#1 By: Chris Hoffman, September 27th, 2013 06:40
Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/172839/10-types-of-system-tools-and-optimization-programs-you-dont-need-on-windows/
Windows users see advertisements for all sorts of system tools and optimization utilities. It’s easy for companies to tell you that you absolutely have to run these tools, but you don’t need most of the junk on offer.
#2 By: nicarb, September 27th, 2013 07:50
let your software take care of checking for them on their own
I don't agree. I use filehippo.com and it spots lots of updates that wouldn't be performed otherwise.
#3 By: theMike, September 27th, 2013 08:43
ccleaners the only thing i use in the way of clean-up. but i keep most of my software manually up to date. just a habit i guess
#4 By: Tony Green, September 27th, 2013 10:19
I have found Revo uninstaller is sometimes necessary when Windows can't seem to remove an unwanted program
#5 By: z7b, September 27th, 2013 10:54
In reality, this feature isn’t very useful. These days, nearly every program “phones home” — if only to check for updates, if not sync your data or access web content. Average Windows users shouldn’t have to decide which applications can and can’t connect to the Internet. If you’re running a program on your computer but don’t trust it enough to allow it access to the Internet — well, you probably shouldn’t be running that program in the first place.
This is poor advice. The outbound firewall or egress filtering is not there to inform you that skype is trying to connect to the internet, that part is obvious. It is there to inform you when an unknown, possibly malicious process is trying to connect outside to either download something or send your data somewhere, which is exactly what malware does.
As for the annoyance factor, its usually a one time thing, you can mark that application as safe and not be bothered by the firewall again.
#6 By: Aaron Routh, September 27th, 2013 11:00
Anyone find it funny that this artical is follow by a PC Cleaning ad?
#7 By: Cambo, September 27th, 2013 11:25
Anyone find it funny that this artical is follow by a PC Cleaning ad?
Google Adwords at work...trying to make money for HTG.
#8 By: Baht Simpson, September 27th, 2013 11:33
I never see ads. My ad-blocker kills 'em all. (Sorry, HTG.)
I also use Revo Uninstaller - simply got used to using it rather than the "Add or Remove Programs".
I also use Comodo firewall to stop stuff phoning home that maybe shouldn't because I never (ahem) paid for it.
#9 By: Grant Johnson, September 27th, 2013 11:45
Not enough applications inform me of their needed updates. For some reason, Google Earth and Flash never inform me, even though in the settings when I installed flash, I told it to. I really wish I had apt-get for Windows, but until that happens, I will have to just a third part update notifier. I do not use their update tool. I update in each application individually, but I do like the notification. Just today, Google Earth popped up for an update again.
#10 By: BigTech, September 27th, 2013 11:48
Gotta disagree with you on defrag, Uninstaller and FIrewall
Now to be clear, applications that just defrag... not worth it. Applications that optimize (ie reorders the files so that they are in the most efficient area possible. Those are very useful for every windows user.
Uninstaller. Not all installer/uninstallers work properly. I've had quite a few apps that just plain could not be uninstalled because of broken uninstallers. It's nice to have something for those hard to get rid of applications. McAffee and Symantec products are notorious for this.
Now outbound Firewalls, maybe not for the average user but for those of use concerned about security and wind up installing and testing new applications regularly.This is a vital component.
#11 By: Ronald Vargo, September 27th, 2013 11:49
I don't use any third party tools....to get rid of ads IE has ad block lists that you can subscribe to and I poison my routers DNS to keep the stragglers from coming though.
#12 By: Lady Fitzgerald, September 27th, 2013 12:51
I disagree with several things in this article.
While most claims for registry cleaners, especially the paid ones, are grossly exaggerated, it doesn't hurt to use a conservative freebie. I use an older version of the free Glary Utilities (the newer versions are a bit too invasive for my tastes) after I run my other weekly scans to clean up unused registry entries (it's surprising how many are there after a week), delete temporary files, etc. and it has yet to do any harm. If nothing else, cleaning out the temp folders and fixing the occasional wonky shortcut makes using Glary Utilities worth the few minutes it takes to run it. It's also makes managing startup programs much easier than mucking about in the registry (safer, too). One can easily allow, disallow, or delay programs starting up during boot.
Separate defragmentation programs, including the freebies, are often faster than Win 7's. Many SSD utilities completely disable Win 7's defragmentation (Samsung's Magician is an example), including on any spinners, since SSDs last much longer if not defragged regularly. I use the free Defraggler to defrag my HDDs on my desktop.
