Reviews related to : Utility software

It is time for an old favourite to make its annual upgrade appearance.
Over the years WinZip has developed from a basic compression / decompression utility, which was my first introduction to the product, into a file management / sharing / encryption application while retaining its original functionality.  The latest edition of this software is now up to version 21 with Standard, Pro and Enterprise packages being available.  This review is based on my experiences with the Pro version of the product which has been launched with a price point of £42.
Windows tends to slow down with age and I know how it feels. This next title offers to help.
Say what you will about Microsoft and its various software products but you will probably have to admit that the different versions of its Windows operating system have certainly opened the door for other companies to step in and develop software designed to enhance the Microsoft offering.
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Nero Tune-Up Pro

The more you use Windows, the more reluctant your computer will be to perform at its optimum level. This next product offers to help.
Over the years Nero (the company rather than the Roman Emperor of old) has developed from a company producing burning software (hence the name) to one that has developed a number of titles dealing with topics such as media manipulation and data backup.  The latest string to Nero’s bow to appear concentrates on the area of keeping Windows computer and Android devices running smoothly.
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Team Viewer 11

The 11 should give a good clue to this not being a new product. Team Viewer has been around for a long time and is a method for someone with knowledge to help those with less knowledge to solve a problem remotely easily and quickly.
Whenever you allow someone access to your PC you should be very sure they are who they claim. With Team Viewer you have to send them the invite. They can then see your screen and you can see exactly what they are doing as they move around trying to solve your problem. Team Viewer has been available for MAC and PC for a long time, now however the latest version also works with Chrome and Android and even for those on Linux. So whatever your environment you should be able to receive or give help.
Oil and water not mixing is a popular conception that I would be surprised if you had not heard many times before. Some might even apply the same though with regards to the operating systems developed by Microsoft and Apple. However those inventive people at Parallels headquarters, based in Seattle, would certainly not agree with this point of view.
Oil and water not mixing is a popular conception that I would be surprised if you had not heard many times before.  Some might even apply the same though with regards to the operating systems developed by Microsoft and Apple.  However those inventive people at Parallels headquarters, based in Seattle, would certainly not agree with this point of view.  Parallel has developed a solution for mixing Microsoft Windows on a Mac device running the Apple Mac OS software.
It is welcome back to an old friend as the latest version of one of my favourite products arrives in its version 20 guise.
WinZip is a product that has been around for a good number of years as its latest version number of 20 will testify.  It is a product that has rarely been absence from my work system.  While I can not guarantee that I have used every single version, no doubt a few managed to escape my attention, but I have been a solid supporter of this software from its early days as a shareware product right up to its current position as a respected member of the Corel family.
There are several programs about that allow you to control one PC from another remotely very useful for teaching purposes. Here however a program that allows you to run Windows PC programs on an Android Tablet.
As an example I have a database program that lists my CD collection but it is a Windows only program and when out and about it would be useful to know if I had a certain CD or the tracks that make it up – record companies do sometimes reissue under another name – to stop me buying something I already have. Best of all you can try it free for seven days to see if it does what you want/need before you need to purchase. Download an App from the Android or ‘i’ Store.
Along with the recently purchased PC Tuneup software, AVG has added software for the Mac and Android devices to offer an all-round performance boost.
AVG Performance is a collection of software titles designed to tune up various devices.  Making up this package are PC TuneUp for Windows, Cleaner for Android and Cleaner for Mac.  The product, consisting of a CD and Installation Guide booklet with an activation code printed on the front cover, comes with a one-year licence for use on unlimited devices that are for your person and home family use.
It is good bye and hello to a software application that has formed a regular part of my computer system for a number of years now.
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WinZip 19 Pro

Now firmly entrenched as part of the Corel family of products, the latest version of WinZip is now available.
Starting out as a product whose sole aim was to compress data that could fit on the floppy disks measured in kilobytes and hard disks in megabytes, WinZip has developed into a software product that adds encryption, conversion and file management, both local and Cloud based, to its original concept.  Thinking back I could easily store the original WinZip software on a 180KB floppy disk and still have room for other files.
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Nero Backitup 2014

