During the time a person uses a computer there’s a very high probability that they will hear the word “drivers” at some point or another. Some people know what they are and what they are needed for, others just leave it to professionals, or at least people who are more computer literate.
In this article we will go over just what exactly are device drivers, what they do and how to find the right ones for your device.
First of all, let’s define what a device driver actually is:
- A device driver is a piece of software that operates or controls a particular type of device that is attached to a computer. It provides a software interface between the computer and the hardware, allowing an Operating System (and other computer programs) to access hardware functions without needing to know details of the hardware that is being used.
This communication is what makes device drivers so important to a computer, since they simplify programming by acting as a sort of translator for the language used by the hardware installed on a particular computer and the software that is installed on said computer.
The simplification in communication that a device driver offers to a programmer makes it possible for the programmer to concentrate on coding higher level functions for the program instead of trying to see how to make the program communicate with the user’s hardware.
The thing is, with computers and software constantly evolving and updating, there’s a very high chance that there might be more than one set of drivers on your PC that are completely out of date, meaning you will have to install the newest versions. Aside from that, since drivers are so essential to the functioning, there may be times when you just need to update the computer’s drivers for reasons other than simply optimising the communication between hardware. Here are some cases in which you may need to update or download and install new drivers:
- When a computer is acting up and presenting you with weird errors and warnings. Sometimes outdated drivers can cause a PC to stop functioning properly or at all.
- A fresh install of an Operating System. When doing a fresh install of any OS, especially a fully clean install (where you completely erase the contents of the computer’s hard disk). Any Operating System already comes with a few universal drivers that are installed on the computer by default, but they are there to allow you to interact with the PC and actually download the real drivers you need.
- Installation of new hardware. Be it a new printer, a new video card or a new Blu-ray burner, any new addition to a PC needs to have the correct drivers installed in order to function properly.
- For security reasons. Any piece of software has the potential to have what is called a backdoor or vulnerability. These vulnerabilities allow potential attackers a way into your system, and thus put your data at risk. Due to this, software developers are continually patching and updating software to get rid of these vulnerabilities (and of course, upgrading features of the software as well). Device drivers are no exception to this process.
- After malware attacks. Sometimes the worst comes to pass and your computer gets infected. In some cases, this will simply slow your PC down by a lot until you use a program to locate and uninstall all of the malicious software from the machine.
Other, more trying times will actually overwrite your files with copies of the virus in order to propagate itself faster and more efficiently, and unfortunately drivers are no exception to this, with the added “bonus” that this will create complete chaos on a PC. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and get the virus off and simply have to install the drivers again, and sometimes you’ll have no option other than perform a disk wipe and reinstall your OS from scratch.
This is also why you should always have backups of every important file on your PC.
As you can see, this can all add up to a point where it is a complete pain to actually go over the process of determining what hardware version you have, locating the drivers for said version, downloading them and then, after all of that work, sit down and install them one by one. You’ll be glad to hear that there’s a good solution for that: SafeBytes DriverAssist. SafeBytes Program has a feature called Automatic Driver Installation, which does exactly what it says: simply download and install DriverAssist, and then just leave it to the program to find and install all requisites drivers for your PC automatically. You have no need to do anything else with DriverAssist other than install it onto your PC; the sophisticated software does all the work for you.
But, as you may already suspect, that’s not all that DriverAssist can do. There’s tons of other useful features included in the software:
- Driver Intelligence. DriverAssist is an intelligent program which carefully establishes what the appropriate drivers for your computer programs are. This enables accurate installation and ensures that your PC runs to its optimum level.
- Smart Device Identification. The DriverAssist software is based on sophisticated technology that automatically detects all of the appropriate PC drivers in a matter of seconds. It will then match them with the latest available version, and update every driver required by your system with a compatible version on a regular basis.
- Safe USB Management and Eject. DriverAssist also helps you manage USB devices. There is no need to worry about safely removing hardware with DriverAssist, as it makes the ejecting process and safely removing hardware from your PC extremely straightforward.
- Full Back-up and Restore. Additionally, DriverAssist helps you backup all of your data and restore your machine to the time when it was previously working if you encounter any problems. It really is an ideal package to ensure that your PC runs to its fullest potential.
- 24/7 Customer Service. DriverAssist is a product of SafeBytes, and therefore benefits from the renowned customer service associated with the company. SafeBytes is on call 24/7 to assist you with any problems that you might encounter.