capsule review

SUMo

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder SUMo

Outdated software, particularly browser plugins and Internet applications, can create a real security risk on your PC. Today's Web crooks often launch attacks that search for a security hole in old software that, if found, can allow for invisibly installing malware on a victim computer.

SUMo helps you figure out whether you have any such old software lying around without having to check each program individually. You can tell it to automatically scan for installed software using the first-time use wizard, or later with a 'Scan' button in the main interface. Then click the 'Check' button and you'll see the version of your installed software compared with the version of any available updates it can find.

The handy app uses one of three icons for scanned software: an orange triangle for those with a major update available, a yellow star for those with minor updates, and a green circle for up-to-date software.

While using SUMo is certainly easier than trying to individually check every program, it does have some less-than-convenient aspects. Although you can click a 'Get Update' button for any outdated software, doing so brings up only a Web page with Google ads, a link to the main site for the company that makes the software, and four links that search for the software on four different software download sites. It can take a while to find an update in question starting at the company's main site, and the search links often don't turn anything up.

Also, SUMo missed a few programs on my test computer, even when I changed the scan setting to perform a slower, more in-depth scan. You can manually add programs to its list, but it still couldn't load one of my installed apps (BitMeter II) even after a manual add.

While SUMo is useful, the similar and also free Secunia Personal Software Inspector is somewhat more polished. It provides direct links to patches and new versions, for instance.

--Erik Larkin

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder SUMo

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