Is Panda Antivirus any Good?
Panda antivirus is one of the pioneers of the industry that has been protecting users since 1990. After the latest re-branding, it is now called Panda Dome and it comes with the new appealing interface. The new app features an eye-pleasing wallpaper background, and it is still easy to use.
What really matters though, is whether the new edition of the antivirus offers better protection than Panda Security did. Well, 100% virus detection ratio promise on the main page still refers to the 2017 Real-World Protection test by AV-Comparative. Recent results are a bit worse – 99.7% threats were blocked – which we’ll discuss in detail further in our Panda antivirus review.
Still, Panda Dome is a decent antivirus that will satisfy both novice and advanced users. The software is reliable enough to just stick to the default settings. It is lightweight, runs on all major platforms and offers various customizable plans to fit every user’s needs.
The prices are rather appealing as well. Every package comes with a number of useful extras. Even with the free plan, you get 150MB of VPN traffic daily which is enough to securely shop online or protect your data when using public hotspots.
Pros and Cons
- Affordable prices
- Additional safety features
- Simple and appealing interface
- Low impact on the system
- Lab test results are not the best
- No ransomware protection in the cheapest plan
- 24/7 support is available only for Premium users
- Compatible with Windows 10 and older versions down to Windows XP
- Offers protection for Macs and Android devices
- Attractive and simple interface
- Affordable prices and a wide choice of plans
- Doesn’t have much impact on the system
- Users who want more advanced features
- Basic protection that doesn’t require a complicated tune up
- Owners of multiple devices
- Fans of simplistic and stylish interfaces
Reliability and Security
During the latest test by AV-Test that was held in December 2018 Panda Dome has shown pretty good results. It detected 100% of all the malware it was exposed to.
That’s, however, an expected score as the malware samples used during the test existed for at least a couple of days already. Therefore, all the antivirus databases should include those samples to offer users decent protection.
The 0-day malware attacks test is more challenging as the antivirus has to detect unknown threats. Panda Internet Security detected 99.6% of all the samples. Even though the result is not perfect, it is good enough for customers to trust this provider with their safety. In total, Panda Antivirus got a score 6 out of 6 for protection during AV-Test that makes it top virus protection.
But let’s check the tests run by AV-Comparatives. They are quite recent – February and March 2020 – and offer a more clear picture of the virus protection this provider has in place.
The real-world protection test is the most complex and, therefore, can show the true reliability of the antivirus software. Panda blocked 99.7% of threats during the test and flagged 12 false positives.
The result is not impressive – some antiviruses like Avira and Bitdefender demonstrated a perfect 100% block rate. Nevertheless, Panda wasn’t the worst one – Eset, for example, had an even lower rate. Also, even though the 99.7% block rate is not perfect, it is good enough to call the antivirus reliable.
Overall, even though Panda Dome cannot boast perfect independent labs score like Avast or Bitdefender, it is still a reliable software. Users can be sure the antivirus will guard their devices well.
Additional Protection Features
Sadly, Panda Dome doesn’t include the ransomware protection in the free and the cheapest plans. However, it is present in more expensive options. Also, with Advanced, Complete or Premium plan, you get the identity protection feature. It will prevent your confidential information from being stolen when shopping or conducting banking operations online.
However, when testing the feature for our Panda antivirus review, we have noticed that it doesn’t block all the malicious links. Therefore, we can’t say it can flawlessly protect users from phishing or other threats malicious websites bring.
For those who want to play more with the antivirus, Panda has an interesting feature for PC users. They can vaccinate their USB devices to reduce the possibility of future infections. Additionally, more expensive plans offer parental controls, data shield, and password manager.
Identity Theft Protection
ID theft is one of the biggest challenges of our time, but with Panda’s Identity Theft Protection module, you’ll be well-protected. Think of it as an additional layer of security that keeps any prying eyes at bay. To steal user data, hackers implement brand-new techniques that have little to do with phishing and ransomware.
So, to shop/bank online safely, you’ll need a modern-day ID theft protection tool. It allows the user to determine a transfer limit and set up an alert routine. That means the system will automatically send out a warning every time a transfer/withdrawal from your account goes over that limit.
There’s nothing hard about this: just let the professionals working on Panda do their job. During our test, we were pleased by how fast the notifications come and how helpful the staff is.
Panda Antivirus Performance
Let’s take a look at the performance test AV-Comparatives to run in April 2020. Panda got the 9th place among the twelve antiviruses that had little to no impact on the system. Therefore, this antivirus received the Advanced+ award from AV-Comparatives for the performance.
Panda didn’t slow down most of the operation except for archiving and unarchiving – these processes were a bit slower with Panda antivirus running. However, the impact is rather insignificant. Therefore, users most likely won’t even notice it.
AV-Test lab awarded 5 out of 6 points to Panda in the performance category. The antivirus slowed down the launch of popular websites by 12% on the standard PC and by 7% on the high end one. The launch of standard software was slower by 7%, which is not that significant, to be fair. However, the speed of installation of popular apps decreased by 44%.
