Sunday, March 23, 2014

MacKeeper Review - Exactly what is MacKeeper?


Introduction

Hello & welcome to my MacKeeper review. I use MacKeeper everyday to keep my Mac at its optimum performance level.  I have used MacKeeper for about a year now and am still using it as I publish this blog post.  This MacKeeper review is completely based on my experience with MacKeeper (developed by ZeoBIT Inc).

In this review I am going to go through what MacKeeper actually is i.e. its features and utilities. Also I will give a very brief tutorial on how to use these.

What is MacKeeper?
MacKeeper is a software application that has been specifically designed to strengthen and optimize the performance of your Mac and maximise storage space on your hard drive.  There are main four areas which define MacKeeper's functionality.  



1.  Security Section - Internet Security & Anti-Theft

2.  Data Control - Data Encryption, Files Recovery, Backup & Shredder

3.  Cleaning - Fast Cleanup, Duplicates Finder, Files Finder & Disk Cleanup

4.  Optimization - Smart Uninstaller, Update Tracker & Login Items


I will go into more detail in each of these areas later on in the review.




Is MacKeeper Safe?
MacKeeper has been developed by ZeoBIT Inc., a technology and software company in Sunnyvale, California.  ZeoBIT Inc who are trusted company.
It has been well received by the Mac user community.

Is MacKeeper any good?
I have been running the MacKeeper software on my MacBook Pro for a year now and I believe that it has significantly improved the speed of my Mac. The utilities (16 in total) have enabled me to keep better track of my files and the administration end of my Mac's operation. True story: I recently borrowed another MacBook Pro from my friend and I couldn't believe how sluggish his Mac was compared to mine.  Everything was slower!  I usually have up to 5 power hungry applications running at a given time and on my own Mac with MacKeeper installed this is no problem; everything runs like clockwork.

Honestly, I would have paid the same money for half the features that you get with Mac Keeper.

How much does MacKeeper cost?

This depends on the license you want.  I bought the standard license which set me back $60.  I did that because I was attracted to the free PC Keeper license that I have installed on my Dell.  Click here to buy now



Pros
  • Great Value for Money.  16 useful applications for life for less than $40.  (Would be worth $40 for the scheduled backups and the cleanups.)  
  • If you buy the Standard License ($60) you get PCKeeper (Windows equivalent of MacKeeper) for yours or a friend's PC.
  • No Risk.  365 Day Money Back guarantee
  • Free fully functional trial for 14 days

Cons
  • MacKeeper does slow down considerably when you run more than half of the modules altogether
  • I find I don't use some of the modules and based on a lot of reading around on the apple forums not many many people use these either. A waste of hard drive space.
  • Still waiting on ZeoDisk!


Comparison with Similar Products?

CleanMyMac is MacKeeper's closest rival really. And even that falls short.


Mackeeper Review

Download
The download of MacKeeper and its installation is a straightforward process.  When you download the .pkg file (less than 0.5MB) from the download page and run it you will get a series of images from the installation wizard giving you an indication of the installation progress.  The screenshots below are exactly what you will see.

Mackeeper Installation Steps
Mackeeper Installation StepsMackeeper Installation Steps


Following the installation process the software will immediately get to work for you by activating itself and assessing your Mac's performance.

It will let you when it has done this by displaying this image below.

Mackeeper Activation

Note:  By default the Anti-Theft and Internet Security devices are not activated.  If you wish you can do these manually.  You do this by clicking a few buttons when you are in the MacKeeper interface.  The rest of MacKeeper remains fully functional even if you decide not to employ these two features.  I personally have them switched for piece of mind as you never know when somebody may break into your house and steal your hard earned Mac or try and infect with some malicious virus.

Brief Overview of the 16 MacKeeper Modules

#1 Internet Security
Spammers and hackers are as prevalent today as ever and their techniques have only become more sophisticated.  More often than not you won't even know that your Mac is infected as hackers/spammers know that if you are alerted to the infection/hack then you will take measures to have there malware removed.  They prefer to "go under the radar" and enslave your Mac for their spamming purposes without you even knowing about it.  Your Mac could be infected as you read this.

Below is a screenshot of the Internet Security interface.

Mackeeper Anti Virus

If you wish you may decide to compile a list of websites that you are suspicious of and have MacKeeper automatically block those websites.  How do you like that?

See what happens below, when you try and visit a site that you have selectively blocked.

How It Works?

#2 Anti-Theft
As with the Internet Security the Anti-Theft needs to be switched on manually.

Mackeeper Anti Theft

Theft happens and you never know when or where a thief is going to strike next.
Picture this: you have gone out to meet friends and return to your home and realise that your house has been burgled and your Mac is stolen.  Horrible, right?

MacKeeper will help you and local law enforcement as much as it can.
So how does it work? You might ask.  When you log into you MacKeeper account online and notify MacKeeper that your Mac has been stolen, using GPS, MacKeeper will identify where your Mac is located.  If the thief opens it the Mac will be instructed by MacKeeper to take a snapshot every time it is opened and email that snapshot to you and/or local law enforcement.  This gives law enforcement the best chance of retrieving your precious hardware.


Please watch this video below from users of Security Features of MacKeeper.




The next four utilities (#3,4,5,6) make up what is called the DATA CONTROL part of MacKeeper

#3 Data Encryptor
If you share your Mac with other people (even members of your own family) then you may want to block access to your files or folders so that nobody can view them.  You ought to always have certain information protected from prying eyes.

