The German company G-Data is not the best known of malware companies, but produces one of the highest rated packages in the last AV-Test survey. TotalProtection sits above AntiVirus and InternetSecurity at the top of G-Data’s range and includes AV, anti-spam, firewall, parental control and browser protection. See all software reviews.
On top of that, it offers a start-up manager, a secure data store and backup, including FTP, although no online storage is actually included. The three PC licence is at the lower end of prices on the packages here, so does this mean better value? See all CD/DVD autoring reviews.
The interface has been revamped from last year and with good effect. There’s been a trend in the last couple of years to limit the number of icons on panels on the main screens of IS packages, in the hope of keeping things simple. This is fine when you’re using the main functions, but it can make finding subsidiary functions more difficult.
G-Data has bucked that trend with a conventional layout, putting nine icons along the top of the panel, each of which, when selected, acts as a tab to a corresponding control area. Individual panels are also well organised, with the check boxes and switches clear and organised.
The suite uses two separate AV engines, claiming that they combine to give extra security. This approach is followed by several IS suites now, although the AV-Test results aren’t noticeably better for these twin-engined offerings.
Browser protection includes a feature called BankGuard, which sits in the browser and tries to defend against installed Trojans after SSL-encrypted data from your bank has been unencrypted for display. G-Data claims it’s effective against 99 percent of such attacks – a bit like Domestos.
The suite provides good backup, offering easy selection of file and drive back-ups and a reasonable scheduler.
The tune-up facilities consist mainly of disk defragmentation and deleting unneeded logs, but at least most of them are automatic. Each individual action can be ticked on, but then the software runs them regularly at pre-determined intervals.
A test scan of our 50GB file basket took 31 minutes 44 seconds and examined 8801 files, giving a scan rate of just 4.6 files/sec. This is very low, but the software does fingerprint files well, so a second run scanned the same number of files in just 54 sec.
We also measured very little resource hit when we compared a file copy with and without a full scan running in the background. It took just 3 percent longer.
AV-Test noticed rather more impact on PC speed, and the package scored 4.5/6.0 for Performance, which measures the impact of installed AV software hit over a range of different functions, including website visits and downloading software.
In the Usability category, it dropped just 0.5, giving 5.5/6.0, and this was mainly down to four false positives it threw up during testing.