BrecMadak

Level 1
Hello folks,

Lately, I have started to streamline the programs that I use in order to determine whether they are the right fit for what I need to achieve. Since I want to only keep only what is essential and remove clutter off my PC, I want to consult with someone who is proficient here that can help me find worthy replacements.

I'm a win 10, Classic Shell user and I'd like to break down this section into some not so related questions to each other;
1. In what conditions having an uninstaller would be handy? I'm not sure if I ever should consider one though.
2. I've been using privatefirewall, but I wonder if there is any good alternative to it?
3. Is there actually any advantage to have a 3rd party back-up & recovery program compared to System Restore Point of win 10?
4. Is MSMG toolkit still needed on installing a custom LTSB? Or Winaero Tweaker is enough?
5. Who would ever need to use a file manager program like Total Commander and why?

Occasionally I may need to see my specs, and I'm thinking to try Everest Ultimate Edition for reading system info.
Wise Disk Cleaner - Probably the only program I've been using frequently.
Auslogics Disk Defrag Ultimate - I just couldn't practise using but I want to keep it.

I didn't run any mal/spyware program since over a year, and I'm thinking to give a try on Malwarebytes even though I only visit sites that I'm mostly sure of.

PS I'm not a fan of registry cleaning thing.
PS2 Feel free not to refrain from making paid program suggestions.

Thank you for your attention and cheers!
 
Last edited:

Soulbound

Moderator
Verified
Staff member
I'll answer some:
1 - its handy to remove left overs. Revo Uninstaller if you go paid, HiBit Uninstaller portable if you go free
2 - Privatefirewall is good enough. Good alternatives are Simplewall and Tinywall. Windows Firewall Control is decent but I haven't tested since it became Malwarebytes. Another one is Windows 10 Firewall Control but I cant remember if you are very limited with the free version or not.
3 - Yes. Not always you have all your data and files from a System Restore point at all. Several free solutions available that are good.
4 - user option
5 - user option unless you are used to a specific file manager. Total Commander is handy if you work with a lot of files and addons etc but really not necessary

Wise Disk Cleaner: no need to really use it
Auslogics Dis Defrag Ultimate not really needed either since you have windows built in tools.

Malwarebytes is not an AV solution but a companion AV.


All in all depends on what do you use your system for and if you want high maintenance or low maintenance.
 

Spawn

Administrator
Verified
Staff member
@BrecMadak Before getting started, I recommend sharing your existing Computer and Mobile security set-up here:

1. In what conditions having an uninstaller would be handy? I'm not sure if I ever should consider one though.
2. I've been using privatefirewall, but I wonder if there is any good alternative to it?
3. Is there actually any advantage to have a 3rd party back-up & recovery program compared to System Restore Point of win 10?

I didn't run any mal/spyware program since over a year, and I'm thinking to give a try on Malwarebytes even though I only visit sites that I'm mostly sure of.
1. A third-party uninstaller may be useful for removing software you no longer use. You don't necessary need one, but users like cleaning out every leftover file for a few extra KB or MB of space. Some also remove leftover-related registry key items.

2. PrivateFirewall is good, but unsure when it was lasted updated or if it Officially supports Windows 10 (latest versions). As mentions above, you can get standalone apps which rely on Windows Firewall with additional In/Outbound notifications. Other Firewalls use their own technology for filtering connections. Most of which are bundled as an Internet Security suite, meaning you'll have to replace your existing Antivirus protection.

3. Yes, third-party options provide lots of options to backing up your important data and system files. System Restore points are not backups. There are both Free and Paid choices available.

6. It is highly recommended that Windows users install a real-time Antivirus program. At a bare minimum, keep Microsoft Defender Antivirus running. Malwarebytes Free for Windows can be used on-demand, or a license can be purchased for more protection.

You're better of using a content blocker on your web browsers against Ads, Trackers and Dangerous sites. This can be an effective first-line of defence against threats.

