Panda Cloud Antivirus is a free version of Panda’s security software. It is cloud-based, meaning that scanning of the files is handled on a remote server rather than on a user’s machine. This results in less bloat as seen by the end-user. The cloud technology is based on Panda’s Collective Intelligence.
Panda Cloud Antivirus Free Edition detects viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware, dialers, hacking tools, jokes and security risks.
Panda Cloud anti-virus is considered to be a new breed of security software since it relies on cloud (internet), the community, and collective intelligence, rather than just signatures. It requires an internet connection to function, though if internet is unavailable it runs using a cache of well-known threats.
One major review deemed Panda Cloud Antivirus as clean, fast, simple, and easy to use, offering good detection rates. The same review scored Panda 98.87% in malware detection and 71.4% in malicious URL detection. Its overall score was 85%, a strong protection factor considering it is freeware.
When version 1.0 was released on November 10, 2009, PC Magazine reviewed Panda Cloud Antivirus and gave it an Editor’s Choice Award for Best Free AV.
Tech Radar’s review states “We think that Panda Cloud Antivirus is best viewed as a defense tool rather than a utility for cleaning up a system that’s already riddled with infection.”
Lifehacker’s review states that the antivirus is lightweight, and is a fresh approach to attacking malware. However they were unable to have it detect malware (beyond tracking cookies) in their test.
When Softpedia reviewed the software they said that it had a high overall detection rate, but had trouble listing all the results. Overall they say it’s the best in the market for lightweight usage, and it’s easy to use with a clean interface.
IT Reviews gave Panda Cloud Antivirus a Recommended Award. The reviewer concluded: “All in all we were impressed by Panda Cloud Antivirus, especially when you consider that it’s free. This is a lightweight, straightforward yet capable alternative to more conventional security solutions, and particularly in the case of those looking to protect a notebook or two on a network, would offer peace of mind without the often unnecessary bulk of a more mainstream suite of tools.”
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