The Best Antivirus Programs For 2011 – Panda Antivirus Pro 2011

Update: This program has now been replaced with Panda Antivirus Pro 2012.

As long-term readers will know, I’ve tried a variety of products from Panda before.

Overall, my experiences with their paid services has been very positive but I’ve not been a fan of their Cloud antivirus service since day 1.

Now they have a new antivirus product on the market – Panda Antivirus Pro 2011 (USA : Antivirus Pro 2011 : Standard) – and so I wonder how I will feel about that.

Panda Antivirus Pro 2011 is compatible with many different versions of the Windows operating system from XP through to Windows 7.

This particular antivirus program is good at detecting malware and I found it does so without using an excessive amount of memory or processor time (for the most part) which is a relief after all the issues I had with their Cloud service.

Panda Antivirus Pro 2011

Interface

Panda Antivirus Pro 2011 comes with a new interface which is instantly appealing with it’s shades of black and green.

The interface has everything you will need just a click or two away from the main page and is not at all cluttered which is always a good plus point in my book.

From the main screen you can access the scanning, reporting, quarantine and services menus.

At the bottom of the page you can find the virtual keyboard and network management options.

Updates

Panda Antivirus Pro 2011, as you should expect, provides live up-to-the-minute updates.

It does this through it’s Combined Collective Intelligence in conjunction with traditional signature updates, meaning that it can protect you from the newest and most dangerous threats with the minimal amount of bandwidth usage.

Gaming

Thankfully, one of the features that almost all antivirus vendors now include is the gaming mode and Panda Antivirus Pro 2011 is no exception.

This feature allows you to immerse yourself in the games that you play without fear of your antivirus program popping up in the middle with a message.

If any security vendors don’t include this option then they most certainly should!

Support

Panda, to their credit, have always offered great support for their products and Antivirus Pro 2011 continues that trend.

They have a tech forum you can visit, offer emailed technical support, a Facebook account and several friendly and helpful personnel who can be found on Twitter.

Additionally, you can also find “how to” videos on YouTube and there is a Knowledgebase packed full of useful information.

Panda virtual keyboard

Features

Panda Antivirus Pro 2011 includes many new and/or useful features.

One of those is the virtual keyboard, pictured above, which can be used for safely typing sensitive information on the web.

Theres also a Home Network Manager which handily shows the other computers on your network and displays their security status though, in my case, I just saw what looked like an alert telling me that my other machines are not protected with Panda products!

The Panda Safe Browser does look useful though – this is a feature that allows sandboxing, meaning you can access web sites that you think may be dangerous with little risk.

Panda Antivirus Pro 2011 obviously has other features too, such as various scanning options, reports and such like, much as you would expect from a professional product.

Panda Antivirus Pro 2011 scanning

Scanning

The ability to scan quickly and thoroughly without using too many resources and with a good detection rate is obviously one of the main selling points of any antivirus program.

My experiences with Panda Cloud Antivirus left me wondering what to expect here and when I first started a scan I became worried as I saw my CPU usage hit 100% on both cores, as well as a high amount of memory usage.

Fortunately, that only lasted for a few seconds and then performance dropped into line with what I am used to with other security products.

By the end of the scan the program had found 4 tracking cookies that no other antivirus program I’ve tested recently had found so hats off to Panda for that.

Pricing

Like most other antivirus programs these days, pricing is dependent upon how many machines are to be protected and for how long.

Panda Antivirus 2011 starts at just $40.95 for one year’s protection for one machine and increases to $128.95 to protect ten machines for the same period of time.

You also have the option of paying to protect 1-10 machines for periods in excess of one year but I personally prefer not to take those sort of options up as it is interesting to see what the other vendors are offering each year.

Compatibility

Unless your PC was created in the dark ages of computing (thats anywhere before about 1997 by my reckoning) you should be just about able to run Panda Antivirus Pro 2011.

Obviously newer computers will run the program much better!

The minimum specs required to run this antivirus program are as follows –

Processor: 300Mhz or faster
Hard drive space: 270MB
RAM: 512MB minimum
Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit both supported), Windows 2000

Conclusion

Overall, I would have to say that my opinion of Panda products remains largely the same – I, for whatever reason, have problems with their free products but their paid-for ones are excellent.

Panda Antivirus Pro 2011 (USA : Antivirus Pro 2011 : Standard) runs well, looks good and is well supported.

The simplistic interface is welcome and, thus far, this is the 2011 antivirus program most liked by my kids because of it’s looks and simplicity of use.

[box type=”red”]Whilst your here, check out my 2012 antivirus reviews.[/box]

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.

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