Today I received an email from CNET, the owners of Download.com. They wanted me to try out their new software called TechTracker. Who could resist? Ok, most people could resist, but I’m a push-over.
What is TechTracker?
According to the home page, The TechTracker app shows you the software that is out of date and provides you with the information to decide which updates you need. You’ll find product details as well as editor and user ratings, all in one place.
That’s what they tell you. I can tell you what I thought before trying it. I figured it’s another way that they can rope you into staying at Download.com forever. My guess was probably close to the mark, but if it’s really good software, I’ll put up with a lot of bull to use it.
I went ahead and followed their steps to download and install TechTracker. As you can see below, the first step is to register at CNET if you haven’t already.
I was already registered there so I went on to step 2 after logging in. I downloaded the installer, which was about 3mb in size. It installed easily with no surprises.
As soon as TechTracker launched the first time, a few seconds passed by and suddenly my web browser popped up at a CNET page with the Scan Results. I was actually pretty impressed by how quickly it found my installed software.
The results page showed me a list of apps it found and it also indicated that I had 5 apps that were out of date. Most of the results were accurate, however, it did show that I was running Internet Explorer version 3.01.2723 and that I should update it to version 8. What are they smoking at CNET? Below you can see just a bit of the results. You can click the image if you’d like a closer look.
I found out that TechTracker runs entirely in the system tray. It doesn’t have an interface like most applications. All it does is scan and display results in your web browser. That’s a unique approach but it totally makes sense if you are CNET/Download.com.
It does have a little menu when you right click on the system tray icon. Other than that, it stays out of your way until you need it.
It works. It’s not fancy, but if one stop shopping is what you want, this is a good way to keep your software up to date and more secure.
I won’t be keeping TechTracker installed. I’m always out poaching the internet for the next big game. CNET can’t make me into their fan-boy, but they are welcome to keep trying.
Be sure to check out some other software to help keep your system updated. Find 7 Free Tools to Keep Your Windows PC Softwares Up-to-date.