REVIEW: Advanced System Care Pro 8

Category: Software

Version 8.0 of Advanced SystemCare (ASC) by IObit Software, one of my favorite system maintenance programs, was released in mid-November. After running this major update for a couple of weeks, I am pleased to report that it is a significant improvement of an already great program. Here's my review of this free PC maintenance tool...

What's NEW in ASC 8 Free?

First of all, Advanced SystemCare 8 is remarkably faster than ever before. It blazed through my usual selection of maintenance tasks in two-thirds of the time that previous versions needed. The “one-click” simplicity of launching multiple tune-up/clean-up operations is as satisfying as ever.

But behind the big blue “scan” button are more options than ever before, if you’re the kind of user who likes to tweak every setting. ASC has more ways to skin a cat than a taxidermist; they’re organized on tabs and in tree-like menus.

Newly added is a “Protect” tab which includes options to protect your browser’s home page and default search engine from hijacking, and toggles real-time Surfing Protection on or off.

IObit ASC 8 Free

The new Performance Monitor shows the cooling fan speed plus temperatures of CPU, motherboard, and video card. One-click performance boost and screenshots are available. A Plugin/Toolbar Cleaner has been added to detect and optionally delete unwanted additions to your browser. The Startup Manager module has been rebuilt to provide one-click optimization of startup items; some unnecessary services will be disabled while the loading of others will be delayed. SmartDefrag has been renamed “Disk Optimization.” It now includes optimization of solid-state drives and one-click optimization of multiple drives.

The cookie crushing module that was misnamed “malware threats” is now called “tracking threats.” That’s still a bit of a misnomer; the module treats harmless local cookies and potentially invasive third-party cookies the same.

The “System Reinforce” tab identifies weaknesses in your Windows configuration that could allow hackers to gain access to your system, and gives you the option to correct them selectively or all together.

For a “limited time” that’s lasted a very long time now, the Pro version of ASC is available for only $19.99. It enables options such as a RAM cleaner, Registry Cleaner, Disk Cleaner, and Win Fix – a module that analyzes your Windows configuration and suggests tweaks that can boost performance or fix common problems. A new malware detection and removal system is in the Pro version, too.

The Price of Free

ASC is a capable maintenance and tune-up utility, but there are things I wish it would do differently. Differentiating between third-party cookies and local cookies is one of them; I don’t like losing the local cookies that help personalized a site when I shed the tracking cookies planted by ad networks. Currently, I’d have to manually specify every cookie I want to keep.

Some of the messages displayed after a scan are unnecessarily alarming. I was greeted with "1023 PROBLEMS FOUND" but when I clicked for more details, it was simply a matter of 1023 "junk" files in the Recycle Bin.

ASC also told me on Action Center tab that I was "Not fully protected by 3rd party anti-spyware program" and advised me to install IObit Malware Fighter 2. I've already got Avast Antivirus and MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, so my guess is this is simply a ploy to get people to install the free version of Malware Fighter, with the hope that they'll be persuaded to upgrade to a paid PRO version.

After first installing ASC, I was urged to install a companion program called Driver Booster. I declined, because I've always advised against using "driver update" programs, unless you are having trouble with a specific hardware component. Even so, after running the initial scan, ASC told me "11 Outdated Drivers found" and once more urged me to install Driver Booster. I upgraded this PC from XP to Windows 7 back in April, and did all the driver updates recommended by Microsoft at that time. I noted that there is a paid upgrade to Driver Booster PRO, so again, perhaps that's the real reason IObit wants me to have the freebie.

Oh, and I was also informed that there were "DIsk Optimization Issues found." And guess what? There's a handy free tool called Smart Defrag 3 that'll fix the problem. Do you think there's a Smart Defrag PRO available? Yup.

The Bottom Line: Yours, Mine and IObit's

I don't mean to diminish the good things that ASC 8 offers by mentioning these drawbacks. Overall, version 8 of ASC is a major improvement in a fine program. I'm just cautioning that you should expect plenty of upsell pitches when you install any free software.

