Review: Skip PrivaShield Gold Edition in favor of better cleaners | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Review: Skip PrivaShield Gold Edition in favor of better cleaners

Try a good freeware system cleaner; just not this one.

PrivaShield Gold Edition promises to enhance your privacy and security, but all it really does is delete junk files on schedule, and it leaves a bit to be desired in that task, too. For instance, the installer informed us that we'd need to upgrade to a Registered version to use definition logs. PrivaShield gives the distinct impression of an out-of-date tool gussied up as the latest thing; an impression not helped by offering to clean Netscape installations or its inability to recognize Firefox and Chrome in our system.

PrivaShield Gold's user interface is busy and not especially attractive to our eyes ("Yikes!" was our first impression). Clicking "Color Scheme" didn't help since all it did was impose equally garish color combinations over the same bad design. Not that PrivaShield Gold doesn't try by cramming a rather narrowly focused tree view, a disk usage pie chart, a scheduling tool, and Tool Tip in a standard Explorer-style window. A series of buttons offers targeted cleaning of Temp Folders, Media Player's cache, and browsers IE, Firefox, Chrome, Netscape, Safari, and Opera. PrivaShield Gold only saw Internet Explorer in our system, though. The Clean Everything Now feature requires a restart, but the program doesn't tell you what it cleans, just "every area of Windows." Cleaning was slow compared to speed demons like CCleaner. Clicking "Help" wasn't helpful since it only accesses Software Upgrade and Software Patch, which seem to be the same thing.

PrivaShield Gold has some worthwhile touches, like an option to remember your password for the session yet request it the next time the program opens. Some tools are included, but they either duplicate Windows functions, like the Startup Manager, or fall short, like the Folder Space Explorer, which offers pie charts depicting the content of individual folders by file type when other tools (like TreeSize Free) depict much more useful data. Better, faster, and more intuitive cleaners are available than PrivaShield Gold Edition.

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