Panda also allows users to create a rescue disk, a bootable disk to be used in case of an emergency. These used to be included with security products years ago, then went out of vogue.
There are some inconsistencies. For example, within Vulnerabilities, in contacting Microsoft for latest updates, Panda uses Internet Explorer. However, for technical support issues, it opens your default browser, which in our case is Firefox.
Missing are any security-related utilities, such as a secure data deletion option.
Panda Internet Security 2009 did very well in CNET Labs' performance tests and improved effectiveness in third-party, independent antivirus testing using live viruses. On our iTunes test, Panda Internet Security 2009 came in at 271 seconds--2 seconds above our test system. On our Microsoft Office test, Panda Internet Security 2009 was fast, at 1,413 seconds. For individual file scans, Panda Internet Security 2009 came in fast, at an amazing 171 seconds. But in boot speed, Panda Internet Security 2009 was sluggish compared with the competition, at 39 seconds. To find out how we test, see CNET Labs' How we test: software: Antivirus page.
In terms of protecting your PC, we refer readers to leading independent antivirus testing organizations. In the latest test results from AV-test.org, Panda Internet Security 2009 scored 91.8 in malware prevention and 95.6 in spyware prevention. In that same test, Panda Internet Security 2008 scored 86.4 and 93.4, respectively. Panda has not been tested by AV-Comparatives.org recently. Meanwhile, Panda Internet Security earned CheckVir.com's Standard rating, meaning only antivirus detection--and not antivirus removal--was tested.
Panda lacks the technical support of its competition. Although there is a good in-program Help file, e-mail support, and some online knowledgebase information, missing are several important components to good technical support. Currently Panda lacks an online forum, a tutorial, and any online documentation beyond a pithy Quick Start guide. While multiple license holders receive a technical support telephone number, home users do not.
While this release marks a welcome change, it is not perfect. In the future, we'd like to see better technical support--certainly an online manual and a user forum.