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Panda Global Protection 2009 review

Verdict:

Eats, shoots and leaves your PC safe. An advanced suite with good performance.

Review Date: 17 Oct 2008

Price when reviewed: inc VAT

Reviewed By: Andy Zarkesh

Our Rating 4 stars out of 5

Installation: Installation was quick and easy, and we encountered no problems during setup. Panda configured its firewall silently, without any user intervention, and there were no pop-up program access alerts.

Ease of use: This suite has gained a much needed speed increase since the previous version. Its startup and control panel loading times still lag behind the quickest, though. Panda's interface has also improved, and makes it easy to access the virus and spyware scanner, PC tune-up tasks and updater settings. Only the essential features are accessible from the main panel, and configuring them is simple thanks to the well thought-out settings window.

Fraud protection: Panda provides a phishing filter, a personal data filter, and the ability to detect rogue diallers (only relevant if you use an old-fashioned modem). Although the phishing filter failed to detect our fake site, its personal data filter was the only example to offer the option to protect addresses and telephone numbers.

Anti-virus performance: This suite deploys 'in the cloud' virus detection, previously only seen in high-end business anti-virus products. Each time a threat is detected on a Panda user's PC, it contributes to the remote database of malware on Panda's servers, which in turn is used to enhance the detection rate of future scans, as those servers are contacted first. It also reduces the bandwidth usage of your PC. Surprisingly, Panda doesn't enter its suite into testing for the VB100 award; the 2008 version passed the West Coast Labs certification, but there are no results for this version as yet. In our own testing, all our sample virus files were intercepted and removed immediately.

Firewall: The firewall offers the ability to apply individual settings for each network you access. This is especially useful if you use a laptop in multiple locations. Setting specific rules for any program on your PC is just a case of selecting a permission from a drop-down list next to the program name. Advanced users can even fine-tune permissions by specifying an Internet port and protocol to use.

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