PC Tools (company)

PC Tools (founded in 2003 [2] ), formerly known as WinGuides.com , [3] was a software company acquired by Symantec in 2008; the new owner eventually discontinued the PC Tools name. Company headquarters were in Luxembourg, with offices in Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Ukraine. The company had previously developed and distributed security and optimization software for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows platforms.

Products

By 29 November 2006 PC Tools had been downloaded over 125 million times. [4]

Products
name Version Last Release Date Notes
Browser Defender 3.0.0.312 May 12, 2011 [5]
PC Tools Antivirus 9 unavailable [6]
PC Tools Desktop Maestro 3.1.0.232 16 November 2009 [7]
PC Tools File Recover 9 31 October 2011 [8]
PC Tools iAntiVirus 1.36 August 28, 2009 [9]
PC Tools Internet Security 9 unavailable [10]
PC Tools Performance Toolkit 2 31 October 2011 [11]
PC Tools Privacy Guardian 4.5 unavailable [12]
PC Tools Registry Mechanic 11 31 October 2011 [13]
PC Tools Simple Backup 3 unavailable [14]
PC Tools Spyware Doctor 9 unavailable [15]
PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 9 unavailable [16]
Miscellaneous Products
name Notes
PC Tools Browser Explorer [17]
Startup Explorer [18]
ThreatExpert [19]

PC Tools Browser Defender

PC Tools Browser Defender, [5] also called Browser Defender for short, is a browser toolbar for Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers on Windows based computers. Browser Defender allows for safe web surfing.

PC Tools iAntiVirus

iAntivirus was updated in 2012 and rebranded under Symantec’s Norton brand.

PC Tools iAntiVirus is free antivirus software for Intel based Apple Macintosh computers running Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) and Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) INITIALLY released in June 2008, used to detect and remove malware , spyware and malicious exploits , using Both Signature- based and heuristic detection.

iAntiVirus was criticized because it only scans for Macintosh virus, ignoring Windows and Linux viruses. It was praised for its speed and low usage of system resources. [20] [21] [22] [23]

PC Tools Internet Security

PC Tools Internet Security, [10] was the combination of the Spyware Doctor product Firewall product and the Anti Spam product. It provides the functionality of a single product. Symantec is no longer Offering this product as of 18 May 2013. It was payware designed for Windows 8 (32- / 64-bit), Windows 7 (32- / 64-bit), Windows Vista (32- / 64-bit) and Windows XP (32-bit).

PC Tools Registry Mechanic

PC Tools Registry Mechanic, [13] the first PC Tools released software, [24] scanned the Windows registry to find errors. Version 11, released on 31 October 2011, is the last one.

PC Tools Spyware Doctor

Screenshot of PC Tools Spyware Doctor

PC Tools Spyware Doctor, [15] is anti-malware software. Spyware Doctor detects malware based on its compromised technology. [25] The most recent version of Spyware Doctor is 9, which was released on 31 October 2011. Symantec is no longer offering this product as of 18 May 2013.

PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus

Screenshot of PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus

PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus [16] has the same features as Spyware Doctor, with added anti-virus capabilities. [26] Symantec has not sold this since 2013; v9 is the last one available.

ThreatExpert

The ThreatExpert [19] Web site says that it is an advanced automated threat analysis system ( ATAS ) built to analyze and report the actions of malware in a fully automated mode. [27] As of March 2015 the latest version was beta version 1.0.1.0 of 1 March 2008. There have been no updates since March 2008, and the Web site seems inactive.

Acquisition by Symantec

See also: List of mergers and acquisitions by Symantec § Acquisitions

On August 18, 2008, Symantec announced that it would be able to acquire separate operations. [28] The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Symantec acquired PC Tools for US $ 262,000,000 on 6 October 2008. [29]

Symantec withdrew the entire PC Tools security portfolio, including PC Tools Internet Security, Spyware Doctor, and Spyware Doctor with Antivirus, on May 18, 2013; [30] PC Tools was not sold and could not be reiterated by 4 December 2013. Symantec said that this would not affect PC Tools Utilities products.

Reception

This section needs expansion . You can help by adding to it . (April 2015)

Spyware Doctor received the PC World Best Buy award in the October 2007 issue of the magazine saying “PC Tools” Spyware Doctor 5.0 was the winner, outperforming the competition at detecting and removing our test set of adware and spyware samples. ” [31]

Spyware Doctor has received several Editors’ Choice awards from PC Magazine, [32] including one for Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 5.5 in 2008. [33] The product has also received multiple awards from around the globe.