Take a look at;
Malwarebytes AdwCleaner - useful against Adware and PUP (Free removal)
ESET Online Scanner - general use with Internet connection (Free removal)
 

Freud2004

Level 3
This is my opinion, and I guess with one will recommend different things:

1. In what conditions having an uninstaller would be handy? I'm not sure if I ever should consider one though.

You really don't need one, windows uninstall is sufficient.

2. I've been using privatefirewall, but I wonder if there is any good alternative to it?

I really like Glasswire but you need the paid version to have control off Windows firewall. ZoneAlarm is another option, both are very intuitive solutions you don't need to be a pro to work with them.

3. Is there actually any advantage to have a 3rd party back-up & recovery program compared to System Restore Point of win 10?

I don't have any beside windows tools, I believe for a regular user are enough. Many members of this community have 3rd solutions for this.

4. Is MSMG toolkit still needed on installing a custom LTSB? Or Winaero Tweaker is enough?

I don't recommend this kind of tools, if you want your windows running without problems don't use this kind of software.

5. Who would ever need to use a file manager program like Total Commander and why?

Another program that I don't have a need, I think this is the kind of tool if you like to work with him, why not.


Occasionally I may need to see my specs, and I'm thinking to try Everest Ultimate Edition for reading system info.

You should consider too, HWmonitor.



I didn't run any mal/spyware program since over a year, and I'm thinking to give a try on Malwarebytes even though I only visit sites that I'm mostly sure of.

Give an opportunity to Emergency Kit or HitmanPro, they are free and from time to time you run them just to make sure that all is ok.


PS I'm not a fan of registry cleaning thing.

Wise decision, run from them.

PS2 Feel free not to refrain from making paid program suggestions.


Programs that I recommend:

Winrar or 7-zip - file archive

VLC - Multimedia player

Musicbee - Organize and play music

TreeSize Free- Is a free disk space manager

SoundSwitch - Is a free open-source application for Windows that let you switch your default playback devices and/or recording devices using simple hotkeys.

Kaspersky Internet Security - Is my security solution and I recommend

Xmeters - Display a live view of your most important system information at all times. Completely Customizable. Change the look of XMeters to match your workspace.

CCleaner - Probably many people don't support this tool, but a like ccleaner, Clean, speed up your slow PC or Mac, update outdated software and protect your privacy online.

Bluetooth battery monitor - If you have many devices with Bluetooth like me, it's a good tool. Bluetooth headphones, keyboards, mice, digitizer pens, game controllers ... If your device reports its battery level.

Brave - I like this browser, it's an option.

Sorry for my bad English ;)



1598987812813.png


1598987886493.png
 
Last edited:

BrecMadak

Level 1
First of all, thank all of you for taking the time responding to my queries.
I'm preparing for a day trip for tomorrow, I will try to get back each of yours' comments in a couple of days. I just wanted to let you know since you guys are so responsive and helpful.
Until then, have a great rest of the week friends.
 
Last edited:

roger_m

Level 30
Verified
Content Creator
1. In what conditions having an uninstaller would be handy? I'm not sure if I ever should consider one though.
Unless you regularly install and uninstall a lot of software, there's not much need for one. If you ever change from one antivirus to another, most security vendors, provide their own removal tools, which you can run after uninstalling the antivirus. This is one case where it matters to remove all leftovers and also one where uninstallers like Revo, HiBit etc, are actually of little use.

If you feel you need an uninstaller, HiBit Uninstaller which has already been recommended, is excellent and free. Total Uninstall is the best uninstaller there is in my experience, but it's not cheap. However, it's the only uninstaller I would recommend buying. HiBit does its best to find files and registry keys which appear to be leftover from the software that was just uninstalled. Total Uninstall creates snapshots of your system, before and after you install new software. This means it has an actual record of every single file and registry key that was created. This allows it to completely remove all leftovers after uninstalling software.
3. Is there actually any advantage to have a 3rd party back-up & recovery program compared to System Restore Point of win 10?
Yes, it's very important to have a full backup of your system, so in the case of hard drive or SSD failure, data loss due to malware (e.g. ransomware), problems with Windows Updates, etc, you can restore your system to how it was before the issues. System Restore is good for fixing minor issues.

