iolo has been in the PC tune-up business for a while now, and with over 12 years of experience, System Mechanic is definitely one of the best performing PC cleanup utilities out there. The new System Mechanic Professional 9.5 speaks a lot about the company’s ability to make superior products both in terms of usability and features.

In terms of looks, there is absolutely no difference between the Professional and Standard versions of System Mechanic; even navigating between the menus is the same. And there isn’t any need for them to be different as the navigation is flawless and extremely easy to comprehend. The difference between the two lies in the extra set of features that the Professional version comes with.

The interface is slick and displays exactly what is of importance. The system status displays the overall health and security of your PC along with the option of performing a quick scan or deep scan. You will need a lot of patience when performing a deep scan as it takes a considerable amount of time. Issues found can either be automatically rectified or you can choose to manually correct them. Issues that are not of great concern can be hidden and prevented from appearing again. The PC Health Status Gadget that sits right on the desktop provides a real-time view of the overall status of your PC.

ActiveCare is a handy little feature that allows you automate certain tasks. In total, there are 13 different tasks that can be automated. However, to make sure that they don’t hamper the performance of your machine, these automated tasks only run when the system is idle. A noteworthy feature is the System Change Tracker, which allows you to compare the system’s current state with a previously captured snapshot. Users will find this helpful, especially when you want to track system hangs after an installation.

The Professional version comes with virus protection as well as spyware protection. The implementation of an antivirus is a good start, but that alone doesn’t match up to what other security suites have to offer. The overall level of protection here is very limited in terms of user settings and preferences. Don't be fooled by the 'System Shield' name though. That's the name of the anti-spyware tool, and not the firewall. In fact, it doesn’t come with a standalone firewall. The company does sell a standalone firewall product, so not offering it in the Professional version is a major drawback.

Other features include a DriveScrubber and the Search and Recover file recovery tool. DriveScrubber helps remove traces of already deleted files, thus preventing files from being recovered. You can either completely wipe out the contents of the drive, or you can choose to just wipe out free space; leaving files and the OS intact. The Search and Recover tool, on the other hand, allows you to retrieve files that have been deleted. The tool allows you to recover images and movies, audio files, deleted email from Outlook and Mozilla, or you can run a thorough recovery, which will recover all data. The recovery method is limited to the number of times the fills have been overwritten; the older the files, the tougher they will be to recover. You also have the option to create a perfect copy of your drive, which can also be mounted using the application’s in-built tool.

The suite comes with a whole lot of applications in one package. From system cleaning utilities to PC security, the options are endless, and they all come in good use when required. However, there are a few utilities such as the Defragmentation tool and NetBooster that don’t work as well as they should. There is no apparent performance increase when using NetBooster, and the Defragmentation process takes ages to complete. Having said that, System Mechanic Professional 9.5 makes for a great tool that allows you to automate just about all tasks that require you to keep your machine up and running, thereby allowing you to shift your focus to other Important activities.