PROS / With the trusted WinZip brand behind it, you needn't worry about the possibility of malware sneaking onto your system through one of the files that WinZip Driver Updater downloads.
CONS / From its feature set to its performance in our test scans, the program is merely average, and it doesn't support Windows 8 PCs.
VERDICT / There's nothing to set WinZip's updater apart from the competition other than its name, and in terms of performance, that name doesn't carry enough weight in the driver update market.
WinZip is a brand with a rich history. As the premier tool for managing compressed folders (such as .zip files) for many years, it has built its name on dependability and performance. In the arena of driver update software, however, that name doesn't have the same clout. WinZip Driver Updater is all too similar to its average competitors, and is a long way from challenging the best of them. The WinZip name may inspire confidence in terms of security and the program being free of malware, but its scan results aren't as comprehensive as we'd like to see from such a trusted brand.
When we ran WinZip's updater through our standard driver finder tests, it identified 19 of a possible 36 outdated drivers. The program managed to spot problems with the video card, hard drive and USB drivers, but it missed updates that were available for the Ethernet and audio controllers – the devices that help you connect to the internet and hear sound, respectively. It didn't manage to recognize or recommend updates for a single peripheral, and we have more than a few printers and cameras installed on our test machine.
All driver checkers let you scan your computer for free, but ask you to register the program if you want to update them. WinZip's updater is no different; you can figure out which of your drivers are outdated, but if you want it to help you bring them up to speed, you'll have to buy a license. Once you do, you'll get access to features such as scan scheduling and driver backup. However, more advanced features like a driver uninstaller are conspicuously absent.
Most of the best driver software supports every version of Windows, so we were surprised when we learned that WinZip Driver Updater isn't compatible with Windows 8. Although Windows XP, Vista and 7 are still more common than Microsoft's latest iteration of its titanic operating system, Windows 8 continues to grow in the market, and the lack of support from WinZip reflects a lack of support for the latest and most important devices.
The competition to be the best driver update software is fierce. WinZip Driver Updater has a solid brand behind it, but only offers the basic features you'd expect from any halfway-decent driver finder. When you consider its poor performance in our tests and its incompatibility with Windows 8, there's no reason to choose WinZip's entry over the far more capable options in our lineup.