Security vendors often offer multiple security suite products. Typically one has just the expected features and the other, the mega-suite, offers backup, PC tune-up, and other useful security features. I’ve already reviewed Panda’s suite and mega-suite; I hadn’t intended to also review Panda Gold Protection 2015 ($89.99 per year; $119.99 for three licenses), thinking four Panda reviews was enough for one year. I’m glad I changed my mind, because this product turned out not to be precisely what I thought.
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The product’s main window includes all the same moveable panels found in Panda Global Protection 2015…all except the Need More Protection? panel, which in sends you to the upgrade page online. There’s no upgrade from here; Panda Gold Protection is the pinnacle.
The other four Panda 2015 products I’ve reviewed feature an extra-large panel that reflects security status and displays statistics like how many files have been scanned and how many threats blocked. A serene image of grasses, sky, and clouds backs the status pane. In Panda Gold Protection, the entire statistics panel background changes to shiny gold. In addition, the Support panel says VIP in big letters against a gold background.
I frequently review a whole product line, moving up to bigger and bigger products. Typically I include a link to the next-smaller product and write a fairly extensive summary of that product’s features. However, given that Panda Gold Protection’s additional features are quite separate from the main suite’s features, I’m skipping the summary. This time you really do have to read my review of Panda Global Protection 2015 to get the whole story on the Panda mega-suite’s antivirus, parental control, firewall, password management, encryption, PC tune-up, and other features. Its excellent antivirus protection and wide range of features earned Panda Global Protection four stars, despite a few weak components.
VIP Support? Not Really.
Users of Panda Free Antivirus 2015 only have access to Forum-based support. Panda Antivirus Pro 2015 and the two other suite products get the option to submit a help ticket for email-based support. Panda Gold Protection promises “Disinfection assurance – We connect to your computer and remove all the threats.”
I clicked the link for support, figuring I would quickly be entering a live chat help session. I had my story all ready; I would tell them I wanted to learn how to use the system before I actually hit a problem.
Instead, I found myself facing the exact same help ticket system used by the other products. I dutifully filled it in, and shortly received an email promising that a malware specialist would contact me within 24 hours. I didn’t expect I’d have to wait a day! It gets worse; this service is only available from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eastern Time. That’s not what I’d call VIP treatment.
For those using Bitdefender Total Security 2015, Kaspersky PURE 3.0 Total Security, or Norton 360 (2014), live chat support is available with no extra cost. Norton’s live chat is available 24/7, as is Bitdefender’s. Kaspersky just offers it on weekdays, but from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time.
As for what actual VIP support is like, look no further than the GeekBuddy service that you get with Comodo Internet Security Complete 7. GeekBuddy isn’t just support for your Comodo installation. You can connect 24/7 for live chat and remote control help with any technical issues. Panda, you can do better.
Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2465475,00.asp