Panda Antivirus Pro 2016 Review
Panda Security as a company stands out as one of the most dominant antivirus software vendors in the market today. This is due to the fact that Panda Antivirus Pro 2016 offers a handful of features including automatic scanning of USB, rescue disc tool and a firewall. When it comes to performance and protection, the antivirus program races among the best programs, as rated by AV-Test.
According to tests ran by AV-Test, this antivirus program offered splendid performance in stopping attacks by malware. However, it successfully did so by slightly reducing the performance of the PC used in the test. The antivirus scored high points on tests ran to determine if it can accurately distinguish between bad and good files.
The program can accurately distinguish between unknown and known malware threats and give you the chance to decide what to do with them. It also scans browsers, files and instant messages for threats. There’s also an option to choose whether the events should be recorded in an event log. Moreover, you can decide the threat types that you want detected including jokes, dialers, hacking tools, viruses and spyware.
When it comes to protecting the PC against threats of unknown type, heuristic scans and behavioral analysis can be enabled. The antivirus program simply offers so many invaluable features that any user can find extremely important. It extends quite impressive features for the free version. Let’s have a look at the program in depth.
Features of Panda Antivirus Pro 2016
Vendors of antivirus programs offering antivirus protection software for free should find a way of encouraging their consumers to purchase their premium products. And this program developer seems to have it right. The Panda Antivirus Pro 2016 has a number of essential features that are not found in the free edition of the software.
Among those features include firewall protection and free license for Android Security suite. Those using the software for commercial purposes are not allowed to utilize the free version of the software.
Similar to the free version, this antivirus program boasts of an interface that is completely different from its predecessor. Both the free and pro versions of this antivirus protection had brilliantly colored buttons on a dark themed background. As for this version, the program has a white background and with buttons that have subdued color palette, blue shades for free version and green shades for the Pro.
There’s one large panel that reflects the existing security status and simple statistics for most recent activities of the antivirus program. There are buttons of different tints and sizes offering access to the numerous features of the product other than security features. There are 3 button pages which you can drag to different locations, with your favorites on the initial page.
The lab tests
This antivirus protection company actually takes part in the most stringent and innovative testing labs. The program gets good score in overall, though not as high as compared to other antivirus protections such as Bitdefender. Antivirus Plus 2015.
Under hands-on malware blocking test, the program scored highly, earning 8.8 out of 10 points. In malicious URL blocking test, the antivirus protection also gave a splendid performance. However, when challenged to identify and block the access to phishing sites, the program didn’t offer a good performance.
The shared features
When it comes to providing free protection, the company does not hold back. The Panda Free Antivirus 2016 actually does all things that an antivirus protection should. The Pro edition has all the features of the free version, plus other advanced functionalities that distinguish the paid version from the free one.
The free version however does have plenty of useful extra features. For instance, it can be used to in creating bootable rescue kit and removing most of the persistent malware. It also links to ActiveScan and Panda Cloud Cleaner. The free version’s Toolbar Cleaner can root out all unwanted toolbars on browsers while Process Monitor monitors processes that try to connect to iffy sites.
It also runs a USB drive scan immediately on insertion and render ineffective any malware than can be transmitted by USB drives. You actually get so much more for free! Take note that these features are also available in the Pro version as well.
The free version had Process Monitor which monitors how applications use internet. Now the Pro version has Application Control on top of that. This feature checks each application launched for trustworthiness. No problem for those applications that are known and trustworthy. As for the exception, the program will ask you to choose whether the application should execute or not.
Just like with many other features, when you first open this feature, you’ll be taken through a 3 step wizard in order to see its importance. After that, every unknown program that runs on your PC must get your approval when it gets executed for the first time. Of course, if it’s something that you don’t recognize and never intended to launch, you deny it access with immediate effect!
You can as well configure it to deny access to all unknown programs without asking. If you are the type of guy which rarely installs new programs, it’s then advisable to enable this feature. That way, any program of unknown origin will get blocked instantly when it tries to execute.
The free version of the antivirus program has a Personal firewall icon. However, clicking it will simply open up an upgrade page for you to purchase the Pro version. That therefore means that the feature is fully active in the pro version.
One simple task performed by this firewall is putting all the ports of the PC in a stealth mode. This way, they won’t be visible from the outside. Considering Windows Firewall, it does this job just fine. On the other hand, Kaspersky does not bother with it, since it considers blocking the actual attacks. As for this antivirus protection, well, it simply stealth all the ports, but fails to complete the job.
