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Oooga-booga!

| You've seen the slightly geeky-looking guy on TV, telling you about "new technology" that lets you speed up your computer without having to "drop it off at some store." This is followed by glowing testimonials, veritable encomiums, by supposed customers that their computers now run "100% faster" yadda yadda yadda.

Tonight I decided to bite and went to maxmyspeed.com to check it out. Naturally, you have to download a software program and install it. Then it begins, skipping over the step where you get to choose what to scan, exposing that screen for perhaps 1/2 second.

With scanning hardly begun, the count of "issues" was over 30,000!

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When the scan was complete, MaxMySpeed reported nearly 131,000 so-called issues.

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Oooga-booga! Be afraid!

Now, you have to realize that I run a registry scan and repair every single day, a scan that may find two or three errors. 888 registry errors! I think not!

Similarly, those 126,670 privacy-exposing items must be cause for concern! Not. I watched carefully while the program was running and what those "privacy-exposing items" really consist of is my browsers' caches of visited URLs. Yes, someone could, conceivably, use that history to tell something about me, but the fact is I find that history very useful, as in when you know you saw something at a site but you can't remember the name of the site.

Let's say you fall for these scare tactics and click on "Fix All Issues and Speed Up Your PC!" — surprise, surprise, you'll be taken to a page where you can fork over $40 for the version of the program that will actually fix things.

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No way would I let that thing loose to delete 130000+ items from my computer! Many system utilities include functions for "optimizing" Windows, and I once made the mistake of letting PC Tools Registry Mechanic do so. Thank goodness for system restore!

A second opinion

I chose to get a second opinion on the health of my computer by running two programs that I use religiously: the aforementioned PC Tools Registry Mechanic and Spybot Search & Destroy.

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Spybot found 22 issues, all of them associated with browsers, namely cookies that track websites that I have been to. Have you ever noticed that after visiting the Radio Shack site to look for batteries for your phone you suddenly see adds for batteries on every search page and in the advertising sections of almost every page you visit? These tracking cookies are the culprits that make that possible. Unfortunately, short of setting your browser to refuse all cookies, it's impossible to avoid them; the best you can do is run regularly a program like Spybot to wipe them out.

Oh, and the 888 registry issues? Registry Mechanic found three (3)!

Alternate conclusion

One could look at these results and conclude that MaxMySpeed is better at sussing out problems than the programs I use, and therefore, I should be making the switch. But — I have a lot more confidence in my programs, ones I've used for years and years, than in a "as-seen-on-TV" product from a website that doesn't even identify who or what USTechSupport really is.

My conclusion: MaxMySpeed is just a cash-cow scam, preying on low-technology-information folks.

Last updated on Apr 13, 2018

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