G Data AntiVirus Internet Security 2006 review

3.5 out of 5
£40

For

Works well, comprehensive

Against

Nothing new here

We’re already half way through the year and still updates of antivirus software are coming through the door. It’s always good to see internet tools being supported and updated but G Data has arrived a little late on the market that is already saturated with tools that help detect spyware, adware and other virus checking sweeps, along with the ubiquitous firewall and popup protection.

This may all sound a little down beat but unless such a package has anything new to offer, there are far better known brands to choose from. So, sceptically we loaded up the software hoping to be surprised. What we got was an easy install, with about 20MB of memory needed for all the apps, before running updates. You’ll need to reboot the system but once you have, you’ll find the tool populated in your taskbar.

The main system itself consists of five windows that deal with different aspects. By default you’ll find yourself on the AntiVirus page, with the other sections being Firewall, AntiSpam, WebFilter and KidSafe.

Taking a different approach to most companies, you’ll find that G Data has opted for not one antivirus tool but two, both of which are third-party. So, you’ll find BitDefender running along Kapersky tools, which can be a little resource sapping, especially if you’re running a budget or older machine. Fortunately, you can choose to switch one off when needs be, which sort of defeats the object.

The Firewall is neat and quite comprehensive. Working exactly the same way as other packages, when a new request comes through you’ll get a message asking whether you wish to accept it or not. However, you can easily find which sites and programs are allowed from the menu, as well as a list of sites that have recently been blocked.

WebFilter is used to stop popups and other annoying banners that seem to proliferate on the web. However, if you’re running Firefox you’ll find this is already a built-in feature and even IE has a plug-in, so in many respects this is the weakest tool here.

The KidSafe feature is a parental lock that allows you to set filters when using specific Windows user accounts. This way, you can create a wall-garden approach to the Internet for your kids but still have full access under your own account. There’s support for different types of filters for both Internet Explorer as well as Firefox, which is a nice touch and at least admits that we’re not all still using IE.

Verdict

Considering it’s arrived half-way through the year, G Data hasn’t done too bad a job creating an internet security suite to suit the average home user. Sure, it offers little that isn’t already out there but at £40 (inc. VAT) it’s as good a package as you’ll need. If you’ve already got such a suite we wouldn’t recommend switching, you’re not missing out, but if you’re looking for your first package, there is enough here to at least consider it.