Panda Platinum 2006 Internet Security review

Price when reviewed

Panda’s central management console isn’t our favourite here, as it requires you to dig deep to find the configuration dialog you’re looking for. However, we do like the self-diagnosis system, which checks the security health of your PC and reports back on what needs fixing. A green dialog represents a clean bill of health, and this is usually only a click or two away. It’s a good idea, as is the CPU load-management option. This is designed to cut back CPU usage during scans to reduce the impact upon other apps. Toggle it on when you want to work on other things during scans, then off again when you’re done. Or that’s the theory. We found using both Internet Explorer and Microsoft Word during a scan was an unpleasantly slow process.

Things didn’t improve much in our Labs tests. Like most security suites here, it couldn’t pass our tough spyware tests, but although detection wasn’t brilliant at 66 per cent, removal of 78 per cent and blocking of 73 per cent is nothing to be ashamed of. Our main gripe was again that many of the configuration options were hard to find. On the plus side, the ability to store default browser settings, such as home and search preferences, is something usually only found in standalone clients. If malware did manage to hijack your browser, restoring it to your preferred state is just a click away.

Parental controls can be set on a per-user basis, and the web filtering functioned perfectly in our tests, as did the firewall. This worked almost transparently and required little user interaction. It even comes with Wi-Fi protection to detect and block intrusion attempts via the wireless route. Anti-virus success was almost a given thanks to the maturity of Panda’s TruPrevent heuristic technologies and standing in the anti-virus world.

However, things went a bit pear-shaped in our anti-spam tests. The scanning of email within Outlook was so slow we thought it had broken the email client. The results were poor too, with a detection rate of 88 per cent and 1.9 per cent false positives not enough to pass. Like last year, Panda’s overall performance isn’t quite good enough to impress, despite some innovative features and strong anti-virus abilities.

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