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MacKeeper: 911 for your Mac

MacKeeper: 911 for your Mac

How many maintenance apps and utilities do you have installed on your Mac? Ten? Twenty? What about just one application that does the job of those dozen apps you have? MacKeeper is exactly what I’m talking about here. This all-in-one system utility was fairly named “911 for your Mac”, meaning that it can do literally EVERYTHING
to keep your Mac safe and healthy. The first time I downloaded MacKeeper was in March 2010, when the product was at a beta stage. Even then it had caught my attention, and when it came out of beta, it became an ideal “911” solution for me and my Mac.
I recommend MacKeeper to everyone, and now you’ll find out why. MacKeeper’s features are broken down into five categories: Security, Data Control, Cleaning, Optimization, and Geek on Demand. They are easy to understand but at the same time do the job of about 15 separate apps! Let’s take a closer look at each category and see what it offers.

MacKeeper review

Security – Protect Your Mac from Viruses and… Thieves!

When you take a first look at the Security category, you may become a bit stunned. You may think “Antivirus? Why on earth would my Mac need an antivirus? What about built-in Mac OS X protection against viruses, spyware and other nasty stuff?” Yes, there are hardly any threats on Mac OS than on Windows, but they do exist and there are enough of them to be worried—otherwise, Norton and Kaspersky wouldn’t have created
Internet Security for Mac OS. As for Apple, even they recommend installing antivirus software:

Security advice

MacKeeper’s Antivirus deals with malware, scam websites, spyware, identity thefts, phishing attacks and hell a lot of other unpleasant stuff. However, its main benefit is Dual Protection, meaning that your Mac will be protected from both Mac OS and Windows threats. There are other antivirus apps besides MacKeeper, but not all of them offer protection also against Windows viruses. And if we compare the prices, the palm of victory undoubtedly goes to MacKeeper here. It’s got hell a lot of other features in addition to Antivirus, but costs less than, for example, VirusBarrier or ProtectMac.


MacKeeper will protect your Mac not only against viruses but also against thieves! Another must-have feature under Security is Anti-Theft. To my mind, everyone should have it, as we humans are not perfect and sometimes leave our property unattended, just to lock the stable after the horse has been stolen. If your Mac gets stolen, Anti-Theft will detect its location once the Mac goes online and send you the location report which you can hand in to the police. In addition, you’ll get a phone call from the customer support with detailed instructions on using this report. Finally, all lucky iSight owners can enjoy pics of the person that stole their Mac, as the Thief Snapshot feature is automatically activated once you report the theft. I know other anti-theft solutions – Undercover, WatchMac etc. – but all of them offer only a half of everything MacKeeper’s Anti-Theft has. For example, all of them have a thief snapshot feature, but none of them sends the location report, which to my mind is very helpful when searching for the lost Mac.


Data Control – Protect Your Important Files

I prefer to make my personal info as secure as possible, and MacKeeper’s Data Encryptor excellently does this job. First of all, access to Data Encryptor is password protected – you are offered to create a password before you start using the tool. Second, it offers two levels of encryption. Finally, it can hide the file
names on your hard drive. And if you lose your hidden items somewhere on the disk, Data Encryptor can search for them.

Data Encryptor

When I compared MacKeeper’s Data Encryptor with other similar apps, at first I saw almost no difference, as all of them had basically the same benefits. However, when I took a closer look at some of them, I saw completely another picture. For example, FileVault conflicts with Time Machine, whereas Knox does not hide the file names
on the hard drive – they can be easily accessed via the Terminal. Moreover, all of them do not have a 24/7 call center, and it matters a lot, as most Mac users are not geeky enough to fix the problems on their own. Unfortunately, MacKeeper’s Undelete tool cannot bring back your lost wallet or runaway dog,
but at least it can restore your lost files, provided you discover the loss asap. Actually when you remove files from the Trash, they don’t disappear forever – they just become overwritable, meaning that new files can be recorded over the trashed ones. To know whether your files are still recoverable (I sincerely hope they are),
scan your Mac’s hard drive with Undelete. As a result you’ll get a list of recently deleted files that can be brought back to life. Sometimes this list can be rather lengthy, but you can use the filter to locate the files you need. Moreover, you can preview the files using Quick Look (by the way, Quick Look is integrated in all MacKeeper features where it’s applicable).


But the main benefits that make Undelete stand out among other similar tools (e.g. Stellar Phoenix) are that it can recover the Windows (NTFS) files, and that it supports external devices. Many of us use NTFS files on Mac OS X, and there’s no Trash on flash drives, therefore it’s more difficult to keep data safe there. So if you lose
any file on your external device, you can scan it with Undelete as well! Not only Undelete can protect your files from accidental removal. With the tool called Backup you can create reserve copies of your important files and schedule their automatic updates synced with the original file. This scheduling feature is
so cool! Why bother with manual backup when you can just schedule it? No more copy-paste routines every Friday night like in good old days.


