G Data InternetSecurity 2010 review

A simple package that boasts great malware detection but fails to inspire in other areas

Darien Graham-Smith
26 Jun 2009
4
Price when reviewed 
30
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The last time we examined G Data's antivirus offering, it impressed us with its belt and braces approach to malware detection, using both the Kaspersky and Avast engines in parallel to ensure nothing slipped through the net.

That approach hasn't changed. Although the Kaspersky engine has been replaced with BitDefender, in this month's test G Data intercepted 90% of our malware samples - a score equal to that of our reigning champion, Avira! Premium Security Suite.

But while G Data's twin-engine system may be effective, it's not exactly lightweight. When we installed the suite on a clean Vista system based on a Core i7-920 CPU, the processor continued to thrash for nine seconds after the desktop had appeared. Memory usage rose to over 1GB while the suite was initialising, settling down to an eventual footprint of 810MB - some way off the 528MB of a bare system.

Still, when it's common for even a laptop to have 2GB or more of memory, a few hundred megabytes here or there isn't the disaster it once was.

Since this is G Data's full security suite, malware detection is supplemented by a firewall, which is configurable and fairly vigilant. We were pleased to see it pop up a notification when we began probing the client's TCP ports and other vulnerabilities, though oddly it didn't block the scan itself. The warning was unfortunately phrased, too: when a security alert appears saying "your computer has been scanned", we'd ordinarily take that to mean that the system had been scanned for viruses and was safe, not that we were under attack.

The only other standard feature is email integration, with virus scanning and spam filtering. But there's also an optional parental controls module, which lets you block specific Windows users from accessing sites containing certain terms, or from accessing the internet or using the PC outside certain time restrictions. The blacklist isn't very smart (it blocked the MSN homepage for us), and there's no ability to block specific programs or to monitor channels outside of the web, such as instant messaging.

In all, G Data Internet Security 2010 comes across as a bit of a one-trick pony, trading off its excellent malware detection while offering little else that really stands out. The interface is clear and comprehensible, and the price isn't terrible for a year-long subscription, especially when you consider that it gets you updates for two engines. But we think Avira has more all-round appeal, not to mention a lighter footprint. And if you really want the power of two malware engines, you can save a fiver by picking G Data's standalone antivirus package instead.

Details

Software subcategoryInternet security

Requirements

Processor requirementN/A

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?yes
Operating system Linux supported?no
Operating system Mac OS X supported?no

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