Updating your computer's drivers is an important   if often confusing   task that every PC owner will eventually face. It comes as no surprise that many companies offer software to help you sort through the mayhem. In our effort to track down every possible driver updater and find out which was best, we examined and thoroughly tested 20 different products. It didn't take long to see that four of those products were near-perfect duplicates of one another.

Solvusoft's DriverDoc, RadarSync's PC Updater and Raxco's PerfectUpdater are all copies   plus or minus a few small interface tweaks   of a program called Advanced Driver Updater. Developed by Systweak, Advanced Driver Updater is among the very best pieces of driver update software you can buy, finding and fixing more outdated drivers in our tests than any of its competition. It's no surprise that three other companies made deals with Systweak to mirror its software under their brands. The process is called white labeling, and among smaller PC tools and utilities, it's quite common. 

What is White Labeling?

White labeling is the practice of licensing software from a manufacturer, rebranding it, and selling it as a competing product from a different company. Functionally, white labels are identical to their sources   they accomplish the same tasks and suffer the same weaknesses. However, their outer facades are different, and it can sometimes be difficult to tell the original from the white labels without wading through a few legal disclaimers.

You'll rarely, if ever, find white-labeled versions of major brands such as Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop. These programs are industry-leading properties with enormous name recognition, and their owners put enough value in what they offer to keep them unique. But if you're ever shopping for PC cleanup software or looking for alternatives to major products, expect to find white labels as common as generic brands in a supermarket.

Which Should You Buy?

When you're considering a product with multiple white labels, the question inevitably comes to mind: Which should you buy? It's almost always to your benefit to go with the original   the company's service and support is usually more impressive, and should there be software updates, you'll be among the first to take advantage of new features. Sometimes white label software is more expensive than the original, while other times it's cheaper, but with prices rarely fluctuating beyond $10 in either direction, you're usually best off sticking to the source material.

Consequently, in the case of driver update software we elected to review and rank Advanced Driver Updater over its duplicates. Systweak doesn't bundle any bloatware with its installer, and as the original developer, you're most likely to get the best service from its support team. Sure, it may have been cloned a few times, but that's only further proof that it is indeed some of the best driver software you can buy.

More Top Stories