I also disagree about SSD Optimizers to a certain degree. SSDs need to be set up differently and have the OS set up differently than with HDDs. Most steps need doing only once and can be done manually. Some SSDs cone with their own utilities and, generally, should be used at least during initial setup. Samsung's Magician gets high ratings from most users.
Most free third party uninstallers just flat work far better than Windows' uninstaller. Window's uninstaller frequently (if not usually), leaves bits and pieces knocking about after removing a program. Third party uninstallers usually clean out everything, including registry entries that could thwart doing a clean reinstall of a program, program folders, and even .exe files that sometimes get left behind when using Windows' uninstaller.
I really disagree on update checkers. Not all programs will notify you that they need updating. Often, when updating some programs, the old program doesn't get uninstalled. Also, you may not want every program phoning home to see if there is an update. A good update checker will let you know when you have programs that need updating, especially if needed for security purposes, often can be set to automatically update programs (I prefer to make the decision to update and when myself) and will let you know if any older, potentially harmful files get left behind. I use Secunia PSI but I've heard good things about the one Filehippo has (edit: forgot to mention Avast free also has an updater feature though not as thorough as Secunia PSI; still, it often alerts me on some needed updates before PSI does).
Another strong objection I have to what the article said has to do with outbound firewalls. They are a last line of defense should malware manage to sneak in and try to phone home with your data. Even otherwise safe programs may phone home excessively, which could affect users with low bandwidth caps, and could also transmit one's usage patterns (some of us still won't roll over and accept internet snooping no matter how prevalent it is).
#13 By: Jim King, September 27th, 2013 13:36
I'll agree that paid programs more often than not just load up your system with bloat, however I do use a few that I find indispensable. CCleaner, Smart Defrag and Razer Game Booster.
CCleaner and Smart Defrag are no brainers, both are free and perform faster and more reliably that Windows built in utilities IMO. Razer I use for my graphics intense games simply because its faster at shutting down unneeded services and programs than closing them one by one, and it does boost game response time on the games I use it for (Sims 3 with all extras - EPs,SPs & Store CC, Several MMOs, and my FPS/Flight sim games) making it possible to play games that would otherwise slow this mid-range PC down.
An outbound FW is also not something to be tossed out with the baby. Nothing leaves my PC without my knowing about and approving it. I've been using Windows since 3.11 Work Station and have seen what kind of damage can happen when a application is sending out data unchecked and unbeknownced the system owner. I consider an outbound fw akin to a double-lock deadbolt, not only can I stop someone/thing from getting in unwanted, I can also stop someone/thing from getting out as well if I need to.
#14 By: Meena Bassem, September 27th, 2013 14:16
i agree with you, most of these are crap and a waste of time. for me, i only use CCleaner and avast antivirus free, no more of that crap is actually needed, and my computer is running quite ok without them.
the only thing these crap software do is install themselves on startup , as services, change default search engines and home page,which actually makes no good.they are just good with their fancy UI but practically ,they are all crap and won't help
maybe the exception is like you said, the third party uninstallers
#15 By: Naman Sood, September 27th, 2013 14:28
Is it just me, or all articles about "RAM Optimizers", "PC Cleaners" and whatever, always end up with many "I agree with you...", "Yes, you're right, but..." and "You're totally wrong..." posts?
#16 By: Lady Fitzgerald, September 27th, 2013 15:35
What other kinds of posts would there be?
#17 By: , September 27th, 2013 17:50
This is always reliable and is Known Good Software. Been around since the 1990s and upgraded continually.
I know many don't like this type of software so this post is not for argument but consumer information only.
#18 By: Bill Harder, September 28th, 2013 03:13
I use Puran Defrag and not the other utilities that they produce. I use the Defrag because it will let me select one or more drives has a nice optimization feature AND most importantly lets me run disk check on all I choose. The utility lets me choose either the standard 3 level check or the full 5 level check. This is a really nice feature when doing multiple drives and I have never seen it anywhere else.
My main desktop has 4 drives which suffer quite a bit due to frequent data swaps. My secondary desktop has 4 more drives which has less use and subsequent less data swapping. The boot times will be faster from 20 to 30 seconds after a defrag in my experience.
#20 By: Robert_Zanol, September 29th, 2013 15:07
This is one of many reasons I do not use windows. I only have windows for one software I need because of work. Windows is always a "battle" keeping it optimized and running fast. That amounts to a lot of wasted time which could better be used doing something I WANT to do and would rather do instead.
#21 By: John Geldreich, September 30th, 2013 11:51
As usual, your entire rebuttal is right on the money!
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