Thursday, 10 March 2016

Advanced SystemCare Ultimate 9

Advanced SystemCare Ultimate 9

Roland tries an all-in-one package that cleans, optimises and protects your PC

Advanced SystemCare is available in three versions: Free, Pro and Ultimate. The first two are clean-up and tune-up tools, with the free version offering just a few basic tools and the Pro version including many more. The difference between these two and the Ultimate edition is real-time virus and spyware protection. In the Ultimate package, on test here, you get all the tune-up and clean-up tools, plus security too.

The software has a smart interface, with classic, dark and readable (light) skins to choose from. Five tabs across the top of the window provide access to the features and functions, and the first is Antivirus. In the past, SystemCare’s anti-virus and anti-spyware protection was criticised for being limited, ineffective even, and not up to the standard offered by more popular security software.

The latest Advanced SystemCare Ultimate uses the Bitdefender anti-virus engine, which is one of the best security programs around. It should ensure that you're protected against threats on the internet, but I would still like to see evidence of its effectiveness in virus detection tests. The software can be installed without enabling the real-time protection if you just want to use the clean-up and tune-up tools. In addition to virus detection, there's DNS protection, which enables you to switch to secure DNS servers instead of your ISP’s. There's also Browser Anti-Tracking, which runs certain clean-up actions automatically when the web browser is closed to clear caches, history, URLs and so on.

The Clean & Optimise tab has a large Scan button and a dozen different scan options. You can scan the system for spyware and the registry for errors, as well as addressing privacy issues like internet caches, file history, junk and temporary files that are no longer needed. There's also a disk defragmenter to optimise the disk contents. Some of these operations can take a long time, so there are options to automatically fix problems and the put your computer into sleep mode afterwards or to shut it down.

The Speed Up tab has several options, and your computer can be optimised for work, games or battery life with a mouse click. This enables or disables various system services according to whether they're needed. A short list of services you can manually disable to free up memory and boost processor power is provided.

The Toolbox tab provides access to 26 different tools. Some of these are built into Advanced SystemCare Ultimate, but others are part of IObit’s collection of free utilities that can be found on the website. The Toolbox makes it easy to access these tools by checking if the one you select is installed, then downloading and installing  it if it isn’t, then running it. There are too many tools to list, but they include Driver Booster for updating drivers, Uninstaller for cleaning up and uninstalling software, Disk Doctor for checking your disk for errors, a very detailed Internet Booster with comprehensive controls for tweaking browser and internet settings, Smart RAM memory monitor and many more.

There's a lot in Advanced SystemCare Ultimate, especially if you download and install all the tools available. With a three-PC licence costing just £21.43, it's a bargain. Roland Waddilove

A comprehensive collection of tools at a low price.