This article explains the vigorous test I used to compare Norton, McAfee, and Panda security programs. I wanted to find out which program was the best at defending my system against virus, malware, spyware, and system intrusion attempts.
The test I used involved literally trying to install MalwareAlarm - a well known malicious infection - and then watching how each security program handled the attack.
Panda Internet Security won the test hands-down, and was the only program that truly protected my system from the malware attack (and also detected several other threats that Norton and McAfee both completely missed).
You might be wondering why I would do this to my system.
Well, it turns out that half of my testing was already done for me on two separate systems, because both Norton and McAfee did NOT protect the intrusion and let both systems become infected with MalwareAlarm.
I used Spyware Doctor to clean it, which is great at removing these kinds of infections; but I have found that Spyware Doctor does not protect against ongoing infections very well. I have to keep using it to remove infections once they happen, and I'd rather use a program that will both clean and protect against malware threats (an ounce of prevention is worth... well, you know).
Since both Norton and McAfee were unable to protect me from MalwareAlarm, I decided to do some testing of my own before making my next security software purchase. I downloaded the trial version of Panda Internet Security and ran it through my testing gauntlet.
Here are the steps I took for my security testing:
1. First I removed Norton from my home system. Then I installed Panda Internet Security and scanned my system. Right away it found a couple of viruses that Norton had missed.
2. Next I downloaded MalwareAlarm and tried to install it on my system. I know this sounds crazy, but I wanted to test if Panda was able to find MalwareAlarm, and the only way to do that is to at least try to get it on my system. Besides, I knew from past experience that I could always turn on Spyware Doctor and easily remove MalwareAlarm if Panda didn't catch it, so I had a back up plan ready, just in case.
Panda Internet Security Protects Against MalwareAlarm and Other Intrusion Attacks:
With Panda Internet Security fully installed on my system, I went through the same steps of trying to install MalwareAlarm. It gave me the exact results I was looking for - Panda notified me of the threat and neutralized it automatically. It refused to let it install on my system, even though I purposely tried to install it. That's the kind of protection I was looking for (the kid-proof kind), and the kind that I'm willing to recommend to my friends and family members.
Panda also recognized a fragmentation attack on my computer, which it completely blocked. It showed me the IP address of the attacker, which gives me the ability to pursue their internet provider and shut them down.
This impressed me greatly, because I've been having a lot of problems on my system with hard drive fragmentation. It turns out that I've just been under a fragmentation attack that's been slowly destroying my hard drive. Each time I repair it, the attacker strikes again. He won't be striking anymore, and I won't have to spend any money on a new hard drive!
Lastly, Panda discovered a hacking attempt on my wireless connection. One of my neighbors was trying to mooch off my wifi service, and apparently was even trying to gain access to my machine (nice neighbors I have, eh?) Fortunately, Panda shut him down and blocked his IP address.
My Security Test Conclusions:
Panda both cleans and protects against MalwareAlarm and other threats that both McAfee and Norton completely missed. It won my test with flying colors, and is my #1 choice for full system security protection.
I'll be keeping the full Panda Internet Security suite installed on my system to protect it from malware, spyware, adware, viruses, and malicious Internet attacks. It's smart enough to recognize malware threats like MalwareAlarm and destructive threats like the fragmentation attack - and the only program I've found that's strong enough to prevent them from infecting my system in the first place.
I've also installed Panda on my wife's laptop since it has the built-in Parental Control feature that filters inappropriate web site content. My kids use that computer to play Webkinz and other games during the day (especially on the weekends), so I want to restrict inappropriate web sites from their view.