Panda's Internet Security suite's first action is to check for existing antivirus or other security programs on your PC. Needless to say, it insisted that it was incompatible with our Trend Micro security suite and that to install successfully, we'd first need to get rid of the competition.

This is par for the course for such applications – unlike, say, a virus scanner that protects your PC while another one handles incoming webmail, security suites see all other programs as rivals. Curiously, though, it didn't object to Microsoft AntiSpyware, which assiduously notified us at every turn of events and change that Panda requested.

Having confirmed that we were happy for Panda to supersede Trend Micro, we were prompted to restart and Panda got to work scanning our system for existing problems and reporting on their status. It told us we had 217 instances of spyware but that all had been disinfected. What it didn't tell us at this stage was which files it was referring to. This done, the installation continues and, after another restart, we were informed the firewall would begin to take effect.

Almost immediately, Panda found a rogue dialler on the main drive of our PC and recommended a full system scan of all drives. This was pre-registration so we ran the scan to see what came up prior to grabbing and configuring the latest updates. The next most obvious threat was a tracking program called FunWeb, which Panda said we should delete. It then gave us the option of performing the same action for any subsequent trackers.

What's nominally new in the 2006 version is Panda's ability to block both spyware and phishing endeavours – something that its own website claims was also offered in the 2005 iteration but is lacking in the Titanium version of Panda. It also protects against spam, viruses and assaults from hacking tools and has a built-in firewall.

Panda Platinum 2006 Internet Security: Specs

  • 300MHz Pentium II processor
  • Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
  • 128MB RAM
  • 300MB hard disk space
  • 300MHz Pentium II processor
  • Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
  • 128MB RAM
  • 300MB hard disk space

OUR VERDICT

Panda works well enough, identifying and quarantining suspicious items and providing control over what hits your PC. As with all such products, it's not the product you choose so much as regular virus definition updates that are vital to keep your PC secure.

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