MacKeeper front screen
|Developer(s)||Zeobit, Kromtech Alliance|
|Initial release||May 13, 2010|
|Stable release||MacKeeper 3.1.1 / August 16, 2014|
|Operating system||Mac OS X Intel Mac OS X 10.5 or later|
|Available in||English, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, French, Polish, Turkish, and Russian, German, Italian, Finnish, Czech, Japanese, Korean and Chinese|
|License||Proprietary commercial software|
MacKeeper is a utility software suite for Mac OS X advertised to optimize, clean and secure a computer system. It was initially developed in 2009 by Zeobit, headquartered in the United States. In April 2013, Kromtech Alliance acquired MacKeeper.
As of 2014, three major versions of MacKeeper have been released and the number of included components have been increased to sixteen. MacKeeper's components, especially Anti-theft system feature, have attained some positive professional reviews, but multiple reviewers criticized the company's marketing and promotional techniques.
The first beta-version of MacKeeper 0.8 was released on 13 May 2010. MacKeeper 1.0 was released on October 26, 2010. MacKeeper 2.0 was released on 30 January 2012 at Macworld – iWorld with an expanded number of utilities related to security, data control, cleaning and optimization. Kromtech Alliance acquired Mackeeper from ZeoBit in April 2013. MacKeeper 3.0 was released in June 2014 with a new "human expert" feature and optimization with OS X Yosemite.Also, Mackeeper 3.x is the first release in the software-as-a-service lineup.
MacKeeper 3.x, the latest version of the product, consists of 16 components, including Anti-theft and features a "human expert" support service integrated into the software.
MacKeeper 3.x integrates Avira’s Secure Anti-Virus API (SAVAPI), the official interface for Avira’s anti-malware scanning engine. It blocks malicious websites automatically while surfing the Internet by using several databases of known URLs. Internet Security tool allows users to manually create lists of potentially dangerous websites to be blocked. An anti-theft feature is included which can help find a lost or stolen computer by taking an iSight photo of the user, generating a report of the device's location, and contacting the owner when the device is detected.
"Data Encryptor" is a filesystem-level encryption tool that can encrypt files or folders with a password. The "Files Recovery" is a data recovery utility that can help the user recover unintentionally deleted files. Backup software is also included, which can copy files to a USB flash drive, External HDD or FTP server. The "Shredder" feature is a data erasure tool that can help permanently delete files.
The "Fast Cleanup" feature is a disk cleaner that finds and removes junk files on the hard drive in order to free up space. The "Duplicates Finder" will search the computer and allow the user to remove duplicate files. "Files Finder" is an included tool to help the user search for a particular type of file. The "Disk Usage" feature helps to identify large files and folders. "Smart Uninstaller" removes widgets, applications, preference panes and plugins and their associated preferences, web caches and log files which still remain on the Mac's hard drive even after the item has been moved to the trash.
"Update Tracker" checks each application installed on the Mac user's machine for the newest versions. All apps are marked by color as up-to-date and out-of-date. "Login Items" allows the user to manage start-up applications that launch automatically. "Default Apps" shows the file type associations between all file extensions and applications that open them and allows the user to modify these settings.
MacKeeper has received mixed reviews with reviewers being very divided as to the effectiveness of the software. Macworld gave MacKeeper 3.5 out of 5 stars in August 2010, based on the 0.9.6 build of the program, and found it a reasonably priced set of tools but experienced lagging while switching between tools. MacLife rated it at 2.5 out of 5 and said it to be useful mainly for freeing up drive space, but found other features offered inconsistent results and believed most users won’t need its antivirus feature. AV-Comparatives found that MacKeeper had an excellent ability to detect Mac-based malware. They noted that it was "very well suited to enthusiasts who have a good understanding of security issues, but not ideal for non-expert users who need pre-configured optimal security for their Macs." OPSWAT awarded the program a Gold Certification for protecting users against antiphishing attempts as well as spyware and malware.
Criticism of marketing techniques
Zeobit has been accused of employing misleading advertising with regards to its promotion of MacKeeper, including aggressive affiliates, pop-under ads and planting sock-puppet reviews as well as websites set up to discredit their competitors. ZeoBit claims that negative attacks were also launched against MacKeeper by an unnamed competitor, and that many users and press are confusing MacKeeper with another application. In May 2014 a lawsuit was filed against Kromtech in Pennsylvania, alleging that MacKeeper fakes security problems to deceive victims into paying for unneeded fixes.
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