Piriform, our favorite Computer Maintenance Suite. I have been using their products for over a decade now and can’t recommend them enough. These programs solve so many issues for you and allow you to use your computer at top performance without the fuss of manually dealing with the issues. All of the programs in the suite are designed to make your computer run at its best at all times. I use them daily.
CCleaner is an Computer Optimization Tool that helps your computer run faster by cleaning unused files that build up over time. Files like internet cache and history can really slow your system down. By cleaning these files it gives your computer a boost. It also helps gives you a safer browsing experience by clearing cookies off your computer that sites use to track you. Pretty much all sites install cookies, including this one. While cookies are very necessary, they can be used incorrectly and that is where having them cleared from your computer really helps.
CCleaner also helps curb errors and crashes with its built in registry cleaner. You registry stores a lot of information about where things are on your computer and how things interact with each other. When installing and uninstalling applications, information can be left behind and CCleaner has a patented system they use to make quick work of it.
Often, when I look at someone’s computer that is running poorly, or is even unusable, I run CCleaner and the computer starts running better almost instantly in most cases. After I am done cleaning, many computers just need some updates and they are back up to snuff.
Piriform offers the Free Version and it is a great program but it does require manual intervention as well as manual updates. It will however let you know when it can optimize your system by freeing up space. I highly recommend the paid version as it automates those tasks that you have to do yourself with the free version. The great thing is that it is only a $24.95 one time purchase which is a steal considering what it does for you.
Next up in Piriform’s Suite is Defraggler. Defraggler is and Hard Disk and Solid State Drive optimization tool that reorders the files on your drives so they can be accessed as quickly as possible. Over time while files come and go from your computer pieces of files become fragmented over the drives storage space making it take longer to find them.
Imagine a kitchen where everything is just randomly put away it whatever cupboard is open. Over time a dish is pulled out and another put it it takes longer and longer to find what you are looking for. Defraggler organizing like files together much like putting all your glasses in the same cupboard.
Defraggler uses the same techniques as Windows to read and write files so you can know they will be safe during the process. As with CCleaner, Defraggler comes in a free version and a number of paid version depending on your needs. Professional is recommended for home users and also goes for $24.95. The paid version of Defraggler (just like CCleaner), performs automatic updates and allows you to set schedules so you can have it do its thing while you don’t need the computer maximizing productivity.
Have you ever deleted a file and then realized you really needed it? That is where Recuva comes in. You see when you delete files off of a hard drive it doesn’t really get deleted. The hard drive is just told it can now use that space to write new information when it needs the space. Recuva has the ability to go look at that information in the free space and retrieve files from it. Aside from Hard Drives it also works on memory cards, external hard drives, USB sticks and more.
Recuva can also retrieve files from some damaged or newly formatted disks. Recovery is never guaranteed but with Recuva is is much more likely. For those really hard to find files it has a feature called Deep Scan that really gets into the file systems to locate files or any traces of them that are still in tact.
On the other hand if you have personal files that you want completely gone so your precious information can’t be stolen from you there is a feature for that as well. Recuva’s secure overwrite uses both industry and military standard deletion practices to obliterate your files to make sure that information stays gone. Recuva runs $19.95 for the professional version. The free version is a great program and will give you most of the same features with some exceptions. The free version lacks virtual hard drive support, automatic updates and premium support.
Speccy is another handy tool from Piriform. If you ever need to know what components your computer has Speccy scans all of your components and even gives you real time data on how the components are functioning. Speccy can see so much about your system it is amazing and is a very powerful tool for diagnostic or to figure out what components you have for finding the correct drivers for your system.
There are many sensors in computer that give all kinds of feedback and Speccy shows them to you. You can see the temperature of vital components all the way to seeing what tasks are on Windows Scheduler.
Speccy can even show you the S.M.A.R.T. attributes of your drives. If you are interested in the goings on in your computer or need information that can be time consuming to find then Speccy is highly recommended as it puts it all right out there with a super simple interface.
Speccy like the rest in the Piriform Suite comes in multiple flavors and for the home user that is the free version and the paid version of Speccy goes for $19.95 . There is a free trial for these programs to checkout the greater power of the paid versions
To conclude I would highly recommend each of these programs. I use them all pretty frequently and you should too. The free versions are fantastic on their own merit but if you want to have your computer running at its best without having to intervene all the time these are most definitely for you.
The money that these programs could save you on computer repair and maintenance easily makes these worth it. So, what are you waiting for? Go get these programs and be on your way to a more pleasurable user experience.