With a title shared by Colgate toothpaste, the latest version of G Data's internet security suite aims to cover all the bases, other than plaque control. But can G Data Total Protection 2013 succeed? See also: Group test: what's the best security software?

In G Data Total Protection 2013, the German company includes anti-malware with a cloud component and twin AV engines, a firewall, anti-spam, parental control and an Android app. The AV scanner uses fingerprinting of the files it checks, so it doesn't need to recheck them on subsequent scans, if their fingerprints are unchanged. Visit: Security Advisor

The main G Data Total Protection 2013 control panel is busy, if not a little cluttered, but it's still easy to find your way around. On the right-hand side of the control panel are separate panes covering the key functions, such as scanning and updates, but also the secondary functions, like parental control and tune-up.

Oddly, these are coloured differently, making it look as if the options are greyed-out and unavailable. They're not.

To the left of these panels are two real-time graphs of processor use, so you can see at a glance how intensely the PC is working in general and on these internet-security tasks in particular.

You can direct scans at specific folders or files with G Data Total Protection 2013, but there's no Windows widget for quick single scans. Of the other modules, the Tuner does an effective job of mainstream housekeeping, like defragmenting hard drives, and also suggests security improvements it can make for you automatically.

We tested G Data's claim for faster scanning, by running our test scan on a 50GB basket of files three times. The first time it checked 8809 files in just over 30 minutes, but on both subsequent runs, it completed the same number of checks in seven seconds. Obviously, if the files change, it's going to take longer than this, but most of the time, it will only be rescanning very few files.

G Data Total Protection 2013 also runs scans by default in a PC's idle time and has its own screen saver to show when it's doing so. This regime gives it a very low system footprint, one which other IS suites should envy. We wonder why they don't adopt the same procedures.

Running a scan in the background, while copying a 1GB file took 57s, only 17s longer than when the software was idle, so it only extended the copy time by 42 percent, putting it fourth among the suites we've tested.

G Data Total Protection 2013: test results

AV-Test, the virus test site, rates G Data Total Protection 2013 at 15.5/18, which is a very good score, though not the highest in its latest group.

The results break down into three categories: Protection, Repair and Usability.

Protection, which assesses how the program protects against malware, produced 5.5/6.0, giving 100 percent on detecting new and established malware, though it dropped a bit on protecting against zero-day attacks.

Under Repair, it scored 100 percent on removal of malware components once discovered, and was still good on repair of critical system changes, scoring 73 percent against the group average of 63 percent.

It dropped 1.5 points on Usability, though, causing a greater system slow-down than the average. This is more surprising, given the quick scan times we found and idle-time processes.

G Data Total Protection 2013: Specs

  • Windows XP SP2 32-bit/Vista/7 32/64-bit
  • 1GB RAM
  • Windows XP SP2 32-bit/Vista/7 32/64-bit
  • 1GB RAM


The innovative fingerprinting of files to speed scanning in G Data's Total Protection 2013 is a clever move and certainly reduces scanning times, though AV-Test still measures an above-average system slow-down using it. The suite itself is well-featured, and its AV protection is thorough. However, it's also quite expensive, particularly the single-PC licence.