If you’re not paying attention, things can get out of date quickly.
While something like an outdated hairstyle is relatively harmless and can be fixed with a quick visit to your local barber, other things can be detrimental.
With outdated tech, you’ll lose business, not to mention tons of sensitive data and the trust of your customers.
Outdated tech serves as an open door for bad actors to breach your system with malware and viruses galore. The only thing standing between your company and gaping security holes in older software and hardware programs is often a trusty patch. And to stay on top of those patches, you need patch management software.
You’d think a system that helps keeps you safe from data breaches and bad actors would cost an arm and a leg, and I’m sure some of them do. But below, I’ve outlined four free patch management solutions you should check out if you want to keep your business safe on a budget.
For the purposes of this post, we’ve defined free software as systems that offer an “always free” option, not just a free trial that will only last for a limited period of time.
Four options for free patch management software
A patch is exactly what it sounds like: it covers gaps in your software and hardware that could leave your data exposed.
Patch management software means your IT team won’t have to spend hours updating each application on each computer every time a developer releases an update, saving you time. It also ensures that your programs stay up-to-date across your whole organization by alerting you when new versions become available and enabling you to update every connected computer at once.
Here are four free patch management software options, listed in alphabetical order, that will help your IT team keep your systems up to date.
Comodo Patch Manager’s device list view (via Comodo)
Comodo is cloud-based, patch management software that offers remote monitoring and management along with service desk functionality and integrated antivirus capability.
Clients and other end users can report their problems to you and check on progress themselves through their login account. As a bonus feature not entirely related to patch management, Comodo’s anti-theft functionality automatically takes a photo of the device holder and saves the photo and the location to the server when a user enters the wrong password on a lost or stolen device.
Comodo doesn’t have any reviews on Capterra yet.
Desktop Central’s patch management view (via Capterra)
ManageEngine Desktop Central is web-based, desktop management software. It remotely manages and schedules updates for Windows, Mac, and Linux both in LAN and across WAN. In addition to patch management, software installation, and service pack management, you can also use it to standardize desktops by applying uniform wallpapers, shortcuts, printer settings, and more.
ManageEngine Desktop Central also helps you manage your IT assets and software licenses and even tracks software usage statistics for easy monitoring.
Desktop Central is free for small businesses and covers up to 25 computers, 25 mobile devices, and supports one technician. Its professional and enterprise versions also make it scalable as your business grows. However, its free edition still gives you access to all the essential features of the system.
Desktop Central has an average four-star rating from its 24 reviewers. Reviewers say that the system is easy to use and set up, and that it is frequently updated. However, users also add that some parts of the system could use more updates and that customer support can be difficult to reach and slow to respond.
Patch Manager Plus’s summary view (via Software Advice)
If a desktop manager seems like too broad of a system for your needs, ManageEngine also offers a system exclusively for patch management. Patch Manager Plus has the same pricing structure as Desktop Central, offering a nearly fully featured free version compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux for up to 25 devices, as well as professional and enterprise versions for larger teams.
Patch Manager Plus will help you automatically test and approve patches, as well as manage third-party patches and patch roaming users’ desktops. You can access Patch Manager Plus via an on-premise solution or in the cloud.
Patch Manager Plus only has one review on Capterra, but that single reviewer gives the system a five-star overall rating.
4. PDQ Deploy
Push pull deployment preferences in PDQ Deploy (via PDQ Deploy)
As PDQ Deploy’s website says, you can use their system to “deploy almost anything,” including patches, on your Windows computers. In tandem with PDQ Inventory, another free solution, you can automatically deploy patches, even when you’re offline. You don’t have to use Inventory to use Deploy, but its features complement Deploy’s at no extra cost. PDQ’s library also offers a handful of free package updates for commonly used business programs.
Deploy offers a “forever free” edition, as well as an enterprise-level paid solution and is compatible with Spiceworks, another widely-used free IT management solution.
PDQ Deploy doesn’t have any reviews on Capterra yet.
Start patching up your tech
Updated software and hardware will save you money and safeguard your business’s reputation for maintaining secure tech platforms. Patch management software will help your team stay on top of those updates and will ensure that all of your business’s devices are patched up and ready to go.
Any of these four free options are a great place to start. But if you find you need features they don’t offer, take a look at our directory, where you can narrow down your options by feature, read reviews, and check to see what kind of support each vendor offers.
- The Top 8 Free and Open Source Bug Tracking Software Solutions
- The Top 5 Free and Open Source Network Monitoring Software
- Capterra’s endpoint protection software directory
Looking for IT Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best IT Management software solutions.