Computers are ubiquitous and ever since PCs have become accessible to general public, individuals have been trying to take advantage of their security holes. That’s why antivirus providers like Panda started out pretty early. Since the 90s, Panda has offered a security solution that evolved with time and has introduced many additional features such as promising 100% virus detection and VPN protection. Now Panda is being reborn in a new form, Panda Dome, which is way more powerful than its predecessors.
It’s one of the most powerful antivirus products used across the world next to Avast, McAfee & Kaspersky. Panda has a sleek interface and simple navigation. Besides, Panda is one of the few providers that haven’t been spotted in selling users’ data or any other questionable activities. In this review, we will dissect Panda’s security features, analyze lab test results and find out whether the paid version worth it.
Panda’s Main Features
Panda offers all traditional security features like malware protection, but it is also equipped with some interesting additional features, e.g., Rescue Kit and external drive protection. Additionally, the basic features comprise Panda’s Web Protection, File Shredder, PC Cleanup, VPN Protection, and Anti-Spyware.
Panda Antivirus Scanner
Different strategies that provider implements in order to detect viruses and other threats are critical to look at if you want to choose a reliable option that’s capable of combating complex modern cybersecurity threats.
Panda’s scanner is definitely one of the best on the market and consistently is included into top-3 best performers by various cybersecurity-testing labs. It is cloud-based in the sense that files are scanned on a remote server without using the processing power of the user’s machine.
Three different modes of scanning allow you to choose between time and preciseness
It offers three main scanning options:
This type of scan is pretty self-explanatory, the antivirus will check all the files available on the computer for any suspicious ones and subsequently remove them. However, this process is time-consuming and might take from 60 minutes to several hours to complete the task. But the good news is that you don’t have to do it often – only once upon installation and later bi-weekly and you can schedule it for the period when you’re not using your computer heavily. Every subsequent full scan is a little bit shorter in time than a previous one.
It gives you an opportunity to choose which files or folders you want to scan.
Critical areas scan
This one is meant for core applications and processes essential for PCs. It takes less time than a full scan but makes sure that there are no threats to the core elements of your device.
There is one more feature, quite unique to Panda. It’s called Panda Cloud Cleaner and it’s an online disinfection tool, available through Rescue Kit. It takes your data to the cloud and uses a separate engine to deeply scan it for more advanced threats that regular scanners could have missed.
When you enter Panda’s main page, you can pick one of the 8 amazing backgrounds. Once you go beneath the main interface window, five security features will welcome you and by using them, you can manage your antivirus protection.
Protection against unknown threats
Panda Dome incorporates innovative TruPrevent technology that complements traditional heuristic scan techniques to offer greater protection against unknown viruses. This technology is capable of preempting the problem by monitoring the behavior of all processes on the computer in order to detect and neutralize unknown threats. Simply put, it looks for pieces of code or separate files and apps that act out of the ordinary, even if they weren’t recognized as viruses before. That’s a huge step forward in a whole virus-detection situation and Panda have first introduced it in 2007. It’s one of the advanced virus-detection tools that utilize machine learning to provide a higher security level for users.
Panda runs in the background therefore it continues protecting you when you play your favorite games or watch movies. This mode is automatically enabled whenever you go into a full-screen mode. It will make security-related decisions without disturbing you. You can activate this feature manually as well, but make sure to turn it off when you’re done since it temporarily stops certain processes like updates and scheduled scans.
Panda USB and AutoRun Vaccine
Having a dedicated tool for USB flash drive checkup is great if you use them a lot
This function gives you an additional layer of security for your external devices. Most of the time, we insert the USB drive without even scanning it and that’s one of the old-school ways of spreading malware. Panda Antivirus eliminates viruses from peripheral devices like USB and prevents malware from accessing the Windows AutoPlay function.
At the most basic level, a firewall is a system that prevents unauthorized access to a network. The firewall acts like a bouncer at the entrance to the network, checking the identification of everyone who tries to enter. Any unauthorized access or suspicious network traffic is blocked automatically. Panda’s inbuilt firewall runs on smart technology that neutralizes network malware. Also, it stops probable hackers from reaching your device and breaching internet security.
