While the computers are becoming more and more powerful nowadays, the software used to operate the computer are also becoming more and more complex. If you are following the press releases of software companies, we can safely assume that hundreds of new software are released everyday and thousands of already released software are updated to their next versions almost daily.
With these numbers in mind, it can become an issue for the users to update their software to the latest version, particularly if they have installed hundreds of software on their PCs. To counter this problem, the concept of automatic software updaters was introduced which would check for updates of all the software installed in the computer and notify the user of all the updates available for their PCs. These software are also called software updates monitors.
In this article, we will be discussing almost all the software updater available publicly today. If I miss one, you can share it in the comments below. Please note that all these software are not alike. Some software may be used for monitoring general software updates while some may be related to security apps and patches only.
1. FileHippo Update Checker
FileHippo Update Checker is one of my favorite as it is extremely small in size and very easy to use. After the installation, FileHippo Update Checker will scan for installed software and send the information to FileHippo servers to compare the versions of software installed on the PC and available on FileHippo.com.
It will then display a list of updates available and the download links to new updated software. One has to manually download the software and install it on the computer. FileHippo Update Checker is very good for those who want to keep an eye on everything that is being updated or installed.
One drawback of FileHippo Update Checker is that it does not support all the new software being released daily but it supports majority of the popular software. FileHippo Update Checker works on all versions of Windows but it requires .NET Framework 2.0 or later to be installed.
2. CNet TechTracker
CNet TechTracker is from the owners of download.com which is considered to be a one stop destination for software downloads. Usually the updates to the software are available on CNet software catalog sooner than other sites. Another advantage of installing CNet TechTracker is that most of the software are tested for spyware and malware before being updated.
CNet TechTracker is the best tool for those who want to have a “set it and forget it” functionality. One thing to note that while installing this software updater, it will also install a search toolbar which can be annoying for many users. You have to be careful while installing TechTracker and select “I do not accept” when the toolbar offer is made.
SUMo (Software Updates Monitor) is another great software updater which is easy to use and can automate the software updates process. The biggest disadvantage of SUMo is with its installation procedure. You have to be very careful while installing SUMo because it will ask you to install some useless toolbars and software which you should always decline.
After the installation, SUMo will give you an option to either open SUMo settings or automatically detect installed software. After automatic detection, you have to click on the next button “Check for updates for your installed software”. The scanning and updating process is very fast and takes just a few moments to get the results. You can update the software by selecting it and clicking on the Get Updates button. You can also select multiple items by using Ctrl and Shift keys.
SUMo makes use of different software download sites in order to get the updates. The download sites include FileForum, Softonic, Download.com, Softpedia, Snapfiles, FileHippo etc.
Note: The best way to keep away from bundled software which comes with SUMo is to download the zipped versions of SUMo instead of the installer.
UpdateStar is another popular software updates client. UpdateStar is one of the first software updater that I started using. The interface of UpdateStar is not as user friendly as other software updater discussed above. There are two editions of UpdateStar – free and premium. The premium edition is paid and is fully automated. You don’t have to touch anything in order to update the software installed in the system. UpdateStar premium will automatically update the software and let you know in the system tray. This feature is not available in the freeware edition of UpdateStar.
UpdateStar delivers only major releases of the installed programs making sure that you always have the stable version of software installed.
R-Updater is a light weight software updates monitor program which does not take a lot of resources when running. It is available as an installer as well in portable edition. R-Updater starts with Windows and keeps on checking for new versions of installed software every now and then. You can also change the checking schedule in the settings.
The best feature of R-Updater is that in addition to checking for new updates, it also offers to download Giveaway of the day software daily. Going to giveawayoftheday.com and checking for new giveaway daily is hard while R-Updater notifies about the latest giveaways on your desktop.
6. Secunia PSI (Personal Software Inspector)
Secunia PSI is another popular automatic software updating solution. When it comes to security updates and patches, Secunia PSI is the best in the competition. I’m currently using Secunia PSI 3 beta. With version 3, the software gets a really simple and user friendly interface. It takes a few moments to open. You will need to scan your PC for installed software in order for Secunia PSI to start working. It will also scan for Windows security updates and let you install the updates from within the program interface.
Overall Secunia PSI is a bit slower than other software updaters but it delivers solid security and software updates.
Other software updaters
The above mentioned software updaters were the most popular update monitoring software used by millions of users. There are a few others worth mentioning. I found all these updating software while researching for this article.
- Carambis Software Updater – includes multilingual support and a very quick scanning engine with one click scanning option.
- Glarysoft Software Update – informs whenever a new update of a software is available. You can share information and comment on the new software updates.
- RadarSync – automatically download and installs new updates to installed software.
- Appupdater – very similar to Linux apt-get and yum and provides the automated installation and maintenance of installed software.
- Update Notifier – a portable software updater with a watch list feature where you can add programs to your watch list.
- Ketarin – Ketarin keeps the setup packages up to date instead of the installed programs. So if you have a software repository in your computer, Ketarin will keep it up to date.
- Software Informer – lets you find new software according to your needs while keeping the installed software up to date.
- FileREX Update Checker – automatically detects installed apps and then gives download links to the latest versions available.
- Patch My PC – checks for the latest versions of popular software. Patching those popular programs in time keeps the hackers away from the computer.
- Seven Update - very much like Windows Update but it keeps third party software updated. It is free and open source.
- Software-UpToDate - a very simple program which notifies about the recently updated software and gives download links to those software.
The good thing about these software updaters is that usually they do not conflict with each other. If you want to install multiple software updater monitoring programs, you can do it without any problems.
I have tried my best to collect all the software updaters in one place but in case I have missed one, please share it in the comments below.
Image credit: update button concept by Big Stock Photo.