Panda Antivirus: Not So Good As It’s Cracked Up to Be


When I was but a young prospective student, the university
Tech Department promoted antivirus software called Panda. It was cheap, about $15
at the time, and offered more protection than competitors like Norton or
McAfee. I was enthralled by the product and bought it during Welcome Week of my
freshman year.

Panda worked very well. It was a little too protective of
various settings. I’d have to tell the software it was alright to run this
program or that. However, the virus protection was strong and it did a thorough
job scanning the inner recesses of my hard drive. 

The firewall, on the other hand, was way too strong. It put
the entire Internet on a blacklist and asked if it was okay to go to any site. The
firewall also had a problem with the wireless network on campus. It saw
everyone else as an intruder on the network and would spam my computer with
intruder alerts. I ended the aggravation by disabling Panda’s firewall and
using the prebuilt one from Windows. The virus scan and removal took care of
what Windows allowed through.

Since then, my feelings towards Panda have changed. I
renewed the subscription every year to get the updated software. This is where
the problems began. Installing the new program was like pulling teeth. Sometimes,
the old version had to be deleted before the other could take over. Other
versions said it would delete the obsolete one for you, which is the case for
the Internet Security 2009 software I am currently trying to download. The
installation process suddenly stopped. 2009 tells me to restart the computer to
continue installation. This message won’t go away, nor will it do anything

By this point, you’re probably asking yourself why don’t I
just contact Panda and ask for help. I have already contacted Panda and had a
whole different set of problems with Tech Support. Only one of the 10 different
technicians has actually read and comprehended my e-mails. The others gave me
instructions for operating systems or Panda software I don’t have, even though
I specifically told them what I do have.

Contacting Panda by phone is even worse. It is $19.95 to
speak with an operator. Please have your credit card standing by. I’ve already
spent more than that to renew my subscription with a couple more licenses. I’ve
also been a customer for four years now. Twenty dollars to talk to a person
after going through a computer menu is absolutely ridiculous.

Had I known Panda would have given me this much aggravation
four years ago, I never would have bought the disc from our Tech Department. My
advice to you is to keep whatever service is already on your computer. It’s
probably much more compatible with the university’s network anyway. For those
of you who already installed Panda, don’t renew it when the coverage expires. I
am currently trying to cancel my own subscription and am looking for a new
antivirus software. BitDefender 2009 looks pretty promising, but I only just
started looking. Twenty-five dollars to cover everything on your computer
except webmail looks very good to a college student. BitDefender was a given a
gold medal from for 2008’s antivirus software.