The Panda USB Vaccine is an application that protects your computer against vicious malware by vaccinating potential threats. It's an easy and fast way to keep your computer safe and working.
There really isn't much to this USB drive vaccine. We were pleased to find that it not only has an option for USB Vaccination, but also Computer Vaccination. For each option it lists an explanation of the process behind vaccination and what it involves. You know what and why it vaccinates before you decide to even use it. You can setup this utility to automatically scan and clean any USB when it is plugged into the computer, or manually direct it to do so. The vaccination process was very quick for both the computer and USB. You can remove the vaccination from your computer as well, if you decide that you don't really need it. For more details and information, you can go to the Help page. There isn't much listed, but it does cover more concerning what the utility is for and what it really does. Overall, it's a very simple and useful utility that doesn't take up much of your time.
Downloading and setting up the Panda USB Vaccine was very easy. You can even have it start up with your computer and run automatically. There didn't seem to be any issues or glitches when we went through the download process. It will most likely download well on any PC, as far as we know.
Panda USB Vaccine is a free security utility that allows you to block malware from spreading through USB drives. These types of malware typically install an Autorun.inf file in the root of the USB drive that causes the malware to execute when you insert them into a computer.
Panda USB Vaccine works by not allowing an Autorun.inf file on a USB to be modified, created, deleted, or read. This effectively blocks this type of computer infection from infecting the USB drive. This utility also has the ability to start automatically when your computer starts where it will site quietly running in the background. When a new USB drive is inserted into the computer, it will automatically vaccinate it so that you are protected from the drive and any infections on it are removed.
Even if you choose not to use the memory resident portion of this program, if you routinely use USB drives, it is strongly suggested that you vaccinate them. This will allow you to protect your flash drives from being infected when you use them on other computers.
|Operating System:||Windows XP/Vista/7/8/Windows 10
32-bit program. Can run on both a 32-bit and 64-bit OS.
|File Size:||845 KBs|
|Last Updated:||11/15/18 02:40:14 AM EST|
Some antivirus companies put all their best technology into their free antivirus products. By doing so, they gain mindshare and a good reputation, which helps them sell their commercial antivirus and suite products. It seems that Panda doesn't buy into this plan. The company does offer Panda Free Antivirus, but the free edition lacks some significant layers of protection. Most surprisingly it no longer includes the Safe Browsing component that protects you against malicious and fraudulent websites. If you need a free antivirus, you can do a lot better.
With most antivirus tools, the main window is either white or dark gray, with buttons and panels for things like launching scans or checking updates. Panda stands out from the rest, with a nature scene as its background. Five icons at the bottom offer access to things like launching scans, managing the antivirus, and setting up VPN protection. Scrolling down a bit reveals five more icons for other useful features. It's an unusual look, and quite attractive.
So-So Lab Results
More important that its looks, however, are its lab results. Whenever I review an antivirus product, I check results from four independent antivirus testing labs. Just the fact that a product appears in reported results means that the lab believed the product merited attention, and the company budgeted for the cost of participation. Panda appears in the latest results from two of the four labs, with scores that are just OK.
The experts at AV-Test Institute rate antivirus utilities on three criteria. Protection against malware attacks is essential, of course. A low impact on Performance means users won't trade security for convenience. And products that avoid flagging valid sites or programs as malicious earn a good score for Usability. A product can receive six points in each area, for a maximum of 18 points.
In the latest reported results, Panda received the full six points for protection, which is good. A few false positives brought its Usability score down to 5.5 points, though, and it earned just 5 points in the Performance test. With a total of 16.5 of 18 possible points, Panda trails Avira Antivirus, Bitdefender, Norton, and several other products that earned a perfect 18 points. More than half of the products in the latest test report earned at least 17.5 points, enough to get them designated a Top Product by the lab.
At AV-Comparatives, testers don't assign numeric scores. Every product that passes a test earns Standard certification. Those that perform significantly better than the minimum can receive Advanced or Advanced+ certification. I closely follow four of this lab's tests; Panda participates in three of them. With one Advanced+ and two Advanced ratings, it's doing well.
However, other products seriously outperformed Panda with this lab. In particular, Avast Free Antivirus and Bitdefender took Advanced+ in all four tests.
