Anti-virus software

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Panda Dome Essential Review

Panda Dome Essential

Reviewer: Stephen Qualtrough
Developer: Panda
Ranked: 8th
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 do like certain things about this antivirus offering, but we think other features don’t work quite so well. For example, Panda Dome Essential gives you a great firewall but the protection you get from malware isn’t as strong as from other antivirus software. We think it’s a good, complete package but not the best 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.


Panda AntiVirus gets good scores from the independent labs. AV-Comparatives rated Panda as Advanced, which is the second-highest rating you can get. Panda also did well in a recent whole-product test where it came out 5th most effective from 17. Panda ranked highly with AV-Test.

Scans & updates

We think the scan systems in the Panda Dome Essential are effective and you won’t find any problems getting the scans you want and need. Choose between a full scan, a quick scan and a customized scan where you choose the settings and locations for search. You can also run a vulnerability scan, which lists and rates the severity of the vulnerabilities it finds.

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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