G Data Antivirus (review) increases your PC protection with a firewall, parental controls, and online backup. It also adds a Mac app with antivirus and browsing protection, and an Android edition with antivirus, a built-in browser, device tracking, and an app locker.
The initial release of G Data Antivirus for Windows is generally about squashing malware, with just a couple of extras: a spam filter, a PC startup manager, and a “USB Keyboard Guard” to “protect against tampered USB devices that they pretend to be keyboards. “
German antivirus company G Data takes a standard three-tier approach to its PC range: a basic antivirus product, a starter suite with a firewall and parental controls, and an all-in-one package that includes everything the company has. to offer.
G Data Antivirus is not a nasty product, but it has many problems and there are no outstanding features to justify its choice in the face of higher competition.
Pros & Cons
- Spam filter capable
- Flexible licenses support 1 to 10 devices
- We block our custom ransomware (eventually)
- Free Trial
- Mixed referrals to laboratory tests
- Anti-ransomware caused problems during testing
- Above-average impact on system performance
- Short on duties
Pricing & Plan
Pricing starts at $ 30 for 1 year and a device license. Conveniently, you’ll add more devices as needed up to a maximum of ten (which costs $ 100 a year).
That’s great for a couple of devices, but it gets relatively expensive as you cover more. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus has more features and costs $ 20 to hide a device for a year, for example, but it costs $ 40 to renew. But a license for ten devices costs only $ 80, and it will extend it to 3 years for less than $ 180, only $ 6 per device per year.
Despite all the added functionality, Internet Security isn’t much more expensive than Antivirus, at $ 40 to hide one device for a year, $ 56 to hide three, or $ 112 for ten. (Do you want to protect a special number of devices? Okay, we’ve only cited them as examples; G Data allows you to set any number between one and ten.)
Again, that’s a decent value if you’re only covering one or two devices, but it’s not such an honest deal if you add more. Bitdefender Internet Security costs $ 60 a year to protect one device (after its first year, $ 20), for example, but a ten-device license costs just $ 90, cheaper than G Data Antivirus.
G Data Total Security adds file encryption, a password manager, and a PC optimizer, along with access control to protect your PC from unauthorized devices (plugging in an unapproved USB key, for example).
The price is by far equivalent due to the rest of the range. Single device licenses start at a low price of $ 50 per year, but the value decreases as you add more, up to $ 122 for ten devices. Bitdefender Total Security covers ten devices for $ 45 in the first year, $ 90 in renewal, and you will save even more with terms of two or three years.
G Data Antivirus was easy to install, but it took up an above-average 1.7GB storage space and equipped our system with three new Windows services and some background processes to handle the interface.
We ran the highest benchmark PCMark Professional before and after installation to detect any performance impacts and found that our score dropped by 4.2%. which may not be enough to notice, but we’ve still seen it with vendors like Trend Micro (4%), Avast (3.2%), Avira (1.7%), Bitdefender (1%), and Kaspersky (0.6%).
AV-Comparatives’ October 2020 performance test considered more speed factors than we did, but also found that G Data had more impact on performance than most, ranking the company 13th out of 17.
Malware sometimes tries to disable security software before trying to infect a system, so an honest antivirus must guard against attacks. We used various tricks to disable G Data Antivirus, such as deleting files, killing processes, stopping services, and downloading drivers, but well-chosen permissions ensured that we couldn’t affect the core G Data engine.
G Data Antivirus presents a cluttered interface, absolutely packed with options and security status information. It’s worth, say, to make it clear that your real-time protection is currently active, but is it really important to understand what percentage of minutes are left until the next virus signature update?
Clicking the Scan button gives you a lot more options, and again, they’re a bit more complicated than usual. ‘Verify Computer’ is the usual full system scan, but instead of having an Easy Quick Scan button, G Data has several more specific options: ‘Verify memory and autostart’, ‘Verify directories/files’,’ Verify media removable ‘and “Search for rootkits”.
Even these are not described as clearly as we would like. Worried about rootkits, for example? “Find rootkits” is not your only option; It seems the “Check memory and autostart” scan also looks for them.
Our scan time checks got off to an honest start, and it took G Data Antivirus only 18 minutes to scan 50GB of executables, but half the time of Bitdefender. But Bitdefender’s second scan time was reduced to 27 seconds because it only checks for new and altered files by default; G Data Antivirus also took 18 minutes for the second and third scans.
We assumed the “Check memory and autostart” option would be the same as a rapid scan, but it wasn’t; it took 24 minutes, which was longer than our normal test scan.
We could, at a minimum, create custom scheduled scans, allowing G Data to automatically verify our system at set times. And therefore the package also has good support for simultaneous scans. We launched a full system scan, then right-clicked on a USB key in Explorer and selected ‘Scan for Viruses’. Many antiviruses ask you to attend until the main scan is complete, but G Data has just started a second scan, showing your leads to a replacement window.
The AV-Comparatives Real-World Protection Test can be a difficult benchmark comparing how the top 17 antivirus engines handle the latest malware.
