All About Mac Utilities
In order for your computer to run smoothly, you need more than just a good configuration. No matter how good the components are and how new, fast and powerful your computer is when you first purchase it, it’s not going to stay like that forever.
Just like with any other item, computers also need a lot of maintenance, in order to keep running at their best capacity.
After years of wear out, browsing the Internet, endlessly installing and uninstalling programs, moving around files and folders, downloading stuff and so on, you will notice the effects. Your system will get slower and less efficient with time. That’s where utility software springs into action.
Utility software is a program/app that helps your computer work better. There are a lot of types of utility software, depending on what part of your computer it focuses on: the operating system, data storage, hardware and so on. There are apps that clean up your junk files from your Mac and free up the space on your hard drive. Others may detect apps that are running unnecessary in the background, slowing down your system and help you optimize it. There are programs that detect malware, viruses, bloatware and so on, that help you recover lost data or protect sensitive information. The list goes on…
All computers usually come with built-in utility tools and Macs make no exception. Some examples are: Console, Disk Utility, AirPort Utility, Keychain Access, Activity Monitor and others.
But these integrated tools are not always as efficient as utility software developed by third-parties. However, you shouldn’t expect miracles from any program. Although you will experience an increase in performance after using them, none of them has the ability to make your computer behave like it is brand new again.
Here are some of the most common types of utility software:
- Antivirus utilities
- Disk cleaners
- Disk cloning utilities
- Backup utilities
- Cryptographic utilities (they let you encrypt files and folders for increased protection)
- Memory testers
- System monitors (they monitor the performance and resources)
- Network utilities
Mac Utilities - What to Look For
There are a lot of apps out there that claim they can boost your Mac’s performance. While some of them can be tested for free and don’t cost you anything, a lot of them are paid apps, so you should be careful what you pay for.
You should always try the free apps first and only if they prove to be worthless, go for the paid ones. Also, the good news is that most of the paid apps also have trial versions, so you can test the product before you buy.
When looking for utility apps for your Mac, you can either install specific apps that can perform specific tasks: cleaning apps, data recovery apps, encryption apps, backup apps, security apps and so on, or choose a suite that incorporates all of them.
No matter which option you choose, you should pay attention to some essential aspects when searching for the right utility app. The most important ones are:
- cost vs. quality
- ease of use
- how the customer support is for that specific app
Here are some of the best choices we could find:
Mac backup software:
Data Backup, Carbon Copy Cloner, Acronis True Image, SuperDuper, ChronoSync
Mac recovery software:
EaseUS, Stellar Phoenix, Prosoft Data Rescue, Disk Drill Pro, Wondershare, Cisdem DataRecovery
Mac encryption software:
Concealar, Hider 2, Espionage 3, MacKeeper, Data Guardian 3
“All-in-one” Mac utility software:
MacKeeper, OnyX, iDoctor, Data Rescue 3, Stellar Drive ToolBox