G Data InternetSecurity 2013 Review: Excellent protection, but a terrible user interface

G Data InternetSecurity 2013 ($35 for one year, as of 12/19/12) is a comprehensive security suite with an excellent protection record: It blocked, detected, and disabled all of the malicious files we threw at it, and cleaned up 80 percent of infections in our system cleanup test. However, it's not the most user-friendly suite, with a tedious installation process and an advanced-users-only settings panel. As a result, it ended up toward the bottom of our rankings.

In our real-world attack test, G Data completely blocked 100 percent of attacks. This indicates how well the product will successfully block brand new malware attacks when it encounters them in the wild. Of the nine security suites we tested, five completely blocked all attacks: G Data, F-Secure, Bitdefender, Norton, and Trend Micro.

G Data also has an excellent malware detection rate. In our malware-zoo detection test, the program detected 99.7 percent of known malware samples. This detection rate puts G Data in fourth place for malware detection. G Data did have a higher false positive percentage than other security suites--it flagged three safe files (out of over 250,000) as malicious. Although this is a very low false positive rate, seven of the suites we tested flagged fewer than two safe files as malicious.

In our system cleanup test, G Data detected and disabled 100 percent of infections. It also managed to completely clean up 80 percent of infections, which puts it in third place (alongside Kaspersky and Trend Micro). This test shows how well a product can find, disable, and remove every last trace of an infection, so you can rest assured that G Data will do a respectable job.

G Data is one of the lightest security suites we tested this year. It adds practically nothing to startup time (compared to a PC with no antivirus installed), though it adds about 5.5 seconds to shutdown time. G Data's scan times aren't quite as good--it takes one minute and 56 seconds to complete an on-demand (manual) scan, which is the second-worst time of the tested suites. It also takes six minutes and two seconds to complete an on-access scan, which puts it in third-to-last place.

G Data's installation process is, simply put, annoying. It has ten screens to click through, several of which require user input, such as choosing services and registering for a G Data account. The program automatically changes your screensaver, although it does offer up a one-click option to change it back. This seems over-the-top, considering a screensaver is not in any way associated with antivirus protection. G Data does not have a toolbar.

The suite's interface isn't very attractive, nor is it very usable. At the top of the main window sits a large banner that displays your security status. Underneath this are separate modules for different areas of protection, including virus protection, Web protection, spam protection, and the firewall. The modules' titles are clickable, and when you click on them you'll get a drop-down menu that relates to that module, with quick links to different types of scans and settings.

Here's where it gets difficult: The settings menu in G Data isn't quite as intimidating as Avira's settings menu, but it's also not designed for beginners. The nested menus seem simple enough, but aside from the general settings menu (which lets you optimize settings for a standard computer, a slow computer, or a user-defined type of computer), everything is confusing. There are no simple explanations for different features and settings--instead, there is just a help button that takes you to a comprehensive online help manual.

Overall, G Data InternetSecurity 2013 is an effective antimalware suite that will keep you protected from almost all new threats. However, it suffers from a confusing, overly complicated user interface and settings panel, both of which seem to be designed more for advanced users than less experienced ones.

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