Panda Software’s latest offering gathers together its Platinum antivirus package and adds a firewall, antispam, Web content filtering, and protection against spyware and rogue dialler software.
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Although its antivirus performance was just as good as previous versions, Platinum still lags behind Norton and McAfee. My standard test for basic firewalls is to go to the Shields Up Test at www.grc.com. Panda PIS passed this test with flying colours — every port I tested was reported as being “stealthed”, which is good. Anti-spam performance was disappointing, only detecting about 10 per cent of my spam. System impact is always an issue with security software bundles and Panda PIS slows the system noticeably.
Like its rivals, Platinum Internet Security’s big problem is that a good chunk of its functionality is available elsewhere for free. If you want a good firewall or antispyware product, the free versions of ZoneAlarm and AdAware fit the bill admirably. The benefit of PIS is that it integrates all these elements, making it easy to get to grips with — a feat that has eluded rival products such as Norton Internet Security 2004.