Real World Review: Panda Cloud Antivirus Pro 3

If you are using a netbook the chances are that you are looking for a reasonably resource light virus scanner. On the face of it Panda Cloud offers this as it uses cloud technology to scan for viruses on your computer – which should reduce the burden on your computer. In essence it sends information about the files to Panda’s servers then either you get the all clear or an alert. That is the theory at least and until now I had been pretty happy with it. Until that was I actually downloaded a free PDF to Word conversion tool from download.com. There is no doubt that I probably clicked one too many agrees; the net result was that Panda totally failed to detect anything until it was too late. Too late in fact to even prevent the newly installed viruses/malwares from switching off Panda so as to allow themselves to install yet more rubbish on my netbook.  I would have thought that a scanner should detect when viruses actually arrive on your computer but Panda Cloud totally failed to do so, with the result that when I was briefly able to run a scan 235 warnings appeared on the computer. What’s more these viruses could not have been there before as I had regularly run scans and until then had never installed anything from a download site. Indeed as I have Linux on the same netbook I rarely used Windows. However, even before this I had some reservations about Panda Cloud since the update. Also I did another check with the EICAR test virus and when this is double compressed it also failed to detect it.  In the end I had to dump it and used a dedicated malware removal tool then installed Bitdefender instead, which I will now try for 30 days.

Advantages

  • Small footprint so in theory faster (old versions were slick and fast)
  • USB key scanning
  • Wifi hotspot monitor to see if others are doing nasty things on your connection
  • Very simple so you rarely struggle with settings
  • Firewall settings easy to use

Disadvantages

  • The new Windows 8 look and feel seems really slow on netbooks
  • Poor real-time protection especially during software downloads/installs
  • Very slow full scans
  • Firewall is apparently not that good
  • Uses community driven data to detect viruses but this means it is really “known” threats only and probably not good at predicting likely threats.
  • Not good at removing pre-existing problems
  • Failed to detect EICAR test virus under certain conditions

If you would like more information on the effectiveness of various virus scanners then check out the related articles link below.

About Rod McCall

Rod McCall is a researcher in the field of human-computer interaction in areas such as augmented reality, mobile gaming in-car systems and virtual environments. He has a passing interest in economics after not being entirely convinced by the rubbish presented as fact during lectures on that particular subject while at uni.
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