I use AOMEI Backupper. The free version should be adequate. Some people prefer Macrium Reflect and that also has a free version. Both of them work well.
Wise Disk Cleaner - Probably the only program I've been using frequently.
Auslogics Disk Defrag Ultimate - I just couldn't practise using but I want to keep it.
Wise Disk Cleaner works very well and I highly recommend it. Auslogics is decent, but even the standard Windows defrag, which runs automatically every week, works well. So you may want to stick with the Windows defrag, unless you feel that you your system runs better after using Auslogics.

You are right about registry cleaning. Not only is there usually no need to ever clean the registry, the vast majority of registry cleaners will sometimes delete needed registry keys, which can cause problems. A plus for Wise Disk Cleaner, is that is only cleans junk files and does not touch the registry.
 

DDE_Server

Level 21
Verified
Total Uninstall creates snapshots of your system, before and after you install new software. This means it has an actual record of every single file and registry key that was created. This allows it to completely remove all leftovers after uninstalling software.
The problem with this techniques that some other programs may be running in real time i the background and updating some registry values when you uninstall your software you also will delete this values which may be cause problems in the other software. i faced this as i am using Revo ininstaller with installation monitor "the same as system snapshot in Total installer" after removing some software and check for left over i found records for another software and i had to manually check for all records and unchecked unrelated records for my removed soft so this technique also has is shortage. the technique i found good is leftover log database which enhances uninstaller capability for software removal
 

roger_m

Level 30
Verified
Content Creator
The problem with this techniques that some other programs may be running in real time i the background and updating some registry values when you uninstall your software you also will delete this values which may be cause problems in the other software.
While sometimes things not related to the program being install get monitored, I've never had any issues with letting Total Uninstall delete everything.
 

monkeylove

Level 4
Hello folks,

Lately, I have started to streamline the programs that I use in order to determine whether they are the right fit for what I need to achieve. Since I want to only keep only what is essential and remove clutter off my PC, I want to consult with someone who is proficient here that can help me find worthy replacements.

I'm a win 10, Classic Shell user and I'd like to break down this section into some not so related questions to each other;
1. In what conditions having an uninstaller would be handy? I'm not sure if I ever should consider one though.
2. I've been using privatefirewall, but I wonder if there is any good alternative to it?
3. Is there actually any advantage to have a 3rd party back-up & recovery program compared to System Restore Point of win 10?
4. Is MSMG toolkit still needed on installing a custom LTSB? Or Winaero Tweaker is enough?
5. Who would ever need to use a file manager program like Total Commander and why?

Occasionally I may need to see my specs, and I'm thinking to try Everest Ultimate Edition for reading system info.
Wise Disk Cleaner - Probably the only program I've been using frequently.
Auslogics Disk Defrag Ultimate - I just couldn't practise using but I want to keep it.

I didn't run any mal/spyware program since over a year, and I'm thinking to give a try on Malwarebytes even though I only visit sites that I'm mostly sure of.

PS I'm not a fan of registry cleaning thing.
PS2 Feel free not to refrain from making paid program suggestions.

Thank you for your attention and cheers!

An uninstaller is generally helpful because it removes lots of things sometimes left by software. I'm currently using HiBit Uninstaller.

I once used the free version of Windows Firewall Control. Now, I just use Firewall App Blocker, which adds files to block to the built-in Windows firewall.

Third-party backups saved me lots of time, from restoring a web browser to the whole system when a system restore failed.

I have Winaero Tweaker installed but haven't run it for some time. I'll go back to that point later.

I move files around across several hard drives, so something like XYplorer has been very helpful. It allows me to create a configuration that opens tabs to several directories. It also has a dark mode that's grey rather than black.

