Antivirus

Panda Dome Essential

Panda Security is a Spanish-based company with a strong record of antivirus innovations. From launching daily signature updates in 1998, to introducing behavioral monitoring in 2004 and cloud scanning in 2007, Panda has been involved with a host of technologies we now take for granted.Panda Dome Essential goes well beyond the basics of real-time antivirus…


Panda Security is a Spanish-based company with a strong record of antivirus innovations. From launching daily signature updates in 1998, to introducing behavioral monitoring in 2004 and cloud scanning in 2007, Panda has been involved with a host of technologies we now take for granted.

Panda Dome Essential goes well beyond the basics of real-time antivirus protection with URL filtering, a simple firewall to block network attacks, and even free VPN access. Okay, with no choice of location and a 150MB per day free data allowance you won’t be using it for streaming movies or heavy torrenting, but it’s fine for emailing on public Wi-Fi hotspots when you’re out and about.

The package is reasonably priced at £26.24 ($34) for a one-year license, especially as you’re covered for unlimited Windows, Mac and Android devices. As usual, the small print qualifies that ‘unlimited’ promise somewhat, saying that it’s for ‘one customer in one household only’ and is ‘subject to limitations on reasonable home use.’ But as long as you’re not trying to cheat the system and cover every PC in your entire office, Panda is unlikely to complain.

  • You can sign up for Panda Dome Essential here

If Dome Essential isn’t powerful enough for you, opting for the £35.25 ($46) Dome Advanced gets you parental controls, additional layers of ransomware and ‘advanced threats protection’, and identity protection while banking and shopping online.

The next step up, Dome Complete, adds encryption, system clean-up tools and a password manager for £53.24 ($69), while the £89.24 ($116) Dome Premium gets you unlimited VPN access to all locations, and unlimited premium technical support.

Panda Dome Essential

Setup

Panda Dome Essential has a 30-day trial available on the website, and we found, downloaded and launched the build in a few seconds.

The installer is a little more intrusive than expected, and by default it changes both your search provider and home page to try and keep you safe. That’s a couple of steps too far, for us, but both options are clearly visible within the installer and you can turn them off immediately.

Once setup was complete, Dome Essential asked us to register the program by providing our email address. We prefer antivirus which allows us to stay anonymous, but many competitors do much the same, and at least we didn’t have to provide any payment details.

Panda Dome Essential

Installation was relatively speedy, with no complaints about ‘incompatible’ software or other hassles. There was a short delay while Dome Essential ran a quick initial scan, but the main program console then appeared and was ready for use.

Panda has always claimed to be one of the most lightweight antivirus apps around, so we were interested to see how it behaved. Dome Essential added four core background processes to our test system, a little more than usual, but these typically consumed a minimal 20-50MB RAM during normal PC use. We’ve seen some competitors grab 10 times as much.

Checking Panda’s installed files revealed one possible explanation – they took up just 124MB – but there were some oddities, too. Several of the f

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Antivirus

Here is how you could win a $600 iTunes or Google Play voucher and Avast security software worth $200

TechRadar Pro has partnered with Avast to give you the chance to make your business more secure and go on a splurge with a $600 gift voucher for either Apple iTunes or Google Play.The rapid rise of threats online combined with fast mobile internet access and ubiquitous mobile phones means that security solutions have now…


TechRadar Pro has partnered with Avast to give you the chance to make your business more secure and go on a splurge with a $600 gift voucher for either Apple iTunes or Google Play.

The rapid rise of threats online combined with fast mobile internet access and ubiquitous mobile phones means that security solutions have now moved beyond the traditional antivirus.

Now, we want to know how business owners and ITDMs secure your devices, either online or offline, on desktop or mobile, and we’ve put together a short survey to help us find out more.

Everyone completing the survey will be entered into a

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Antivirus

Here is how you could win an iPhone 7 Plus and Avast security software worth £700

TechRadar Pro has partnered with Avast to give you the chance to make your business more secure and own one of the best iPhone smartphones ever, the iPhone 7 Plus.The rapid rise of threats online combined with fast mobile internet access and ubiquitous mobile phones means that security solutions have now moved beyond the traditional…


TechRadar Pro has partnered with Avast to give you the chance to make your business more secure and own one of the best iPhone smartphones ever, the iPhone 7 Plus.

The rapid rise of threats online combined with fast mobile internet access and ubiquitous mobile phones means that security solutions have now moved beyond the traditional antivirus.

Now, we want to know how business owners and ITDMs secure your devices, either online or offline, on desktop or mobile, and we’ve put together a short survey to help us find out more.

Everyone completing the survey will be entered into a draw to win a bumper crop of prizes worth nearly £700.

