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Antivirus test: Panda DomePublished on
It has been several years since we tested Panda’s paid solutions. It must be said that the publisher has completely revised its software range and that there are many changes. No more Antivirus, Internet Security and Total Protection products, welcome to Panda Dome. The Spanish publisher has rethought its security solution as an adaptive product that complements itself by adding features as needed. And above all, Panda relies above all on artificial intelligence, which is responsible for constantly analysing everything that happens on a computer. Enough to ensure better protection for the user? That’s what we’re going to see in our Panda Dome test.
Installation of Panda Dome
The installation of the antivirus does not present any particular difficulty. Once the installer is launched, simply select the directory for the files and let the software do its work. Once the operation is completed, Panda Dome requests an email address, necessary to attach the user license. If you have no account with the publisher, everything is done immediately. You can then access your account information and manage, if necessary, the list of your devices with a Panda product.
Panda Dome Interface
At the launch of Panda Dome, we recognize a familiar interface. Indeed, unlike Panda Internet Security which differed aesthetically from the free solution, Panda Dome uses exactly the same interface as Panda Free Antivirus. We therefore find a rather sober window with a mountainous background accompanied by a large list of icons representing the different functionalities of the antivirus.
Clicking on an icon switches the window to the requested functionality. We notice Panda’s desire to offer a product accessible to the general public: the windows of the software offer relatively few explanations on how antivirus and tools work but just what it takes to be able to launch them. However, we find that the user experience is quite good and that Panda Dome is easy to learn.
Panda Dome Features
Panda Dome is represented by a range of several products, each with a number of tools. Panda Dome Essential is the cheapest version while Panda Dome Premium is the most complete. It is precisely the latter that we have on hand.
Premium version is required, so there are many features in addition to the classic antivirus: tools for PC optimization, a VPN, a Wi-Fi protection module, a firewall, parental control, a virtual keyboard and a password manager, among others.
Each tool is easily accessible from the Panda Dome home page by simply clicking on the corresponding icon.
Panda Dome Performance
We are now starting the most interesting part of this test: what is Panda Dome really worth? Are the different tools interesting and easy to use? And most importantly, are they effective?
We naturally start with the Panda Dome detection performance test. As always, we have on hand a sample of well-stocked threats that we have subjected to antivirus software. The first contextual analysis was effective. Indeed, Panda Dome has been able to detect many viruses and other malware. The analysis was rather long but it did not slow down our machine in any way. It must be said that antivirus has the advantage of detecting and then neutralizing threats in the process, which ultimately represents a significant time saving. The various threats submitted have indeed been ousted, so Panda Dome seems to us to be effective in detection.
There are four optimization tools: a module to free up disk space, a boot manager, a defragmentation tool and a task scheduler. It is the latter that seemed to us the most interesting since it greatly facilitates the procedures unlike the one integrated into Windows 10. The other tools, although effective, are mainly duplicates of features already present in Microsoft’s system.
We were won over by the VPN proposed by Panda. This is a collaboration with Hotspot Shield and the tool is directly integrated into the Panda Dome interface unlike some competitors who require additional software to be downloaded. The list of proposed countries is quite extensive, but it is not possible to choose a specific server in a given country. However, the connection was fast and we were able to browse the web with ease using the VPN.
The data protection module offers the user the possibility to protect himself against ransomwares. The option requires a first activation via the Panda Dome menu and then the user must click on the star wheel at the top right to access the options. From there, it is possible to specify the folders to be protected, but also to choose which software is allowed.
We will quickly switch to the firewall which is quite easy to handle. We appreciated the presence of some default rules to guide users who want to let the antivirus work for them. The application control tool creates a white or black list of software that can run or not.
We then went on to tackle parental control, an area where, in our opinion, a lot of antivirus software is failing. Panda Dome surprised us, and in a good way: parental control options are not numerous but they just target the essential. After selecting the PC session to monitor, it is possible to apply filters that will block certain categories of sites. The list is quite extensive but, in case this is not enough, it is possible to block specific sites. We wanted to check its effectiveness and we could not access any of the checked categories; Panda warned us via a small notification that we would not go any further. However, it is not possible to specify time slots for site blocking. When the parent activates parental control, the selected categories are permanently blocked.
The “secure browser” feature, on the other hand, did not convince us. This tool is supposed to block some web threats, including phishing attempts. Unfortunately, we were unable to use it because it was the browser’s protection that took the lead each time.
For the first time, Panda Dome integrates its own password manager. This takes the form of a separate program called Password Depot – Panda Secure Vault. First of all, we were a little disappointed by the very austere interface of the software. We are far from the colourful menus that can be found at Dashlane or 1Password.
It is then necessary to create a new database to store future passwords. The latter will be protected with a master password, the only one you will need to memorize. Panda Secure Vault can even help you find a secure password through its convenient generator.
Panda Secure Vault also features a superimposed toolbar at the top of the screen that allows you to perform different actions more quickly. In our opinion, this is a solution that avoids using browser extensions, but in use, it is a little less practical since some of the tasks are not automated. Indeed, the automatic filling sometimes has some failures but it is fortunately possible to do without it. Note that Password Depot is also the tool that allows you to use the virtual keyboard, file shredder and file encryption tool.
We didn’t know exactly what to expect with Panda Dome but this security suite convinced us, overall. With its modern and easy-to-use interface, Panda Dome clearly plays the accessibility card. The objective seems to be to protect users even if they are not comfortable with antivirus software. Special mention for parental control which should inspire many competitors as well as for the VPN which can be very practical if necessary. A small disappointment with the “secure browser” option, which did not convince us. But despite everything, Panda Dome has made a very good impression on us and is one of the security suites we recommend.
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