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
Anti-virus software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Panda Cloud Antivirus 1 review

FREE

Manufacturer: Panda Software

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

Panda Cloud Antivirus 1 is a unique entry in the free antivirus race. Most free antivirus products still rely on signature updates to detect new malware, but Panda's program instead uses fresh data about malware direct from Panda's servers.

Panda Cloud Antivirus 1 is a unique entry in the free antivirus race. Most free antivirus products still rely on signature updates to detect new malware, but Panda's program instead uses fresh data about malware direct from Panda's servers.

As a result of this unique setup, Panda Cloud Antivirus 1 put up some excellent results in some malware detection tests, but its scan speeds were slower than we would have liked to see.

Installation and setup for of this unique setup is simple and straightforward: You have to click through only one screen before it starts installing, though I found that it asked to install a browser toolbar. Upon installation, it'll ask you whether you want to use the free or "pro" (for-pay) edition of Cloud Antivirus.

Panda Cloud Antivirus 1's main interface is really simple: the main window has only four tabs that run across the top - one for the status screen, plus tabs for the scanner, the scan report, and the recycle bin (where neutralized files live - Cloud Antivirus lets you recover files in case it neutralizes something you wanted to keep). When you first open Cloud Antivirus, you're presented with a status indicator (a green checkmark if all is well, or a red X if something needs your attention) and a short description of your PC's protection status.

The Panda Cloud Antivirus 1 settings pane is equally simple - press the settings icon in the lower-right corner to open it - but some of its wording could be more helpful.

While Panda Cloud Antivirus doesn't use signatures in the classic sense, it still aced our tests for traditional signature-based scanning and detection methods. It detected 99.8 percent of samples in this test - the highest score among the free antivirus products we looked at.

Cloud Antivirus 1 struggled some at blocking actual, live malware attacks from malicious Websites or emails: It completely blocked 68 percent of attacks - one of the lower scores in this test - and partially blocked an additional 20 percent.

Note: Panda recently released Panda Cloud Antivirus Free 1.3, which the company says should improve its blocking of such attacks. We don't yet have test results for the new version of Cloud Antivirus, but when we do we'll update this review.

When it came time to clean up infections, Panda Cloud Antivirus 1 did a good - but not outstanding - job. It detected all test infections, and was able to disinfect all active components of an infection 60 percent of the time. The free antivirus software we looked at removed 68 percent of active components, on average, and no product managed a cleanup rate of over 80 percent.

In addition, Panda Cloud Antivirus 1 removed all components of an infection - including Registry keys and other bits and pieces - 50 percent of the time, which was the best showing among the free products we looked at.

Scan speeds, though, lagged well behind the pack. Cloud Antivirus completed a manual (on-demand) scan of 4.5GB of files in 5 minutes, 10 seconds - the slowest time recorded in this test. It also fared poorly in on-access scan tests, which shows how well it can scan files as they're opened or saved to disk: It scanned 4.5GB of files in 5 minutes, 38 seconds, a mere three seconds ahead of the last-place finisher.

And although its impact on overall PC performance was fairly limited relative to other free antivirus products, Cloud Antivirus significantly slowed startup and shutdown times in our tests. It added over 11 seconds to startup time compared to a PC without antivirus software installed (the average free antivirus product added around 6 seconds to startup time), and over 17 seconds to shutdown time (the average antivirus product added around 13 seconds to shutdown time).

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

PC security advice

Panda Cloud Antivirus 1 Expert Verdict »

Windows 7/Vista/XP
32- or 64-bit OS, 64MB RAM, 100MB hard disk space
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Panda Cloud Antivirus is definitely worth considering on the strength of its signature-based detection tests; however, we can't fully endorse it until we're able to test Panda Cloud Antivirus version 1.3. You can download Panda Cloud Antivirus Free 1.3 here.

  • Panda Cloud Antivirus review

    Panda Cloud Antivirus

    Among all of the free antivirus software we've tested recently, Panda Cloud Antivirus was the best app at blocking known malware.

  • Panda Antivirus 2007

    Panda Antivirus 2007

    Panda Antivirus 2007's middle-of-the-road detection results in our PC Advisor Test Centre antivirus tests, inadequate default settings and poor disinfection performance offset its solid features.

  • Panda Internet Security 2009 review

    Panda Internet Security 2009

    Panda Internet Security 2009 covers all the bases with its features, and it scans quickly, but it lags behind some rivals at malware detection. Updated, 16 June 2009.

  • Panda Antivirus Pro 2010 review

    Panda Antivirus Pro 2010

    Panda Antivirus Pro 2010 ranks fifth in our current round-up of 11 stand-alone antivirus apps. It was buoyed by positives such as strong traditional malware detection, but dragged down by negatives like poor behavioural scans.

  • 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.


IDG UK Sites

Best Black Friday 2014 tech deals UK: Latest bargains on phones, tablets, laptops and more this...

IDG UK Sites

Tech trends 2015: 3D printing grows up

IDG UK Sites

25 iOS apps turn (Red) for World AIDS Day campaign

IDG UK Sites

Black Friday 2014 UK: Apple deals, Amazon deals & other Black Friday tech offers