If you want to boost productivity on your PC, you practically have to install a wide variety of applications and software from a variety of different providers. And to keep all of the updates rolling for that software (they never really stop) you’ll need a strong management tool, like SUMo — the selection that we’re reviewing for you, today. Without an update management system, you can end up with a computer crippled by old software and security flaws. And nothing slows down your personal productivity like being preyed upon by malicious software, application errors, and outdated databases.
SUMo proposes to be the solution to all of those problems, but quite a few users are curious about whether or not it actually works. After all, there are quite a few alternatives out there proposing to do the same things, and more often than not, full-fledged security suites perform many of the same functions. Is SUMo a super app that will save you time and trouble, or a lesser version of greater solutions?
Read on, to sate that digital curiosity!
There are quite a few outwardly attractive things about SUMo, which you probably realize if the program has ever been pitched to you. For starters, it’s free if you don’t upgrade to the “Pro” version of the program license. It’s also fully automated, meaning that once it’s installed, you won’t have to babysit it through every scan that it makes on your computer.
To top it all off, SUMo claims to be incredibly accurate. If you believe it, the program won’t miss a single other application on your computer during its search for out-of-date software.
What we’re interested in, then, is whether or not SUMo can uphold all of these claims. That’s a rather robust set of responsibilities that it’s proposing to bring to your machine, and it’s important to know if it can fulfill all of them with the accuracy that it claims.
What is SUMo?
SUMo (Software Update Monitor) is an application developed by K Software. Its purpose is to perform periodic sweeps on your computer and identify other programs that are in need of an update. Because outdated software can actually make you vulnerable to some serious problems, this is actually a fairly important task. Even if you don’t opt for SUMo as your solution, it’s still important to something in your software arsenal that monitors the other programs on your computer.
And SUMo doesn’t stop with your installed applications. It also combs through the various software and hardware drivers that are keeping your computer up and running, determining which of them have new versions available. You can use it to customize which programs you’d actually like to be alerted about, and also enable some of them to notify you when a beta version of new software is available.
Though the free version is quite robust, there’s also a “Pro” license that, while relatively inexpensive, adds some important features to SUMo that are otherwise lacking.
Why Do You Need SUMo?
When you don’t keep your computer’s software and drivers up to date, you can open yourself up to some fairly significant risks. Many hackers and malware programmers utilize outdated applications to put malicious code onto your computer. This can either result in corrupted data or outright loss of control over your entire machine. From best-case to worst-case, every one of the potential security holes created by outdated programs is preventable.
As a contextual example, you need only look at the most recent update to the Windows 10 operating system, as of April 2017. Hackers are utilizing a hole in outdated versions of Microsoft Word to gain access to victims’ computers. Keeping your software updated puts a stop to many of these risks.
Outside of resolving potential security issues, newer versions of software typically give you added functionality to programs that you already own. It’s rare that you ever have to pay for an update, so there’s virtually no reason not to keep all of your installed applications on their newest versions.
We’ve covered all of the things that SUMo proposes to do. Now, we just need to determine whether or not it can actually perform up to those standards. And moreover, whether the free version will suffice for a majority of users, or if the Pro version is required to get all of SUMo’s necessary functionality.
Overall, we can’t knock the cost of this application. The free version is actually quite versatile, and most of the features locked behind the Pro license are intended for power-users, anyway. This means that the free version will suffice for most people, which is good news for people who don’t have a lot of extra expense for more paid software. Especially for software with the express purpose of keeping your other software maintained.
When we look at the tasks that SUMo actually performs, things get a little bit tricky. Most people use software management applications to keep their other programs up to date, among many other tasks. And in this regard, SUMo does everything that it proposes to do. It catalogs and records which of your programs and drivers are up to date, and which of them are outdated. That’s an essential part of maintaining a productive computer.
However, many users download SUMo with the understanding that the program will also update those applications, after determining their status. This is something that SUMo does not do, and it’s important that users realize this before downloading the software.
Even though SUMo requires a little bit of handholding, there isn’t much evident risk associated with using it. If anything, tertiary risks will only remain on your computer if you don’t follow through with updating the programs that the SUMo software finds.
For some users, the fact that it doesn’t automatically update any of your installed applications or drivers is something of a dealbreaker. As we look at alternative solutions below, however, you’ll see that there are actually very few programs that will automatically update other things on your computer, usually because the many required levels of permission necessary to do so are more trouble than they’re worth. And all of that convenience can be undone the very moment that something gets updated when you didn’t want it to.
Where does this leave us with SUMo? It’s a useful bit of software, as long as you know what it’s intended for when you begin using it. If you est your expectations beyond what SUMo can fulfill, you’re going to be disappointed.
One of the reasons that many users stray from SUMo isn’t because of its limited functionality, but because other applications package in the same types of things that SUMo does. Many antivirus and security suites — even their free versions — include scans that will check your computer for outdated software. Very few of them will actually update that software (something which SUMo is also lacking) but they will notify you when something needs attention.
If you use an antivirus and security suite like Avast Antivirus, you’ll find that it comes bundled with an automatic scan system for outdated software. This is virtually the same thing that SUMo does, but it actually doesn’t provide all of the same features that you’ll get with the latter. SUMo doesn’t just check your installed programs; it also looks over your computer’s drivers, which is of critical importance for the same reasons. Of course, swapping to a different piece of security software might seem like a drastic step, when you just want a software update monitor. There are other applications that do almost all of what SUMo does, that are also standalone.
Software Informer is one such option that quite a few users choose to install, and it performs many of the same tasks as SUMo. It’s primarily an application monitor that checks to see when your apps are out-of-date, but it goes a few steps beyond that, too. You’ll be able to get comments and feedback from other users on the same software platforms that you use, and when it’s possible, Software Informer will give you links for the updated versions of your programs.
If you’re looking for software that will just update your computer’s drivers, without bothering with anything else, SlimDrivers is a strong solution. It catalogs the software drivers being used by your machine, and regularly checks them for newer versions. It’s fast, lightweight, and easily operates in the background without clogging down your startup or productivity processes. It’s useful for those who prefer manual management of their everyday software, but don’t want to bother keeping track of all the necessary hardware drivers operating on their computer, at any given time.
To sum up our review of SUMo — does it work? Absolutely, but unless users want to be disappointed, they should make sure that the tasks it performs are what they’re actually looking to take advantage of. SUMo will monitor the software on your computer and tell you when it’s outdated, but it will not update that software automatically. Few programs will, however, and thus SUMo is one among many suitable choices for monitoring software and drivers for your machine.