Panda is one of the more established antivirus protection companies, although it is less well known to individual users than stalwarts McAfee and Norton. This is a shame because it provides a free online service at www.pandasoftware.com/activescan; yet despite the easy-to-use offering that forms its Titanium Antivirus program, its commercial distribution is not the most exciting nor comprehensive package available.

Panda Titanium uses a heuristic scanner, TruPrevent, that aims to detect new viruses as they appear without the need to download a new signature. This generally works well in practice - although competitors such as Norton have also caught up in this respect - and the AV software has some impressive extra features, such as the ability to scan email messages for phishing hoaxes.

In addition, a decent firewall is included that will render your PC invisible to port scanning, and there are also other tools to detect spyware and control rogue diallers, all presented through a simple interface (though one that's harder to access for advanced features).

Panda Titanium will make few demands on your PC, in contrast to most security programs which tend to become bloated when exploiting system resources. The pricing structure isn't so good: our review is of the six-month subscription version, which is expensive when you realise that most other programs offer free updates for a year though. Longer subscriptions are available too.

Titanium Antivirus 2005: Specs

  • 300MHz Pentium II
  • Windows 98/Me/NT 4.0/2000/XP
  • 128MB RAM
  • 45MB hard disk space
  • IE 5.0
  • 300MHz Pentium II
  • Windows 98/Me/NT 4.0/2000/XP
  • 128MB RAM
  • 45MB hard disk space
  • IE 5.0

OUR VERDICT

Panda's heuristic scanner is very effective and the program does achieve the basic task of protecting your PC. Unfortunately, while there is little that it does wrong the fact that it costs around the same as the competition but lasts for half the time means that it is unlikely to overtake its rivals any time in the near future.

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