Iolo Technologies System Mechanic 11.5
To Utility or Not to Utility
Being that windows handles a number of computer housekeeping on its own, the need for a third party solution may not rank high with end users. With constant use and installs and uninstalls and factoring in the many uses and configurations of computers, sometimes a third party utility is needed.
Having been around for a while, and a partner of Microsoft,” iolo technologies System Mechanic, iteration 11.5″ offers a plethora of features that include a few innovations that windows out of the box does not have.
Coming in with a pro version, even a free version, the regular paid versions System Mechanic, which is purchased with a year license offering updates during that time, the differences between the suites vary of features. The pro version ships with online backup, a file recovery program and both anti virus and firewall protection. The regular version includes everything the pro version has, but minus the aforementioned. The Free version is a scaled down version of the paid version.
For home users with multiple PC’s, iolo technologies utility offers a home license that permits installation on all home PC’s. Many companies limit installs to three systems only. So this certainly a good price point feature. Naturally, business license are somewhat different.
Essentially Mechanic 11.5 provides a convenient full featured set of features that performance wise manages to do a great deal more than windows alone. The salient features is that Mechanic offers up information, notes and help tools to explain features and functions.
For example, Windows has a defragmenter. But it does not show progress and it certainly is a lot slower than s iolo technologies’ version. Animated progress images show you were you are in the process, something windows does not do.
The feature set includes the following:
Guided Recommendations™ taps into the System Mechanic community to help you gain even more PC speed.
NetBooster™ speeds up internet, videos, downloads and games.
ActiveCare® uses set-and-forget patented technology to maintain your PC automatically
Total Registry Revitalizer™ resolves registry problems and stabilizes Windows.
AcceleWrite® real time technology optimizes file write speeds
PC Cleanup™ cleans up over 50 types of junk files.
Program Accelerator™ re-aligns disjointed program files.
EnergyBooster™ puts your PC in overdrive fox max performance.
Memory Mechanic™ reclaims wasted RAM in real time.
CRUDD Remover™ locates and removes unused extra programs.
Startup Optimizer™ automatically accelerates PC startup 22 ways.
Privacy Cleaner™ wipes internet and chat history, clutter and cache.
According to the company, there are 50 features packed into version 11.5. For the most part, the vast majority add details and performance that one would expect. The disc optimization tools, junk file remover and the various performance utilities are practical enough. There are also one stop solutions and automated ones as well. There is also an included Registry backup program, something essential for any PC user that is often overlooked.
The only tools in the tool set that maybe confusing are the CRUDD Remover version and the PC clean up tool. The junk file remover with Iolo is very good. It removed over a gig of junk on one pc with few problems. The only issue here is that CRUDD remover is not an excess file remover.
CRUDD remover simply looks for programs on your PC that might be redundant. In many cases it found programs worth having that do not duplicate services, just somewhat similar. I question the usefulness of such a program. But, if you have a number of people installing and uninstalling programs and you want an over view of redundancy, maybe this is a good program.
Another program of questionable use is the registry cleaner. Removing entries is always a hit or miss operation. I advise any user to use such tools with care. The danger to your system is usually so much greater than gains made, you may as well leave it alone and backup.
Should you go into the registry, Iolo offers plenty of opportunity to undo what you just did, which is good. If a registry cleaner works, great. I just advise caution using any type of program set to manipulate this very delicate system.
Duplication of feature sets is one feature that may confuse some users. Features that do more or less the same things can be hard to differentiate. But this is a minor quibble. The interface of Mechanic is better now than in past versions.
For novice users, there are automated processes and one stop solutions. Some are solid enough, but again unless you know what you are doing, you may want to closely watch what you do here.
Iolo with all of its features offers convenient undo options. This is a very good thing.
For those with more background in utilities, Mechanic can really get into the inner workings of windows. Power users will appreciate that. You can literally become as detailed or as hands off as your understandings permit. With power comes the possibility of making mistakes, so use Mechanic with caution. This is particularly true with file duplicate programs. Often duplicate programs are needed, if not necessary.
Where Iolo System comes in handy is when trying to make a pc perform at peak performance and tweak setting that may not be easy to find in Windows. For power users, there are enough details to make it as detailed as one wishes.
I can certainly understand the difference between the Pro version and the regular version omitting anti virus and a firewall. Being that utilities are usually purchased after software is installed, but the inclusion of a backup and deleted file recover would make this the truly total solution for those with another anti virus and firewall installed.
As one stop shop, Iolo’s System Mechanic is currently the best of breed. Offering ease of use and some very solid features, there is a lot to like here.
Pros: Very complete feature set, goes deep into the system, offers detailed information, includes a very good junk file remover and defragmenter and a lot of undo functions along with some innovative features that go beyond general housekeeping.
Cons: Lack of a backup solution and deleted file recovery and the program could be overwhelming for new users.