Updated · Jun 06, 2022
Best for: All-round virus protection and detecting threats in real-time on Windows and Mac
GData software offers three core programs that provide total security for your Windows PC or Mac, as well as separate mobile security apps for Android and iOS.
GData Antivirus scans your system for malware, ransomware, trojan horses. Furthermore, it protects against spyware, adware, worms, rootkits, and other threats that may have already infected your device. You also get an email spam filter for Outlook and some real-time GData web protection for online threats.
G Data Internet Security provides superior real-time threat detection and internet security. It includes parental advisor controls, a privacy firewall, a full ransomware shield, and a data backup utility – all helping you prevent infection and stop e-threats and outside in their tracks.
GData Total Security is the next step up, providing everything the regular suites offer, as well as file encryption features, system tune-up tools, advanced backing up, blocking connected devices, and a password manager. Read our full GData Total Security review below, to learn about the exclusive features.
NOTE: The GData Internet Security 2022 and Total Security programs all come with the basic antivirus scanning function. You do not need to buy the antivirus on top of these more expensive suites.
The mobile security apps offer virus protection and lost/stolen tools for Android and iPhone users and are separate from the main GData software.
Coming up are the features that make GData a good antivirus suite.
You can use any of the main three GData programs for free for 30 days as a trial before being required to pay for a license. However, before you can use the free software you must first provide your personal or business details and a working email address to activate it.
Interestingly, even before activating we received a warning that we may have a potentially unwanted program (PUP) installed, which was actually another legitimate antivirus program we were testing. A coincidence or a slightly underhanded tactic? We’re not sure.
GData Antivirus Review
GData’s base feature is its antivirus scanning. It has the ability to detect sophisticated malware and all other types of computer viruses. You can perform a quick antivirus check for the most common areas of your system, but this form of ultra-fast scanning should only be done after you have performed a full system one.
For our hands-on GData antivirus review, our first full scan took just over one hour. This is in line with other reviews and comparably quite fast compared to other PC security software.
The software also utilizes a form of real-time protection - it will check any new files you download and if it "thinks" there’s a threat, you decide whether to delete it.
This also applies to any threats found during a normal scan. The suspicious files will be sent to the GData quarantine folder. Then, it is your choice whether to keep them, if you think it has detected a false positive, such as a PC game cheat trainer.
These are often picked up because they alter game data in the background without express permission. It is similar to how some malware operates.
Thanks to the GData file system monitor service, you’ll know if something is trying to change your files secretly.
The antivirus will also perform a scan if it finds your system to be idle, running in the background to detect any new threats. You can turn this feature off, but the program itself has little to no compromise on system performance.
As well as a quick or full check, you can also customize your scan to target specific areas you think might be infected.
If next-generation malware is your concern, the software is constantly updating its database of definitions. You will always be protected from known and emerging malware. When we tested relatively new malware for our GData antivirus review, it was soon picked up.
The boot disc feature allows you to put a GData download on a CD/DVD that can run when you boot up your computer. This is typically used when a computer is highly infected and is having trouble starting up in the first place.
The software bypasses the regular startup and then goes through the virus and spyware removal process so you can get things back under control.
Our only qualm is that the idea of a ‘boot disc’ is a bit antiquated. A lot of PC and Mac users don’t even have CD/DVD drives anymore. If you want to get the same results from removable storage like a USB stick or external hard drive, you will have to go through the hassle of creating a virtual CD/DVD drive.
Nonetheless, this is an invaluable tool. Everyone who gets the software should keep a boot disc or USB on hand in case of an emergency or if friends or work colleagues need to make use of it.
Phishing is a method used by cyber-criminals and hackers to steal your passwords and personal data by feeding you a fake webpage that looks like the real thing, e.g. the PayPal login page but with a strange URL.
The basic anti-phishing module is included in the regular antivirus software. There’s also protection in the other GData software suites. Independent testers rated GData as having good phishing protection of about 90% but other software has even better results, so this isn’t GData’s strongest area.
The software currently uses its own real-time detection techniques and a cloud blacklist of known phishing sites to determine whether a URL is a threat. If something is iffy, you’ll either get a blank white screen or a big red warning, depending on how fast the software managed to react and what it already knows about the site. It’s nice to know that it reacts instantly to malware, rather than letting it infect the system first.
Ransomware is one of the most costly and time-consuming forms of cybercrime. Offenders manage to get on your system, find important files and data, encrypt/lock them, and then demand money to release them.
Our GData Internet Security review found multi-layer ransomware protection. The suite monitors the sites you visit, the files you download, and any unexpected changes happening to your computer in the background. It also uses machine learning to improve itself over time.
