Editors Top Choice has selected DriverHound to receive our Editors Top Choice award for 2014. Read our in-depth review to learn more about DriverHound and understand why we have chosen it as our Top Choice.
Driverhound is an easy-to-use application that is loaded with some very advanced features. We found the DriverHound interface to be user friendly and well organized. The application consists of five tabs, each with their own subset of options. When opening Driverhound, the Dashboard tab shows you useful information such as previous scan history, number of drivers found, drivers installed, and system information. Driverhound also allows you to add or remove shortcut keys to common program features which we thought was a nice touch.
The Driver Scan tab allows you to select which drivers you would like to scan your computer for, view Scan Results, Scan History, Mange Drivers and even update DirectX. To add items to the Ignore List you must perform a scan, then deselect the item. The Manage Drivers feature allows you to add drivers to the Ignore List (populates after a scan) or to Remove Drivers, which we would caution novice users from doing.
The Backup tab provides several methods of backing up your computers drivers. Using DriverHound, users can choose to save drivers to an Internal Backup location, Backup to a New File (such as a thumb drive) using their proprietary compression format, or Write to a CD/DVD. We found this to be very useful when transferring drivers from one computer to another. The Restore feature allows you to select any of the three methods mentioned above to restore drivers on your computer. Using the Export feature you can export the raw driver files (.ini, .sys, .dll, etc) to a specified location. A feature found only on DriverHound that we found useful is the Create/Open Index files. This feature allows you to create an index file that allows you to transfer drivers to an offline computer. If you wish to Remove Drivers, you are also able to do this under the Backup tab.
Using the Restore feature users are able to revert back to a previous state or using any of the backup methods/formats mentioned above.
DriverHound also includes Windows Migration Wizard which allows you to easily bundle drivers from an existing computer and transfer them to another. We found this to be extremely useful when we upgraded some of our testing computers to Windows 7.
Although there are many options found under the Settings tab, we found them to be very well organized. Under the General Settings sub tab you can customize DriverHound to perform to your liking. The Scheduling sub tab allows you to specify a frequency you would like DriverHound to check your computer for out of date drivers. The System Info displays the information pertaining to your computer. This includes your framework, memory, OS version, etc. The last item found under the Settings tab is the Troubleshoot sub tab that allows you to send a diagnostic report to DriverHound should you encounter a problem.
Driver Detection & Installation
Because there are endless possible system configurations, DriverHound uses the following general categories to group drivers on your computer. Video Controllers, Network Adapters, Pointing Devices, Printers, Infrared Devices, SCSI Devices, Drive Devices, Sound Devices, Keyboards, Displays, USB Devices, Firewire Devices, PnP Devices, System Devices. DriverHound performed well above average in locating drivers in each category and installed each update automatically, earning it our Top Choice Award. DriverHound was the only application to update drivers automatically.
We found most of the DriverHound features to be self explanatory, but online support, email assistance, and phone support are available if needed.
Pros: Simple & easy to use interface, very effective in updating drivers, nice combination of usable features
Cons: In the future we would like the ability to add comments or send screenshots with a diagnostic report.
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