Yes I am aware Backing Up is boring but if it is fully automated and at times you are not doing anything with your PC then it can be just another task that takes place. Then of course when the worst does happen you are prepared.
I first downloaded this and tried it on a Windows 8 machine, ad is a small 50MB ZIP file and there is no longer any support for Windows XP why not try it here for a slow machine with not a lot of memory but having files you still might want. Once downloaded the file decompresses and takes around 300MB of hard disc space. I decided that I would not allow any Internet access (it wants to check for updated files etc) so just gave it a blanket job to back up the ‘C’ drive.
A long time resident on my various hard disks over the years has been different versions of WinZip. The latest version of this software now supports add-ons.
Do you remember when local storage capacity was at a premium?  I am referring to a time when hard disks often gave users a capacity of under 100MB (that’s megabytes not gigabytes) and prices were in the vicinity of £200 or thereabouts.  The promise of terabytes, cloud storage and transferring data via the Internet were features not even on the horizon during my initial steps in the world of computing.
While “familiarity breeds contempt” might not totally be the appropriate comment, in some respect it could apply in this situation. After all the more we use our Windows computers, the less responsive they become when reacting to our needs and commands. Often we are kept waiting for a boot-up sequence to be completed and programs, which previously loaded speedily, now appear to crawl as if they are spending time admiring the innards of the computer and its operating system. Of course we could just sit back, twiddling our thumbs or contemplating our navels, while time ticks away or we could attempt to tackle the problem at source with software designed for the purpose. One such product that I have used over a number of years is TuneUp Utilities which is now available in its new 2014 version.
When installing TuneUp Utilities you will need to enter a 35-character product key. A search will be conducted for an earlier version of the software and if one is found then it will be removed.  Options will be made available to include TuneUp Shredder and TuneUp Disk Space Explorer as part of the installation plus adding TuneUp Undelete facility to the Recycle Bin Context (following a right mouse click) menu.
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Acronis True Image 2014

It is your responsibility to make sure your data is kept safe. A scheduled back-up process can help in this respect.
Many years ago, when hard disk capacities were much smaller and software tended to arrive on 5.25 or 3.5-inch floppy disks, I would regularly spend an afternoon feeding this type of media into a drive as I backed up my computer system.  Those days are now happily just a distant memory as the backup process has advanced to the stage where you merely need to schedule a job and then forget about it as the software takes the strain.
It was Peter Norton who first revealed that deleted files were not actually deleted. Instead their disk presence in the FAT (File Allocation File) was marked as being available for use by other data. This meant it was possible, with the appropriate tools, to resurrect a file if it had not been over-written by subsequent data.
While best known for its Diskeeper product, Condusiv Technologies (the new name for the company we previously knew as Diskeeper) does have other strings to its bow.  Making use of its expertise in the field of handling and management of files, Condusiv Technologies has developed its Undelete product.
While a new version of an OS (Operating System), such as Windows, might take a number of years to make a commercial appearance, utilities designed to keep the OS running smoothly operate on a short gestation period.
New versions of utilities are generally released on an annual basis with the year appendage being used to identify the current version.  One such product that falls into this category is TuneUp Utilities 2012.  Available with a three user licence this product provides a range of tools covering different aspects relating to the smooth running of your Windows computer system.
With a different company name and a newly designed interface, there is a new look to an old favourite with DIskeeper 2012.
Once upon a time there was a company called Executive Software.  In 1981 this company turned its attention to the problem of data being fragmented on hard disks causing deterioration in the overall performance of the host computer.  This was, and still is, a big “No, No” for users everywhere.  The solution produced by Executive Software was a product entitled Diskeeper.
It is a fact of Windows life that your computer’s performance will decrease directly proportional to the use to which it is put – much to the delight of those who develop software to remedy this situation
Checking my records, which tend to be far more reliable than my memory, revealed that I had first come across iolo’s collection of utilities, known as System Mechanic, eight years ago with the arrival of version 5.  Back then the product made great play of the software’s toolbox approach and even used a desktop icon showing a red toolbox.
While I have been a long-time user of WinZip, both prior and after its integration into the Corel family, this is the first time I have come across WinZip System Utilities Suite.
Consisting of 23 tools covering different aspects of your PC’s performance, WinZip System Utilities Suite comes with a user license that allows you to install the product on three different computers running Windows XP and later.  It has to be said that my initial experiences with this software did not get off to the best of starts but matters improved a little later on.  Part of this blame could be put down to the total lack of any documentation supplied with this product.
Do you defrag? If not then maybe your hard disk will not be performing at its full capability. This next product could help.
Whenever I set up a new computer, either desktop or laptop, one of the first applications that I install, once Windows is bedded in, is that of the current version of Diskeeper.  This particular piece of software, which has been around for a number of years with a cut-down version formed part of earlier versions of Windows, has been developed to help speed up the performance of your system by organising the files on your hard disk.