If ransomware manages to get past all of these layers, there’s also a dedicated ransomware shield feature that can be turned on and off from the software’s control panel (definitely keep it on).
Again, GData does do a good job here and can even detect ransomware programmed to quickly launch when you boot up your computer before your antivirus software usually starts. However, it still falls behind some of the competition.
The spam filter feature which is found on all G Data software is a bit redundant if you use web-based email services like Google’s Gmail. But if you have a regular old POP3 email account and/or use Outlook, you can benefit from this feature.
It marks messages based on whether they are suspected, likely, or highly likely to be spam. It is up to you whether to open, permanently delete, or leave the emails in the spam folder. We decided to pull up an old outlook-based account for our GData review and we couldn’t fault its detection rates.
As far as fraud tools go, this feature is designed for safe online banking and secures your transactions to prevent fraud.
While that’s efficient it’s also hard to test and we’re not entirely sure how it works. Nonetheless, we see no risk in keeping this feature activated as a browsing and banking protection solution.
What we do know is it is likely partnered with GData’s anti-keylogging software feature and phishing detection, which all play a role in online banking and payment protection.
A keylogger is a tool used by attackers to secretly capture what you type in hope of uncovering passwords and other private information, especially if it detects you’re logging into a banking page or making a payment on an online shopping page.
Fortunately, there are online keyloggers and ones you can download safely to test such protection. Our GData download passed with flying colors. If somebody is monitoring what you type it will detect the malware and keep you safe.
GData does this automatically for web browsers and most other computer functions. You can also add programs specifically to monitor for keylogging, such as a game that might have in-built purchases or database software that you may enter sensitive information into.
All three solutions also come with a very useful startup manager that allows you to decide which programs are allowed to open when you first turn on your computer. For example, perhaps you have a gaming platform, Skype, or an Adobe suite that always annoyingly pops up when Windows launches.
This feature lets you stop this altogether or choose how many minutes after startup you want the process to begin – a feature not seen in much other similar software.
This is helpful if you don’t mind a program auto-starting but you have other tasks you want to focus on for a few minutes first.
Exclusive to the GData Internet Security download and GData Total Security is its firewall to monitor your internet connection and network from outside threats. It can block intrusions and filter network traffic, so you know there isn’t a third party connected, hogging your bandwidth or using it for malicious purposes.
Of course, modern Windows users already have a pretty good firewall by default, but GData’s is equally as good, if not better – snooping out port scans and attacks launched from the web.
If you’re not experienced with firewalls, the software handles the basic settings well and you can choose from intuitive options like Low, Standard, High, and Maximum. For the more experienced, there are lots of other settings to tweak but most people won’t need these.
One function you may come into contact with is when a program asks for an incoming or outbound connection. A lot of this is decided automatically but there may be a game or new program you install that asks for permission. GData runs it by you, similar to Windows. Sometimes it can be a bit overactive and even ask you if you want common things like Chrome to have permission, which can be annoying.
For suspicious software, you can choose to give network access always, just once, block once, or always block.
Furthermore, the firewall protects certain Windows processes, especially related to security and antivirus, from being killed both manually in the task manager and via a third party like malicious software.
Regularly backing up your data is a wise thing to do whether you have good antivirus software or not. It can also be important when your computer is infected and you need to get any clean and important files, at least temporarily, out of there.
When researching for this GData review, we were delighted to find not just a backup feature in its Internet/Total Security plans, but a cloud storage backup solution at that.
That being said the storage must be chosen by you, i.e. Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. – GData itself does not provide the storage. You also need to pay for the GData Total protection solution if you want to back up locally to a drive or removable storage device.
Backups can be scheduled daily, weekly, monthly, or a single set date. You can pick and choose the exact drives, folders, files, and types of data to backup. There’s even a ‘changed data’ option that only backs up new data that has accrued since the last backup, so your system isn’t laboring over full backups each time.
You can also restore your backups as long as they remain in the same form as when they were backed up, simply by browsing to it and choosing the restoration location – original or new location.
You will need to buy GData for parental oversight, but it is not the best or most advanced tool. The feature boils down to two things – content filtering or the blocking of websites deemed unsafe for children, and internet time scheduling.
This is certainly useful GData software, but as of testing in 2022 it hasn’t updated the way it handles secure SSL sites, which are sites that use the HTTPS protocol. In years gone by, this would be limited to online shopping and banking; sites you don’t want your kids messing about on and spending money. However, this protocol is now the norm.
So, if you check the setting to block SSL sites, you’re blocking a vast amount of child-friendly web content. Yet, if you choose not to block SSL sites, you’re opening your children up to dangerous or inappropriate sites that just happen to have moved with the times.