The four labs each use a different scoring system. For example, SE Labs certifies products at five levels: AAA, AA, A, B, and C. I've developed an algorithm that maps all the scores onto a 10-point scale and reports a lab-results aggregate. Panda's aggregate lab score of 8.9 points is decent, better than when I last put it to the test.
Scanning and Scheduling
Any time you install antivirus protection on a previously unprotected computer, you should run a full malware scan right away. There's no telling just what kind of malicious software might have made its home in the unprotected device.
A full scan on my standard clean test system took an hour and 22 minutes. That's about the same as Sophos, and roughly twice the current average. Avast and Avira took even longer, at more than two hours. It's true that some antivirus products use the initial scan to optimize future scans. For example, the first scan with Total Defense Essential Anti-Virus ran about as long as Panda, but a repeat scan finished in about seven minutes. Panda did run faster the second time, but it still took 50 minutes.
Of course, you can still use your computer while Panda is scanning, but you might want to run your scans at low-use times. The scheduler lets you set up one or more scans to run daily, weekly, or monthly. For each scheduled scan, you can have it check the whole computer, critical areas only, or a custom set of files and folders.
Diminished Malware Protection
Lab results are important, of course, but I also put every antivirus through my hands-on malware protection tests. One simple test uses antivirus samples that I collected and analyzed myself. The real-time protection in some antivirus utilities starts checking on these the moment Windows Explorer displays their details, wiping out any known nasties.
With other products, including Avast, AVG, and McAfee AntiVirus Plus($19.99 at McAfee Australia), real-time protection doesn't kick until the malware tries to launch.
Panda doesn't scan files just because they've appeared in Windows Explorer, but moving or copying files to a new location is enough to get the interest of its real-time scanner. When I moved my samples to a new folder, it started gradually nibbling away at the collection, stacking up popups in the bottom right corner, with an indicator for the number of notifications. Unlike some, it didn't wait for me to view and dismiss the popups. The whole stack vanished shortly after the last new popup appeared.
Continuing the test, I launched the handful of samples that remained after the initial culling. Considering both types of protection, Panda detected 90 percent of the samples and scored 9.0 of 10 possible points, edging out the 8.9 points earned by Avast and AVG AntiVirus Free.
Challenged with precisely the same collection of samples, Sophos Home Free scored 9.3 points. Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus($18.99 at Webroot) outshone the rest with a perfect 10 points.
I maintain a second set of samples, hand-modified versions of the found-in-the-wild originals. For each sample, I change the filename, append zeroes to give it a different file size, and overwrite some non-executable bytes. As with the unmodified samples, I moved these to a new folder, to trigger Panda's real-time protection. Panda missed fully 60 percent of the samples whose originals it detected, which isn't good. This figure suggests a signature-based detection system that's overly rigid.
I noticed that a couple of my real-world ransomware samples were among the modified samples Panda missed. Just to see what would happen, I launched those. The results were dismal. A Cerber sample encrypted all my documents and posted its ransom warning, without a peep from Panda. And the pernicious Petya rendered the virtual machine test system unusable by encrypting its entire hard drive.
My next step was to challenge Panda with a collection of the newest malware-hosting URLs, ones recently discovered by MRG-Effitas. In this test, products get the opportunity to fend off malware by keeping the browser away from the nasty URL, or wipe out the malware sample at the download stage. Since my last review, Panda has removed the Safe Browsing feature from the free edition, so its only defense is to identify and eliminate malware on download.
In this test, Panda missed almost twice as many verified malware downloads as it detected. For quite a few of the samples it did detect, its cleanup process crashed Internet Explorer. With just 35 percent protection, its score is one of the lowest I've recorded. At the other end of the spectrum, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition, Norton, and Trend Micro defended against 99 percent of malware downloads. Sophos managed 97 percent, and Avira 96 percent. Panda's performance is just dismal by comparison.
In addition, the absence of Safe Browsing in Panda's free edition means that you get no help with identifying phishing scams. You'll just have to rely on the phishing protection built into your browser, and stay alert for those the browser misses.
