We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Security software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Panda Internet Security 2012 review

£50.99 (three PCs for a year)

Manufacturer: Panda Security

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Panda Internet Security 2012 offers good protection without clobbering your PC's speed.

An internet security product such as Panda Internet Security 2012 has to do two things, which often work against each other. It has to protect a PC or laptop from all kinds of malware, so it can be used for the everyday tasks a PC is asked to perform, without suffering from viruses, adware or other nasties which can compromise data held on it. It also has to do this without putting such a processing burden on the machine that it grinds to a halt.

Panda has been in the Internet Security business for a number of years, and was a leader in changing to a cloud-based model for protection. News and details of new threats are passed back to Panda servers, so the information is made available to all customers very quickly. It also means that the detection provided is not limited to the power of the PC the program's installed on. Panda claims Panda Internet Security 2012 has a very low ‘footprint' on an individual PC, so it should create little performance hit.

See also: Group test: what's the best security software?

The main dialogue screen of Panda Internet Security 2012 is very well organised and offers a wide range of information in clear, easy to interpret tabs. The tabs are headed Status, Scan, Reports, Quarantine and Services and the first three are pretty self-explanatory; Reports presents a history of previous scans and their results. Quarantine shows details of any files which have been moved to the safe quarantine folder the program sets up and Services includes things like tech support and creating rescue disks.

Panda Internet Security 2012

There are four handy extras at the bottom of the screen: Network Management, which shows the protection status of other machines on your network, USB vaccine, which prevents autorun of programs on USB drives, Safe Browser, which is a sandboxed browser, enabling safe access to suspicious sites if you really have to visit them, and a virtual keyboard, so keyloggers can't record your keystrokes when typing passwords. Of course, Panda Internet Security 2012 should be preventing the installation of  keyloggers anyway, but belt and braces can't hurt.

In use, the initial system scan took under two hours and after showing up a few tracking cookies, most of which were harmless enough, it pretty much sat at the back without getting in any one's way. Panda IS makes little impression on the overall performance of a PC. We tried running a couple of processor-intensive tasks with and without Panda running and noticed a speed difference of around 10 percent, which most PCs will live with, with ease.

AV-Comparatives has recently tested the ‘real-world dynamic  performance of the 2012 edition and rated it ‘Advanced +'. This amalgamates detection rates and rates for false indications to give an overall rating for malware protection. It puts Panda IS 2012 in the same class as Kaspersky and above Symantec and AVG.

With Panda Internet Security 2012, you don't have to spend a long time handling updates to program or signatures, either, as this is all handled transparently and is ‘pushed' from the cloud. In effect, you always have the latest version of the program installed.

Panda Internet Security 2012 Expert Verdict »

Windows XP/Vista/7, 32/64 bit, 1GB RAM with TruPrevent, 275MB HD
  • Ease of Use: We give this item 8 of 10 for ease of use
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Panda Internet Security 2012 has the feel of a well-thought through piece of software which is easy to use, gives very good protection and doesn't clobber your PC's performance. While the cloud aspect of the product is less significant now some of its competitors have taken that route, too, it's still a very smooth way of protecting yourself online.

  • Panda Platinum 2006 Internet Security

    Panda Platinum 2006 Internet Security

    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.

  • Panda Internet Security 2011 review

    Panda Internet Security 2011

    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.

  • Panda Global Protection 2015 review: good protection for Windows PCs, laptops, Macs, smartphones and tablets

    Panda Global Protection 2015: good protection for Windows PCs, laptops, Macs, smartphones and tablets

    The Panda Global Protection 2015 internet security suite will be a good option for those who need to protect a range of different devices from Windows PCs and laptops, to Macs and Android smartphones and tablets. Find out why in our Panda Global Protection 2015 review.

  • Panda Internet Security 2010 review

    Panda Internet Security 2010

    Panda Internet Security 2010 includes all the basic features, plus some extras such as 2GB of online backup and the ability to protect USB devices. Despite its wealth of features, its detection of unknown malware falls short.

  • Net security face-off: Sophos, AVG and Panda

    We put AVG Internet Security 7.5, Panda Internet Security 2007 and Sophos Security Suite SBE 2.0 to the test.

IDG UK Sites

OnePlus 2 / OnePlus Two UK release date, price and specification rumours: When is the OnePlus 2...

IDG UK Sites

Why I think the Apple Watch sucks and you'd be mad to buy it

IDG UK Sites

Ben & Holly's Game of Thrones titles spoof is delightfully silly

IDG UK Sites

Mac OS X 10.11 release date rumours: all the new features expected in Yosemite successor