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Free G Data Internet Security 2012 Download

26. January 2011

    It’s just barely 2011 and I haven’t even begun to review all of the newly released antivirus.  Ironically, today I just came across G Data’s new 2012 internet security program; the famed dual engine scanner (Avast and Bitdefender combined), upping the ante.  Since the program is in beta, the file is quite large at over 312 megabytes in size (also has the latest version of G Data’s boot CD included).  If you have the patience to download it (downloaded from a Germany .de).  I highly encourage it.  I have also included a free full version license code in the picture above.  Most of the 2012 improvements include antivirus engine upgrades, increased zero day protection, and an idle on demand scanner.

    Aside from the large download, the installation of G Data Internet Security 2012 was alright.  I did get a visual basic run time error and a blank error box, but the installer was still able to complete.  There are a few out of the ordinary options.  First, one can select that the definitions are updated hourly.  Second, I encourage one to use the custom installation because one can install the new 64 bit shredder and also parental controls (I did not install the latter for this review).

scanning options

    Once the installation was completed, the main interface launched.   There is a myriad of information displayed on one window and I feel G Data did a great job displaying it all in an easy to read manner.  First of all, there really are a ton of settings so if one wants to get the full use out of the program, an above average proficiency is probably needed.  This is not the average free antivirus.

virus scanning in progress

    The virus protection offers several different scanning options.   There is the check computer (full system scan),  check memory and startup,  removal media,  and a nifty check for rootkits option.   The first thing that separates G Data from the many competitors is the remaining time till scan completion and the virus scanner is also fast.  The scanner accesses the disk at 6 to 10 megabytes per second (well ahead of most free antivirus that have been tested) not to mention a check computer (full system) scan takes a brisk hour to complete.  Within the scan screen  there is the option to pause the scan at times of high load.  This is nice as concurrent tasks will not be affected by an on demand scan.  The scanner didn’t detect any specific virus on the test system.  However one can expect close to 99% detection rates as Avast 5 and Bitdefender always rank among the best detection rates.

    Resource usage is surprisingly reasonable considering that the program includes a firewall,  spam, email, and web protection in addition to the core virus engine.  In idle operation, the program uses about 40 megabytes across 9 processes.  When scanning, the scan server can bounce all over the place.   One second the scan sever is using 100 megabytes while the other it is using 6 megabytes.   CPU usage is a little out of control at 12 to 50 percent CPU power.  However, G Data is one of the few free antivirus scanners to utilize multi core (multithreaded) operation effectively.  I did notice an additional 1 to 2 minutes added boot time.  Also, during a virus scan, Microsoft Word and other concurrent tasks were fairly affected by the scan.

firewall status

    In addition to the virus scanner, the firewall is extremely user friendly.   The default setting is autopilot mode in which the user will never see any firewall warning messages (network activities are checked at the application level).   However, maximum security and high security involve checking via firewall rules.  One can even opt to create rules manually through advanced settings such as query and reference checking.  It would be nice if there was a help icon to explain the features. 

    In addition, to the above features there is a very comprehensive antispam system (blacklist and whitelist), web protection (scans http traffic  and phishing protection),  unsecure wireless network detection, and an updated boot CD.

firewall settings

    Some problems I encountered where settings pages merging into each other as one moves through them, just a general slowdown of the system, one has to define the port numbers for IM checking rather than them being predefined, the window wouldn’t remain on the top, and just a lot of settings that may be confusing for the novice user.  I think it would be nice for G Data to offer a template system like Bitdefender has (the capability to switch between expert and novice modes) and other free antivirus also have. 

    All in all, if one is looking for extremely comprehensive security and not concerned about the performance drawbacks check out G Data.  Please keep in mind that this is a beta program and it is not a full version.