An antivirus protects your data when it's on your device, but can't do a thing for that data as it roams the wilds of the internet. For that kind of protection, you need a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. With a VPN, your network connections travel in encrypted form to the VPN company's server. Nobody, not even the owner of the Wi-Fi network you're using, can peek at or tweak your data. As a bonus, your traffic seems to be coming from the VPN server's IP address, so sites that try to track you using your personal IP address simply fail.
All of Panda's security products, even the lowly free antivirus, include a VPN component. However, all of them except Panda Dome Premium, the very top product, put some serious limits on your VPN usage. In particular, you can only use 150MB of VPN bandwidth per day. AnchorFree Hotspot Shield Elite offers 500MB per day in its free version, while the free version of TunnelBear restricts you to 500MB per month—not very useful.
In fact, Panda licenses VPN technology and server network from AnchorFree, as do quite a few other security companies. At first glance, it looks like you can choose a server in any of about two dozen countries, but if you try, you'll find that country selection is a premium feature. All you can do is let the VPN automatically connect to the server it thinks is best.
The VPN's display page keeps you apprised of how much bandwidth you've used, which is important given that 150MB daily limit. For a little hands-on experience, I visited a couple media-heavy sites and watched a video on YouTube. Strangely, the reported data usage didn't change from zero bytes until it reached one whole megabyte. If you reach 149MB on a given day, be prepared for the VPN to kick you off at any time.
Panda doesn't offer all the configuration options found in Hotspot Shield itself. For example, with Hotspot Shield you can arrange to automatically use a VPN connection on unsafe Wi-Fi networks. Hotspot Shield also includes a component that warns users away from dangerous websites. With Panda, you can configure the VPN to kick in when the PC reboots, but that's about it for settings.
Panda Shopping Tracker
During installation, you can optionally install Panda Smart Shopping, a price checker much like Avast's SafePrice. When you visit a shopping site, you can check whether Panda supports it by pointing to the toolbar icon. If it does, you just shop as usual.
In the background, Panda searches for your selected items on other sites, and also looks for special deals on the current site. If it finds anything useful, it slides in a banner at the top of the page to report. For example, when I searched for an adult Chewbacca costume at Walmart, it found several shipping deals on the site, and proposed some deals on other sites.
I didn't actually find the suggested deals very useful. If I'm looking for a Chewbacca costume, a discount on Star Wars toys or tie fighter cufflinks just doesn't seem relevant. But there's no harm in letting Panda try to save you money.
You'd think that a company giving away antivirus protection would reserve bonus security features for the paid version. You'd be wrong, in many cases. For example, with Avast you get a network security inspector, a simple password manager, a secure browser, the shopping price-checker I mentioned, and more. AVG blocks online trackers, marks up dangerous links in search results, and shreds your sensitive files to prevent forensic recovery. Like Panda, Avira offers limited VPN protection, along with a secure browser and a tool to check for missing security patches.
Panda's bonus features show up in the second row of main-window icons. You'll notice one facet of USB Protection as soon as you insert a USB drive—Panda offers to scan it for malware. The other side is more proactive, guarding against malware that tries to infect your computer using USB autoplay. Panda calls what it does "vaccination." Basically, it preemptively takes over the resources that USB malware would need and locks them down. It's helpful, and it's harmless. I recommend flipping the switch that automatically vaccinates every USB drive.
Some extra-nasty Trojans prevent Windows from even booting, or interfere with installation of antivirus software. To deal with these challenging problems, you start by using the Rescue Kit on a clean computer to create a bootable USB drive or DVD. Reboot the problem computer using the Rescue Kit and you've got a fully capable antivirus running in an alternate operating system. Windows-based malware doesn't even launch, so it can't interfere with the cleanup process. Once the Rescue Kit has wiped out your existing troubles, you can proceed with installing Panda.
The Process Monitor tool isn't for most users. It lists all processes that Panda has seen running on your PC, and lets you show just those that access the internet, those that have a medium to high threat level, or those that Panda blocked. You can dig in for details, including a list of every web address visited by the program. I can see this being useful to a tech support agent who's attempting to diagnose a problem by remote control, but for the average user it's too much information.
