MacKeeper Full Review: Keep Your Mac Safe
MacKeeper has come a long way since its beta release back in 2010, it has been accumulating credit to redeem itself from some of the past issues it had, which earlier had driven users away. Has Clario Tech finally made a product that can satisfy users everywhere?
MacKeepers task isn't an easy one, as once the reputation of a product goes down, it's hard to pull it back up. Here we will discuss what features MacKeeper has to provide, and how it has started undergoing third-party testing to redeem itself.
How does MacKeeper fare against its competition, and is it worth it?
Keep reading to find out...
When buying an antivirus, the major point is how secure the product is, so we ask the question: Can MacKeeper protect our devices from viruses, malware, and other causes of harm?
To answer that, we check the following regarding security and protection:
1. Third-party lab test results
Third-party labs are experts that have multiple criteria and samples to test antivirus software programs. They have a wide variety of test methods and samples that are up to date. We find using a third-party assessment to be a better predictor since the volume of test material is large, and the result isn't as biased as an antivirus company claiming its product is perfect.
- MacKeeper scores high on protection according to AV-Test. It gets a 6/6 score on its ability to detect malicious ware.
- MacKeeper scores 6/6 in the impact on device performance department is almost negligible, which means it won't take up your device's resources.
- MacKeeper has a low false-positive rate with a 6/6 usability score. This means it's unlikely to mistake regular files for harmful ones.
- MacKeeper scores high on protection according to AV-Test. It gets a 6/6 score on its ability to detect malicious ware.
There are no MacKeeper reports by AV-comparatives.
There are no MacKeeper reports by SE Labs.
2. Firewall and IDS protection
MacKeeper lacks intrinsic firewall protection. Instead, MacKeeper uses the Mac Firewall to monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic providing users with an intruder detection system (IDS) to protect users from possible threats that might harm their devices.
3. USB Rescue ToolKit
MacKeeper lacks a USB rescue toolkit. A USB toolkit is a useful tool that can be used to initiate a cloud-based scan during the booting phase of your device, when your device is infected and can't be started, or if it's infected with some malware or virus that requires your system to be booted to be used.
While this feature is typically important for Windows devices, it isn't as important with Macs due to the built-in recovery mode, although they differ in functionality.
MacKeeper provides users with two main products: MacKeeper Free and MacKeeper Full. Here is a quick summary of the features:
|Plan||MacKeeper Free||MacKeeper Full|
|Virus, spyware, and malware protection||Included||Included|
|On-Demand Antivirus Scanner||One-time use||Included|
|Adware and Pop-Up Blocker||One-time use||Included|
1. MacKeeper Free
MacKeeper Free works more of a reactive antivirus that doesn't take the initiative but rather responds to attacks and keeps your device safe. A summary of the feature provided by MacKeeper includes:
- Virus, Spyware, and Malware protection: Unlike the full version, instead of directly scanning against viruses, spyware, and malware, the free version of MacKeeper only responds and blocks possible threats that might try to affect your device. This means although you might have a virus on your device, it won't be able to affect your device as long as MacKeeper protects you from a full-on attack.
In addition, the free version of MacKeeper offers a one-time use on-demand scan to show you the potential of the full version, which will be further discussed in the section below.
- Email Password Leak Protection: One of the dangers of the web when going online includes phishing emails, which disguise themselves as normal emails that might try to ask you for some of your important and sensitive information. The advanced types of phishing emails can sometimes be so convincingly deceptive to the point many people fall for the trap.
Even if you're a cautious person, there might be a chance that your child might end up sending sensitive credential information over the internet unintentionally, which may cause you to lose your accounts and passwords.
2. MacKeeper Full Antivirus
The MacKeeper Full Plan is the premium version that provides users with more features in addition to the ones provided to the free version, most importantly of which is the antivirus protective function. The functions provided by MacKeeper include:
Privacy and security features
- On-demand antivirus scanner: The on-demand virus scanner switches your device from a constant response to attacks state into a more aggressive state that targets viruses, spyware, and malware to remove and destroy them. This ensures your device remains safe without any dormant viruses and malware waiting in your device.
- Adware Cleaner: Adware cleaner removes any adware your device might have, ensuring you don't get any of these pesky ads that keep popping up everywhere you go draining your resources. The ads that pop up regularly can cause drops in speed since they take up a part of your bandwidth, lowering your online speed.
- ID Theft Guard: This feature is amazing and can protect your ID in the event of a misstep. You start by adding your email address and scanning your email. MacKeeper proceeds to monitor all emails for any leaks you might have had.
- Stop Ad: This is the adblocker feature integrated with MacKeeper, not to be confused with the adware cleaner. Stop ad stops any ads you might encounter while surfing the web online from different websites.
A considerable part of all websites' income are ads; often, websites use something like the Google Display Network ads to make money.
Although something like the Google Display Network ads is often benign with no real threat, however, for some users, it can turn annoying and resource-consuming, as the media that pops up can drain your bandwidth and lower your surfing speed.
Stop Ad doesn't stop ads only, but trackers as well. If you're wondering what trackers are, they are small text files that are dropped in a user's browser by a website when a user visits that website.
