Software updates are a pain – here’s the cure

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Software Updates - Small Business Computer Support Northern New Jersey

Windows users, you know those annoying pop-ups that you see every so often telling you that there is updated software ready to be installed on your computer? The ones you ignore constantly because you are in the middle of something else?

With very few exceptions, it is a good idea to install these updates. Yet time and again I see people who don’t update their machines. The top two excuses I hear for not updating are “I didn’t know if I should” and “I don’t have the time”.

Everyone knows that updating software is important

Okay, listen. I am not going to go on about the importance of regularly updating your software. This article isn’t about that. And this article isn’t about Microsoft updates which can be set to download and install automatically.

This article is about updates for Java, Flash, Firefox and other commonly used software and it is written for those who understand their importance yet still don’t update frequently.

In all honesty, even I used to look at those tell-tale icons and think “Uggh. Not now.” I literally had to set aside a specific time to run updates because the darn things just won’t run without my intervention. It is a pain.  But there is a solution.

Taking the hassle out of software updates

We, Plenary Technology, offer managed care plans to our customers as well as hourly service. Under our managed care programs we provide 24×7 monitoring of all network devices (servers, PCs, laptops, etc), helpdesk, disaster recovery solutions and a host of other services including patch management.

Aside from Microsoft updates we also patch other software such as Adobe Reader, Flash, Java, Firefox, Chrome, etc. To do this we integrate our RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management) software with a product called Ninite PRO.

Using Ninite we can update nearly a hundred programs without users needing to answer questions or respond to prompts. By default Ninite doesn’t install add-ons like toolbars or free security programs. We can schedule it to run off-hours and we can even use it to install software if it doesn’t already exist on a customer’s PC. Pretty nice piece of software for anyone in our business.

Ninite PRO Console - Computer support Northern NJ

Ninite PRO is a paid version that for up to 100 machines costs $20 a month. To us it’s a no brainer to make this part of our managed care plans. The cost is minimal but the ROI is huge. The sheer drop in malware infections and the time needed to remediate them is alone worth ten times what this software costs. Ninite PRO comes with a very robust command-line interface as well as a management console and central deployment for network operations. They offer a free trial if you’d like to give it a go before subscribing.

If you don’t have a network to support then Ninite has solutions for you, too. The free version which you run right from their website and the paid, home version which starts at $9.99 for a one year subscription.

The free version doesn’t allow for updates to be done automatically. You have to go to their site, choose the programs you want to update (and optionally install) then download and launch the installer. But the free version does have the benefit of not having to update each program individually or navigate through all the NEXT screens.

The  paid, home version is more like the PRO version in that it allows you to choose the programs you want updated and download the installer. Unlike the free version, though, you don’t have to keep going back to the Ninite site. Ninite runs on your computer much like Windows Update does and checks for updates so you don’t have to.

Simple, easy and fast software updates

So now you have no more excuses. You are now armed with a simple solution that makes keeping your software up to date a breeze. Pick a version that best suits your needs and make updates worry and headache free.

If you know of other software that does as good a job or better or if you have any questions or comments please share in the comments section.

If you’d like to learn more about our managed care plans that include NinitePRO and Microsoft patch management, please call us at 866-753-6279 or contact us here.

I play with computers for a living and I'm from New Jersey. Jealous?

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