45 replies on The Best Tools To Check For Software Updates

  1. mk says:

    hey, you forgot: https://ninite.com/updater/
    its pretty good, costs though…

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      I chose not to test it due to the fact that it is a commercial solution. I tested only free software. However, I will be testing Ninite in more detail, next week, and I might come back with some article(s).

    • Nathan says:

      I use the regular Ninite sie (not the updater). I select all the programs I want from it and saved the file it downloads in My Documents folder. About once a week, I double-click on the file. It downloads and installs (crapware free) anything in that list that is out-of-date. Everything up to date it just skips. Works pretty well, I think.

  2. Shatimi says:

    I do not use update checkers at all. What, with another piece of software sitting in an already overcrowded system tray and eating its share of RAM, thank you very much. Instead I’m subscribed to the RSS of Filehippo and another Russian resource on software updates in my Greader. The K.I.S.S. principle in action 🙂

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      If you care about having less resources consumed at startup, you can use FileHippo’s Update Checker and set it to close itself down if it has nothing to report.

  3. Dante says:

    and Ketarin?

    • IC says:


      I use Ketarine regularly.
      It can check/download any app from FileHippo.com.
      Best of all: it doesn’t have to be installed.

      The only drawback I know of is that it can’t check/download software from sites like sourceforge.net

  4. chad says:

    i just discovered all my apps and it seems to work really well. there are thousands of apps in the database and it helps you search for more. plus it just looks good.


  5. J.L. says:

    No knowledge of SUMo Lite, portable, etc? Are you sure RelevantKnowledge was actually installed, not just put in the folder?

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      I am positive RelevantKnowledge was installed. It bugged me twice during my tests with requests to participate in studies and surveys. Really annoying.

      As for SUMO and other software – I always use the main version marketed on the official website, for all my tests. I do not want to make any favors (or not) and choose different versions for different products (such as lite, portable, etc). It would make my comparisons unfair and open to disputes about their relevance.

      • J.L. says:

        Strange, I remember unchecking everything, and it wasn’t installed.

        It’s your choice.

        • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

          It got installed because the first time I did this, I did not pay enough attention and I thought one of the “I accept” dialogues was for SUMO. Once I figured it out, in other installations, I did not fall into the same trap.

  6. mad.madrasi says:

    fantastic job. great. thanx. but I do agree with @mk & @nathan regarding ninite – the free one is good enough. otherwise IMHO filehippo is better than others and SUMO is (again IMHO) *not* to be recommended.

    Personally I found that people aren’t bothered to even run the update checkers. Thus I maintain a list of (current) software at my blog and make a post (at least once a week) of new updates available – which has been good enough to spur half a dozen of my friends to attempt the updates.

    great work though @ciprian

  7. Pops Pitts says:

    I have used Secunia for almost 2 years now,and have found it to be a very useful security tool. From what I have experienced, they alert you to updates within hours of the release. and there are occasionally security threats in which time is of the essence. Secunia is reasonably intuitive, operates in the background, and has caused me no problems at all. I can definitely recommend it.

    Thanks, Ciprian, for your posting. People like you are a big help for all the rest of us.

  8. T.C. Bennett says:

    I also like Secunia very much and don’t mind the “extra” heft it uses, although anything less than 4GB RAM may result in slowness. It’s effectiveness and especially the extra security I surely appreciate. I’ve noticed of all the aps marked to update/insecure, Adobe is a real pain, but don’t attribute to Securnia so much as Adobe, as going direct to Adobe for updates is the real pain, as I’m most will agree who try it.

  9. Andrew says:

    Been using File Hippo “Update Checker” for quite a while now. Love it and all the applications you can get from it’s website. And it’s FREE! Have tried TechTracker and couldn’t get rid of it fast enough. It’s like a parasite wanting to take over your PC. It basically tells you everything on your PC is out of date, consistently. Seems loaded with spyware, because you’ll be bombarded with offers for everything Cnet tries to peddle. I do NOT want any program that automatically installs whatever it wants.

  10. Daelke D says:

    Great article! I’m surprised you didn’t give Autopatcher a try. I have 200 PC’s that normally use Windows Server Updates Services but when an update fails to install normally its Autopatcher to the rescue.

  11. Michael says:

    I have been using SUMo for quite awhile. Overall, I like it. Two things thought you should be aware of. One … SUMo does not utilize the registry to check for updates to any installed applications and such. SUMo utilizes the location where the application(s) are installed and checks the “properties” of the application (such as DLLs, EXEs) for the version. If there is no data (version) in the properties then it will not be checked. Two … there two versions (if you will allow) you can download .. the so-called full version and the “NORK” version. If I am correct the “NORK” does not have all the batched “stuff”. I use the NORK download and, it is fully operational. Just download “sumo_nork.exe”.

