Taking A Look At PC Matic

I have been seeing a lot of the PC Matic antivirus/pc tune-up commercials lately featuring the company CEO Rob Cheng. He talks about the 92% result PC Matic got on an April 2014 VirusBulletin RAP test and how you can install the PC Matic software on up to 5 PCs for $50, which sounds great. So is it really such a good deal?

*update* - got a couple of tweets from PC Pitstop (@pcpitstop), the makers of PC Matic, offering an evaluation license key and mentioning they support free utilities on their website. I run Linux, and so can't advantage of the offer, but I appreciate it.

I'll be upfront in that I have not personally used PC Matic, but the product itself seems to generate a lot of negative publicity online - some of it perhaps just because it's one of those "as seen on TV" sort of products - so let me try to separate the wheat from the chaff. 

First, for most home users with Windows computers, there are several free antivirus and antimalware products that have good detection rates and offer a pretty comprehensive solution (see links at the end of this post). If you want the additional cleaning functionality offered by PC Matic, then CCleaner is a well-known free product that handles those issues.

Second, the actual efficacy of PC Matic seems to be open to question - it's probably a serviceable antivirus (I believe using the Vipre virus detection engine), but the malware detection and removal may be less than stellar.

Here is a typical review/commentary from fellow blogger and Google+ bud, John D - who owns a computer repair business and knows of what he speaks in this arena.

And here is a commentary thread from Spiceworks where user Chris75 actually installs the program, does some basic testing and posts the results - scroll down a little to see the start of those comments.

The main thing going for PC Matic is probably the fact that it's a one-stop shop for your antivirus, antimalware and PC cleanup needs. It is not a free product, although it's probably seen as a convenient solution by many.

Links to free alternatives:

As for free antivirus products, Gizmo's Freeware maintains an updated list here.

For other malware cleanup, Malwarebytes Antimalware is a well-established product, with a free version. It should work alongside most antivirus products.

Lastly, CCleaner can perform temp file cleanup and registry fixing (if that is something you feel you need) along with some other features.

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