Most people won't need the paid versions of ASC and all its companion programs to keep their computers running smoothly. But if you think the paid features of a PRO version are compelling, or you just want to support the efforts of a company that gives away a ton of free quality software, then go for it.

Your thoughts on Advanced SystemCare by IObit are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

 
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This article was posted by on 4 Dec 2014


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Most recent comments on "REVIEW: Advanced System Care Pro 8"

(See all 30 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Mack
04 Dec 2014

I have use ASC for years I think since it first started. I recently updated to v.8 works great I also have smart defrag, latest version, also It does keep me runing well, I also use Avast antivirus and Malwarebytes Anti Malware all with excellent results.


Posted by:

Joe Bosch
04 Dec 2014

Liked the review Bob. However, trying to download from the IObot website results in a redirect to CNET. Unless there is another way of obtaining the application, I'll pass for now. CNET's reputation is the repelling issue.


Posted by:

Narada
04 Dec 2014

IObit Software, a Chinese company, has several times downloaded unsolicited programs (no small print default checked boxes) on my PC along with an intentional download, which several AV scanners have flagged as malware. MBAM has found that they stole software from them.
https://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?/topic/29681-iobit-steals-malwarebytes-intellectual-property/

Glen's account above of the Geek Squad saying ASC does not do what it claims is totally consistent with their unintegrous behavior.


Posted by:

RandiO
04 Dec 2014

@GlennSharp >> One should never start a comment with "...been told by a Best Buy Geek Squad tech..." especially (or even inadvertently) putting Mr. Rankin's credibility at doubt! I'd personally venture even further by stating that BestBuy is a rip-off and their GeekSquad are for those who are clooless about computers. I don't think neither types of consumers would be the kind that visit this great site. I don't mean to trawl or flame; but...


Posted by:

rick harbour
04 Dec 2014

I had this once,and it did pretty darn good. BUT i started having trouble. IObit was popping up in regisrty giving me fits! So i completely got rid of it. I`m using CCleaner Has option`s i like,and does a marvelous job.


Posted by:

Robert Stewart
04 Dec 2014

I use ASC Ultimate 7, seems to do good but I can do the 'Registry Fix' and it will 'fix' a lot of Registry Errors yet if I do it again right away it will state it has 'fixed' another quantity of Registry Errors so it makes me think it ain't absolutely great. I also use Bit Defender Total Security and when I Optimize the Registry Cleanup then use ASC Ultimate 7 it 'fixes' more 'Registry Errors'...


Posted by:

Tony
05 Dec 2014

Thanks! Good Info! I wonder if you would consider doing a similar review or look into YAC (Yet Another Cleaner) http://www.yac.mx/

Kind regards
T


Posted by:

intelligencia
05 Dec 2014

IObit is the same company that allegedly stole the "Intellectual Property" of Malwarebytes several years back!

EDITOR'S NOTE: I've read the IOBit/MBAM story, which dates back to 2009. According to the MBAM wikipedia page, IOBit was using the MBAM virus database in their product without permission. IOBit denies their claim, and the the issue was resolved in IOBit's ASC v1.3 product. They're now at V7, and there have been no reports since 2009 of any more database issues. Yes, IOBit is a Chinese company, and China has different views on copyrights and intellectual property. But as far as I can tell, they've mended their ways and are "playing nice" for the past 5 years.


Posted by:

Alex S.
05 Dec 2014

Hi Bob,

I'm not sure if I'm the Only one, but every time I updated to ASC 8, my computer slowed down, and then certain programs started crashing...as soon as I uninstalled it...problem solved.


Posted by:

BOB K.
05 Dec 2014

Wow! What a timely piece. My Windows 7 machine was acting rather sluggish of late, and I've been searching for some kind of system care software. Advanced System Care did the trick. Now, my machine is running like new again, and I only downloaded the free version. I can't thank you enough Bob!


Posted by:

Michtrixie
05 Dec 2014

I've used the Pro ASC on all my computers for several years and install the free version on my friends' computers, telling them when the little guy isn't smiling it's time to run the scan. Also, sharewareonsale.com has ASC Pro 8 (no updates/tech support & only for home/personal use) free for the next 2 days and are also offering Advanced ASC Pro 8 with free upgrades/tech support for only $8 for the next 3 days. Both of these can be installed on three computers. When the license expires, ASC always offers a good discount to renew. I've never paid full price.


