Once opened, some automatically start scanning your system to find drivers, specifically the ones that are out of date; other programs have large buttons on their main pages that let you manually start scans.

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Software from less-than-reputable sources may include bloatware or malware that can slow down your computer or damage it.

Some may simply have pop-up ads that appear when you first turn on your computer or when you exit the software, nagging you to upgrade your product or buy others from the manufacturer.

Most options in this software review can automatically download and install drivers for you, making it a relatively painless process overall.

Drivers typically don’t need to be updated too often, so you can set your software to automatically scan your computer as frequently or infrequently as you want.

Without those updates, you risk suffering slowdowns, crashes and boot problems that can potentially keep you from turning your PC on.

There are a few drivers that come built in on your Windows computer, but many can only be accessed or updated directly from a hardware manufacturer’s site.To learn more, please read our one of the articles on driver update software.Though most driver update software is safe to download and use, doing only what it promises to do, not all of them are.They help the computer talk to everything, including your video card, printer and the intricate components of the motherboard.Manufacturers routinely release new versions of their drivers, which fix bugs or are more compatible with newer versions of Windows.Often times, drivers downloaded directly from the manufacturer give you more power or features, anyway.