Soluto bills itself as the “smart way to manage your PC,” which is a fitting tagline. The free (for up to five computers), cloud-based PC utility scans your computer and displays pertinent information such as system specs, installed apps, and security protection level, in your PC’s Web browser. Soluto’s benefit and charm lies in its easy-to-read diagrams and simple explanations, which will help PC users of all levels to tweak their computers to run more efficiently. Note: Soluto doesn’t tinker with your PC’s registry or allow you to schedule maintenance runs. You would need a PC tune-up utility for that.
Soluto requires you to log-in with Facebook, Google, or OpenID credentials. Once you install and launch the software client, Soluto opens in your default browser. It then scans your PC for system specs and apps (the company states that it doesn’t scan personal files) and displays the information in various categories including from “Protection” (antivirus, firewall, and software updates) to “Internet” (IP addresses, browser of choice, browser search engine, and more). Soluto even showcases knows the age of your machine—it accurately calculated that my Alienware M11X is six months old.
Clicking the “Home” icon takes you to an area where you can invite others to join Soluto, and when they do, you can use the Web app to tweak their PCs remotely. That’s a great feature for those with family and friends who aren’t tech savvy. You can have up to five computers linked to your account free of charge, but if you want more you must purchase additional licenses starting at $4 per license per month.
Soluto also serves suggests up recommended software to install. Some of the selections are apps that would be helpful in my day-to-day work-related computer use (AIM, Paint.net, OpenOffice) and others would be good for recreational use (Hulu). Other suggestions, however, seemed arbitrary.
For example, Soluto recommended that I install CDBurnerXP, an app that lets you author CD, DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu-ray discs. The problem? My laptop lacks an optical drive. It appears that the recommendations aren’t based on your hardware specs. On the other hand, I liked that Soluto highlighted system outstanding system updates that I hadn’t approved, and let me download them from within my browser.
Soluto In Action
Another feature became available after rebooting my PC: Background Apps. Soluto analyzed by my system as programs loaded and displayed the total number of removable apps (17), potentially removable apps (19), and required apps (44) that are loaded during the boot up process. It also showed the total boot time, and how many seconds I would save by removing or delaying particular apps from loading. Very handy.
Clicking a section opened a menu that gave me a quick rundown of each app’s purpose. I removed 12 programs from boot which lowered the overall system load time from 1 minute and 25 seconds to 1 minute and 15 seconds. Although Soluto recognized most of my installed apps by name, it failed to give descriptions for a few such as Skype MP3 Recorder and Alienware’s custom software. Each recognized app has an associated graph that shows what other Soluto users did, if you trust the wisdom of the crowd.
Soluto is an incredibly easy to use utility for free up extra disc space, installing new software, and helping others remotely. Soluto it has some limitations, mainly the inability to uninstall software or use the service without a Web connection, but it’s a worthy download.
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|OS Compatibility||Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc