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G Data Total Security review: An effective antivirus suite with a whole pile of add-ons

G Data internet security review - logo
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £50
(euros/yr, inc VAT)

G Data’s virus protection is top-notch but beyond that it feels like you’re paying for a lot of filler features


  • Strong, double-barrelled internet security
  • Not too resource-hungry


  • Most of the secondary features are extraneous
  • Clunky user interface

G Data is notable for its two-pronged approach to malware detection, using a pair of scanning engines in tandem to ensure no threats slip through the net. Predictably, it’s far from the fastest antivirus suite out there but it’s no slower than some single-engine competitors.

Sadly, I don’t love the overall user experience. The G Data interface is packed with options and features, especially this top-tier Total Security edition, but it can be confusing to navigate and the features themselves are of questionable worth. The suite is a lot more expensive than many competing products, too, so I would recommend you steer clear.

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G Data Total Security review: What do you get for the money?

There are several ways to buy G Data: the website offers a basic antivirus product, a mid-tier Internet Security suite and the top-end Total Security package. Once you’ve picked one, the site invites you to dial in how many devices you want to cover (from one to ten PCs, Macs or smartphones) and for how long (12 to 36 months), then generates a price in euros. A single-user, one-year licence for Total Security starts at €50 and, since the software isn’t normally sold via third-party retailers, you’re unlikely to find a better deal than this.

As you would expect, G Data Antivirus focuses on active malware scanning, while the pricier options add a custom firewall and a parental control module. Frankly, these additions offer little that can’t be accomplished using Windows’ own built-in firewall and Family Safety features. The bonus backup tool is similarly short on distinctive capabilities and the inclusion of an antispam module feels like a throwback to the days of Outlook Express.

If you splash out on the Total Security package you additionally get a password manager, a system tune-up module and a file-encryption tool. While none of these are exactly indispensable, there’s a certain appeal to having them all in one place. Accessing them is fiddly, though: the imposing G Data interface is divided into no fewer than ten pages, each containing its own arrangement of buttons, links and menus.

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G Data Total Security review: Will it keep you safe?

While the extras may feel a little flimsy, there’s no questioning G Data’s seriousness when it comes to detecting and blocking malware. With its own scanning engine working alongside one licensed from Bitdefender, G Data rarely drops a mark in protection tests.

It’s no surprise, therefore, to see that independent security lab gave G Data Total Security top marks in its most recent Windows antivirus tests: the package achieved a flawless 100% protection score when faced with 363 brand-new zero-day threats during January and February 2023, and effortlessly repeated the feat against 11,876 widespread malware samples.

While that’s impressive, it’s worth noting that results like this are somewhat expected these days. Most rival security products that rely on a single detection engine achieved the same score, with only a handful falling short: protection results, Jan/Feb 2023 (%)0-day Jan0-day FebWidespread JanWidespread Feb
Avast One100100100100
AVG Internet Security100100100100
Avira Internet Security100100100100
Bitdefender Internet Security100100100100
Eset Internet Security98.998.3100100
F-Secure SAFE99.5100100100
G Data Total Security100100100100
Kaspersky Premium100100100100
Malwarebytes Premium98.997.8100100
McAfee Total Protection100100100100
Microsoft Windows Defender100100100100
Norton 360 Deluxe100100100100
Trend Micro Internet Security100100100100

G Data’s effectiveness is confirmed by, in its March 2023 malware protection test. Against a mass of more than 10,000 threat samples, G Data Total Security achieved an excellent online protection rate of 99.95%, with just two false positives:

AV-Comparatives protection results, March 2023 (%)Offline detectionOnline detectionOnline protectionFalse positives
Avast One96.90%99.50%99.97%2
AVG Internet Security96.90%99.50%99.97%2
Avira Internet Security97.00%99.10%99.96%2
Bitdefender Internet Security98.10%98.10%99.94%6
ESET Internet Security97.40%97.40%99.94%0
F-Secure SAFE96.90%98.70%99.96%14
G Data Total Security98.80%98.80%99.95%2
Kaspersky Premium90.00%97.90%99.96%2
McAfee Total Protection89.60%99.70%99.99%9
Microsoft Windows Defender83.10%99.30%99.98%32
Norton 360 Deluxe91.10%99.70%99.99%3
Panda Dome72.20%95.50%99.97%102
Trend Micro Internet Security60.90%91.80%97.19%10

If you want the very best protection on the market, McAfee Total Protection and Norton 360 both achieved even higher protection rates, albeit with slightly more false positives. Overall, though, G Data acquits itself perfectly respectably.

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G Data Total Security review: Will it slow your computer down?

G Data isn’t particularly intrusive. It has an “autopilot” mode which is switched on by default, so for the most part it will quietly block threats without bothering you.

It doesn’t wreck your system performance either. I found G Data’s impact on web downloads was greater than Windows Defender’s, but not by a huge amount. With Defender enabled, downloading ten executable files and JPEGs in Chrome from a local web server took a total of 6 and 0.9 seconds respectively; with G Data Total Security, the files took 7.4 and 1.2 seconds respectively, regardless of whether the optional G Data browser plugin was enabled.

These results compare quite favourably with competing suites. With Kaspersky Premium installed, the executables took 10.1 seconds to come down the line, while Trend Micro Internet Security made us wait just over 1.5 seconds to save the JPEGs. These are all very small delays, of course but, when you’re browsing large, image-rich websites, the cumulative effect can be noticeable. also found G Data a reasonable performer: its February 2023 tests recorded a 15% slowdown in web browsing speed with G Data, compared to 16% for Defender. And, in their most recent speed tests, rated G Data “very fast” for copying files, installing programs and running applications.

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G Data Total Security review: Should you buy it?

It’s impossible to quibble with G Data Total Security’s malware protection, and – considering that it’s doing twice as much analysis as rival security suites – it’s impressively nimble.

Even so, this premium package struggles to justify its high price. Most of the secondary features in G Data Total Security can be easily replicated using tools that are free, or even built into Windows. Indeed, I would actively discourage you from using a password manager that’s integrated into a paid-for security suite, as this will make it more difficult to switch to a different antivirus program in the future.

This being the case, the standard G Data Antivirus tool looks like a smarter choice: it offers the same core protection at a lower price, and also has a cleaner interface, with fewer extraneous pages and features. At €30 for a single user it’s still a bit expensive, though. You can find Norton 360 Deluxe on Amazon as cheaply as £13 for three users, so I would recommend G Data only if you particularly like the belt-and-braces way of doing things.

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