When you type "Why is my" into Google, one of the first auto-complete options is "…computer so slow." The question is one that thousands of PC users ask every day, so it's fair to say that performance lag is a significant complaint.
To learn the extent of the problem and what users can do about it, Studio 61 sat down with Jeff Venables, Product Marketing Manager at iolo technologies, LLC. Jeff provides expert guidance and explains how iolo's System Mechanic solution helps PC users cut clutter and boost performance.
S61: What effect does clutter have on a PC?
JV: Every PC will slow down and become unstable over time. You'll see latency in the more RAM- and CPU-taxing apps like streaming services or video games. This manifests as dropped frames, image freezes, excessive buffering, or low-resolution, pixelated images.
But even more routine apps like Word and Excel may take forever to open, or result in what I call "sticky mouse" – when your pointer or cursor can't seem to keep up with you. There's nothing more frustrating, because we count on our computers to think at least as fast as we do.
S61: My PC is brand-new. How can it already be cluttered?
JV: The inconvenient truth is that PCs ship with all kinds of unwanted apps already installed on them. Many of these are configured to launch automatically at startup so that they appear as though they launch easily and quickly later, when and if you actually click on them.
S61: Why are there so many apps running in the background?
JV: The main reason these items elbow their way into the startup process is they are competing with each other to seem, ironically, like each launches the fastest. And because they all do this without regard for their peers, the cumulative effect is often a huge performance drain, usually without the user even knowing why.
S61: How does System Mechanic address these problems?
JV: In addition to advanced Windows and internet junk removal, and registry error-removal tools, System Mechanic has a tool called Startup Optimizer, which identifies programs that are unnecessarily queued to launch at system boot. It then lets you decide whether you want to keep them, turn them off, or simply delay them.
S61: What kind of performance difference do customers see before and after System Mechanic?
JV: We did some benchmarking tests not long ago that showed almost 90% faster startup times, 40% faster downloads, and processor speed improvements by 17%. So the results are very real.
S61: Switching gears for a minute, how do Windows 10's default settings put privacy at risk?
JV: With Windows 10, Microsoft became very aggressive in their personal data collection. They deployed services that automatically record and report user habits and actions, memory snapshots, program usage, user location, browsing history, and more. Worse, you can't easily opt out of these during install. You'd have to go into the registry and disable these services – always a risky proposition for the average user. System Mechanic's Privacy Shield feature, though, lets you turn these settings off in an easy wizard, with just a few clicks.
S61: You mentioned streaming services before. Tell us about NetBooster. How does it improve streaming and connection speeds?
iolo engineers have discovered a slew of unnecessary Windows 10 services that burden broadband speed. We disable the obvious offenders, and then we ask you what you want to do with certain others. Also, many applications – especially torrent clients and web browser plug-ins – keep changing TCP settings to better accommodate their own server configurations. This results in degradation of overall internet speed, and you'll see it as frustratingly slow website loading. NetBooster discovers and reverts these setting changes to re-optimize internet speed.
Another issue is Microsoft's Windows Update Delivery Optimization, which includes peer-to-peer technology similar to torrent file sharing. When this is enabled, your system will hijack your broadband to download updates and share them with other users. If this is on, NetBooster alerts you and lets you decide whether you want to turn it off.
We've also figured out a way to adjust the Windows reservable bandwidth limit, to give the user more broadband for what they're doing, rather than allowing Windows to hog it for non-critical system use.
S61: What other products does iolo offer for optimizing performance and safety?
JV: iolo also has a secure password and credit card manager called ByePass; an anti-fingerprinting tool called Privacy Guardian, which thwarts a much more advanced way of obtaining information about you than simple cookies-based tracking; and an on-demand malware remover for machines that have already become infected. These complement the real-time AV protection System Shield, which we offer as part of System Mechanic Professional.
All of these products are now available, and soon to be available in our new all-in-one performance, protection, and privacy product System Mechanic Ultimate Defense, launching later this year.
S61: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Where can readers learn more?
JV: My pleasure, and thank you. Readers can learn more about System Mechanic and all of our products at www.iolo.com.