Product Reviews

Panda Scans the Net

Panda Software's Global Virus Protection 6.0 offers local and Internet protection.

Panda Antivirus isn't well-known in the United States, but it's got offices all over the world (they're in about 30 countries, originating in Spain). They offer a complete anti-virus solution with an emphasis on rapid response. This includes 24-by-7 technical support and daily downloadable updates to catch new viruses. The $59 Panda Antivirus Platinum protects Windows 95, 98, NT, and 3.1, as well as MS-DOS and OS/2 computers. So far they don't appear to have a Windows 2000 version available. 

As far as actually detecting viruses goes, Panda carries the Checkmark certifications for Anti-Virus Level 1 and 2, as well as for Trojan detection. The Checkmark system is a recognized standard in anti-virus testing, and Panda is certified at the highest level along with a handful of other programs. (You can find out more about the Checkmark program at http://www.check-mark.com; it's a good idea to evaluate any anti-virus program there before purchasing).

In my tests, Panda indeed detected a variety of virus and Trojan Horse programs, offering to clean or delete the infected files. On Windows 98, this protection is accomplished through a VxD that essentially brings the computer to a halt when a virus is detected. Of note is Panda's Internet protocol protection; in addition to looking at file copies, it continuously monitors at the Winsock level for viruses being shipped into the machine. Panda is also integrated with Exchange and Outlook to stop viruses in email.

Panda also includes comprehensive LAN protection with central administration and push installation to workstations. Their manual does an excellent job of explaining centralized virus protection, and recognizes that Novell servers will still be found in many organizations, a touch sometimes missed by other vendors.

Corporate customers with at least 100 licenses can get preferential technical support and updates to the program via messenger. It looks like Panda is sincerely committed to good customer service and rapid response. If you're looking for an anti-virus solution that can provide good protection for Internet-connected computers, Panda is worth your consideration.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.

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