Tuesday, November 25, 2014


The Founder standing beside a image of pure crap

Do y’all want to know how to drive a geek craycray? Make him watch a commercial for “PCMatic” over and over. For the past few months, the TV has been inundated with a commercial for a antivirus program called PCMatic. It promises to rid your computer for viruses and spyware, optimize your computer, “clean” your registry, speed up your internet and fix your marriage. I may have made that last thing up.

I’ve seen this kind of junk before. You may recall an article I wrote a couple of years ago concerning a similar product called “SpeedMyPC” that was an outright rip-off. I was motivated to check out PCMatic after seeing their new commercial featuring and old Dallas Cowboys star quarterback from 1978 that no one remembers. I’ve also seen this program on a couple of client’s computers. Seeing my clients get scammed gets my goose every time so I put a freshly loaded computer on the bench on my shop, fired it up, and downloaded PCMatic to see how scammy they were.

The result? Well, they were not as scammy as I thought they would be. The program, to my surprise, didn’t detect any viruses. It simply suggested a few tweaks to my registry, suggested some adjustments to my internet settings that promised to speed up internet speed and recommended I defrag my hard drive. Otherwise, my computer was in pretty good shape.

That's still too expensive!
So I had to dig deeper to find the dirt on these people so here is the truth: ANYTHING that promises to “keep your drivers updated” or “scans your registry” or tweaks your internet for more performance is snake oil. Here at the shop, we “tweak” registry settings and occasionally update a faulty driver when necessary but no one needs to mess with these things unless you know what you are doing. One could argue that these tweaks are almost necessary if you are running Windows XP but modern operating systems like Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 take care of these tweaks for you.  

PCMatic claims they are the best antivirus in the world based on tests run by an independent antivirus testing agency named Virus Bulletin (virusbtn.com).The truth? They don't expect anyone to actually look at the testing. They actually received average scores for wil virus protection but they had far too many false positives. The fact is they were far from the “best” of anything.

(see https://www.virusbtn.com/vb100/archive/test?recent=1)

Finally, the price. They want $50.00 per year. Here’s the truth: Home users do not need to purchase antivirus anymore (business users are a different story). There are free programs that offer highly rated virus protection such as AVG, Avast and Panda. Supplement those with some “second opinion” malware scanners such as Malwarebytes Anti-malware and Superantispyware and your computer and your wallet will be in pretty good shape.

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