WSUS vs Intune – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons)

WSUS vs Intune – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons). In this article we introduce WSUS and Intune – tools to control patch deployment and scheduling. Starting with WSUS, it is a software that is familiar to any user of computers, laptops, etc. Well, it’s main and most important task is the ability to deploy updates and various patches for Microsoft products. Second product in this article, is Intune. All in all, a cloud based enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution that helps organizations manage and secure mobile devices, computers and applications. 

There is an introduction of benefits along with pros and cons. After, there are main differences between the two software’s. Shall we start?

What is WSUS?

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) is an update service provided by Microsoft for the Windows operating system. Well, it allows administrators to manage and deploy updates for the Windows operating system and other Microsoft products in a controlled and efficient manner.

Secondly, WSUS helps organizations keep the Windows operating system and other Microsoft products on their network up to date, reducing the risk of security vulnerabilities and improving overall system performance and reliability.

It’s also important to note that WSUS isn’t a replacement for antivirus or endpoint security software, it’s just a way to distribute and control updates across your network.

How to use WSUS?

Using WSUS involves several steps:

1. Install WSUS – WSUS is installed on a Windows Server computer and requires a SQL Server instance to store update metadata and settings.

2. Configure WSUS – After installing WSUS, you must configure it to download updates from Microsoft update servers. This includes specifying which products and languages ​​to download updates from, and scheduling updates to download.

3. Approve updates – Also after downloading updates, administrators must review and approve or reject them before deploying them to clients.

4. Group and target updates – Administrators create computer groups called “target groups” and assign updates to specific computer groups.

5. Deploy updates – Generally, after the update is approved, it is deployed to target computer groups.

6. Monitor update status – Wsus also monitors the status of computer updates in a target group, including installed updates, pending updates, and updates that failed to install.

7. Maintenance – it does need some maintenance to work properly. This includes cleaning up old updates and rejecting superseded updates, checking the health of WSUS server and client components, and configuring correct settings.

Altogether, it is also important to plan the infrastructure and resources required for your deployment before using WSUS. This includes determining where to install the WSUS server, how many clients connect to the server, and the network infrastructure needed to support the deployment.

Pros and Cons of WSUS


  • Specifies whether clients can access updated files from the intranet or from the public Microsoft Windows Update site used to support remote clients.
  • Updates are distributed to clients in multiple languages.
  • An internal server on a private intranet acts as a Windows Update virtual server.
  • Deploys security updates and patches to help keep your system safe and up to date by reducing the risk of security vulnerabilities.
  • Saves your organization time and money by reducing the need for manual updates, automating the update process, and reducing the need for additional IT resources.
  • Administrators control the bandwidth used to download updates, so updates don’t use up too much bandwidth or slow down other network operations.
  • Additional reporting and control features.
  • Manages dozens/hundreds of computers simultaneously.


  • WSUS has a few reports, but they are limited in scope. Gathering all the reports needed for vulnerability accounting requires staff to spend time compiling reports from multiple sources. 
  • If misconfigured, WSUS also poses security risks such as malware or other malicious software infiltrating your network.
  • The management database sometimes gets corrupted during normal use, causing the server to crash and requiring clean up and recovery to fix it.
  • WSUS is built primarily for the Windows operating system and other Microsoft products and does not provide support for non Windows products.
  • Third party software such as Java, Chrome, and Adobe are popular targets for hackers because they often contain unpatched vulnerabilities. But, WSUS only allows patching these applications with complex workarounds, and the catalogue of updates is not intuitive.

Up next in this article blog WSUS vs Intune – What’s the Difference ? we introduce Intune.

What is Intune?

Another software choice is Microsoft Intune. Basically, it is Microsoft’s cloud based service for managing mobile devices (MDM) and mobile applications (MAM). 

Besides, it’s a great solution for IT admins to manage and protect corporate data and manage access to corporate applications on personal and corporate devices. Certainly, you use Intune to manage iOS, iPadOS, Android, Windows 10, and macOS devices. Additionally, it is also used to control access to Microsoft 365 apps and services. 

Equally, Intune is part of the Microsoft 365 platform and it integrates with other services such as Azure Active Directory and Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager.

How to use Intune?

There are several ways to manage and secure your devices and apps with Microsoft Intune:

Enroll devices – Start managing your device with Intune, you need to enrol your device. This is done by using the Company Portal app on the device where users enrol their device. Especially, IT administrators also bulk enrol devices using the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center.

Create policies – Allows IT administrators to create policies that are applied to specific groups of devices. These policies include security, access, and compliance settings.

