Sleek And Sexy Panda Cloud Antivirus Needs Too Much CPU Lovin’

After writing yesterday’s post, which listed what I believe to be the top 10 antivirus products of 2009, I shared my views with the folks on Twitter.

As with any list, someone always feels left out (yeah, I’m talking to you Mr avast! Bellinger!)

One of the more interesting omissions that was pointed out to me however, one that I’d not even considered, was the new Panda Cloud Antivirus.


Free, But At A Cost

Panda Cloud Antivirus is available as a free download from CNET but be aware that it is still in beta, meaning there could be bugs and other problems associated with it.

(When the program leaves beta Panda have said that the client will continue to be free.)

This new cloud antivirus has been almost 3 years in development and some think it could ultimately lead to a better level of protection that traditional antivirus programs currently offer.

Panda Cloud Antivirus offers on-demand scanning and, from my own experience, uses far less memory than any other antivirus I have ever used before.

Having a program that uses less memory is certainly a good thing as some other products I’ve tried have eaten up my physical RAM and page file in a flash.

Ironically, however, I found that this new offering from Panda crippled my system in another way though – my CPU usage didn’t once drop below 100% whilst I was running a scan.

That would have been fine if I was going out for a few hours but, as I wished to use my PC for other things, it was a huge negative point.

I would have to wonder if that CPU usage was because the program is beta, or because of the way my system is set up, or whether it is common complaint amongst testers?

Panda Cloud Antivirus Response Rate

Using Panda’s proprietary cloud computing technology, known as Collective Intelligence, the program undertakes the usual duties, such as detecting viruses, rootkits, malware, and heuristics.

One of its main strengths is its userbase who contribute to keeping the program updated in real time, rather than via periodic updates.

Panda claim that Collective Intelligence can classify new malware in under 6 minutes which is an incredibly fast response time.

It works by classifying any detected threats into two groups – executables that must be scanned immediately and non-executables that are checked later, typically when the computer is otherwise idle.

Unfortunately I cannot comment on how effective Panda Cloud Antivirus is at this time as I installed it onto a system that I knew was clear of any threats but the fact that so many people have downloaded it should mean that new threats will continue to be identified quickly for some time to come.

Panda Cloud Antivirus is already compatible with Windows XP and Windows Vista and has been designed with the new Windows 7  in mind too (I’ll try Morro antivirus when it becomes available).

Are you using Panda Cloud Antivirus?

If so, have you have the problem I had with CPU usage or has it worked great for you?

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. I have the last version, l.5.1. XP and my pc is not the best. The Antivirus works very very well.I am happy with Panda Cloud.

  2. installed panda on my xp. while scanning system, ran out of virtual memory. scan crashed.

  3. Just uninstalled this today as its constantly using 60%+ CPU on a quad core machine. Back to AVG…

    • Hi Steve

      Its interesting that you’ve experienced the high CPU utilisation issue as I thought that had been ironed out now.

      I’m currently testing several free antivirus programs again right now – I’ll have to give Panda Cloud AV another shot to see how it works on my system one year on from this review…

  4. Thanks for taking the time to come by and clear that up for me Sean-Paul perhaps future versions of Cloud AV will be far less hogging of my CPU after all.

    What other plans do you have for Beta 2?

  5. Sean-Paul says:

    The high CPU utilization is a known issue in Beta 1 when running a manual scan. The reason this happens is that by default Cloud AV will create an automatic background scan and if a manual scan is created at the same time then it will cause the spike. We’ve already slated this issue to be resolved in Beta 2, which we expect to release soon.

  6. Thats handy to know Janne – I must confess that I didn’t complete a full scan because I needed to use my computer for other things.

    I’ll try it once overnight and see if it makes a difference…

  7. I had the same problem with the CPU until I made a full scan on my computer.
    When that was done the CPU level went down to zero.
    So, do a full scan on your computer over night then your problem will go away. At least it did for me.

    Now I’m only waiting until Panda release a version I can use on my Windows 7 x64 laptop.


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