Panda Antivirus review: a family friendly choice
Panda Antivirus is an established antivirus in the market. It uses AI and cloud computing to gather information and develop its program to keep your PC safe with minimal performance effects. Panda Antivirus provides many features from a free VPN to password protection, or if you're a worried parent requiring parental control over your child's device, Panda doesn't fail to deliver. In this review, we will further discuss Panda Antivirus's features in detail so you can decide if it's the Antivirus for you.
Panda Dome security and Firewall protection
When it comes to Antivirus, security is best assessed in independent test labs. Different labs have different criteria to evaluate security. For simplicity's sake, we will give one example of such a lab.
According to Panda Antivirus website, the Antivirus detection rate is 100%. According to independent test labs such as AV-Test institute. However, that's not the only criteria. Instead, three criteria are considered. The first is protection, the second is performance, and the third is usability, meaning how often a false positive is given to known malicious programs. Each of the criteria grants 6 points for a total of 18. Panda Antivirus had a 6 in protection, 5.5 in usability, and 5 in performance totaling 16.5/18.
In terms of Firewall protection, while it's effective, its use is limited to Windows only.
Scanning, performance, and scheduling
As discussed already, while a perfect malicious ware detection rate is provided, it does affect speed ever so slightly. Scanning with Panda could drop performance and hence is not advised during the heavy load period. Scan scheduling feature should help you decide when to scan to avoid performance issues.
Panda Dome VPN
One of the included features is a free VPN (Virtual Private Network) to encrypt your data outgoing to the internet and provide an anonymous status on the internet. And while Panda Dome VPN is effective in these areas, it is limited to 150 MB per day of traffic data, which is very low when compared to other free VPN products out there. If more data is required, you can go for Panda Dome Premium product for unlimited VPN traffic access. However, it lacks two key features: a kill switch which means if the VPN connection fails your IP count get exposed, and the ability to switch server on the free version means you can't bypass geo-restricted content.
For a full list of the best VPN providers, click here.
Wi-Fi hacking protection
Did you know that Wi-Fi hacking is easier than hacking devices connected to Wi-Fi? Many old Wi-Fi's use WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) encryption, which is very easy to hack, even the better-encrypted ones can be hacked. Panda Dome provides a Wi-Fi scanning and protection tool included in all of its packages to protect your Wi-Fi from getting hacked.
Panda USB rescue kit
This feature is where you would download a rescue kit as a failsafe on your USB and use it later on. In the event a malicious ware infects your device and prevents it from even booting and reaching the Antivirus screen, you can use the USB rescue kit to initiate cloud-based cleaner.
This is a feature scanning any inserted USB device as soon as it is detected while protecting from the malware trying to spread via Auto-run. This works by disabling the Auto-run.inf file on the USB, which is often used by many Malware programs, as there is no user-friendly way to disable the Auto-run function on Windows. Currently, the UBS "Vaccine" works only on FAT and FAT32 USB devices.
Panda Dome Password Manager
You can buy this product alone or as part of the premium bundle. It can create robust passwords, save and encrypt them until you need the password again. This works via a master password, and all saved passwords are decrypted and used when needed by entering your master password. This helps as you only have to recall one password to enter all your accounts while not being at risk of losing all your accounts if one of your accounts gets hacked. Panda Dome Password manager has a zero-knowledge policy as they don't keep any of the encrypted passwords nor the master password.
This policy doubles as both a privacy feature and a risk factor, as in the event you forget your password, you wouldn't have a way of retrieving it.
Panda Dome Gaming/Multimedia Mode
This is a mode implemented automatically whenever your device goes into full-screen mode or upon request. It stops the updates, the self-diagnosis, and the scheduled scans, which means more performance power.
Plans and pricing
Panda offers four sets of plans, Essential, Advanced, Complete, and Premium. Features and prices increase respectively.
This is the most basic of the bundles. It includes real-time protection, a firewall, and a free limited VPN of 150MB per day, for the price of $22.74/year per device. The lack of ransomware protection is a major downside to this bundle.
This bundle adds to the Panda Essential ransomware protection, ID protection when shopping and banking, and parental control. This bundle's parental control feature makes it a good deal relative to its price of $30.54/year per device if you are concerned with parental control. Comparable to other Antivirus programs. However, it would lack vital features such as the Dark Web Monitoring and unlimited VPN offered by Norton 360 protection for a slightly higher price.
This bundle offers what Panda Advanced does in addition to a Data shield, Password Manager, and a Cleanup tool.
The Password Manager is the most valuable of these tools, allowing you to store multiple passwords, encrypt them, and reuse them with a Master password. The data shield allows for the encryption of sensitive files on your PC to secure them and allows for file shredding to prevent deleted data recovery. The Cleanup tool offers optimizes your device so that it can run more smoothly.
includes an added Unlimited VPN service powered by hotspot VPN to the bundle, an update manager, and 24h live customer support.
Is Panda Dome worth your time? Panda Dome definitely has features making it a strong contender. It offers some features which other antiviruses offer at higher-priced bundles, such as the Parental control feature for less. If one of these features interest you, then Panda Dome might be the Antivirus for you.