G Data AntiVirus
• Effective malware blocking and phishing protection
• Following initial scan, systems scans are quick
• Boot CD wizard
• Dual virus scanning engines
• Difficult to install on infected systems
• Better at detecting problems than cleaning them
While G Data AntiVirus makes a good showing with malware detection, it is generally difficult to install in malware infected systems and the program is weak in cleaning up threats. We think users with infected systems will not find this software a particularly useful choice as the program will not install in safe mode, though it does offer a boot CD creation wizard for help with problem systems.
Located in Bochum, Germany, G Data is an IT security software company founded in 1985. The company is currently making a push for multinational attention, and consequently has won several awards over the past few years for its suite of security products. While previous versions of its antivirus software have been somewhat lacking in features versus its competitors, G Data has attempted to integrate the latest and most integral antivirus features into the 2016 version. We took a look to see what the program offers.
The G Data antivirus software can be purchased as a download directly through the G Data website, available as a single license purchase or a three computer license for 10 dollars more. The initial purchase includes a year of access to software upgrades and hourly virus signature updates. The program is available for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. G Data recommends 512 MB of system memory for the XP version and 1 GB for the Vista/7 versions.
Upon installation, the program includes an assistant to help detect and remove other, older antivirus programs, thus avoiding the inevitable conflicts that can come from running more than one piece of security software.
G Data Antivirus is designed first and foremost to protect your computer against viruses, rootkits, scareware, and malware in general, using two kinds of behavioral and signature protection. G Data software also offers protection for outbound email messages. The program isn’t a complete solution to your antivirus needs but it does offer a good degree of protection.
In terms of effectiveness, G Data Antivirus has been certified for its virus detection by ICSA. Virus Bulletin awarded the program VB100 in nine of ten tests, and AV-Comparatives.org rated the program Advanced+ for proactive detection and Advanced for in-demand detection. The G Data program also passed the AV-Test.org certification for detection, but it is important to note that it scored lowest in AV-Test.org's repair category.
We found through our own tests that G Data is better at preventing malware entering your system than cleaning it up if it gets in. The system unfortunately left behind executable traces of nearly half the threats it detected – not ideal given the dangers of some of these threats.
Scans & updates
G Data Antivirus has several scan choices, making it relatively easy to customize scans to target specific problem areas. The program can be set to perform an overall computer scan, to scan removable media, to perform a rootkit specific scan, or to perform a quick scan of memory and startup programs. We found the system takes quite a long time to perform initial scans (up to 40 minutes), then the second scans to follow are completed much more swiftly (around 40 seconds). G Data Antivirus uses a cloud-based analysis of files, and their DoubleScan technology employs two scanning engines.
Updates to virus signatures are provided on an hourly basis by G Data.
G Data is still working to bring its set of features up to par with competitors. At this time, the antivirus software has no modes other than a regular system scan, and may get heavy on system resources unless the user turns off one of the two virus scan engines. We don’t think users will be buying this system for the features. There is no laptop or gamer mode; notebook specific security is available as a separate program through G Data.
The program includes a Boot CD wizard to create and burn a boot CD. The CD allows the program to be installed on infected systems, and can be set to disinfect or quarantine files as it runs.
Ease of use
Outside of the trials that may come from installing G Data Antivirus on an infected system, the program has a very easy-to-navigate main panel that is set and ready to go for everyday system scanning and protection. A full system scan will run on its own, and if threats are detected, it will wait until the end to prompt the user for action in terms of quarantine or cleaning.
Help & support
In terms of support, G Data doesn’t offer much. There is a general customer support telephone number in the US on the website, and an e-mail form. You can’t use text chat to get in touch and there are no help files.
As a relatively small fish attempting to make a name in a big sea, G Data still has a hike before its antivirus software can be considered a competitive product, especially with big league programs like Norton and BitDefender cornering the market. G Data is, however, making an effort to keep up with current technology, combining protection from the most current threats and hourly virus signature updates. Now that the company has brought its detection service up to par, it has to work on building a more effective cleaning routine before it can truly compete.
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