Evaluating desktop search

As a result of a problem with a previous desktop search, I have been testing out some desktop search applications available. My PC runs Windows XP so I didn’t include the Vista search. The three I tested were:

Of the three applications, the Windows search has the best user interface in my view. It searches file/email titles and contents, and search results are quick. My major problem with it were the search applications that run on the PC. There were several times when two programs – searchprotocol and searchfilterhost – took over the CPU and memory of my PC, rendering it inoperable for 15 minutes and longer. After a particularly bad experience when I could hardly use my PC for a day, I deleted Windows desktop search, and that’s when I started looking at other solutions.

I was made aware of Copernic via a comment on Twitter. The user interface was reasonable, but the free version I downloaded only searched file/email titles, not contents. After a short experiment, I deleted Copernic.

I turned to Google’s desktop search after another comment on Twitter. The user interface is browser oriented, which while not the best for me, it is acceptable. It searches file/email titles as well as contents. From a performance persepctive, the Google desktop search programs run surreptiously and don’t consume CPU or memory. The only problem is that Google have not made it easy to change the location of the search index. However, I found the following article on how to change the index location.

After a few weeks, I am still happy with the Google Desktop Search. I am interested in testing other applications if anyone wants to send me the information.


3 thoughts on “Evaluating desktop search

  1. Unfortunately, it seems as though Copernic Desktop Search (CDS) was not tested thoroughly. We confirm that all versions of CDS go through the file contents when performing a search. Some options may affect the way files or emails are indexed and have an impact on the results it pulls out. However, by default, once the initial indexing process is completed, CDS will fetch all the files that contain the searched term in file names, contents and meta-data.

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