SecPod Saner Personal is a free security tool which scans your PC for vulnerabilities and missing security patches.

Getting started is a little more complicated than we expected. The program downloads a captcha image, and you must figure that out and enter the appropriate characters before it will start.

Once the initial configuration is done, SecPod Saner immediately examines your installed software, checking for missing updates. This can be a very slow process - think minutes, not seconds - and there's nothing beyond a spinning "Please Wait" icon to tell you anything is happening.

Eventually the scan finished, and any problems are highlighted in a report. This is significantly more detailed than some of the competition: it doesn't just say program "x" is outdated; you actually get a list of its known vulnerabilities, and can read more about each one.

If you're happy to update everything SecPod Saner has listed, then clicking "Remediate All" will download and launch the latest installer for each program. Or, if you need more control, individual "Fix" links allow you to update specific applications only.

A separate "Compliance" section scans your PC for issues with your settings. On our test Windows 8.1 PC it highlighted 16 "risks", including "Account Lockout Threshold", "Turn off Autoplay", "Default behaviour for autorun", and "Named pipes that can be accessed remotely". Again, the checking process is astonishingly slow, and there's no real explanation of what individual settings actually do, but if you know what you're doing then there are options to disable them individually or all at once.

Useful configuration settings help you customise how the program works. If you don't want to update everything manually, for example, you can set up SecPod Saner to run on a schedule, and apply any patches itself.

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SecPod Saner Personal is extremely slow and has poor documentation. It also provides a more detailed overview of missing software patches than some of the competition, but we're not sure this compensates for all the waiting around.