Free FileHippo Update Checker – A Very Cool Tool

image One of the most frequently repeated pieces of advice on this site is – “Keep all applications (including your operating system) patched, and up to date”. Sounds like good, practical advice – and it is. But as those of us involved in computer security know; this is advice that is not always followed.

Experienced users are generally aware that free, automated applications, are readily available for download, that take the burden out of updating and patching.

One particular application that we have reviewed and recommended a number of times that does just that is, Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI), which constantly monitors a system for insecure software installations, notifies the user when an insecure application is installed, and then provides the user with detailed instructions for updating the application, when available.

Like all applications, PSI is not perfect. The most common complaint seems to be, that after updating applications it may still report that specific applications are out-of-date, or pose a threat.

Regular reader Georg L., from Vienna, Austria, has pointed out that an alternative to PSI, which is compatible with x64 systems, and which does a comparable job of checking your installed software for critical updates, and security fixes, is FileHippo’s free Update Checker.

Following Georg’s recommendation, I sparked up an older test machine, and downloaded and installed Update Checker. The test scan took only a matter of seconds. Less than 3 seconds in this test – virtually in the blink of an eye!

The Browser screen shot below, illustrates the results obtained following the Update Checker test scan.

FileHippo Checker

For testing purposes I clicked on the green download arrow which opened the following download applet, so that I could update one of my favorite free utilities – Auslogics Disk Defrag.

FileHippo Checker 2

I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed FileHippo’s Update Checker returned results for Beta Updates as well – as the following screen capture indicates. For those users who like to test Beta software, this is a definite bonus.

FileHippo Checker 3

It’s important to understand that all software of this type may well have shortcomings of one type, or another. FileHippo’s Update Checker, for example, does not support all programs.

This should not be surprising, given the enormous quantity of available applications. The most popular applications, of course (the ones you are most likely to have installed), are covered.

From the developer’s site:

We work hard to include as many programs as we can in the Update Checker, but we currently cannot detect them all. This can be for various reasons, including: technical issues, publisher limitations or lack of consistent version numbering. However, we’re constantly advancing our detection methods and working with publishers to improve this.

Note: The Update Checker will not send any personal information back to FileHippo.com. The only information collected is a list of programs and their versions, along with the operating system details to help with processing.

Additionally, none of this information is linked to your IP address; the logs are deleted after processing.

Recommendation: I was quite impressed with this application’s speed, and thoroughness. A definite practical alternative to Secunia Personal Software Inspector.

If you’re inclined to do so – download both applications, take them for a spin, and form your own opinion. You’ll have a little bit of fun!

System requirements: Windows Seven, Vista, XP, 2003, 2000, ME or 98. (both 32 and 64 bit where applicable). Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 (the installer will prompt you and download it automatically).

Download at: FileHippo

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11 Comments

Filed under Computer Audit Applications, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Freeware, Software, System Security, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

11 responses to “Free FileHippo Update Checker – A Very Cool Tool

  1. Ranjan

    Yep… using latest versions of apps is a very important part of malware prevention..
    If you would have noticed, users who come for help at malware removal forums usually have outdated versions of applications installed which shows the importance of using up-to-date versions of any app..
    Btw Bill, do you’ve any idea as when x64 compatible versions of zemana antilogger and mamutu will be out…?

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Ranjan,

      As usual, your comment is right on the money.

      Haven’t yet heard what’s happening with the x64 bit version of Zemana. I see a lot of post that say this is x64 compatible, but this is definitely *not * so.

      According to Emsi Software, they are in the process of x64 development. In the meantime, you might consider ThreatFire which is x64 compatible and also FREE.

      Bill

  2. Liam O' Moulain

    Bill,

    I have noticed the occasional problem with PSI but never considered it a big deal.

    On the other hand, I’m always interested in alternative software so I’ll give FH a look.

    Thanks for this.

    Liam

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Liam,

      Let me know what you think after you’ve tested this out.

      Thanks.

      Bill

  3. ABHIJIT

    hey thanks…………………….i was previously using software informer……………………which provides literally wrong info…………………filehippo is really good…………..

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey ABHIJIT,

      Glad to hear you found FileHippo useful.

      Thanks for visiting.

      Bill

  4. Ranjan

    Thanks for the info Bill.
    And about threatfire, don’t have any good experience with PC Tools’s products… For the time being, i’m using WinPatrol…

  5. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    Have been using FileHippo update for a long time, I really like it and like you said, it scans very quickly. Another thing I like about Filehippo is that they have older versions of software should you update something and it doesn’t work properly. It is an excellent site.

    Cheers

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Mal,

      Very cool! You beat me to it.

      Thanks for your supportive comment on this, and the tip on the older software versions. That’s good to know.

      Best,

      Bill

  6. TeXaCo

    Hey Bill,

    FileHippo is one of my staple programs. Although It doesn’t check as many programs as I might like it to. It covers the main programs people use and keeps them up to date.

    Thanks

    TeX

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Tex,

      Gotta admit – I was pretty impressed with FileHippo. Good to hear you’ve had a positive experience with it.

      Bill