ZoneAlarm PC Tune-up
• Dramatically increases startup speeds
• Speed disk & disk doctor tools are great additions
• Easy to install
• Reports of the disk defragmentation crashing Windows 7 computers
• You have to uninstall any previous versions of Norton utilities.
Although not in the number one spot for utilities suites, Norton Utilities 15 is still a top-of-the-line software package. One of the better known brand names in computer security, Norton presents a professional product at a reasonable price with this latest version of Norton Utilities. From the Registry Defragmenter to the UnErase Wizard, it provides useful tools to keep your computer running smoothly. With the built in registry defragmenter and disk-error check, it is a whiz bang deal especially for those who are a little less computer savvy.
With a strong background in protection and security, Symantec (Norton) keeps their track record strong with this updated version of their utilities suite. Norton Utilities 15 is a stand-alone product to be used in conjunction with other protection and security software to keep your computer up to date and providing the highest performance possible.
Installation with Norton can be very simple or very complex. If this is the first time a user has installed a Norton product, it should go very smoothly. A routine “point and click” procedure for installation provides the user with practically fail-proof setup. Unfortunately, if you have a previous version of Norton Utilities already installed you will be forced to uninstall it prior to setting up the latest version. Upon setup, Norton Utilities main interface is self-explanatory and laid out in a clear and easy to understand manner.
With the ability to recover once lost files, fix hard drive errors, repair the registry and even perform a full System Restore, Norton Utilities 15 sets a higher bar for system integrity than competing utility suites. The Registry Monitor can potentially help applications launch faster, as well as give the user notice when repairs are needed. To prevent crashes and loss of information, the Disk Doctor runs routinely to check for hard drive errors. Housed all in one utility suite, these tools are easy to utilize and handy when unexpected issues occur.
Norton Utilities 15 offers excellent tools to optimize your system. For example, the Startup Manager helps you control which programs load, quickening the boot process, while the Speed Disk feature increases defragmentation performance.
The Smart Update features pre-scheduled automatic updates, while having to ability to update “now” at the touch of a button, so it’s easy to maintain an up-to-date utility suite. A plus is the ability to schedule error checks and the defragmenting of the system registry, as well as both internal and external hard drives – your computer’s health can be maintained without the need to interrupt your real work.
The Disk Cleaner feature allows peace of mind by permanently deleting hidden records or files that could be targeted by cybercriminals. As an additional security feature, Norton Utilities 15 routinely removes previously stored passwords on your system, including those in your Internet browser. This is a security feature to protect you from unwanted password retrieval by outsiders, but to some it can be an irritant if they don’t have those passwords memorized or stored elsewhere.
Norton UnErase – This is a utility that many have wished for in the past. One-click retrieval allows the user to restore files previously thought lost forever. While Norton Utilities 15 spouts that this is a true data recovery tool that would retrieve files deleted even from the Recycle Bin, the verdict is still out. After many tests, mixed reviews have been found. It has been found to truly recover files even if deleted from the recycle bin, but not every single time with every single file. There is also the knowledge that if Norton Utilities 15’s Disk Cleaner feature has been used since the file was deleted, then it truly has been permanently deleted without chance of recovery.
Registry Monitor – This feature not only gives the user notice when the registry is in need of repair, but can also increase the launch-speed and performance of applications.
Ease of Use
From the ease of installation, to making updates and defragmentation conveniently automatic so those necessary maintenance items actually get done, Norton Utilities 15 is great for a novice PC user. Professional applications in layman’s terms allow this to be a utility suite useful to both home and experienced professional users.
Help & Support
Historically, Symantec has not been known for excellent telephone customer service. Jumping through hoops and being transferred ten times before getting to a representative can be frustrating to say the least, but their updated online chat feature has changed how their support is viewed. Simply log in from the Norton support website and you can quickly and easily chat with knowledgeable support personnel via instant message through the chat manager. With the newer and easier-to-use chat program, Norton support has raised their rankings from bad to good.
Features like the Startup Manager, Disk Cleaner and Registry Monitor make Norton Utilities 15 stand out among the competitors: its professional edge yet simplistic layout make it a shoe-in for novice users. Although lacking some security tools other utility suites include, Norton Utilities 15 remains a well-rounded package that covers many of the most sought-after features. With competitive pricing, especially when bundled with other Symantec programs, it is sure to remain one of the most popular utility suites available.
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