PROS / Advanced Driver Updater is packed with features and found the highest number of outdated drivers in our tests.
CONS / Despite its high numbers, it failed to catch the critical Ethernet and audio drivers that were out of date on our test machine.
VERDICT / There's a good reason Advanced Driver Updater is licensed by so many other companies; it's a solid, well-rounded product with just about every feature you'd want.
Software utility developers often license their products out to other companies. These companies rename those products, give them fresh coats of paint and call them their own in a process called white-labeling. White-label software might look different from brand to brand, but it's functionally identical to the original product. Three other companies have white-labeled Systweak's Advanced Driver Updater, and it's clear why: The program is excellent, providing great analysis and plenty of features while taking care of the vast majority of your driver needs. It's not perfect – in our tests, Advanced Driver Updater missed both Internet and audio drivers during its scan – but it's still a solid bet, well deserving of our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
TTR Test Scan
Advanced Driver Updater found 30 of the 36 outdated drivers on our test computer, more than any other driver checker. It managed to catch old drivers for our two plug-and-play monitors – something no other software was able to do – and for a number of unplugged peripherals. And from the PCI bus to the LPC interface, few of the more complex, lower-level components of the motherboard were left without fresh updates to their control software.
That said, Advanced Driver Updater isn't perfect. In our testing, it failed to find either Ethernet drivers or audio drivers. The Ethernet controller is the part of the motherboard that helps you connect to the internet, while the audio controller is what lets you hear sound from your speakers or headphones. They're both quite important – certainly more so than plug-and-play peripheral support – and the absence of each surprised us. But, practically speaking, those were the only notable absences, and Advanced Driver Updater performed superbly in every other area.
Systweak's driver software has one of the best feature sets you'll find in an updater. As with all driver finders, you can use it to scan your system for free before you decide to buy. Once you register, you gain access to features like one-click downloads and automatic driver installation, which effectively let you fix your system with a single click of the mouse.
Scan scheduling lets you set up periodic scans of your computer's drivers, just like antivirus software lets you schedule system-wide virus scans – although these scans won't automatically apply updates. The manual nature of periodic driver scans is a good thing: It's always a smart idea to back up your existing drivers before you update to new ones, on the off chance that an update will cause more problems than it fixes. Driver backup and restore is easy with Advanced Driver Updater's toolset.
When you're managing drivers, malware is the biggest threat to your system's security. As with all the best driver updaters, Advanced Driver Updater only sources its drivers from original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs. Since these drivers come from the same developers that make your computer's hardware, they operate efficiently and are always free of malware.
The other source of malware you should be concerned with is bundled software. Some updaters will install extra programs that don't directly harm your computer, but can be rather annoying. They'll add unwanted toolbars to your browser, change your home page or search engine, or even pepper your screen with pop-up advertisements. Though it's possible to opt out of installing these programs if you notice them during installation, it's usually better to pick a driver updater that won't try to install them in the first place. Advanced Driver Updater is one such option.
Help & Support
Every company manages its customer service team differently. Where others offer email support or user forums that foster discussion, Systweak encourages its clients to contact its team directly, via either a support hotline or online chat. There are also a series of FAQs pages on its website. There's no email or form for submitting tickets, but with 24-hour telephone support, you shouldn't have a problem getting in touch with someone.
Advanced Driver Updater is one of the best pieces of driver update software available. Even Systweak's competition agrees, licensing the program and selling it under different brands. Granted, it missed a couple critical drivers during our tests, but no updater is perfect. Taken as a whole, between its great feature set and impressive 30-driver scan record, we're confident recommending Advanced Driver Updater if you want easy, accessible fixes for your home PC.