Ah, yet another popup about pending driver updates… just click “later” and we’ll get to it tomorrow, right? You’d be surprised how many stories of major computer issues start out in a similar way. It’s true that software and device driver updates can be annoying and can easily eat into your schedule if you do them every time they show up, but failing to keep up with these updates is one of the biggest factors that attackers rely on nowadays. On the other hand, failing to maintain your devices properly can quickly drag down their performances significantly below what they should be capable of.
Security is the biggest point you’ll want to consider here. While attackers are usually more concerned with exploiting holes in everyday software, devices aren’t that far behind in their attractiveness factor. In fact, some attackers might focus exclusively on this area exactly because they expect it to receive less attention from both users and security researchers alike. The point of updating software, including device drivers, is that developers often end up discovering various problems with their old code and want to fix them, either to plug in a security hole, or to make the device run better. In the case of something like a network adapter, faulty drivers could potentially be exploited to gain access to your system if it is connected to a host running malicious software.
The performance of your system will also get affected significantly by the state of some of its drivers, and this is especially true if you’re an avid gamer. There’s a reason why graphic cards get updated so regularly, as developer keep finding new ways to squeeze extra performance out of the same chips. If you’re wondering why your games are running significantly worse than on your buddy’s computer with the same specs, outdated drivers are probably the reason. Yes, it’s true that there are some rare cases where updated device drivers may actually degrade the performance of your hardware, but this is usually due to a bug that’s quickly rectified by the developers. It’s important to stay in line with the current update channel if you want to be on top of every issue that is known on the market at the moment, including some that may not even have been publicly disclosed yet due to security concerns.
Other than that, keeping your computer up to date is simply good maintenance that can help it run longer without any issues. You might notice certain applications losing compatibility with your devices if they are too outdated, or your whole operating system might not function properly due to an older driver. There are many issues that can crop up as a result of a lazy attitude towards driver updates, and considering how easy and streamlined the whole process is nowadays, it really makes no sense to skip those procedures. There are tools on the market that can help you maintain your computer in an up-to-date state with just a few clicks, across all devices, and while you may not be keen on deploying yet another application on your computer, this is actually something that can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. Just make sure that you inspect the one you’ve chosen carefully before settling on anything, as sometimes you may run into issues such as not being able to download any drivers without getting a specialized version of the application, or something equally annoying along those lines. But find the right tool once, and you’ll never have to worry about driver updates again, or feel annoyed by those pop-ups.