  12. Mary says:

    Thank you for your article and the time you took to do the tests and show us the results. I have been using Secunia for about 3 years and FileHippo for about 2 years. I have Secunia set to scan weekly and I use FileHippo a few times a week.

    I prefer FileHippo as it doesn’t download any updates, and just alerts me to the updates available. With Secunia, I have had problems after it has downloaded a new update. Since I’ve had to do a few system restores after Secunia has patched items, I am a bit leary about it now, but continue to use it.

  13. al says:

    I installed Secunia for two days and promptly took it off of all my computers..but i upjtt (use programs just to try), hence use and try…upjtt get it lol.
    Anyway ….i did not like how you had to look for the button to start a scan on secunia…it is not for the non-computer users to try..a bit complicated…but yes…i too had troubles with acrobat etc. going to their site…but all in all secunia did a great job of finding quickly..needed program updates and security patches.. and the majority of the security patches were at the windows update site; so a very good program but just not too friendly for the lame to try. (gotta be a geek).

  14. Kyle says:

    SUMo v2.17.1 has just been released
    All sponsors are FULLY optional and the Lite / Zip installer has no sponsor at all.

  15. Joseph Pascual says:

    I use Soluto, not only does it update software, it also lightens boot time and web browsers as well as help heal software crashes.

  16. BillR5 says:

    Excellent article but I must disagree on three points. Most important: _NEVER_ use SUMo. Your warning was not strong enough! I got junk even when I thought I was being careful.

    I haven’t had much luck with FileHippo: Secunia and TechTracker found ~20 and ~25 items (including a few false positives in TT) respectively while FileHippo found ~5 on an old XP system this spring. I’m not sure why my experience is so different. Let me reiterate your advice about signing up for free CNET account AND LOGGING IN EACH TIME before using TT task queue as that helps avoid some problems with TT and also with the recent CNET installer that wraps some downloads with crapware that is sometimes hard to avoid. Remember to periodically _MANUALLY_ cleanout the TT download directory, especially if you don’t always immediately upgrade whatever is found. Otherwise you will wind up with 10 or 20 copies of whatever you put off updating.

    Note that Secunia patches have caused me problems several times. Twice it installed garbage due to the silent install that failed to uncheck items. Another time I had system problems immediately after installing an update. A rollback and manual install worked well. Despite Secunia’s security focus, it found several old programs that were not properly uninstalled (and aren’t on Add Remove Programs).

    I use Secunia and TechTracker but I’m going to take another look at Software Informer.

    Ninite and All My Apps really belong in a related but different category. If I were building a new PC, I would certainly consider using one of them.

    R-Updater, UpdateStar, and RadarSync are a few of many other updaters. Has anyone had any recent experience — good or bad — with any of them?

    One feature missing from all of these apps: I wish they included an option to only check say once a week, twice a month, even monthly. I don’t really want or need them to check on every boot. (Yes, I can schedule them myself but this is an old XP system.)

    Once again, good review Ciprian Adrian Rusen. I don’t see many like this outside of magazines and this is better tham many of those.

    • BillR5 says:

      Wishlist: List current version along with new version.

      Oops: Scratch _payware_ driver oriented RadarSync. I think UpdateStar free version only checks for updates; Premium payware version performs updates. I know I tried several other update programs and even bought one years ago (maybe Norton/Symantec?) but I don’t remember the names now.

      • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

        Thanks for sharing your experience with us and for the appreciation.

        Hopefully, we managed to convince you to subscribe to our website and read our articles from time to time.

    • Terry Critchley says:

      I too find Secunia unfriendly and unusable. Half the time it just sits there looking at me.

  17. Shelton says:

    Just read this interesting artice and have just 1 question regarding any/all of these products reviewed as well as those posted in the comments, can any of these products send an email when it’s time to update from respective systems? I have a total of 6 family & friends that I continually provide *remote* support to and would like to receive an email when the check results in software updates available to be downloaded. This would help me manage their systems so much more effectively.
    And no, I absolutely don’t mind supporting their systems! Thanks!

  18. Chris says:

    Shelton I unfortunately don’t think so but remote desktop access is probably your best option. Otherwise you would need an expensive CRM system to admin them best.

    One of the newest updaters out there is OUTDATEfighter (www.spamfighter.com/outdatefighter) which I feel is your best bet for an easy and safe to use tool (it comes with antivirus protection from updates).

    If you want a bit more comlicated system but reliable try Update Checker as listed here.

  19. Evan Johnson says:

    There are two different update checker as I know. One of them just check your outdated drivers such as “Intel Chipset Device Software, Realtek High Definition Audio Driver, Nvidia GeForce Driver and so on.” (not all apps); and the other one check your whole computer HDD to find outdated apps (including drivers) and notify you to make it up to date.

