Competition: Win a copy of MacKeeper!
Mac OS X Tips has teamed up with ZeoBIT to give away three free copies of their application, MacKeeper. Check out the bottom of this post your chance to win one of them.
MacKeeper is a new contender in the Mac maintenance arena. Like all these applications (some of which we have reviewed before), it is designed to clean up your Mac, deleting unneeded files to save you space and improve performance. On top of this, MacKeeper also has an assortment of related tools and services to help you keep your Mac in working order. These include a backup service, "Undelete" data recovery, an application uninstaller, a data encryptor and a default apps manager. While there is nothing drastically new, this is the first time I've seen all these things together in one single application.
When you open MacKeeper, the window shows a list of cleaners, tools and services down the left hand side. Clicking on "One-click scan" get all the cleaners to scan your hard drive. It searches for universal binaries, caches, duplicate files, unneeded language files, log files and old files that haven't been used for a while.
Most of the cleaners are pretty standard in all maintenance applications, but this is the first time I've seen duplicate and old files finders. For each cleaner you can then examine in detail what files it has found, and choose to keep or delete them on a case by case basis. The scan saved me about 1 GB, but I chose not to delete any old files, duplicates or languages.
The next items in the list are the tools. Each of these could function as its own little application, so MacKeeper is great as an "all in one" kind of tool. The undelete tool is pretty unique, as data recovery of deleted items is notoriously difficult. It seemed to work OK for me, but was very slow as it has to scan the entire hard drive before you can recover anything. I really like the data encryptor tool, which allows you to hide specific files in the Finder and require a password to show them again. It's much easier than the usual way of setting up an encrypted disk image in Disk Utility. I also like the default apps tool, which allows you to assign the default application to open files with a certain file extension. While you could do this in the Finder, MacKeeper makes it much quicker and easier.
On the other hand, I don't quite see the point of some of the other tools. The login items tool seems identical to the section in System Preferences, and the shredder is just the same as using "Secure Empty Trash" in the Finder. Also, the disk usage tool is done better by applications such as Disk Inventory X and GrandPerspective.
Finally, MacKeeper offers three online services. The first is an anti-theft service that reports the location of your Mac if it goes missing. The second service, called "Geek on Demand," offers technical support for any problems regarding your Mac. The final service isn't available yet, but it looks like an online storage service, similar to Dropbox, that can also be used in combination with the backup tool.
Overall, MacKeeper doesn't offer much that is drastically new, but it has an impressive amount of features all in one package. All of the tools work well, and I wouldn't recommend any other service over it (except maybe with the disk usage tool). Over at the MacKeeper site, they estimate buying each of the tools and services separately would cost you $318. I think this is a bit of an overestimate, as you can get some of the tools for free, but MacKeeper is definitely a good deal at $39.95. You can download a free trial to try it out before you buy, and there is a discount available to get 30% off if you follow them on Twitter and Facebook.
MacKeeper has kindly provided 3 free licenses for the application. If you want to win a free copy, just answer the following question. The winners will be chosen at random from all the correct answers.
What is the MacKeeper icon?
a) A robot
b) A sheep
c) A broom
Once you know the answer, head over to this page to enter.