capsule review

Panda Antivirus 2007

At a Glance
  • Panda Antivirus 2007

    PCWorld Rating

Panda Antivirus 2007's middle-of-the-road malware detection results, inadequate default settings, and poor disinfection performance offset its useful features and attractive pricing to produce an unimpressive fifth-place ranking in "Virus Stoppers," our roundup of eight stand-alone antivirus programs.

The app caught 90 percent of AV-Test.org's nearly 900,000-strong collection of malware samples, a detection rate that was dragged down by a relatively poor showing at catching Trojan horses (87 percent) and back doors (86 percent), two increasingly common types of malware. By comparison, top programs caught 96 percent. Panda ranked third in our tests for proactive detection, however, catching 56 percent of new samples with one-month-old signatures.

Unfortunately, several important features are turned off by default. You'll need to enable e-mail scanning yourself in a complicated process that sends you to the Windows Control Panel. Protection against "potentially dangerous files," a euphemism for the adware and other junk normally caught by antispyware software, is also turned off, and you'll need to schedule your own full-system scan.

Once you turn on these features, Panda Antivirus scans will cover a good range of e-mail and news protocols--POP3, SMTP, IMAP4, NNTP--along with Web traffic. It flags suspected phishing e-mail sent over POP3 and SMTP, and integrates with Yahoo, MSN, and AOL IM applications.

Panda Antivirus 2007 scored poorly in disinfection tests. It missed one existing infection entirely, and failed to clean up another's changes to the Hosts and Registry files. Including less-important Registry changes, it scrubbed up just 41 percent of the infections. And after we uninstalled it, Panda left behind a stray .dll file that some other antivirus programs then flagged as potentially suspicious.

At $30 for two PCs (there is no single-license rate), Panda Antivirus 2007 is among the most affordable programs we tested, but unlike most apps, it offers no renewal discount. And mark your calendar when you make tech-support calls: The company offers free telephone support only for the first 30 days; after that a call costs $20.

We tested the Vista version of Panda Antivirus 2007 for our "Virus Stoppers" roundup. An XP version of the software is also available.

Ryan Naraine

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Pros

    • Inexpensive
    • Low system impact

    Cons

    • Unable to disinfect some viruses
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