G DATA is a Windows security vendor of some 20+ years standing that hails from Germany, home of plenty of top-notch security software houses. G DATA TotalCare 2009 is a complete PC security bundle offering an array of protection, including antivirus, antispam, antiphishing, a personal firewall, data backup and a system tuner, not to mention parental controls, history eraser, data shredding and a pop-up blocker.
The only things absent from this list are privacy controls and a gamer option, so G DATA TotalCare 2009 offers comprehensive security coverage.
G DATA TotalCare 2009 proved to be a lengthy install. Along the way it paused, falsely detecting a previously uninstalled copy of Avira, which was disappointing given that one of the new features of the 2009 release is its claimed ability to automatically uninstall old security software.
G DATA TotalCare 2009's garish red colour scheme may be retained but it otherwise has a revamped UI, which is more self-explanatory and perfectly easy to find your way around.
G DATA (uniquely as far as we can recall) offers two separate AV engines, supplied by messrs Kaspersky and Avast. You might think these would impose a heavy processor burden but if you have a multicore processor, each engine can run separately in its own core - we didn't notice a significant impact on PC performance or responsiveness.
Each is a highly regarded AV product in its own right, so AV protection offered by G DATA TotalCare 2009 is of a high-order. In fact it's picked up certification from the likes of VB100 and ICSA Labs in the recent past.
Updates are frequent, hourly or even more frequent but the first time it took ages to download signature and program updates, which are treated separately. Mercifully it's a fairly smart program so you won't be bothered by too many (if any) ‘permission granting' pop-ups, which makes for a quiet life.
G DATA TotalCare 2009's antispam integrated nicely with Windows Mail and produced some impressive spam filtering results. Using our honey-trap email accounts it mis-categorised only 77 spam emails as genuine - but correctly consigned over 4000 to the junk mail folder, an error of about 1.9 percent which, given that it wasn't 'trained' in any way was very good.
It was, however, slow, taking an average of 54 seconds to process 100 emails.
G DATA TotalCare 2009's Tuner function is a tad hyperbolic - it's more akin to CCleaner in that it mainly weeds out space-wasting files such as temp or log files. Useful but not a best in breed feature.
G DATA TotalCare 2009 is simple to use, straightforward and safe. The security coverage is of a high order and is hard to fault. It’s a good product but probably not better than the current market leader, Symantec Norton Internet Security 2009, which offers better protection and better VFM if you need the three-PC version.