Cyberattacks are occurring more often, and staying safe online is more important than ever. Protection is vital in stopping these attacks. In this post, I will look at two antivirus software programs and determine which one is the best.
TotalAV and Panda are both solid choices, but which has the best results in defeating malware? Keep reading below and we will compare the two programs on pricing, performance, features, and most importantly, malware protection.
If you can’t wait to find out, TotalAV is my winner. It offers greater discounts on your subscription and has more features to help protect you online. It delivered the best results in my testing and works with all major operating systems.
Want to decide for yourself? Read on for the full comparison.
TotalAV vs Panda summary
- Ransomware protection
- System tune-up
- Cloud scanning
- Low system impact, cloud-based antivirus
- Premium VPN
- Parental controls
|Antivirus and antispyware||✔||✔|
|Banking and payment protection||✔||✔|
|Network attack protection||✔||✖|
|Automatically update apps||✔||✖|
|Identity theft protection||✖||✖|
BEST DEAL FOR TOTALAV:Save 80% on TotalAV Antivirus Pro and protect yourself from malware, hackers, viruses, and other online threats.
BEST DEAL FOR PANDA:Save 50% on all Panda products and also benefit from a 30 day risk-free money-back guarantee.
TotalAV is still quite new in the antivirus world. Nevertheless, this hasn’t stopped it from winning countless awards. Over 25 million people trust TotalAV all over the world to protect their identities. Currently registered in the United Kingdom, TotalAV is owned by Protected.net Group Limited.
Although Panda was founded in 1990, the company didn’t launch its own cloud antivirus until 2005. Unlike TotalAV, Panda scans files on a remote server. Therefore, there it uses up far less processing power of the user’s system.
Pricing and compatibility
Not everyone likes to pay for antivirus software. What many may not understand is paying for your antivirus software greatly reduces risks. Free versions are often limited and don’t protect users to a great extent.
Looking at TotalAV’s offerings, it’s hard to ignore the simplicity of the pricing structure. With free and paid versions available, you have a greater choice of protection. It’s possible to protect up to six devices with paid versions.
The table below shows these offers.
|TotalAV Antivirus Pro||TotalAV Antivirus Pro (3 devices)||TotalAV Antivirus Pro (5 devices)||TotalAV Antivirus Pro (6 devices)|
|Free||$99.99 per year||$119.99 per year||$149.99 per year|
TotalAV offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Panda lets you try out the first month for free. If the software isn’t right for you, you can cancel the contract within the first 30 days.
Panda also offers first-year discounts so prices can be relatively low. The price plans are in the table below.
|Panda Essential||Panda Advanced||Panda Complete||Panda Premium|
|$58.99 per year||$70.99 per year||$106.99 per year||$166.99 per year|
Prices with first-year discounts applied are $41.29 (GBP £29.91) for Panda Essential, $42.59 (GBP £30.85) for Panda Advanced, $53.49 (GBP £38.74) for Panda Complete, and $83.49 (GBP £60.47) for Panda Premium.
TotalAV is one of the few antivirus products to work with iPhones and iPads in addition to Mac, Android, and Windows. Unlike TotalAV, Panda only works with Windows, macOS, and Android devices.
Effectiveness against malware
If you’re paying for antivirus software, you have to be sure it deals with all threats securely. I ran a number of tests to see which antivirus software identified and dealt with dangerous malware the best.
The table below lists my findings. I downloaded four EICAR (European Institute for Computer Anti-Virus Research) test files and used three live malware samples, including adware and two Trojans.
|Test File||EICAR Sample 1||EICAR Sample 2||EICAR Sample 3||EICAR Sample 4||Live Sample 1 (Adware)||Live Sample 2 (Trojan)||Live Sample 3 (Trojan)|
As you can see from the table, there are mixed results. TotalAV blocked one EICAR sample and allowed three others. All live samples were detected. Panda blocked only two of the four EICAR samples, but also all three of the live malware samples.
Panda allowed all zipped EICAR files until they had become unzipped. All live malware samples were blocked but the programs were allowed to attempt to run. Panda did block the files but achieved this by using a surprising method. An antivirus program would normally stop the threat well before running the file as a program.
I looked into independent tests to validate these results. A recent report from May 2020 and June 2020 from AV-Test, a leading independent testing website, gave similar findings. TotalAV scored a 98.2 percent protection rate in May and 98.9 percent in June. Another site, AV-Comparatives found Panda blocked 99.9 percent of 734 test malware samples. Both of these are impressive results.
These sites also run false alarm tests. These indicate how often an antivirus program may diagnose a safe file or program as a threat. This can disrupt device usage and cause avoidable confusion. TotalAV recorded just two false positives while Panda scored an extremely large number of 48. This could indicate that the Panda antivirus scanner is overly sensitive.
Overall, both TotalAV and Panda performed admirably in these tests but a large number of false tests is an alarming statistic from Panda.
Impact on PC performance
Every time you install new software on your PC, you run the risk of slowing down the system. Antivirus is no exception. Below, I look at the impact antivirus software has on a PC. I tested both TotalAV and Panda, capturing data on full and quick scans, and when no scan was being performed.
|Test Type||Control CPU Utilization % (no scan)||Control Memory Utilization % (no scan)||Control Disk Utilization (MB/s) (no scan)||Quick Scan CPU Utilization %||Quick Scan Memory Utilization %||Quick Scan Disk Utilization (MB/s)||Quick Scan Time (seconds)|
The table shows that TotalAV resulted in more disk utilization than Panda, but lower memory utilization. TotalAV’s quick scan was resolved in a lengthy 1,740 seconds. This is far longer than other antivirus software on the market.