The main blacklisted content options are drugs, hackers, violence, extremism, and porn. These are not comprehensive and bad content does get through while sometimes good content does get blocked. To help with this you can add exceptions to either a whitelist or blacklist yourself. For example, maybe you don’t want your kids on Facebook which isn’t blocked by default or you do want your children to be able to access a site that may have been caught in the crossfire, such as a site about making pottery that got blocked because of the word ‘pot’.
Parental control requires you to have the Windows administrative account and your child to use their own profile. Otherwise, you’ll have to turn on the controls manually each time if you’re sharing a family device.
It will tell you from the control panel if it blocked any sites and when, so you know what’s working, and more importantly - what your child tried to access.
An added utility you can use with the Internet/Total Security suites is the file shredder, which is an extra type of deletion method when you right-click a file or folder.
Shredding is essentially the same concept as in real life. It disposes of the data so it cannot be recovered, even by data recovery tools and forensic experts. It does this by overwriting the data with random bits before deletion.
Just be sure that you definitely want to delete that file because as useful as this tool is for privacy protection and security, once it’s gone it really is gone.
Do you have a lot of different complicated passwords to remember for different services? Or perhaps, you deliberately make them easy or reuse passwords because you can’t remember them all? Either way, the password manager in our GData Total Security 2022 review solves this problem.
You choose one super long difficult password and in conjunction with your chosen web browsers, it encrypts all of your saved passwords. It identifies when you’re logging in to sites and gives you the option to save them.
Then the magic happens. By using your single password on any site that has a valid password stored securely by the tool, you can log in. I.e. you only need to remember one password.
Before using the tool, you might want to change your passwords to be more complicated because you won’t have to remember them from then on.
Unfortunately, the key letdown compared to standalone password managers is that you cannot sync your master password across devices. So, it will work on your computer, but functionality won’t be replicated on your Android device even if you have the GData Android app.
Also exclusive to GData Total Security is its ‘System Tuner’ which aims to delete junk files and speed up your computer and overall system performance.
This primarily involves deleting old uninstalled software remnants, removing invalid items in Windows Registry, temporary internet files and web cache, and some Windows caches such as the ‘recent items’ shown when exploring folders.
It can also find and remove any old extensions or addons you’ve installed on your browsers that may be hogging memory.
All of this is a straight-forward and safe process now adopted by many antivirus suites and dedicated ‘cleaner’ programs. You have full control over what’s deleted before the process is actually carried out.
GData and Windows 10 work well together. The Tuner can also scan for so-called security risks within your Windows installation and other programs. An obvious option is to turn off Java, which is considered outdated and unsecure when browsing the web.
What it lacks is a software update manager to help with software security.
An extra layer of protection for your most sensitive files can now come in the form of encryption, thanks to the tool available with Total Security.
The straightforward process is done via a wizard and involves designating a portion of space on a drive or removable storage to encrypted files. This is secured with a password and you can have multiple levels. For example, the master password gets full access, but another user level may only be able to read the data but not edit it.
Adding files to the safe is as easy as copy and pasting (while entering a password), though you’ll obviously want to use the shredder on files you’ve encrypted but also remain on your regular drive. You would think this would be an automated process.
Either way, this is great for identity protection for your or others who may be stored on your system.
One-way exploitive malware can damage your computer via removable devices or media like a memory stick or CD. This can be done deliberately by an attacker with access to the computer, in work, or corporate environment, or more commonly by accident on a shared machine, when someone isn’t aware their device or media is already infected with something.
To solve this, GData software has added a ‘Device Control’ feature that allows you to block the use of devices completely or set rules, such as Read-only USB, so nothing from the device can be copied to or alter the computer.
There is also a blacklist/whitelist system, whereby you can allow your own trusted devices but block any unknown devices.
GData for Mobile
If you’ve been searching for an antivirus app you can download either GData for Android with a 30-day money-back guarantee or iOS, with limited free functionality is a good choice. Since it already works on Windows and Mac, G Data deserves credit for this cross-platform malware protection.
The iOS version also has a further paid premium version. The easy-to-use apps allow you to scan for mobile malware, detect phishing sites and links, and the cloud scanner can even block outside connections to your device.
G Data also gives you complete control over each app on your device and the permissions you give them. You will even get an alert when an app secretly tries to overrule it or asks for one that seems outside of its intended use.
Furthermore, the security app helps you locate your mobile device if it is lost or stolen by setting up an online portal you can access with another device that traces its last known geo-location.
The only downside is that it doesn’t allow for any kind of remote control, so if a malicious person has your device you won’t necessarily be able to stop them messing with it beyond its own in-built security features. You’ll simply know where it is for as long as it’s powered on and not factory reset.
It's an okay addition to Android and particularly iPhone’s other lost and stolen features.
