PC Matic 4.0 review: Healing is still holistic, but with a new coat of paint

PC Matic 4.0 review: Healing is still holistic, but with a new coat of paint

Antivirus suites with lots of features tend to focus on detecting and managing threats first, and then throw in some “tune-up” utilities as extras. Iowa-based PC Matic (formerly PC Pitstop) takes a different approach. The company’s eponymous software is an optimization tool for your PC foremost, with antivirus being just one part of that larger whole.

The focus on optimization is made clear the moment you see PC Matic’s use of dashboard gauges. In the world of PC Matic, your PC is a finely tuned machine primed and ready to deliver the performance you require.

Note: This review is part of our best antivirus roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.

Not your usual A/V suite

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PC Matic is very different from other antivirus products. You don’t just scan your PC for threats. Instead, a scan addresses a whole host of issues including disk fragmentation (if applicable), benchmark performance, and yes, malware. The program will then suggest actions to improve performance or take actions automatically.

PC Matic’s default scan is called a “maintenance and clean.” It scans for junk files, checks memory utilization, the registry, internet connection quality, driver updates, and various forms of malware and other security threats.

You can choose via the scheduler to run just a pure malware scan, but the default is to approach all of a PC’s performance facets during a scan.

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Once the scan is finished, you can access the results under SuperShield > Scan History. All the various issues are color coded. Red indicates a failed test requiring your attention, green means the PC passed all tests for that issue, gray means a skipped test, blue is informational, yellow means advice, and purple indicates a suggested, but nonessential tweak.

Clicking on the color codes shows you a summary of each scan result. PC Matic also displays the status of all PCs connected to your account directly in the desktop program. Most antivirus suites, by comparison, do this only via a website interface. The downside is that PC Matic’s full desktop program doesn’t open without a connection to the internet.

Click on the name of the PC, and you’ll see a dashboard summary with speedometer-like statuses for the most recent RAM, CPU, and disk usage. Below that there’s also information about that PC’s health stats, including viruses found, patched vulnerabilities, disk defragmentation, and so on. Here, you can also schedule scans and view performance trends charts.

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