Avira Free Software Updater is a program for Windows by German security company Avira that checks Windows PCs for software updates.
It is recommended -- most of the time -- to run up to date versions of programs installed on Windows. The main reason for that is security, as older versions may have security issues that newer versions patched. Other reasons may be stability and new features.
There are reasons for not updating software, for instance when a new version is worse than the old, or when you only have a license for an older version and want to keep on using it without having to renew it.
Avira Free Software Updater is a free program to check if updates are available for installed programs on a Windows machine.
Warning: The program installs Avira Browser Safety during installation as a Chrome extension. The program installer has no option to block this from happening. You can block the installation in Chrome however as you will be prompted when that happens.
The program scans the system when you run it, and lists all programs that are outdated after a brief moment.
Avira Free Software Updater lists the name of the program, the developer, a link to the program website on the Internet, and a big update button. The installed version, but not the latest version, is displayed when you hover the mouse cursor over the download icon next to the program icon.
This means that you have no option to verify that a new version is indeed available, and what version number that new version has.
The update button advertises the Pro version of the application only however, and does nothing else in the free version.
You can click on the website link however to open it, and download the latest version manually from it.
The only other option that you have right there is to run a rescan. This can be useful if you have updated some programs and want an updated status report.
The two menu options on the left, my software and events, offer additional information. My Software lists all programs that Avira Free Software Updater detected on the system. This is likely not identical to the number of installed programs though, as the program seems to support only some programs.
Events on the other hand is a log that lists information on scans and updates.
The Pro version of the application, Avira Software Updater Pro, adds the update functionality to the program, and an option to keep software up to date automatically. It costs €24.95 for a one-year subscription though.
How is the program stacking up against one of the best software update programs out there? Sumo is a long standing program that is available as a free and pro version as well.
I ran Sumo on the same system, here is the conclusion:
Avira Free Software Updater, and the Pro version, have a long way to go to reach feature parity with Sumo. Some issues are fixed easily, like missing version information, while others, support for more programs, may take time to get right.
The software program should display an option during installation to inform users about the installation of the Avira Browser Safety extension for Chrome, and disable it.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.