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Panda in the cloud

Panda Cloud Antivirus is notable as a free security solution for two reasons: Panda is a reputable security vendor, and the program achieves its goal of freeing up system resources.

Panda Cloud Antivirus is notable as a free security solution for two reasons: Panda is a reputable security vendor making its first foray into the realm of freeware security, and the program's goal of freeing up system resources by putting much of the program's heavy lifting in the cloud is definitely attained.

When you open Cloud Antivirus, the main window lets you know whether you're safe or not with a big red or green icon. Cloud Antivirus works as other antivirus solutions do, offering a Quick Scan and a Custom scan for specific folder, files, and drives, but its ancillary features are exceptionally light. You can opt out of contributing anonymous data to the cloud, but that also opts you out of automatic threat management. There's a network connection proxy option should you need it, and a reporting feature that will show you what kind of threats have been detected and removed from your computer. You can filter the report by All, Last 24 hours, Last Week, or Last Month, and there's a Recycle Bin pane from which you can recover a false positive, should you need it. Unfortunately, the Recycle Bin is hidden behind an obnoxious "flipping" screen that cheesily rotates when you need to access it.

Despite lacking some of the customization heft that even other free antivirus solutions have, most glaringly a scheduler, the program is not necessarily a bad choice for a stripped-down antivirus. It runs at less than 10MB of RAM when idle, and around 60MB when scanning, which should appeal to resource-conscious Netbook users. Keeping in mind its limited feature set, and that we don't have efficacy numbers at the time of reviewing, Panda Cloud Antivirus makes a decent, reasonable security choice.

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