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Monday, 19 December 2011

Panda Internet Security 2012 - Review

Next up in my continuing series of personal reviews of internet security products for the coming year is Panda Internet Security 2012.
The Good:
  • Low system requirements
  • Effective detection of threats
  • Parental Controls
The Bad:
  • Safe Browser
  • Interface: white text on a black background is a personal no-no
  • Panda’s 2012 Antivirus Pro may offer better value

Installation and first impression
Installation of this program is quick and straightforward, much like Panda Antivirus Pro 2012 which I looked at a couple of weeks ago. In fact the file I downloaded is almost the same size as the antivirus program (some 70 MB or so). The fact that the two programs are so similar in size is something I found of interest. More on that at the end.
As you can see in the image below, Panda Internet Security 2012 has the same white text on black background that the AV program has. White on black seems to be a recurring trend amongst security vendors this year. Ouch! I hate it!
Panda Internet Security 2012 interface
Also, just like their antivirus program, Panda’s Internet Security is quick to alert you to the fact that you should download the latest updates just as quickly as you can. Considering the first update for any security program can be quite large, Panda’s in this case was a breeze, taking just a couple of minutes to download. That set the scene for what was to come later…
Panda Internet Security 2012 update
Panda Internet Security comes loaded with all the features you should expect to see in a complete internet security solution:
  • antivirus
  • firewall
  • network manager
  • gaming mode
  • virtual keyboard
  • Panda Safe Browser (hmmm….)
The features that are available in this product that are missing from the antivirus program are:
  • anti-spam protection
  • parental control
  • identity protection
  • backup and restoration of critical files
  • online backup
  • remote PC access
System Requirements
The minimum system requirements for Panda Internet Security 2012 are as follows:
  • 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 full scan with this program gave a surprising result – it took close to two hours when the Panda Antivirus program had previously taken closer to 20 minutes to undertake the same task. That said, CPU and memory usage was just as low so it didn’t bother me too much as I was able to multitask quite effectively whilst the scan was in progress. Still a strange result though.
As per the antivirus program, I would imagine that this internet security suite is well suited to lower end computers that may otherwise struggle to run newer security programs from other vendors.
I threw my usual malware links at the program and it identified each and every one of them so there are no worries there.
+ Plus Points
  • Low spec machine required to run it
  • 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
  • Parental controls
- Minus Points
You know what I’m going to say here don’t you!
Yep… the white text on black background sucks! Well, ok, maybe not sucks, but it does do my eyes in :(
Also, Safe Browser – its horrible in my opinion. Please improve this area next time around Panda!
Panda Internet Security 2012 statistics
Like Panda’s latest antivirus program, this internet security suite is a good choice if you are looking for protection in 2011/2012.
It has many features and works well. I also believe it is the best choice, from those programs I’ve tested thus far this year, for users who have older, slower machines.
I mentioned at the beginning that this program isn’t much bigger than the company’s antivirus program and that is probably because the additional features only add a little to what the lesser program already offers.
Sure, some people will definitely want anti-spam protection, parental control, identity protection, backup and restoration of critical files, online backup and remote PC access which is why they are looking at an internet security suite in the first place.
But Panda Antivirus Pro 2012, by including a firewall, may offer much better value (its about $20 cheaper) for those who don’t need quite so many features.
Do you want to see what the other vendors are offering this year? If so, read my other 2012 Internet Security reviews.

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