Computer security and fighting off the most obnoxious of viruses and malwares, is quite crucial. Thankfully, we have various Antivirus software solutions for that. Panda Security needs no introduction in the realm of Antiviruses Suites, as they provide robust and acclaimed computer security solutions for home users and enterprises. Panda Cloud Antivirus is probably the company’s much used antivirus software, of which we took an inside look back in 2009 (along with a brief introduction to what Cloud Antivirus is) – when the software was new and in early beta. In short, cloud antivirus run entirely from the internet, and scan your files on the company’s own server, thus reducing work load on your PC. Since its inception, the application has been completely overhauled with new look and new features. Panda Security has now pulled the curtain on Panda Cloud Antivirus 2.0, with 50% faster scan performance over its predecessor, reliable virus definitions and an improved scan engine. There is now ‘Behavioral Analysis Engine’ on free version as well (previously, it was only available on Pro variant). Along with that there’s a reworked offline functionality, a new Firewall (Pro only), a new cloud-based disinfection engine and improved scan benchmarking over version 1.6.
It should be noted that during installation, the setup tries to install Panda Toolbar. Should you don’t need it, uncheck its installation before you click Next.
Since we earlier reviewed it, much has changed regarding the UI. There is now a revamped interface design, which unarguably looks much better. There are four buttons on the main screen, namely Antivirus, Processes, Firewall and Vaccine (where the latter two options are only available on Pro version). The application also provides real-time graphical scan chart on main screen.
Clicking Processes opens up the Executed programs report window. This window lists down all the currently running programs and process, and monitors their Name, Classification, number of Http connections, Signed (status), and Detected and Last scan date. Should any of the listed process be using the internet, you may click View Web addresses to check which URLs were accessed by it. Likewise, you may click Block to block the connection.
To perform the scan operation, click Antivirus on the home screen. It provides three scan options – Optimized Scan, Full Scan and Scan other items. Click Scan now, followed by scan method to begin the process. It should be noted that Optimized scan is quick, but for a thorough scanning, choose Full Scan option. As the application provides real-time protection, it automatically moves suspicious files found on your computer to recycle bin (Quarantine list), which you can access from within this screen. Similarly, you can access Event log via clicking View detailed report.
Advanced settings contain some application specific options under Scan, Recycle bin, Warning and Reports, and Exclusions tabs. Under Scan, you can toggle Detection of PUP, Behavioral blocking, Behavioral analysis, Scan compressed files in on access scans etc. However, it’s advisable to leave them at defaults if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Overall, Panda Cloud Antivirus 2.0 seems to be a worthy update. There is a Free as well as a Pro ($29.95) variant, with the paid version containing some additional features. The application supports all Windows OS versions, including Windows 8.