NeoSetup is a free tool which helps you install, manage and update many popular applications.

Launch the program and it displays the current status of all supported applications. These include Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Skype, Thunderbird, QuickTime, VLC Media Player, iTunes, GIMP, Irfan View, Paint.NET, Adobe Reader, OpenOffice, Dropbox, Google Drive, CCleaner, TeamViewer, 7-Zip, WinRAR, Notepad++, Evernote and Google Earth.

Any outdated applications are displayed at the top of the list. If you're missing a patch, click the Install button and NeoSetup immediately downloads the new version and installs it - silently, where possible - in the background.

If you don't have one or more of the programs, maybe because you're just setting up a new PC, then again NeoSetup can help. Check the boxes for anything you'd like, click Install, and just watch as each application is downloaded and installed. Again, these are silent installations so you won't see any setup programs, and it even claims to "suppress all types of browser toolbars, third-party apps and offers that are displayed by application setups".

By default the program checks for new application updates every day, and launches along with Windows to tell you about them. But if that's a problem then you can turn this off, or set update checks to run hourly or weekly.

There's also a convenient News tab which lists recent updates, and displays links to descriptions of the original programs.

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NeoSetup supports a good range of applications, and installs/ updates them silently. We also found that it sometimes didn't detect when an update was complete, and wasn't accessible until we fixed this manually, but we're not sure how widespread an issue that might be. Try it anyway: it's otherwise a good example of the type.