Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top product. The original review is below, but check out our current top picks for Mac Antivirus Software.
Panda Antivirus for Mac maintains a small footprint, because it conducts most of its work in the cloud rather than on your Mac. It offers offline protection by caching signatures locally and vigilantly watching for any unusual system behaviors that hint at the slightest presence of malware.
Independent software test lab AV-Test conducted thorough malware testing on dozens of Mac antivirus software solutions in 2016. Panda participated in these tests where it proved itself to be among the best Mac virus scanners. In these tests, it achieved a 93.5 percent detection rate, which isn't the highest score awarded to a Mac antivirus application, but it still indicates a high level of effectiveness.
As part of its testing, AV-Test assessed how much the performance of your Mac may be compromised while running Panda. Lab experts first downloaded, copied and shared files using a Mac that didn’t have antivirus software installed on it in order to get a baseline reading. It then did the same tests but with Panda Antivirus for Mac installed on the same test machine. When Panda was installed, the computer took 40 seconds longer to complete the same tasks it did previously without antivirus software installed. Forty seconds isn't much of a difference, though it is noticeable. By way of comparison, one of the antivirus applications on our list had a lag time of over a minute while another application took nearly five minutes to complete tasks.
In addition to protecting Macs from malware, Panda Antivirus for Mac includes a proprietary firewall that protects Wi-Fi networks. It scans USB drives and email messages, including attachments, to ensure viruses are not introduced from another source. Unfortunately, it does not include antiphishing, a feature that most of its competitors, including Bitdefender, have that detects whether an incoming email is trying to extract personal or financial information in order to steal your identity.
The download for Panda Antivirus for Mac includes a single license. You can purchase additional licenses that cover multiple Mac devices, including mobile devices. When this Mac virus protection solution is installed on your computer, it runs silently in the background and doesn't interrupt you when you are watching a video or playing a game.
Panda has its software downloads and tools online along with a searchable product knowledgebase. All of the documentation associated with your product is also online. Extended telephone support, 24/7 live chat and remote access support are available. Be aware, however, that you need pay for the Premium Support package in order to have access to these resources.
One neat help feature is embedded on the dashboard. When you click the Help button in the top right corner, a pop-up is enabled that gives you an overview of the dashboard. On this pop-up, you'll find a description of each button as well as other helpful links and features to help you better understand the tools you have at your disposal.
Panda Antivirus for Mac is effective and efficient at detecting Mac malware threats. It is easy to operate and does not occupy a substantial portion of your hard drive. Even though some competing applications come with more features and scored higher in independent tests, Panda can be considered one of the best Mac antivirus solutions.