6 software and driver update utilities compared

If you dismissed update utilities as something only for home users (as I did until recently), now might be the time to take a second look.

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Next step, installing: Since installing a dozen (or more) drivers in one session would be risky, you'll have to install each driver individually.


It's sort of painful to walk through the setup routine for each driver but UpdateStar Driver helps you a lot in getting organized and seeing at a glance all of the drivers that need updating. No more going through device manager or driver websites to check for updates.

Scorecard: Driver detection: 5/5 stars User interface/ease-of-use: 4/5 stars


Price: $29.97/year Trial: Download here DriverUpdate is the only real alternative to UpdateStar Drivers (believe me, I've tried many). Its UI is highly user-friendly and the welcome screen gives you a good idea about whether your drivers need updating:


Once the (quick) scan is complete, DriverUpdate presents you with easy-to-understand status updates, ranging from "Latest" to "Old" to "Ancient".


As with UpdateStar Drivers, each driver has to be downloaded individually, but this is to be expected. And as I mentioned above, you shouldn't take the risk of updating 10 drivers in one go anyway. That's the recipe for a non-bootable system.

DriverUpdate detected 17 out-of-date drivers, whereas UpdateStar found a bit more -- DriverUpdate didn't recognize that there was an update available for my Logitech gamepad as well as for the WiFi-adapter. For a paid product, they definitely need to extend their database. (Hint: Try out the free version, Slim Drivers, which lacks the automated update feature, but gives you a glimpse of what devices it recognizes.)

Scorecard: Driver detection: 3.5/5 stars User interface/ease-of-use: 4/5 stars


As I said upfront, there is no perfect software updater. But UpdateStar is the best of the bunch, thanks to its massive database and well-structured UI. If you can deal with good, but not perfect, program detection, Ninite Updater comes in at a close second. Its silent installer and largely ad-free approach give it a huge plus over the competition.

The two driver updaters on this list are almost equally good, although UpdateStar detected more out-of-date drivers. Again, its well-maintained database set it apart.

Do you use software and driver update utilities? What is your favorite update tool?

This story, "6 software and driver update utilities compared" was originally published by ITworld.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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