Not an Improvement
Panda Free Antivirus has an unusual and attractive user interface, and it feels speedy and lightweight. The USB vaccination feature is unusual and clever. But since our last review it has totally dropped Safe Browsing protection against dangerous and fraudulent websites. As a result, it tanked our malicious URL test and did nothing to warn about phishing sites. It gets mixed scores from the independent labs, and its protection failed against two modified ransomware samples. You can do a lot better in the free antivirus realm.
All four of the labs I follow include Avast Free Antivirus and Kaspersky Free in their testing, and both earned scores from good to excellent. Both offer the protection against dangerous and fraudulent URLs that Panda lacks. Avast offers a surprising range of bonus features for a free product. Either of these Editors' Choice free antivirus tools will serve you better than Panda Free Antivirus.
- Slick, attractive user interface.
- Vaccinates USB drives against malware.
- Bonus features include limited VPN.
- Mixed scores in independent lab tests.
- Dismal score in our malware download test.
- No protection against dangerous or fraudulent URLs.
- Failed against modified ransomware samples.
Download Panda USB Vaccine
Panda USB Vaccine is an anti-malware vaccine for USB Drives. We all know, nowadays that the most common virus carrier are the portable devices such as; Flash drive, SD cards and others. So, protecting your computer from these carriers is important.
That’s where Panda USB Vaccine comes in. It is a free anti-malware solution for USB drives from a well known Antivirus brand, Panda Security.
How to download Panda USB Vaccine?
Normally, for you to be able to download this USB Antivirus you need to fill a form in the Panda Security website.
Then you see a notification that states, “we have sent you an email with access to download the USB Anti-malware”. Therefore, it is important to write the correct email.
However, we decided to make the download easy as possible. Skipping those online forms. To save time and effort. So, feel free to download Panda USB Vaccine.
Panda Vaccine USB doesn’t have a fancy features compared to other alternatives. It has just two, yet unique features. The Computer Vaccination and the USB Drive Vaccination.
Computer Vaccination if turned on will completely disable the auto-run of portable devices. Like the CD/DVD’s and USB Drives. Thus, prevents any malware from auto-executing itself to infiltrate your computer or laptop, to steal data and mess up your PC. However, while it is recommended to always turn it on or enabled, you still have the option to turn it off.
USB Drive Vaccination
Once you plug a device on your USB ports it will be automatically detected and vaccinated. What it does is that it disables the main cause of spreading malware infections, the autorun.inf. The vaccination will help you prevent from unwittingly transfer malware infections to other computers in your network.
How to install Panda USB Vaccine?
It’s very simple, download the program and follow the installation wizard until the installation is finished. You can then set to run the program on Windows start-up.
- Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 & Windows 10
- 32 bit & 64 bit
Have you tried Panda USB Vaccine? Tell us about your experience. We really value your input, leave a comment at the comment box below.
Panda USB Vaccine from Panda Software is a free utility to help prevent infection that will take advantage of autorun.inf file found in any removable media or drive. Malware can modify the autorun.inf and copy a malicious file in any USB or media so each time the drive is connected or mounted, the malware will silently infect the system.
Installation and System Requirements (5 out of 5)
Panda USB Vaccine supports Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, Windows 7 operating systems. Installing the program is quite easy and no reboot is required to start vaccinating your PC or any USB drive.
Features and How to Use Panda USB Vaccine (5 out of 5)
Panda USB Vaccine is very simple to use: Simply vaccinate your PC or USB drive and you’re done!
The only feature of Panda USB Vaccine is to vaccinate. Two methods to vaccinate are offered: PC vaccination or USB drive vaccination. When you allow the utility to vaccinate your PC or USB drive, it will disable autorun.inf so nothing or no one can modify, delete, create or read the autorun.inf file found in the media via USB drive.
You can configure Panda USB Vaccine to automatically vaccinate any new drive. Using the command
Note: If you have a USB drive that does not have autorun.inf file, it is quite safe to vaccinate it. However, if there’s autorun.inf file in the USB drive, you need to remember that you cannot use autorun feature.
Why disable Autorun?
