FixMeStick is a bootable USB device that can quickly scan you computer, identify any viruses or malware, and then effectively remove them. Despite its power, FixMeStick is simple to use, ready to go right out of the box, and works over four steps:
- Plug it into any USB port.
- FixMeStick will reboot your computer and scan it for viruses using three of the best anti-virus engines in the world, in combination with your existing anti-virus program.
- The software will then automatically connect to your Wi-Fi network, download information about all the latest threats, report back anything it finds, and automatically remove them (the entire process might take anywhere between 30 minutes and a couple hours).
- Unplug FixMeStick from the USB port and you’re good to go!
Compared to other anti-virus solutions, FixMeStick contains its own Linux-based operating system and works while your computer’s sleeping, so viruses already on your PC can’t affect its performance.
You’ve got to admit that FixMeStick sounds appealing, especially if you’re not exactly a computer whiz. But there are a lot of scams in this industry, so is FixMeStick among them, or is it the real deal?
Let’s answer all your most important questions by starting with some background information.
A few months ago, we wrote an in-depth guide titled How To Get Free Anti-Virus Software & Surf Smarter, and we’d recommend giving it a read when you have a few moments. If you’re pressed for time though, Wikipedia provides a concise definition of a computer virus:
“A computer virus is a malware program that, when executed, replicates by inserting copies of itself (possibly modified) into other computer programs, data files, or the boot sector of the hard drive; when this replication succeeds, the affected areas are then said to be "infected”. Viruses often perform some type of harmful activity on infected hosts, such as stealing hard disk space or CPU time, accessing private information, corrupting data, displaying political or humorous messages on the user's screen, spamming their contacts, logging their keystrokes, or even rendering the computer useless.”
In layman’s terms, once your computer is infected, it could run poorly and even hand your personal and financial information over to would-be scammers. But how can antivirus software help protect against viruses, and how is it any different than the competition?
How Anti-Virus Software Works: FixMeStick vs. the Competition
How Most Anti-Virus Software Works
Just like any other type of computer program, each piece of anti-virus software will work a little differently and implement a variety of features.
But according to How To Geek, in general, anti-virus software runs in the background (you’re usually not aware that it’s doing its thing) and scans every file you open. When you do this, it quickly compares the program to “known viruses, worms, and other types of malware,” and then alerts you as soon as a threat is detected. Which is fairly similar to FixMeStick.
In addition to comparing files individually, most anti-virus software can also perform full-system scans in order to detect threats that might otherwise remain for months (or even years, if it’s a program you rarely use).
How FixMeStick Is Different
Instead of working as a standalone anti-virus program, FixMeStick is intended to clean up your PC and get it to the point where your existing software can finish the cleanup. In other words, FixMeStick is like a blunt hammer, while your traditional anti-virus software works more like a fine chisel (we’ll come back around to this shortly).
But how exactly does FixMeStick do this? If you’re tech-oriented, you’ll probably get a lot of the fine details on the product’s Tech Specs pages. But if you’re just looking for a simple explanation, to use their own words, FixMeStick works by scanning your computer while it (and any viruses) are sleeping, and then uses three of the best anti-virus engines in the world—Sophos, Kapersky, and GFI/Vipre—to suck the viruses right out of your PC.
According to their website, FixMeStick basically “sucks the viruses right out.”
And perhaps the biggest difference is that FixMeStick doesn’t rely on your computer’s operating system to detect viruses. Instead, it features its own Linux operating system that allows it to “hide” from viruses and malware, presumably improving its effectiveness.
Is FixMeStick Just Another Registry Cleaner?
Whether you’ve been exploring different anti-virus solutions for a while, or just started researching all your options a couple weeks ago, you’ve probably encountered at least one scam disguised as a registry cleaner, which just ends up making your PC’s performance worse—or that installs more viruses and malware. In our opinion, TurboYourPC is a prime example of this.
However, FixMeStick is not a registry cleaner—in fact, it won’t clean your registry at all—and we definitely don’t think it’s a scam. Why? Let’s take a look at a sampling of industry and customer feedback.
Online Customer Reviews For FixMeStick
FixMeStick has thousands of professional and customer reviews available online, most of which appear to be positive.
