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fixmestick reviews

FixMeStick Review

The FixMeStick is a useful tool that helps you remove malware and viruses from any machine that has a USB port. More than just your average antivirus software, the FixMeStick comes with a few cool tricks up its sleeve that leave most typical antivirus applications in the dust.

What are these tricks? Do they actually work? Will they help me recover my lost device? And is it powerful enough to deserve its hefty price?

In this article, I’m going to talk about the pros, cons, specs and price of the FixMeStick. I hope to give you all the information you need so you can decide for yourself whether having a FixMeStick on hand is worth it to you.

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Overview

On the virus removal side, the software does its job about the same as any traditional antivirus software. But this device is more than just virus prevention software that tries to keep viruses out of your machine.

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The FixMeStick is a complete rescue solution. It’s designed for when you’re already under heavy attack from an infection and you don’t know what else to do.

It isn’t a one-and-done piece of software. It continually updates its data every time you use it. This includes its virus and malware signatures as well as the product itself.

Let’s dig into the FixMeStick’s pricing model a bit

If you’re a basic user looking for a personal solution to protect your home computers, the Home subscription costs $59.99 per year. That gets you the USB stick with its precious software licensed for use on as many as three home computers. Shipping costs are included.

You can also get a 2-year subscription with a license for up to five devices for only $89.99. If you ask me, that’s not a bad deal at all.

If you’re still not sure it’s worth it, you can get the FixMeStick USB sent to you with a 30-day trial license for $9.99 plus any shipping fees.

If you’re a business user looking to protect a whole fleet of priceless devices and their data, you can also get the Pro edition that comes with a business license valid for unlimited computers. That costs $299.99 per year.

If you buy the trial version, the 30-day clock starts right away. For all other versions, your subscription won’t start until the first time you use your FixMeStick. That means you can keep it in your back pocket without its value degrading until a real emergency rears its ugly head.

Once you do activate it, the device will confirm your subscription is valid every time it checks for updates. If you decide not to renew it when your subscription period ends, the product will stop working. You don’t have to wait until it ends, though. You can renew your subscription or even sign up for a few additional years whenever you like.

If you use a Mac computer, there’s a separate FixMeStick edition made for Apple devices.

FixMeStick Pros

  • Powerful bootable USB-based antivirus software can remove the most dangerous viruses and malware
  • Adept at working with USB boot sequences, including UEFI and BIOS
  • Great live chat solutions and remote support tools

FixMeStick Cons

  • When I tested it, it didn’t completely remove all its system files from my device
  • Doesn’t prevent viruses in real time
  • Customer support schedule is not 24/7

Breaking Down the Price

It’s not easy to put a dollar value on antivirus protection. It really depends on how important your data is to you and how much you’d pay to keep it safe. If you don’t have much sensitive or valuable information on your computers, you might not be willing to pay much at all to protect it.

Fewer and fewer people, though, have no personal attachment to the contents of their computer. The vast majority of users have mountains of priceless data on their devices. This can include credit card and social security information, social media passwords and logins, intimate pictures and texts and much more.

Whether your data has a dollar value or purely sentimental value, it’s probably irreplaceable to you. That means the antivirus software you use is also highly valuable.

Because of the subjective value of data, the most objective way to compare the price of an antivirus solution is to check out the average cost of similar competitors. I looked around at what many similar antivirus companies are charging for their products. It turns out the FixMeStick is pretty competitively priced.

There are programs that charge less but also do a lot less. There are programs that charge more and come with more features, a lot of which are only necessary in special cases. For the average user, the FixMeStick is a good solution with a middle-market pricing tier, which we listed above. I do have a couple of complaints though.

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The first thing that didn’t sit right with me was that they charge almost $10 for the trial version. Most other antivirus providers offer at the very least a basic, time-limited version of their product at no cost. That’s literally why they call it the freemium model. If you’re going to charge for your trial version, you shouldn’t call it a 30-day trial. Have the dignity to call it a 1-month subscription.

Trials and tribulations aside, I was kind of impressed by the price of the annual home license. The price of $59.99 per year comes out to about $4.99 per month, which isn’t bad at all. You’ve probably spent more than that on a double cheeseburger with extra pickles.

