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At home I have three Windows PCs running Vista and, come update time, the home network can become a bit congested with three computers downloading exactly the same updates at (around) the same time.

Is there a way to avoid this? Is it possible to set up my own 'update' server within the network which would download the updates, and then my three Vista desktops would get their updates from that server? What options do I have?

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, it goes by the name WSUS.

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To do this you would need to have the update server run Windows Server 2003 SP1 or later –  quickcel Jul 16 '09 at 4:13
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WSUS requires Windows Server (2008 or 2003 SP1) and each computer requires a Client Access License (CAL). If it is for a home environment this is cost prohibitive. –  jvanderh Jul 16 '09 at 4:13
    
There are better solutions that don't require additional costs and licences - check out FOG or Desktop Central –  valentt Jul 17 '13 at 12:09
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There are few 3rd party tools that could help you to manage updates on multiple PCs running windows without the need of Windows server which is too expensive solution.

From that list most promising to me looks Desktop Central, I have no personal experience with it but reviews look good.

If you free and open source solution maybe setting up FOG server or Clonezilla Server Edition is what you need. There is a nice podcast that explains how FOG works. You can build hardware independent Windows image that you can deploy to any machine in your network.

There is also nice video and article comparing Clonezilla vs FOG.

Also there is a interesting app called WPKG that is an automated software deployment, upgrade and removal program for Windows.

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