The July-October results placed G Data in a mid-range ninth place with a 99.6% protection rate. That’s not great, especially when Panda, F-Secure, and Trend Micro blocked 100% of threats, but still outperformed NortonLifeLock (99.5%), ESET, and Avira (both at 99.3%).
The latest version of Windows for home users from AV-Test found that G Data blocked 100% of threats, giving it a maximum score of 6/6 for coverage, but the company falls short of that mark in all tests. . G Data lost the highest place in two of the six tests during the past year. Bitdefender, F-Secure, and Trend Micro all scored an ideal six at any one time, and even Avast Free Antivirus only failed to get a maximum protection score during a single test.
We ran a couple of our own behavioral tests, using executables that exploited common Windows tools to launch and download malicious files.
These are all fairly common malware tricks, but G Data didn’t seem concerned. It allowed the behavior to continue, and although it blocked files that supported the URL or a file scan, our test executables kept running.
Bitdefender and Kaspersky protected us at an earlier stage, detecting the dubious actions of our applications and killing one of them, while Trend Micro’s ultra-aggressive engine destroyed all of our test threats. That extra sensitivity is more likely to keep you safe from even the latest threats, though with a downside: there’s also a higher chance of blocking legitimate apps.
G Data claims that its products are particularly tough against ransomware, as threat detection and blocking only support the behavior. We ran our own custom ransomware on the review system to find more.
Nothing seemed to happen at first, then our desk froze for several minutes. The mouse cursor moved, but the application windows were unresponsive and we were unable to switch between them. Finally, an alert appeared warning of ransomware-like activity, displaying an inventory of processes and asking if we would simply like the actions to be blocked or allowed.
We chose the Block option and our system returned to its mostly disabled state. We tried various options with no success, then we rebooted our system after half an hour, and it could be used again.
By checking the logs, G Data Antivirus had crashed many systems and application processes and also killed the ransomware. There could also be good security reasons for that in some situations, if the malware has injected malicious code into a legitimate process, for example, but in our case, it caused major problems.
G Data had a minimum of detected, killed, and quarantined our simulator, but not before encrypting 406 files. That’s better than losing it completely, but Norton detected the threat after our threat had destroyed 57 files, Bitdefender only took 10, Kaspersky 5, and Trend Micro only needed 3. Those products showed their alerts much more quickly, without blocking our system.
Best of all, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and Trend Micro recovered all encrypted files and we didn’t lose any data.
G Data Antivirus online defense identifies and filters harmful URLs via browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, as well as at the network level.
The feature worked as advertised to us, sometimes displaying alerts within the browser window, and sometimes in G Data’s own alerts.
There is no instant browser option to whitelist sites that have been wrongly reported. That’s a bit inconvenient, but it’s more secure, and you will manually add legitimate sites to an Exceptions list in Settings.
It is hardly mentioned on the website, but G Data Antivirus includes a spam filter that was seamlessly integrated with our Outlook settings.
We did a really very quick test comparing its performance to the commercial SPAMfighter, and G Data got a good score. Of the 42 test messages, SPAMfighter selected all six spam emails, G Data skipped only one, and none falsely flagged a legitimate message.
Performance may vary depending on the type of emails you receive, but the filter is surprisingly configurable and you’ll be ready to improve results by playing around with your settings.
G Data Antivirus includes bank protection, but this is not within the hardened browser type, such as Bitdefender’s Safepay. Instead, G Data says that BankGuard ‘secures your banking transactions’ by ‘verifying that the network libraries used are genuine. We’re happy to just accept that it’s actually doing it, but no thanks for gauging how effective it would be.
The package also includes keylogger protection, but this is not as useful as it sounds. By default, it only works with a predefined list of applications, mainly browsers and Bitcoin wallets. This seems a bit outdated, as an example that includes Internet Explorer but not Edge. And although you will manually add other applications, G Data warns that ‘some programs are incompatible with keylogger protection’, and you may run into ‘problems’. Presumably, that’s the reason it doesn’t try to protect everything, but it makes us an awkward touch about using the feature.
G Data USB Keyboard Guard searches for malicious USB devices posing as a keyboard to steal your personal data. If you connect a replacement keyboard to your system, you will receive a warning and can decide if you want to allow the device.
Finally, a simple Autostart Manager allows you to control the applications configured to start when Windows starts. If an application puts a lot of strain on your system and increases its startup time, it will delay its startup time by a couple of minutes (from one to 10). It will continue to run, but with fewer fights for resources at startup time. your desktop should appear one tap faster.
This is a useful feature that coincides with a step beyond the enable/disable functionality that you get in Windows 10 Task Manager. However, it is unlikely to make much of a difference with most systems, and there are many more capable startup managers available for free.
While G Data Antivirus has some positives, they are almost always offset by negatives. Good lab results here, not so good there; it blocked our custom ransomware, it blocked our system while doing it; reasonable value for a device, less as you add more. If its feature set is strictly what you’d like, take a look, but most people will be happier with something else.
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