Viruses, Trojans, Malwares in reality are real people from organized crime or data analytics companies. These are just software but they can get a hold of your IP address, bank balance, work documents, credit card details, and login information on different websites and applications.
While a typical antivirus takes care of malware and viruses that are not executable. A lot of modern malware can bypass antivirus scans or prevent the booting of your Windows operating system.
Once a virus or malware installs itself in disguise, you might even lose control of your installed applications or face issues while opening applications in the task manager.
A computer infection might even pass on the control of your device to a third person via proxy servers.
The truth is if a malware or virus gets past your antivirus or Windows defender, you might face a difficult situation. Is there a possible way to remove the executable files that are slowing down your PC? Well, many of you believe that going to an IT technician and spending hundreds of dollars is the only available option.
But some technologies can fix this issue without spending hundreds of dollars. Example- a bootable drive, here we are talking about the FixMeStick.
Let us talk more about the device, its capabilities, and real-life effectiveness in this FixMeStick review.
What is a FixMeStick?
The FixMeStick is a software as a service, in this case, via an external device. While external devices have been used by government agencies and computer security experts, FixMeStick allows even a novice to clean-up their system.
FixMeStick can remove the viruses and malware that get past your antivirus protection software, in case you had any! While a majority of people deter from actually spending money on antivirus software and buy only when their PC starts having issues. Under such conditions, a better option would be a virus removal devices like a FixMeStick.
To put it in simple words, a FixMeStick is a virus removing USB flash drive, developed by computer security experts Marty Algire and Corey Velan. The fundamental aspect of this bootable flash drive is removing viruses, which is very different from the operation of antivirus software.
The original device supported only on Windows platforms. But since 2016, they have consistently launched new versions with better firmware and virus signatures.
They even have a dedicated Mac version now.
How does a FixMeStick work?
It works on its own specialized Linux based operating system because of that viruses and malware on your personal computer will not be able to mess with its functions. It automatically connects to your Wi-Fi network to download information about all the latest threats.
The detection engine/scanner on this device are borrowed from the best three anti-virus companies in the world i.e from Sophos, Kaspersky and Vipre.
FixMeStick is incredibly easy to use, and you don’t need to be proficient in technical terminologies to use this device. Just plug it in your USB ports, and this device will reboot your computer while scanning for viruses. After it finds the issue, it will display the affected files and quarantine them from the computer system.
After you are done with the scanning and removal, you don’t need to keep it inserted. The best part of using this device is there is absolutely no scope of invasion of privacy. With a 47% 5-star rating, we recommend using this device for malware removal in case your PC crashes.
On Amazon, the FixMeStick reviews have decent positive opinions with a rating of 3.7. Even PCmag rates FixMeStick to a solid 4 stars.
How to Use FixMeStick?
Using FixMeStick is among the easiet and simplest thing you would have ever done. This bootable device will start its work after booting. But that depends on your BIOS setting and operating system.
Well, there are many different ways of doing this. After inserting it into the USB drive, open the file explorer. Select the FixMeStick USB option from the left. You will find different language folders and a FixMeStick application. These are startup guides in different languages to guide the booting process.
To carry on using the FixMeStick, you need to double-click the FixMeStick icon. It will show you a User Account Control. This dialogue box will ask your permission to make changes to your computer. Select yes to proceed.
FixMeStick program will appear on your Windows Screen with the version name written on the left-hand corner. While you will have settings, support, and language selection options on the right-hand-corner.
FixMeStick operating system will connect to the internet to update its virus signature and firmware. You will even have the option to completely skip this process, but for higher effectiveness, it is recommended not to skip the process and download the latest virus signatures.
The next step will be to click on Reboot and Start FixMeStick. It will instantaneously start configuring your computer and restart when it’s done.
When the booting is complete, you will see the FixMeStick logo on the screen again, and then it will disappear. Soon you will see the six-step scanning process on your screen.
If it’s the first time you are using this device, FixMeStick will prompt you to register your device. It will allow the company to link this action to your account. You only need to provide your email address along with your First and Last name.
After completion of this process, you will be notified about the status of your subscription and the days to expiry.
The application will ask you to take a break, while it completely scans all files & folders, and tries to find those nasty viruses and malware. For any help with the service, you can contact them via their official email address or live chat features available from Monday to Saturday 10 – 06 Eastern Time.
Using FixMeStick on a MAC
To use FixMeStick on a Mac, first of all, you will need to turn off your Mac and then insert your FixMeStick onto the USB port. Press the power button and hold the Alt key on the keyboard.
You will soon be displayed a menu with different boot device options. Using the arrow keys on your keyboard select the EFI Boot option and press enter. A FixMeStick scan will start and ask you for actions after completing the scanning. However, note that, FixMeStick is not compatible with the Apple’s latest T2 security chip. So if you have latest Apple device (Macbook Air, Pro, Mini, etc) with the T2 chip, it will not work.
Is FixMeStick Legit?
While the idea of removing viruses and malware from your system via bootable media sounds sci-fi, it’s possible. After over 15 years of experience in handling online computer security, the developer duo Marty Algire and Corey Velan developed this LINUX based device.
While it doesn’t offer any free trials, the cheapest method is getting a 30-day free trial for just $9.95. Its price for different variants with multiple devices and longer duration varies from $59.99 to $299.99 a year.
Even if this device fails to remove all executable files and malware, it will at least bring your device to a state from where you will be able to easily uninstall unknown applications and use your regular antivirus software for protection.
Given their fair pricing, it is not that expensive and offers decent virus removal. With time we expect this device to deliver faster results than sadly that far from today’s reality.
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Being a bootable device it can remove even the persistent malware
Capable of handling USB booting both UEFI and BIOS
Updates library from leading antivirus companies
Even though it is a good device for removing viruses, it fails to remove all of them
There is no real-time protection like an antivirus software
You cannot use this device to scan and remove viruses and malware from external devices like HDD and USB drives
While FixMeStick fails to deliver on removing 100% or even 90% viruses and malware, it is surely a positive vision. Improving the performance of a PC by using a USB bootable flash drive is a step forward towards the future.
Even after maintaining the virus directory from the top three antivirus companies is a bit disappointing. The only big issue felt, in this case, was the lack of this application/device to offer any real-time antivirus protection.
But as an antivirus costs $99.99, this bootable device costs only $59.99 for a year, which certainly comes out as a cheaper option.
Hopefully, there will be more improvements in the actual scanning time, and it would offer a real-time service for protection.
1. Does fix me stick work?
FixMeStick is a functional product, but you should not expect 100% virus and malware removal from it. However, it can offer access to your device making it easier to clean out even if it fails to resolve all the issues.
2. Can you use a fix me stick more than once?
Even the trial period of 30 days offers unlimited use for 30 days. The rest of the plans offer even longer protection starting from one-year to three-year plans. The best thing is that these devices are available for both Windows and Mac operating systems. Although the devices are different for each operating system, and you cannot use the Windows device on Mac or vice-versa.
3. Does fix me stick work with Windows 10?
FixMeStick works on all windows devices from the ancient Windows XP and Vista to relatively newer windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. It just needs at least 500 MB of RAM to process its boot cycles.