Many Mac users prefer to back up their files with Time Machine, as it’s conveniently built into Mac OS X. But Time Machine creates file copies only on your Mac, whereas MacKeeper supports external devices, meaning that you can create a reserve copy on your flash drive or any other device. Neither of the Mac backup tools can boast of this! As for me, I switched to MacKeeper’s Backup from Parachute exactly for this reason. The Shredder tool does pretty much the same as any other shredder. Just pick up
the files you want to dispose of, put them to Shredder, click Shred, and that’s it.


Cleaning – Clean Your Mac Quickly and Safely

Just like everything in this world – your home, your body etc – your Mac should
be regularly cleaned from useless stuff. MacKeeper’s Cleaning toolbox
has everything you need for fast and efficient Mac cleanup. With Fast Cleanup
you can scan your Mac for caches, logs, language packs and binaries using up to
four utilities in one, and then get rid of this clutter with one click. This convenience
is lacked by many competing apps, such as Cocktail or CleanMyMac.

Fast Cleanup

Another type of junk is file clones – as for me, I had a whole bunch of them on my Mac! It’s hard to detect them, especially if they are renamed, but not for MacKeeper’s Duplicates Finder. It will scan your Mac’s hard drive for file copies, even the renamed ones, and give you a chance to dispose of them.

Duplicates Finder

How much time do you need to find a specific file on your Mac with Spotlight? What about if you don’t remember its name? I bet you’d rather give up, as searching capabilities of Mac OS are quite limited. MacKeeper’s Files Finder is quite a different story. I love the way its search filters are arranged – simple and neat. Even if you don’t know the name of the file you’re looking for, you can choose the file type or extension and limit the search results by specific criteria. You can create your own search parameters as well.

Files Finder

Want to see the files on your disk spread out before you? Open MacKeeper’s Disk Usage tool and you’ll see a clear picture of the files on your hard drive. If they are marked with green and yellow, then there’s nothing to worry about, but if you see orange and red colors, then it’s time to beat the alarm and do something with those files or folders.

Disk Usage

If you’ve just moved all apps you don’t need to the Trash, you’ve done a good job… but it’s useless. Sorry. In fact almost any app does not disappear forever from your Mac when trashed. Its additional components still hide somewhere on your Mac and clutter it. MacKeeper’s Wise Uninstaller will wipe the app clean, as if it had never existed on your Mac. This also refers to numerous widgets,
preference panes and plug-ins. With Wise Uninstaller’s convenient Tree view you
can get to the depths of your apps and reveal each of them in Finder. You won’t
find this in AppZapper, AppDelete or any other similar Mac uninstall solution.

Wise Uninstaller

Optimization – Make Your Mac Faster

This set of features looks pretty simple at first sight, but in fact they do a tremendous
job of making your Mac faster and saving your time. With Update Tracker
I can get updates for all my apps in one place instead of opening and checking them
one by one. Apps marked with red are out of date, whereas the green ones are ok.
Apps marked with a yellow star are included by me in the Favorite list, meaning
that they will be updated in the first place. Easy as pie!

Update Tracker

The Login Items tool boosts your Mac’s login speed. With it you
can throw the apps out of the automatic login list, meaning that they won’t pop
up when you turn on your Mac. On the contrary, if you want some apps to open on
the spot, you can add them to this list as well.

Login Items

The Default Apps tool can link specific apps to specific files
once and for all, saving your time and nerves, as files are often opened with wrong
apps, and it can be rather annoying.

Default Apps

Geek on Demand – Your Personal Tech Guru

Let me teach you how to get qualified technical support without calling someone
and wasting your time. I’m not kidding! With MacKeeper’s Geek on Demand service
you can describe any technical issue you have – software, hardware, Mac OS, Windows
– whatever! – and schedule a phone call for any convenient time. Exactly at this
time you’ll get a call from a guy from MacKeeper’s customer support center that
will not only answer your questions but also connect to your computer and solve
the issue on the spot! You can even ask these guys for advice when choosing an iPod.
I’ve tried this service and found it very valuable. Recommend it to all beginners
and non-techies.

Geek on Demand – Your Personal Tech Guru


I noticed only one drawback in MacKeeper – it is not supported by older Mac OS versions,
so it’s an unaffordable luxury for those who have old-school Macs. Apart from this,
everything is just perfect. I would recommend MacKeeper to everyone who loves their
Mac and want to give it ultimate care and protection. With MacKeeper you won’t have
to go far to take care of your Mac, as you will have everything it needs close at
hand. If you have doubts, you can download a free fully-functional trial version,
and I bet that in two weeks you won’t imagine your Mac without MacKeeper!



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