[Review] History Killer Pro

{rw_text}Software reviewed in this article:

History Killer Pro

Version reviewed:

5.0.1

System Requirements:

Windows 7, Vista, XP

Price:

$24.95 (USD) but you can get it for free for a limited time at Giveawayoftheday.com!

Software description as per the developer:

History Killer Pro erases EVERYTHING you do on the computer that may put your privacy at risk – the websites you visit, what you search for, the passwords and credit card digits you enter into forms, the pictures and video you download, the documents you open, the programs you launch and much more. In just a few mouse clicks, you can wipe away every detail of your Internet activity and computer usage, so that there is NOTHING personal about you that can tell snoops or cyber criminals about your private computer habits.

————————-{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Straightforward and easy to use.
  • Nice aesthetically pleasing interface.
  • Supports Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Chrome.
  • In addition to the usual Windows cleaning, clears history from Google Toolbar, Windows Media Player, Paint, Wordpad, Adobe Flash Player, and Microsoft Office products (2007/2003).
  • Has the ability to securely delete history.
  • Has a handy ability to automatically clean browser history (IE, FF, Opera, and Chrome) upon exit.
  • You can pick and choose what things/files/history to delete.
  • Has an exclude list and a search function.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • Needs a bit of improvement in cleaning out temporary Internet files for Internet Explorer.
  • Does not have a “select all” or “unselect all” feature at the main screen (top level or individual selection/unselection only).

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Features as Described” value=”9″}While the developer did not specifically claim to support Chrome (or Safari) I feel that by mentioning “history, cookies, etc.” one may think all browsers are supported when they are not.
{/for}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”9″}Fairly easy to use. However you have to manually select all the top categories that you to clean, which can get annoying since there is no “select all”.
{/for}
{for=”Performance” value=”8″}Performs very well for the most part. However, there needs to be improvement in cleaning out temporary Internet files for Internet Explorer.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”10″}Just about everyone will find this program useful.
{/for}
{for=”Price” value=”6″}$24.95 is a bit steep for a program that does something many freewares can do. $10-15 is a more attractive buy in my opinion.
{/for}
{for=”Arbitrary Equalizer” value=”8″}This category reflects an arbitrary number that does not specifically stand for anything. Rather this number is used to reflect my overall rating/verdict of the program in which I considered all the features and free alternatives.
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_verdict}[tup]
{/rw_verdict} –>

History Killer Pro is a program that is intended to help you clear your “history” (and related files/entities) for Windows and multiple different applications including but not limited to Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Microsoft Office. Or, to put it simply, History Killer Pro aims to do the same thing the “cleaner” feature of CCleaner does – protect your privacy by cleaning up the traces left behind by your use of your computer.

This is what History Killer Pro looks like:

As you can see the interface for History Killer Pro is pretty nice; nice color scheme and a good layout – fairly aesthetically pleasing in my opinion. As nice looking as the interface is, the usability of History Killer Pro is not hindered one bit; using History Killer Pro is a matter of point-and-click… literally.

HKP (History Killer Pro) has the ability to detect and clear all of the following:

(Click on the image above to view it at full size.)

One thing I noticed is that there is no option to clear “InPrivate Filtering Data” for IE 8; however I don’t find that to be too big of a deal. Also HKP works with IE 6 and IE 7 also – I just have IE 8 installed which is why it says “Internet Explorer 8″ above.

As I already mentioned, using History Killer Pro  is very straightforward and self explanatory. However if you would like some guidance, here are short 1-2 minute video tutorials on how to use HKP:

How to scan and clear/clean your history (i.e. scan and kill targets)

How to use the “exclude list”

How to use the “search” function

Besides all that is shown to you in the videos, there are three more things I would like to point out:

  • The ability to securely delete history. As I am sure everyone knows, when you normally delete something on your computer it really isn’t deleted. What I mean is, yes once you delete a file you will see the “free hard drive space” counter in My Computer raise, but there are ways to recover deleted files. So, if you truly want to deletea file, you need to “securely” delete it. HKP has a secure deletion options; you can find it under “Settings” -> “General” tab:

The more “passes” a secure deletion method has, the more securely it deletes files.

  • The ability to automatically clean history. (Go to “Settings” -> “Schedules”.)

The ability to automatically clean history is actually fairly handy. However, do note Firefox and Internet Explorer already have this option built in (Opera and Chrome may also – I don’t know).

Take note you must have History Killer Pro running for this feature to work (History Killer Pro minimizes to your system tray so you can leave it on at all times).