At $299.99 per year, the Pro license sounds expensive at first. If you think about it, it only comes out to about $25 per month, and the license extends to as many computers as you need to protect. That’s pretty reasonable for a magical back-pocket solution that keeps your business data safe.

The FixMeStick also has a virus removal guarantee to make sure it does what you need it do. If the software doesn’t automatically clean all the malware and viruses from your devices, you can call up their customer service line. They have a bevy of professional software engineers who will help you take care of the threats manually and get your computers back up and running.

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Summarizing the Features

Compared to a full-fledged antivirus app, the FixMeStick can seem a little light on features. If you’re looking for a program that offers real-time protection and regularly-scheduled scans, the FixMeStick is probably not right for you.

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This device was designed to save a system that’s already corrupted and on life support, rather than just put up a wall to try to keep viruses out. That means it will have a little less candy and a little more grit.

Here’s a quick rundown of the FixMeStick’s most useful features.

  • Boots your infected computer from a separate external drive
  • You don’t need to install anything beforehand
  • As many scans as you need
  • No shipping costs (except for the trial version)
  • Lifetime guarantee (except for the trial version)
  • If you don’t like it, you can get your money back within the first 45 days
  • Customer support is free
  • Updates are free and automatic, including virus and malware signatures
  • Cleans most virus and malware infections quickly and easily
  • The interface is intuitive and the system cleaning process is user-friendly

Troubleshooting

There are a number of virus removal apps that use a bootable USB to try to recover the infected computer. Unfortunately, most of them are only compatible with older booting firmware.

If you have an older computer, it’s easy to get into the BIOS firmware and tell it to boot from your USB drive. If you have a newer computer with UEFI, it’s a little more difficult. The FixMeStick addresses that problem with various automated workarounds.

UEFI

If your infected computer uses UEFI and can still load Windows, find a working USB port, and insert your FixMeStick. The program should run automatically. If it doesn’t, navigate to the new USB drive, and click on the FixMeStick program.

You should see a red button appear with the words “Reboot and Start FixMeStick.” Close any other programs, and click the button.

After a few seconds, FixMeStick will send you an update that it’s configuring your boot sequence to launch automatically and that three reboots may be necessary. This is because a UEFI startup uses three possible configurations to boot from a USB drive.

If the first one doesn’t work, FixMeStick will reboot and try the next one. When it finds the right one, it will remember the correct settings.

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FixMeStick may not be able to boot automatically if you have pending Windows updates or a Secure Boot function. If something is preventing FixMeStick from booting cleanly, it will notify you and send you a link to instructions on how to configure your system manually.

I tested the FixMeStick’s boot sequence a few times, and it loaded perfectly on the first try every time. If it doesn’t work for you, you can call their tech support number. You’ll get a friendly voice in your ear to help you solve the problem.

In a worst-case scenario, if your FixMeStick configures something wrong that interrupts Windows’ boot sequence, there’s a handy Undo button. Just reboot to the USB drive again, and click “Undo Quarantine.” The FixMeStick will restore your computer to its last working state, so you can call the tech support number to help you manually remove the infection.

BIOS

If your computer has older BIOS firmware, you may have to change the boot sequence yourself. The FixMeStick app is its own bootable operating system, so you’ll have to tell your BIOS to ignore your other operating systems and give your FixMeStick priority.

Most computers and laptops are configured to boot from the internal hard drive first. This will just land you back in your infected operating system. Here are some tips on how to change the bootable media order from your BIOS if your FixMeStick doesn’t load automatically.

Restart your computer and look out for a message telling you how to enter your BIOS. It should be at the very beginning of the boot sequence and may read something like, “Press F10 to enter setup.” If no message appears, try pressing F2, F10, F11, F12 or DEL right after turning on your computer.

Once your BIOS loads, find the boot settings menu. It’s probably called “Boot Options” or “Boot Order,” and it may be under a tab called “Advanced,” “System Configuration” or even “Storage.”

When you click on your boot settings menu, you’ll see options like “Internal HDD,” “USB” and maybe even “CD-ROM.” Select “USB” to tell your BIOS to load the USB drives before the hard drive. Exit the BIOS, and make sure to save your settings!

