Important Update, April 9th, 2013 : If you want an efficient system utility software that can speed up and clean up your Mac, you can try MacPaw’s Clean My Mac 2 (Just Updated to version 2), a much superior and safer product when compared to MacKeeper, one that is also very popular with the Apple user community. While MacKeeper has been called as spamware, malware or just plain useless software by many Mac users at Apple Discussions (Apple’s Official discussion forums), Clean My Mac 2 has no such complaints. In fact, it is highly recommended by leading Mac blogs, Apple Discussion users and by various other reputed technology sites as well.You can read our full Clean My Mac 2 review here.
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Our hands on with the MacKeeper program
If you own a Mac, you already know that it can’t be cleaned up and optimized with just a few clicks. Macs are unfortunately just not set up that way. You will often need a system utility program that will easily allow you to accomplish various things such as cleanup, encrypt, backup, uninstall and also do things like remove duplicate files, protect your Mac with an anti-virus and so on. Of all the system utility software programs available out there, it looks like MacKeeper, a program released by ZeoBIT, is the most aggressively marketed program. We personally, along with a very large percentage of the general Mac using community however prefer Clean My Mac 2, a much more efficient, lighter, secure program that has a solid reputation, not something that can be said of MacKeeper.
Retailing with a single user license fee of $39.95, the MacKeeper program seems to have a lot to offer, at surface level. Is it however worth shelling out about $40 for? Read through our entire MacKeeper review to find out.
First of all, here is a quick run through of all the modules that you will find in the MacKeeper program.
- Avira Anti-Virus engine
- Fast one click cleanup
- Anti-Theft protection
- File Recovery
- Update Tracker
- Data Encryptor
- Backup Module
- Disk Usage Module
- Smart Uninstaller
- Duplicates Finder
Now, though MacKeeper seems to have a lot of modules, the fact of the matter is that most people use it just for a quick cleanup. Some of the modules seem to be superfluous or redundant. As an example, Macs don’t really need an antivirus and yet MacKeeper has an antivirus engine. Most users have said that the anti-virus program in MacKeeper can terribly slow down their Mac, especially when real time protection is enabled. The whole point of having MacKeeper is to have a faster Mac but their anti-virus sort of defeats that purpose and has the potential to make your Mac slow, so slow that it can actually start crawling even when you do simple stuff like open up a word processor!
Other modules like the anti-theft module, backup module, data encryption module etc may find a few users here and there although we suspect that the vast majority of people who buy MacKeeper will rarely use those modules.
MacKeeper, in our opinion, is just not worth it as it has a lot of reputation and PR issues. Many of its users have said that the program is incredibly difficult to uninstall and that it sometimes installs itself automatically. If you want a system cleanup software for your Mac, Clean My Mac 2 gives you fantastic value for money, speeding up your Mac, making your internet access faster and also lightening and speeding up your hard disk, all in just 10 minutes. If you are the type that prefers value for money and only want to install a trusted program on your Mac, Clean My Mac 2 is most certainly better than MacKeeper, by leaps and bounds actually.
Cleaning up your Mac
The cleaning module in MacKeeper will give you a cache cleaner, a binary cutter, a language cutter, a log cleaner and an old files finder. If you have had your Mac for a very long time, you will be extremely surprised at how much space this little one click program can immediately find for you, in your cluttered hard disk.
When we ran it, it freed up 2GB (Clean My Mac 2 suggested a 4.8GB Cleanup on the same computer) of hard disk space for us, which was pretty good as the Mac we had it running on had just a 120GB hard disk. Granted, the Mac that we used it on was rife with old files, duplicates and so much bloat. Don’t worry about the program deleting files that may be important. Though most junk is automatically deleted, the program will ask you when it wants to delete old files and anything that might be important to keep your Mac running normally.
We only gave it a 2 rating out of 5, even though the program is good, as it loses out in the value for money section. Clean My Mac 2 cleans your Mac much more efficiently than MacKeeper, while costing the same as MacKeeper!
Backing up your Mac
With our computers holding information that is crucial to our lives, it is very important that we have a great backup program that constantly makes copies of our important information and also stores it away in a safe place, for retrieval in case of hard disk failure and other such personal computing catastrophes.
The backup module passed our test in good colors. Though it doesn’t have a lot of advanced backup features, we really liked the ease with which the module can be set up. You can either backup your files through ZeoDisk or through an FTP client. Just select the files that you want backed up and hit backup. You can even set a permanent schedule that will allow you to backup those important files on a frequency that suits your needs. You can set the backup module to a very thorough hourly backup schedule or a more laid back monthly backup schedule. Everyone has different backup needs and this MacKeeper backup module will serve most people’s unique needs.
