- Simple, easy to use interface
- With two scanning engines you can configure the program to favour either detection or performance
- Comes with free protection for Android phones
So, here we go with my first 2013 antivirus review.
Today I am looking at a brand I haven’t looked at before : G Data (thanks to Danielle van Leeuwen, G Data PR Manager Benelux & UK for giving me a review copy at InfoSec12).
For those of you who don’t already know, G Data is a German security company located in Bochum. They developed their first antivirus product some 25 years ago.
G Data Antivirus 2013 Review
G Data is a company I’ve been aware of for some time but for one reason or another I’ve never looked at their programs before. So this review will be especially interesting for me….
Installation of G Data Antivirus 2013 was a breeze. My copy came on a DVD and I was up and running about 2 minutes after putting it into the drive.
All you need to do is follow a very simple installation guide. During this you can choose to immediately activate the product with your license key or wait until later. I quickly found out that waiting is quite pointless though as the program won’t allow you to update the virus signatures unless activation has been completed so you may as well do so during installation.
Personally I think the G Data interface looks rather bland with its over reliance on the gray colour you can see below. Thats not to say its bad though – the simplicity of the layout is actually could potentially be a very big plus point for anyone who feels slightly overawed by such programs.
In fact, the lack of things to click on makes it very simple to find what you are looking for and the simple graphics will quickly alert you to any problems which may need you attention.
The addition of a couple of real time graphs is a nice touch – while the program is running you will be able to see how your resource usage is going both in terms of what G Data is using as well as the system overall.
G Data offer up the sort of features that you would expect to see in any AV program these days. Below you will find screenshots of each of these:
Monitor allows you to choose whether to use one or two engines (more on that further down) as well as toggle Behaviour monitoring on or off. You can also choose the default means of handling infected files.
If you examine Manual Virus Check then you’ll note that there is a tick box which, when enabled, will pause virus checking when your system is running at a high load. This will help prevent slowdown when you are trying to work at the same time that a scan should be running.
With Updates you will have the opportunity to activate your license if you haven’t already done so (it took me less than a minute to that myself). You can choose to have your virus signatures update recommend (and this really is the recommended choice) and also choose to generate activity logs if you so wish.
The Web Protection area allows you to configure how the program can keep you safe on the internet, defend you against phishing and protect you when you are using an Instant Messenger service.
With Email Check you choose what to do when an infected email is received, scan your outgoing email and also decide how many engines to use with this function.
Automatic Virus Checks is a feature that many may find to be quite useful. Here you can set the program up to run scans when your computer is idle. This will maximise your protection at times when you are not working on other things. You can also schedule your antivirus scans for days and times that suit you.
When you buy a program like this to protect your computer then having a good set of features is important of course. But of much more importance it the program’s ability to execute it’s key task – malware detection and removal.
At the time of writing it is far too early for the independent labs to have come back with any findings so I went ahead and did some testing myself, using some lists of known malware.
If you choose G Data AV for 2013 then you’ll be pleased to hear that it dealt admirably with every dodgy link I tried to open and blocked every trojan I tried to infect my test machine with.
Having made the point about protection being the key reason for buying any given program I would also point out another key area to consider when choosing an antivirus program. That is whether it will allow you to carry on working when conducting a scan.
Some AV programs consume very little in the way of CPU and RAM whilst conducting a scan or sitting in the background. Others can cripple your system.
How did G Data perform? See below:
This program comes with two scanning engines – A and B. You can elect to perform a scan with both engines at the same time (optimal results but more of a performance hit) or just one engine (B is better for slower computers, A for quicker ones).
Using just engine B
In this instance I just used engine B for the scan which is the choice if you want a not quite so good scan but with the benefit of leaving your machine more usable. Memory usage here was very high indeed but the CPU usage stayed consistently low – it peaked at times but typically came in at less than 10%.
With this option I found my laptop more than capable of multi tasking despite the amount of memory being used.
Using both engines
Using both engines you can see that RAM usage is quite high at around 700 MB. Also, CPU usage was around 30%+ for the entire scan. This combination promises the best results but I found that it really did harm usability of my dual core laptop whilst a scan was in progress.
The minimum suggested system requirements for this program are as follows:
- Windows Vista or Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit) / Windows XP (SP2 or above)
- 1 GB of RAM for Vista and 7 / 512 MB RAM for XP
Its been very interesting indeed to look at a G Data product for the first time. Overall I’ve enjoyed the experience and it is a good quality antivirus program. The concept of having two different engines which can be used independently or together is novel.
In my testing I found that detection and blocking of malware was very good. In other areas of performance the program varied somewhat – on a slightly older dual core laptop the double engine scanning crippled my machine whilst using one engine was a pleasurable experience. That would seem to suggest that the program would do a good job of protecting an older computer and a better job of securing a newer machine.
Its early days yet as this is the first 2013 antivirus program I’ve looked at but G Data have certainly got the ball rolling with a very capable product.