Panda integrated Anti-spam filter function saves you from junk mail. The protection against spam keeps your mailbox clear of junk messages transmitted massively across the Internet. It will automatically move emails that are loaded with phishing URLs into a spam folder.
We sometimes forget just about how much information we give out on various websites. This feature protects you from the increasing number of Internet scam attempts. Very often, those scammers create a website that looks very similar to a legitimate financial website and lure you to give out your personal and credit card information. Panda Identity protection feature creates an additional layer of security that sends you rapid alerts that detect illegal selling of your personal, financial and credit information. Your credentials are now safer than ever since without your previous approval, none of this data can leave your computer. Panda lets you know if there were any suspicious activities associated with your SSN. It also notifies you if the amount of money withdrawn from your credit card exceeds the one determined by you. Panda also offers a safe browser which we recommend to use for all your financial operations, including checking the banking app, online shopping and other sensitive operations.
That’s an advanced feature that helps you to restrict the websites that kids may view on the Internet and also you can configure the filters for all guest users through an admin account. Panda’s Parental Control also features GPS tracking so that you can always know exactly where your kids are at.
Can it offer protection against phishing scams?
As per the lab test, Panda was able to prevent 71% of phishing attacks, which is better than previous years, but still not good enough since its closest competitors were able to identify and eliminate 95%+ of such threats. So we can say, that Panda is not enough to protect your devices from phishing activities.
To stay away from such scams, either you should go with alternatives of Panda antivirus or need to manually pick and choose while browsing the internet. For instance, you shouldn’t click on any random URLs you are getting through emails. You should only provide the information on the website that has enabled HTTPS certification in their URL. Keeping your PC up to date will also secure you from some phishing attacks.
Is there anything else in terms of features?
Panda Antivirus security tool has several features and they are on top of everything. It includes File encryption and shredder, antivirus scanner, PC Clean up, and many more mentioned below.
The simple but data-rich dashboard shows highlights of your device’s data security
Panda Antivirus offers a Cloud Cleaner option and this is an amazing one because it retains a separate engine and works on a cloud-based algorithm to detect the malware that bypassed the regular scan.
The Panda Cloud Cleaner is fast and smooth as compared to the regular scanner. It offers a good result that symbolizes a high accuracy rate in detecting and removing malware from a computer.
File Encryption & Shredder
File encryption is a tool that helps you to secure important data on your device. Panda Antivirus has an inbuilt password bank also known as Password Depot that is configured with encryption utilities. To access this feature, just select the file, right-click on it and further choose encryption.
Most of the users believe that the files deleted from the computer can’t be recovered. But the advancement of technology has proven it wrong. Panda Antivirus provides a File shredder feature and its advanced algorithm is highly effective to secure the files. Once the file is removed by this utility, then such a file can’t be recovered by anyone via any recovery tools.
This is one of the additional features of Panda Antivirus that accelerates your PC’s performance by removing junk files. With PC Cleanup, you will get four options to wipe the unwanted files either from a hard drive or from the startup. Let’s understand this concept in a broad manner.
If you want to free up space on your hard drive, then this tool is what you need because it performs the task in less than a minute, and in my testing, the tool wiped 1GB of junk files in 50 seconds.
The next sub-feature in the list of PC Cleanup is the Organization of programs from Boot Manager. Don’t be scared of a bit technical name, in simple terms, this feature eliminates unwanted programs. This will minimize the loading time of the OS and you will reach the desktop screen in no time.
Panda Rescue Kit
This tool is an additional security feature that enables the users to eliminate malware or other viruses from the infected computer. For instance, if you have a computer that doesn’t act right due to loads of malware, then create a rescue USB drive on another computer and then insert it on the infected one. Now, boot the computer and in a short time, Panda will remove all the malware present on the infected device.
