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Panda Cloud Antivirus 2.9 Beta 2

Preview the next version of this lightweight anti-virus tool

by Nick Peers

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Based on 1 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 18 March 2014
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 530
Developer: Panda Security
RSS News Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/PandaCloudAntivirus
Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/#!/Panda_Security
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cloudantivirus
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Panda Cloud Antivirus Beta 2.9
Panda Cloud Antivirus adds a Wi-Fi Monitor to its armoury.

When it comes to protecting your PC from all those nasty threats out there, Panda is a name you should remember to consider. Like Microsoft's Security Essentials tool it's lightweight and unobtrusive, but it's also quietly effective at protecting your PC, version 2.3 outperforming all other free anti-virus tools on the latest AV-Test evaluation.

Version 2.9 Beta, reviewed here, will become version 3.0 on its final release. So what's new in the world of Panda? First there's the revamped user interface - familiar, yet different as it apes the stripped back look of Windows 8 and 8.1. There's also a new Wi-Fi Monitor, which lets users see which devices are currently connected to their wireless network, helping root out unwanted devices piggybacking your internet connection. Note, it only works with computers that are themselves connected by Wi-Fi.

There's no indication yet as to whether this feature will be available in the free version on its final release either. We raved about the new community based firewall in last year's beta release only to discover it was restricted to the Pro version when version 2.0 finally appeared.

Simplicity's the name of the game with Panda: the firewall is designed to automatically set rules for known applications and processes, reducing the number of prompts you see when an unknown program attempts to connect to the network or internet. This ensures that – for the most part – it can be left to its own devices.

You’re then left with the same lightweight cloud-based anti-virus as before. It provides real-time protection using the latest virus signatures backed up by the “cloud-based” part of the protection, which basically translates as freeing up system resources by doing all the analysis of your files over the internet, resulting in a lighter, faster package.

Sadly there are no automated scans offered; instead, just click the Scan button to manually run an optimised scan or choose to scan your entire computer on semi-regular basis.

Potentially dangerous items are quarantined in the program’s Recycle Bin, where you can easily restore them if necessary from the main interface.

As free solutions go, Panda is unfussy, uncomplicated and lightweight, making it a good choice for the budget-conscious who are running Windows on an under-powered setup. And as the AV-Tests show, it's starting to deliver top-notch protection too.

Verdict:

A good choice for those looking for a simple, lightweight and - above all - effective free anti-virus tool.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013 (v11.0.6)

Free Full Commercial Software

Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013 is a compact, simple, but surprisingly feature-packed disc burning suite.

The program makes it easy to create simple data discs and audio CDs, for instance: just drag and drop your files onto the list area and you'll be burning the finished disc in a couple of clicks.

That's just the start, though. Burning Studio 2013 can also create data discs with customised, interactive multi-page menus, perfect if you'd like a more professional way to share and present the disc contents.

A built-in backup tool allows you to create backups which may be encrypted, compressed, and span several CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays.

And there are modules to create VCD or SVCD video projects; burn video DVDs or Blu-ray discs from prepared folders; create, browse or burn disc images (ISO, CUE/ BIN and Ashdisc formats are supported); copy discs, erase them, design and print disc covers, labels and booklets, and more.

The focus throughout is on ease of use, though, and so Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013 remains very straightforward, whatever you're doing. Most disc projects are created via the same simple interface, and for the most part all you have to do is drag and drop the necessary files. But experts will find more advanced options are only a click away, and if you need to then you can set ISO and UDF version, enable Joliet, make a disc bootable and more.

Note the download here will take you to the Downloadcrew Software Store where you can download Burning Studio 2013.

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