I’ve been using Apple Macs for around 25 years now. For much of that time, the market share of Macs was minuscule. However, times have changed and the macOS platform has boomed in recent years and has a much larger share of the computing market. That’s good news but the downside is that Macs have become more of a tempting target for the kind of people who spend their time creating viruses, trojans and malware.
The days when Macs were immune from viruses and other nasties are well and truly over. The threats targeting Macs are growing, while Windows threats are shrinking. Malware aimed at macOS has increased 165% year on year. Some 230,000 new malware samples are produced each day and the number is growing. An incredible 7 out of every 10 malware payloads now contain ransomware. The days of innocence in the Apple garden are long gone.
MacKeeper 5 is a software package developed for Mac users by Mac users. It’s designed to protect a Mac against online threats, plus it has optimization tools that can scan a Mac for adware, junk files, duplicate files, unused apps. It also has an impressive suite of tools for optimizing a Mac’s performance.
The developers behind MacKeeper claim that it is the only security and optimization suite developed exclusively for Macs. I’m not sure that is correct as I currently use the excellent CleanMyMac from MacPaw Inc as well as MacCleaner 2 Pro. That said, MacKeeper claims to have its coding optimized for macOS so that it won’t slow Macs down. It also has a convenient UI that feels natural to Mac users. These are all things that the developers of CleanMyMac and MacCleaner 2 Pro also claim.
A few other reasons MacKeeper says is in its favor is the fact it’s been notarized by Apple, is AppEsteem certified, AV-TEST certified, ISO 27001 certified, plus it has an excellent Trustpilot score. This all sounds compelling, so I decided to give it a try.
One standout feature of MacKeeper is its unique chat window that gives the user 24/7 access to MacKeeper’s team of privacy and security experts. These are Mac experts at the user’s beck and call, whatever the time of day. The experts’ job is to help registered MacKeeper users with any technical questions.
Another important feature is a real-time antivirus that runs 24/7 without slowing down the Mac that MacKeeper is installed on. The antivirus module scans the Mac and keeps it safe from viruses and malware. The Adware cleaner also runs 24/7 and can remove advertising software that might cause unwanted ads to run. I like the way that MacKeeper can also check passwords and compare them to a list of passwords compromised in leaks and then warns the user which ones need changing.
Also built into MacKeeper is a VPN that keeps a Mac’s internet connection safe from potential threats, secures online transactions, hides activity from ISPs and all the other useful stuff that VPNs can do, such as spoofing an IP address so the user can log into television programs in another country that might normally be geo-restricted.
The memory cleaner function on MacKeeper frees up disk space in seconds by removing unnecessary junk from the system. According to MacKeeper, the average Mac has as much as 7.5GB of useless files that can be safely ditched without causing harm to the system. This is an especially useful feature on Macs with small SSDs.
The Uninstall app feature can remove software packages that are no longer needed and can even hunt down and remove the support files that are installed and might be left behind when apps are removed just by dragging them to the Trash. Uninstalling apps on a Mac is usually easy but some install hidden files that MacKeeper can find and remove.
Memory cleaner can speed a Mac up by quitting processes that overload the processor or RAM. optimizing the system’s performance by freeing up memory to speed up the boot time. There’s also an update function can automatically update installed apps so they are always up to date.
Verdict: I’ve been trying out MacKeeper for a couple of weeks now. It’s a very good piece of software and easy to use. I think I prefer the look and feel of CleanMyMac but I can’t fault the performance of MacKeeper. Some Mac specialists claim there’s no need for packages like MacKeeper, CleanMyMac and Mac Cleaner 2 Pro, but I think they’re valuable because they speed up the whole process of keeping a system clean and can even be set up to run at specified intervals. We all know that we should keep our Macs in tip-top condition by doing regular housekeeping, but life often gets in the way and we forget to do it. MacKeeper offers good value for money and its’ well worth a look, especially as it includes a VPN alongside the security and maintenance tools.
Pricing and Availability: The best deal for a single-Mac user is $5.95 / £5.00 per month (or $71.40 / £60.00 per year). Three Macs can be protected for $7.45 / £5.20 per month ($89.40/ £62.40 year).
More info: mackeeper.com