The early versions of personal firewalls had their own reputation for distracting users with plenty of pop up queries that were incomprehensible. Thankfully, this antivirus protection program does not do that. However, rather than monitoring the internet activity actively like other programs such as Norton do, Panda instead allows all the outbound traffics to go unmolested. Any program that is not trusted that tries to initiate incoming connections should activate firewall query, however, this feature cannot be brought into action with this program.
The program does not expose Registry settings which can allow any malicious program to turn off the firewall. Neither can such a program destroy the essential processes of the antivirus. In general, the firewall protection on the pro version is simply a bonus feature, not a crucial component. That’s quite understandable since it has a number of limitations.
This feature is quite useful. It will issue a warning when you try connecting to Wi-Fi connection with security issues. Naturally, a connection without an encryption is a security issue. However, the antivirus program examines several other factors before rating a network as either low or medium security. However, if a warning is issued but you still go ahead to connect to it, the program adds the connection to its list of exclusions.
You will also get notified when an unknown device gets connected to your computer via the network. If you can’t identify the device or did not initiate such a connection, you’ll get the option to mark the device as an impostor and shield it from further access.
The program’s virtual keyboard gives you the opportunity to key in passwords and other confidential information without exposure to the risk of capture by keyloggers. It does it well, but is dated-looking when compared to the product.
On the second page of the program, there is PC Tuneup and Data Shield features. However, they are not part of the antivirus and clicking any of them will open up an upgrade to full security suite invitation.
You also get a premium protection for a single android device through your pro subscription for one device. This is a nice feature as the Android protection gives you a number of interesting features.
Click the button with the label “Protect more devices” to get started. Do note that, even though the opened page has Mac OS, iOS and Android mentioned, only Android is featured. Premium protection is not available for Mac OS, unless a complete security suite upgrade is done.
The Mobile Security is first installed as free version, but when launching you are asked if you’ve got the registration code. Click the button labelled My Products in the antivirus’ window then copy the revealed registration code to the android device. Now you are fully protected.
A full scan on android device runs pretty faster. New apps are also scanned on installation. Anti-theft functionalities such as lock, wipe and remote locate plus several others are also included. If anyone gets your mobile device and tries to unlock, you’ll be able to find out as the Mobile Security will capture a photo of the person and email it to you after 3 unsuccessful attempts.
If you need to leave your android device briefly unattended to, there is a Motion Alert feature which can be enabled. Anyone one picking the device should unlock it very fast because an annoying alarm sound will start blaring and will continue until a correct code to unlock the device is entered.
There’s also the Privacy Auditor feature that scans all apps and highlights those that are a potential source of breach to privacy. The component also lists all the apps that access accounts, track location, access media, access contacts, access network and storage. By simply tapping these categories, you’ll be able to see all the apps under that particular category. You also have the option to uninstall those apps that appear to be suspicious by the click of a button.
Task Killer is a component that lists all the tasks that are running on your device, lists how much CPU and memory each task is using and gives you the opportunity to terminate virtually any task.
Generally, the Mobile Security feature for Android is a really nice feature. It’s a bonus to those using one PC and a single Android device.
Panda Antivirus Pro 2016 is a fully effective antivirus program that protects PCs fully against any malware attacks. However, it lacks some features that are found in top antivirus programs such as a fully effective firewall.
The program’s firewall protection is effective, but not that much effective as it failed in certain tests. Rather it is best considered as a bonus feature on the pro version and among the things that separates it from the free version.
Generally, the antivirus program is magnificent as it scored highly both on tests ran by AV-Test and in hands-on tests. It ranked among the top antivirus protection programs in the AV-Test. Moreover, the company also participates in a number of tests by leading testing labs and this gives it a good stand in the market. It’s a good antivirus protection that any average user can have.
- Effective and instant USB scan to detect threats and disable autorun on removable storage devices.
- Heuristic scans and behavioral analysis for the unknown threats and malware.
- Strong power to distinguish between unknown and known threats.
- Scanning of internet browsers, files and instant messages with a choice of action to the user.
- Excellent features included, such as rescue disk tool.
- High performance and does not affect the performance of PC.
- The firewall feature is rather a bonus feature.
- Premium support requires additional fees.