iolo System Mechanic Review - The Ultimate Defense Bundle

Windows cleaner tool that wants to do everything and succeeds most of the time.

Updated: September 07,2022

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Recently, I had the opportunity to test iolo’s flagship product, the Ultimate Defense version of its System Mechanic tool. Plenty of similar programs for Windows optimization promise to be a single solution for all issues an average PC user will have with their office computer or gaming rig. 

So, does this software solution actually deliver? Keep reading this System Mechanic review to see why it may be worth using this tool for your desktop or laptop PC. 

iolo logo
iolo System Mechanic Ultimate Defense
4.5
GET 60% DISCOUNT
Price Range:
$31.98-$79.95/year
AVAILABLE ON:
Windows
windows logo
KEY FEATURES:
  • Startup optimization
  • Password manager
  • Malware protection
  • Support for Windows 11
  • US DoD disk-sanitizing standard
pros thumb up Pros
  • Decent antivirus software
  • Privacy protection
  • Data shredding
  • Tangible performance boost
pros thumb down Cons
  • Subscription-based tech support
  • Lacks registry cleaning

What Is iolo System Mechanic Ultimate Defense? 

This software bundle from iolo includes multiple tools grouped into four main categories. These are Performance, Privacy, AntiVirus, and Password Manager. It does almost everything you can think of to optimize how your PC runs. 

The System Mechanic removes unnecessary files, blocks startup programs from slowing down your boot time, recovers data, protects against malware, defragments your drive, and has many other features. Antivirus includes real-time protection, while the Performance section has an ActiveCare mode which scans your computer to ensure top performance. 

Price

The iolo System Mechanic Ultimate Defense cost for a yearly subscription is $79.95, which includes one month of 24/7 technical support. After that, it’s $19.95 per month for access to the tech support team.

Having to pay a monthly subscription for access to support comes across as if the company’s intention was to deliver an unnecessarily complicated product. As such, it would require direct contact with anyone who can help you make it work. Thankfully, that’s not the case with iolo’s software, but I still find it surprising that the yearly support subscription costs more than the product itself. 

DataProt readers will be happy to know that if they purchase the yearly subscription through our website, they’ll get an iolo System Mechanic Ultimate Defense discount coupon, saving them $47.97 off their subscription. That’s a hefty 60% discount, which is great value for this software bundle. 

system mechanic discounted price

Free Version

You can download iolo System Mechanic for free on Windows 10 and older versions to try it out for yourself. It has limited features and options compared to the Ultimate Defense bundle, but it should give you an idea of how the program runs and if it’s something you could add to your maintenance tools.

Features

Unlimited Defense has more features than System Mechanic Pro. Besides the PC cleanup tools and the antivirus, it also includes a password manager and a privacy module.

How System Mechanic Was Tested

It’s important to mention that I tested the iolo System Mechanic on an older gaming desktop. The configuration is relatively close to what the latest Steam Hardware and Software Survey found the average user has in 2022.

To establish the baseline performance of the PC I’m testing iolo’s software on, I downloaded PassMark Software’s PerformanceTest and ran all the tests the program had to offer. In the image below, you can see the results.

passmark test results before iolo

Is System Mechanic worth it? It will depend on how much it can improve the PassMark Rating of 4,006.4. 

Performance

The first analysis I did was of the PC’s complete performance. The software found multiple issues, most of which don’t cause too many problems with day-to-day Windows operations. They included internet and system junk files, registry issues, and multiple programs that boot along with the OS and slow down its start time. 

Iolo System Mechanic Active Care Scan

DeepClean

After completing the initial fixes, I ran the DeepClean scan, which has seven optimization processes: NetBooster, Internet Cleanup, Windows Cleanup, Registry Cleanup, Security Optimizer, Program Accelerator, and Memory Mechanic. Since I already removed some of the unnecessary files with the previous tool, the program skipped some steps. 

One tool that I don’t find necessary is the Program Accelerator. Nowadays, most computers use SSDs (solid state drives), which don’t require defragmentation. However, online iolo System Mechanic reviews show that the software has users with older configurations who still use HDDs (hard disk drives) that benefit greatly from occasional defragmentation. 

Moreover, the Memory Mechanic seems unnecessary since clearing your RAM can be done with a simple restart of your PC, closing tasks you don’t need, or turning off background applications in Windows. 

Startup Optimizer

Programs booting with Windows can often slow down your computer. Novice Windows users may not be aware of the operating system’s built-in startup manager and may find this System Mechanic feature useful. 

iolo active care feature

Be sure to check out the community choice column, as you will see what the preferred settings of other users are. If you are an advanced Windows user, you will find this option handy but mostly unnecessary. 

AntiVirus

iolo System Mechanic has a virus scan module included. And the iolo System Shield does a decent job, as it managed to find a malicious file that was initially missed by the Kaspersky Security Cloud antivirus.

iolo system mechanic quarentine

Unfortunately, there are no recent tests of iolo System Shield by independent third parties to verify how reliable the antivirus for Windows is. Our experience with it showed its malware scan is slower than most Windows 10 antivirus solutions we tested at DataProt so far.

Privacy

I found it convenient to have all the privacy tools and settings in one place. You can disable almost anything, and there are preset options ranging from minimal to really strict permissions.

iolo custom privacy details

ByePass - Password Manager

My review of the System Mechanic Ultimate Defense bundle would be incomplete without iolo’s password manager, ByePass. You can start using this feature by adding social media accounts and credit cards. The browser extension has a strong password generator for up to 32 characters

iolo byepass password manager

The password manager also scans for leaked passwords on the dark web and changes them immediately if there has been a breach of security. The great thing is that, with one license, you can use the product on all of your personal devices. 

