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Today computers are fast and have enough memory that you can afford to run specialized applications like launchers, a couple of browsers, media players and what not. We have been pointing you towards cool applications for some time now. If you matched our advice with your choice, chances are you have more than a couple of cool software installed on your computer. Maintaining a healthy and secure computer is hardly a set it and forget it job. You have to keep your anti virus updated, install firewalls, anti spywares and what not.

Another important and largely overlooked issue related to security and performance of your computer involves keeping the installed software updated. Contrary to popular belief, most of the free software is also constantly being developed and software version updates are available every now and then. So how do you keep track when a newer version for one of your installed software is available? Well you can manually keep checking sites like FileHippo, Softpedia, Download.com or you can use a tool like Techtracker.

Techtracker does all the heavy lifting for you when it comes to making sure the installed software is up to date. CNET requires you to register before you can download Techtracker, which is a bit annoying but comes in handy later in the form of software version update alerts and reports.


Once installed, Techtracker will scan your computer for installed software, check the version you have installed on your computer and the latest version that is available. In about a minute or two you can view the findings. It will list the software version updates that are available. Clicking on any one of them will take you to a detailed report of the scan.

The report lists all the software that Techtracker is tracking. The ones that need updating are displayed towards the top of the list. It lists the version you have installed on your computer and the latest version that is available. You can also find the download link for the latest version. Keep in mind that the download link would be to the latest version, if you are looking for a specific version you might have to hunt around.

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The more info links display useful information like ratings, downloads and the file size. You can also customize the alert preferences from this page. By default the alerts are off. You can turn on alerts for all software which means that you will get an email when a newer version of any of your installed software is available, or you can turn off alerts on selected software that you want to be excluded from this feature.

What if you have more than one computer? Does Techtracker support multiple computers? Short answer: NO, Long answer: by the looks of it, they might support multiple computers in the future with a Techtracker pro application and some bucks (hmm..). Right now you would have to uninstall Techtracker from your computer, unlink the computer from your CNET account and then install Techtracker on the second computer.

Phew! That is some work, creating another account seems easier. How do you keep your computer software versions updated? We would love to hear about it in the comments.

  1. TuneUp
    October 9, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    This sounds like very useful software. There are many times when I do not realize a program needs to be updated until I go to use it and then I have to wait for it to install. I am definitely going to check TechTracker out- seems much more convenient!

  2. ry :]
    October 9, 2009 at 11:34 am

    FileHippo offers one as well I think; an .exe version and a standalone version that doesn't need installation (you just click and run).
    Why not one of these or one that doesn't require signup like CNETs?
    Its also a very tiny download ~1MB

    • Peter
      October 9, 2009 at 12:17 pm

      Got a product name? :-)

      • ry :)
        October 10, 2009 at 5:33 pm

        FileHippo.com Update Checker
        When you go to their main page the link is at the top right corner.
        (Oh but it needs the .NET framework 2.0)

  3. Peter
    October 9, 2009 at 6:35 am

    I forgot to recommend Secunia PSI, which looks at software from the perspective of checking for security flaws. I distrust them less.

  4. Peter
    October 9, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Your concerns about privacy are well founded, and you are not alone:

    http://lifehacker.com/5367392/techtracker-scans-your-computer-for-outdated-software

    I will not touch it with a barge pole.

  5. Apfelgluck
    October 9, 2009 at 3:51 am

    This thing appeared to me as a joke, as it found far too many "false" updates, that is updates that did not exist or corresponded to versions installed. Not very serious.

  6. L
    October 8, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    As I read in some other post comments, it has an awful privacy agreement. So be aware.

    PD: Ketarin is the best one

  7. raiderhost
    October 8, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    just want to download and try this apps. thankz for info

    :)

  8. Noah
    October 8, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Still no where near as good as the "repos" system in Linux. That's true power and updating.

  9. bruno
    October 8, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I use Update Notifier. Quick, light, awesome :).

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