Anti-virus software

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Panda Dome Essential

Panda Dome Essential Review

Reviewer: Stephen Qualtrough
Developer: Panda
Overall rating:
Price: $34.99 $26.24 - $8.75 off

Review summary

Good points

 Comprehensive Wi-Fi security monitor

 Includes VPN

 Complete firewall protection included

Bad points

 Not so great at removing malware

 Safe browser tool is difficult to use

Our verdict

We appreciate some features of this anti-virus solution. However, other parts are not as effective. For instance, Panda Dome Essential provides a robust firewall. However, the level of protection against malware is less intense than that offered by other anti-virus software. Overall, it is a solid solution; however, we have identified better solutions on the market.

Full review

Panda Security has been busy developing virus protection and malware detection systems since 1990. This release of the consumer antivirus product is a revamped version and offers improved features, protection and classification techniques. The Panda Dome Essential system now offers a firewall as well as a safe virtual browser and improved virus detection that benefits from the company’s years of research.


Download the product and install it on your PC in one simple move. The package comes with three licenses so you can protect all the computers in your home at once. Setup is quick and we didn’t have any problems getting it installed correctly. You need to remove any other antivirus protection before you start.

One possible problem with setting up concerns the safe browser mode. This is an optional feature and you need to download it separately. Unfortunately, it takes up a lot of disk space and launching the feature is time consuming and stressful.

Safe browser aside, the Panda Dome Essential version is lighter on your resources than previously, meaning you get better performance as the database for malware detection rests in the cloud.


Panda gives us cloud technology with its protection model held within a user community – all kinds of known and unknown threats are detected and gathered from the cloud. Panda AntiVirus detects spyware, viruses, Trojans and rootkits.

Internet – Browse online with added protection from the Panda system. In addition, the virtual keyboard and the safe browser let you access possibly damaging websites without risk.

Firewall – You’re usually more likely to find a firewall in a security suite, but Panda includes it in the antivirus package. The firewall includes Wi-Fi security so you’re protected even within your wireless network.


Disappointingly, Panda could only achieve a "TESTED" award from AV-Comparatives in June 2023 for its "Real-World Protection Test." The reason for such a low rating was the number of false alarms recorded.

Panda does not feature in the latest AV-TEST.

Scans & updates

The scan systems in Panda Dome Essential are effective, and you'll encounter no issues when running the scans you desire and require. You have the flexibility to select from a full scan, quick scan, or customized scan, where you can set specific preferences and target locations for the search. Additionally, the option to conduct a vulnerability scan is available, providing a comprehensive list with severity ratings for any vulnerabilities detected.

Your PC is kept updated because new virus threats are constantly fed back from the user community.


Backup disk – the Panda SafeCD cleans up the PC if you crash and can’t restart Windows.

USB protection – You also get a USB “vaccine” feature with Panda. This option protects individual USB drives so they can’t be penetrated by other processes.

Gamer mode – The Panda antivirus system gives you an optional gaming mode so you can play or surf without updates or interference.

Ease of use

Panda Dome Essential offers a one-click-fix procedure on its main window, where you can see the status of the security settings and click to solve any problems. The interface is clean and easy to read, and the virus protection system is easy to understand.

If you set up the antivirus program on more than one PC, the network manager shows the PCs that are covered and alerts you to the computers that have out-of-date protection.

Help & support

We like that the tech support service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. In addition, you can join the Panda Tech Support Forum where experts and other users band together to solve problems.


The firewall is a good addition to this antivirus product and we think it gives the software an edge over some of its direct competitors. Some of the Panda extra features, such as the safe browser mode, are actually free for anyone to download so they’re not exactly added bonuses. And the malware detection capabilities of Panda Dome Essential are not fantastic, although they are better than some. Panda offers a good quality product but there are better ones out there.

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