I decided to remove disk cleaners and scheduled cleanup and see what the storage sense feature can do. If I have to clear things up, I'll probably just use the built-in disk clean-up.

For defrag, I'm still having problems with the built-in Windows defrag (e.g., it sometimes doesn't run as scheduled), but I'll give it another shot, but keep a free, portable copy of Auslogics Defrag available and run that manually if a system slows down.
 

BrecMadak

Level 1
I'm back guys.

Before starting with quoting, I've two more general questions;
1. Should Wise Disk Cleaner not suppose to remove clutter off my PC, including installation leftovers? I thought 'junk files' are meant to be leftovers already, no?

2. I'm not using any AV solution, however, I just thought it would be a good idea if I start using Malwarebytes next to Privatefirewall whilst having no idea to even come up with this duo. Nevertheless, if opting for does not make any sense without having an actual AV, please warn me against guys.

As for the question of Soulbond, I think I'd opt for low maintenance in general.

Wise Disk Cleaner: no need to really use it
Can you give some insight into this? Like, you compared with and without and you noticed a not worthy difference to keep it or something?
Auslogics Dis Defrag Ultimate not really needed either since you have windows built in tools.
Same as above, did you get not so different results to worth keeping it?
Privatefirewall is good enough. Good alternatives are Simplewall and Tinywall.
I'd like to hear it if you have any preference for one over the other two. It works just fine but has no full support for win 10 since the latest development was made back in December 2013. But as each win update comes in, it will start taking away from its full potential I guess.

@BrecMadak Before getting started, I recommend sharing your existing Computer and Mobile security set-up here:
I will definitely do this once I receive my original laptop back from my manufacturer.

1. A third-party uninstaller may be useful for removing software you no longer use. You don't necessary need one, but users like cleaning out every leftover file for a few extra KB or MB of space. Some also remove leftover-related registry key items.
Ah, I can easily say I'm not from that group, considering that I think I would just keep living without one, just like how I did until this day, hehe.

2. PrivateFirewall is good, but unsure when it was lasted updated or if it Officially supports Windows 10 (latest versions). As mentions above, you can get standalone apps which rely on Windows Firewall with additional In/Outbound notifications. Other Firewalls use their own technology for filtering connections. Most of which are bundled as an Internet Security suite, meaning you'll have to replace your existing Antivirus protection.

6. It is highly recommended that Windows users install a real-time Antivirus program. At a bare minimum, keep Microsoft Defender Antivirus running. Malwarebytes Free for Windows can be used on-demand, or a license can be purchased for more protection.[/QUOTE]
Call me biased but I have never favored 'suites' for several reasons. And I'm struggling heavily in choosing a lightweight yet a decent one. Heck, I even just can not bring myself into thinking that I actually need one...

You're better of using a content blocker on your web browsers against Ads, Trackers and Dangerous sites. This can be an effective first-line of defence against threats.
I do, I've been using Adguard Adblocker for a long time. Would I still need AdwCleaner?


* Please see my next message to read my comments on the rest of the responses.
 
Last edited:

BrecMadak

Level 1
This is my opinion, and I guess with one will recommend different things:
Firstly your English is fine, I'm not a native speaker either. I appreciate the time you took for making a selection of the various programs for different needs and providing screenshots.

I really like Glasswire but you need the paid version to have control off Windows firewall. ZoneAlarm is another option, both are very intuitive solutions you don't need to be a pro to work with them.
Hold on, are you using this network monitoring program in replace of an AV, together with windows firewall?

You should consider too, HWmonitor.

Give an opportunity to Emergency Kit or HitmanPro, they are free and from time to time you run them just to make sure that all is ok.
I will check these out.