Spyware Doctor 5.0, which the company rewrote from scratch, received some negative commentary. [34] CNET’s Download.com reviews , reviews the 3-star rating by saying, “in our trial scans, Spyware Doctor repeatedly flagged several dozen harmless cookies as potential threats, more than any other antispyware product we tested. Spyware Doctor flagged each. ”

Criticism

Symantec has been succesfully sued by a Washington resident for running fake scans to get people to pay for subscriptions to PC Tools’ Registry Mechanic, Performance Toolkit, and Norton Utilities [35] The lawsuit claims the company intentionally ran the fake scans and the results were not real . [36]

A new wrinkle is adware (using stolen certificates) that disables anti-malware and virus protection; technical remedies are available. [37]

References

  1. Jump up^ PC Tools: Contact Us
  2. Jump up^ “PC TOOLS RESEARCH PTY LTD” . Australian Securities and Investments Commission . Retrieved 21 August 2008 .
  3. Jump up^ “PC Tools Guides for Windows” . PC Tools . Retrieved December 10,2011 .
  4. Jump up^ “PC Tools” software passes the 125 million download threshold ” . PC Tools . Retrieved December 10, 2011 .
  5. ^ Jump up to:b “Browser Defender ™” . PC Tools . Retrieved 9 December 2011 .
  6. Jump up^ “PC Tools ™ AntiVirus Free” . PC Tools . Retrieved 9 December 2011 .
  7. Jump up^ “Desktop Release Maestro v3.1.0.232” . PC Tools . Retrieved 9 December 2011 .
  8. Jump up^ “PC Tools ™ File Recover” . PC Tools . Retrieved 9 December 2011 .
  9. Jump up^ “PC Tools iAntiVirus” . PC Tools . Retrieved 9 December 2011 .
  10. ^ Jump up to:b “PC Tools ™ Internet Security” . PC Tools . Retrieved 9 December2011 .
  11. Jump up^ “PC Tools ™ Performance Toolkit” . PC Tools . Retrieved 9 December2011 .
  12. Jump up^ “Privacy Guardian Internet Privacy Software” . PC Tools . Retrieved 9 December 2011 .
  13. ^ Jump up to:b “PC Tools Registry Mechanic ™” . PC Tools . Retrieved 9 December2011 .
  14. Jump up^ “PC Tools Simple Backup ™ Automatic Backup Software” . PC Tools . Retrieved 9 December 2011 .
  15. ^ Jump up to:b “PC Tools Spyware Doctor ™ AntiSpyware Software” . PC Tools . Retrieved 9 December 2011 .
  16. ^ Jump up to:b “PC Tools Spyware Doctor ™ with AntiVirus” . PC Tools . Retrieved 9 December 2011 .
  17. Jump up^ “PC Tools Browser Explorer” . PC Tools . Retrieved 9 December 2011 .
  18. Jump up^ “Startup Explorer” . PC Tools . Retrieved 9 December 2011 .
  19. ^ Jump up to:b “ThreatExpert” . PC Tools . Retrieved 9 December 2011 .
  20. Jump up^ iAntiVirus 1.0 Antivirus & Security Software Review | Macworld
  21. Jump up^ PC Tools iAntiVirus review from TechRadar UK’s expert reviews of Anti malware software
  22. Jump up^ iAntiVirus for Mac (Free) – Worth Using? »TipsFor.us
  23. Jump up^ iAntiVirus is lean, simple antimalware protection for Macs | TechBlog |Chron.com – Houston Chronicle
  24. Jump up^ “Registry Mechanic Released” . PC Tools . Retrieved December 10,2011 .
  25. Jump up^ http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20070319005514/en/PC-Tools-Newly-Released-Spyware-Doctor-Designed-Knockout
  26. Jump up^ http://www.pctools.com/forum/showthread.php?49444-PC-Tools-AntiVirus-engine
  27. Jump up^ “ThreatExpert: Introduction” . ThreatExpert . Retrieved December 10,2011 .
  28. Jump up^ “Symantec to Acquire PC Tools” . Symantec . Retrieved 9 December2011 .
  29. Jump up^ “SEC Form 10-K, Symantec Corp., period: April 3, 2009, p 82” (PDF) . Symantec . 1 June 2009 . Retrieved 2014-10-22 .
  30. Jump up^ http://www.pctools.com/en/product-eol/index/faq/security/
  31. Jump up^ Naraine, Ryan. “PC Tools Spyware Doctor 5.0 Review”,PC World, 21 August 2007
  32. Jump up^ Rubenking, Neil. “Weeding out the spys – Editors’ Choice: Spyware Doctor 3.2”,PC Magazine, June 19, 2005
  33. Jump up^ Rubenking, Neil. “Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 5.5 – Editors’ Choice Review”,PC Magazine, 22 January 2008
  34. Jump up^ Vamosi, Robert. “Nettlesome glitches sink Spyware Doctor 5”, CNN, 29 March 2007
  35. Jump up^ Yin, Sara (12 January 2012). “Symantec Sued for Scareware Tactics” . PC Magazine . Retrieved 22 January 2012 .
  36. Jump up^ Greenberg, Andy (11 January 2012). “Lawsuit Claims Symantec” Scareware “Warns Of Fake Threats To Sell Upgrades” . Forbes . Retrieved 22 January 2012 .
  37. Jump up^ Casey, Henry T. (25 November 2015). “Latest adware disables antivirus software” . Tom’s Guide . Yahoo.com . Retrieved 25 November 2015 .

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