Maximum PC Staff Apr 15, 2010

Panda Internet Security 2010

At A Glance

The Good

Shredded every test threat we threw at it. Generates security statistics roundup.

The Bad

Lots of alerts. Slow scan time.

Pandas aren't known for their speed, and neither is this one

Panda shredded every threat we threw at it with the ferocity of, well, anything but a panda bear. Spyware, Trojans, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs)—you name it, Panda pounced on it like a hungry dog that had been thrown a meaty bone.

This particular Panda can also be a little bit needy. By default, Panda alerts you to every activity under the sun, even benign attempts by your home network to connect to your PC. Over time, the pop-ups settle down considerably, and for the ones of a more serious nature—like those alerting you to a real threat or virus attack—Panda makes it easy to adjust both the transparency and longevity of the pop-ups. Still, we wish Panda would take more initiative and not bother us with so many alerts.

Need proof your roommate's surfing habits are putting your PC at risk? Show him with Panda's pie charts.

While Panda put up a seemingly impenetrable wall, we can’t help but be peeved with its performance. Panda’s 13-and-a-half-minute scan time trended toward the back of the pack, and whatever concessions are taking place under the hood to reduce subsequent scans, it isn’t enough. Panda only knocked a little more than two minutes off its time during a second run, putting it in second-to-last place, trailing only Avast!’s abysmal half-hour sweep. Panda also added 24 seconds to our boot time, a full seven seconds longer than the average, and another second-to-last place qualifier.

Armchair auditors will love how Panda lays out security statistics, showing you exactly what kind of threats your computing habits tend to attract and even arranging them in a pie chart. We also dig the ability to password-protect certain security features, ensuring a disgruntled coworker doesn’t leave your system vulnerable.

If fast scans and optimized boot times are of no consequence, Panda quickly becomes a top-three favorite. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

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Panda Internet Security 2010

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