As Seen On TV!

No doubt you have seen the TV commercials for these all-in-one computer fixit programs, where you can fix everything that ails you with a single click. It's an appealing idea for the 99% of computer users who don't like to even think about computer maintenance. While I have not used any of those products, I have a fair idea of what they do from the banter in the ads.

The whole appeal, as I said, is the ability to have one program handle all the crap that goes with (primarily Windows) PC ownership. I'm not going to debate the efficacy of the programs advertised - the cost as I understand it is in the $40-$50 per year range, which is not out of the bounds of reason.

However, I submit you can do the same thing for free. Let's assume you already have an installed, working and up-to-date anti-virus program; if not, there are many good, free options available. These will run in the background and require little attention from you.

As to a one-click-fix type of solution, I would suggest Toolwiz Care. This free suite has a nice interface, and quite a bit of depth if you like to dig a little deeper into the individual utilities. It handles the cleanup and "tuning" tasks of the TV products, and should give you a bit better performance on a typical (neglected) Windows computer. The Toolwiz website gives more details about the individual components of the utility, such as "Time Freeze", which is a mini-sandbox type of defense against malware.

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