G Data Total Security review: The best antivirus app you’ve never heard of


Nothing says security and trust like German quality. At least that’s the pitch for Germany-based G Data. The company’s tag line is “Trust in German Sicherheit (safety).” The idea being that modern Germany is known for “solid German quality” and strict privacy laws, which G Data must adhere to, thereby shielding its customers from malware and privacy-busting breaches.

Besides the German-ness, G Data has a long history in antivirus protection, and its current AV product relies on not one, but two detection engines (Bitdefender and an in-house engine). 

Note: This review is part of our best antivirus roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.

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G Data Total Security uses two malware engines.

Similar to other legacy security companies like McAfee and Symantec, G Data maintains a fairly well-organized suite. Its top product, G Data Total Security, has enough to please users who desire a feature-packed suite, while still being simple enough that you’re not overwhelmed. 

G Data Total Security is priced at $50 for a single device for one year, or $82 per year for five devices, and $122 for 10 devices. G Data’s pricing isn’t bad, but it’s just a tad more expensive than other mainstream suites at the 10-device level. G Data’s pricing only covers PCs and Mac, whereas many other suites throw in mobile coverage as part of the plan. G Data’s mobile app for Android is sold separately at $16 per year for a single device, and there’s a free version as well. 

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When you first start G Data Total Security for Windows it displays a dashboard called the SecurityCenter with your system’s current protection status. Like many other security suites, it uses a color-coding system; if everything is green in the SecurityCenter you’re good to go.

There are three major sections on this page. The first section indicates if your web, email, and spam protection are active, as well as the date and time of your last scan and whether real-time protection is active. There’s also a section showing when the virus signatures were last updated, and when they’ll be updated again. If you want to update them sooner than that, just click the refresh icon for that section.

Finally, there’s a section for browser and app protection, with features such as BankGuard and keylogger and exploit protection. All of these are invisible features that work within your existing workspace. The BankGuard feature, for example, doesn’t try to launch a specialized sandboxed browser but protects against threats by monitoring RAM for potential banking Trojan infections. The keylogger protection observes specific programs that are typically targeted by malware looking to capture information you type. Click on Keylogger protection > More settings… to see a list of programs covered, and  add any additional programs you want monitored.

Diving into the rest of the suite, there are nine other tabs at the top of the Total Security window: Virus protection, Firewall, Backup, Password Manager, Tuner, Parental Controls, Encryption, Autostart Manager, and Device Control.

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