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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Review Of Panda Antivirus Pro 2012

The new security products for 2012 are slowly beginning to appear now. Previously I looked at Kaspersky Antivirus 2012. Today I am reviewing Panda Antivirus Pro 2012.
Regular readers may recall that, historically, I have not been a fan of Panda’s free offerings but have been well impressed with their retail products. Lets see if that will change this year…
The Good:
  • Runs well on older computers
  • Firewall included
  • Large range of features
The Bad:
  • Panda Safe Browser isn’t the nicest thing I’ve ever used
  • Interface: white text on a black background is a personal no-no
  • -
Installation and first impression
Installation of Panda Antivirus Pro 2012 is quick and straightforward and, once done, you will be presented with the program for the fist time, as seen in the screen shot below. I’m not a huge fan of white text on black backgrounds because I get headaches when looking at it for long times but I’m sure most people will not have such an issue.
Panda Antivirus Pro 2012 interface
As you can see in the image above, the program makes it clear that you need to run an update sharpish which really is a smart move as I’m sure you can appreciate. Once the update has processed you can start to play around with the program to see what it offers.
Panda Antivirus Pro 2012 update
Traditionally, an antivirus program is just that – an antivirus program. If you wanted more security features than that then you would buy an internet security suite. Panda Antivirus Pro 2012 may make you think twice about that though…
As I alluded to above, Panda Antivirus Pro 2012 is more than just an antivirus program. It also offers up a firewall, parental control, anti-spam and other features such as the Panda Safe Browser which acts as a sandbox.
Then there is Panda’s USB Vaccine which can disable autorun on any devices that you attach to your computer. This makes it nigh on impossible for malware to spread to your system from USB drives and sticks which is a handy additional feature for sure.
Network management could also prove useful as it will display on the computers on your own network, noting which have Panda products installed on them and whether they are out of date or not. Additionally, a seperate feature through the firewall will identify all computers that have connected to the network by their name, IP address and MAC address. If you see something you don’t like in that list then you can easy blacklist it, thereby preventing it from accessing your PC.
When it comes to scanning there is the full range of usual options that you will see in any antivirus program these days. Panda adds another though with is a scan for vulnerabilities. This particular scan will assess the severity of any vulnerability that it finds and will identify any specific threats that exploit it. You can then click on a button to open up Windows Update to fix the problem but I would hope that you are fully up to date already!
For those of you who may be wondering, Panda Antivirus Pro 2012 does come with something that I think is obligatory these days – the gaming mode!
System Requirements
Panda Antivirus Pro 2012 has the following system requirements -
  • Windows operating system Windows XP (32-bit), Vista (32 and 64 bit) and 7 (32 bit and 64 bit)
  • A Pentium processor running at 300 Mhz or faster
  • 128 MB RAM or 512 MB RAM with TruPrevent (though 1 GB RAM is recommended)
  • 265 MB of available hard drive space
  • Internet Explorer 6 or higher (if you have IE 6 change it now!) / Firefox 2 or newer / Google Chrome
Running a scan with the latest offering from Panda was a quick affair – a full scan of my drives took about 20 minutes and a quick scan seemed to take mere seconds. That seems impressive and would seem to suggest that anyone with the low spec required to run the program may well be ok with it.
When testing the program against my list of naughty links it fared well, identifying all as threats and blocking them (I need to use a much bigger list in the future to test these programs with though methinks).
+ Plus Points
  • Low spec machine required to run it
  • Quick scans
  • Effective detection of threats
  • Includes firewall, anti-spam, USB vaccine, vulnerability scan and gaming mode
  • Collective Intelligence provides quick response to new threats as they are discovered
  • Virtual keyboard
- Minus Points
  • Panda Safe Browser isn’t the nicest thing I’ve ever used
Panda Antivirus Pro 2012 good to go
Overall, I was fairly impressed with Panda Antivirus Pro 2012.
I didn’t like the interface for reasons mentioned above but thats just me. The program will install on a huge range of computers including many older ones. Whilst scanning the resource usage was low and allowed me to get on with other things which is probably one of the most important aspects for me.
Many of the extra features that are included are useful – it is especially nice to find a firewall in a standalone antivirus program – and other addons make this a serious alternative to a full internet security suite. I didn’t like the Safe Browser much at all and would have preferred to see something along the lines of F-Secure’s safe links appended to web searches.
Otherwise, its a good program but perhaps not the one I would choose for myself.
Do you want to try Panda Antivirus Pro 2012 for free for 6 months? Find out how by visiting Panda’s Facebook page.
Read my other reviews of 2012 antivirus software10 Best Free Antivirus 2012.

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