As we’ve seen with most antivirus suites, G Data takes the simple interface approach to design. The interface is clean and you can immediately tell what activity is being run.
The software comes with a Boot-CD, which you can run before you install the software to check for rootkits and infections that may already be on your PC. This way you can make sure your machine is clean before setting up the software.
The main selling point of the package is that it runs two scanning engines at the same time, called DoubleScan. G Data doesn’t produce it’s own scanning software, it specialises in blocking tools, so as with previous versions it’s had to hire in scanning engines.
You’ll find that Kaspersky and Avast are the two engines in question and you can set-up the software to run with both checking for attacks, or if you’re running a low-powered PC, or simply worried about system usage, you can opt to just run one.
One of the big claims on this edition is that it takes up a smaller footprint than previous editions and in use we found this to be reliable. So much so, that you won’t see much performance lag from running DoubleScan as opposed to just using one engine.
We found the use of twin scanning engines overlaps, so any potential flaws in one can be covered by the second. Sure, this means that until you’ve properly trained the software you’re left with twice as many pop-ups asking you to qualify tasks but it’s a small price to pay if you’re seriously worried about security.
Obviously, the update library is only as good as the source company but as we’ve seen with Kaspersky products in their own right, they can deliver hourly updates and immediate response to new threats.
This wouldn’t be online security if it didn’t scan website traffic direct from the http site. Where G Data excels and brings its specialist to this package is with its array of blocking tools. It can be used with Outlook, Thunderbird and Endura to block potential viral threats, largely by monitoring the behaviour of attachments. Then there is the increased threat of virus attacks through Instant Messaging, so G Data covers major IE services, such as MSN, Yahoo and AOL.
The problem with having a number of licensed engines on-board means you can’t really compete on price. At £40 (inc. VAT) for a three-user license, you could well find yourself opting for the standalone Kaspersky suite. However, G Data has made this package easy for first-time users to get to grips with, so it may well find favour there.
To be fair, this package isn’t an overhaul of previous versions with the company itself claiming the biggest change is improved speed performance. The only other real change is, as we’ve seen, better co-ordination between the DoubleScan tools.
Overall, G Data AntiVirus 2008 is a comprehensive and easy-to-manage package. The interface is simple to use and once you’ve trained it to work the way you want it to, it’s a solid performing software suite.