazing flashy gadgets with it – but it makes up for this with a highly reasonable price tag. It doesn’t drag down your system or interfere with your system too much, although depending on what operating system you are using, it may slow your PC down slightly.
The automatic upgrades and USB protection take away a lot of the worrying, so once you have installed the premium version then you can sit back and relax, knowing that this spyware is taking care of everything. However, the adverts and hidden costs when it comes to customer support can get a little frustrating – although hopefully, you’ll be able to find help on the extensive online forums or blogs.