    As a software engineer I’d choose the second option. Actuallty I’ve to say that I used most of them like “Allmyapp, Appupdater, Brothersoft Updater, CNET TechTracker, FileHippo Update Checker, Ketarin, Ninite Updater, OUTDATEfighter, Patch My PC, Personal Software Inspector, R-Updater, Software Informer Client, SUMo, Speed Install, Update Notifier, …” and I think “SUMo” is the one.

    I’ll be happy to know your personal opinion Cipri.
    Accept my appreciation about the article dear. It was srsly useful. thanks again.

  20. Ed Reel says:

    I found an excellent utility called Update Detector from filepluma.com that works similar to FileHippo Update Checker but locates more installed software. See http://www.filepuma.com/updatedetector/.

  21. Kyle says:


    I’m the developper of SUMo.

    I’d like to get in touch with the reviewer in order to better understand why SUMo haven’t reached 17 / 17 as detection rate in your configuration (itshould reach that level !).

    Concerning the “custom location scan” it is planned to be added as per : http://www.kcsoftwares.com/bugs/view.php?id=1242

    What’s the difference between “green” and “grey” YES in the feature comparison ? (in particular Startup Launch)

    Thanks !


    • Tudor Mandache says:


      I wrote the review and I have to tell you that, as you can see in the screenshot for SUMo, it did not seem to find any update for Filezilla. This program should be at least at version, but SUMo sees it as updated only at version

      About custom scan locations, I have only stated what the tests have shown and nothing else. I really look forward to this feature being included in SUMo.

      I used the green and red to make it easy for readers to understand the most important good or bad features of the programs I recommended. For SUMo I found it important to show that it had the highest detection rate out of all the programs and I wanted that to be visible in the table.

      Hope this helps.


  22. Kyle says:


    Filezilla problem is now solved : http://www.kcsoftwares.com/sumo/view.php?uid=13041982&ProductName=FileZilla&Company=FileZilla%20Project&prot=2

    What’s the very last one missing ? Would you please rerun the test ?

    Regarding the feature you expect, i’ll have it implemented in next release (v4.0)

  23. Kyle says:

    SUMo v4.0 is released :
    – It should reach the 17/17
    – Is supports the “custom scanning location” (File>Scan Folder, or in Settings)


    Please update listing 🙂

    • Diego says:

      Oh Kyle… your SUMo:
      – went nagware, an annoying “BUY ME” window always shows up when closing the program
      – doesn’t see the difference between freeware and commercial versions of the installed software (for example Nitro PDF or Softmaker Office)
      – can’t update itself anymore
      – tries to install unwanted spyware on our computers
      – could use a little update on the visual side because we don’t use Windows 95 anymore

      And you have the nerve to ask for a top rating? Your tool is still one of the better update checkers, but you’re ruining it.

  24. Kyle says:

    Hi !

    – Not nagware : the “thank you” window can be disabled (click on “hide me ” tick box)
    – For free/paid differentiation, please report as bug here and i’ll fix : http://www.kcsoftwares.com/bugs/
    – Auto update feature has been introduced in v4.x version for paid user (was not possible before, it is possible now)
    – No unwanted software installation, 100% virus free
    – OK i have to admit that i still have to improve on the visual side 🙂

  25. Sajjad Janjua says:

    IS there any tool or utility that can scan Scan list of all installed softwares and applications from a excel file . as Auditor I would like to scan any system for all installed softwares to detect pirated unprotected outdated softwares and portable software and torrents type softwares installed or run from portable folders – I have the lists for every comptuer through Microsoft System Security Center SCCM inventory of software installed – but I would like to scan all detected softwares on network domain for vulnebilities and outdate versions = Guys what you suggest is it possible to scan an Excel file for softwares updates / and security scan checks ?

  26. Marc Grobman says:

    I’ve only used Secunia, but as a non-geek/non-techie, I find it to be non-intrusive. I have most of my programs on auto-update, but every now and then I check Secunia and it updates some programs. I’ve only seen two problems with it:
    1. It will correctly identify iTunes as needing updating, and indicate that it is updating iTunes, but won’t. I have to do the update manually by opening iTunes. After updating iTunes Secunia will continue to indicate it is updating iTunes.
    2. Secunia always indicates VLC Media Player needs updating and indicate it is updating it. But when I open VLC and check, it will say it doesn’t need updating.
    I consider these minor complaints!

  27. Anna says:

    Nice blog! Big thanks!

  28. chris says:

    Pls help me to update my software as I can’t view any pictures

  29. Everest says:

    Most useful is FileHippo App Manager.

Leave a comment