G DATA is the short name of a German software company that specializes in developing security software. The company was founded back in 1985 and it is known for being the creator of the first antivirus software in the world. Nowadays, their most complete security solution - G DATA Total Security 2017 - offers an antivirus module, a firewall module, and as a range of other security tools. We wanted to see if this security software can protect you against modern day malware and online threats, so we took it for a spin and we’ve tested it for a week. Read this review to see what we’ve learned about it:
The download and installation experience
In order to get G DATA Total Security 2017 on your Windows computer, you must first download its installer from G DATA’s website. What you’ll get is a small executable file called GDATA_TOTALSECURITY_WEB_WEU_22.214.171.124.exe, with a size of 13.7 MB.
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The wizard will then ask you about the language you want to use and about the security modules that you want to be installed. Of course, you can choose to go for a standard installation, meaning that all the available modules and tools will be installed. G DATA Total Security 2017 will also ask you to choose whether you want to “Participate in the Malware Information Initiative”, which we recommend you do. It will help G DATA’s engineers react faster to new threats, by collecting some anonymous information from your computer when malware is found.
The installation will take its course and download over 300 MB of data, if you chose to do the full install, with all the components included. It’s worth noting that the download will also include the latest virus definitions available. Depending on your computer and the speed of your internet connection, this step could take a minute or two.
When done, G DATA Total Security 2017 will ask to activate your product. If you want to use the trial version, the company will require you to provide them with a name and an email address.
After that, the installation is done and there’s only one thing left to do: reboot your computer. Nowadays, this is something peculiar, as most modern antivirus products start protecting you as soon as you install them and don’t require a reboot.
Downloading and installing G DATA Total Security 2017 is relatively easy. There are two things that we appreciate about this process: the security suite lets you customize your installation and the only personal information required is your name and email address.
Integration with Windows, web browsers, and universal Windows platform apps
G DATA Total Security 2017 is a security product that’s integrated well with Windows and its features. The security suite automatically disables Windows Firewall and Windows Defender during its installation and that’s good because it eliminates possible conflicts and performance issues. G DATA also works very well with the networking features that are offered by Windows. We could create and join a homegroup without problems, we could share stuff over the local network, and we were able to download, install and update universal Windows platform apps without being negatively affected.
Unfortunately, G DATA Total Security 2017 doesn’t adjust its firewall protection level to the network profile you’ve set in Windows. On our test computer, it always said that the networks to which we connected to were trusted. And, the only question we got from the security suite was whether we want “updates [to] be loaded via network [...]”. To be honest, we don’t even know what the security suite wants to say with this message. Isn’t it obvious that we want to use our only network connection to keep the antivirus up to date?
In order to protect you when you’re online, surfing the internet in your favorite web browser, G DATA Total Security 2017 scans, and filters all the HTTP traffic that goes on your computer, and avoids installing any kind of web browser add-ons. That’s a good approach because it means that you are protected regardless of the browser or app you use to browse the Web.
We also looked at how much RAM memory is needed by G DATA Total Security 2017 in order to run all its processes. In normal conditions, the amount it took was about 60MB, and when antivirus scans were performed, it took a little over 150MB of RAM. These numbers shouldn’t pose problems for modern computers with Windows.
We also took a glimpse on how much the boot time of our test computer increased after installing this security suite, but it appears that they stayed the same, confirming the fact that G DATA doesn’t have a negative effect on our computer’s performance.
To get an even clearer picture, we ran a few tests with PCMark 8. The Home accelerated tests that we ran ended with the same score before and after installing G DATA Total Security 2017, meaning that this security suite doesn’t slow down your computer.
G DATA offers a security product that is well integrated with Windows and its networking features, and it’s also quite light on system resources. We like the fact that it scans all the HTTP traffic that goes on your computer, but we don’t like the fact that it doesn’t automatically adjust its firewall protection according to the network profile you set in Windows.
Ease of use & configuration
The user interface you get in G DATA Total Security 2017 is very well structured and organized, like many other German products. It’s easy to understand, it’s easy to get from one place to another and it’s easy to customize everything. However, it’s a user interface that feels dated. It has a very conservative design that doesn’t match the modern looks of other antivirus products. It has many links and buttons displayed using small fonts. We wished we would have seen larger buttons, tiles, switches or check marks. The existing user interface is designed to work flawlessly on a computer with a mouse and a keyboard. However, it will be hard to use on a device with a touchscreen. Many modern Windows devices have touchscreens.
However, things are a bit better when you enter the Settings, as many of them are controlled by check marks and drop-down selectors which are easy to use.
In terms of help and support options, G DATA Total Security 2017 offers online documentation, access to a Frequently Asked Questions page, and an option to email or contact the company for support through the phone. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any offline help files, no support forums and there is no live chat service available.
One thing users will surely appreciate at G DATA Total Security 2017 is the details they’ll find in the logs. All the main security modules are covered, and every action taken by the security suite is recorded in these logs. On the other hand, though, we couldn’t find any visual statistics.
G DATA Total Security 2017 is not an excessively verbose program. Although it’s rather silent when nothing out of the ordinary happens on your computer, it does pop out and talks to you when something related to your security takes place, like when malware is found for instance.
G DATA offers a good user interface that’s very well organized, easy to understand and easy to use. Unfortunately, it looks dated, like it had been designed a few years ago. Another problem is that this user interface doesn’t work well on devices with touchscreen. The small fonts, buttons, and links are tricky to tap. Doing what you want will be difficult if you are using touch.
Go to the next page of this review and see how effective G DATA Total Security 2017 is at protecting your computer from network attacks and malware. You will also see our final verdict for this antivirus product.