FileHippo is described in Wikipedia as ,

 "FileHippo is an Internet download website that offers open source, freeware, and shareware programs for Windows. It does not accept user uploaded files.[2] The website also offers its own software, FileHippo Update Checker, a free program that scans a computer and then reports out-dated software in a web-page, offering links to updated versions.[3]

According to Quantcast, FileHippo receives more than three million US visitors each month and Alexa lists FileHippo among the 1000 most visited websites worldwide.[1]


The FileHippo Update Checker is recommended for all Windows machines because it relieves the support burden of managing commonly used open source software by automating update alerts.  It's primary advantage is that it lets users know when (some of) their software is out of date and giving the user a convenient way to update their software. Other user managed update software is available but we have not tested it as well as FileHippo.

An argument can be made by traditional centralized Windows support organizations that FileHippo doesn't force a user to update their software and that is true, but in a BYOD environment the traditional method of pushing updates doesn't work too well either. 

Several point can be made about this dilemma.
  • Using FileHippo does not force you to stop a more traditional push update program
  • Using FileHippo conditions the user to participate in the security and management of their systems concretely and is easy to execute
  • Centralized support does not usually have access to home systems, BYOD devices or visiting systems. These are the "hard" systems to manage
  • Solving the "hard" system problem also solves the "easy" system problem, sometimes, for little effort
FileHippo is free to use, but its a great service and you should donate to the cause if you deploy in your enterprise

Another argument that can be made by traditional centralized Windows support organizations goes as follows. "We have a complex environment that sometimes requires that we cannot update fat client software on our devices. Automated software updates will break our solutions"

Several points can also be made about this dilemma.

  • Solutions that require proprietary fat clients will not work in a modern client device mix, especially smartphones and tablets.
  • Solutions that require proprietary fat clients are hard to manage and expensive.
  • Solutions that require proprietary fat clients always have this problem. Learn from your mistakes.
  • Solutions that require proprietary fat clients always degrade security, severely
  • Solutions that require a particular version of Java treat Java like a proprietary fat client. Avoid them.
  • Solutions that require proprietary fat clients should always have a high priority for replacement.
  • Citrix or Microsoft make terminal servers that can be used to contain legacy fat clients that cannot be replaced.