  • When you hit “X” on History Killer Pro program window, it does not close; rather it goes to the system tray.

In terms of performance, HKP performs fairly well. I ran it against CCleaner and both perform similarly, although each claims to find something the other missed. The only exception is cleaning temporary Internet files for Internet Explorer. HKP seems to be leaving a lot of temp files behind in Internet Explorer. Not only does CCleaner find a significant amount of temp files HKP missed, but I took a look into IE’s cache after HKP was supposed to clean it and can vouch there were still files left behind. This needs to be improved.

Other than that, there are two minor improvements that can be made to HKP:

  • Add “select all” or “unselect” all to where you select “Windows System”, “Internet Explorer”, etc. I find it annoying to have to manually unselect each major category if I only want to clean one or two categories.
  • Provide information on the *total* data/history/files detected during a scan in addition to the individual statistics that are given. It is just handy to know how much is the total data that is being removed.

Overall I give History Killer Pro a thumbs up. Sure there are many free alternatives that do the same/similar things as History Killer Pro, but History Killer Pro can definitely hold its own.

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

{rw_freea}

All of the following programs have some sort of history cleaning feature which is the same/similar to HKP:

East-Tec Eraser 2009

CCleaner

jvPowerTools 2009

TuneUp Utilities 2008

WinUtilities Free Edition

WinOptimizer 2010 Advanced

Auslogics SpeedBoost 4

FCleaner

Glary Utilities

Advanced SystemCare Free (get Advanced SystemCare Pro for free for 1 year for a limited time).

{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}History Killer Pro is a fairly nice history/privacy cleaning application – thumbs up. Feel free to grab it and use it if you want it. However, as good as the program is it is hard to recommend a commercial/shareware software when there are freeware, terrific, time-tested, and very reliable privacy cleaners out there already. My recommendation for a history/privacy cleaner program is CCleaner – it is the king in this category.
{/rw_verdict2} –>

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14 comments

  1. Ashok

    Ashraf, there is a group of people waiting to give you negative comments on GAOTD no matter what you say so ignore those brainless people. We love you and will stick with you. GAOTD site is going down the tube anyways. I used to download almost all of their software but now rarely do it once a month, if something Ashraf recommended comes along! Good work Ashraf.

  2. Ramesh Kumar

    Can someone tell me the significance of this – good or bad?!

    I downloaded History Killer Pro 5.0.1 from gaotd today.Normally an app like this installs all its components to a folder within c:Program FilesHistory Killer Pro. In this case it has installed entirely to c:Documents and SettingsRameshApplicationDataEmergency SoftHistory Killer Pro. Everything – exe, chm, esdt, hkpr, dat, Ingp & cfg files.

    c:Program FilesHistory Killer Pro contains only the readme files and the setup. I had got those 2 while unzipping the download from gaotd.

    I reconfirmed all this by configuring my folder options to temporarily show me content of all system folders & also made visible all system folders & system files just to make doubly sure!

    Does this unusual situation carry any significance for us or can it just be ignored?

    Ramesh

  3. Ramesh Kumar

    Have you also noticed that in the last 4 weeks it is becoming increasingly difficult to click on the developer’s website? These could be indications of clever webmaster intrusions.Such occurrences though undesirable are not uncommon.I also intuit that the webmaster has revised the protocol coding on that site so that user agent switchers do not work. Give it time & probably it won’t work if you disable ads & javascripts.

    I’ll give you one shocking example of webmaster intrigue – a hurricane warning internet site allowed itself to be viewed only via Internet Explorer & not via other browsers. Due to reasons of internet decorum I am not naming the site or the country. Kindly bear with this.

  4. Ramesh Kumar

    Bob, MikeR & Ashraf

    Like you I am also an Ashraf fan. I’ve found out the reason why Ashraf (whose reviews are always the best) is nowadays getting the most negative reviews on that site. Before I tell you the answer just take note of my observations & analysis of it:-

    1) Within the last 4 weeks the average no. of comments on that site has reduced by 75%! There used to be more than 60-70 comments per day per app 4 weeks back whereas it is now 15 to 20.Why?

    2) Within the last 4 weeks the profile of the comments on that site has radically changed. Most of the comments about any app would now praise how that app runs excellently on Win7, Vista & WinXP SP3! Why? Is it an effort to give good publicity to these 3 OS versions so that their poor mkt shares increase? You can see that their mkt shares are poor if you do Google search. You will never see a comment stating that the app runs excellently well on WinXP SP2 which incidentally is still the largest OS among all versions within the Microsoft family! Why?

