Yesterday I gave a short insight into how you can use FixMeStick to help protect your computer from viruses. But what I didn’t mention is whether it is a solution that justifies its cost – $59.99 – or not.
Today, having now used the USB security device, here is my FixMeStick review.
What is FixMeStick?
FixMeStick is a USB based security solution designed to help you overcome computer viruses. There are two main scenarios for its use – either your existing AV or internet security program has let you down, or you don’t have any such protection installed in the first place.
Normally such circumstances would force you into using a bootable CD with some sort of rescue software on it but not all of you may feel comfortable in using or creating such a thing in the first place.
FixMeStick is therefore an ideal solution for those of you who are not overly tech savvy which I would guess means somewhere around half of all this site’s readers.
With this USB stick you can either get going from within Windows if thats still possible or you can plug it in and simply start your computer up and then select it from the boot menu that you’ll see appear. After this it is a very simple case of scanning your computer for infections just as I pointed out yesterday. This scanning process utilises 3 different engines, all from well known and respected security companies – Sophos, Kaspersky and GFI (Vipre).
What are the system requirements?
You may be pleased to hear that the minimum system requirements are very low indeed:
- A PC!
- Any version of Windows or Linux
- A USB port
- At least 512MB of RAM
and thats it!
Does it work well?
In a word yes.
The initial scan did take some time – 1 hour and 57 minutes on my system – but was very thorough indeed.
When it came to rootkits it performed flawlessly, detecting each and every one. With other malware samples its success rate wasn’t as high as 100% but it was certainly comparable to other antivirus solutions out there, including the ones you have to pay for.
Are there any issues to be aware of?
Not now (unless, like me, you get annoyed by USB caps that don’t fit on the other end of the stick).
You may have heard of some issues with previous versions whereby some critical files could accidentally get quarantined. This is now a thing of the past though (I was using version 126.96.36.199) as an infected file will only be quarantined if all 3 engines not only flag it but fail to clean it too.
Should I buy one?
The million dollar question.
And, just like all the questions I get about which security solution to buy, there isn’t a simple yes or no answer here – it depends entirely on your skill with a computer.
If you know what you are doing and are comfortably burning CDs and opening up ISOs, etc then there are alternatives available that won’t cost you a cent. In comparison to those, FixMeStick is definitely extremely overpiced for what it is.
On the other hand, if you, or someone you know, is a technophobe then FixMeStick may be an absolute godsend. With many of today’s viruses adapting to beat the latest antivirus programs some people may, quite literally, find it impossible to disinfect their system. For those people $59.99 for this product represents quite a bargain when you consider its theres to keep and can be used on up to 3 different machines in any given month. Compare that to the price of getting PC help or support from your local store!
For that reason I have given FixMeStick 5 stars as that is what it I believe it warrants when you consider its target market – it does exactly what it says it will, effortlessly and simply, in a way that will please the type of person who would be interested in it in the first place.
So if you, or a friend, is a non-techie, try this out but do remember to install a good quality antivirus program once you are up and running again.