Panda Cloud Antivirus: is Panda security right for you?

Panda Cloud Antivirus: is Panda security right for you?

Posted 07.13.2012 in News by Dan

Panda Security has figured out a way to weather the storm of hackers and malware by using a cloud. Everyday, there are new malware and viruses that can infiltrate and harm your computer. For traditional antivirus software to block new threats it needs to download updates to consistently protect your computer. Multiple updates can bog down your computer, but with the Panda Cloud Antivirus updates never need to be downloaded.

The advantage of cloud computing is resource sharing by a community of users over a network. Cloud technology is infrastructure that users access through a light-weight desktop application, web browser, or even on a mobile app, never technically downloading the software.

Panda Cloud Antivirus utilizes the cloud technology by breaking its service down into three parts: community data collection, automated data processing, and delivery of extracted knowledge. Starting with data collection from the community, it allows for the cloud system to centrally collect and stores behavioral patterns of programs, file traces, and new malware. The system automatically analyzes and classifies the new data collected, compares it to the system knowledge of malware, and then determines if it is harmful or not. With the data then analyzed, Panda Security then alerts its users of any malware and deploy the appropriate action to resolve any issues or malware. The Panda Cloud Antivirus completes all of this while not having the majority of software downloaded to the user's computer.

The fast install and minimal system impact are two of biggest draws to Panda Cloud. When tested in labs performed by CNET.com, Panda Cloud also performed above average in detection of active malware, cleanup, and successfully blocked access to harmful Web sites. The Panda Cloud scan time notched one of the top five scan times in CNET.com's test, with a total time of 9 minutes.

Failure to remove all detected malware was a big issue with Panda Cloud when tested, and it also struggled to prevent some installation of detected threats. Panda Cloud's interface is usable but stylistically dark grey and black. Because the interface is dark, it is sometimes difficult to read settings descriptions, especially on laptops, smaller screens, or older monitors. The impact Panda Cloud had on system performance was minimal because of its use of cloud computing but was still noticeable in the system start time, slowing it by nearly eight seconds.

Beyond performance, the major concern with Panda Cloud Antivirus is privacy. Because the cloud system requires information to be sent to Panda Security, some consumers are skeptical about the safety of their private information. If Panda Security's servers were ever compromised, a unknown amount of user information could be at risk. With using the cloud based system, the privacy of users can greatly depend on the security of the company managing the cloud.

Panda Cloud Antivirus is an attractive option because of its low system impact, light resource usage, and its ability to update without needing to download to your computer. There are still some chinks in the armor when it comes to removing detected malware, and time will tell exactly how effective the cloud system is at protecting user information. But for now, Panda Cloud is one of the best alternatives to traditional antivirus software.

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