Langa Letter: Successful Updates Despite Very Slow Connections

<B>Fred Langa</B> shows how some simple workarounds let you bypass bottlenecks when keeping your PCs up to date.

Fred Langa, Contributor

February 11, 2004

2 Min Read

Exceptions To The Rule
There's a "gotcha" lurking in some downloads: What appears to be an Update file may in fact be only a small loader file or the front end of a much larger download. If you run into these, note that many of these larger downloads--such as Internet Explorer 6--offer a "custom" install which includes a "save to disk" option. This lets you download and save the update files without actually installing them. Once the files are saved, you can then move them to a different PC for installation there, exactly as described earlier.

Microsoft also offers some large updates by CD for just a few dollars. For example, you can order Internet Explorer and its Service Pack 1 patch on CD for $5. Poke around the Microsoft site to see what else is available.

Some third-party sites also sell or distribute aggregated patches that can be downloaded on one PC, burned to CD, and carried to other locations. Although these are unofficial services not sanctioned by Microsoft--and which may carry their own security risks--they may be worth looking at, especially in extreme cases where huge numbers of files are needed. See, for example, the AutoPatcher service.

Don't let a slow connection tempt you into running an unpatched or unprotected PC: With just a little effort and ingenuity, you can work around even the worst bottlenecks and still keep your PC fully up to date!

What do you do to keep your PC up to date? How do you work around problems with slow connections at remote locations, on the road, or in other places where high-speed links simply aren't available? Join in the discussion!

To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Fred Langa's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Fred Langa, please visit his page on the Listening Post.

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