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