Review: IObit Advanced SystemCare PRO 5

There are two things that almost every computer owner is concerned with -- security and performance. When it comes to security there are all manner of tools that you can install from firewalls and antivirus to spyware and malware checkers, and there is certainly no shortage of tweaking tools available to help boost system performance.

Those that are more adept with computers are likely to feel comfortable with editing the registry to apply their own tweaks, but this is not a course of action that suits everyone. IObit Advanced SystemCare PRO 5 is an advanced suite of tools that has both performance security covered.

The suite is made up of a large number of individual components, but they can all be accessed through one neatly organized interface. The Quick Care section, as the name might suggest, provides access to a number of fast, everyday options that will quickly become part of your daily or weekly maintenance routine. Here you can scan your hard drive for malware -- and, of course, remove it -- check for and fix problems with the registry and remove invalid shortcuts that may exist. The Privacy Sweep option enables you to quickly cover your tracks by wiping your activity logs for all popular web browsers as well as a number of common applications such as Microsoft Office and Windows Media Player.

Quick Care can also includes a cleanup option that enables you to free up hard drive space by deleting temporary files, log files and other unnecessary remnants of computer use. Files cannot only be deleted; you can also opt to securely delete files by overwriting them to avoid the risk of them being recovered by others. All of these tools can help to keep your computer running smoothly and eliminate problems and performance bottlenecks, but even more options are available by heading to the Deep Care section. As you might expect, here you will find more advanced tools that perform more in-depth scans of your system – this means that this is a more time-consuming section to work with, but one that will bring more noticeable results.

Performance Boosting

Performance and stability issues can be overcome by running a deep scan of the registry while the vaguely named ‘system optimization’ settings include tweaks for internet and network performance. There is also a more powerful junk file deletion tool available and to help you to make the most of your hard drive and its newly recovered space, defragmentation helps to ensure that files are organized for the fastest possible access times. Additional tools enable you to boost startup times by disabling or staggering startup programs and you can also check you drives for errors to help avoid the risk of data loss.

If you’d like to take a more hands-on approach to system maintenance, you can work your way through the Turbo Boost section. Here you can choose from pre-defined modes that will automatically apply certain tweaks, but you can also manually adjust settings for enhanced performance. There are a huge number of options to work through here including disabling animation effects and unwanted services as well as cutting back on running services and visual effects.

If all of this isn’t enough for you, IObit Advanced SystemCare PRO 5 also includes a toolbox that is made up of a series of system utilities. Initially, it may seem as though this section has been added as almost an afterthought, but there is actually a great deal to work with here.

There are cleanup tools that can be used to optimize the registry, uninstall unwanted software and securely delete files and there are also utilities to free up memory, optimize your hard drive and fix a range of system problems. Secure deletion ensures that deleted files cannot be recovered, but there is also an undelete tool that can be used to recover files that have been deleted in the usual way, even if the Recycle Bin has been emptied. There are more advanced tools for examining and controlling running processes, meaning that you can get as involved with the optimization of your computer as you want.

The program benefits from a cloud-based database so malware definitions can be updated in an instant and all of the latest tweaks and optimum settings can be quickly disseminated to users.

IObit Advanced SystemCare PRO 5 finds itself in something of a saturated corner of the software market, but it is a seriously comprehensive tool that gives the competition a run for its money. There are countless other tweaking tools available, including some that offer security features as well, but this is a package that is not only well balanced, but also well priced. It would be easy to imagine a similar suite of tools being sold for twice the price, but this is perfectly pitched for its target audience.

The software lists for $19.95 and runs on Windows 2000 through 7.

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