Distribute applications – Deploys apps to devices. In turn, IT administrators uploads apps to the Intune console and then assigns them to specific device groups.

Monitor and troubleshoot –  Provides several tools for monitoring and troubleshooting devices and applications. For example, IT administrators view device and user information, compliance status, and receive alerts on potential issues.

Integrate with other services – Integrates with Azure Active Directory, Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, and Microsoft Endpoint Protection to provide a complete solution for device management and access to corporate resources.

Mobile application management – Controls access to corporate apps, set app protection policies, and monitor app usage.

Conditional access – Sets conditional access policies that allow or block access to corporate resources based on specific conditions, such as device compliance, location, or network.

Identity protection – Protects your identity by implementing multi factor authentication and configuring Azure AD conditional access policies.

Pros and Cons of Intune

Intune Pros

  • Because Intune is a subscription based service, it can be more cost effective than buying and maintaining an on premises solution.
  • Multiple security features such as device encryption, conditional access, and mobile app management to help protect corporate data and resources.
  • A user friendly interface for end users through the Company Portal app to enrol devices, install apps, and track compliance status.
  • Evidently, it gives IT administrators the flexibility to manage devices and applications whether the devices are for business or personal use, and whether users are in the office or working remotely.
  • Assists IT administrators to ensure that devices and applications comply with company policies and industry regulations.
  • Easy to set up and use, has a user friendly interface and the ability to create policies using templates.
  • Users of Intune have full access to technical support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Intune Cons

  • Not enough focus on mobile devices, hence not a full systems management platform.
  • Lacks a feature set to handle complex package deployments.
  • Has many features and settings, and it may take IT administrators time to learn how to use them effectively.
  • Offers a variety of options for device and app management, but customization options  have some limitations, especially when compared to on premises solutions.
  • Difficult to deploy and configure, especially for large organizations with many devices and users.
  • No support for the Linux operating system.

We have arrived to the comparison section of WSUS vs Intune – What’s the Difference ?

WSUS vs Intune

Importantly, WSUS is a Windows only solution that manages updates for Windows based systems and requires on premises infrastructure. Whilst, Intune is a cloud based service that manages updates and devices across multiple platforms and doesn’t require any on premise infrastructure.

Explicitly, WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) and Intune are both used for managing and deploying software updates, but they have some key differences:

Device management

On one hand, WSUS is primarily used to manage updates for Windows devices on a corporate network, whereas Intune is used to manage updates for a variety of devices including Windows, iOS, and Android.


Here, WSUS is a server based product that is installed on a Windows Server. Further, it handles a large number of clients within the organization’s network, but its scalability is limited by the hardware resources of the server it’s installed on. Additionally, as the number of clients increases, so does the amount of disk space required to store update files.

Oppositely, Intune is a cloud service built on Azure and designed to work on many devices. It scales automatically based on the number of devices it manages and does not have the same disk space limitations as WSUS. Furthermore, Intune also lets you manage devices remotely, eliminating the need to maintain on premise infrastructure as your organization grows.


Moreover, WSUS requires dedicated servers and infrastructure to be set up and maintained, whereas Intune is a cloud based service that is easily configured and managed through the cloud.


For this purpose, WSUS is primarily used to manage updates for Windows devices on corporate networks. So, it only supports Windows operating systems including Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, Server 2012 and Server 2008.

Otherwise, Intune is a cloud based service that you use to manage updates on a variety of devices, including Windows, iOS, and Android. It supports Windows 10, 8.1 and 7 and supports all current versions of iOS and Android.


Particularly important is that WSUS is a free server product from Microsoft that enables administrators to manage and distribute updates for Windows based systems.

But, Microsoft Intune is a cloud based service and not free.  A paid service that charges based on the number of devices it manages. It also includes additional features such as mobile device management and application management


Both, WSUS and Intune are used to improve security by keeping systems and devices up to date with the latest security patches, but they have different strengths. Significantly, WSUS is primarily focused on patch management, while Intune is focused on mobile device management and security.

Thank you for reading WSUS vs Intune – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons). We shall conclude the article now. 

WSUS vs Intune – What’s the Difference ? Conclusion

In summary, WSUS is a good solution for managing Windows updates within a Windows only environment, while Intune is a better solution for managing updates and devices across multiple platforms and for organizations that don’t want to maintain on premises infrastructure. Finally, it’s important to assess your organization’s specific needs and requirements before making a decision.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Do explore more WSUS content by navigating to this section of our blog

Avatar for Kamil Wisniowski
Kamil Wisniowski

I love technology. I have been working with Cloud and Security technology for 5 years. I love writing about new IT tools.

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