G Data InternetSecurity 2012 Review

G Data’s 2012 range of security products cover basic antivirus through to specialised protection for laptops and notebooks. Depending on the version purchased, the features build-up from antivirus and safe surfing, through firewalls and spam protection, to backup and data recovery, with additional features in the notebook versions.

On test here is InternetSecurity 2012 which sits between AntiVirus and TotalCare and the main features are antivirus, firewall, safe surfing and spam protection. Parental controls and file shredder are included too. The graphic here shows the main differences between each version.

The software can be purchased and downloaded directly from G Data but in this instance, it was the boxed retail product. Not unexpectedly, the main contents of the box are a CD and a user manual, which generally explains the software quite clearly and simply. A bonus for people who aren’t familiar with security software and as the licence key is stuck on the back cover, it’s easier to keep safe.

A further benefit of the boxed copy is that the install disk also doubles as an emergency disk which can be booted from. This is great for those really nasty viruses which block AV software and being able to boot outside of Windows to get at them is great. If you downloaded the software rather than buying the boxed copy, there’s an option in the SecurityCenter application to create a boot disk but it’s an extra step you’ll probably forget to do.

Installation is straightforward and it’s by the numbers with clear prompts. During the install, G Data clearly explains its privacy policy when it requests permission to send data back for analysis: nothing is hidden away in the EULA. As usual, you have to register with G Data, but the software offers a quick registration of just name and email address. There’s still the option to enter fuller details if you want. As you’d expect, the installation finishes with a reboot.

On rebooting, the G Data icon is now sitting pretty in the system tray and initially InternetSecurity contacts its servers and starts downloading fresh AV signatures. This takes a few minutes but once done, you can go into the main SecurityCenter overview to see the status of the main features.

As you might imagine, each section in the SecurityCenter has further actions and settings. For example, in Virus Protection you can request scans for specific folders or drives. Or you can go into the Settings and change which of the two scanning engines are in use. Without going into every section and being thoroughly boring, all I can say is that the options are comprehensive and give the opportunity for tweaking to your particular circumstances. All of the G Data security products are available as trial downloads so you can check whether they fit your needs before buying.

Performance-wise, InternetSecurity did not seem to have a significant impact on the computer. One touch that I did like was that virus signature updates are scheduled for a particular time rather than automatically updating as soon as you log into Windows. On older computers, this allows you to get using your computer faster than you might with other competing AV products.

Not having a set of viruses handy, I wasn’t able to actually test the AV features of the product but when I did a scan of my local disk, it did pick up a trojan that I wasn’t aware of in some downloaded files. With two antivirus engines built into the product, you’d expect it to catch most of the nasty stuff as each engine takes a different approach to detecting viruses

Overall, G Data InternetSecurity is a comprehensive and competent product with lots of features and a couple of value-adds, such as parental controls. I’d be perfectly happy to entrust my on-line security to this tool.

Prices are £30 for AntiVirus, £35 for the version tested here InternetSecurity and £40 for TotalCare. There are also specialised versions for notebooks and if you have an Android phone, you get AV protection for free with any of these products. All the details are on G Data’s website.