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Now that your computer is relatively secure, you will need to install software to control your various hardware components. This type of software is known as a driver.

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Although, most of your hardware will come with a CD containing the necessary driver, consider downloading the driver straight from the company’s Internet site. This will ensure you have the latest edition of the software. Knowing where to download the driver is also good in case you lose the CD that came with the device.

If you do not have a fast Internet connection (broadband), the company usually provides an option to receive the driver cd in the mail, in which case you’ll want to use the CD you have now and update the driver later. Even if something seems to be working fine, downloading new drivers may help increase computer efficiency, though there is always a risk that a brand new version may break something. Downloading drivers for your motherboard’s chipset can often help if you are having a problem. Finally, many monitors will not go above a certain refresh rate without the proper driver, which may be of great concerns to gamers.

If you are using Microsoft Windows, you can generally find drivers for your selected hardware on the manufacturer’s website. Most GNU/Linux systems already have all of the drivers installed, with the exception of proprietary modem and graphics drivers. If you can’t find the driver you need, a simple Google search will often yield the best results. Windows Update also often can install the latest drivers(though you’ll mostly have to at least go to Windows Update to install it, as they may not be considered important).

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