Tips for finding drivers online

For some devices, finding drivers online is easy. For others – not so easy, and for some more it is just difficult, especially for rare or old devices. Here are some steps you should take to find newest and most stable drivers.

  1. Search the official site. Major hardware companies have massive download sections on their sites. If you clearly know your device's manufacturer and model number, there should be no problem finding right driver. For notebooks and brand-name computers, you only need to know computer's model number, no need to remember exact device names.
  2. Search popular download sites.
    There are many download sites with archived or rare drivers, like download.com and fileplanet.com. These sites usually have an open architecture, so that nearly anybody can place files there. Of course the servers have automated virus scans and new uploads are supervised by moderators but some viruses and spyware still slip through, pretending to be device driver or other ‘safe' application. Pay close attention to file and its uploader's info and statistics. If the info looks suspicious, do not download this file. It is also useful to visit some gaming sites like gamespot.com, especially if you are looking for audio or video drivers. Gamers try to make most out of modern technologies, so they are always up to date with drivers.
  3. Use automatic driver update software. There are some programs that scan your computer and find driver updates automatically. Driver Genius is good example of such program: it's easy to use and works fast. Another good example could be GameShadow. This program is intended for videogame updates but it can also update audio/video drivers and DirectX.

It is strongly not recommended to look for drivers on file sharing networks. Some search results may look tempting but keep in mind that most of these files are either viruses or malware, and what's remain is probably porn or propaganda.

If you have an old or rare device, it may happen that you'll be unable to find its drivers on manufacturer's site or popular download directories. If you can't find what you want even using driver update software, you should think of replacing this device with something newer. It is best to spend money on new hardware than lose money due to damage from drivers found on suspicious websites or file sharing networks.