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G Data Internet Security 2012 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £28
inc VAT

G Data's dual-engine detection provides an extra layer of security, but wasn't enough to completely prevent infection.

To understand how we go about the UK’s most accurate and realistic anti-virus testing, read How We Test: Anti-virus software.

While most anti-malware software relies on a single detection engine to location potential threats to your computer’s security, G Data adds an extra layer of security by using a combination of two detection engines: BitDefender and Avast.

Like other products that rely on third-party detection engines, G Data implements detection in using its own rules, which means that it can produce very different results to the first-party implementations of the same engines. To its credit, G Data’s policy of checking all engine updates before sending them out to its users avoided a major blow early in 2010 when compromised signature updates led to some other BitDefender-based anti-malware software falsely detecting and deleting vital Windows system files.

While most current anti-virus software prefers to entirely delete, block or quarantine malicious files, G Data is notable in that its default action is almost always to disinfect the file where possible. This means that the preferred option is to leave the files in place but render them harmless, which can lessen the impact of the virus’s removal upon your system, particularly if a critical system file has been infected. Fortunately, in G Data’s case, disinfection was effective in almost all cases, although we had to run an additional manual scan before the malware was fully neutralised in one instance.

G Data Internet Security 2012

However, in seven per cent (two) of exposures, G Data failed to detect any malicious software all, leading to compromised systems. It got a perfect score in our false positive tests, though, as it didn’t warn against or block any benign software.

G Data’s no-nonsense interface isn’t particularly glossy, but it is effective. The main screen shows the status of the main anti-virus, email and web defence, firewall and spam protection. There’s also a basic parental control module which is inactive by default, but allows you to apply specific and keyword-based web site blocking and limit how long different users can access the internet. The installation CD can also be used as a bootable rescue disc to help you clean malware off an already-infected system.


Even if you buy a boxed version, G Data is more expensive than most anti-malware suites’ are if you buy them from online or high street retailers. A single-user version costs £25 and a three-user licence is £28.BitDefender Internet Security 2012 costs less and provides more thorough threat prevention.

For straightforward advice on getting the best anti-malware deal, and keeping your software up-to-date year-on-year, then read Avoiding the anti-malware trap now.