G Data hopes to find a space in an already crowded online security market with the rather early release of the 2012 version of its Internet Security software, looking to get a leg up on rivals by offering a range of tools at a reasonable price.
The software is available in three versions – Antivirus, Internet Security and TotalCare, the first of these omitting a spamfilter, firewall and parental controls, and the last adding backup, data recovery and system optimisation. Whichever you go for, you’ll find the main interface looks very similar, offering quick access to key components along with a summary of CPU load to help identify any programs that are draining resources.
Selecting a component activates a drop-down list detailing the main functions available. In many cases, this simply allows you to access more detailed settings or enable/disable the feature – though we did like the fact that the virus protection engine allows users to quickly check memory and startup, removable media or scan for rootkits alongside more comprehensive system checks and scheduling.
A range of settings is available for each tool, which typically involves browsing through simple pages of tickboxes and drop-downs to fine-tune operation. While this makes it easy to tweak behaviour at a basic level, it’s a bit of a convoluted approach for advanced users who would look to delve deeper into operation of the software. The firewall in particular can be frustrating to use when it comes to activities such as allowing or blocking software, or opening specific ports – though it should be stated that this does get easier once you get used to where everything is located.
<b>Detection and performance </b>
G Data faired well with independent antivirus test labs and received certification from AV-Comparatives.org, AV-Test.org, ISCA Labs and Virus Bulletin, and while this still put it behind rivals such as McAfee, Norton and BitDefender, it’s a healthy enough result. During our tests we found the software pretty fast at working through a full system scan and relatively low on system resources during this process. Its performance here is hardly ground-breaking, but could be described as “above average” when compared to many rivals, and we did like the fact that it’s able to run scans when a system is inactive to prevent possible slowdown on older machines.
An added bonus of InternetSecurity 2012 is a simple file shredder that allows you to securely remove data from a computer, as well as parental controls that offer a rather simplistic way of blocking categorised websites (such as drug-related, violent or pornographic material) for specific users, though we did find this to be a little inaccurate at times.
Ultimately the software is fairly simplistic, but each of the components offers the desired degree of basic control and goes about its job quietly in the background without requiring much user interaction. At £35 for one PC and £40 for three, it’s reasonably priced compared to many rivals – though it should be noted that those who opt for the retail pack will benefit from the fact that the supplied CD also acts as a rescue disc.
Company: G Data
Contact: G Data on 0800 6121 962
- Fast, unobtrusive and light on system resources, and quite reasonably priced.
- Parental controls are rather simplistic, advanced features can initially be awkward to navigate.
G Data hasn't done anything particularly special with its new software, but it does fare well in the cleanup stakes, and will appeal to users who are looking for a 'set and forget' solution that won't drain a computer's resources or provide too many interruptions. With a low retail price, it should appeal to those who want basic protection without too many bells and whistles.