A number of the top companies producing antivirus software have free versions available. They’re just not always apparent when you go to their website since they’d rather have you purchase a bigger security suite. Here, we will review Panda Free Antivirus 2016 so you don’t have to.
Design and features
Panda has redone the look of both their free and paid-for antivirus software. The home screen has a fresh design, featuring tiles for process monitoring, scan statistics, USB protection, and a link to the dashboard.
Both process monitoring and USB protection are unusual features in an antivirus program. When a USB device is plugged in, apps are prevented from launching automatically, and file contents are analyzed for malware. Process monitoring, on the other hand, offers an interface that’s less complicated than Windows Task Manager.
Scanning with Panda Free Antivirus 2016
Panda has made much fanfare about its claim to run the majority of its scans in the cloud. This is a feature being increasingly copied by competitors, however, and our tests showed no evidence of big changes.
Scanning 50 GB took just a few minutes under 2 hours for a scan of 455,748 files. However, this isn’t something to worry about. During the initial scan, many AV programs form a blueprint of the files, which allows the program to know which files don’t need to be retested unless they’ve had changes made in between scans.
Something that was unexpected, however, was how long our following scan took. It was 1 hour 17 minutes to scan the same group of files. This clearly indicates there wasn’t much blueprinting done, and lots of files are being retested by the software.
General antivirus performance
As for protection, which is debatably the most crucial element of any antivirus software, we found it adequate and ready to safeguard your system. Regarding false warnings, detections, and blockages of valid software, Panda generated 3 false positives from the 1.1 million of reviewed samples. Looking for performance hiccups, the test detected a two-second slowdown, with the industry average of three seconds.
Overall, Panda is among the leading providers of antivirus software, and their free version incorporates a few interesting extra features. While we felt surprised at how long the initial and secondary test scans took, the levels of protection Panda provides are reliable and the program is easy to install.