Panda Dome Advanced

6 months ago 113

Panda Dome Advanced is simply a susceptible malware killer, but its different features don't person the powerfulness to lucifer the contention oregon warrant the price.

For

  • Above-average extortion scores successful laboratory tests
  • Lots of scanning options
  • Anti-phishing protection
  • Very flexible billing (monthly payments, unlimited instrumentality support, more)

Against

  • Most features aren't arsenic susceptible arsenic competing suites
  • More costly than some
  • Support tract lacks item connected galore app features
  • Some vulnerability to malware attacks

Panda Dome Advanced is simply a susceptible malware killer, but its different features don't person the powerfulness to lucifer the contention oregon warrant the price.

Pros

  • +

    Above-average extortion scores successful laboratory tests

  • +

    Lots of scanning options

  • +

    Anti-phishing protection

  • +

    Very flexible billing (monthly payments, unlimited instrumentality support, more)

Cons

  • -

    Most features aren't arsenic susceptible arsenic competing suites

  • -

    More costly than some

  • -

    Support tract lacks item connected galore app features

  • -

    Some vulnerability to malware attacks

Panda Dome Advanced is simply a susceptible information suite which sits close successful the mediate of Panda's merchandise range. That means you don't conscionable get the antivirus and 150MB/ time VPN of Panda Free, and the firewall, web extortion and cross-platform enactment (Windows, Mac, Android) of Panda Dome Essential. Panda Dome Advanced adds 3 much tools: parental controls for Windows, identity protection and an other information furniture to support you harmless from ransomware and 'advanced threats.'

Panda does person much almighty suites available. Dome Complete throws successful encryption, a password manager, and instrumentality cleanup and maintenance. And Dome Premium gives you a afloat unlimited VPN, a Windows and bundle update manager and unlimited 'Premium 24/7 Technical Support.' 

If you're not looking for each imaginable information extra, though - oregon you're conscionable bushed of overweight suites crammed with features you ne'er usage - past Panda Dome Advanced could beryllium the cleanable equilibrium of powerfulness and price.

Pricing

(Image credit: Panda Security)

Plans and pricing

Panda Dome Advanced has a flexible but besides analyzable pricing scheme, with galore much options than we usually see.

You could wage $42.74 to screen one instrumentality for a year, for instance, $57 connected renewal. But covering three devices lone lifts the terms to $64.49 ($86 connected renewal), and determination are besides options to screen ten devices ($88.50 successful twelvemonth one, $118 afterwards) and there's adjacent an unlimited license ($102 successful twelvemonth one, $136 afterwards.)

Extending the licence to 2 oregon 3 years saves immoderate cash. A three-device, two-year licence is $114.74 initially, $153 connected renewal; a ten-device, three-year licence is $267 successful the archetypal term, $356 connected renewal.

If you're not acceptable to perpetrate large money, conscionable yet, you tin besides opt for monthly billing astatine $5.99 (Panda adjacent gives you the archetypal period for free.)

This is simply a small much costly than some, and determination are cheaper deals around. Bitdefender Total Security has much features, for instance, but steep introductory discounting means you tin screen 5 devices for conscionable $40 successful twelvemonth 1 ($90 connected renewal.) It's a akin communicative with Kaspersky, wherever you get 50% disconnected successful the archetypal term. But Panda does triumph retired for billing flexibility: astir providers don't person unlimited instrumentality licenses, oregon a monthly outgo option.

User Interface

(Image credit: Panda Security)

Interface

Panda Dome's interface stands retired instantly for its desktop-style wallpaper background. This looks good, but creates an contiguous usability issue. The app has 4 rows of buttons for assorted functions, but Panda is truthful keen connected leaving escaped abstraction for you to presumption the photo, that lone the archetypal enactment of buttons is visible. You indispensable scroll down to entree everything.

There's different tiny annoyance successful a regularly updated banner astatine the bottommost of the dashboard, with links to assorted blog posts connected the Panda site. We recovered a 'Show Panda News' power successful Settings, and turned off, hoping this would help; but no, it didn't marque immoderate quality astatine all. (We checked Panda's Support tract to find retired what 'Show Panda News' was expected to do, but couldn't find it mentioned anywhere. Not an encouraging start.)

Otherwise, the main interface works well. Functions are accessed via 17 buttons (Scan, Firewall, Support and truthful on.) That's a lot, but fastener icons bash a tenable occupation of telling you what they do, and you tin crook connected captions for each buttons with a click. Selecting a fastener takes you to that function, wherever a Back fastener returns you to the main dashboard erstwhile you're done. It's not cleanable - excessively galore buttons conscionable unfastened a browser tab, alternatively than bash thing locally - but we recovered it reasonably casual to use.

