IOBit SmartDefrag

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IOBit SmartDefrag is a hard disk defragmenter that can be used to defragment your hard drive on-demand or it can work in the background, continuously degragmenting your hard drive whenever your computer’s resources are available.

Depending on your usage, defragmenting your hard drive can be one of the most significant interventions you can do that can have a noticeable impact on increasing your computer’s performance, as hard drives can often act as a bottleneck for the entire system. There are a number of free tools you can use to do this including Auslogic’s free Disk Defrag, as well as IOBit SmartDefrag.

There is some debate, however, as to the advantage of using any of the above free tools versus simply using windows XP’s own Defrag utility, which is based on the Diskeeper engine. This tends to be a very subjective issue, as I did some research into this and was not able to find any comparative testing or hard numbers that might shed light on this. (Numbers aside, both seem to me to be much faster than the Windows tool).

What makes IOBit SmartDefrag noteworthy is the”install and forget” functionality that provides continuous defragmentation as a background process. This defragmentation process works whenever your computer’s resource utilization is under 20% (a threshold which can be changed in the program settings).

Other things to know about this program:

  • Enables you to do “express” or “comprehensive” defrags (the former takes less time, the latter does a better job)
  • Enables you to schedule defrags, which is very handy
  • Autodefrag is by default turned off whenever your computer is using battery power.
  • Contains Ads (Adware) in the right-side margin of the console, mostly for other IOBit products. Commerical users need to purchase a license.
  • Its Vista compatible.

I have been using this for a week now and I am very happy with its performance (although keep in mind that this is still in beta). The only hitch I did notice seems to be a longer system shutdown time when IOBit SmartDefrag is running (may or may not be an issue, and in any case can be worked around by manually exiting the app before shutting down).

The other issue I had with this software is that even after a full defrag, the “Optimization Level” gauge was merely “good” at around 75%, which left me wondering why it was not better than that. Potential reasons I can think of are (a) IOBit SmartDefrag does not deliver a stellar performance, (b) this is the best I can get with the current state of my hard drive (very full with a lot of files and very little empty space), (c) one should not read much into the “optimization level” gauge, or (d) all of the above. My guess is that its (d).

The verdict: despite being beta software and containing ads, the “install and forget” continuous defragmentation feature offers enough value-added for me to use and recommend this software.

Version tested: 2.0 beta

Compatibility: Windows 2000, XP, Vista.

Go to the program download page to download the latest version.