Download of the Week: Secunia PSI

By on October 29, 2009, 5:43 PM
Keeping your operating system up to date is vital to having a malware-free computer. But even if you've got Windows fully patched, any one of your installed applications can be a potential point of entry for attackers should you forget or are just too lazy to grab the latest version. Enter Secunia PSI, a freeware security tool that makes it easy to find and fix old programs on your PC, even those that lack automatic update features.


The program can recognize thousands of software products and gathers update information from a variety of online sources. After performing a system scan, you'll be presented with a list of insecure apps that have available updates, as well as "end-of-life" programs that are no longer being supported by the developer. The overview also provides an overall system score as well as basic information about your programs, with a ton more easily accessible by switching to the advanced interface mode.


Apart from providing a detailed listing of potential threats, Secunia PSI will offer download links to their respective updated versions, which you'll have to install manually. By default, the program is set to launch on boot and will start monitoring your system for new software or newly discovered security holes. If you prefer manual scans, you can turn this off and save system resources using the settings tab in the advanced mode.

Needless to say, Secunia PSI is not meant to replace your antivirus or firewall tools, but it does provides an extra layer of protection for ensuring that your software is as secure as it can be.




User Comments: 35

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Obakemono said:

I'll give it a try this weekend. I love finding these freeware programs that are useful on TS.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Interesting idea. Wonder how well supported it is?

Zedster said:

Interesting little program. It found 4 Flash player problems - versions 7 - 10 (I didn't even know that I had version 7!) and Quicktime. Once I applied the solution, all was OK. Cool.

kimsland, Ex-TechSpotter, said:

Secunia PSI > Advanced > Settings > PSI Settings

Remove the tick: "Start the Secunia PSI on boot"

Mine was running at a whopping 40+Meg of Ram

Generally the program is quite good though :)

Guest said:

This software has been around for a while now..

It's paranoid BTW

treeski treeski said:

I feel tempted to give this software a try, but ultimately... it's just another bit of security that bogs down my machine. I haven't had any serious or even minor security problems (that I am aware of) in ages, so I think I'm doing a pretty good job taking care of my machine by myself.

zaidpirwani said:

I just want to say, Been there, Done that.....and then un-installed it, I don't think I need to install another software on my computer just so that it may alert me to install more

No need for this in any actual home or office environment, too many nags, memory usage and the update process isn't as smooth as it may look, in my opinion the most simple such utility is the FileHippo.com's Program Update Checker, which does the same, is portable and you can download and run it any time on any pc, its size is on 155kb and it does a very decent job of finding old software and giving links to downloads on one single webpage.

FileHippo.com Program Update Checker:

http://www.filehippo.com/updatechecker/

Download the stand-alone version without the installer, sun it, update your system and then forget about it.....

kimsland, Ex-TechSpotter, said:

FileHippo.com Program Update Checker:

http://www.filehippo.com/updatechecker/

Download the stand-alone version without the installer, sun it, update your system and then forget about it..... :)

Thanks zaidpirwani

That program actually worked better (faster) than "Secunia PSI" and it found more things to update

Obviously its better

ceejay949 said:

A very nice and helpful software indeed.

GACrabill said:

zaidpirwani said: FileHippo.com Program Update Checker:

http://www.filehippo.com/updatechecker/

Download the stand-alone version without the installer, run it, update your system and then forget about it.....

Thanks zaidoirwani.

Another free tool for the toolbox is always a good thing if its a manual tool and not a constantly-running tool.

viperpfl said:

I downloaded the program on my Vista 64bit laptop. The program was fast and takes up very little system resources when scanning. If you x out of the program, the program will still be running in the system tray.

How well it works is another question. I had my laptop scanned and it didn't find any threats.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

I love trying out these neat freeware programs. Even though I lack knowledge of Linux, I still love the idea of open source and freeware, and am excited to give this a try.

BlindObject said:

The more free tools, the better. Have you guys featured UltraMon yet? Great tool if you have dual screens.

Whiffen Whiffen said:

Sweet, I'm going to get this right away. I've been looking for something just like this for awhile now.

r3claimer r3claimer said:

I like these weekly downloads, but I find that I end up using them about once, think "this is awesome", then forget they exist. lol

lynxon said:

You know, whenever it comes to all these neat little freeware apps, I'll always just download it and find it awesome for like a week. After that it's normally just another app that I realize I never use so I remove it, but sometimes I end up keeping them; stuff like VistaSwitcher and RM-Clock, those things are pretty awesome.

WinXPert WinXPert said:

I'll give it a try and see if it really worth installing.

Ok been there done that. Nice apps. This is what I got

Your Secunia System Score of 100% is 5% HIGHER than the average user from -, Philippines.

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

I used to use an online service like this very long ago to scan manually

It is in my opinion very nice when you have many apps installed and want to find updates to them, granted I usually keep my system updated manually tho, I just prefer it that way

Oh,and another vote for UltraMon, I actually covered it here in TS long ago in our news but it deserves another mention

http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic7610.html

limpangel limpangel said:

mattfrompa said:

I love trying out these neat freeware programs. Even though I lack knowledge of Linux, I still love the idea of open source and freeware, and am excited to give this a try.

Then first thing you should learn is that freeware is not necessarily open source, and open source is not necessarily free software (read GPL).

