I have been using multiple IObit products for several years, and have generally been very satisfied with them. One that I have been using since it was first released in 2005 is the IObit Advanced System Care, a multi-function utility that is designed to improve PC performance. The newly released version 5 of Advanced System Care continues on its well established reputation of being one of the most effective utilities to clean, repair and optimize Windows, which provides for significantly improved performance on PCs that may have developed degraded performance over time. The Advanced System Care series has been very popular, with more than 130 million copies downloaded over the past six years.
Available in both a free version and an enhanced paid PRO version ($20, one PC, one year), Advanced System Care offers a wide assortment of tools that can diagnose and repair many of the ills that affect well used computers. Available for download, the file is about 28 megs in size, and installs quickly with a minimum of user intervention. If an earlier version of Advanced System care is detected on the computer, the new version will offer to uninstall the old version prior to installing itself. Once opened, the user can select a “skin” or personalized appearance or color scheme.
The free version offers four primary services. The first is Quick Care, a selectable series of functions that may quickly improve system performance, with each of the procedures only taking about a minute to complete. One of these functions, Quick Malware Removal, will perform a quick scan of the system to detect and remove malware and other security threats; while not as deep and comprehensive as dedicated malware removal utilities (such as Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware), this utility is capable of detecting the major malware and security threats using a frequently updated digital database of threat signatures. Registry Fix has one of the best reputations in the industry for detecting and repairing registry errors, a problem that many believe is a major cause of degraded performance, software conflicts and other computing errors. I need to note that there is some controversy among geeks and nerds about the need to clean and repair the registry (a database of all of the software installed on the computer, its features, and hardware and software settings), with many expert users claiming that not just is cleaning the registry unnecessary, but that in some cases the cleaning process itself may create more errors than it fixes. To be safe, by default, Advanced System Care offers to create a system restore point and maintains a log of changes such that it is possible to go back to an earlier time if the results are not satisfactory. The other Quick Care functions will repair or remove any invalid shortcuts, perform a privacy sweep (remove Internet history and any traces of Web surfing activity), and delete useless and obsolete junk files that may clutter and fill the hard drive.Each of a broad selection of Deep Care may take several minutes to complete but are much more comprehensive and thorough than the Quick Care functions. Deep Care performs a full malware removal, a deep registry fix (detects and repairs more registry problems), registry defrag (improves registry performance), optimizes the operating system settings, optimizes the startup process in order to speed the boot process, repeats all of the functions of the Quick Care scans, prevents many types of malware from being installed on the computer, scans the hard drive for errors and fixes them, detects and repairs known Windows vulnerabilities, and defragments the hard drive making it faster to read and write information and other data.
The Toolbox consists of about 20 free-standing tools, all of which may be used to help improve different aspects of the PC’s performance. The tools are categorized under five menu headings, Clean, Optimize, Repair, Security and Control. The Clean group offers some redundant services provided by Quick Care, but also includes an excellent uninstaller (used to safely and completely remove installed programs), and a file shredder that can securely delete sensitive files rendering them substantially unrecoverable. Optimize also includes several independent utilities that effectively duplicate some of the earlier functions, and include a few that are indicated as being available on the PRO version. One interesting Optimize function that may be attractive to gamers is the Game Booster that optimizes the PC for smoother and more responsive game play. The Repair listing again has some redundant utilities, but also includes an undelete function (recovers deleted files), disk doctor (detects and repairs hard drive problems), Win Fix (analyzes the Windows operating system and detects and repairs system problems), and IE Helper, which can be used to control the add-ons and other features in Internet Explorer.
Also in the Toolbox in the Security group is a SysExplorer, which can examine the computer’s hardware and software, indicating any potential problem areas that may adversely impact PC performance. Security items can also detect and close security holes and other vulnerabilities, manage the Windows processes that are running, and backup and update hardware drivers. The effective IObit Malware Fighter can detect and remove deeply imbedded malware, much like the other independent and specialized malware removal utilities.
The final icon on the Advanced System Care (Free) window is Turbo Boost, which automates the performance improvement process based on the intended uses of the computer. Turbo Boost can automatically maximize PC performance for computers that are primarily used for work or personal purposes, or the Game Mode can be selected to maximize performance while gaming by shutting down or disabling computer processes that are unnecessary for games. Users can instantly switch between these two options, maximizing performance for whatever they choose to do with a computer.
The PRO version of Advanced System Care 5, available as a one-year subscription on a single computer for about $20, includes all of the features of the free version plus several functions and enhancements that are not available in the free version. One very useful feature available only with the PRO version “automatically