Firmware is a specific class of software embedded in a piece of hardware. Though some users use the terms “software” and “hardware” interchangeably, it’s important to keep in mind that they denote different things. Think of such pieces of hardware as printers, network cards, or dark drives.
They all seem to be classic examples of hardware. Still, they wouldn’t operate the way they do if it wasn’t for a firmware that is part of software ensuring proper operation of a specific hardware piece. Now that you know more about this enigmatic term, you may want to learn more about firmware updates some many users take advantage of.
Below you can find information pertaining to firmware updates and their application. Still, if you’re still asking yourself “what is firmware?” or want to learn about types of firmware, such as the BIOS or UEFI , check out our guide on rocket flies.
Firmware Updates and How They Work
Everything related to computers is all about updates. Though back in the day making tweaks to firmware was considered akin to brain surgery, nowadays, this procedure has become a commonplace. Manufacturers release updates for their products not only to please their customers with new features, but also fix some bugs, or ensure better protection from hackers exploiting vulnerabilities inherent in any software. Therefore, it’s highly recommendable that you avail yourself of a specific firmware update as soon as it’s released to ensure seamless operation of your device.
Manufacturers of routers, SSDs, HDS, and USB peripherals tend to release firmware updates more often given their products’ propensity to be adversely affected by malicious firmware and the inherent tendency for obsolescence. Hard drives’ and other products’ firmware is updated regularly to keep up with new media. As a rule, the updated firmware has a new set of computer code for your hardware, which allows you to use a specific piece of hardware to its full potential.
Network router manufacturers also update their firmware on their devices to improve overall network performance or incorporate new features. The same goes for digital camera manufacturers and mobile device makers.
If you’re in search of firmware updates for your device, the first thing you should do is to visit the manufacturer’s official website. Locate the latest update available for your device and download it.
How to Apply Firmware Updates
As you may have guessed, there is no universal recipe for installing firmware updates on devices, since firmware differs greatly from device to device. While some firmware can be easily downloaded from a dedicated web source and applied wirelessly, just like any other software update, other should be saved onto a portable drive and then manually installed on a specific device.
For most peripherals, firmware updates can be easily downloaded by just accepting some prompts. Updating devices manufactured by apple are also usually a breeze. iPhones and ipads get updates from time to time, which can be obtained and installed directly from your devices, which spares you the bother of downloading and installing required updates manually from the official website.
Still, when it comes to updating other devices, say, routers, you should be ready for a considerably longer quest. Routers are usually updated using the administrative console. There should be a special section containing all downloaded update. Using corresponding buttons, you can navigate through this section to find the required update. Still, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with you’re a user manual that comes with every device to make sure you’re performing a firmware update in a due manner.