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Mac-Forums Investigates MacKeeper


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vansmith

 
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Introduction

One of the persistent questions around the forum has to do with a piece of software called MacKeeper. A cursory scan of the forum will paint in the minds of new members a confusing picture. On the one hand, many of our community membersargue against it, describing it as bad, harmful... Return to article to continue reading.
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Read it and agree with 'should be avoided'.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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Yeah, I still think its a very questionable app. Especially since there are free alternatives that are known to be solid choices (Onyx).

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Completely agree. Although I did not test it quite as thoroughly as Van did, what I did test does agree with his findings.

BTW, great write up Van!
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Great writeup Van...very detailed!

I'm not so surprised to hear you say that MacKeeper wasn't really worth the money (with equally as good or better free programs out there).

I am a little surprised to hear that you didn't experience any performance issues...since many folks seem to experience computer slowdowns. Maybe this is because you tested MacKeeper on a newer faster computer...and maybe the folks that experience performance issues...have slower/older computers. Just a thought.

Again...great writeup!

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Allow me to point out a test I did on MacKeeper's "File Recovery" feature. In a nutshell... it sucks.
Is MacKeeper worth buying?

And some observations about its "encryption" module. What they do seems pretty comical. In fact, vansmith's observation that "MacKeeper also comes with encryption functionality which appears to do nothing that an encrypted disk image or FileVault can’t" is on the money. That functionality is in fact an encrypted disk image... exactly what Disk Utility makes. I'd wager that their module is little more than a script that runs the command line version of Disk Utility.
Is MacKeeper worth buying?


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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Links: Onyx | EasyFind | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | The Safe Mac » Adware Removal Guide | Uninstall MacKeeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
I am a little surprised to hear that you didn't experience any performance issues...since many folks seem to experience computer slowdowns. Maybe this is because you tested MacKeeper on a newer faster computer...and maybe the folks that experience performance issues...have slower/older computers. Just a thought.
I think MacKeeper has improved in some aspects from a performance standpoint. Their AV module used to be a Windows program running under WINE. That alone had to be its biggest performance headache. Of course, who knows if what they use now is even working.

BTW, I concur. Great writeup!


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Thanks guys!
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
I am a little surprised to hear that you didn't experience any performance issues...since many folks seem to experience computer slowdowns. Maybe this is because you tested MacKeeper on a newer faster computer...and maybe the folks that experience performance issues...have slower/older computers. Just a thought.
That could certainly be it. I imagine part of it might have been due to the "freshness" of the machine - it was a clean install and it wasn't used outside of the MK tests. In some ways, I think this helps MK in terms of its performance but I can't be certain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
Allow me to point out a test I did on MacKeeper's "File Recovery" feature. In a nutshell... it sucks.
Yeah, I remember sitting there thinking, "why would I care about these random plists & xml files and not the files I just deleted?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
And some observations about its "encryption" module. What they do seems pretty comical. In fact, vansmith's observation that "MacKeeper also comes with encryption functionality which appears to do nothing that an encrypted disk image or FileVault can’t" is on the money. That functionality is in fact an encrypted disk image... exactly what Disk Utility makes. I'd wager that their module is little more than a script that runs the command line version of Disk Utility.
Is MacKeeper worth buying?
It's very possible that's what they're doing. There's something to be said for wrapping up complexity in a neat little package but not for $40.

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This is easily one of the best evaluations I've ever seen of a controversial product. Very well done.

So, in short, while this piece of crap is fairly useless and expensive, at the very least, it has proven to no longer be damaging.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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vansmith

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
So, in short, while this piece of crap is fairly useless and expensive, at the very least, it has proven to no longer be damaging.
That's a nice distilled version of the argument - it's expensive and redundant but it doesn't appear to suck as bad as it used to.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
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That's a nice distilled version of the argument - it's expensive and redundant but it doesn't appear to suck as bad as it used to.
I agree. I don't think I ever thought the software was downright malicious or the developers anything but well-intentioned (sleaziness of their marketing not withstanding). I just think they are lazy and even incompetent. Their file recovery feature alone is evidence of that.

What may be useful as a companion article to this one is a feature-by-feature comparison of MacKeeper's features to alternatives from other developers to see who does it best, complete with a cost breakdown.


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That could certainly be a "round two." It's not hard to find functional complements - much of what MacKeeper does is done elsewhere (for free most of the time). I'll have to think about that.

EDIT: I added a short paragraph addressing the forum's position in relation to the app. I also fixed some grammar errors that disappointed me.

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Great post van!

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
EDIT: I added a short paragraph addressing the forum's position in relation to the app. I also fixed some grammar errors that disappointed me.
The problem with their marketing isn't their banner ads. It's that they have had numerous fake websites purporting to compare their product to the competition, then declare theirs the winner. It's the internet's version of infomercials. They have spammed these and other forums with fake inquiries about the software, followed by faked praise. At least, that's the take I had considering that the posters in question both had accounts created the same day with no other history here. Facebook doesn't do anything like that. In all fairness, I have read that they claim those things were all being done by their 3rd party affiliates, but ultimately it does come back to them and their decision to leave their reputation and fate in the hands of affiliate program partners. It does appear that they may have reigned in this sort of thing... I can't currently find any fake review sites.


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The Facebook/Google juxtaposition wasn't to suggest that they were of a similar type but rather to suggest that certain groups seem to be subjected to the heavy hand of the "Mac users community" (broadly speaking) while other groups seem to elude it unscathed. My question of more of a "why them" and not others equitably?

The third party affiliates things in tricky in that blame is easily displaced. Who gets blamed with third party ads? Everyone, eventually. ZeoBIT certainly could do something to ease up on the number of ads though which is very much their responsibility.

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