Which road navigation software to use with my Garmin GPS 18x USB?

I'm new to the forum, and I wanted to see if anyone had some advice about something. I've got a Garmin GPS 18X USB that I bought a few years ago and I'd like to start using it again with my laptops. On one laptop (XP SP3), I've got NRoute 2.4 installed and I guess City Select is the Default map, which isn't very good and way out of date. I've also got US TOPO 2008 showing in NRoute as well on the old laptop.

I'd like to get a new map to use with the GPS 18X, but I don't know which brand of mapping/navigation software would be best. Right now, the GPS 18x works fine with the NRoute without using GPSGate, but the maps are old. I understand GPSGate might be needed if I try to use other nav/mapping software.

So, here are my questions:

1. Any suggestions as to the best current road navigation software to use with this unit?

2. Can I install that old version of NRoute on a Win 7 64bit laptop, and can I load the driver for the GPS 18X onto the Win 7 laptop from the old CD? Will there be any conflicts to watch for?

3. Does anyone know where I can find the instructions to update the firmware on the Garmin GPS 18x? I keep clicking on the link on Garmin's site and it doesn't do anything to show me the instructions.

4. Any overall advice or suggestions to get back into this the right way without breaking the bank?

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Probably the least expensive approach would be to buy S&T 2013 with the included GPS. While I think the 18x and GPS Gate should be ok with Win 7 64 and S&T, there is certainly no advantage in using that device.

The latest version of nRoute is 2.76 and is available here: http://www.gawisp.com/perry/nroute/
I did try nRoute on Win 7 64 previously and it worked fine but I don't have an 18x to test.

Ken in Regina
nRoute and GPSGate both work fine on Windows 7 64-bit. I have the latest versions of both. You might need to update yours.

You can get fairly decent newer maps that will work on nRoute for free from OpenStreetMaps or from GPSFileDepot. Look for Garmin-compatible maps for whatever region you need.

Your 18x firmware is probably up to date. It's old enough that there likely haven't been any updates for years. I don't know what to say about 64-bit drivers.

... ken...
Thanks to both of you for the quick responses. I gave the wrong impression. I don't mind paying a little bit for a good navigation software. I just don't want to buy five different ones and waste a bunch of money.

If you were looking at just the laptop software only, is there one out there that you like better than Trips and Streets for real-time navigation (say under $100)? I've read that it's good for planning, but kind of clunky using it for navigation.

I take it that the Bu-353-S4 GPS unit is about the best I can do for laptop navigation? Have they just quit making laptop/PC stuff all together?


No reason to be concerned that there might be something better than the BU 353 S4 as it is very good. What is becoming less available are laptop software products for navigation. Pretty well all that is left is Microsoft S&T, Delorme Street Atlas and ALK CoPilot Live Laptop v8. You can read about the pros and cons of each in the various sections of this forum.

So true. I think laptop navigation users would probably qualify as an endangered species today.
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