Panda Cloud Antivirus is hard to beat for free PC security.
Unlike other security tools, Panda does its work in the cloud – it is software-as-a-service. Panda sends data about dangerous looking files to its servers for closer inspection.
Because your computer doesn’t do the hard work, Panda imposes almost no overhead.
When I benchmarked my PC there was no performance difference between the system running the software and having the software switched off. If there’s a network overhead, I couldn’t measure it.
Panda’s other big advantage is the malware checking database is always up-to-date. There are no signature files to download.
One issue I have with Panda is the program is so trouble-free, it is easy to forget. You barely notice it. I previously described Microsoft’s Security Essentials as “barely there” – Panda Cloud is even less noticeable.
Panda is better than other free anti-virus products at trapping malware. I previously ran it for a month without any issues and have run it for the past three or four days with no ill effects.
I’d say it is the most promising free anti-virus application on offer. At some point the developers will need to make some money. I’ll be interesting to see how. For now, this is possibly the best free choice.
Of course, you may prefer not to leave your computer’s protection in the hands of free software makers.