9.6 / 10
Our editorial staff evaluates products and services independently, but Best Review Guide may earn money when you click on links. Read our advertising disclosure.
Ashampoo Driver Updater does a pretty good job of updating the drivers that are out of date on your system. All of its features are useful in updating, backing up, and restoring drivers. It has an intuitive interface that is easy to navigate for all users. It also comes with helpful tools such as a regular scheduler and a driver ignore list. We foudn that this program is one of the most affordable driver update tools which makes it a good option as it still does a pretty good job finding and updating out of date drivers.
Ensuring that the computer is at peak performance is hard to do even with normal usage. Various factors such as the presence of viruses, outdated hardware, or having too much software can all affect this. One part that is often overlooked is the driver.
Drivers ensure that the hardware can regularly communicate with the software. Without it, parts such as the mouse, keyboard, and the printer can be totally not functional. To update this, Windows has a built-in driver updater. However, this may be too time-consuming and non-user friendly to use.
Ashampoo Driver Updater
Ashampoo is a known German computer application company that has been around since 1999. They are known for apps like the Ashampoo WinOptimizer and Burning Studios. Their products are leaders in the market because of their high quality and innovative features. As stated in their website, they take pride in having over 20 million users all around the world. They also have 500,000+ downloads per month for over 160 countries.
Ashampoo also created the Ashampoo Driver Updater available for Windows 7, 8, and 10. This makes the process of updating the drivers of the computer faster and easier. It also comes with various features such as driver restore and backup. It has both a free and a paid version.
While the hardware installs a basic form of its driver to make it usable upon first connection to the computer, users may not be sure whether this is the best for the computer. This is because manufacturers regularly update the drivers of their products to ensure that its performance will always be at its peak.
The application eases the process of updating the drivers by having a user-friendly interface which simplifies the process. Instead of making users have to manually look at the condition of each driver in the computer and update each one-by-one, the application summarizes all of these in one list and lists out the appropriate drivers for each.
Users should also not be wary of the application as it is totally safe for the computer. It is not a self-replicating virus or a form of malware. The application is certified safe by most websites. Ashampoo, in general, is also given a Microsoft Gold Certification which ensures that they have been monitored and guided by the company when they created the application which maximizes its compatibility with the operating system.
The application can run on any computer which can run the operating systems of Windows 7, 8, and 10. This means that the minimum requirements are the following:
As seen from its minimum requirements, the application can be run by most modern computers. The application is not available for Mac users, though.
Using the application
From downloading, installation, and actual feature using, the application is a breeze to use. This is because Ashampoo designed the application especially for amateur users who do not have much knowledge about the computer and for those who want to save time while repairing their drivers.
Downloading and installing
To download the application, users simply need to visit their website. From here, they can see the big “Buy Now” and “Free Download” options. The first option redirects users to the process of purchasing a license while the latter instantly downloads the installer. If users want to test the features first before buying a license, they are advised to do the latter as it can be licensed later on.
Opening the application
Upon first opening the application, Ashampoo instantly starts a full scan of the computer’s drivers. While this is ongoing, users can select the language which the application will use. It will look at the condition of the drivers of the video cards, audio cards, the mouse, and all of the hardware connected to the PC. This process only takes a minute to finish.
The drivers which the application will display comes from a wide library that has the latest and the best drivers.
After this, the user will then see a complete list of all the drivers in the computer. Those which need to be updated are shown first. Information such as the name of the driver, the name of the manufacturer, the date when the driver was released, and the amount of storage the drivers take will be shown. The drivers that the app shows are all WHQL certified (Windows Hardware Quality Labs).
The application will also show the current hardware information of the computer including its system name, processor, mainboard, and RAM. This allows users to see the current condition of their computer.
Difference between free and Pro version
The application can update the drivers of the computer regardless of whether it is free or paid.
However, paid users can expect a faster process for updating the drivers. With just a couple of clicks from them, the user can instantly update all of the outdated drivers of the PC. The application automatically backs-up the drivers and will only notify the users once it is done. The time for this to finish will depend upon the number of drivers to be updated and the memory of the computer.
Users who are using the free version may have a longer time in fixing the drivers, though. This is because the user needs to manually select the driver one by one, waiting for it to finish before being able to move on to the next one. Each driver might take a while in terms of updating as the application first needs to back it up, download the file directly from the manufacturer’s website, and then install it on the PC. For a free version, though, Ashampoo is quite generous in terms of its functionalities.
Users can also do a rescan of all of their drivers in case some are left out by the initial scan.
As seen in its interface, the application stays true to its promise of being user friendly. The icons and the progress bars of the application are prominently displayed by the interface in an intuitive way for newer users to be instantly familiarized.
To test the capability of the application, we intentionally deleted a driver for the speaker of the computer and initiated a restart. Upon scanning the PC, the application was instantly able to point out the absence of this speaker and proceeded to update it with its newer version.
The other features of Ashampoo Driver Updater are focused on ensuring that the drivers of the computer are functional. The application is lacking in terms of other features though such as an offline scan tool and a driver delete tool.
Updating the drivers is important to ensure that they will always be up-to-date and free from bugs. However, some updates and installations may result in failures. When this happens, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the hardware will be unusable because of the driver backup feature.
This feature creates a backup copy of the current drivers installed in the PC which are fully functional. This will be stored in a safe folder of the user’s choice. In case an installation fails, the application will visit the backup folders of the user and reinstall the old drivers. This tool ensures the hardware of the computer will still remain functional even if the update fails.
The restore tool can be used by users manually if they feel like a driver which has been newly updated isn’t fully functional or if they want to use an old driver for it. As long as the drivers of the computers are fully backed, they can restore a driver of a hardware part back to its old version. With just one click, the user can also start a full system restore.
Ashampoo Driver Updater is automatically programmed to launch along with Windows. If this slows down your startup, users can turn this off in the settings. They can also choose if they want to allow the application to do a full scan whenever the PC opens.
Users can also choose to ignore some of the drivers from being scanned. They can also choose to have a regular scanning schedule. Lastly, users can modify the internet settings of the application.
Benefits of updating the drivers
The drivers of the computer, as mentioned before, ensures that the hardware can regularly communicate with the software. First, it ensures that all of the manufacturer’s updates for fixing the bugs and glitches will be available for the hardware. This is especially important for video cards that constantly run games and applications that are resource demanding. Updating the drivers can also ensure that the internet will not have internet and audio issues.
The security protocols of the hardware that are especially important for the motherboard and the hard drive is also ensured whenever the drivers are updated. Hackers and viruses will have a hard time penetrating these important hardware parts.
Lastly, it ensures that the hardware parts can be used for a longer time. Drivers maximize the compatibility of these parts with newer applications which constantly update their settings. These prevent users from having to frequently update their hardware to run newer applications and the like.
This Driver updater was on sale when we checked it out and came in at $19 which is one, if not, the cheapest options out there. Again $19 will save you a couple of hours each year, so we think that it is worth it.
Ashampoo Driver Updater did a pretty good job. It did miss a couple of drivers that we had on our test machine but overall it was pretty quick, pretty efficient and overall easy to use.
Users can choose to purchase premium customer support by paying an additional fee. Even without this, the application has top-notch customer support.
First, users can visit the free FAQ website of the product. The information included here are product descriptions, a step-by-step instruction of installation, and tips and tricks. Users can also choose to submit a customer support ticket where information such as name, concern, email address, and more will be asked. Ashampoo also has a live chat support system which is very helpful as it ensures fast responses for inquiries.