Panda's pricey Panda Internet Security 2011 suite offers very good protection. Its 99.8 percent detection rate for known malware was the best of all 13 security suites we tested in our recent round-up. In our real-world malware blocking tests, it completely stopped 21 of 25 attacks and partly blocked three more. It also removed 80 percent of active malware components.
But that security comes at a price: Panda Internet Security 2011 is rife with false positives and it scans slowly. It turned in unusually poor marks for both on-demand and on-access scans, and Panda's adverse impact on system speed was larger than average.
Very cautious users may be willing to trade some system performance for rock-solid security, but we imagine that they'll be less than thrilled with Panda Internet Security 2011's convoluted and badly-designed interface. There's seemingly nothing you can do in Panda Internet Security 2011 with just one click, and sometimes it feels like there's nothing you can do without a restart. Even updating the software requires a reboot - a rarity for modern antivirus programs; most have figured out how to slipstream an update into a running PC.
Overall, Panda Internet Security 2011's interface is a bit of a mess and is rife with confusion and duplication: What is the difference between 'threats' and 'vulnerabilities', and why do they need to be managed separately? Either way, Panda doesn't tell you. Its help system is virtually nonexistent and its interface and dialog boxes are studded with poor or stilted English.
Should Panda Internet Security 2011 find something it deems awry, be prepared for some histrionics. Immediately after installing the suite, we were greeted with a blazing alert announcing 'Wi-Fi intruder detected' along with its MAC address. In reality, it was TiVo jumping on the web for an update.
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