GData for Business
GData business also provides enterprise options, such as the GData endpoint protection business solution. Pricing and features will depend on your businesses’ needs and you will have to contact the company or via a designated distributor to get a quote and work out the costs.
This may include multi-layered protection, cloud management, multiple device protection, server and gateway protection, security from enterprise hackers, and much more.
Overall, our GData review ranks its antivirus and security software suites as some of the best on the market. Independent testers Av-Test.org run numerous in-depth tests across a range of similar software and ranked GData Internet Security in February 2021 as a top product, with 6/6 for protection, performance, and usability.
SELabs also ranked ‘G-Data Internet Security’ very high, giving it 96% for total accuracy for its protection, meaning there are very few false positives. It also got a 99% malware detection score and, overall, a 97% protection score in its ability to handle threats.
While we definitely found some weaknesses in its phishing protection, parental controls, and a few other features, ultimately your computer will be safe and secure using this program. Particularly with the Internet and Total Security premium upgrades.
Ease of Use
Using any of the GData software will feel familiar if you have ever used antivirus programs before. Everything is straightforward, with onscreen help, and simply involves scanning your computer and then checking boxes when deciding what to do with the results. The antivirus install takes a matter of minutes.
You get full control over whether to quarantine, permanently delete, or allow but log potentially dangerous files – the latter if you believe you’ve picked up a false positive.
All of the different software packages use the same intuitive layout, with the Internet Security and Total Security suites simply adding more tabs at the top to access the extra features. Everything is easily turned on and off with a click/check and you can personalize some of the more advanced settings.
When not actively used, the program will sit in the background and can be reopened from the tray. Depending on how you have scheduled scans, your computer may be scanned for threats automatically in the background. Otherwise, you’ll only get alerts if a real-time threat is detected.
It’s one of the best Antivirus that won’t slow down your PC unless it's exceptionally old. So, don’t expect any performance issues.
Other features, such as file shredding or encryption can be accessed via the right-click menu when exploring folders and files.
Overall, we didn’t encounter any major difficulties, while researching for this GData antivirus review.
GData boasts 24/7 customer support for its paid users that can be reached via email, English-language telephone, or by online support ticket. There isn’t an online chat currently and the time it takes to actually get a response can vary. When we tested the ticket function, we got a response within an hour, which is pretty good.
Staff are polite and knowledgeable, genuinely keen to help, and it won’t take long for your problem to be solved if you provide all of the relevant info.
They also have a vast online knowledge base and FAQ, in case your query is something that can be easily answered with a bit of reading.
If you’re looking to buy GData, it is great value for money when compared to the likes of Bitdefender or Kaspersky. You can choose the exact number of licenses you want, all of which work out cheaper than much of the competition.
There is no free version, but whatever suite you go for, you get a 30-day trial without restrictions.
GData Antivirus – 1 to 10+ Devices:
- Windows $29.95 - $99.95/ year
- Mac $39.95 - $111.95/ year
GData Internet Security – 1 to 10+ Devices:
- $39.95 - $111.95/ year
GData Total Security – 1 to 10+ Devices:
- $49.95 - $121.95/ year
Mobile Security Android – 1 to 10+ Devices
- $15.95 – 105.95/ year
Mobile Security iOS
- Freemium/$16.79 per device
GData Review - Verdict
As a German antivirus, there’s no question that GData is a little bit more obscure than some of the other more popular options on the market. However, it offers similar results, has a lot of features (some of which you won’t find elsewhere), and it’s good value for money for a full antivirus suite.
The parental controls could be better, data backup could be a little more user-friendly, and phishing and ransomware protection is just okay. However, from its antivirus suite upwards, GData is a well-rated, independently tested, and award-winning overall solution that should not be overlooked.
The fact that it’s also cheaper than much of the competition also makes it ideal for those looking for a budget antivirus suite.
If you just want a genuine antivirus program with no impact on system performance, the base program is more than good enough. But if you want a lot of useful extra features it is definitely worth upgrading to the Internet Security and Total Security plans.
From file shredding to controlling external devices, these numerous added security features really take GData to the next level. It also helps that even a novice will be able to navigate its easy-to-use interface without any trouble, while experts can dig in a bit further and make use of advanced settings should they choose.
The only thing missing is a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which would further provide fast, anonymous, and secure surfing. But, if you’re ready to protect your network at that level, it’s best to go with a third party anyway.
Ultimately, GData provides all of the tools you need for a comprehensive security system for your home network or small business. After reading our Gdata review, we hope your cybersecurity awareness has recognized the importance of such software and we say, give it a try!
A qualified journalist and longtime web content writer, Keelan has a passion for exploring information and learning new things. If he's not writing or pushing his own brands, you'll find him watching pro wrestling or trying not to rant about politics online.
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