Tool Representing Attacks

(Image credit: Panda Security)

Self-protection

Malware sometimes tries to disable an antivirus earlier launching a afloat corruption attempt, truthful it's important immoderate information app tin support itself. 

Testing Panda's self-protection revealed a mates of vulnerabilities. One of our trial attacks successfully disabled portion of Panda's real-time record scanning system, allowing america to download malicious files without detection. The 2nd efficaciously removed each Panda's protective layers, enabling malware to bash immoderate it liked.

These exploits required an attacker persuading you to tally a malicious publication oregon macro connected your system, with Administrator rights. A communal illustration mightiness beryllium via a spam email, with substance which persuaded you to unfastened an attached Office document, and past tally an embedded macro.

We reported our findings to Panda. The institution said these information flaws: 'could lone beryllium exploited by malware that has escalated admin rights and has not been detected by immoderate of our technologies (signatures, Cloud, heuristics, contextual routines, behavioral protection,…).' Panda besides said it had 'taken note' of our proposition for a hole for the astir important attack, though didn't perpetrate to applying it.

While it's existent this onslaught whitethorn not win precise often, the world is astir of the antivirus contention does a acold amended occupation of protecting itself. 90% and much simply artifact our attacks, ensuring they person nary effect. Kaspersky and Trend Micro spell further, recognizing the attacks arsenic malicious actions and sidesplitting our investigating instrumentality immediately, preventing it trying thing else. Panda looks weak, by comparison.

Scan Types

(Image credit: Panda Security)

Antivirus

Panda Dome Advanced has respective scanning options. A Critical Area scan checks the astir commonly infected areas of a PC successful astir 5 minutes; the Custom scan lone inspects the files oregon folders you specify; and the Full System scan, of course, checks everything.

If that's not enough, you tin besides acceptable aggregate scheduled scans. These commencement with a Critical Areas, Full System oregon Custom scan, but you tin besides exclude peculiar folders oregon record types (handy for speeding up scans.)

Virus Detected

(Image credit: Panda Security)

We noticed 1 antithetic omission. Panda Dome Advanced doesn't integrate with Explorer, truthful close clicking a record oregon folder doesn't get you a 'Scan with Panda' option. The lone mode to cheque a circumstantial point is to manually unfastened the app, take the Custom scan and prime a folder manually. That's a hassle we don't spot elsewhere.

Scan times were tenable during testing. Panda Dome Advanced checked our 50GB of trial executables successful 39 minutes for the archetypal scan, wrong the 15–50-minute scope we typically see. There's immoderate optimization for consequent scans, and Panda took 24 minutes for scan #2. Others spell further, though: Bitdefender checks lone caller and changed files, and successful a caller reappraisal its 2nd scan completed successful little than a minute.

Protection

(Image credit: AV Comparatives)

Protection

AV-Comparatives' Real-World Protection Test is simply a broad benchmark which pits 17 apical antivirus engines against the latest malware.

Panda scored good successful the July-October 2021 report, achieving 2nd spot arsenic 1 of lone 3 vendors to artifact 100% of trial threats (Trend Micro and Norton were the others.)

There's a imaginable contented successful Panda's comparatively precocious fig of mendacious positives: 25, the 2nd highest successful the report. That's important, due to the fact that it's overmuch easier to artifact each threats if you halt each process which looks faintly suspicious. Most companies are overmuch much precise successful their targeting; Kaspersky reached 4th place, blocking 99.9% of threats, but with nary mendacious positives; Avast besides blocked 99.9%, and had lone two.

Panda isn't presently tested astatine SE-Labs oregon AV Test, truthful we weren't capable to get confirmation of AV-Comparatives' scores.

Ransomware

We trial antivirus by checking however each motor handles our ain elemental customized ransomware. As it's ne'er appeared successful the wild, there's nary mode an antivirus volition person seen our simulated menace before, making this a utile trial of its behaviour monitoring abilities.

Panda Dome Advanced began poorly, ignoring our ransomware and allowing it to encrypt thousands of Office documents, images and more. Our trial menace isn't existent malware, and we can't accidental for definite wherefore Panda missed it, we're not going to dainty this arsenic a immense achromatic mark. But galore competitors bash better. For example, Bitdefender, Kaspersky and Trend Micro each recognized the information successful a fraction of a second, sidesplitting our trial app earlier it could origin immoderate much damage.

But Panda wasn't finished yet. It besides includes a Data Shield diagnostic which monitors entree to cardinal folders, alerting you to chartless apps which effort to modify files, and not allowing that entree until you've confirmed the app is safe.

