29 June 2015

REVIEW: FixMeStick

Stick it to viruses.

There isn't a computer in the world that hasn't, at some point, been attacked by viruses and malware. With millions of different nasty digital infections out there to catch, and with people spending an increasing amount of time online, protecting our computers is now more important than ever. Instead of paying for an expensive anti-virus subscription, perhaps the answer to your digital problems could sit in the palm of your hand. We review the FixMeStick.

The FixMeStick is essentially a USB flash drive containing a host of Anti-virus software solutions. You simply buy it, plug it in (there are versions for both PC and Mac), and let it work its magic. Inside the drive are virus hunting products from Vipre, Sophos, and Kaspersky; all three of which will work together to scan your computer and quarantine all the bad stuff.

When you purchase a single FixMeStick you can use it (both the Mac and PC versions) on three machines, however many times you want, for one year. That means that your desktop, your laptop, and your partner's computer will be protected throughout the year... and it really is a case of sticking it in and letting it run.

In use we tried it on a troublesome Samsung laptop that has been near-useless for several months after a particularly nasty malware attack. Seriously, the damn thing was basically a door-stop, as it couldn't carry out the simplest of functions without issues. Following the included the instructions we popped in the FixMeStick and clicked on the installed software... and nothing happened.

But that was okay, as in the easy-to-follow instructions it said that some computers would need to run the FixMeStick from boot, which we did. With the laptop switched off, we plugged in the stick, hit the power button, and held down the F9 key until the boot menu started. We selected the FixMeStick and the drive started automatically. The software began to scan the hard drive and we were very politely told that we wouldn't be needed for quite some time.

The scan took about three hours to complete, as every file on the drive was inspected and analysed. Once completed the FixMeStick informed us that there was a crap load of badness on the computer, and asked if we either wanted to view the list of identified viruses, or just remove the lot of them. We hit the remove button, and did so with gusto. A few minutes later, with the found viruses and malware removed, FixMeStick said goodbye and shut the computer down. We whipped out the stick from the USB port, restarted the laptop, and... hello, working computer!

It was an absolute joy to have a laptop back that we had essentially left for dead. All functions of Windows 8.1 were working normally, and we're happy to see that FixMeStick also works with Windows XP and 7. For Mac-daddies, you'll be able to use it on any OS X machine.

Much quicker than running the three separate scans from the software providers themselves (and also a hell of a lot cheaper) the FixMeStick is the perfect solution for a family with multiple machines, or an individual who uses different computers for different tasks. We're now looking forward to keeping the errant laptop in order for the next year, and cleaning up another two more machines. Pretty amazing, considering it is just...

£45 for one year

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