Panda Offering Free, Cloud-Based Antivirus

Panda Security released the public beta of its Panda Cloud Antivirus today. The company claims this is the first free cloud-based antivirus thin-client. Panda Cloud Antivirus consists of a lightweight antivirus agent that is connected in real-time to PandaLabs’ Collective Intelligence servers. PandaLabs’ Collective Intelligence servers work to automate the malware protection cycle by collecting samples, analyzing, categorizing, creating detection and disinfection routines, and delivering protection to each node.

The local portion of the Panda Cloud Antivirus requires about 50MB of hard drive space and consumes about 17MB of RAM. By the time Panda Cloud Antivirus exits the beta stage, Pedro Bustamante, Panda Senior Research Advisor, hopes to lower the RAM consumption to 12MB.

By combining local detection technologies with cloud-scanning capabilities and applying non-intrusive interception techniques on the client architecture, Panda believes it can do a better job at protecting your PC than a traditional virus scanner. In a recent blog post, Bustamante claims Panda Cloud Antivirus detects more malware than traditional signature-based solutions because traditional solutions take longer to detect the most recent variants.

One of the benefits to Panda’s approach is that users don’t need to worry about updating signature files. In addition with cloud-based detection, Panda claims the time from detection to protection has been shortened considerably. According to Panda, it takes Collective Intelligence under 6 minutes to analyze and classify a new file that it receives.

Panda Collective Intelligence uses correlation to further improve the detection of new variants. By using information from different nodes, Panda Collective Intelligence can protect against new strains of malware by linking activity that has been detected in one of the nodes.

The downside to relying on a cloud-based antivirus is that when you’re without an Internet connection, you’re also without antivirus protection. Bustamante quells any worries about this by explaining that a local cache copy of Collective Intelligence is kept on the PC for these situations.

Panda Cloud Antivirus scans files in the local PC based on Collective Intelligence and its local cache copy. The software uses three different types of on-access scans to provide protection. An on-access scan is the maximum priority resident scan that is applied to files which are being executed or used. A Prefetch Scan launches an asynchronous local & cloud query on files that have a high probability of being executed. The Prefetch Scan will scan files “as soon as possible” without impacting performance. If a file is called to be executed before it is scanned, the file will be intercepted and an on-access scan will be applied. Finally, a Background Scan runs on files located on the hard drive while the PC is idle.

With its Panda Cloud Antivirus, Panda believes it has delivered a solution that will protect a user’s computer without impacting performance. To download Panda Cloud Antivirus beta, visit

amdcrankitup 5 years ago

Im always up for new antivirus programs! Especially if its free. There is always an untapped source of individuals out there wanting to make their mark in their feild so they strive to do their best to win and thats what competition is about. LOL and again its free and Im POOOOR!Stick out tongue

realneil 5 years ago

It doesn't do 64 bit systems so it's not gonna work for me.

Too Bad

3vi1 5 years ago

Can someone beat Panda over the head until the explain exactly what their software does behind the scenes instead of spouting buzzwords?

>> According to Panda, it takes Collective Intelligence under 6 minutes to analyze and classify a new file that it receives.

This makes it sound like they just check file checksums against a known whitelist. The rest of the program sounds like standard AV. There are signature files, they just call them "Collective Intelligence".

Interesting, but there's nothing that says a virus can't be written well enough to end up on the whitelist for an extended period of time.

spcorrell 5 years ago

Hi there. I'm Sean-Paul, a Threat Research and Security Evangelist at Panda Security. I realize you posted this awhile ago, but came across this thread and still wanted to address your concerns.

I compiled a list of resources that explains what Cloud Antivirus does in detail, but the links don't seem to be working in this forum. As a replacement, please Google the following phrases for links that may be helpful to you:

"The Insides of Panda Cloud Antivirus"

"Technology Paper: From AV to Collective Intelligence"

"New Protection Model Explained"

This should provide you with the "behind the scenes" description you're after but if you still have questions, feel free to PM me or post questions here. 


spcorrell 5 years ago

Wow, sorry about the weird formatting in the last post. I just wanted to let all of you know that we’ve officially launched Cloud Antivirus out of beta as of today. We’ve all been working hard over the last several months to bring you a number of key updates, including an updated user interface, improved performance, real-time access to the latest malware detected in our user community, new Web site and online support forums. We’ve also made Cloud Antivirus compatible with Windows 7/64 bits, which was one of the top requests we received throughout the beta. The download if you’re interested (it’s free!) is available on the Cloud Antivirus site: Also, if you have any questions or technical issues, please post them here and I’ll be sure to address them openly here in the forum.  


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