I always ask readers to share their favorite programs and tips with everyone and James has a suggestion:

“Have you ever tried or used Belarc Advisor? It is a totally FREE program for noncommercial use and I have been using it for several years now. One click on the desktop icon and you have a ton of information at your fingertips without having to use a half dozen or more click/searches to find out all kinds of info on your system. Program/App usage, if the latest MS Patch/update has actually been installed on your system, reported RAM on your system, what is physically attached to your system, serial #’s of programs/apps and so much more. It is easy to read, even for a novice and it is so much faster to check if the latest update has been installed on your system. I do a PDF print once a week as a backup reference to use to see apps/programs that I may have installed and don’t use anymore to help keep my system clean of clutter/unused programs etc. Give it a test drive and see what you think!”

Thanks for the great tip! Let’s take a closer look at this program. The free version of Belarc Advisor works on most current versions of Windows, but only the paid version works for Linux and Mac.

The program builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, network inventory, any missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, security benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser. Your data is not uploaded to the cloud.  As you can see from the screenshot below, the interface is very simple.

belarc-advisor.jpg

It doesn’t offer any information that you couldn’t get just by checking your system yourself, but it does present the information all together in one place. Now, if you are not a particularly tech-minded person who prefers to keep things really simple, you might find all of this information to be a little more than you care to absorb. But if you enjoy keeping track of the details or want to learn more about what all the details offered in this profile mean, you’ll probably enjoy this service as much as James does. Thanks, James!

You can click here to get your free copy.

Just click the Download button. I’m pleased to tell you this site is not littered with links you must avoid clicking on.

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Choose to save the program and run later or run it now. You’ll need to grant permission for it to install and follow the instructions of the installation wizard.

belarc-advisor-wizard.jpg

You’ll need to grant permission for the program to check to see if security definitions are current. It takes a few minutes for the program to create a profile.  The profile will then appear in a browser window. The first thing you’ll notice at the top is the virus and security update section.  I can click on the category for more detailed information about installed or missing updates.

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Scroll down and you’ll find incredibly detailed information about every aspect of your system. One that I found interesting was a listing of every USB storage device that’s been used on my PC in the last 30 days.  It’s some pretty interesting information. Though you may have to do a bit of research to figure out what all of it means.