Imagine you have a new workstation and you need to install Firefox, Skype, iTunes, VLC, Flash, Java, Picasa, Reader, Dropbox, WinRAR, PuTTY, Malwarebytes, FileZilla, ImgBurn, KeePass and Microsoft Security Essentials. If you’re an Information Technology Professional with exposure to patch management or system configuration, imagining this won’t be the problem; the problem is the amount of time it takes to download each of these applications individually and install them. You are also faced with the same dilemma if you are responsible for keeping applications up to date on a computer. Those of you who have multiple new machines and don’t have the luxury of deploying disk images or using a nice piece of patch management or application management software such as Microsoft’s SCCM or GFI’s LanGuard Network Security Scanner are really going to be interested in this time-saving, nifty piece of software called Ninite that allows you to easily and quickly install or update software in one fell swoop.
It’s really easy to get started with Ninite. All you need to do is visit the Ninite website and select all of the applications that you wish to install or update. Once you are finished, click the download button and download a custom installer that contains all of the good stuff you need to install or update the applications that you selected in the previous step. Once the download is complete, launch the installer and let Ninite go to town. If the software that you selected is not yet installed, Ninite will download the software and install it. If the software is already installed on your machine, Ninite will simply update it. If your software is already up to date, Ninite will let you know. You can choose from several different categories of software to install, which includes: Web Browsers, Messaging, Media, Runtimes, Imaging, Documents, Security, File Sharing, Utilities, Compression and Developer Tools. There is also a suggestion form on the Ninite website that gives you the ability to suggest an app.
According to Co-founder Sascha Kuzins, they are planning to add support for custom apps so that users can add their own installers. The home version of the software is free, and the pro version for businesses is very affordable. The pro version also has the added benefit of allowing you to do silent installs, eliminate update notifications, perform a network discovery and deploy or update software to multiple machines from a central location. I was also impressed by the fact that you are not required to create an account or sign up for anything and both 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows are supported. Ninite will also install software in your computer’s language.
I have tried both the home and pro version of Ninite and I can see this tool saving end users and administrators time on updating or installing software. As always, the best way to get the feel of the software is to try it out for yourself. You can download the home version or the free trial of the pro version from http://www.ninite.com.