Disinfection tools as first aid for infected computer
Why do you need a VPN? Well, antivirus protects the data that is localized on your computer, but if the data is roaming then who will secure it? It’s the VPN (Virtual Private Network) that gives you protection while accessing the web, it hides your real IP address and gives you access to multiple servers. In this way, it prevents your data from being attacked by hackers. Vpn is more of a privacy feature, it doesn’t protect you against viruses, but it definitely prevents your credentials and other sensitive information from being stolen.
Panda VPN is limited (except Panda Dome Premium) as it offers you only 150MB/day. Now, you can also imagine, this data is not sufficient to even perform a small amount of work.
Panda VPN technology is published by Hotspot Shield, a giant in the VPN field. Even though Panda got such a big support, it failed to offer the advanced features available in Hotspot. For example, you can’t even change the server as per your desire and you have to depend upon automatic server configuration.
Panda VPN is not safe because it lacks the Kill Switch feature which means if the VPN is disconnected, you’d still be able to access the web and there is a high chance of exposure to a real IP address.
Panda Performance Lab Test Results 2021
There are a few ways you can test antivirus products at home, but many of them include downloading a known threat online and then intentionally infecting your device with it just to see how well your antivirus can deal with it. But the problem with this method is that if the threat has already been identified there’s a very strong chance it’s already in every antivirus database. And if this particular software can protect you from one threat, doesn’t necessarily mean it can protect you from all of them. That’s why we follow various analytical labs that specify in testing cybersecurity apps. They wouldn’t introduce one threat, but hundreds of them and those threats will be carefully chosen to represent the biggest variety of modern viruses you can think of.
For instance, Australian reputable testing lab AV-Comparatives put to test around 20 most popular antivirus products in their Real-World Protection test. They introduced 736 threats to each of them and Panda showed a tremendous result and detected 735 of them.
Another important thing to consider when choosing a reliable antivirus product is its performance score or, in other words, how fast does it work and if it slows down your computer.
As you can see, Panda has shown very good results. It was very fast, almost in all categories.
Actually, Panda got first place in terms of speed and system impact, meaning that it doesn’t slow down your computer much and detects malware fast.
How Much Does Panda Antivirus Cost In 2021?
Panda has a free product that’s pretty good and reliable, but when it comes to paid versions, they might be a tad more expensive than those of competitors. But we believe Panda totally worth it because of its robust security features, performance and low system impact. The only thing we don’t really like is that 24/7 customer support is only available with the Premium package.
Panda Antivirus Free Plan
In a trial version of Panda antivirus software, you will get real-time protection, VPN, USB malware protection, and Rescue Kit. These tools are quite sufficient to safeguard your computer against viruses.
Panda Dome Essential
In this plan, you will get a blend of free features with some additional ones. The real-time protection is available for Windows, Mac, and Android OS. A firewall is another additional feature that will act as a shield to protect your computer. The cost of this plan for a single device is $44.24/year.
Panda Dome Advanced
Panda antivirus gives you protection against advanced potential threats and phishing done by hackers. If you are active in online shopping, then the features enclosed in this plan will safeguard your credentials. The plan also offers you parental control and Wi-Fi Shield at the cost of $62.24/year for a device.
Panda Dome Complete
It comprises most of the security features that are vital for protecting a computer. Some of them are File encryption and file shredding utilities with a password manager. If you are willing to get this package, then you will have to spend $89.24/year.
Panda Dome Premium
It is the most valuable plan of Panda antivirus and gives you all the security features just at $143.24/year. In this plan, you will get unlimited VPN access along with customer support.
What payment methods does Panda Support?
Panda security service provides you with more than 5 payment options. It includes PayPal, Apple Wallet, VISA card, Mastercard, American Express, Klarna, and more. Going with a debit card, credit card or PayPal can be a convenient option for most users.
Does Panda slow down your computer?
Because of its cloud-based technologies, Panda has a very minimal impact on your computer’s performance. Users claim that Panda is one of the lightest-weight antivirus applications that doesn’t use too many resources in the background.
