I’ve been wanting to write about this tool, but for the sake of credibility, I didn’t want to write a review before actually using it. And today I did.
Ninite calls itself an “easy PC setup and multiple app installer. And that’s exactly what it is. It couldn’t be any simpler, I guess. The website is just a list of the best Windows applications divided in several categories. You just select the ones you want, download a customized installer and run it. The selection is very good, and all the essentials are there, like Firefox and Chrome, uTorrent, VLC, ImgBurn, 7-Zip, Notepad++, etc.
The installer doesn’t ask you any annoying installer questions. It just downloads the stuff you requested and installs it. Simple.
To make things even faster, it fires up several downloads at once, so that when when program finishes installing, it is very likely that the next one on the list has already been downloaded and ready to go.
But not everything is good. In my test the installer froze while installing Dropbox. I’m guessing that was because Dropbox requires, in the end of the install process, a login to the service, and the automated wizard couldn’t deal with that. It would be nice to have a way to skip the current app and install the remaining ones (I had to cancel the whole thing and go to the site again for the ones that didn’t install in the first run). Also, it’s not possible to specify an installation folder other than the default (typically C:/Windows/Program Files), although this might be a necessary evil to make the whole thing as simple as possible.
In short, it’s a great little tool that makes the task of setting up a new computer much, much easier.