Remember that first time you switched on your shiny new Mac, straight out of the box, and how smoothly and quickly it ran? If you’ve been running your machine for any length of time, that level of performance probably seems like a distant memory. No matter the quality of a computer or its software, over time things begin to get a little sluggish as small errors and inefficiencies accumulate. Unlike some other platforms, the Mac tends not to slow to a complete crawl, but even so it’s good to give your computer an internal spring clean every so often, to return it to its peak performance power.
There are any number of utilities available, both free and paid, which can help in this necessary housekeeping, but MacKeeper proposes to make the process as easy and effective as possible by collecting everything you need into one package. The question is, does it deliver on its promise?
The utilities included in the MacKeeper package total sixteen separate applications spread across five broad categories designed to keep your computer safe and efficient.
First up is the security section. Although the virus and malware problem isn’t as serious on Macs as it is on the Windows platform, it is certainly not an issue to be ignored. As the Mac platform has increased in popularity it has become a growing target for malicious coders. Recognizing this, MacKeeper sports a full-featured Anti-Virus program that compares well with standalone Mac packages, but also has the compelling feature of protecting against malware aimed at Windows – a useful consideration in these days of increasing virtualization and cross-platform software.
A second security app which will be of particular interest to laptop owners is the Anti-Theft program. If your computer is stolen, you can instruct it to ‘phone home’ with its location the next time it goes online, including identifying information you can pass to the police to aid recovery. Somewhat amusingly, the program can also be set to use the laptop’s camera to take a mugshot of the perp, saving the police the effort.
Next up is the Mac Cleaner section, which contains programs to give your drive a thorough rinse and brush up. You can delete unused files to free up space, uninstall programs intelligently without removing possibly vital personal data, identify duplicate and redundant files, and more – all of which can add a noticeable amount of zip to a sluggish Mac. The programs will automatically root out large files which may be dragging your system’s performance down, and give you the opportunity to safely remove them. The Mac does a generally good job of keeping your drive contents well organised and optimized for speed, but it never hurts to clear out the junk once in a while, and MacKeeper makes this easy.
A delve into the Optimization section finds utilities to control which default programs are associated with which file types, which programs and files to load automatically upon logging in, and also the ability to manage application updates from one central location. This is maybe the least generally useful section of the whole package, but could definitely improve productivity for those who regularly use a standard clutch of applications daily.
Your data is possibly your most valuable asset in computing terms, and under the Data Control section MacKeeper has features to safely backup vital files, recover accidentally deleted ones, encrypt sensitive information to keep it from prying eyes, and also securely ‘shred’ old files to render them permanently deleted and unrecoverable.
The final section isn’t so much of an application suite as a service, albeit a potentially very useful one, going under the name ‘Geek on Demand’. Using this, MacKeeper users can take advantage of 24/7 support by email, live chat, or toll-free telephone, which is all very unexceptional until you realize that this service isn’t limited to supporting the MacKeeper software. Whatever issue you might be having with your Mac, from operating system to hardware and even third party software, a friendly geek will always be on hand to offer advice and solutions to your issue.
Does MacKeeper Succeed?
All in all, this is a comprehensive set of tools that will keep your Mac running in peak condition. It’s inevitable that any system will start to get bogged down over time, but with this software you can give your computer a thorough sprucing up to keep performance and productivity to a maximum. Not every user will benefit from every application included, and there may even be slightly better alternatives to the individual apps available elsewhere, but as a complete package with a single price, extensive support, and a centrally controlled update policy MacKeeper is hard to beat.