A List of Driver Download Sources

Safe Places to Download Drivers for Your Computer Hardware

Before you can update a driver for a hardware device, you'll need to download the driver from somewhere. You've probably downloaded files before - downloading drivers is no different. The difficulty is in finding the right place to download the driver.

Many driver download sources exist but they are not all created equal. Knowing the best place to download drivers could save you a lot of time and frustration.

Below is a list of driver download sources in order of preference. Try to download drivers from the first source listed and then work your way down:

Without a doubt, the best place to download drivers for any hardware is direct from the hardware manufacturer.

For example, if you purchased a complete computer system, the driver download should come from your computer manufacturer's website. If you purchased a hardware component individually, the driver download should come from the hardware component manufacturer's website. More »

Driver download websites are very popular sources for downloading drivers. Driver download websites actually download drivers from the manufacturer, organize them, and then make the drivers available for download to their visitors. More »

Another driver download option is Windows Update. You don't download drivers in the typical sense from Windows Update. The drivers are downloaded and installed automatically as part of the Windows Update process.

Windows Update should not be your first, and certainly not your only, source for driver downloads. Driver availability is slim and the drivers are often not the most updated versions.

If for some reason you can't download the driver direct from the manufacturer then give Windows Update a try. It's unlikely that you'll be able to download the driver from Windows Update if it's unavailable from the manufacturer, but it's possible. At very least, the driver will be certified and approved by Microsoft. More »

of 04

Download Drivers From Third-Party Developers

Another way to obtain a driver you're after is to download one from a third-party driver developer. These driver developers are not usually affiliated with the hardware device manufacturer or with the operating system company.

A programmer may develop a driver specifically designed to help his or her software work with a particular piece of hardware. You won't often find these kinds of drivers freely available for download.

Other times, a programmer may improve upon existing drivers for a popular hardware device. You may sometimes find a driver of this type available for download. While these drivers are usually safe and well tested, I still recommend that you download drivers directly from the original hardware manufacturer.