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Panda Anti-virus vs. Avast

by Richard Bashara

Avast and Panda Security are two leading free anti-virus programs that have shown to be effective at neutralizing threats on a user’s PC. Before you choose one to guard the sensitive documents you store on your business computer, consider factors such as usability or ability to remove threats that are detected. Both programs are effective at recognizing and neutralizing threats, but the program that will be right for your business will depend on your specific security concerns.

Anti-viral Protection

AV-Test, a leading independent tester for IT software in the consumer and corporate sectors, tested both Panda and Avast at the end of 2012. Protection-wise, Avast beat panda with a score of 4.5 to 4. According to PCWorld, Panda actually blocked more incoming threats from new malware than Avast. Avast scored above average with 78.6 percent of malicious software caught, but Panda matched AVG’s score with 85.7 percent of all malware blocked. Avast took an edge over Panda due to its ability to better stop zero-day threats, or malware that is new or only recently introduced into the population.

Malware Removal

Avast again defeated Panda in an independent AV-Test test, and in real-world testing as well. PCWorld notes that Avast was able to remove or repair 66 percent of the malware it detected, placing second best amongst all free antivirus programs. Panda did score higher detecting and removing root kits, but failed to fix critical systems that had come under attack. The low score in that category means Panda lost by .5 in the independent AV-Test. Panda Security did, however, receive a silver award in the AV-Comparatives malware removal test according to the December 2012 test conducted by the organization.

Ease of Use

The usability portion of an AV-Test looks at the effect the security software has on a computer, including its detection of false positives. According to AV-Test, Panda has the weaker impact on systems with only a nine-second slowdown attributed to daily use of the software. Real-world testing conducted by PCWorld, however, found that Avast was over four minutes faster in completing an on-demand scan. Panda has a shorter installation time and fewer options on its interface, so the program is generally perceived to be slightly more user-friendly than Avast.

Choosing Your Anti-virus

Avast and Panda are both ranked among the top antivirus programs currently in existence, free or otherwise. Panda scored very well overall in detecting and removing existing malware, while Avast excelled more at zero-day threats. Real-world testing shows that Panda seems to have a greater impact on the system, but Panda may be a viable option for users searching for a removal tool that is simple to use. Avast received a Top Rated Product award for 2012 from AV-Comparatives but the two programs remain separated by only .5 in almost every category tested on AV-Test. If current threats worry you, Avast may be the better choice.

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