Panda Antivirus Expert Review
Table of contents
Panda Dome is a near-perfect antivirus that is easy to use. The company has crammed in a lot of useful features in each plan to ensure you gain access to comprehensive protection from malware, viruses, and hackers.
Although we didn’t like the interface and icons when compared to peers, the company does offer advanced security and premium support alongside proven lab results to add to its credibility. While it may not stand out from the competition much, it definitely has the potential to compete with industry leaders.
Overview of Panda Antivirus
Panda Security is a well-known antivirus company that was launched with the name Panda Software in 1990. The company launched Panda Dome in January 2019. It has some amazing features like cross-platform protection, a free VPN, Wi-Fi network protection, parental control, identity protection, data shield, advanced threat protection, password manager, and a cleanup tool along with a few other valuable features.
The product has proved its potential in the recent test results and offers reliable security. The pricing, however, seems to be one of the major concerns.
For instance, 1-device protection on their lowest plan “Essential” costs $44.24 for the 1st year. At a price lower than this, we can get 5-device protection on the top-tier Trend Micro plan.
How to Set It Up and Uninstall
Installing the software is extremely easy. Before downloading Panda, make sure your device meets the minimum requirements. Next, handle the following to set it up:
1) Go to the official website and download the package.
2) Once downloaded, select the desired options and click on Accept & Install.
3) Once the installation is completed, you need to enter the Activation Code to fully activate the product and its features (the code is sent on your registered email).
4) After successful validation, you’re ready to use Panda Dome. The initial scan will take some time after the installation is complete.
Uninstalling the product from your Windows device is simple as well.
1) From the Menu, open Apps and Features
2) Select the program.
3) Click Uninstall.
4) Reboot the device when prompted.
Panda Dome has all the makings of a great antivirus. It is feature-laden, easy to use, and provides round the clock security for unlimited devices. Some of the distinguishing features of the premium plan are Parental controls, VPN, Process Monitor, full-fledged antivirus, malware protection, safe browsing, password manager, and a firewall. An area for improvement though is the VPN, especially because it is offered through a third-party.
Overall, it represents a good, well-rounded product, but doesn’t match up to the likes of Bitdefender or Norton.
|Money-back Guarantee||Yes, up to 30 days from the date of purchase.|
|Platform||Windows, MacOS, Android|
|USD Virus Scans||Yes|
|Automated Virus Scans||Yes|
There are 3 scan modes available including full scan, custom scan, and another called “Critical Areas Scan”. This allows quick analysis and specialized or personalized scanning based on your needs. While running detailed scans, we realized that the software doesn’t consume many system resources compared to most other products, however, we noticed a minimum increase in CPU utilization over idle mode.
After the scan is over and the files that are possibly corrupted are removed the solution stops on its own. It can detect malware and ransomware along with other malicious files and folders easily.
|Plan||Price||Number of Devices|
|Panda Dome Essential||$44.24/1st year||1||Antivirus Protection, Wi-Fi Protection, Free VPN (150 MB/Day)|
|Panda Dome Advanced||$53.24/1st year||1||Identity Protection, Parental Control, USB Scan|
|Panda Dome Complete||$80.24/1st year||1||Password Manager, Data Shield, Ransomware Protection.|
|Panda Dome Premium||$125.21/1st year||1||Premium Support, Premium VPN, Clean Up Tool.|
Of all the products we reviewed, Panda Dome has the most complicated pricing structure. There are 4 plans to choose from, and each has different pricing based on your selection of devices. Every new customer is eligible for a 25% discount on the 1st year cost if they subscribe to an annual plan.
For instance, the basic ‘Essential’ plan costs $44.24 for the 1st year for 1 device, $53.24 for 3, $62.24 for 5, $80.24 for 10, and $89.24 for unlimited devices. We think the Complete package is one of the most value-added options if you’re seeking to protect 5 devices ($98.24 for the 1st year).
Privacy and Security
The software offers enough features to keep your devices and history private and safe from all types of threats, be it online or offline. The Data Shield is a great feature, still, it is not enabled by default. Another exceptional feature is the Wi-Fi Protection which gives you smart home monitoring access.
Though it is not as user-friendly as Bullguard or ESET, it still does a commendable job. You get a firewall and a VPN as well for enhanced privacy. There isn’t a dedicated browser, but the extensions do the job. We valued the identity protection feature for extended privacy while shopping, browsing, and banking online.
Panda claims to offer 100% virus detection rates. Additional features like Virtual Keyboard and Rescue Kit helps it in standing out from the competition. The real-time scanning detects and removes malware, viruses, and ransomware around the clock.
Moreover, parental controls, firewall, password manager, and data shield are essential features that make sure your device and data are secured from all threats.
The product was last tested by AV-Test in December 2018 where it scored a cumulative 17/18 score and was able to detect 100% of the 0-day malware samples used – better than the average industry score of 99.6%.
