Many security company product lines are as simple as one, two, three. First, they offer a simple antivirus. Adding firewall protection and other features bulks up that antivirus into a security suite. At the third and final stage is a mega-suite with additions such as online backup and system tune-up. Panda stretches that model, with a free antivirus, a commercial antivirus, and three distinct levels of security suite protection, all under the name Panda Dome. Panda Dome Essential, reviewed here, occupies the commercial antivirus slot in this pantheon, though it includes a few features more commonly found at the suite level. The app’s user interface is highly polished, even beautiful, but its results in—both labs-based testing and our own tests—don’t measure up.
How Much Does Panda Dome Essential Cost?
At $58.99 per year for a single license, this product costs a dollar less than Norton, but rather more than most other antivirus utilities, including some that add suite-level components. Bitdefender, Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security, and Webroot are among the many that go for around $40 per year. Kaspersky starts with three licenses for $59.99, the same price as a three-license pack of Bitdefender or ESET antivirus. A three-license Panda subscription costs $70.99.
McAfee AntiVirus Plus also costs $59.99 per year, but that price gets you unlimited licenses to install protection on every Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS device in your household. Note that you’ll have to purchase this one at a retail outlet, as it’s not sold directly on the McAfee website. Even at the essential antivirus level, Panda is also cross-platform, with support for Windows, macOS, and Android. If you plan to protect a bunch of devices, you can get five Panda licenses for $82.99 per year or 10 licenses for $106.99. Once you get to 10, you might consider purchasing unlimited Panda licenses for $118.99 per year.
Like the free Panda antivirus, this software eschews the usual white or slate gray background for its main window. Instead, it fills the main window with a gorgeous scene from nature. You can choose from eight nature backgrounds or set them to change automatically from time to…