You can make your PC secure in a number of ways, some of which are more effective than others. Gluing green fuzzy felt all over it and mounting a beak in one of the drive bays to disguise it as a ventriloquist’s duck, so burglars might not notice it… that’s one of the more deranged ideas you could have. Installing G Data’s Internet Security suite is definitely one of the saner.
The program’s front end is crisply rendered and neatly groups together the various arms of the suite, with one drop-down menu per section to quickly access the main tasks such as running a virus scan.
A pair of load meters is displayed in the corner, showing the stress the suite is putting on your system and the overall system load itself. Keeping an eye on these throughout the review we noticed the odd spike in the load when G Data was busying itself with tasks, but nothing to cause undue worry.
As ever, anti-virus performance is paramount when it comes to security, and G Data certainly didn’t disappoint in this department. It actually runs two virus scanning engines which are both turned on by default, although this results in a longer scanning time than would normally be expected. In fact it was just over 50 percent longer than the average time two other security suites achieved on our test drive.
However, G Data’s performance was excellent, picking up two trojans that a previous scan with another program missed. Definitions are updated every five or ten minutes or so, and we were highly impressed with its anti-virus capabilities. There’s also the option to turn off one of the engines for a faster scanning speed (although not quite as thorough protection, obviously).
Definition updates happen automatically and scans can also be set to automatic. G Data will intelligently pause a scan if you’re running other programs and the system load shoots up, a useful touch. The suite’s firewall is also, well, ‘firewall and forget’, since it operates using an autopilot which makes all the decisions about accepting connections. No pop-ups or user intervention are required, so ease of use is certainly maximised.
GData Internet Security 2010 also provides anti-phishing protection, an email scanner and a spam filter, along with a file shredder to ensure that your data is deleted securely. Finally, a parental control section rounds the package off, and it blocked all the dodgy test sites we attempted to browse. It comes with a timer to restrict your children’s Internet usage as well. This is an excellent all-round security package, and more than reasonably priced too.To paraphrase a politician whose career isn’t having its finest moments right now, Kaspersky’s Internet Security 2010 is a serious application for serious times. Professionally presented from the off, it’s a suite of utilities for battling the many nasties that attempt to infiltrate your computer. As such, the product includes anti-virus, firewall, spam, phishing and banner ad protection, along with defences against denial of service attacks.
There’s clearly a lot going on under the bonnet here, and the software is perhaps understandably insistent on you removing any other security software that may conflict with it as part of its installation. Once you’ve done that, the installation itself is quite a speedy job, and after the usual downloading of updates and activation of the product (and we hate that the latter has become a feature you’d describe as ‘usual’, but we sense we’re on the losing side of the battle there), you’re presented with the main Kaspersky control screen.
This is a tidy and professional piece of work, with large tabs down the left-hand side of the screen giving you access to the more advance features: but otherwise, you’ll be fine just leaving the program to get on with its work.
The main front screen, complete with a radar-esque bar at the bottom (who said security programs couldn’t do a bit of eye candy?), gives you clear access to the main tools you’re likely to need, and as usual you can manually choose to scan your machine, for instance, or simply schedule things in and carry on regardless.
Either way, Kaspersky is excellent at its job. With a modest system footprint, it ingratiates itself into your day to day working, adding things like a link filter to your web browser and e-mail scanning to your mail client. And while you can customise what parts of the suite you want to use, we found it best to leave it to its work. For the duration of our test, it kept our machine running at its usual speed and deflected the malware and tests we threw in its direction.
There are some new features and tweaks, too. A sandbox mode provides a ‘safe’ environment to run certain applications (a nice idea, well executed, but is it any surprise that Internet Explorer is the only tool in there when you load up for the first time?), and there are accommodations for gamers, too. And performance continues to evolve, making for a satisfying package.
If there’s a downside, it’s that it nags you a little too often for our liking, and for less experienced users, we suspect that’s not what they want to see: a security package that can completely fly under the radar is presumably the goal there. However, you can’t argue with Kaspersky where it counts, and its product is strong, secure, well presented and a solid barrier against the worries of the web world.
Company: G Data
Contact: 08448 870000