The Top 10 Free Antivirus 2010 – Panda Cloud Antivirus

In this post I will be continuing my look at what I believe to be the top 10 free antivirus programs in 2010.

This week I have said goodbye to PC Tools Antivirus Free and had another look at Panda Cloud Antivirus, a solution I was less than impressed with last time I used it.

That was because Panda Cloud AV almost locked my computer up with it’s excessively high CPU usage.

To be fair, that edition of the program I was using was a beta and the CPU usage was a known issue.

A year on, have things changed?

Panda Cloud Antivirus installation

Panda Cloud Antivirus

The last time I tested Panda Cloud Antivirus I used my main desktop pc which has a rather nippy 3.3Ghz quad core processor and a ton of RAM.

Today I am using my slightly older 1.8Ghz dual core laptop which only has 1GB of RAM and is running Windows Vista.

If the issues I encountered before were still present then this time around the performance would be far worse.

Installation

The installation process was very easy indeed, totally painless, and very quick.

From visiting the web site to having the antivirus program completely installed took less than a minute I would guess and that is despite the fact that my kids were eating bandwidth at the time too.

Panda Cloud Antivirus is quick to install

After choosing the free installation option I was ready to run my first scan, hopeful that any speed issues I may have had before were a thing of the past.

Hmmm….

As you’ll see in the next shot, I opened up task manager so that I could monitor my CPU usage whilst running an ‘optimized scan’.

From start to finish, my CPU usage never dropped below 29% and I think I saw it peak at 86%.

Optimized scan and CPU usage

I find this curious as I am running a totally fresh installation of Vista – besides Panda Cloud Antivirus and the operating system there is nothing else running.

Whatsoever.

And I have 2 cores!

Oh well, at least it wasn’t using 100% of the CPU and the scan did complete reasonably quickly.

That said, it was labelled as an optimized scan so I thought I really ought to run a regular scan too –

Panda Cloud AV regular scan

This time around, the program was to scan my entire computer which shouldn’t take long, I thought, as there is pretty well nothing on my hard drive right now.

Oops.

Wrong!

At the time of writing the scan is only 5% complete and has been running for 86 minutes!

CPU usage is somewhat different this time, running between 8% and 96% though, interestingly, it seems to be utilising just the one core this time.

Conclusion

Maybe I’m missing something here but the amount of time taken to scan my system seems to be way off from what I would have anticipated.

CPU usage still seems much higher than I am used to with other antivirus programs, though significantly better than what I experienced with the old beta version.

I didn’t have any viruses on my system to test the program with but it did find some tracking cookies so it was effective there at least.

Overall though I still don’t like Panda Cloud Antivirus which is a shame because I really wanted to – I have experience of paid-for products from Panda and they have always impressed me and have been ideal for my kids’ machines.

This offering from Panda, however, has already been purged from my laptop which is disappointing really as I believe many people do enjoy a good and safe experience with it.

If you give Panda Cloud Antivirus a go then please do let me know how it works for you as I do wonder if there is something about my own personal configuration that has an impact upon it’s performance.

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.

Comments

  1. How come! panda cloud scans are NOT handled on the PC,but on the cloud.

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