Are Automatic Driver Updates Safe?
One of the most important things you can do to optimize your computer’s performance and improve security is keeping your system up to date. That includes more than updating the applications you have installed – even those you rarely use. Every aspect of software on your computer must be considered:
- Operating system: Including Windows updates and the version of Windows installed
- Applications: Games, office functions, database programs, photo editors – all should be checked regularly for available updates
- Spyware or Antivirus programs: Pay special attention to these applications – new patterns and databases are constantly updated to address new threats or cyber attacks.
- Drivers: Your system uses drivers to control internal components such as storage devices, graphics cards, printers, and more
Drivers may be even more difficult to keep current, due to their very nature of being unique for every device and manufacturer represented in your computer. It can be time-consuming and confusing to find every driver that’s right for your system, download them, and install properly.
Even if you know the manufacturer of every component you have running in your computer, do you know the version you have, the software release, and details of the operating system you have? Manufacturer websites often need all that information to get you to the right driver that will support your environment.
Software updates – including drivers – are extremely important when you upgrade your system with new peripherals like printers, graphics cards, or processors. Chances are that your old drivers will not support the new hardware, or may not handle it properly to get the most value from your investment.
To help lessen the burden of searching for driver updates, selecting the one that’s right for you, and downloading/installing each individual driver, automatic driver updates have become available for computer owners.
However, are automatic driver updates safe? Let’s find out.
Can You Update Drivers Yourself?
One of your choices is, of course, to update all your drivers manually, and only update when you find something isn’t supported or just does not seem to function properly. Often your first clue that driver updates are inaccurate is that the device, like a new graphics card or printer, is simply not recognized by Windows. Updating the driver will then depend on the version of Windows you’re running.
Windows 7 Driver Updates
If you’re still running Windows 7, you’re past due for an upgrade already. WIN7 is no longer being updated, and most vendors are not providing any software or driver updates for WIN7 versions. You can still apply the most recent updates and drivers for your system, just be aware that there will likely be no additional enhancements.
To get started with updating drivers in WIN7, simply press the “Start” button and type “Device Manager” into the search window, then click “Device Manager”
A full list of your devices will be presented. Click the arrow by the type of device in question to expand the tree of devices.
Select the device you’re having issues with, and right-click. Then, select the option to “Update driver software”
Windows will then prompt you to search the internet for a suitable driver, or search your computer for the software. If your device is not working properly, odds are that the correct driver is not on your computer. In this case, you may need to search the internet to find the right driver.
Next, Windows will search and attempt to find your driver, based on your existing system and device configuration.
With Windows 10, the process is very similar. Start typing “Settings” in the search window, or click the settings icon, then select “Devices” from the available options.
You will then have a list of devices available; this list can be expanded and right-clicked for the option to update the device driver.
Windows 10 even provides a simple path to using Windows Update to check for and install updates to your system:
- Start “Settings”
- Take the “Update and Security” option
- Select “Windows Update” then click the “Check for Updates” button, and let Windows Update find anything it believes is missing or outdated
You then need to ask yourself two questions:
- Has your device manufacturer registered the driver you need with Windows Update to make it available?
- Will Windows Update locate the driver and the exact right version for your device?
You will need to repeat this process for each missing or outdated driver or allow Windows Update to conduct that search for you. Regardless, you will still need to monitor the search results, software downloads, and installation process.
If all this sounds like more detailed work than you bargained for, making you long for a better way to get the job done, you’re not alone. Services are available to help fill this technical gap and make these updates more all-inclusive and secure.
What About Automatic Driver Update Services?
Services who offer automatic updates to your system feature the following benefits:
- You can update all drivers at once, with a simple process
- Your entire system will be analyzed for missing or outdated drivers
- Automatic driver updates will seek out more than windows updates, including your device manufacturer websites
- You don’t make decisions on which driver is right for your system when there are multiple options – intelligent software makes the right choice
Certainly, an automatic update service offers major benefits and convenience. With all the incidents of spyware, malware, and cyber attacks corrupting unsuspecting users, can you be assured that your system will remain secure and stable, and your data will remain private?
Why Use Automatic Driver Updates?
You’ve probably run into several situations that require – or could require – driver updates:
- Software updates caused devices to stop running correctly
- You’ve built your own system, and need to get the drivers updated for all your components
- You installed new hardware that is not being recognized by your computer
- You simply don’t have the technical confidence to manually update system drivers
- Performance has become an issue, and a particular device is a likely suspect for the problem
- A new graphics card has been installed, and you want to be sure you have the latest software from the manufacturer
- You ran Windows Update to update your Windows 10 system, but the problem persists
When you need to update your system’s drivers, an automatic update will ease the pain and provide more consistent results over manual efforts – even over the use of Windows Update. It’s important to do your homework when selecting the automatic update service for your computers because they are not all created equal:
- Some systems include bloatware or functions and programs that you do not need or want on your system – this is typical of “free” automatic update programs that may include advertisements or prompts that nag you to update to full-featured versions at a cost
- Searches for correct drivers are much more complete and successful with some systems than others
- Ease of installation and use varies among services
- Cost varies somewhat, starting with free software – but you may get what you pay for in functionality
Generally, automatic driver updates are safe to use, but it’s worth checking credentials and customer feedback before downloading and installing. You may wind up with a sub-standard product that impacts your system’s performance or loads it with undesirable programs.
Stay Secure with Driver Support
Driver Support is a cost-effective, full-featured automatic update service that has satisfied millions of users since 1996. We understand drivers and technology, and provide easy-to-use, reliable software that will efficiently:
- Perform a thorough analysis of your system for any missing or outdated drivers
- Search for the right drivers for your computers, and download them automatically
- Update all your drivers at once
- Install each driver, with no manual intervention or frustration
Get Driver Support and keep your system running securely and at peak performance.