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G Data AntiVirus 2012
VERSION:  Windows 7 / Vista / XP (Requirements), Single User

PRICE:  $29.95

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Other Versions:  G Data Internet Security 2011 download
Rating: Good    

Review of G Data AntiVirus 2012

     By Jay Andrew Allen | September 15, 2011

G Data G Data is one of the first vendors out of the gate with its 2012 antivirus platform. Earlier this year, we gave its predecessor, G Data AntiVirus 2011, a rating of "Good", praising its accuracy and update efficiency, but lamenting its lack of common features, such as Gamer Mode. We put G Data AntiVirus 2012 through its paces to see how it stacks up - not only against the competition, but against itself!

1) Features & Usability:  6.5/15

Dashboard: Most of the 2012 offerings we've seen in either Release or Beta feature significant Dashboard improvements. The G Data AntiVirus 2012 Dashboard follows suit. Although it largely resembles its 2011 predecessor, it sports better organization, occupies a more limited space, and contains fewer visible options. Drop-down menus provide quick access to virus scanning, on-demand signature updates, and configuration.

G Data 2012 Dashboard:

View Larger G Data Screenshots

The most notable new feature is idle scan, which automatically initiates a scan during periods of system inactivity. Idle scan is configured to run by default; it can be disabled in Settings -> Automatic Virus Checks by unselecting the Idle Scan checkbox.

G Data has also followed suit with its competitors by adding a cloud-based component to their virus checking repertoire. Cloud-based virus services leverage the knowledge of other virus platform users to detect potential viruses in the wild. Unfortunately, the G Data documentation is quiet on how exactly G Data leverages cloud knowledge; it only mentions in passing that its anti-phishing technology uses cloud data. (See below for the dish on how G Data's revised virus engine ranks in both performance and accuracy.)

The rest of G Data's 2012 features are all improvements in its virus detection engine: a larger, more compact virus definition database; a proactive detection system for banking-oriented trojan programs; and an improved Outlook add-in for detecting infected attachments. The platform also incorporates something it calls "on-extension monitor mode". As best as we can tell, this is a performance enhancement that limits G Data's CPU and memory usage when your system is already running at its limit.

The one feature not included? Gamer Mode, or Full Screen Mode - a popular feature which suspends virus operations when a full screen application (such as a game or online video) is playing. The absence of this feature in the 2011 edition was hard to believe; its absence in 2012 leaves us gobsmacked. G Data also has not updated its Instant Messaging support; its configuration window still implies it only supports ancient (ca. 2005) versions of Microsoft Messenger and Trillian.

Virus Scanner:
G Data's improvements in virus detection and in its virus definition database size do not equate to improved test scores. In our tests, the new release performed roughly the same as last year's version. G Data AntiVirus 2012 also took a hit in its accuracy ratings (discussed in Section 3 below).

G Data Virus Scanner:

View Larger G Data Screenshots

Scan Speed: On our reference system*, G Data's scan speed was found to be 28.3 MB per second, as G Data Antivirus 2012 took 36.2 seconds for an initial scan of our 1GB test file matrix.

Updates: G Data may not be speedy or accurate, but it is up to date: the engine downloads new virus definition updates an average of 18.5 times daily. Only Norton 2012 had more daily updates than G Data.

*Reference Computer:  Windows 7 Home Premium running on a Toshiba Pentium Dual-Core T4200 (64 bit), with 3GB of RAM and a 210GB hard drive.

2) Performance Testing:  4.5/10

Below are the results of our in-house Performance Tests, which illustrate the impact G Data 2012 can have on a computer's performance.

Memory Use: G Data 2012 uses 22.6 MB of system memory. #6 ranked program of the 15 Antivirus programs we tested.

Reboot Time: G Data added 27.4 seconds to our test computer's reboot time. #14 ranked program.

Installation Size: G Data AntiVirus 2012 requires 600 MB of hard-drive space for installation. #13 ranked program.

Initial Scan Speed: G Data AntiVirus scans files the first time at a speed of 28.3 MB/s. #7 ranked program.

Subsequent Scan Speed: G Data performs subsequent scans at a speed of 568.9 MB/s. #1 ranked program.

Initial Application Launch: G Data 2012 added 0.505s to launch a web browser for the first time after a reboot. #11 ranked program.

Subsequent Application Launch: G Data added 0.170s on average for subsequent web browser launches. #7 ranked program.

File Conversion Time: G Data added 1.08s on average to convert a MP3 file to four other file types. #14 ranked program.

System Impact Score: The "System Impact Score" is a cumulative score tallied from the above 8 tests. G Data slid to 11th place overall in our System Impact scoring with a total impact score of 55 points (out of a total of 120 points) - eight points lower than last year. The new G Data installs and scans more slowly than its predecessor. We also identified G Data performed half as well in our File Conversion metric.

View above Antivirus Performance Tests.

3) Effectiveness: (Virus Protection) 15.5/20

The most important function of an antivirus program is to protect a computer from from Viruses and other Malware. Below we examine some of the industry's top Virus/Malware testing.

a) AV Comparatives has 2 major virus/malware tests that they perform. In the most recent test in May 2011, the Proactive Test, G Data was rated 2 out of 3 Stars (ADVANCED rating). G Data didn't receive three stars since it detected too many false positives - despite having the highest detection rate. In the second test in February 2011, the On Demand Detection Test, G Data also received a 2-Star rating (again due to detecting a large number of false positives).


b) AV-Test runs its test every 3 months rotating between Windows XP/Vista/7 operating systems. In their recent testing, G Data received a 13.5 / 18 score on the Windows XP platform, a 14 / 18 score on Windows 7, and a score of 13.5 / 18 on Windows Vista. G Data performed well enough to be Certified in all three tests, however there were several programs that performed better than G Data (including Kaspersky, F-Secure, and BitDefender).

Win 7: Win XP: Win Vista:
c) Virus Bulletin - VB 100% Certified. G Data passed the most recent VB100 test (August 2011), and has passed 15 of the past 17 tests (dating back to June 2007). The VB 100% award is given to antivirus software that detects all viruses "in the wild".

4) Help & Support:  2/5

G Data's support options continue to disappoint. While the local help is still decent, direct support consists of an online form and a public e-mail address listed on the FAQ page (

»Quick Support Links:

     • Technical Support FAQ
     • G Data Support Center
     • G Data Support Tools


G Data's paucity of features puts the spotlight on its anti-virus engine. If the company had made significant investments in improving its anti-virus, we might contemplate forgiving its outdated feature set. Alas, G Data AntiVirus barely manages to match last year's performance numbers, and its detection accuracy has nosedived. We find little to recommend in G Data's latest offering, and its ranking drop to 'Fair' this year from 'Good' last year, leads us to suggest other antivirus software alternatives.

Overall Rating: Fair    (Total Score: 28.5 / 50 = 3 Stars)

Misc Info:

    • Reviewed By:
Jay Andrew Allen
    • Install Time:
142s (plus 1 reboot)
    • Version Tested:
    • Release Date:
June 22, 2011
    • Review Date:
September 15, 2011
    • Last Updated:
September 24, 2011
    • Previous Version:
G Data AntiVirus 2011

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G Data AntiVirus 2012 Screenshots

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G Data AntiVirus 2012 System Requirements:

Windows XP: Service Pack 2 or higher, 32-bit system, 512MB RAM minimum.

Windows Vista: 32-bit and 64-bit versions, 1 GB RAM minimum.

Microsoft Windows 7: 32-bit and 64-bit versions, 1 GB RAM minimum.

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