Significantly faster scanning speeds, advanced configuration options, better reporting tools and a spate of bug fixes arrive in Panda Cloud Antivirus 1.5, released yesterday by Panda Security.

Stating that many of the enhancements in the update were originally suggested by the program's users, Panda senior research adviser Pedro Bustamante said in a blog post that the changes made since version 1.4 tweak the program's interface and installation, as well as offer deeper improvements to performance and to the program's feature list.

Panda Cloud Antivirus 1.5 (Credit: Panda Security)

The performance improvements ought to be noticeable quickly. These include faster scanning speeds and reduced CPU consumption, which means that your computer should function better overall while Cloud Antivirus is running. New features include advanced configuration options for excluding Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) and filtering files by extension. The activity monitor will now show scanned files and the last virus or threat detected, and the program's output report includes entries for Collective Intelligence synchronizations. Collective Intelligence is the cloud-based engine that anonymously collects and aggregates user data to create Cloud Antivirus' "security net." Adding in these reports pulls back the curtain a little bit to show users what their security program is doing.

The last two big changes to the program include a new interface for the installer, and the ability to close the in-program banner ad. Minor fixes include multiple bug repairs, including errors when registering with the Windows Security Center and opening the program immediately after install.

Panda has been gaining attention for the Cloud Antivirus program, which is similar in footprint to Microsoft Security Essentials but offers more features. However, Panda Security is still better-known for its paid-license security suites, which recently updated to their 2012 versions.