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If you have an existing my Garmin profile from an older device, but don't have Express installed on your computer, you can do it manually.

Locate the tab for it on the company's main page – or type a phrase such as "Garmin official software page" into your favorite search engine – and follow that to the download page.

If you live and drive mainly in the Maritimes, for example, it’s almost impossible to know what benefit you’ll get from any update you elect to buy.

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Many drivers got their first experience with a navigation unit through popular portable devices from makers like Garmin, Tom Tom or Magellan.

These units almost always come with a “maps for life” feature that lets their owners connect online and download updates any time they want, for free.

Powered by HERE, each map update includes new and modified roads, points of interest, addresses, signage, and much more.

Even if you have a smartphone app, there's a case to be made for owning a standalone GPS device from Garmin or another major manufacturer.

If you've ever missed your turn in heavy traffic because of an incoming call, you know this already.

A standalone GPS won't chew up your data plan or your phone battery, either.

The classic map-on-a-screen GPS devices for cars and trucks typically update through a USB connection to your computer, but newer models such as the Drive Smart 51, and many of Garmin's sports-oriented devices for non-driving use, offer Wi-Fi connectivity as an option.

To transfer updates and user information, the device must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the computer running Garmin Express.

You may decide to go with your smartphone or a portable unit, but check the instrument panel real estate to make sure you can mount one safely without a windshield distraction.

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