By Susan Bradley
If you followed the instructions in my May 21 Top Story to build new systems without installing the trouble-prone Windows Genuine Advantage app, you may want to patch your PC using something other than Windows Update, which offers again and again to install WGA.
My favorite third-party software update service is currently the Shavlik Patch Google Gadget, although Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector is a worthwhile alternative.
In today’s article, I compare several third-party patching tools that act as replacements for Windows Update and Microsoft Update. (Windows Update patches only Windows itself, whereas the more-thorough Microsoft Update finds patches for Microsoft applications in addition to Windows.)
My conclusion: You need to pick one tool you like best and stick with it. An update service may work well for one person and not so well for another, depending on your specific needs and preferences. One good patch checker should be all you need.
| UPDATE 2009-07-30: In her July 30, 2009, Top Story, Susan Bradley describes patches that protect against two new vulnerabilities that target Internet Explorer and other applications. The existence of security threats such as these underlines the importance of using third-party patching tools to keep your apps up-to-date.|