The table below shows the results from a full scan.
|Test Type||Full Scan Time (minutes)||Full Scan Items Scanned||Control CPU Utilization % (no scan)||Control Memory Utilization % (no scan)||Control Disk Utilization (MB/s) (no scan)||Quick Scan CPU Utilization %||Quick Scan Memory Utilization %||Quick Scan Disk Utilization (MB/s)|
The results show that Panda goes deeper into the PC and scans more items than TotalAV. Panda’s full scan only took 40 minutes compared to TotalAV’s 199 minutes. TotalAV’s scan resulted in higher disk utilization and memory, resulting in a bigger impact on the PC.
I wanted to see if there were similar results with the data from AV-Comparatives. Its performance tests looked at how PC’s performances are impacted through eight common tasks.
- Downloading files
- Browsing websites
- File copying: first and subsequent run
- Installing and uninstalling applications
- Archiving and unarchiving
- Launching applications: first and subsequent run
TotalAV scored very fast for all tasks, with the exception of installing and uninstalling applications. Panda also scored very fast on all but one of the tasks. The worst result came in archiving and unarchiving, though it still received a quick rating.
From these results, Panda is marginally better due to its faster full scan time and the number of items it scans, but it’s a close call.
You’ll want to know what you are paying for when you purchase new software. There are various features included with antivirus software on top of the basic antivirus scanner. Listed below are the features for TotalAV and Panda that you will likely find most helpful.
- Ransomware protection
- Protection against phishing scams
- Protection against adware and spyware
- Free up system space
- System tune-up
- Web shield extension
- Browser cleaner and manager
- Cloud scanning
- Antivirus and firewall
- Real-time protection
- Wi-fi protection against hackers
- Scanning of external devices to prevent infection
- Parental control for Windows: this monitors and restricts device usage for your children
- Identity protection to keep online shopping and browsing safe
- Password generator
- Cleanup: removes files that slow down your PC
- Premium VPN: secure, private, and unlimited internet browsing
I have highlighted some of the standout features below.
- Cloud scanning: This ensures your device is scanned and protected quickly and thoroughly. Cloud scanning is the fastest protection against zero-day malware threats.
- System tune-up: Find any areas that could help maximize the performance and speed of your device.
- Protection against phishing scams: The latest phishing URLs are blocked with this tool. This helps protect you against any dangerous scams that could target your device.
- VPN: A VPN keeps your internet activity private. It can help you access geo-blocked content like movies or TV shows. The premium version of Panda’s VPN offers unlimited data.
- Parental controls: This is vital for all parents for helping control what content children are viewing.
- Password generator: Such tools allow you to generate and save secure passwords. You won’t have to remember them all and it stops you from reusing common passwords that hackers could easily guess.
There are many standout features with both TotalAV and Panda. TotalAV comes out on top due to the cloud scanning process it includes, plus protection against scams offering ultimate security.
Signup and installation
Many users feel daunted by the prospect of installing new software on their devices. Both of these programs offer swift and simple setups.
Once you’ve selected a product, TotalAV will take you immediately to the checkout. ‘Free tune up’ and ‘free additional devices’ are bonus features automatically added to the product. Monthly payments aren’t an option, but the first-year discounts make up for that overall.
Panda offers simplicity with its website. This makes it easier to compare the different packages on offer. The checkout page allows you to choose the number of devices you need to cover once you have chosen which tier suits you best. It then gives you the option of either an annual or three-year subscription. Finally, it only takes a few minutes to set up and launch once you’ve downloaded the antivirus protection.
How easy is the interface to use?
It’s very important to consider ease of use with antivirus software. Complicated interfaces can leave you scratching your head in frustration and confusion.
TotalAV’s design is very simple, which is a plus for beginners. Once opened, the screen informs you that you are protected. You are then prompted to run a smart scan easily. You can adjust your settings and more via the left-hand icon and navigate to malware protection.
Below is a screenshot of the Panda interface. As you can see, it is designed to give the user quick and easy access to tools such as the process monitor, parental controls, firewall, and online backup. Having all the tools in one place is very helpful. However, the interface is quite packed in comparison with other antivirus programs.
Customer support is essential, and you expect good service when you’re paying a decent sum for an annual subscription.
TotalAV has 24/7 live chat support on its website. This is easy to use and quick to find. You can also contact TotalAV by email and phone or visit their very helpful FAQ and support pages via the website.
Panda doesn’t offer as many contact options as TotalAV. Its standard support is outsourced to AnyTech365, which offers help via phone and email. The Panda website includes an FAQ section and setup guide. There is a premium phone support package available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
TotalAV vs Panda Conclusion
This comparison has looked at two popular antivirus software products on the market today. In conclusion, I have found that TotalAV and Panda have a number of pros and cons. Panda produced a deeper scan at a quicker rate with less of a performance impact on the PC. However, TotalAV offers more features in an all-around security package. TotalAV offers a bigger discount on its Pro version resulting in an attractive price of just $19 (GBP £13.77) for the first year.
TotalAV and Panda are both reliable antivirus programs but TotalAV just wins the race. The simple price structure and intuitive interface of TotalAV push it over the edge. Panda is by no means a bad option, but it just lacks the features of TotalAV.