Panda Security has released an overhauled version of its cloud-based antivirus software today, bringing a slew of new features including an updated interface and Windows 8 compatibility. Available in both free and paid versions, Panda Cloud Antivirus 2.0 touts 50% faster on-demand scans, improved disinfection rates and reduced memory usage.
Previously limited to the paid version, free users now benefit from Panda's behavioral analysis engine. The free software also packs a new cloud-based disinfection engine, improved offline protection, the ability to display individual processes for everything connected to the Internet, URL and Web filtering, as well as new advanced configuration options.
The Pro Edition costs $30 a year and contains all of the above in addition to a new community-based firewall that manages permissions with real-time knowledge from Panda's global userbase, protection on public Wi-Fi networks, and automatic "USB vaccination." Pro customers also get an ad-free experience and 24/7 multilingual support.
Although Panda isn't particularly popular compared to solutions by Microsoft, ESET, AVG, Avira and Avast, the company's software ranks well among many independent antivirus testing outfits. Panda Cloud Antivirus 1.5.2, for instance, earned AV-Test's certification award a few months back with high ratings for protection, repair and usability.
If you're already using an older version of Panda Cloud Antivirus, it should update automatically in the coming days or you can manually download the latest build here. Be sure to uninstall antiviruses by other companies before you try Panda. Also, watch for an installation option that installs a toolbar and changes your default search provider.