G-DATA ANTI-VIRUS 2014 : IS IT WORTH TRYING OUT?
G Data Software is a German anti-malware and security software company based in Germany – and in almost all of its products, there stands a red silhouette of a German Shepherd. So, like Bullguard (another anti-malware company), G Data is using a dog to represent its products. That being said, does the anti-virus live up to this breed’s reputation as a security and war dog?
INSTALLATION AND SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
Like its arch rivals in the anti-virus market, the G Data Anti-Virus requires the Windows XP with at least a 512MB of RAM. Meanwhile, the Vista, 7 and 8 with a gigabyte of RAM are more than qualified to run this anti-virus software. However, what sets it apart is it being compatible with the Apple Macintosh, a quality that most anti-virus software lack. However, it requires the Leopard operating system (and the later versions), as well as a GB of RAM and 200 MB.
Being both a Windows and a Mac user (for work and video editing), I had them both installed with ease. The process was self-explanatory and straightforward. That being said, it obviously requires a DVD-ROM drive if you wish to install it without downloading (although you’ll need to update it soon).
THE USER INTERFACE
The G Data Anti-Virus changed its aesthetics, and I can’t deny that it looks cool using flat design (which is a big web design trend nowadays). Basically, there are three large icons (five if on a Mac) with green check marks. This of course turns red when the alarm is sounded, or when some sort of a problem arises. Every time you click on the icons, a several selectable options will be shown in the program, allowing you to scan, check the quarantine and update the virus database.
Yes, it does look good, and even the most inept of computer users won’t have a problem utilizing it.
DETECTING AND REPELLING
Like the dog breed in its product label, it does well in repelling intruders and potential attackers. For one, I deliberately put a number of infected files on a flash drive from a spare computer and stuck it on the one with G Data’s AV software. I watched it go to work – as soon as I opened the flash disk, it (presumably) barked and charged on the malware and started picking them off one by one. Within minutes, the flash disk was mostly clean, except for some samples other AV software managed to pick off. I can safely say that it works pretty well, but it’s definitely not the best.
CLEANING YOUR SYSTEM UP
In terms of existing malware detection in infected systems, it didn’t do a good job, quite frankly. After uninstalling, infecting the PC and installing it again, it detected only half the malware and the infected files, although it did a good job in rounding up the guilty parties and cleaning the house. This is quite alarming, considering that even a full scan won’t fully detect the infected files. Kaspersky, Avira and Bullguard did a better job, eliminating all but less than five percent of the samples.
Although its abilities to detect and destroy existing malware is mediocre at best, it has other features that make installing it worth your while. It detects suspicious files and programs with ease, while leaving legitimate programs alone. Like all AV software, it scans your e-mail, able detect to attachments and other malware-infected content.
What makes it stand out however, is its ability to protect users against phishing – a procedure used by online thieves and hackers to steal information like your credit card numbers. It effectively flags and blocks fraudulent and disreputable sites – it worked well for me.
- Easy installation
- Intuitive user interface
- Satisfactory malware removal
- Good phishing protection
- Satisfactory – AT BEST
- Far from being the best AV software
- Had problems in detection
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Although G Data Anti-Virus 2014 scored high marks in tests conducted by institutions such as AV-Comparatives and AV-Test, it didn't fare well in detecting existing malware – this is a major downside. However, it scores high marks in detection and blocking, as well as in e-mail scanning and in flagging files and websites. Overall, it's a good AV software to have, but it's nothing special.