As we were testing Panda Dome, we have experienced almost no slowdown even during scans. Still, some users may face a moderate impact on the system with Panda Dome. Of course, the performance depends on the capabilities of the device. Lab tests show that this antivirus software is lightweight but not the best one in terms of performance.
Ease of Use
During the installation, the user has to be attentive if they don’t want to get their search provider and default home page changed to Panda Safe Web. Although, you might want to accept these changes to enhance the safety of your online activity.
Additionally, the program will install Panda Smart Shopping. But users can opt out both from Safe Web and Smart Shopping. The installation process was quick, and we didn’t get any notifications about incompatible apps. The initial scan delayed the launch a bit, but then the main screen appeared, and we could start using the antivirus.
Looking at the amount of space and RAM Panda took, we can confirm that this software is genuinely lightweight. It requires only 124 MB for installed files and from 20 to 50 MB of RAM, which is much less than most antiviruses might require.
The interface is fairly pleasing – not many antivirus programs can satisfy users with a beautiful layout. So here Panda Dome receives an additional point from us. All the most important features are laid out on the main screen. Therefore, users won’t have to dive into sections to find what they need.
The Settings section appears as a separate window. All the functions here are organized into groups so that it is easy for users to go through them. If you’re not that tech-savvy, you can simply stick to the default configuration. But advanced users will be satisfied with the opportunity to customize the antivirus down to the smallest details.
Panda’s firewall is simple as well. It will only ask you to set the type of your WiFi network – Home, Work or Public. But again, for those who like to play with the customization, there are almost twenty different settings related to the firewall.
The Process Monitor will provide the user with information about all the current processes run on the device. Here you can again just leave everything as it is, or you can get your hands on the advanced configuration.
Panda Dome has standard scanning options: Full, Custom, and Critical Areas scan, which is basically a quick scan. Also, users can schedule scans to check the system in a convenient time. These scheduled scans can be customized as well to minimize the impact on the system while keeping the scanning process efficient.
As we were testing this antivirus, the initial Critical Areas scan took us almost five minutes. However, the second time we run the scan, it took less than two minutes.
Panda Antivirus Packages and Pricing
For those users who want just basic security, Panda offers a free plan that includes antivirus protection, a firewall and a free VPN with 150 MB of bandwidth per day. This plan is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Android (the best antivirus for Android here), but only Windows users will get real-time protection.
If you need more, check out the cheapest paid plan – Panda Dome Essential. With this one, real-time protection for Mac (the best antivirus for Mac) and Android is also available. It will also let you detect unknown devices connected to your WiFi network. Also, scanning external devices will become available along with the USB vaccination we mentioned before.
The Advanced plan adds Parental Controls, identity protection, and ransomware protection to all the features the previous plan offers. And if you need a more complex suite, you can opt for a Complete plan that will add Data Shield to encrypt the information, Password Manager and Cleanup Tool to the lineup of available features.
Finally, with the Premium plan, you will get an unlimited VPN in addition to the antivirus. Also, Premium customers have 24/7 access to technical support. It is fairly weird that you have to get the most expensive plan to have around-the-clock help, though. Many providers offer 24/7 support for all their customers.
Panda Dome Family
Looking to secure your family members while they’re surfing the web? The Dome Family service is more than just a basic set of parental controls. It’s no secret that kids these days have access to tablets/Smartphones, and it’s not easy to keep them away from dangerous content. Unauthorized purchases and mobile device addiction are also a big challenge.
With the help of Panda’s Dome Family tool, you’ll be able to follow every step your child takes online. The list of available features include a real-time GPS tracker, tracking of lost gadgets, mobile device control, app control, and a panic button. The tracker can also be used to keep an eye on the elders. The phone/app controller, in turn, allows setting up time limits.
The panic button is for kids to send their location to you (the parent) immediately. Add location history, detailed app usage reports, geo alerts, and remote deletion of sensitive data, and you’ll get a bargain. The price of a monthly subscription is $4, and the company provides a 30-day free trial.
The price of each Panda Dome plan depends on the number of devices you want to use under one account. We will list the costs for one device per subscription. Note that the prices increase with the number of gadgets.
- Essential – $44.24/year for the 1-year subscription (with 25% discount)
- Advanced – $53.24/year for the 1-year subscription (with 25% discount)
- Complete – $80.24/year for the 1-year subscription (with 25% discount)
- Premium – $125.24/year for the 1-year subscription (with 25% discount)
All the plans come with a 30-day trial, so the first month is free. Also, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee if you change your mind after getting a paid subscription.
If you go for a yearly plan, you will save 25%.
If you need any help, you can contact the Panda support team by submitting a ticket. You should expect the response within 24 hours. It is relatively slow, and many of Panda’s rivals offer more swift support. However, you might find answers to your questions on the forum or in the extensive library on Panda’s website.
Premium customers get 24/7 access to the support team via phone and chat. They can get remote help with a tune-up, virus removal, and other maintenance processes. Such support is no doubt great, but, unfortunately, you can have it only if you buy the most expensive plan.
If you want to contact Customer Support department, use the following phone number:
- 1 (202) 629 9355 (home)
Alternatives to Panda Antivirus
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