Posted by:

Scotty Weir
05 Dec 2014

I have used the free version of ASC for several years now and have nothing but praise for the program. Need the little smiley face back on the performance monitor to remind me to do a scan.


Posted by:

Les Rogers
05 Dec 2014

Great place to be @ bob rankin.
Thanks Bob for many great columns.


Advanced system care has been my "saviour" for ever as I can remember.

It is the greatest of the
Jack of all trades and master of none apps.

But really works .

As does this latest version.

Thanks Bob.


Posted by:

Ken
05 Dec 2014

Bob! Just to express my great appreciation of what you are doing. The average computer user has no idea how good a program like ASC is and if it is good, does it allow itself to be used by the less honorable. I have liked ASC ever since I found it but have always worried if I was taking a big chance letting it into my machine. Ken


Posted by:

JKeenan
06 Dec 2014

Found that the review fitted well with my experience. No apparent problems but always that disturbing last note from the free version., i.e., there are "other" problems that COULD BE RESOLVED with the paid version. For that reason I prefer Glary's Utilities which does its job, better or worse than iObit and DONE.


Posted by:

John F williams
11 Dec 2014

I have used ASC. It is a life saver for my 2 grandchildren. (14, 16). I put it on their laptops and now with the use of ASC, they do not have any problems with laptops. I use it weekly and am well pleased with product.


Posted by:

Joshua Warren
16 Dec 2014

I used the ASC free version since forever and have always loved the way it kept my computers running smoothly. Last month, I upgraded to the Ultimate 7 (paid) version because I had always wanted to "give back" and they offered me a great 3-pc deal that was hard to say no to.

I also use BitDefender Total Security 2015 and it gets along well with ASC, as do some other programs like Malwarebytes and Glary Utilities.

My issues with ASC mirror those already mentioned, especially the constant marketing push of the IObit Malware Fighter and Driver Booster programs. I also don't like the redirect to CNET's download page.

Bottom line: ASC for me is a MUST HAVE program that does a great job keeping my computers running well. Just be aware of the relatively few negatives associated with it. I am well pleased with the product and recommend it to anyone with a computer.


Posted by:

ken R
29 Dec 2014

I had been using ASC for about a year and I liked it but it didn't seem to get a long with Avast on my pc.
On my wife's laptop running a Norton Suite and ASC,ASC seemed to find far more problems when a scan was run. A sad smiley face every day. And then she brought it to a computer tech. He said that ASC was to blame, that it was deleting needed Windows registries. He had to reinstall the operating system.
I have read that Microsoft doesn't support the use of registry cleaners for this reason.
I still have ASC on my pc.
Bob, Please comment on this post.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I doubt that ASC was causing the problem. Computer techs are often quick to blame software that they don't like, for whatever reason.


Posted by:

Gary
17 Feb 2015

I've spent the last three days trying to remove a virus which ASC 8 flagged up. Something trying to redirect my default search engine to "http://feed.helperbar.com" whilst also trying to install a Firefox "adsremoval" add-on.

I'm now convinced it's the IObit software which has been behind this.


Posted by:

Rob
31 Aug 2015

I have been using ASC almost since it's inception. At first there were a lot of problems, which are to be expected. Iobit now seems to have gotten it right. The last few upgrades work almost perfectly for me. That's why I started paying for the pro version a few years ago. My only super complaint with ASC now is the fact that during any update/upgrade, Iobit's Uninstaller is added without my permission. If they would stop the sneaky installation, I would be a very happy camper. I always uninstall it as I use Revo Uninstaller, (which is also free) to remove any programs I no longer want or need.

I'm also leery of the optimizers. When I tried them during the first few years of using ASC, they caused a lot of problems. Not something I'll forget easily.

All in all, ASC has been a lifesaver for me over many years and I really appreciate the effort Iobit puts into making this program better and better with each new upgrade.


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