Today I’ll share with you some tips on how to give your Mac top maintenance using just one app called MacKeeper. You will learn how to:
- protect your Mac from theft
- encrypt, recover and backup data on your Mac
- clean up your Mac
- keep your apps up to date
Protect your Mac from Theft
If you are a Mac geek, then for sure you wouldn’t want to lose your Mac or, even worse, have it stolen from you. Being careful and attentive won’t hurt in any case, but for extra security better install specialized anti-theft software. The MacKeeper bundle includes the Anti-Theft service as well.
How it works?
1. You should enable Anti-Theft when you install MacKeeper. But before doing this you should create a ZeoBIT account and log in to the app using this account. Please note that all personal details are erased from my screenshots for the sake of security.
2. You will also need Internet connection for proper work of Anti-Theft and should enter your Mac user password to enable Anti-Theft, as its components are installed to the system folder:
3. Once Anti-Theft is on, it will start tracking down your Mac’s location using the Wi-Fi details. The MacKeeperATd background process can be seen in Activity Monitor and is launched/relaunched automatically by the system (root). The location reports are sent by the server every 2 hours and the server checks whether the computer is assigned the Stolen status every time you connect to your ZeoBIT account.
4. If your Mac gets stolen, log in to account.zeobit.com and hit Computer was stolen on its Anti-Theft page.
5. As soon as you do it, the Stolen status will be assigned to your computer and the server will start sending the location reports every 5-10 minutes.
6. IMPORTANT!If, for example, the latest report was generated at 2 p.m., the Stolen status was assigned at 2.30 p.m., there were no changes in network settings but the Mac is online, MacKeeper will send the next report at 4 p.m. and then will start sending the reports every 5-10 minutes. This can happen if, for instance, the thief is far from Wi-Fi, but such cases are quite rare. Please also note that the Anti-Theft process is launched once the thief logs in to the system and the reports are sent only in case of stable Internet connection.
7. As soon as your Mac’s location is established, MacKeeper customer support representative will call you, no matter what time is it, so be ready to be woken up in the middle of the night!
8. Moreover, you’ll receive a detailed location report by email. The location report includes the computer name, date, location by IP, iSight thief snapshot if applicable, and technical details such as MAC address, subnet mask, router hardware address, ISP, traceroute etc.
9. Go to the police with this info to assist in finding the criminal and getting your Mac back.
Encrypt Data on your Mac
Every Mac geek would want to protect not only their Mac but also data on their Mac. FileVault of Mac OS can encrypt the whole user folder, whereas MacKeeper’s Data Encryptor can encrypt individual items and hide their names on the hard drive. It may come in handy when you’ve got not that many confidential files but want to put them safely away. Another undeniable advantage of Data Encryptor is its multi-level password protection. First, the tool itself is password protected; second, you can create individual passwords for each item you’re going to encrypt. To my mind, it’s a great tool for security paranoics with a 100% guarantee that your files will be left untouched.
How it works?
1. Before you start working with Data Encryptor, you should create a password to protect your files. IMPORTANT! Don’t lose this password as without it your files will fall into oblivion. No one will be able to recover your important files, even the repair center, so better use the Hint field where you can enter something associated with your password, but not too obvious!
2. Then you should select one of the two encryption methods – AES-128 or AES-256 – and setup another password, this time for the items being encrypted.
3. Data Encryptor will move the original files to Trash, leaving the aliases for your files on the hard drive.
4. Once you encrypt the data, it will disappear from Finder.
5. To access the files you should enter the password you created for them, and the files will appear in Finder as aliases.
6. To unencrypt the files, just remove them from Data Encryptor.
Such is the complex process of data encryption. However, MacKeeper’s user interface makes it quite easy, with nice images of open and closed locks that indicate the state of your data.