One winner will get:

  • An iPhone 7 Plus worth £569

So what are you waiting

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Antivirus

How to test anti-ransomware: This is how we do it

Ransomware may not make the headlines quite as often as it did in the past, but it hasn’t gone away. In December 2018, for instance, a new threat apparently created by a single hacker managed to infect at least 100,000 computers in China, encrypting files, stealing passwords and generally trashing users’ systems.Antivirus companies like to…


Ransomware may not make the headlines quite as often as it did in the past, but it hasn’t gone away. In December 2018, for instance, a new threat apparently created by a single hacker managed to infect at least 100,000 computers in China, encrypting files, stealing passwords and generally trashing users’ systems.

Antivirus companies like to claim they’ll keep you safe, with vague but impressive sounding talk about ‘multi-layered protection’, ‘sophisticated behavior monitoring’ and the new big thing: ‘machine learning’. But do they really deliver?

The easiest way to get an idea is to check the latest reports from the independent testing labs. AV-Comparatives Real-World Protection Tests and AV-Test’s reports are an invaluable way to compare the accuracy and reliability of the top antivirus engines, for instance.

The problem is that the test reports only give you a very general indicator of performance with malware as a whole. They won’t tell you how an engine performs specifically with ransomware, how quickly it can respond, how many files you might lose before a threat is stopped, and other nuances. That’s exactly the sort of information we really want to know, and that’s why we’ve devised our own anti-ransomware test.

Ransomware simulator

It’s possible to test anti-ransomware software by pitting it against known real-world threats, but the results aren’t often very useful. Typically, the antivirus will detect the threat by its file signature, ensuring it never reaches any specialist anti-ransomware layer.

What we decided to do, instead, was write our own custom ransomware simulator. This would act very much like regular ransomware, spidering through a folder tree, detecting common user files and documents and encrypting them. But because we had developed it, we could be sure that any given antivirus package wouldn’t be able to detect our simulator from the file alone. We would be testing its behavior monitoring only.

There are weaknesses with this concept. Most obviously, using our own simple, unsophisticated code would never provide as effective or reliable an indicator as using real undiscovered ransomware samples for each review.

But there are plus points, too.

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Antivirus

K7 Antivirus Premium

K7 Computing may not have the profile of the big-name competition, but there’s more to the Indian company than you might think: 25+ years of antivirus experience, VirusTotal and OPSWAT partners, a range of home and business products, and more than 20 million users around the world.K7 Antivirus Premium is the starter product in the…


K7 Computing may not have the profile of the big-name competition, but there’s more to the Indian company than you might think: 25+ years of antivirus experience, VirusTotal and OPSWAT partners, a range of home and business products, and more than 20 million users around the world.

K7 Antivirus Premium is the starter product in the range, but don’t assume that means it’s short on features. There’s antivirus, exploit protection, a firewall, device control, USB vaccination, basic system clean-up tools and a virtual keyboard.

  • You can sign up for K7 Antivirus Premium here

There’s also a notable omission, though, in the lack of any URL filtering. Many antivirus packages will try to detect and block access to malicious or phishing websites, but not this one.

Single user pricing is good, with the package costing a mere $25 for a one device, one-year license. Kaspersky Anti-Virus doesn’t have all the functionality of K7 Antivirus Premium, but it’s noticeably more expensive at $32.50 (£25).

Add users and years and it’s a little different. A five device, two-year license for K7 Antivirus Premium is $100; an equivalent Kaspersky license is a near identical $104 (£80). K7 still looks like good value for the features you get, but the price advantages fade if you opt for a multi-user license.

If you’re intrigued by the lengthy feature list and low price, a free 30-day trial gives you a risk-free way to find out more.

Setup

Setup

The K7 Antivirus Premium installer looked very simple, just a ‘View EULA’ link and an ‘Install’ button, with not as much as a ‘choose your installation folder’ option to get in the way. So, we tapped Install and watched as the setup window disappeared, and – didn’t return. No ‘Done’ message, no ‘Please reboot’ advice, nothing at all.

Task Manager didn’t show any running installer, but the process didn’t seem to have finished properly, either (there was no K7 shortcut on our desktop, nothing on the Start menu, no K7 icon in our system tray.) 

We rebooted, and a K7 icon appeared in our system tray. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t respond to our left or right-clicks, just displaying a tooltip of ‘Activation Pending.’ After a few minutes, pop-ups asked us if we wanted to activate and update the package, but when we clicked ‘yes please’, warned us that the update had failed, and we should reinstall.

While this sounds easy, it really wasn’t. Just as had happened in our last K7 review (though for different reasons), our first installation was broken. When we ran the installer again, it told us K7 Antivirus Premium was installed already and we should uninstall it; when we tried to run the uninstaller, it told us the process had failed and we should reinstall. Deadlock.

Activation

We went to work, finding and running K7’s cleanup tool ourselves, cleaning our temporary folders, rebooting, closing all non-essential apps, trying K7’s installer again, and – this time, we appeared to be in

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