USB Port Errors

Another reason your FixMeStick may not work is because of USB port errors. If you don’t use them regularly, some of your USB ports may accumulate dust, rust or other physical damage.

You may also have software problems or incompatibility between different USB versions. Laptops or PCs that have both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 can sometimes run into configuration errors that prevent them from booting from certain ports.

If you’re sure your BIOS is configured correctly but the FixMeStick still refuses to load, try a few different USB ports until you find one that works. Remember which one for next time.

Other Benefits of the FixMeStick

Many viruses and malware are able to load themselves right into your boot sequence and nullify your antivirus software. This can happen whether you use Windows or Mac OSX.

The FixMeStick temporarily takes control before your normal boot sequence to keep the infection from loading into the memory. This circumvents most viruses and malware before they can get a finger hold.

It’s also highly effective against ransomware. Ransomware is a new arrival on the malware scene. It locks up your hard drives and threatens to delete everything if you don’t send your attacker ransom money. Even if you pay, the attacker has no obligation to give you access to your drives, and you may end up losing everything anyway.

The FixMeStick’s bootable solution is designed to bypass ransomware by acting as a separate hard drive. It stays disconnected from the infection where it can safely remove the ransomware, so you don’t have to negotiate with the hacker.

The bootable FixMeStick can also protect you from viruses that change your system password. If your password doesn’t work and you can’t login to run a virus scan, you can boot from your FixMeStick to clean the infection and reset your password.

Many basic viruses disable your antivirus software and corrupt your operating system files to prevent you from installing a new antivirus program. The FixMeStick works outside of your operating system and doesn’t need to be installed on your computer. It can sidestep these problems by loading its own operating system, isolating the infection and restoring your system files and antivirus software.

Some of the most dangerous infections hide in the background to collect your data over time. This can include your usernames, passwords, browser history and bank account information. If the virus can take control of your internet connection, it will clandestinely send your secrets back to the attacker, who can then clean out your bank accounts. FixMeStick’s bootable drive loads before the virus to keep it from communicating with outside resources and prevent these info dumps.

Even though it can be a lifesaver to have the FixMeStick in your back pocket in case of emergency, it’s still important to keep your computer protected with traditional antivirus software. Your FixMeStick has a lot of clever ways to take care of infections, but you should only use it as a last-ditch resort if a virus manages to make it past your other antivirus software.

Summary:

  • No installation needed
  • Keeps the virus or malware from loading into your boot sequence
  • Bypasses hard drives that are locked with ransomware
  • Circumvents viruses that change your operating system password
  • Keeps hidden viruses from sending your personal information to outside sources

Conclusion

When a virus or malware infestation renders your antivirus programs and operating system useless, the FixMeStick can be your savior. If you value your data and use a computer with an active internet connection, I would absolutely recommend this product for you.

Bootable media solutions are some of my favorite virus fixes. They work in a walled garden completely separately from your memory, boot sequence, operating system and hard drives. This makes it nearly impossible for the virus to infect them, unless, of course, the virus becomes airborne. (Don’t worry, that’s a joke.)

FixMeStick’s virus-removal guarantee makes me feel safer, because I know I can get an expert on the line if I run into any problems. Make sure to use your FixMeStick together with real-time virus protection for complete peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions
Is the FixMeStick for one-time use?

You can use the FixMeStick an unlimited number of times on your selected devices during your subscription period.

Do I need to keep my FixMeStick plugged in all the time?

No - you only need to plug in your FixMeStick when you want to run a scan. The FixMeStick doesn't download software onto your computer, which means it only runs when you plug it in. With FixMeStick, there is no software to install, or passwords to remember. Plug in your FixMeStick to scan your computer and unplug it when you’re done!

Does FixMeStick really work?

YES. The FixMeStick works outside of your operating system and doesn’t need to be installed on your computer. Bootable media solutions are some of my favorite virus fixes. They work in a walled garden completely separately from your memory, boot sequence, operating system and hard drives.

How to start fixmestick?

If your infected computer uses UEFI and can still load Windows, find a working USB port, and insert your FixMeStick. The program should run automatically. If it doesn’t, navigate to the new USB drive, and click on the FixMeStick program.

You should see a red button appear with the words “Reboot and Start FixMeStick.” Close any other programs, and click the button.