Overview of MacKeeper
MacKeeper is a ‘utility software’ owned by Kromtech Alliance and since inception the company has launched 5 versions of MacKeeper. In addition to a free trial and a 14-day money-back guarantee, we were delighted with the range of utility features the product offers.
As it is a Mac-only product, you won’t find many features that are part of cross-platform software like Bitdefender. Based on the features, utility tools, antivirus protection, and pricing available from Intego, we feel MacKeeper certainly has room for improvement.
How to Set It Up and Uninstall
Installing the product is straightforward and doesn’t take much time (unless you have a slow Internet connection). However, uninstalling it completely from the system can be challenging at times.
1) Go to the official website and download the installer package.
2) Once downloaded, open the file and follow the prompts on the screen.
3) Enter the activation code and proceed. Note: MacKeeper download time depends on the speed of your internet. The deployment time takes approximately five minutes after all the necessary data downloads from the company’s servers.
4) Once it is successfully installed, you should see a Start Scan button at the bottom of the screen.
You can uninstall the product by doing the following:
1) Quit/Close the MacKeeper application.
2) Drag the icon on your desktop to Trash.
3) Enter the device password and click OK.
4) Clear the Trash and Restart the device.
We were pleasantly surprised by the sheer number of features MacKeeper offers irrespective of the plan. The product’s features can be classified into four major categories – Privacy, Security, Cleaning, and Performance.
Compared to other products, the features that specifically stand out are ID Theft Guard, an unlimited VPN, Ad and Tracking blocker, and Track My Mac. Additional cleanup and optimization features are top-notch, but the product misses out on security features like a Virtual Keyboard and a Password Manager.
|Money-back Guarantee||Yes, up to 14 days from the date of purchase.|
|USD Virus Scans||No|
|Automated Virus Scans||Yes|
Like any other antivirus software, you get the option to run a full scan or a custom scan. The antivirus engine provides triple-layer protection and can detect adware, Trojan, worms, ransomware, and other threats in real-time. The initial scan takes some time, which is acceptable, but the program consumes a lot of system memory compared to other lightweight products like Total AV.
The device scanner is another handy feature that scans and helps clear duplicate as well as junk files. We weren’t impressed with the USB scanner as it didn’t start on its own, and we had to run a custom scan.
Considering the price, it’s a major drawback given we can get this feature even with low-priced antivirus software like 360 Total Security.
|Plan||Price||Number of Devices|
|MacKeeper 24-Month Plan||$118.80||1||Identity Protection, Unlimited VPN, Real-Time Antivirus Protection.|
|MacKeeper 12-Month Plan||$95.40||1||Unlimited VPN, File Shredder, Device Cleaner.|
|MacKeeper 6-Month Plan||$59.64||1||Duplicate File Scanner, Tracking Protection, Data Encryption.|
|MacKeeper 1-Month Plan||$14.95||1||Antivirus, Malware Protection, Adware Protection|
The company has been generous with discounts, yet end up to be on the higher side of the pricing graph.
One good thing about MacKeeper is that you get all the features irrespective of the plan chosen.There are no individual packages, just one product with different monthly subscriptions. The longer you subscribe, the bigger the savings.
For instance, the 1-month plan costs $14.95 and a 6-month plan is billed at $59.64, instead of $89.70. New customers get a 33% discount on the total cost for a 6-month plan, 46% on a 12-month subscription, and 66% on a 24-month plan.
Privacy and Security
MacKeeper offers multi-layered online privacy protection. You can block trackers and ads effectively and easily. The data encryption and VPN makes sure all of your data is protected online. The VPN is good and features over 60 servers. Most importantly, there are no data limitations or extra charges like those you encounter with PC Protect.
The ID Theft Guard feature checks your accounts for data breach, alerts you around the clock if your private data goes public, and notifies you to update the weak and old passwords. It is a highly capable feature that will keep you safe during online shopping/banking.
MacKeeper protects you from the worst online threats—spyware, adware, malware, and more. You will get daily security updates as well as constant malware protection. The Track My App feature helps you lock your Mac remotely and track its location for extra security. The built-in Adware Cleaner quickly and effortlessly detects and deletes these malicious ads.
We found that the product doesn’t offer anti-phishing, anti-spam, or email protection which you can find with brands like ESET and Avast. Unfortunately, there are no recent laboratory test results that can validate all its capabilities.
Performance and Protection
According to the manufacturers, MacKeeper has 17 powerful tools for keeping your devices safe and optimized. The program eats up a lot of system resources compared to most brands. Still, we valued the optimization features, especially the update tracker and clean up tools for quick removal of junk and duplicate files. The antivirus offers decent protection but doesn’t rank up to the likes of Kaspersky and Norton.
