Panda Internet Security 2010 differentiates itself from some of the other internet security suites by not including hard drive and performance tools.

However, there are still plenty of tools on offer, including firewall, identity theft protection, anti-spam, web content control, and even back-up features.

We found this suite installed the fastest of all the tools we have tested recently, installing in less than five minutes and setting up the anti-virus portion of the suite before offering to scan the memory and hard drive for any malware already pre-installed on the system. This rootkit worked efficiently and adds an extra layer of protection.

Simple to use

Panda's intention with this latest version of the software was to make it have as minimal an impact on the user as possible and the rather plain user-interface highlights this.

The layout is simple with all the controls outlined on the left-hand side. The main modules are listed under Protection, while Maintenance covers the basic back-up options. Along the top of the page are Scan, Report, Quarantine and Services information tags and, while the information it offers is basic, it's enough to know that your laptop is protected.

What we found most appealing about this suite was that it's designed very much for the user who wants to install it and then not have to worry about whether their system is secure or not – making this the ideal choice for the first-time user.

When it comes to scanning, Panda claims this latest version uses 80 per cent less memory than previous versions. This may well be the case, as we found leaving the software to scan in the background while we carried on working showed no visible lag in system performance.

With this in mind, anyone with a basic or ageing laptop will find this suite highly useful.

In many respects, Panda Internet Security 2010 is very much an update, as many of the core features are the same. However, it is such a highly accomplished suite that we find it difficult to resist, making it a worthy award winner.

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