Device drivers are important small pieces of software running on your computer, mostly invisible behind the scenes. These drivers are usually provided by manufacturers and serve as a translation layer between the operating system and devices in your computer, such as Bluetooth radio, storage, network and display adapters, sound cards, fingerprint readers and more.
Seeing there are so many different devices in the market, with so many different specifications, device drivers serve an important purpose. Without them, the operating system on your computer would not know how to communicate with these devices.
And that’s why it’s important to keep device drivers updated. Manufacturers release new versions with fixes that cover both operation and security. Your devices won't stop working if you don't update these drivers - although sometimes you might see a lower performance or even crashes if the old software has bugs. Keeping your software fresh will ensure problem-free operation on your computer.
But it is not an easy task – some of us do not even know which devices and drivers are installed on a computer at any given time. Keeping them up to date is hard. Some manufacturers supply an updater, but you are out of luck if you build your own system as finding updated drivers requires a lot of search - and knowing what you are looking for.
I do not usually like third-party device driver updaters, as unknown companies develop some, and there is no way to confirm their claims.
But I trust Norton software, so I’ve decided to install the Norton Driver Updater and see how it works on my computers.
Installation is super simple and quick. It immediately starts a scan of your computer software – my desktop has around 195 device drivers installed, with a good chunk (about 30 or so) needing an update.
To be safe, I set Norton Driver Updater to make a backup copy of every driver it updates – always a good choice.
For the most part, the drivers were updated quickly and only needed one restart to refresh all of them. The only case where it didn’t quite work well was with the USB-based Bluetooth adapter on my desktop. I can’t blame it though – I tried manually updating the device driver for this adapter a few months back, and Bluetooth was left unresponsive despite the update being ok. All other devices were correctly updated.
No worries here, as restoring the earlier driver version was painless and fast, bringing back Bluetooth to how it was.
Norton Driver Updater had no problems on my laptop, and even the built-in Bluetooth adapter worked fine (perhaps because the Intel drivers are much more reliable than the Realtek ones).
Another reason to use Norton Driver Updater is that the drivers are scanned with Norton antimalware technology before being available for download and installation.
Norton Driver Updater is very unintrusive and almost invisible, running in the background and giving you a heads-up if a new driver version becomes available. It is also very easy to use, with a minimalist user interface.
In terms of cost, it is NZ$ 79.99/year for up to ten Windows PCs. I think it could have a second tier at half-price for five PCs, though.