TreeSize Free- Is a free disk space manager
Disk space manager... Are you using this for partitioning a disk?
Bluetooth battery monitor - If you have many devices with Bluetooth like me, it's a good tool. Bluetooth headphones, keyboards, mice, digitizer pens, game controllers ... If your device reports its battery level.
This is a neat and handy suggestion!
Brave - I like this browser, it's an option.
Was it a seamless transition for you? Did you experience any problems regarding your bookmarks and extensions at all?

Also, Is it Xmeters allowing you to show date, time, and weather info?

While sometimes things not related to the program being install get monitored, I've never had any issues with letting Total Uninstall delete everything
.
the same here with revo uninstaller but still this may not be guaranteed and may impose some type of risk if those registry key are important for other software functionality
Hmm, this honestly puzzled me, even though roger_m mentioned that he did not experience any kind of convenience regarding the matter. Is there an option to not remove the registry keys but the rest?
 
Last edited:

Soulbound

Moderator
Verified
Staff member
Wise Dis Cleaner is a cleaner and defrag tool.
Auslogics defrag is also a defrag tool

Windows has its builtin defrag tool that works fine. When I did use Auslogics I didnt really notice much difference compared to piriform's defrag tool or even windows defrag tool (i do not use SSDs aside from one system, which on that system i do not have any 3rd party defrag tool)

As for firewall, only on some occasions will a software not updated for awhile have issues with latest versions of windows. I myself am on 1909 so I have not come across any issues. Good alternatives are Simplewall and Tinywall. Windows Firewall Control is decent but I haven't tested since it became Malwarebytes. Another one is Windows 10 Firewall Control but I cant remember if you are very limited with the free version or not.

For example: Unlocker 1.9 still works in windows 10 as confirmed by @harlan4096 and myself.


Malwarebytes is not an AV solution, its a companion av.

If you choose not to run any AV solution, at least use Windows Defender. You can use the hardening tool if you feel you need a bit more of protection. @Andy Ful and @security123 can give you more details.
 

plat1098

Level 22
Verified
Freud2004 said:
TreeSize Free- Is a free disk space manager

Disk space manager... Are you using this for partitioning a disk?

I use this software, but only in a very basic sense and only occasionally. It identifies the various sizes of the folders which helps me figure out what's taking up room on my little Windows drive and what I can manually delete without issues after some online research. Particularly after a big update, when I'm suddenly missing 3 or GB and can't find them and they don't return after a disk cleanup, it's sometimes helpful that way.

I think there was mention elsewhere of similar software, such as WizTree.


You can also get it from the Microsoft Store, it seems.

For partitioning, I use Disk Management for a visual overview and Administrative cmd (diskpart).


Edit to add: +1 for Wise Disk Cleaner free version. Gets the basic job done in just a few seconds on here. (y)
 
Last edited:

Freud2004

Level 3
Firstly your English is fine, I'm not a native speaker either. I appreciate the time you took for making a selection of the various programs for different needs and providing screenshots.


Hold on, are you using this network monitoring program in replace of an AV, together with windows firewall?


No Glasswire is just a graphic complement off my security solution KIS 2021. I don't have the firewall control module turn on in glasswire because KIS already have a firewall built-in.

1599425153178.png


1599426295188.png


Disk space manager... Are you using this for partitioning a disk?

No, to find files that use too much disc space.

To defrag my disks I'm using O&O defrag

1599425490411.png



Was it a seamless transition for you? Did you experience any problems regarding your bookmarks and extensions at all?

No Brave "is the best" importing bookmarks, the transition was simple all the browsers are very similar in these days.


Also, Is it Xmeters allowing you to show date, time, and weather info?

No, that is a program call Rainmeter:

1599425833874.png
 
Last edited:

Cortex

Level 23
Verified
As a side note in addition to the good advice, I find Free Commander to be incredibly useful, I even use it on PC's I'm fixing - it also gives easy access to system folder & more + very handy for sorting the Start Menu etc - One of my favourite free unities ,though I have been using the donation version - The free version is great though.

FC.jpg
 
Last edited:
Top