There are problems with this scheme. It's not turned connected by default, for instance. It lone covers your Documents folders, initially. This isn't made wide to users, either, who mightiness lone recognize if they pat Settings and browse the folder list.

If you alteration Data Shield, though, and you spot however it works, and you manually adhd immoderate folders you'd similar to protect, we recovered the diagnostic worked well. When we ran our trial ransomware this time, Panda raised a caller 'is this okay?' punctual for each record access, giving america a informing of what was going on.

This inactive can't comparison with competitors which detected and removed our menace successful the archetypal spot (even though it couldn't encrypt files successful protected folders, the simulator was inactive running, and successful mentation could motorboat immoderate different benignant of attack.) But our information was astatine slightest safe, and that's a large plus.

Anti-phishing

One of the weaknesses of Panda Free Antivirus is it doesn't artifact phishing oregon different unsafe URLs. Fortunately, that doesn't use to Panda Dome Advanced and the different commercialized suites, which adhd a Safe Browsing module to support you online.

To effort this out, we obtained a database of the precise latest phishing URLs, confirmed they were inactive active, past tried visiting them connected a Panda Dome Advanced-protected system.

Phishing Page Blocked

(Image credit: Panda Security)

Measuring the reliability of phishing detection is tricky, but we recovered Panda did adhd utile other protection, stopping america accessing unsafe websites which Chrome missed.

There's 1 tiny usability issue. Panda's 'Page blocked' informing container has nary 'Ignore' oregon 'Visit anyway' checkbox, which you mightiness request if a tract is incorrectly flagged arsenic malicious. You tin adhd that URL to a whitelist, ensuring you tin entree it anyway, but adjacent if you recognize that's imaginable (and astir users mightiness not), it's a tedious manual process.

Panda's attack inactive has immoderate information advantages. If there's a 'Visit anyway' button, a idiosyncratic mightiness beryllium tempted to click it to get past an annoying alert. But astatine a minimum, we'd similar to spot the idiosyncratic informed that determination is simply a mode to entree the URL, adjacent if it's lone a 'click here' nexus which takes them to a leafage with much warnings.

VPN

(Image credit: Panda Security)

VPN

Panda Dome Advanced includes a elemental free VPN. It's powered by the fantabulous Hotspot Shield, which is good; but it doesn't let you to take a determination (it ever connects to your nearest server), and you're constricted to 150MB of information a day, which is beauteous bad.

Panda's VPN app has astir nary functionality. Forget changing protocols, divided tunneling, 'auto-connect erstwhile accessing insecure Wi-Fi' oregon thing similar: each Panda tin bash is optionally link erstwhile Windows starts, past link oregon disconnect erstwhile you deed the button. That truly is it.

At slightest it's going to beryllium truly good engineered underneath, we thought, reliable and harmless to use? Uh, no. We recovered successful immoderate utmost situations it was imaginable for Panda's VPN transportation to beryllium down, and your postulation unprotected, portion that app inactive displayed a reassuring 'Connected' message, arsenic though everything was safe.

Put it each together, and though it mightiness beryllium useful to person a VPN astir if you're installing Panda Dome Advanced regardless, it's not overmuch usage to anyone else.

(Upgrading to Panda Dome Premium gets you the afloat unlimited VPN, but astatine a important other cost. A five-device, one-year Premium licence is $122 successful twelvemonth one, $163 connected renewal, compared to $64.50 and $86 for Dome Advanced. That's different $57.50, conscionable successful twelvemonth one. Meanwhile, Private Internet Access gives you a afloat twelvemonth of VPN sum for lone $40, and you tin prevention adjacent much by signing up for longer. As we write, a peculiar woody offers a 3 twelvemonth and 3 period licence for conscionable $79.)

Firewall

(Image credit: Panda Security)

Firewall

Panda Dome Advanced includes a firewall to support you from web attacks, and power which apps are allowed to link to the internet.

Although this worked, we recovered it regularly displayed alerts asking if this oregon that process tin spell online. This adjacent applied to immoderate communal Windows systems processes, which we would expect Panda to cognize were safe. 

Firewall Alert

(Image credit: Panda Security)

Once you've approved (or denied) a connection, the firewall remembers the effect and you're not asked again. But the occupation is adjacent adept users won't ever cognize for definite which transportation is safe, and which isn't, and it's tempting to conscionable deed the 'OK' fastener to marque the connection spell away. In our experience, firewalls from Bitdefender and Norton bash a amended job, reliably blocking malicious processes without requiring idiosyncratic intervention.

Wi-Fi Protection

(Image credit: Panda Security)

Wi-Fi Protection

A Wi-Fi Protection module displays devices connected to your network, and maintains a transportation history, allowing you to spot intruders.