Additional Features

iolo’s System Mechanic, besides PC cleanup, has plenty of other tools such as an advanced uninstaller, file recovery, advanced deletion options, and several system management tools. 

iolo system mechanic toolbox

Test Results

After going through the cleanup process, I haven’t noticed any changes. That was to be expected, as there are seldom bottlenecks which slow down office work and casual gaming when you are using a PC configuration such as the one I described earlier. However, the PassMark test definitely shows a significant change in results. 

PassMark Test Results After Iolo Cleanup

So, does System Mechanic work? According to the results, it made a substantial improvement from a 4,006.4 to a 4,339.8 rating, an 8.32% increase in overall performance.

How Does iolo System Mechanic Compare to Other System Maintenance and Cleanup Programs?

After seeing how it performed in our test, let's take a look at how it fares against the competition. However, bear in mind that it’s difficult to compare it with most solutions, as they are just supposed to keep your Windows installation tidy. On the other hand, the Ultimate Defense includes an antivirus, a password manager, and privacy protection. 

Because iolo offers a wide scope of features, I will focus on the common ground between the software solutions, price, and similar bonus tools. 

iolo System Mechanic vs. CCleaner

CCleaner is often the go-to solution for Windows users wanting to clean up junk files and dust off some of the digital clutter on their drive. If you use CCleaner’s custom clean tool, you’ll get a few GB of space, as I did. It mostly targets browser data, cache from certain applications, Windows, and system files. That’s why if you have a PC with limited storage space, you need a tool such as the iolo System Mechanic or CCleaner.

CCleaner’s Performance Optimizer is nothing more than a glorified task manager. You can put some apps to sleep and see their impact on your PC’s performance, which doesn’t reflect the actual metrics from the task manager.

The Driver Updater is a useful tool. However, most driver updates are nicely handled by Windows 10, so the tool can be somewhat useful for older hardware. 

iolo System Mechanic vs. pro and free versions of CCleaner comparisons are more in favour of the latter for Windows Registry maintenance. 

CCleaner is not as affordable as iolo System Mechanic because it offers much less for a similar price. While iolo allows you to use a single license for all devices in your home (as long as you are not using the software for business purposes), CCleaner is $29.95 per device per year. With our exclusive discount at the $31.98 price mark, you are also getting an antivirus and a password manager, which is a far better deal. 

iolo System Mechanic vs. Advanced SystemCare

IObit’s Advanced SystemCare advertises its AI scanner as its main feature. And since artificial intelligence is one of the most used buzzwords in the IT industry at the moment, it’s used even when unnecessary, as is the case here. 

On the other hand, there are some useful tools that Advanced SystemCare offers, such as a firewall, a health checkup tool, PC performance monitoring, anti-tracking, and a large file cleaner. 

It all comes down to price and what additional features you need. Currently, you can find Advanced SystemCare 15 Pro at a discount price of $16.77 per year. The regular price is $29.99, and it’s for one PC only. I personally would rather pay for the System Mechanic than the alternative solutions it’s often compared to, as it provides plenty of handy tools.

Installation and Ease of Use

When you install the System Mechanic for the first time, you’ll have to add your activation key and email address.

iolo installation

Other than that, the installation process is quick and straightforward. The interface is intuitive, the menus and options are self-explanatory, and the software has the necessary documentation which covers all of its tools. 

How Has iolo's System Mechanic Changed Over Time?

iolo developers are consistently working on upgrading their flagship product, and here are just some of the recent changes to iolo System Mechanic Ultimate Defense. 

Version 22 of the System Mechanic now includes a streamlined experience. With a single click of a button, you can now run all operations that will optimize your PC. 

The privacy tool has been improved. It features the option to scan the network and connected devices to see if any peripherals are leaking personal data.

Most users forget to shut down their Bluetooth if they aren’t using it. It’s good to know that iolo’s software now has an enhanced Bluetooth scanner for devices you didn’t authorize to connect with your computer. 

Moreover, iolo has improved its compatibility with Microsoft's operating system by adding support for Windows 11.

Closing Thoughts

So, is System Mechanic legit? Tests surely show that it is. I really liked seeing the improved results on a decently old PC. Even though it still performs consistently, it does require maintenance, and that’s where iolo steps in to solve numerous issues. 

If your laptop is overheating and slowing down, then you should try it out and see for yourself what performance boost you are getting. With insane hardware prices, which remain a legacy of the disrupted shipping due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s still much more affordable to repair an old computer than to invest in an upgrade.

FAQ
Is iolo reliable?

System Mechanic ratings shared online by its users corroborate that the PC cleaner and other products included in the Ultimate Defence bundle perform as intended. That means you can reliably improve the performance and security of your Windows-based PC.

Does System Mechanic actually work?

Yes, it does. Furthermore, the Ultimate Defense package comes with a decent antivirus, privacy guardian, and password manager.

Is iolo a Chinese company?

No, iolo is a software development company based in Los Angeles, California, founded in 1998. 

What is better than System Mechanic?

After testing this tool and writing my iolo System Mechanic review, I didn’t find similar PC cleaners that are better. Also, each software solution includes features that the competition usually doesn’t include in their offer. Therefore, what’s best for you will directly depend on your PC’s additional maintenance needs.