Are you the type that deletes stuff and thinks that you have uninstalled the program? You probably have a mess on your hard disk. With the MacKeeper uninstaller program, you can get rid of every last associated file of a program that you want uninstalled. It is extremely quick too. You can get rid of apps and even preference panes with this excellent module, inside of MacKeeper. Clean My Mac offers an efficient, faster and more intuitive uninstaller for the same price as MacKeeper. You can read about Clean My Mac 2 here.
We were actually most excited to write about the anti-theft service module when we were writing up this MacKeeper review. This is a one of a kind program that will allow you to remotely track your Mac’s whereabouts, by simply submitting a ticket to customer service, when your Mac is stolen or misplaced.
What makes the module really special is that it actually takes unsuspecting pictures of the person who is using your stolen Mac and then sends them to you in an email that you can then take to the law authorities. That really is something that we really liked. We hope nobody will ever need to use it though. It sucks to have your Mac stolen.
Other modules – A brief roundup
Undelete – Did you delete a picture in a whim of emotion and then regretted it later? Not to worry. The undelete module can help you locate that file in the trash and then also help you restore it back to its original location.
Shredder – This is kind of related to the undelete function. If you are 100% sure that you don’t want something, run it through the shredder program and it will be gone for good.
Login item manager – Does your Mac load a thousand different things when you first log in? You can easily take care of this problem with this little module that might speed up your login time as well.
Disk usage – If you have a bloated hard disk and have no idea about what is taking up so much space, you will love the way this program quickly shows you the main culprits when it comes to hard disk space consumption. We found a couple of big, nasty folders that were taking up a few GB’s, while being completely redundant. One click deletes solved the problem immediately.
Default apps manager – Forget the OSX app manager that has very little user friendliness. This little app gives you a great little way to quickly and efficiently manage file extensions, without having to open up so many different panes.
Encryptor – Have data that you wish to keep encrypted? Avoid purchasing expensive encryption programs and use this very simple to use and easy to set up Encryptor that is included in the MacKeeper program.
We gave the other modules a rating of just 2 as they do fairly obvious things. Yes,they do save you a couple of minutes here and there although they are not really modules that you would want to pay for.
Value for Money Rating:
As mentioned earlier, one lifetime license for MacKeeper will cost you $39.95. Clean My Mac 2 costs the same but offers much better functionality and efficiency. The difference between the two programs is that MacKeeper is a program that will say allow you to do like 20 different things, out of which just 2 or 3 things are really important. Clean My Mac 2 on the other hand allows you to do just 4-5 different things although those 4-5 modules can really make a difference to your Mac. Buy MacKeeper if you want useless bloatware while you can buy Clean My Mac 2 if you want efficient, usable results, as explained in this Clean My Mac 2 review here.
Moreover, another reason why we just don’t think MacKeeper is a good purchase is because it has a lot of reputation and trust issues with the Apple user community, a big red flag.
The price also varies with the type of support that you buy. The $39.95 license will give you e-mail support. If you want chat support, you will have to pay $59.95 for a lifetime license. If you want chat and phone support, you will have to pay $89.95 for a lifetime license. Clean My Mac 2 on the other hand makes phone support available to all its users, even if they buy the single user license for $39.99.
If we were to give you a strong yes or no recommendation for MacKeeper, our answer would definitely be a strong NO. MacKeeper presents serious concerns with its reputation issues. Every day, people complain about MacKeeper, calling it Malware, Spamware and various other derogatory adjectives. We wouldn’t want anyone to buy a piece of software that will then cause trouble in their Macs that were otherwise in good working condition.
P.S. – When compared to Clean My Mac 2, MacKeeper just doesn’t offer enough value for money or any kind of peace of mind that you are using a trusted, clean program. Clean My Mac, recommended by reputed organizations like Tucows, Tuaw, MacWorld and even macnn, is available for the same price as MacKeeper and it can do a pretty damn good job of speeding up and optimizing your Mac, all in just 10 minutes, in a program that probably has the best user interface that we have ever seen in a Mac app. Your hard disk will be faster, your boot up times are faster, your applications open quicker your internet access is also much faster, after you use Clean My Mac 2. We would highly recommend that you choose Clean My Mac 2 over MacKeeper. You can read a review of MacPaw’s Clean My Mac 2 at this link here.
A hands of review of Mackeeper
Written by: Sophia Smith
Date Published: 03/07/2013
Not the best Mac utility around.
3 / 5 stars