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Group test: what's the best software utility?

The most useful software you can install

PC Advisor reviews the best software utilities you can install today.

5. Secunia PSI 2

Secunia PSI 2
  • Reviewed on: 28 January 11
  • RRP: FREE
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

Secunia PSI provides a free, easy way to stay on top of an important aspect of your PC's security. If you're looking for a set-it-and-forget-it way to keep your applications up to date, this is the app for you.

4. CCEnhancer

CCEnhancer
  • Reviewed on: 1 March 11
  • RRP: Free
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

Anyone who uses CCleaner should use CCEnhancer: you get more cleaning with no more effort. If only the same could be said about cleaning one's house.

3. X1 Desktop Search

X1 Desktop Search
  • Reviewed on: 10 June 11
  • RRP: £52 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

Minor quirks aside, X1 Desktop Search is an incredibly powerful engine. If you find yourself having to navigate a large collection of documents on a routine basis, X1 is a great choice at a reasonable price.

2. UltraEdit

UltraEdit
  • Reviewed on: 9 February 11
  • RRP: $59 (around £37)
  • Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

UltraEdit has a 30-day trial with full functionality. This should be more than enough to decide if it's worth the price. It may not be cost-effective, compared to powerful free tools like NotePad++ or ConText, for those who work with text files only occasionally. The speed, flexibility, and power of UltraEdit make it a clear winner for anyone who works with text files full-time or even reasonably often.

1. SlimCleaner 4.0

SlimCleaner 4.0
  • Reviewed on: 1 June 11
  • RRP: FREE
  • Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

Anyone who wants to keep their PC in tip-top shape could benefit from SlimCleaner. It offers some tools that CCleaner doesn't, such as removing programs that run on startup, but it also doesn't include a Registry Cleaner, which CCleaner does. As for helping with startup, it's not quite as sophisticated as fellow freebie Soluto, because it won't let you have programs delay launch on startup, rather than banning them altogether. So mix and match among the three tools - I encountered no problems running them simultaneously - until you get the right balance for your system. You can't go wrong with these free programs.

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