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Updating Firmware and Why It’s Important

Firmware is what is needed in most electronic devices today, but what is it exactly and what makes it so crucial for products to run smoothly? For starters, firmware is essentially the programming needed for certain devices to perform their designed tasks. Unlike software, we don’t use firmware to perform specific activities on devices, but instead use it for their main functions. Because of this, firmware updates are occasionally needed to make sure the device operates the way it should, as bugs are fixed and programs are altered for consumer benefits.

Why Updating Firmware is Important

Devices that run firmware should always be updated. These devices can include everything from Blu-ray players to your car stereo. With firmware updates, improvements made to the functionality of these devices can be acquired instantly and without cost, enhancing the experience when using them. Different devices will have different methods of downloading and installing new firmware. Thankfully, it’s usually automatically done with a restart, or else you’ll be notified of when you need to perform an update.

It can be pretty much guaranteed that when you first purchase a product that uses firmware, it won’t run perfectly. Most devices contain bugs or holes in their development that update releases can frequently correct. Other updates simply improve customers’ overall experiences and, for free, will allow users to get the most out of their one-time purchases.

How to Update Firmware

Updating devices shouldn’t be a difficult task. Most, including Windows operating systems, will prompt you when your system is ready to be updated. As soon as a company sends through your network the necessary updates, simply shutting down the PC and restarting should send it through the update process. Afterwards, your computer should run faster and certain bugs that limit the product’s use should be resolved.

The only updates that you can consider trustworthy are ones sent directly by the manufacturer or software company. Never trust third party sources to update anything, as this can lead to the opposite of functionality, introducing viruses into the system that can render it impossible to use. Always check for the brand names you recognize. Thankfully, Driver Reviver sources its updates directly from the manufacturer.

If Internet capability isn’t available on a device, download an update from the manufacturer onto a computer. Then, either connect the device to the computer if possible, or save the update files to a removable USB or SD card to connect directly to the device.

Updating Firmware and Why It's Important
An Apple iPhone updating via a computer’s USB port connection.

With every update, you should make sure that the update, if not automatically applied, is meant for the specific model of the device you own. Accidentally installing anything for the wrong model could not only result in nothing happening, but also possibly destroy all operations. It’s for this reason you should always pay attention to the model number of a device before installing an update for it. If you don’t know where to look for the model number of a specific product, contact the manufacturer to assist you. Their website should help you find what model you own and the compatible update to go along with it.

Network router updates may also be necessary, and can usually be acquired through the manufacturer or through online searches like any other device.

Updating Firmware and Why It's Important
An update installation wizard (guide) for a Netgear router, allowing for convenience.

By registering your product to the manufacturer on purchase, you can be notified in e-mails about firmware updates and other news, with the company informed of what device you own. This way you also won’t have to worry about searching for updates yourself and wind up downloading harmful software.

Steve Horton

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