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Belarc Advisor v8.4

A Full Review of Belarc Advisor, a Free System Information Tool

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating
User Rating 4 Star Rating (7 Reviews)

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Belarc Advisor 8.4 in Windows 8

Belarc Advisor v8.4

Belarc Advisor is one of my favorite free system information tools. It's fast, easy to use, and gives you a surprisingly digestible report of what makes up your computer system.

One popular category that Belarc Advisor excels at is providing software license information. In fact, it's so good at finding the correct product key or serial number for your installed programs that the program also tops my list of free product key finders!

Read my full review of Belarc Advisor below for the feature list, pros & cons, and my thoughts on the tool, or head right to their download page linked below.

Download Belarc Advisor v8.4

Note: This review is of Belarc Advisor v8.4. Please let me know if Belarc, Inc. has released a newer version and I haven't yet reviewed the update.

More About Belarc Advisor

Belarc Advisor works on 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Windows 8 (including Windows 8.1), Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

Current server and older consumer Windows operating systems are supported as well including Windows Server 2012, 2008 R2, 2008, and 2003, plus Windows NT, Me, 98, and 95.

After an easy download and installation, just run Belarc Advisor and wait while the initial analysis of your computer system is completed, a process that takes anywhere from several seconds to several minutes depending mostly on the speed of your computer.

Once the analysis is complete, Belarc Advisor will open your default web browser and display a report, which it calls your Computer Profile Summary. This web page is an HTML file generated by Belarc Advisor and stored on your computer.

Below is a list of the various categories on the Computer Profile Summary and a short description of what's included:

  • Operating System: Operating system name, language, and installation date
     
  • System Model: Computer make and model, if available
     
  • Processor: CPU(s) installed on your motherboard
     
  • Main Circuit Board: Motherboard make, model, and serial number, plus BIOS data
     
  • Drives: Hard drive and optical drive data, including total capacity and free space
     
  • Memory Modules: Total amount of RAM, plus number of modules installed
     
  • Local Drive Volumes: Drive letters, file system, and total/free space data
     
  • Network Drives: Mapped network drives
     
  • Users: Local user and system accounts, last logon time stamps, and locked/disabled status
     
  • Printers: Installed printers and which port each is using
     
  • Controllers: Storage controllers
     
  • Display: Video card and monitor make, model, and serial number data
     
  • Bus Adapters: USB, eSATA, and similar controller data
     
  • Multimedia: Sound card or other audio hardware
     
  • Virus Protection: Anti-malware program installed, program and definition version data, last scan time stamp, and current status
     
  • Group Policies: Group policy data
     
  • Communications: Networking, Bluetooth, and other communication hardware and protocol data
     
  • Other Devices: List of other hardware devices
     
  • USB Storage Use in past 30 Days: Device name, serial number, and last used time stamp
     
  • Hosted Virtual Machines: Virtual machine data including time stamp
     
  • Network Map: Local IP addresses, device type, device details, and device roles for currently connected network devices
     
  • Missing Security Updates: List of updates from Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, and other vendors that have not been installed
     
  • Software Licenses: List of product keys and serial numbers used to install the programs and operating system listed
     
  • Software Versions & Usage: List of installed programs including version numbers and general time frame of last use
     
  • Installed Microsoft Hotfixes: List of previously installed updates from Microsoft

As you can see, there's much about your computer that you can find from a quick run of Belarc Advisor.

Pros & Cons

There's little not to like about Belarc Advisor:

Pros:

  • Small <4 MB download size and installation footprint
  • Completely free
  • Computer analysis is very fast considering the data being gathered
  • No toolbars, adware, or spyware included during installation
  • Results displayed in your default browser
  • Computer profile is not stored online, only locally (good if you're concerned about privacy)

Cons:

  • No portable version (i.e. must be installed to use)
  • Computer profile is not stored online, only locally (bad if you want to easily share your data or want it stored in the cloud)

My Thoughts On Belarc Advisor

I really like Belarc Advisor and I've been using it for a long time. I'd consider it the "original" system information program. I'm not aware of any similar program that's been available, and continuously improved upon, for anywhere near the length of time that Belarc Advisor has been. I used it way back in the Windows 95 days!

Obviously it's great that it's a completely free program but that's not at all why I love it so much. Belarc Advisor is quick, accurate, and produces more detailed information that many similar programs, some of which dare to charge for a similar feature set.

If you're in need of a program that can quickly and accurately produce detailed information about your computer, Belarc Advisor is an excellent choice. I'd also recommend that you use Belarc Advisor for any product key finding needs you might have, especially for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office licenses.

Important: There are a few user reviews of Belarc Advisor below that suggest that the program doesn't find the proper Windows product key but please know that these aren't real issues with this tool but are instead unfortunate results of specific Windows setups. See my Key Finder Programs FAQ for more on why a key finder might show B's for a product key or why you might find the same key on two or more different computers.

Download Belarc Advisor v8.4

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