software-downlaods As new bugs and security issues are discovered in software, the vendors generally release minor upgrades to ensure that their software runs smoothly on the customer’s computer.

For instance, Mozilla released Firefox 2.0 which had lot of features but then made tons of minor releases, like version 2.0.0.9, to fix bugs and other problems that were discovered in version 2.0. That’s how the software cycle works.

Not only do these patches make your software more stable, a lot of internet worms and spyware infections can be prevented if you keep all your computer software programs up-to-date. But the biggest problem here is how to keep track of all these updates when you have dozens of software programs installed on your computer.

While Windows and Microsoft Office have an excellent “Automatic Updates” feature that will automatically download and install new updates for you in the background, this only works with Microsoft software.

So how do you find if new releases (or patches) are available for all the other non-Microsoft software?

The simple answer is File Hippo.

File Hippo is a small Windows only utility that scans your computer for all the installed software, and then prepares a list of new software releases that could be of interest to you. The good part is that all links to download the new software versions are also available in the File Hippo report.

While File Hippo works like a charm for detecting software releases, it won’t check updates for your Windows device drivers (like motherboard, Ethernet controller, printer, sound card, etc). That’s where RadarSync will come in handy. It’s again light-weight and the basic edition is free similar to File Hippo.

Radar Sync scans your computer and prepares a report of all device drivers (and software) that are out of date and have new updates available on the vendor’s website. The only downside is that download links are only available to Premium subscribers – free users will have to manually download the device driver updates from the vendor’s website.

And if you are too lazy to download and install updates yourself, outsource the job to AppSnap – this free utility will check for new releases of software already installed on your computer and if there are any updates, AppSnap will download the software from the web and also install it for you.

Story Links: Filehippo, AppSnap, RadarSync

Related: Do You Have The Latest Version of Software Programs