To use Data Encryptor, you will first need to create a password in the Data Encryptor module in MacKeeper.  After that you just simply drag and drop files into the data encryptor window that you want to encrypt.  You have the option of 128 or 256 bit encryption.  I use this for all my bank e-statements.

You can simply then un-encrypt these from your MacKeeper log in.




#4 Files Recovery
I think all of us have made the mistake of deleting files and then deleting them forever from the trash can.  I have done it more times than I care to remember.  With MacKeeper's file recovery feature you can recover these files that you thought had been lost forever.  To help MacKeeper all you need is to tell it where the file was deleted from in the beginning.  MacKeeper will then show the list of files you can recover.

Mackeeper File Recovery

Not only that but you can also recover data from USB Flash Drives or SD cards etc.  Now you Mac will only hold a certain amount of files that have been deleted from the trash, so the sooner you search for your deleted file the more likely you will be able to recover it.

Some user Testimonials about the Files Recovery




# 5 Backup
As the name suggests you can create copies of all your important files to an external hard drive or even a USB flash drive.  I found this very useful when I had a thesis for college to write and I was very paranoid about my Mac crashing and losing my thesis draft.  So I backed up my draft every few hours using MacKeeper Backup.  It was easy.  I just dragged and dropped the file into the MacKeeper back up module.  Simples.

Some user testimonials from MacKeeper Backup





#6 Shredder
Any files that pass through the shredder cannot be recovered not even by MacKeeper's file recovery module.  So not even somebody you sell your Mac onto will ever have access to these files.  For example, if I want to sell my Mac in the future I will be shredding my e-statements from my online bank accounts.


Any files you want to shred can be dragged and dropped into the shredder module.
Mackeeper Shredder


Below is how some people found the MacKeeper Shredder useful.



The next five utilities (#7, 8, 9, 10, 11) make up the CLEANUP part of MacKeeper

#7 Fast Cleanup
This is a very useful if you want to free up some space on your Mac's hardrive.  There are 4 different clean up facilities, fast cleanup, languages, logs, cache cleanup.

A) The Fast Cleanup, as the name suggests can remove unnecessary parts that aren't used from certain programs,
B)Removes unused language files from applications,
C) Removes log files that aren't typically used by the Mac user or any application on a Mac,
D) Removes files that the system has stored in a cache.



Listen to what some users had to say about MacKeeper



# 8 Duplicates Finder
Of course any duplicate of a file is a space thief and must be deleted.  The duplicates finder of MacKeeper will find duplicates of any file and then list them.  You may then decide which files you would like to delete. Even files that are essentially the same but have been named differently are included in this duplicates search.

 Mackeeper Duplicate Files Finder

Some peoples opinions of the Duplicates Finder




#9 File Finder
File Finder is used to find certain files on your Mac.  File finder allows the user to search through different file types for a particular file of that type.  Not really needed I thought because all Mac's have the built-in finder.
Mackeeper Files Finder

Anyhow it is there if you want to use it.

#10 Disk Usage

Disk usage tool scans all the folders and marks them with different colours according to file size.

Files < 1MB - green
1MB < Files < 1GB - yellow
1GB < Files < 10GB - orange
Files > 10GB - Red

Mackeeper Disk Usage Tools

Delete or compress at your leisure.

Note: I have found this tool very useful at finding large files that were weighing down my hard drive.

#11 Smart Uninstaller

I found MacKeeper's smart uninstaller very good at removing those annoying widgets, malware plug-ins, preference panes and search toolbars.

Mackeeper Smart Un-installer

When Smart Uninstaller has finished its job it also asks you if you want to remove the installation files which is always yes for me!

These people have also appreciate the Smart un-installer




The next three utilities (#12, 13, 14) make up the OPTIMIZATION aspect of MacKeeper.

#12 Update Tracker

This utility of MacKeeper trawls the internet and checks for updates of any applications you may be running.  It does this very un-intrusively.  It doesn't flash messages across your screen or do pop-ups.  You can update them individually or update them all at once.




#13 Login Items

When you open the Login Items menu it will list every application that starts up when you lunch your Mac.  You may want to remove any or all of these to increase your Mac's startup speed.  Who doesn't want a faster start up?

Mackeeper Login Items

Here is what some had to say about Login Items




#14 Default Apps
The Default Apps menu in MacKeeper gives a list of of file types and which application opens them.  You can change the default application for each file type here.  I find this useful as I like to use VLC media player for all my music files as iTunes is the default player for music.  Also, when you install new software it hijacks certain file types from other applications which is aoften what you don't want.

Mackeeper Default Application Associations





#15 Geek on Demand

Geek-on-Demand is basically customer support for your MacKeeper or any question you might have about your Mac.  I am pretty tech-savvy so I rarely use this.  But good for new comers to Mac or the non tech-savvy amongst us.

Mackeeper Geek on Demand, Live Support

Some users have had great experience using the Geek on Demand




#16 ZeoDisk

Zeodisk is basically cloud file storage.  As of this time ZeoDisk is unavailable but will be included in further updates for free of course.


Mackeeper Zeodisk



Conclusion

I have found MacKeeper to be a very good all round system maintenance application which has some very useful tools to bring piece of mind to any Mac user which utilises it.  Some of the applications get used far more than other and some I could do without.  But I am glad that I purchased it as I have received great value for my hard earned money.


Read enough?  Downloading the free fully functional trial would be a good idea

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