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MacKeeper Review

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PROS / MacKeeper bundles many useful security utilities.

CONS / During tests conducted by an independent software lab, it did not excel at Mac malware detection.

 VERDICT / Though it includes a rich feature set, MacKeeper's malware detection is not the best.

One of the most respected security software testing labs, AV-Comparatives, tested MacKeeper in 2012 and reported that MacKeeper achieved a perfect score at detecting Mac malware. Two years later, however, MacKeeper discovered only 80 percent of 65 Mac malware samples during a similar AV-Comparatives test. By way of contrast, Mac security software from Bitdefender, Intego, ESET and Kaspersky delivered detection rates between 97 and 100 percent. MacKeeper did not participate in AV-Test's evaluations. Malware is of course just one portion of internet security. Phishing, one could argue, is a bigger threat to Mac users than malware. Fortunately MacKeeper delivers safe browsing to protect you from identity theft, credit card fraud and phishing.

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With MacKeeper on your computer, if someone steals it you can use your online Kromtech account from any other computer to report the theft. If the thief connects your Mac to the internet, MacKeeper emails its location to you, with an iSight snapshot of the thief so the police have something to go on. The MacKeeper anti-theft service collects your computer's IP address and geographic location hourly. When you report it stolen, it sends you the IP address, location, trace route and an iSight camera snapshot every five minutes. MacKeeper does not leave you at the mercy of thieves.

  1. Test results from AV-Test, August 2014
    Higher is Better
  2. 11 MacKeeper
    %
  3. 98.3%
  4. 100%
  5. 99.1%
  6. Category Average
    83.91%

This software expands on conventional functions of Mac internet security with features that provide secure control over the files on your hard disk. You can encrypt files and hide them behind a password, and if you accidentally remove a file or change your mind after you delete it, there is a file-recovery feature. You can get it back with one click. If you want to erase a file so nobody can recover it, you can use the file shredder, which writes patterns over the region you want to erase. By the time it is done, even the FBI would not be able to resurrect the file. An automatic backup utility synchronizes copies of your files on external hard drives, USB flash drives and FTP servers.

The feature set also contains cleaning utilities. You can remove parts of applications you don’t need, eliminate cached files, remove unused languages from applications and clean up log files. A duplicate file finder frees space on your hard drive. Such utilities are rare but useful features for Mac security software.

Whereas some of the best software publishers support customers via email only, Kromtech supports its users 24/7 via live chat, telephone and email. The manual is conveniently online. We tried the live chat support a few times and were impressed to encounter intelligent and spirited representatives who responded within seconds, not minutes.

Summary

Although MacKeeper is not the best malware protection for Mac, it contains a richer set of useful features than any competitor. Help and support are best in class. Unfortunately performance test results from AV-Comparatives demonstrate that there are better options.

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