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Driver updating utility are greater than worse

Never download a driver-updating utility. Like PC-cleaning programs, they try to charge you money for a service you don’t need. They do this by scaring you with threats of blue screens and system problems.Even if a driver-updating tool worked perfectly and the company behind it didn’t seem unbelievably sleazy, they wouldn’t be worth your time — much less your money. Stay away.

We’ve seen advertisements for a “Driver Update Utility” from driverupdate.net all over the place recently. This is usually a bad sign — we also see ads for PC cleaners, registry cleaners, game boosters, and all sorts of other utilities that don’t actually do anything besides try to make money from you and install garbage onto your PC.

We installed this software so you don’t have to — really, don’t try this at home. We started with DriverUpdate. it will scan your computer for drivers for free, and then you can pay $30 to receive free automatic driver updates for a year. That’s what it promises, anyway.

The program starts out claiming to be by a “Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.” This doesn’t actually mean Microsoft has placed their stamp of approval on this utility. It then attempts to install other junk software you won’t want.

After installation, DriverUpdate ran a scan and informed us that our computer had 14 out-of-date drivers, many of which are considered “ancient.” This is on a fresh Windows 8.1 system — installed just a few months ago — with the latest drivers available from the manufacturer’s website at the time. There’s no possible we have “ancient” drivers from 2006 installed.

If you try to update your drivers, you’re told that the installed drivers “can cause problems, system slowdowns and bluescreen errors.” This is technically true, but very unlikely. It’s also technically true that updated drivers could cause problems, system slowdowns, and blue-screen errors by introducing new bugs. It’s a wash.