European Anti-Virus (AV) companies are looking to the UK more and more as a market. First we had Panda from Spain and now we have the German G Data, with its AntiVirusKit Internet Security 2006, marketed here by CompuTrolley. It appears to have quite a lot to offer.
The core of this suite is its pair of AV engines; yes, it uses two different ones for ‘added security’. AntiVirusKit Internet Security 2006 employs the Kaspersky and BitDefender engines and uses both when it checks your PC. This may be thorough, but it also takes a while: it took one hour and 46 minutes to check 29,589 executable files on our test PC, when AVG took under 15 minutes to do the same. AntiVirusKit Internet Security 2006 will scan in the background, though, and you can schedule scans when they’re least likely to inconvenience you, so it needn’t be a problem.
According to G Data, malware authors are increasingly concentrating on the length of time it takes anti-virus labs to analyse and produce signatures to combat new viruses. This period extends from two to thirty hours, depending on the lab. New strains are designed to disseminate as fast as possible, sometimes by using botnets of zombie computers.
Although heuristic algorithms, used by some AV programs, look for the kind of behaviour consistent with malware in analysing suspect code on your PC, according to AV Test, a German test facility, they have a comparatively low hit rate of below 30 percent. G Data’s new OutbreakShield facility looks instead at the Internet. By monitoring traffic through the ‘net, and the way malware is distributed, the company claims it can spot suspect files within two minutes and then sends messages to block that code on subscribers’ machines.
You can buy the AV engine on its own for a very reasonable £15, but the Internet Security product is a suite, which also includes a software firewall, anti-spam, a Web filter and a parental control applet. Set up of the firewall is a bit fiddly as it doesn’t assume the local network to which a machine is connected is trusted, so it blocks all access. Easy enough to rectify, but you’ve got to know where to look.
The spam filter categorises potential spam into three different levels: possible, probable and spam, and you can set how each category is handled. The Web filter includes measures against pop-ups, banners and phishing and the KidSafe module blocks dubious sites. The options panel for this one includes a check box to ‘Log “Permitted content” violations’, which must have lost something in the translation.
Company: G Data
Contact: 020 7751 3298