    3) You will notice that if any comment criticizes an app it 99% of the time would receive a -ve rating. This is not just a rating for God gifted reviewers like Ashraf but for any reviewer who happens to point out negative features

    4) You will notice that if a review happens to be incisive (and Ashraf is always amazingly incisive) that review will invariably be negatively rated

    My assessment is that there has been radical change in webmaster policy on that site.Perhaps their business model has changed. Perhaps now their earnings depend more upon number of downloads rather than number of visitors. Since browsers also enable turning off ads & javascripts perhaps this has worsened all the more. The global recession has further worsened matters.European markets (EEC) which is the largest market globally reels under recession. Probably this site thought it would gain from that via more downloads. A -ve comment spoils the party you see! Gateway 502 errors have increased in the last 4 weeks & cannot be breached even by using a user agent switcher. This excuse is a clever way of allowing some webmasters more time to moderate or even expunge comments which are difficult for even a developer to reply to. Ashraf is always amazingly incisive to a point where it is difficult to rebut.

    Ashraf is intelligent, incisive, articulate & honest.That’s why we love him & will always love him. Take heart Ashraf. We are always with you. This is the real world we all live in. Continue with your good work both on that site & also everywhere else! NEVER RUN AWAY! People who are intelligent cum honest always face this in real life!

    Ramesh

  5. MikeR

    Great review as usual, Ashraf.

    Like Elmer, I’m puzzled as to why this apparently new (?) software has been developed when existing freeware is already operating to a very high standard — notably CCleaner, which I wouldn’t be without. (And which, bizarrely, this new app seems unable to match in its scanning competence: big FAIl there, then. . .)

    (And what CCleaner fails to pick up, my ol’ dependable jv16PowerTools always finds anyway.)

    @Bob post # 7:

    It’s just a phase: the minus sign represents the cerebral deficiency of the person or persons responsible. When no-one reacts, disappointment and boredom sets in because they’ve had no recognition of their labours and so move on to somewhere else. Ashraf could wrack up a thousand minusses on GOTD but it means nowt at all. . .

    Except someone / some people have just wasted yet more of their already wasted lives.

    ;-)

  6. Bob

    Hi Ashraf,

    Thank you for your reviews. I first came across you through the Giveawayoftheday site. I actually search for your name now for a giveaway to see if I should download it or not. I’m puzzled by something I’ve seen since you have returned from your break. I’ve noticed that where you use to be getting the highest postive reviews of your comment/review, now you are getting negative. Do you know why this is, I do not understand it. I’m hoping you will not get discouraged and feel that you are not appreciated. I know I do along with many others. So, do you have an explanation for why you are getting negative on your reviews on the giveawayoftheday site?

    Thank you,
    Bob

  7. Ramesh Kumar

    Your review is great as usual & I will definitely download this.

    The interface shows that it covers Internet Explorer 8. Since it covers version 8 does it mean that it automatically covers Internet Explorer versions 7, 6 as well. I have Internet Explorer 6 & so i wished to know this.

    Kindly let me know

  8. Sunny

    Another that claims to be an anonymous browser is ‘Browzar’

    http://www.browzar.com/index.html

    It is also fully portable, no installation required.
    A 222kb download. It’s based on the Internet Explorer model. I tried using it at an internet cafe while travelling and was roundly scolded by the proprietor for ‘messing with his default system’. Seems he only permitted the installed IE to be used. Go figure!

  9. OldElmerFudd

    I’m always puzzled by shareware privacy/history cleaners when, as you say, there are top-notch freeware products available. CCleaner came to mind as I was reading your article, just as you mentioned.
    @Ashok:
    “Private Browsing” in late version browsers is not the same as truly anonymous browsing. Whlie ‘Private’ leaves no history or cache entries when you quit the browser, much of the activity remains resident in a computer. It takes a Tor-based browser http://www.torproject.org/torbrowser/ or something like SWRIron http://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron.php to accomplish reasonably anonymous browsing.

    Then, of course, there are issues about what your ISP collects, but that’s a discussion for another time….

  10. Ashok

    Good review Ashraf, as usual! Please remind users that most browsers now provide an option for “Private browsing” so no traces are left when you quit that session so people should use that as extra safety when entering their info or credit cards. This is specially true when using a public computer at a hotel or Cafe!