This year, Panda offers two distinct antivirus products. To compare with other products tested and reviewed by CNET this year, we chose the Panda Antivirus 2008. A second product, Panda Antivirus plus Firewall 2008 was not reviewed. The $39.95 price for a three-user license is at the low end, which is good. However, when compared with the also economical BitDefender Antivirus 2008, Panda comes up short, lacking some features and, more importantly, similar test results. Panda is slower and is mostly unrated in independent, third-party antivirus test results. If you're looking for economy, chose BitDefender. If you're looking for the best antivirus product for 2008, we recommend Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2008, our Editors' Choice.
Panda Antivirus 2008 includes three PC licenses for $39.95. By comparison, BitDefender Antivirus offers its three-user license for $29.95. Kaspersky offers a single license at $49.95 and charges $59.95 for its three-user license. Panda Antivirus 2008 runs on Windows 2000, XP, and Vista, while Norton AntiVirus 2008 works only on XP and Vista.
After downloading the 35MB file, Panda performs an initial scan of your system, and in our case, found eight different examples of spyware. Unfortunately, Panda didn't tell us precisely what spyware it found; only that it deleted it. Later, we could find no record of this scan for reference, although we did find subsequent log files of spyware that had been removed. We prefer to have control over what is quarantined or removed from our machine, and wish Panda had provided us with more information.
Should you want to remove Panda Antivirus 2008, there is an uninstall wizard available. Upon reboot, we did not find any traces of Panda left on our machine.
Compared to the interfaces found with other antivirus products, Panda Antivirus 2008 is simple, even cartoonish: bright, contrasting colors, with basic graphics; as though Fisher-Price made antivirus interfaces for kids. We were, however, pleased to find configuration options within easy reach.
During a manual scan, we were unable to open other features of the program, something we could do in other antivirus apps.
Panda Antivirus 2008 includes TruPrevent, Panda's heuristic engine that proactively blocks viruses. However, it blocks only viruses. The full version of TruPrevent, which blocks other forms of malware as well, is available in the Panda Antivirus and Firewall and Panda Internet Security products.