- Simple interface
- Minimal system performance impact
- Small download file
- Abnormally long scan times
- Firewall can be annoying
By Charles P. Jefferies
Full security suites like Panda Global Protection 2011 provide more than basic anti-virus protection. Read our review to see if Panda’s upscale security product is really worth the extra cost.
Panda includes several additional features in its MSRP $91.95 Global Protection 2011 security suite to justify the extra money over its base $50.95 Antivirus Pro 2011. Included with the baseline are anti-virus and anti-spyware protection; Global Protection 2011 adds the following extras:
- Anti-spam protection
- Parental control
- System optimization utilities
The MSRP $91.95 asking price is expensive, regardless of the fact it covers three PCs; competitors offer the same coverage for around $60.
Download & Installation
Panda is a 75MB download and takes a few minutes to install. 75MB is a reasonable size for an installation file; sometimes I test suites that are twice as large.
We used the recommended settings for the install, since that is what most people will do. Very little setup information is required during the install; it is mostly a click-through process. Finishing the installation required a restart.
Not everything went well during the install, however. Panda did not disable Windows’ built-in firewall prior to enabling its own, which led to a conflict between the two. Panda eventually gave me an option to disable the Windows firewall; however that should have been done automatically.
Panda’s interface essentially looks like a status board. The main interface window is split into three columns — Protection, Maintenance, and Updates; individual components for each section are listed below, with a light next to them indicating status.
The tab-based navigation at the top has five sections. All of the sections have a similar column-based setup as the main page and bulleted option lists, which is easy to navigate if not innovative.
Only one interface view is offered and you are looking at it. Beginners should not have a problem understanding most of the options; I did not have to change any settings.
Aesthetically, Panda’s interface is functional though somewhat drab. The dark red and black color scheme is boring but makes white text easy to read. Navigation is straightforward and just about every option in the program is within reach. Overall there is not much to complain about but at the same time not much to get excited over either.
Panda Global Protection 2011 includes several extra features. One of the features is the virtual keyboard:
Using this method to enter text is tedious however it is secure; malicious programs designed to log keystrokes cannot detect keystrokes using this method. I like the idea of this feature though it probably is unnecessary.
The performance optimizer utility is fairly basic; it includes a junk/temporary file cleaner (which is worthwhile to run every now and then since it can slow your computer down) and a disk defragmenter, which can marginally improve your program loading and startup times. The cleanups can be scheduled automatically, which is convenient.
The basic backup utility allows you to back up selected files to a hard drive or optical disc.
Panda’s parental controls are for web content control only. A few pre-configured profiles are included: Kids, Teen, Employee, and Personalized. Naturally you can create your own profile and block specific websites and content.
The parental controls are very basic overall; I wanted to see more thorough controls such as time restrictions. To Panda’s credit, parental controls are included which is not something I can say about some competing suites.