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 - offers an antivirus module, a firewall module, and also a range of other security tools. We wanted to see whether this antivirus can protect you against modern-day malware and online threats, so we took it for a spin and we have tested it for a few days. Read this review to see what we have learned about it:
What is G DATA Total Security good at?
G DATA Total Security is a good security suite for:
- People who want the best anti-malware protection they can get
- People who want to get the same security in any web browser they prefer using
- People who want a security suite that does not need many system resources to run
G DATA Total Security vs. G DATA Internet Security
Both G DATA Total Security and G DATA Internet Security offer the same core protection components and the same level of security against malware and network threats. However, G DATA Total Security also includes Automatic Backup, Password Manager and Device Control, which is a tool that lets you block unauthorized devices. If you need any of these additional tools, then G DATA Total Security can be a good choice for you. If you do not need them, then G DATA Internet Security is probably a better deal in your case.
Pros and cons
Here are the positives we identified about G DATA Total Security:
- The antivirus module is very efficient at detecting and removing malware from your computer
- The web shield stops you from visiting dangerous websites, in any web browser you prefer using
- The security suite has a negligible negative effect on your computer's performance
- The antivirus module is fast when scanning your computer for malware threats
- Many of the bundled tools can be useful to their users
- The default configuration is very good
On the other hand, there are also some negative aspects:
- The firewall treats all the networks as trusted networks, and it leaves you vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks even if you tell it that the networks to which you connect are untrusted
- The user interface is not easy to use on touchscreens
- There is no VPN service included, so you cannot rely on G DATA Total Security to secure your connections when you connect to dangerous public WiFi networks
G DATA Total Security is a security product that deserves your attention. First of all, it offers users an antivirus module that can protect them from any malware or online threat. It uses two antivirus engines simultaneously, and it performed great in all our antivirus tests.
The performance impact of this product is minimal, and the additional tools you get can be useful. However, the firewall module is not as awesome, and it deserves improvement in future versions, both regarding usability and the quality of the protection that it offers. Also, the user interface looks dated, and it is difficult to use on a touchscreen. G DATA Total Security is a security product that can be a very good choice, if you do not have a device with touch.
The download and installation experience
To get G DATA Total Security on your Windows computer, you must first download its installer from G DATA's website. What you get is a small executable file called GDATA_TOTALSECURITY_WEB_WEU.exe, with a size of 14.2 MB. The wizard then asks you about the language you want to use and about the security modules that you want installed. Of course, you can choose to go for a standard installation, meaning that all the available modules and tools will be installed. The wizard also lets you choose whether you want to "Participate in the Malware Information Initiative," which we recommend you do, because it helps the software react faster to malware threats.
The installation takes its course and downloads almost 700 MB of data. That is a lot, and people with metered internet connections should know that from the start. It is also worth noting that the download includes the latest virus definitions available.
When done, G DATA Total Security asks you to activate the product. If you want to use the trial version, the company requires you to provide them with at least a name and an email address.
Then, the installation is done, and the security suite asks you to reboot the computer. Most modern antivirus products start protecting you as soon as you install them and do not require a computer reboot.
Downloading and installing G DATA Total Security 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. On the other hand, though, you have to download lots of data.
Integration with Windows, web browsers, and universal Windows platform apps
G DATA Total Security is well integrated with Windows. It automatically disables Windows Firewall and Windows Defender, and that is good because it eliminates possible conflicts and performance issues. G DATA also works well with the networking features that are offered by Windows. We could create and join a homegroup without problems, we could share files with the network, and we were able to download, install and update universal Windows platform apps.
Unfortunately, G DATA Total Security does not adjust its firewall protection level to the network profile you set in Windows. On our laptop, it always said that the networks to which we connected 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 have no idea what the security suite wants to say in this message. Is it not evident that we want to use our network connections to keep the security suite up to date?
To protect you when you surf the internet in a web browser, G DATA Total Security filters all the web traffic that goes on your computer. It does not install any web browser add-on. This is a good approach because it means that you are protected regardless of the browser or app you prefer using.
We also checked how much RAM is needed by G DATA Total Security to keep all its processes up and to run. On average, it needed about 160 MB of RAM on our test computer. This should not pose any problems to a modern Windows computer. We also took a look at how much the boot time of our test computer increased after installing this security suite, but it appears that it remained the same.
To check whether the internet or local network speeds are affected by G DATA Total Security, we also ran a few tests with Speedtest.net and with LAN Speed Test. The speeds were the same before and after installing the security suite, which means that it has no adverse effect on internet or local network data transfers. This is an excellent result!
G DATA offers a security product that is well integrated with Windows and its networking features, and it is also quite light on system resources. We like the fact that it scans all the web traffic that goes on the computer, but we do not like the fact that it does not 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 is well structured and organized, like many other German products. It is easy to understand, it is easy to get from one place to another, and everything in it is easy to customize. However, the user interface feels dated, because it has a conservative design that does not match modern user interfaces. Many links and buttons are displayed using small fonts which are hard to see by some users. We wish that the user interface offered large buttons, tiles, switches or check marks. As it is now, it is designed to work flawlessly on a computer with a mouse and a keyboard. However, it can be hard to use on a touchscreen, and many modern Windows devices have touchscreens these days.
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.
Regarding help and support options, G DATA Total Security offers online documentation, access to a Frequently Asked Questions page, and an option to email or contact the company for support on the phone. Unfortunately, we could not 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 is the details available in the logs. All the main security modules are covered, and every action taken by the security suite is recorded. On the other hand, though, we could not find any visual statistics.
G DATA Total Security is not a talkative program when everything is OK on your computer, but it does alert you when something related to your security takes place, like when malware is found or when a network attack is detected by the firewall.
G DATA offers a user interface that is well organized and easy to understand. Unfortunately, it looks dated, like it had been designed some years ago. Also, it does not work well on touchscreens. The small fonts, buttons, and links are tricky to tap and sometimes also hard to read.
On the next page of this review, you can see how capable G DATA Total Security is to protect your computer from network attacks and malware. You can also see what additional features are included in this security suite, and check our recommendations for what settings you should adjust.