A Security Audit diagnostic supposedly offers 'recommendations to amended the information of the Wi-Fi network', but we recovered these excessively vague to beryllium useful. 

The Audit recovered our 'Connection mode' offered lone mean protection, for instance, informing 'the detected mode (Automatic mode) does not person an capable information level', and recommending we 'change the transportation mode to a much unafraid one.'

Do you cognize what that means? We person nary idea. The app said 'if you don't cognize however to bash it oregon which method is the astir appropriate, click 'More Information.' So, we did, and it took america to a support page. Unfortunately, this should astir apt person been tagged arsenic 'Less Information', arsenic it didn't archer america thing Connection Mode checked, which modes mightiness beryllium 'more secure' oregon however to alteration them.

Parental Control

(Image credit: Panda Security)

Parental Control

Panda Dome Advanced claims to see Parental Controls, but this has hardly immoderate of the features you'd expect from a specializer parental controls application. You can't power app use, for instance. There's nary mode to bounds surface clip oregon restrict net entree to your customized timetable. And there's nary clever geofencing support, wherever the app alerts you erstwhile your kid arrives astatine (or leaves) definite locations.

The lone enactment you get is contented filtering. Choose a idiosyncratic relationship connected your instrumentality and you're capable to restrict entree to websites by category, and... No, determination is nary 'and' - that's it.

Panda does astatine slightest springiness you tons of categories. Instead of a azygous catch-all Adult category, for instance, you tin individually artifact oregon let subcategories similar 'Lingerie and Swimsuit', 'Nudity', 'Sex' and 'Sex Education.'

Too complicated? Choose a built-in filters - Kids, Teen, Employee - and Panda sets the assorted categories accordingly.

Although this works, it's highly basic. Microsoft's Family Safety gives you much options for free, and Bitdefender, Norton and peculiarly Kaspersky's Safe Kids (which besides has a utile escaped version) supply much broad and effectual parental power tools.

Features

(Image credit: Panda Security)

More features

Panda Dome Advanced includes a fig of different privateness and information features.

A Dark Web Scanner checks to spot if your email code is included successful immoderate information breaches. That's worthy knowing, but the work is constricted to checking emails, and it tin lone usage the code you entered erstwhile registering your Panda account. Meanwhile, anyone tin cheque aggregate email addresses and telephone numbers astatine Have I Been Pwned for free.

An Application Control diagnostic doesn't let chartless programs to tally without your approval. It's an effectual strategy successful theory, arsenic if a brand-new undiscovered menace tries to launch, you'll get an alert. The occupation is you'll besides regularly spot prompts for morganatic programs. That's not conscionable a hassle, it besides means you'll get utilized to assuming these alerts are mendacious alarms, and implicit clip whitethorn let apps to tally without truly looking astatine the details.

The Process Monitor is much interesting, particularly for experienced users. It watches what Windows processes bash online, and tin show each the URLs they've accessed recently. If an app looks suspicious, oregon you're funny what immoderate process is doing online, you tin cheque its web activities successful a mates of clicks. And if the process seems a concern, you tin adjacent inquire Panda to artifact its aboriginal net connections.

Virtual Keyboard

(Image credit: Panda Security)

Elsewhere, a Virtual Keyboard allows you to bypass keyloggers by clicking letters connected a keyboard window, alternatively than typing connected your carnal hardware. It worked successful our tests, but it's a hassle to use. In existent satellite usage we'd astir apt anticipation the antivirus detected and killed immoderate keylogging malware, and transportation connected utilizing our regular keyboard arsenic before.

Finally, a USB Protection instrumentality enables 'vaccinating' USB keys to trim the accidental of corruption by autorun malware. USB keys aren't the astir apt vector for a microorganism attack, these days, and these 'vaccinations' don't warrant protection, anyway. Still, this is an antithetic diagnostic which should amended your safety, conscionable a little, and we're gladsome to spot it bundled with the package.

Final verdict

Panda Dome Advanced has a decent halfway antivirus engine, detecting and removing malware with ease. But though it has a batch of different features, they're mostly underpowered, and can't statesman to lucifer the champion of the competition. Take a look if you're a Panda fan, but everyone other volition beryllium amended disconnected elsewhere.

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Mike began his vocation arsenic a pb bundle developer successful the engineering world, wherever his creations were utilized by big-name companies from Rolls Royce to British Nuclear Fuels and British Aerospace. He present covers VPNs, antivirus and each things information for TechRadar, though helium inactive has a concealed emotion of quirky open-source and freeware apps which find marque caller ways to lick communal problems.

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