Review: Internet Cleanup 3.0 from Allume

No more Internet fears with this easy to use software (January 4th, 2006)

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Product Manufacturer: Allume Systems, Inc.

Price: MSRP $29.99 US

The Good

  • Good program for beginners. Easy to use and install.

The Bad

  • Duplicates some functions already available in Mac OS X 10.3 and up.

A new Macintosh presents a number of minor challenges, but using the Internet shouldn't be one of them. Internet Cleanup is just the right program for those of you concerned with hard drive invasion while surfing the Internet. There are so many PC commercials aimed at the importance of protecting your computer, that many Mac users feel they need protection also. Mac OS X 10.3 and up is very secure, but that doesn't stop people from wanting more protection.

Internet Cleanup protects your privacy, while improving Internet browsing, plus slims down your hard drive a bit. Internet Cleanup isn't one program, it is a group of eleven options and utilities that perform a number of housekeeping duties. These hard drive tasks are particularly important when your computer is used by more than one person, whether it is at work or home. Many people aren't aware of the number of files that are automatically saved to a hard disk, and Internet Cleanup makes sure sensitive data is removed. For example, a friend once used my machine to chat with someone and unknowingly left his buddy list behind. I don't think you really want your buddy list left at work or the local library.

Easy to Install and Use

Internet Cleanup installs a menu item on your Apple menu bar that you click to activate whatever tasks you want to use. The tasks are explained below. Internet Cleanup works with a number of Mac browsers. Some are well known and others are relatively new. Those browsers include Camino, Firefox, iCab, Internet Explorer/AOL, Netscape/Mozilla, OmniWeb, Opera, Safari, Sherlock, and Shiira.

What's Inside the Box

The Internet File Finder locates and cleans files left behind in your web browser after you have been surfing. You search each browser for specific files. You can look through the list of files and delete, move, rename, overwrite or do nothing depending on what you see on the list.

Cookie Tosser is a cookie management system. Some cookies may be important to you, such as the ones that remember your password, or the log in information to your favorite web site. Cookies fill in your address in forms at numbers of ecommerce sites. They also tell a webmaster that you have come back to the site. Cookies can also track what sites you visit when on line, which may not be information you want to share. Cookie Tosser helps you determine the good cookie files from the bad ones.

Web Cache Files Cleaner removes all the cache files created by your Internet browser. Every time you enter a web page, that page, with its graphics, is saved in a folder or file in the browser. If you need to go back to that page, your browser looks for the cached image on your drive, which saves time. The browser doesn't have to go back online, go to that page on that server and then display it in your browser's window. These cache files can get big. If you are never going to go back to that site again, there is no need for you to keep it on your computer. Once Internet Cleanup finds the Cache folder, it can delete, move, or SecureDelete it. Your employer, wife, mother, or anyone else can look at your web cache to see what sites you have visited. This could be embarrasing or may tell someone what he or she is getting for his or her birthday.

Internet History Files Cleaner removes the history files created by your browsers. The browser maintains a history of each web page you have been to over a period of time. The history file is handy if your browser quits unexpectedly, because you can look at your history and pick up where you left off. It is also another avenue for snooping into your business.

Forms Auto-Fill Data Cleaner cleans up the files left when your computer fills in your name, address, phone number, and other information you have placed on forms. It saves you time as you purchase items from eBay or other ecommerce sites. Do you really need the school library or other computer users to have this information?

IM Log Cleaner removes chat logs that are stored in your computer's hard drive. The content of instant messages to your friends doesn't need to be made available to others. They were made in private and that privacy should be respected. If you want to save your chat logs, just move them to another folder.

MailCleaner searches for attachments in Apple Mail, Entourage, or Eudora. MailCleaner helps you manage these attachments, or find and delete them.

SpyAlert detects the presence of spyware on your Mac. SpyAlert can make you aware that there is something there or delete the file, depending on what you need it to do.

SecureDelete permanently removes a file from your Mac. Once an item is processed with SecureDelete, it can't be recovered. Do not SecureDelete an alias because your Mac will go to the original and delete it as well. Secure Delete is also a Trash option in Mac OS X.

Scheduler lets you run Internet Cleaner at specified times, which you decide upon.

NetBlocker takes care of some of the more annoying parts of the Internet. It blocks pop-ups, banner ads, cookies, as well as data transmitted to or from your computer without your permission.

Internet Cleaner is relatively simple to use. The bundled .pdf manual is full of good screen shots and directions. It shouldn't take long for you to set up each part of the program. If you are concerned about others being able to get into your computer and see what you are doing and where you are going, then this is the program for you. If the Internet makes you nervous, this program will reduce all your worries. For a small investment and regular scheduled file searches, your privacy is reasonably protected.

by Rick Curran


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