G Data To­tal Se­cu­rity

Price: £39.95 inc VAT from fave.co/2K8u9bp

Tech Advisor - - Contents -

Noth­ing says se­cu­rity and trust like Ger­man qual­ity. At least that’s the pitch for Ger­many­based G Data. The com­pany’s tag line is: Trust in Ger­man Sicher­heit (safety). The idea be­ing that mod­ern Ger­many is known for ‘solid Ger­man qual­ity’ and its strict pri­vacy laws, which G Data must ad­here to, thereby shield­ing its cus­tomers from breach.

Be­sides that, G Data has also been do­ing an­tivirus pro­tec­tion for a long time, and its cur­rent AV product re­lies on not one, but two de­tec­tion en­gines. The firm has been on the AV scene since 1985; it even claims to be the world’s first an­tivirus out­fit.

Sim­i­lar to other legacy se­cu­rity com­pa­nies such as McAfee and Sy­man­tec, G Data main­tains a well-or­ga­nized suite. Its top product, G Data To­tal Se­cu­rity, has enough to please users who want a fea­ture-packed suite, while still be­ing sim­ple enough that you’re not over­whelmed.

G Data To­tal Se­cu­rity is priced at £39.95 for a sin­gle de­vice for one year, or £59.95 for five de­vices per year. There isn’t a pric­ing op­tion for 10 de­vices, which many other suites of­fer. G Data’s pric­ing isn’t bad and is prob­a­bly one of the best at the five-de­vice tier. But G Data’s pric­ing only cov­ers PCs, whereas many other suites cover mo­bile and PCs. G Data’s mo­bile app for An­droid is sold sep­a­rately at £12.95 per year (from

fave.co/2uYAIIY) for a sin­gle de­vice. When you first start G Data To­tal Se­cu­rity for Win­dows, it dis­plays a dash­board called the Se­cu­ri­tyCen­ter with your sys­tem’s cur­rent sta­tus. Like many other se­cu­rity suites, it uses a colour-cod­ing sys­tem. If ev­ery­thing is green in the Se­cu­ri­tyCen­ter you’re good to go.

There are three ma­jor sec­tions on this page. The first in­di­cates if your web, email, and spam pro­tec­tion is ac­tive, as well as when the last scan was. There’s also a sec­tion show­ing when the virus sig­na­tures were last up­dated, and when they’ll be up­dated again. If you want to up­date them sooner than that, just click the re­fresh icon for that sec­tion.

Fi­nally, there’s a browser and app pro­tec­tion sec­tion with features such as BankGuard and key­log­ger and ex­ploit pro­tec­tion. All of these are in­vis­i­ble features that don’t re­ally change your

be­hav­iour. The BankGuard fea­ture, for ex­am­ple, doesn’t try to launch a sand­boxed browser but pro­tects against threats in your cur­rent browsers.

Div­ing into the rest of the suite, there are nine other tabs at the top of the To­tal Se­cu­rity win­dow: Virus pro­tec­tion, Fire­wall, Backup, Pass­word Man­ager, Tuner, Parental Con­trols, En­cryp­tion, Au­tostart man­ager, and De­vice con­trol.

The Virus pro­tec­tion sec­tion is where you can man­age your virus scan­ning sched­ule or start a man­ual scan. There’s also an op­tion to check for deep-level mal­ware by scan­ning sys­tem fold­ers, RAM, startup files, and do­ing a rootkit check. You can also get ac­cess to your quar­an­tined files here, and cre­ate a bootable drive to scan your com­puter for viruses. The lat­ter op­tion is a great idea as a backup mea­sure

– it will save the day should you ever get hit with a par­tic­u­larly nasty bit of mal­ware.

The Fire­wall and Backup tabs are self-ex­plana­tory. The backup fea­ture al­lows you to back up a drive, or a par­tic­u­lar file or folder. The Pass­word Man­ager tab prompts you to cre­ate a new pass­word safe and then in­stall a browser plug-in for Chrome, Fire­fox, or In­ter­net Ex­plorer to ac­cess your pass­words while brows­ing.