For example, PC Mag gave FixMeStick a 3-star (good) rating, and liked that the device is bootable, easy to use, features three different scanning engines, and gives you the ability to undo in case you run into any problems.
However, they didn’t appreciate that FixMeStick couldn’t disinfect virus-infected files (quarantine only), that some viruses continued to affect the computer even after FixMeStick indicated they were removed, and that the software can be “heavy-handed” (e.g. it might wipe out some files that shouldn’t be removed, hence the usefulness of the undo feature).
On Amazon, FixMeStick had a total of 886 reviews customer reviews and a 3.8-star average rating. There, customers liked that it was easy to use, provided effective results, and that the product is backed up by great support. On the other hand, some found that FixMeStick didn’t work properly (whether it didn’t identify known viruses or malware, and/or didn’t effectively remove them), and didn’t improve PC performance (in some instances, it actually made PC performance worse).
The anti-virus software is manufactured by FixMeStick Technologies based out of Montreal, QC. Despite having been in business since 2011, the company wasn’t listed with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our research.
How much will FixMeStick’s software cost you?
Is FixMeStick Expensive?
FixMeStick is available in three different options:
- A 30-day trial for $9.95 plus S&H, which allows you to install the software on up to three computers. Then, once 30 days have passed, you’ll be billed the remaining $44.99 for a 1-year subscription.
- Full year subscription for $59.99.
- FixMeStick PRO, which allows you to install the software on as many computers as you like for $299.99 per year.
Note: FixMeStick can also be found at a wide variety of brick-and-mortar retailers, which you can find by visiting the company’s Store Locator.
If purchased directly through the company, FixMeStick comes with a 45-day refund policy. And you don’t even have to ship it back to the company! You’ll also receive a virus removal guarantee, which states: “If your FixMeStick didn't remove your virus, let us know and we'll remove it manually for free.”
If needed, FixMeStick also comes with unlimited free email, phone, and chat support, which you can initiate by contacting customer service at email@example.com or call 888-530-6125.
Alright! We’ve covered a whole lot of ground already, so let’s go ahead and wrap things up.
Is FixMeStick a Good Anti-Virus Solution?
Remember the anti-virus article we mentioned at the beginning? Comparing FixMeStick to any of the free programs we discussed in it isn’t really fair. Why? Because FixMeStick is intended to work in tandem with them—or any other anti-virus program. Kind of like of like how a hammer and a nail are two separate things, but generally work better when used together.
So, if you haven’t already, we’d recommend reading through the article and starting with some quality anti-virus software. Then, if you’re looking to expand your level of protection, you might consider adding FixMeStick to your arsenal. After all, it’s easy to use, comes from a reputable company, and gets solid marks from customers and industry professionals alike.
But keep in mind that if you’re technically-minded, you can download each of the three anti-virus programs (Sophos, Kapersky, and GFI/Vipre) for free and accomplish much of the same thing.
4 out 4 people found this review helpful
Terrible. Keeps freezing up my computer. No one picks up the phone support line!
I have words to describe how badly I feel, I was ripped off! I paid close to $80 to QVC for lifetime use on up to three separate computer systems, and the last four times I tried to use it, it froze 20 minutes into the scan.
The only thing I could do was turn my computer off, then on, manually. Everything stopped working, including the FixMeStick.
As I type this, I have been on hold for over 17 minutes, and nobody has picked UP!
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
26 out 30 people found this review helpful
Don't buy this thing, it stops working
I called the FixMeStick technicians on the telephone. Good luck getting a hold of anyone. They kept hanging up on me and telling me to go to the internet. I finally got in touch with a humanoid, and they told me to put the the stick back in the computer and proceeded to tell me what things to click on.
I listened very carefully and did exactly what "Katie" told me to do. Well, what she told me to do completely messed up my computer. Now I have to pay Windows $119.00 to restore my computer and put in a new password.
One of the technicians "Eric" reviewed the phone conversation and admitted that Katie told me to "Reset or "Restore" the computer and Eric said this caused my problem.
Katie denied telling me to do this, and so did her manager "Hannah". So go figure!
This product is inferior and dangerous to your computer!
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend