Panda Internet Security 2009

Panda Internet Security 2009 offers wide-ranging protection against net threats.

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Panda Internet Security 2009
  • Panda Internet Security 2009
  • Panda Internet Security 2009
  • Panda Internet Security 2009

Pros

  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Resource hog

Bottom Line

For some time now, anti-malware software has been getting more effective and faster, which is certainly true of Panda Internet Security 2009; it represents a worthwhile upgrade over the 2008 version. It's also good value for money. Unfortunately, rival security offerings have improved too and ultimate security is provided elsewhere.

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Note: Pricing for this product is in US$.

Panda Security's latest domestic range comprises three products: Antivirus Pro 2009, Internet Security 2009 and Global Protection 2009.

We looked at Panda Internet Security 2009, which for less than £43 offers a smorgasbord of protection; a multi-purpose antimalware engine, IM protection, heuristic-based pro-active protection, rootkit protection, a personal firewall, various anti-phishing measures, a spam and web filter, parental controls, a range of identity theft protection tools and data backups. So, quite a list.

In case you're wondering, the dearer Global Protection package adds two features to Panda Internet Security 2009: 2GB of online backup and a system tune-up facility.

The big new feature in Panda Internet Security 2009 is Collective Intelligence. This relies on every user to be the eyes and ears for Panda's central monitoring facility in 'the cloud'. In theory this has a number of benefits — zero-day attacks are spotted virtually immediately and real time alerts can be sent to all PIS 2009 users.

The use of white-listing technologies will improve scanning efficiency. Ideally, thanks to CI, the Panda Internet Security 2009 virus signature database held on each PC will list only those viruses actually reported to be on the loose, so it should be relatively small, which reduces the resource impact on each PC.

Panda Internet Security 2009 also makes use of this technology in its spam filter. This community-based approach to security isn't new — Sunbelt's IHateSpam relies on its members to identify spam emails to quickly build a ‘herd immunity' to threats.

As well as this new layer of security, Panda Internet Security 2009 still has a conventional malware armoury, including traditional virus signatures, advanced heuristics, much improved TruPrevent 2.0 behavioural analysis and blocking, intrusion prevention and other protection techniques found in previous versions.

Although better than its predecessor, Panda Internet Security 2009 continues to be a bit of a resource hog — scans can absorb 100% per cent of CPU cycles at times. You can opt to ‘manage' this but ticking the box didn't seem to have much effect here.

Panda Internet Security 2009's malware detecting capabilities remain good — according to the authoritative independent testing body, AV-Test.org, it bests the 2008 version when it comes to malware and spyware detection, achieving gains of 5.4 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively. Which is good but overall Panda is still topped by the likes of Avast!, Avira and F-Secure.

A six-month licence costs US$47.97; 12 months' protection is $79.95.

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