Uniblue Products: Commercial-ware vs. Freeware


Essential Member
Freeware verses crapware: Optimization programs.

Hello everyone,
Starting today, I’ll be writing a series of articles on the comparisons of freeware, crapware and commercial software, and how freeware often times comes out on top.

For my first article, I decided to compare the Uniblue PowerSuite series of programs to freeware alternatives such as CCleaner.

Up front, Uniblue is known notoriously for advertising all of the web. Probably 60% of websites you visit have some form of ad associated with Uniblue. That’s fine, but the false claims made on these advertisements are one of the only contributing factors that lead to the sales of their programs. “Boost performance by up to 300%, free scan – Click Here” is among a group of common ads that appear everywhere. That’s a pretty big promise: Our program will make your PC 300% faster. OK Sounds great, I even get a free scan. Yeah, it’s great until you find out the software costs $59 a year.

Just how much of the claims does Uniblue’s PowerSuite deliver on? I’ve ran this program several times on client’s PC’s and always have people asking about it. I simply tell them “I’ll take care of it with an alternative”. Why? Because the software isn’t worth $5 let alone $60. In the most severe situation, the client’s PC had around 30 000 registry errors and 10 outdated drivers. After running the Uniblue PowerSuite, their performance increase was largely un-noticed. While it serves a purpose, the purpose is useless and there is very little to no performance benefit, which is a far cry from their “up to 300% increase”.

As a matter of fact, it would be more efficient to download a few freeware alternatives than to even click the Uniblue ad in the first place. Here’s a quick evaluation of what the PowerSuite is capable of:
Driver Updates
Disk Cleanup
Registry Cleanup
Minor Performance tweaks
Having the convenience of a program do these things for you is not worth $60 a year.
For disk cleanup, there is an unprecedented variety of freeware programs available, but one that really stands out and is known world wide with over 600 million downloads is CCleaner, from Piriform. This program is very powerful and allows for deep cleaning of only the parts of your PC that you select. In addition, it also has a mediocre registry cleaner (and for all the good registry cleaners are anyway, that’s excellent), an uninstall manager (allowing also for customization of installation entries) and a startup manager (allowing you to create, disable and delete entries). The startup manager is especially useful for increasing the startup and overall speed of your PC, I highly recommend you check that section out when using CCleaner. So for $0.00, this program has already beat the registry and disk cleanup functions of PowerSuite.

Next on the list is minor performance tweaks. This can be done easily within Windows without the need of any third party software. Open your system properties and navigate to the Performance tab, here you can turn off a few graphical enhancements that power Windows (and just to let you know, unless your PC is 10 years old, you’ll see no benefit from doing so, with that in mind, it renders another function of PowerSuite a useless scam.) However a second feature offered in PowerSuite is service optimization, which even the most powerful of PC’s can benefit from. Unfortunately, PowerSuite disables very few of the possible services, which earns it another broken promise from me. The DIY method is less convenient but way more effective. Visit this website Service Configurations | Black Viper's Website | www.blackviper.com and select your OS for a complete list of services and different optimal configurations. Now press Win+R to bring up the Run dialog, type “services.msc” and pres enter. Follow the instructions on the site and setup the services according to your needs. Depending on how powerful your PC is, you could see a significant benefit from this.

Driver updates, however are a sketchier topic, with few freeware programs being available. The reality is, driver updates really aren’t important to the average user and will only need to be carried out when experiencing problems such as crashes or graphic problems, and these updates will typically be delivered via Windows Update or from your PC manufacturer. However, if you’re a tech enthusiast, the free program “Device Doctor” offers an efficient and user friendly method of updating your drivers. PowerSuite does the same thing of course… For $60 a year.

In conclusion, the paid solution offered by Uniblue should only appeal to computer illiterate people and should be ignored also by them. Freeware alternatives with even more functions and better methodologies are a clear winner on this one. Stay tuned soon for another article. While Uniblue carries the Microsoft Gold Certified partnership, don't let this fool you. At the end of the day, this program would likely cause more traverse effects than any of the alternatives listed above.

Any suggestions for the next subject? Please reply :)

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