Microsoft has shown a graph on the number of infections caused by the feature in Windows, Autorun. They decided to disable Autorun feature in Windows to prevent further growth of the infection that will spread using the autorun feature. However, it will not prevent autorun in running if you inserted a removable drive e.g. CD or DVD. With Panda USB Vaccine, vaccinating the computer will disable autorun feature for inserted CD or DVD drive. The screenshot in the left shows autorun is enabled when I did not vaccinate the computer in Vista with SP2 while the image at the right will not show the option to autorun simple because Panda USB Vaccine has vaccinated my computer so if I’m not sure whether the DVD is infected or not, I’ll be safe since Panda USB Vaccine prevented autorun to run.
Price to Value (5 out of 5)
Panda USB Vaccine is completely free!
With the advanced detection and protection by advanced malware scanners on the market, you should already be protected from malware that spreads via USB or any malware that will modify autorun.inf, but if you want to add extra layer of protection without spending money, Panda USB Vaccine is a great way to go. Highly recommended!
Rest assured that transferring data between your USB storage device and PC is safe with the help of this powerful and easy to use application
The 'Autorun' virus has terrified users from all over the world not long ago, but fortunately, security software developers responded quickly enough to help and try to eradicate the infection. One of the most useful tools in this regard is Panda USB Vaccine, a program that doesn't remove the malicious files, but acts to protect the computer and flash memory drives that can be used to distribute the virus.
Protects both your PC and USB device
The software is supposed to immunize both the computer and the USB devices in order to block the virus from spreading onto clean machines, hence its given name.
How's that possible? In a quite simple manner actually: basically the application disables the autorun feature completely, which means malware infections won't be able to load automatically anymore.
Attention required in the setup process
Installing Panda USB Vaccine isn't too difficult, but keep an eye on every message dialog, because the setup kit also comes with some handy options to protect you in the future. The tool has the power to automatically inoculate any new inserted USB key and also work with the NTFS file system.
Intuitive interface lets you quickly accommodate
The interface is quite simple and it all comes down to just two buttons, vaccinate computer or vaccinate USB, so you just have to decide which one needs protection.
A quite useful feature is the fact that each of the two options comes with detailed explanations, so you won't feel the need for an additional help file to guide you through the process.
All in all, Panda USB Vaccine is indeed a very handy tool, and in case you wish to keep your computer protected from the 'Autorun' infection. Sicne most data nowadays travels via USB devices, you might want to give this application a try and maybe even keep it around.
The Panda USB Vaccine is an easy way to vaccinate your USB drives against AUTORUN.INF file attacks. If you frequently use USB drives, then you already know what a danger USB viruses represent to sensitive data. With the Panda USB Vaccine, you can ensure that your data remains secure and that no viruses can edit the AUTORUN.INF file. The Panda USB Vaccine is quite a simple program, but the protection you get from it is priceless.
This program is totally free, and will never cost you anything to use. Best of all, it's from Panda, which is a proven company that exposes new virus threats and keeps you protected from all the latest risks.
The installation of the Panda USB Vaccine couldn't be easier. It installs quickly and doesn't have any spyware or adware bundled with it. This software is compatible with Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8.
There's no other special PC hardware requirements to get this software to work, as the program file size is very small and it will work on nearly any machine.
The interface of the program is easy to use, even for a beginner. It's straight forward and designed to be user friendly. The look of the program is visually attractive, and there's no annoying graphics to get in the way of the using it. The Panda USB Vaccine program is all of what you need and nothing that you don't.
The Panda USB Vaccine program is great for people who are always on the go with their USB drives. Many people have learned the hard way that owning a USB drive without protection is like playing Russian Roulette with your own data. Since the creation of Panda USB Vaccine and programs like it, real USB data security has finally been accomplished.
The look of the program is attractive, the functionality is perfect, and the security experts at the Panda company are always working on improving the program and releasing new USB virus definition updates.
- Only Works On FAT And FAT32 Drives - Lacks Additional Drive Support
- Multi-Lingual Support Is Currently Only Offered In English And Spanish
The Panda Security Company is well known for providing top notch PC security. They continually update their programs with new virus definition files, giving you the best chance at staying virus free. With the Panda USB Vaccine, you get the latest virus protection innovations working for you from industry experts in the field of PC security. The program itself is delightfully simple, providing you with virus definition protection against all USB viruses out there, and because it's from Panda, you know that it's a quality program you can trust. We give it 5 stars.