PandaAntivirus 2007 review

Price when reviewed

Upfront, Panda is a likeable package. At just £14 per year for a two-user licence, it’s among the most affordable of the commercial antivirus packages on test this month. In use, its user interface is admirably clean and responsive: we appreciated the quick, simple installation, the sensible “don’t show this again” options on alerts, and low CPU usage during scanning.

PandaAntivirus 2007 review

Unfortunately, such excellent early impressions didn’t last long. In our tests, Panda achieved the unenviable distinction of being the only package to actually crash while scanning email, resulting in the majority of our infected emails reaching our inbox without ever being inspected. Panda’s user forums and technical support team suggest this was a freak occurrence, although it afflicted us identically on both XP and Vista systems.

To work around this problem, we re-imaged the system, copied our full range of malware onto the hard disk and ran a complete system scan. The results were barely more encouraging than the email test: Panda managed to identify just 60% of the threats on our system, giving the green light to executables including variants of the Hidrag virus, the Magistr Outlook virus and the Joiner trojan. This result put Panda Antivirus squarely in last place out of this month’s 13 competitors.

It would have been nice to be able to recommend Panda as a friendly, affordable option but, ultimately, if an antivirus package doesn’t detect viruses then the lowest price in the world can’t make it good value. If you’re on a tight budget, any of the free solutions will do a better job of protecting your system.

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