Tuner con­tains the usual an­tivirus ‘ex­tras’ that help you op­ti­mize your sys­tem by clear­ing out tem­po­rary files, and so on. The Tuner also bumps up se­cu­rity by dis­abling po­ten­tial vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties like script ex­e­cu­tion and JavaScript in Adobe Reader. The nice thing about Tuner is that all the ac­tions it takes are listed in check­box for­mat, al­low­ing you to turn off the things you don’t want.

Parental Con­trols lets you set con­tent re­stric­tions for spe­cific users on the cur­rent PC. That’s a help­ful fea­ture, but there doesn’t ap­pear to be an on­line com­po­nent that lets you man­age all PCs from one spot. Per­haps that will ap­pear in a fu­ture re­lease.

The En­cryp­tion op­tion lets you put sen­si­tive doc­u­ments in an en­crypted con­tainer. The Au­tostart man­ager tab is just a slightly eas­ier in­ter­face for con­trol­ling which pro­grams be­gin at startup. Win­dows 10 users, how­ever, don’t re­ally need this as the Task Man­ager can ac­com­plish the same thing.

Fi­nally, De­vice con­trol lets you reg­u­late how users on the PC can ac­cess con­nected drives. Mum and Dad could be al­lowed to store files on an en­ter­tain­ment con­tent drive, for ex­am­ple, while the chil­dren would have read-only ac­cess.

Div­ing into set­tings, there isn’t a whole lot you need to ad­just. By de­fault, G Data of­fers to scan flash drives in­serted in your USB ports. There’s also a USB Key­board Guard that pro­tects against USB de­vices that may pose as a key­board and try to de­liver mal­ware to your PC sur­rep­ti­tiously.

Beyond that you have the usual ad­just­ments you can make to your virus scans, web pro­tec­tion, email, and spam set­tings.

Per­for­mance

G Data per­formed well in A-V Test’s eval­u­a­tions. In April 2018, G Data’s lower-tier In­ter­net Se­cu­rity scored 98.9 per­cent against 196 sam­ples of 0-day, and web and email threats. The larger test with 5,484 sam­ples scored 100 per­cent. G Data was not part of re­cent analy­ses by A-V Com­par­a­tives or SE Labs.

In our in-house per­for­mance tests, G Data did al­right but not out­stand­ing. With­out G Data in­stalled, the test PC scored 2,487 in PCMark 8’s sim­u­lated work­load, but 2,465 af­ter G Data com­pleted a full scan. A larger score is bet­ter in this test, and while that’s not a ter­ri­ble de­cline there are many other suites that don’t have a drop even close to that score.

As for the Hand­brake test, the test PC fin­ished en­cod­ing a 3.8GB

MKV file in one hour, 15 min­utes, and 25 sec­onds. Af­ter G Data was in­stalled that num­ber im­proved to one hour and 15 min­utes ex­actly.

Ver­dict

G Data is a fine an­tivirus suite. It’s easy to use, comes loaded with features, and is priced well if you only need G Data on your PCs. The per­for­mance is good and most users prob­a­bly won’t no­tice an im­pact, but if you’re con­cerned about it there are other suites that have per­formed bet­ter. Ian Paul

Sys­tem re­quire­ments

Win­dows 7, 8x or 10 Min­i­mum 2GB RAM All of the func­tions in the G Data solutions are sup­ported on 32 and 64 bit sys­tems An In­ter­net con­nec­tion is re­quired to in­stall the soft­ware and for virus sig­na­ture and soft­ware up­dates

G Data To­tal Se­cu­rity’s Virus pro­tec­tion sec­tion

To­tal Se­cu­rity’s Tuner is highly cus­tom­iz­a­ble

To­tal Se­cu­rity’s De­vice con­trol lets you re­strict who can save files to con­nected drives

G Data To­tal Se­cu­rity gives you the op­tion to scan USB drives

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