If you are facing any problem related to the slow performance of your PC during the full scan or at the time of accessing the VPN service, you can try uninstalling the not-required software and cleaning the junk and temporary files. There is the probability that the system CPU, RAM, and other resources are being used by unwanted applications in the background.
Is it good for macOS and iOS?
We believe there are better options for MacOS out there. In the free Panda plan, real-time protection is not available. The VPN features are unlimited in the premium plan, but you can’t change a server. Those are small details that make Panda kind of sluggish and inconvinient for your Mac.
Is Panda Antivirus compatible with Android?
Yes, the Panda security package is compatible to protect your Android phone and smartwatch. It provides your Android devices with sufficient protection against viruses and other kinds of malicious software, With the app, you can also manage the application permission settings on your device. Additionally, the tool gives you accessibility to manage the phone locator and anti-theft settings.
If you have enabled the anti-theft device settings, you can remotely lock your phone and wipe out the confidential data with a click. On top of that, its premium plan for Android gives you several amazing features, e.g., when someone is trying to access or steal your device, you will get their captured photo after 3 unsuccessful devices unlock attempts.
The limited VPN bandwidth of 150 MB may annoy you if you keep browsing the internet for long hours every day. Also, at the time of formatting or changing your Android device, you may face some technical problems like being unable to login to Panda antivirus with the existing credential. In that case, discussing your concern with the Panda technical support team will solve your problem.
What customer support does the Panda provider offer?
Panda Antivirus has some really extensive customer support and FAQ section
Panda Customer Support is not available for all users. However, if you got a Panda Dome premium plan, then you can have customer support to resolve the queries. You can contact them anytime as they are available 24/7. But if you have any other plan, you will have to rely on forums or articles to resolve the issue.
Panda’s Pros and Cons
There is no software that is 100% perfect. So the same is Panda antivirus which has its pros and cons which I think are the following:
- Compatible with most devices like computers, laptops, Android, and more.
- Easy navigation panel to perform the task.
- Uses very low system memory and resources.
- 100% threats and malware detection rate.
- Nice security application for your personal and business devices
- Web protection against cyberattacks, ransomware, and phishing emails.
- Unlimited VPN with premium Panda security plans.
- Sometimes, you can face slow internet speed while using VPN.
- Limited daily VPN accessibility of up to 150MB in free plans.
- The annual subscription charge is a bit higher than competitive antivirus products.
- It can take a longer time than usual while you are doing a full scan of your device.
- It is hard to contact the customer support team if you are not a premium customer.
Is it enough to stay protected?
Really nice overview of what’s going on behind the scene of your OS
The software is designed followed by a cloud scanning technique. That means, it can give you the utmost protection from internet threats but lacks a bit in case of offline system security. It is the best antivirus tool for users who are looking for basic system protection with easy-to-access options. Also, if a user is handling several devices and looking for the advanced features at the lowest cost, then Panda is the best.
Otherwise, you should go with the best alternatives available in the market that give more protection against malware, trojan, ransomware, and others.
Panda Competitors or Alternatives
At the time of looking for alternatives, we suggest you focusing on software that stands at the top of the lab test and gets great user ratings. Likewise, you need to see how efficient the antivirus is and how it is handling malware, ransomware, malicious sites, and other malicious attacks.
Panda top alternatives are:-
- Microsoft Defender
Frequently Asked Questions About Panda Antivirus
Does it offer a free trial?
Do you need Panda Antivirus on your iOS?
Is Panda Antivirus reliable?
So obviously, it is not a scam. Panda Antivirus is legit software that gives you complete protection against malware, ransomware, and other threats. That fact is proved by several reliable testing labs.
Does it scan external hard drives for viruses?
How many devices can you protect with it?
How can you uninstall the Panda antivirus?
If it was the latest application that you have installed, then you can easily find it at the top of the list.
Alternatively, you can scroll down and then select Panda Dome from the list and click on the uninstall button.
Wait for a moment and you will see a pop-up window has been opened, just go there and confirm the uninstallation.
It will hardly take a couple of minutes, and then, it restarts to confirm that the installation is clean.