When a virus strikes, you don't have time to wait for your antivirus software to update itself. Panda Cloud Antivirus takes a slightly different tack to most by storing the latest virus information and definitions online, and the benefits are of this system are clear.
Ordinarily, whenever a new virus threat is detected, this fact must be recognised and acted upon by the antivirus software's manufacturers. A virus definition update then has to be made available to users in the hope that automatic updates are enabled in the program, and that the servers pushing out those updates are up to the task of handling potentially millions of downloads before the virus in question has time to strike.
With Panda Cloud Antivirus, protection is provided by virus definitions that are stored in the cloud – so as soon as a new virus is spotted, you're protected from it without the need to wait for the latest definitions to be downloaded and installed.
The need to manually update your malware software is eliminated – it's all taken care of automatically. Better still, this virus protection comes without the usual performance hit; all of the necessary hardcore processing takes place on Panda's own server.
This is all reassuringly positive, but we do still have a few minor concerns. The program's interface is best described as 'minimalist', which only serves to reinforce the fact that you've essentially put your PC's security in someone else's hands.
You really do leave it all up to the software: any known threats are deleted automatically, while suspicious files are 'neutralised' and moved to a safe location where they can be reviewed manually.
We think that Panda Cloud Antivirus is best viewed as a defence tool rather than a utility for cleaning up a system that's already riddled with infection.
Nevertheless, the cloud is clearly the future of security software, and this is a great first step.
Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview