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 designed to help optimize, clean and secure a computer system. It was produced and 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 generally positive professional reviews, although multiple reviewers did not approve controversial 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 features. 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.
MacKeeper 3.x, the latest version of the product, consists of 16 different components, including Anti-theft and features a human expert assistance integrated into the software. All components are accessible from the left-side pane, while twelve of them are hidden under Advanced Tools tab.
MacKeeper 3.x integrates Avira’s Secure Anti-Virus API (SAVAPI), the official interface for Avira’s anti-malware award-winning 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. MacKeeper contains an anti-theft feature. It can help find a lost or stolen computer by making an iSight photo snapshot of the user, generating a detailed report of the location information through the use of triangulation and contacting the owner the moment the computer is detected.
Data Encryptor is a filesystem-level encryption tool that can encrypt files or folders on the hard drive and allow users to hide them with a password. The Files Recovery is a data recovery utility that scans the hard drive or external drive for files that may have been accidentally deleted. The program contains backup software that reserve copies of the files and folders. The backup destination can be a USB flash drive, External HDD or FTP server. The Shredder feature is a data erasure tool that destroys so that even specialized software can not restore them.
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 hard drive and locate multiple instances of the same file and allow the user to manually review the files to decide what files they would like to keep and what files they would like to delete. Files Finder is a filter that can scan the hard drive for all files and allow the user to view only the selected file type. The Disk Usage feature scans the folders and marks them with different colors depending on the size of the content the folder contains. 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 removed 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. Any out-of-date application can be updated manually. Login Items allows the user to manage start-up applications that launch automatically. Default Apps shows the associations between all file extensions and applications that open them. It helps to define which application will open each file type and allows the user to choose the methods.
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. OPSWAT awarded the program a Gold Certification for protecting users against antiphishing attempts as well as spyware and malware.
Controversial 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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