Long time readers of Killer Tech Tips would know that we’re big fans of Ninite here. We’ve mentioned it in our list of time saver software, and we even interviewed cofounder Patrick over here a few months ago.
Ninite is a simple tool that bulk installs multiple applications at once. You go to Ninite.com, choose a set of applications and get a single installer that automatically downloads and installs all the apps you’ve chosen in a breeze.
There are no next/back buttons you have to go through, and all the toolbar crapware that comes with software installers is blocked. These are great reasons to use Ninite and that’s why a lot of tech support guys love it.
Ninite has recently released Ninite Updater. It’s the same old Ninite goodness again, but for software updates instead of new installations.
Ninite Updater checks for updates for installed software on your computer and updates them all in one go. The best part: it’s all done in the background (just like Google Chrome updates itself silently). Ninite Updater costs you $9.99 but the guys at Ninite were kind enough to send us a review copy.
Here’s our complete review of Ninite Updater.
When you launch Ninite Updater for the first time, you’ll see a progress bar. It should take not more than a minute for Ninite Updater to finish installing.
Once the Ninite Updater setup is complete, a notification pops up in the system tray informing that the installation was successful. The rotating Ninite icon means Ninite indicates that it’s checking for updates.
In a few seconds, Ninite Updater should show you a list of available updates for your computer software. The program can check for updates for around 90 applications. This should cover most of the software you’ve installed on your computer.
Right clicking on the system tray icon, you can choose applications to ignore. Ninite Updater will not check for updates anymore for the applications you check in this list.
Clicking ‘Install Updates’ from the menu opens up a window similar to the one below. This lists the software for which updates are now available. You can choose to update all the software in this list by clicking on the ‘Select all’ option in the bottom of the window. Or you can choose to install individual updates by selectively choosing applications from this list.
Click ‘Install’ and the following window (similar to the Ninite installer window) should pop up. You can continue doing other work while Ninite Updater starts downloading all the updates and installs them all in the background.
So, that’s the walk through. Here are our observations:
- If you’ve used Ninite before, you’ll love this new addition to the Ninite family. It’s basically the same thing as Ninite, but for updates instead of new installations.
- Ninite Updater polls for updates every time it starts up and every six hours afterwards.
- You need to click on the system balloon, choose apps you want to update and then click ‘Install’ to actually begin the updating process – there’s no way right now to set it to automatically install updates as soon as they’re available. Explicit permission needs to be granted every time to install all available updates.
- Patrick from Ninite tells us that they’re considering including a feature to let users choose to install updates on their PC when it’s idle. They’re just thinking about it.
- Ninite Updater itself gets automatically updated with new features.
We asked Patrick why they’re branching out to new offerings besides the Ninite installer. Here’s what he had to say:
We’ve been thinking about Updater for a few months now. We built it because we noticed a lot of our users have been running Ninite installers periodically to keep applications updated. It’s such a win for security and far easier than running installers by hand. We realized we could build a really amazing software update experience with some of the technology we created for Ninite and Ninite Pro. We love releasing products that solve real problems incredibly well, and early sales seem to indicate that we’ve done that again with Ninite Updater.
He’s right – it’s simply not possible in Windows to update several applications at once and all those software that promise to do update checks only send you to web pages where you can download new updates. Ninite Updater makes things much easier by updating applications in the background.
Lots of people are already fans of the way Google Chrome updates itself without asking a question. Ninite Updater does the same thing, but for a plethora of other Windows applications.
But is it worth $9.99? Pretty close. If the Updater auto-installs all updates without having users to click on ‘Install’ explicitly, it’d have been more nice. Still, it’s a great companion to your computers. And if you’re the family tech support guy, don’t forget the fact that you can purchase licenses in bulk and save some money ($29.99 for 5 machines, $49.99 for 10 machines and $99.99 for 25 machines).
Disclosure: Killer Tech Tips received a free copy of Ninite+ for the purpose of this review.