Monday, June 4, 2012

8 Software Update Monitors That Keep Your Programs Updated Compared

Keeping all your installed programs up-to-date is quite a challenge. While most programs are capable of automatically updating it does so when you start the program, and you will agree that the best time to update a program isn't when you're trying to use it. You want to have your programs updated silently, in the background, when you are not using them. Since programs by their own are incapable of doing this, we have to resort to third party tools.

Here is what we’ve got. A comparison table is given at the end of this article.

Patch My PC

patch-my-pc

Patch My PC is a small compact program which when run will scan your computer for installed application and display a list of those found. The list will highlight outdated programs in red, up-to-date programs in green and missing programs in black. Patch My PC can also detect missing Windows updates and download and install them as well.

Additional options include the ability ignore select programs, have the program delete desktop shortcuts after installing software, a startup manager and an uninstaller.

The program can patches some 56 common third party products such as Adobe Reader, Flash, Java, QuickTime, Firefox, Chrome and the usual stuff. Patch My PC couldn’t detect the majority of my programs and even the ones that it clearly supports. For instance, it failed to check Picasa and FeedDemon, Media Player Classic, Audacity, uTorrent and many others.

Pros: Cons:
  • Automatically updates applications and removes earlier versions.
  • Check for Windows updates
  • Poor support for applications other than the most common ones.
  • No sorting, filtering option in the UI.
  • Low accuracy

FileHippo.com Update Checker

filehippo

FileHippo Update Checker scans the computer, detects out-dated software and then prepares a webpage where you will find links to download the updated versions. However, downloading and installing the program is your job.

The program doesn't check for updates for every installed program, but it works fine when it comes common applications like browsers, media players, chat clients and the like. If you install your programs at locations other than the default, there is an option to have the program scan these custom locations.

Pros: Cons:
  • Can scan custom program directory
  • Poor support for applications other than the most common ones.
  • Doesn’t auto update applications.
  • Low accuracy

Secunia Personal Software Inspector

secunia-psi

Secunia PSI can recognize around 30,000 software products gathering update information from a variety of online sources including a user community and in-house research.

Once the scan is completed, Secunia PSI will present you with a list of issues that were detected, along with download links to updated version, additional online information and other details. Scan results lists programs that have reached the end of support and programs that require updating because the current version is insecure. The interface is a bit overwhelming and text heavy and maybe is strewn with information that users don’t need like your security score and how they compare to people using Secunia PSI near your city.

Pros: Cons:
  • Auto update programs.
  • Recognize more than 30,000 applications.
  • Can scan custom drives other than the system partition
  • Resource heavy. Uses around 100MB or more of memory
  • Scanning is slow
  • Low accuracy

SUMo

sumo

SUMo stands for Software Update Monitor. Like the rest of the lot, SUMo scans your computer and displays a list of all found programs. Upon clicking the “Check” button it will gather information about the latest software version from a “master server” and show you which software on your computer requires updating. You can sort the list by programs that are up-to-date, programs for which minor updates are available and programs for which there is a major update.

Double clicking an entry will take you to a page on the developer’s website where you will find links to download the latest version of the software from various sources like Softpedia, Download.com, and FileHippo.

Pros: Cons:
  • Recognizes many software programs
  • Can scan even portable programs and custom folders
  • Doesn’t automatically update programs
  • The shareware version is riddled with multiple toolbars and spywares. Make sure you download SUMo Lite.

R-Updater

r-updater_1

R-Updater is another powerful software update program that automatically checks for the latest versions of all the installed applications on your computer. The program will show the version of the software it found on your computer, the version that is available on R-Updater’s catalogue and a “new user’s version”. There is no explanation what the “new user’s version” is, but generally this is the correct latest version of the software from the developer. Optionally, R-Updater will also show beta versions whenever available.

To update your programs, check the boxes against the software title and click on the Update button. This will open a webpage with download links to all the selected software. Downloading and installing them is again your job.

R-Updater comes with a scheduler using which you can periodically check your installed programs for update without user intervention. R-Updater can check for new versions at each system startup, daily, weekly or monthly. You can also check for new versions manually. Custom notifications for automatic scans.

Pros: Cons:
  • Recognizes many software programs
  • Scan executable file of programs manually
  • Scheduler available
  • Cannot add custom directory for scanning
  • Doesn’t automatically update programs

Brothersoft Updater

brothersoft

Software download website Brothersoft recently released their own Updater program. Update scans of this tool is based on the huge software catalog they have. After the scan is over it will list all programs found including those that needs updating. Clicking on the Update button next to each entry will take you to Brothersoft’s listing page for the software. The scan results are fairly accurate but it did miss a couple of popular programs.

Pros: Cons:
  • Recognizes many software programs
  • Cannot add custom directory for scanning
  • Doesn’t automatically update programs
  • Doesn’t detect all programs
  • Low accuracy

Software Informer Client

software-informer

The Software Informer update client can recognize more than 2.4 million programs, and pretty accurately too. After the scan is over it will list all programs found and highlight those that needs updating. Additionally, it will also scan for installed drivers and tell you if updates for them are available as well.

At the end of the scan, the program will open a webpage wherein you will find downloads links to all your out of date programs.

Pros: Cons:
  • Detects more than 2.4 million programs
  • Scans and detects drivers
  • Scheduled scanning possible
  • Cannot add custom directory for scanning
  • Doesn’t automatically update programs

OUTDATEfighter

OUTDATEfighter will periodically connect to their servers, throughout the day, in search of updated version of the programs installed on your computer. The tool reportedly supports more than 1.2 million programs. Despite boasting of a large catalog, the program was not able to identify a majority of programs installed on my computer.

Pros: Cons:
  • Can scan for Windows updates
  • Automatically download and launch setup for installation
  • Poor support for applications
  • Cannot add custom directory for scanning

Quick Comparison Table

 

Auto update

No. of supported software

Accuracy

Scheduler

Scan custom location/program

Patch My PC

Yes

~56

Low

No

No

FileHippo Updater

No

Unknown. Small

Low

No

Yes

Secunia PSI

Yes

30,000+

Low

Yes

Yes

SUMo

No

Unknown. Large

High

No

Yes

R-Updater

No

Unknown. Large

High

Yes

No

Brothersoft Updater

No

Unknown. Large

Low

No

No

Software Informer Updater

No

2.4+ million

High

Yes

No

OUTDATEfighter

Yes

1.2+ million

Low

No

No

Last updated on April 17, 2013

5 comments:

  1. I like Ninite Updater because it automatically installs the updates with no user interaction. Surprisingly nobody ever reviews that one..

    ReplyDelete
  2. @geeknik: Probably because it's not free

    ReplyDelete
  3. No. Because Ninite is not a software update monitor. It's software downloader and installer like Synaptic package manager for Linux. It doesn't monitor software already present in your system for updates.

    There are many programs like Ninite and I've been reviewing them periodically here.

    Ninite
    FreewareUpdater
    Ketarin
    FreeApp
    ZeuAPP
    Windows Package Manager

    ReplyDelete
  4. You forgot Orbit downloader. Yes it's primarily a downloader, but it has a very good software update notification built in. I get notifications of new updates almost every day, which is very nice.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Orbit downloader! dang! It slipped my mind. I will add that one to the list.

    ReplyDelete

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