Sent to you by Chris Hunter via Google Reader:
Individual tools such as CCleaner and Defraggler have received their fair share of attention here at MUO, and deservingly so. As a bigger picture, Piriform (the brains behind those two pieces of software and others) has really solidified their name in the world of PC maintenance and optimization, and they continue to push out awesome tools that remain updated. For years, these guys have kept our systems in top shape.
For those of you who have never heard of their four amazing tools for Windows users, they are CCleaner, Defraggler, Recuva, and Speccy. All are compatible with every version of Windows past 2000, and all are incredibly useful. Let's appreciate Piriform for what they've made for us and let's recap on these four tools in this post.
CCleaner is a legend in the field of cleaning up your messy hard drive. With features that range from fine-tuning and cleaning at the core Windows services like your clipboard, memory dumps, and font and DNS caches, it's never been tough to see why this software is the go-to solution for Windows machines. In recent years, CCleaner has continued to develop so nicely that now, as you install new programs, you'll notice specific cleaning options for programs like Opera, Chrome, Evernote, Photoshop, Notepad++, Skype, Steam, and many more.
CCleaner goes above and beyond the norm of emptying your Recycle Bin and taking care of temporary Internet files.
Windows' shipped defragment tool almost looks like a joke when compared to the capabilities of Defraggler.
The specific features of this disk defragment companion really make it great. You're able to just analyze your drive to test if it is in need of a defragment, and from there choose between your typical defrag or a quick defrag. You're also able to isolate files or folders and only defragment them. Defragmenting freespace is also an option, as well as checking your disk for errors right from the Action menu.
Recuva is one of those pieces of software that serves the kind of a purpose that most people don't think is even possible or don't even know exists.
If you've ever deleted a file off of any drive, Recuva can help you get it back. Run the application, select the appropriate drive, and run a scan and you'll see exactly what I mean. Even after the Recycle Bin, your files may still be salvagable. This is a piece of mind that every PC user should be able to experience and fall back on.
I know that there are several of you who are reading this article right now that wouldn't be able to tell me what processor you're using or how many gigs of RAM you've got under the hood. That's fine, because that's exactly the type of thing that Speccy strives to help the average user with.
Similar to CPU-Z in features, just run this application and give it a few seconds while it collects information about your system. From there, you're able to glance through tabs and look over more system information than you could have ever wanted. This goes far beyond what the System screen contains (through thw Windows Control Panel). Knowing the ins and outs of your system means you're able to make a better judgment on what may harm your system, what games can be run comfortable, and more.
You guys let me know how much you love these four applications in the comments. Piriform deserves a lot of credit, and these are four tools I'll always use.