It has decent malware protection that works in real-time. The multi-layered security can detect and remove threats round the clock. The scanner is part of the Security feature-set and offers custom and manual scans. Unfortunately, you do not have the option to set-up scheduled scans.
Based on the tests we ran, we concluded that the product can protect your device from malware, but its efficiency poses a big question.
The real-time engine can detect ransomware fairly effortlessly and additional tools like a VPN, browser extension for Chrome & Safari, and Data Encryption keep you protected. We felt that the company should have added more features for ransomware detection. It misses out on a firewall, anti-spam, and other similar features. There are a lot of utility tools, but ransomware security fails to hit the spot.
We would choose a lab-certified product like Kaspersky or Bitdefender instead of MacKeeper when it comes to ransomware detection.
The antivirus helps to protect consumer privacy by preventing phishing-related malware and spyware. By doing so, consumers can easily browse and transact without any concerns regarding their data. So far no third party anti-phishing checks have been performed on MacKeeper.
Additionally, the software doesn’t come with dedicated anti-phishing features like Secure Pay from Trend Micro. When it comes to phishing protection for Mac, we think there isn’t a match to what Total AV offers.
MacKeeper has a built-in system to stop ads and tracking codes from analyzing your online behavior. The StopAd feature blocks web trackers that follow you online. We appreciated the no-capping VPN feature which gives you the option to choose from 60+ virtual servers. You can browse and transact online with high-grade data encryption.
The software, however, falls short of offering complete spyware protection because of missing features like a virtual keyboard or anti-rootkit protection.
There is no enhanced firewall feature with MacKeeper. Other than the VPN, you don’t have anything else in terms of advanced privacy. Identity Theft is a built-in feature that does a fair job of protecting your personal data from cyberattacks. Wi-Fi protection is a good-to-have feature included in all plans.
Still, if you are looking for advanced features like custom rules and two-way monitoring, we suggest that you check out the intelligent firewall feature for Mac from Intego.
Lab Test Results
MacKeeper hasn’t been part of any independent lab tests since 2017. This is one of the negatives that overshadow the many positives of the product. As of May 2019, five major updates have been rolled out for the product. The earlier updates (version 1.0 and 2.0) had received mixed reviews from customers and independent labs. In 2010, MacWorld had awarded the product 3.5/5 stars, while MacLife rated it 2.5/5 stars.
The company last appeared in the July 2015 Mac Security Test and Review certification by AV-Comparatives and was pitched against 9 other products. 105 samples were used in this test, and MacKeeper was able to block 98%. However, it didn’t receive an APPROVED certification in this test and was the only product to not make the cut-off.
We found that the company’s performance further deteriorated in the June 2017 AV-Test (Product Review Report for Mac Antivirus). It was only able to detect 85.9% of 184 samples of widespread and prevalent malware, while the industry average was 97.5%.
The antivirus scored a total of 12/18 on three parameters – Protection (0/6), Performance (6/6), and Usability (6/6) in this test. This score was way behind top-performers like Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and Norton which were able to score 18/18.
Ease of Use and Interface
One benefit of this software is that it is extremely easy to use. Setup requires just a few minutes after downloading the file from the website. You can control most of the features with a single click. The most common problem is uninstalling the product, however, a detailed guide provided by the company helps guide users through most of the hurdles.
The interface is pretty clean with all the utilities placed in the sidebar to the left. On the right is the integrated live chat, which again shows the company’s understanding of user experience. The icons and the titles of the features are easy to grasp.
You'll remember, on a different note, the proliferation of pop-ups and dialog boxes that constantly cry for your attention. We admired the minimalist, sleek, and attractive interface as well as the neat arrangement of everything within a couple of clicks.
We think it has a great interface – one which is intuitive and easy to use. However, the array of features might get overwhelming for novice users. If you are looking for an easier interface without compromising on features, we recommend checking out F-Secure.
The company has various customer support options, including – (a) 24/7 live chat, (b) email support, and (c) 24/7 phone and technical support. While the software is available in 18+ languages, support is only provided in English (an obvious downside for International customers).
We were extremely pleased with the integrated live chat feature embedded directly within the dashboard, a feature that you can’t find even from the leading brands. You can call the listed phone numbers by region (UK, USA, and Australia) or opt for a Skype call. Besides this support, you will find detailed FAQs, user guides, set up and feature usage guides, and much more within the company’s vast library of online resources.
MacKeeper isn’t BBB accredited, but it has a claimed profile on Trustpilot. They have a 4.7/5 TrustScore based on 1,136 reviews which speak volumes about their prompt and efficient customer service.
Customer support is one aspect where we weren’t disappointed with the product after we received prompt and definitive responses across all mediums.