A famous example of trackers are cookies, which cause the ads to be more personalized as they track what websites and links you've visited, which sometimes feels like a privacy breach.
- Safe Clean Up: A clean-up tool can remove all the junk files you have on your device, thereby freeing space and resources.
- Duplicates Finder: Which finds identical copies stored in various places on your hard drive. It supports many file formats, is considered fast and precise in its detection, and can also clean files on both local and external hard drives. This feature can save you so much disk space, and the time it takes to scan isn't long.
- Smart Uninstaller: In some cases uninstalling files can be difficult, with certain files having some anti-removal mechanisms. It's not always a bad thing; take for example antiviruses, where this persistence is often implemented to counteract any attempts of a virus to remove your antivirus. However, this can get troublesome when programs start taking space.
Smart Uninstaller is the perfect solution you're looking for. It can effectively remove any program that is resilient to removal easily, thereby freeing that taken spot from your hard drive.
- Update Tracker: Outdated drivers can be a security breach, as often updates are made to cover bugs and vulnerability issues that pop up with use. Update tracker makes sure your drivers remain up to date as it notifies you whenever one of your drivers is out of date.
- Login Items: This feature can help you speed up your device's start-up, which can be very helpful if your device takes a long time to start. Using login items, you can review which applications start when you boot your device and stop them.
- Memory Cleaner: Every once in a while, your RAM can get clogged with so many processes, which can lower your device's speed significantly. Using the memory cleaner, you can free up a lot of the RAM.
Among the major extra features provided by antiviruses, MacKeeper stands as follows:
MacKeeper doesn’t provide a password manager as part of its plans.
After all, Apple's macOS has its own iCloud Keychain, making a password manager redundant.
MacKeeper provides safe online banking.
With safe online banking, users would be able to do online transactions in safe environments without the risk of losing their information to a man-in-the-middle attack or other attempts at stealing data. MacKeeper redirects users to real sites if they go to a fake one automatically, adding to the online security.
MacKeeper antivirus doesn’t have the parental control feature.
Parental control is another feature available on macOS devices as a built-in feature. It allows worried parents to take care of their children and make sure they are surfing safe parts of the internet, and when are they allowed to do so. Hence MacKeeper doesn't really need to include it.
MacKeeper provides a VPN service.
A VPN serves to encrypt your data when surfing online, making your data near impossible to crack. It can play a great role in security, in addition to IP masking, which can be used to protect your location or bypass certain geo-restrictions, such as with Netflix.
MacKeeper VPN provides 256-bit encryption, which is the industry's gold standard used by governments, militaries, and banks for its robust security. While it's not the best at unblocking geo-restrictions such as Netflix US, it can still be used.
MacKeeper doesn’t provide online backup.
With the iCloud online storage, which is intrinsically available on macOS, the need for backup storage becomes obsolete.
MacKeeper's user experience is a positive one, and that is shown in many ways, be it in the form of the easy installation or the scan speed.
You don't have to be a programmer to download MacKeeper; you can download the file from their website, open it, and follow the instructions. It'll take a few minutes before you have to start and activate the features you'll be using, like the VPN.
1. Ease of use
The interface is straightforward, you can find the features on the left side, and in case of an emergency, the live chat is on the right side. The features are displayed in the center with their functions.
To use the antivirus scan, you'll have to open the Internet Security tab and choose Antivirus, then the scan you want, either custom or a full scan.
Overall, it's recommended for beginners since it's easy to use, and in case of any problem, they can just refer to the live chat on the right side.
2. Customer support
MacKeeper has customer support available in different means for users, including live chat, phone support, email, and FAQs. They're available 24/7 on both live chat and the phone.
Let's start by talking about their live chat. As I previously mentioned, it's integrated into their dashboard on the right side. If you want to contact an agent, they'll need a few minutes before replying. It's important to note that live chat is reserved only for premium product users.
Email and ticketing support is another means you can use to communicate with their team and is available for all users.
On the other hand, phone support is a great option; they have multiple numbers you can call, and they answer within a few seconds. Lastly, you can refer to their FAQs page on their website for information and tutorials to guide you through any issue you face.
In terms of customer support summary:
- Live chat
- Email and ticketing system
- Phone support
- Knowledge base
MacKeeper prices per plan summarized in a table:
|Plan||12-Month Plan||1-Month Plan|
Payment methods include:
- Major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover)
MacKeeper doesn't provide a truly free trial other than, the one-time use of some premium product and the money-back guarantee.
MacKeeper provides a 14-day money-back guarantee of risk-free use, so you can try the premium version and decide if it's the product for you or not until you make up your mind. So go for it; you got nothing to lose here. In the event you exceed the 14-day money-back guarantee, you could still get a partial refund.
Is MacKeeper worth it? In terms of protection, MacKeeper is a bit hard to assess. They have had great results defending against viruses, which is considered near perfect.
However, they haven't undergone much third-party lab testing; Their test result, according to AV-Test labs, was an 18/18 perfect starting the end of 2020, which shows their efforts at improving their product.
In addition, MacKeeper is one of the few Mac specialists that provide users with a VPN product, which is important for online security and privacy.
All in all, MacKeeper is showing its efforts to improve its product, and I believe in the near future they will rise further.