Panda Security’s unique approach to malware detection and mitigation lies in its Collective Intelligence technology, where millions upon millions of Panda users actively share malware-related information that provides significantly improved protection over traditional antivirus applications relying solely on malicious file signatures. With Panda Antivirus Pro, Panda Security gives you the option to completely protect your PC against all forms of malware both online and offline. Whether it’s blocking applications to protect yourself against zero-day exploits, preventing espionage attempts via customized firewall settings, or cleaning out severely infected PCs using USB rescue kits, Panda Antivirus Pro lets you do it.
Intuitive User Interface
Panda Antivirus spreads out all available options in tiled-icon format between two separate screens. The initial screen features a large tile labeled “Antivirus” that displays a number of basic statistics — Quarantined Files, Scanned Files, and Blocked Threats — while other options present include Scan, Wi-Fi Protection, and Other Devices. The secondary screen displays optional features such as Personal Firewall, Process Monitor, Safe Browsing, Rescue Kit, etc. To stop the hassle of switching between both screens, the user interface includes an additional third screen that you can fully customize by inserting whatever features that you access the most. Further, a dedicated “Settings” panel gives you access to various options that let you further customize the behaviors of each function within the application.
Scanning for Malware
Featuring up to three different scanning modes, Panda Antivirus Pro makes searching for malware as convenient as possible. With the default Full Scan mode, you can make Panda Antivirus Pro perform a clean sweep of your computer — while Full Scan does take a long time to complete, it has the potential to detect viruses hidden away in the various folders and partitions of your computer. Custom Scan, on the other hand, saves you time by scanning only files, folders, and partitions of your own choosing. The third-mode, Critical Areas, gives you the option to instantly scan critical components and files — system memory, active processes, browser cookies, etc. — that are most likely to be under threat from spyware, trojans, and rootkits.
Scheduled Scanning Sessions
In addition to the multiple manual scanning modes available at your disposal, Panda Antivirus Pro also features the option that allows you to schedule scanning sessions to occur either once or recur over multiple times hourly, daily, weekly, etc. Further, you can select the exact scanning mode — Full Scan, Custom Scan, or Critical Areas — that you want the application to use during these sessions, exclude certain files and folders from being scanned, and even specify the exact type of the malware that you want detected — spyware, hacking tools, potentially unwanted programs, etc.
Complete Application Control
Panda Antivirus Pro includes a unique feature called Application Control that allows you to directly control how each installed application runs on your PC. By specifying whether to allow or deny applications from running, you can, for example, minimize the damage from zero-day exploits by manually blocking malicious executables before they go rampant. Meanwhile, Panda Antivirus Pro uses advanced sandboxing features to isolate malware and prevent file infections from spreading to other parts of your PC.
Highly Customizable Firewall
With the Personal Firewall feature, Panda Antivirus Pro actively monitors all connections to and from your PC, and notifies you of any malicious activity while simultaneously blocking suspicious data transmissions. You can also configure the rules for each application — enable or disable incoming/outgoing connections — and even allow the antivirus utility to automatically utilize rule-sets recommended by the Panda Security Lab. In addition, the application also thwarts phishing and spoofing attempts while surfing the Internet –thanks to its Collective Intelligence network, Panda Antivirus uses a constantly updated blacklist to completely block known malicious websites.
Protection Against Wi-Fi-based Threats
With its Wi-Fi Protection mode, Panda Antivirus Pro doubles-up protection by notifying you of any intruders on your Wi-Fi network, or when connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots with security issues. In addition, you receive a detailed list of all devices that are connected to your PC over Wi-Fi. For example, you can block someone else from connecting to your PC and stealing information over insecure public Wi-Fi networks by directly blocking unknown devices.
In addition to the malware scanning and online protection tools available, Panda Antivirus Pro also includes a number of useful features — Process Monitor, USB Protection, Rescue Kit, and Virtual Keyboard. With the Process Monitor, you can manage all processes running on your computer, and get detailed information such as threat levels, blocked processes, and security classifications. USB Protection, on the other hand, allows you to completely remove viruses on USB devices that make use of the autorun feature to infect your computer. Moving on, the Rescue Kit gives you the option to create rescue USB drives to clean out infected PCs, while a nifty tool called the Virtual Keyboard allows you to securely insert sensitive information — credit card numbers, billing information, etc. — into online forms and prevent key loggers from stealing that information.
Should I Buy It?
Thanks in large to its use of Collective Intelligence technology, Panda Antivirus Pro gives you significantly better odds at protecting your PC against the millions of malware variants running rampant around the Internet. With three different scanning modes, a completely customizable firewall, application control features, and automated scanning capabilities, Panda Antivirus Pro gives you complete control over every aspect of your PC’s protection. Coupled with an intuitive user interface, USB security features, and emergency rescue capabilities, and you have one of the best malware scanners currently available.