Recover Data on your Mac
A true Mac geek knows that Mac data can be recovered even after it’s been removed from Trash. If for some reason you didn’t backup your data, had an emergency situation or anything else happened, data recovery tools are at your disposal. A couple of words about the data recovery process:
When you remove files from Trash, the file system marks the hard drive sectors once occupied by these files as available. However, the files themselves stay on the hard drive until their available sectors are occupied by other files. So if you don’t create other files or defragment the hard drive before you discover the file loss, your data has a good chance of being recovered. The data recovery process may take some time, as the file may have occupied random sectors and therefore its parts need to be collected from all over the hard drive.
MacKeeper’s Undelete tool can easily handle the file recovery task. Its undeniable benefits are that it can restore files from external devices and supports the NTFS file system in addition to HFS and HFS+. Undelete can recover the following file formats (this info is taken from the MacKeeper website):
- Audio: mp3
- Video: mov, avi
- Photo: jpeg, png, bmp, tiff
- Documents: all MS Office formats, rtf, pdf, xml, html, plist, zip
How it works?
1. Scan your Mac’s hard drive for files that can still be recovered.
2. When the list of results is shown, search for your file(s) using the filters.
3. Preview your file(s) using Quick Look if there’s a need to do so. Nice feature, by the way – haven’t seen anything like this with the competitors.
4. Click Recover and wait until your file(s) is/are put together piece by piece.
Backup Data on your Mac
Every Mac geek would always keep a backup of their important data to avoid its sudden loss. Time Machine can only backup the whole disk volume to another volume on your Mac, while MacKeeper’s Backup tool supports external devices and can create backups for individual files or folders. Moreover, MacKeeper’s backup is incremental, meaning that it can store several versions of files. Finally, this tool enables you to schedule automatic backups at specific time intervals. It is very convenient when, for example, you need to copy a lot of files/folders from different places to your USB mass storage device.
How it works?
1. Add the files you’d like to backup.
2. Specify the number of copies (from 1 to 100).
3. If needed, set up the schedule for your backup.
4. Specify the backup destination – your Mac, flash drive, external HDD or FTP/WebDAV server.
Keep your Mac Clean
Cleanup routines can be done even by beginners, but with MacKeeper you may learn some additional tips and tricks for keeping your Mac clean. MacKeeper’s Fast Cleanup tool looks like a bunch of standard cleaners that do basically the same thing other cleanup utilities do – empty cache, remove language files, cut universal binaries and clean up the logs.
Here I want to draw your attention to Duplicates Finder that can be considered as a tool for true geeks.
The Duplicates Finder tool will find all identical files on your Mac, enabling you to remove the unneeded clones and leave the original. When Duplicates Finder scans your Mac, it searches for files with identical content, not just names, so it will detect even the renamed copies. Let’s see how it works using the example of iTunes music.
When you add music files to iTunes, it creates their duplicates by copying them to the iTunes Library folder. It would be wise to get rid of the song duplicates as they may take quite a lot of space. For example, on my Mac they took 2.6 GB.
IMPORTANT! When you click the Dups button, the app will automatically leave the iTunes Library files as they were the latest files created and accessed on your Mac, and select all other copies for removal. Duplicates Finder deletes only those copies that haven’t been accessed for a long time, and won’t touch the music in the iTunes library. However, you still need to verify whether this selection is correct. Double-check each duplicate before removal, especially if it is related to music, videos, pics or documents. In the scan results list, expand each item to see its copies, carefully check them and select those you don’t need.
Get Updates for All Your Apps in One Place
No one will call you a Mac geek if you don’t keep your apps up to date. MacKeeper’s Update Tracker tool can facilitate your daily updating routine by gathering all updates in one place. If you don’t want some apps to be updated, just put them to the Blacklist, and if you have the favorite apps, move them to the Favorite list. With Update Tracker you can easily see which apps need updating – they’ll be marked with red bubbles.
Despite the fact that MacKeeper is easy to use and suitable for beginners, its functionality leaves a lot of room for geeky stuff as well. To be honest, first I refused to download MacKeeper as ZeoBIT’s aggressive marketing tactics totally freaked me out. But then, after I had stumbled upon Dave Hamilton’s review on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMmUaeMej1A), I changed my mind and downloaded it. I didn’t regret as for me it has become one of the best system utilities in terms of functionality. I hope that other Mac geeks will like it as well!