Little apps like this should make Microsoft consider stealing some ideas from the Ubuntu camp. The software updater more precisely. I like how Ubuntu updates almost 90% of all your installed software and this feature is definetly needed in Windows.

Windows made some progress with the third party drivers update feature in Windows Update for Vista/7, but Adobe, Apple and other Windows software are often more dangerous if not kept up to date. Of course some of the apps come with their own automatic update manager, but most not so knowledgeable people ignore those. And other updaters, like the silent Google Chrome Updater, are just scary.

One solution would be to implement a Ubuntu like third-party software system. When you install an app you get the option to add its repository address to your Windows Software Updater. Then the software updater works like the normal Windows Update and checks the repos of theese apps for updates at a chosen time interval.

SoulSeeker said:

do they deem everything that isnt up to date "insecure"?

Thats a bit... paranoid. Not to mention that some updates introduce security holes that weren't there before. And I cant imagine they have the resources to check up on every new update of the tons of programs in their database.

Oh well, might be interesting for some.. I dont think its a necessity for me

swilllx2p said:

I'm going to have to give this app a shot when I get home from work. Although I'll be turning the settings off for it to start up automatically. I hate that every app you download now a days automatically starts with your pc, giving some people that don't know any better an insane amount of start up items that do nothing but hog memory and generally are only needed when you would want to go manually use them. For example does anyone seriously notice any difference using adobe readers speed launcher start up exe? I sure don't.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't think I'll use it myself, but as the family's "IT person" it may be a good program to run on other people's machines to see if there's any glaring problem.

pioneerx01 pioneerx01 said:

I wonder how "user friendly" this is. This should be deigned for people who do not know much about PC's. Question is if they are going to run it, if they are too lazy to do the updates.

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I've been telling people about this software for a long time. It's great at helping users determine what is out of date on their machine. So many people still run old versions of things like Java, Acrobat, Flash, etc.

Hope this gets the word out to more people.

aestarvirus said:

i know about this freeware, one of my friends living in the same dormitory with me is using this. at first i thought, is it an antivirus or something 'coz we have no such thing like this when i was still in philippines.

then later did i know that it's not a antivirus itself but an "extra" safeguard on one's computer against illegal intruders in the web. i was even amazed when i learned that it detects updates of different softwares!... such a great help actually... it makes the antivirus shield more powerful than before..

that's why i really recommend it to those computer-workaholic like me (though now in china i don't have my pc yet)... it can automatically scan your computer's system and see if there's a sudden break-ups on the shields you previously provided... such a big help right? especially if you handle large amounts of confidential documents of a company, this freeware will be a big assurance for protectivity and a relief as well...

PenwithFSS said:

I downloaded both - FileHippo (in seconds from start to finish) found 13 programmes which could be updated and three more where a more recent beta was available. Secunia, after the sign up procedure and a much longer scan, found five including one of the updates where only a beta is more recent (without telling me this.) The other four were also found using FileHippo, which supplied much more detailed information. In terms of speed and performance FileHippo seems clearly superior. So thanks, zaidpirwani.

elroacho72 said:

I installed Microsoft's Security Essentials and that's been working just fine. I do think having a second program like this would be beneficial. After reading all the comments I think FileHippo or Secunia PSI are both worth trying. But I will try Secunia PSI and if it doesn't work or gets in my way too much. Then I'll move on to the Hippo.

kimsland, Ex-TechSpotter, said:

Then I'll move on to the Hippo.

Filehippo.com is a website holding many program downloads

I think you meant "Update Checker"

SUSHRUKH said:

I downloaded the program on my Vista 64bit laptop. The program was fast and takes up very little system resources when scanning. If you x out of the program, the program will still be running in the system tray.

zaidpirwani said:

kimsland said:

FileHippo.com Program Update Checker:

http://www.filehippo.com/updatechecker/

Download the stand-alone version without the installer, sun it, update your system and then forget about it.....

Thanks zaidpirwani

That program actually worked better (faster) than "Secunia PSI" and it found more things to update

Obviously its better

Glad to be of help to you....

zaidpirwani said:

GACrabill said:

zaidpirwani said: FileHippo.com Program Update Checker:

http://www.filehippo.com/updatechecker/

Download the stand-alone version without the installer, run it, update your system and then forget about it.....

Thanks zaidoirwani.

Another free tool for the toolbox is always a good thing if its a manual tool and not a constantly-running tool.

I am glad that I was of help to you...

zaidpirwani said:

PenwithFSS said:

I downloaded both - FileHippo (in seconds from start to finish) found 13 programmes which could be updated and three more where a more recent beta was available. Secunia, after the sign up procedure and a much longer scan, found five including one of the updates where only a beta is more recent (without telling me this.) The other four were also found using FileHippo, which supplied much more detailed information. In terms of speed and performance FileHippo seems clearly superior. So thanks, zaidpirwani.

Glad to be of help....

abautu said:

It's a nice piece of software. Fast, with many of features, and most importantly seems to be doing its job very well.

bigbrat41 said:

Just downloaded the App with crossed fingers.

Guest said:

Very nice....

Found 7 problems but... all were BOGUS... Firefox, WinZop, Skype, Sun Java... all the latest versions...

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