Performance and Protection
Panda is undoubtedly one of the most lightweight antiviruses. It doesn’t consume many system resources and runs almost undetected in the background.
The company was part of the October 2019 Performance Test organized by AV-Comparatives alongside 15 other products. It received the AV-Comparatives ADVANCED+ rating with an impact score of 9, thus placing itself with well-acclaimed brands like AVG and Avast.
The antivirus module helps you identify and prevent malware and cyber threats through extensive customizations. The Panda Dome will block potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), either use or refuse to use behavioral blocking and review or compare contaminated files with samples from the Panda Security Cloud in real-time to detect and remove malware threats.
In the September 2019 Malware Protection test by AV-Comparatives, it was able to block 99.9% of 10,556 malware samples but had a relatively higher number of false positives.
Disappointingly, you won’t receive ransomware detection with the lower plans, which we think is a major drawback. The scanners can detect and quarantine threats in real-time, which is a bonus. We found the URL blocking feature to be rather basic, but the combination of the firewall and VPN ensures you are kept safe from ransomware.
The added functionalities of a browser extension, identity protection, and data shield also give you the extra protection you need to stay protected both online and offline.
Other than the VPN offered with the premium plan, the product offers an average phishing URL detection rate. It doesn’t have email scanning or anti-spam features but has a separate extension called Safe Web which features a plethora of options like tracker blocker, ad blocker, web health monitor, and more. Identity protection is another great feature that fires up when you browse, shop, or transact online.
The product received a decent ADVANCED rating in the October 2019 AV-Comparatives Real-World Protection Test, placing it above F-Secure and ESET.
In addition to real-time detection, one of the stand-out features of Panda is the Virtual Keyboard feature. It is a keyboard program to stop keyloggers from siphoning credit card details or confidential logins as you type them in. The browser extension has handy features like tracking blocker, ad blocker, and suck for added spyware protection.
The Process Monitor gives you a detailed view of what is blocked and what is allowed. That being said, we found the antivirus to provide efficient protection, but it needs tweaking to match up the protection level of top performers like Avira and F-Secure.
The firewall is easy to configure. It allows you to add basic settings alongside 18+ related settings so you can have full control of the apps that use the network. The software allows you to configure the programs for which the firewall offers the green light while connecting to the outside via the ports of the device.
We liked the fact that it gives complete control over the functionality compared to most other products. While you won’t get advanced features like two-way protection, it still does a commendable job.
Lab Test Results
Panda has proven its worth in the recent independent lab test results. It received two ADVANCED+ and three ADVANCED ratings in the 2019 AV-Comparatives yearly summary results based on all tests throughout the year. In the 2019 Real-World Protection Test, it received an ADVANCED rating with an overall blocking rate of 99.6% (703 samples). However, the product raised a lot of false alarms (12) compared to Kaspersky or Avira.
The company last appeared in the November to December 2018 AV-Test Product Review and Certification Report where it scored a total of 16.5/18 on three parameters – Protection (6), Performance (5), and Usability (5.5). Panda is known to be extremely lightweight on the system and it was proven by the test results of the AV-Comparatives October 2019 Performance Test. It had an impact score of 9 and was awarded the ADVANCED+ rating.
It also had a decent score in the same lab’s September 2019 Malware Protection Test where it had a 99.99% online protection rate. It was the 4th-best score where Avast, AVG and Trend Micro led the charts with 100% rates. However, the product was only able to get an ADVANCED rating because of the high false positives (21 cases).
Ease of Use and Interface
Panda is a lightweight package with an installer that’s just 2MB in size. The initial installation time is fast and takes 2-3 minutes at most. We liked the fact that the software allows you to tweak browser settings before installation.
The UI is easy and simple to navigate, but we found it to be extremely cluttered with large iOS-style icons.
The interface uses a changeable background for added visual appeal, but it leaves out a lot of white space on the top which forces a lot of options to fit on the bottom part of the dashboard. Nonetheless, we must admit that all of the important features are neatly laid out and can be easily accessed.
Clicking on Settings opens up a new tab. All the functions here are organized into groups, so users can easily go through them. If you aren't that tech-savvy, you can just stick to the default setup. But advanced users will be happy with the chance to customize the antivirus to the smallest details.
When you open the main screen, you can find every feature and tool you have and the immediate status of each. Clicking on each icon allows you to find more settings and specific features. Ultimately, we found the new interface makes it much easier to locate everything you need.
Panda offers a comprehensive technical and customer support network including phone, email and online chat services. The company has an extensive online resource library and dedicated forums wherein FAQs and how-to guides are aptly categorized.
The company also provides 24/7/365 service for premium clients over the following channels: phone assistance, remote computer takeover, remote virus removal & tune-up, and complete system maintenance. The main support page includes regular and premium phone support numbers and a guide to the email form.
We checked for more details and found that the company isn’t BBB accredited and has a D- rating on their profile. Yet, they have a claimed profile on Trustpilot and have a good TrustScore of 4.4/5 based on 5,283 customer reviews.