Finding Best Hardware Drivers
For an individual unfamiliar with the process of obtaining drivers, the task can seem overwhelming and confusing. There are an enormous number of different drivers available for the tens of thousands of hardware components available to the consumer, leading some to believe that the process of locating the appropriate ones for their particular piece of hardware will be a difficult process. Fortunately, this is usually not the case as the manufacturers of all popular computer hardware make a serious effort to provide the drivers they have written for their hardware in a way that they are easily accessible for all users from anywhere on the planet. If you have an internet connection, the process is usually a snap, but even if you don't there are multiple other options for obtaining them available.
The easiest and likely quickest way to find the necessary drivers for your hardware may not be an option to everyone, but it needs to be mentioned. If the hardware you are attempting to locate drivers for was just recently purchased, the best place to find the right driver for your hardware is in the original packaging that the device came in. You may have noticed a CD or other media somewhere in the package; besides containing a digital version of the hardware's user manual and any additional software or programs that the company has provided for use in conjunction with the component, there will also be the most recent version of drivers for the product included. Keep in mind that these drivers are likely somewhat dated since the latest they could have been programmed was just before the time that they were shipped out in packaging. Sometimes drivers will receive updates or revisions which contain bug fixes or efficiency upgrades, but this is not always true. Sometimes the drivers packaged with the device are perfectly coded the first time, and such updates are not necessary. Regardless, they would not have been released if they didn't allow the device to function relatively smoothly, so even if updates are available, the drivers found on that CD should at least get it up and running.
If the device you are attempting to locate drivers for has been purchased secondhand, or is simply so old that the packaging has been misplaced there is an additional source for them which is quickly becoming the location of choice as internet access continues to proliferate. This source is the manufacturer's website, which will be the number one source for the most up to date driver builds available. To find your manufacturer's website, either look in your documentation or search for it in whichever search engine you prefer to use. Once there, look for a navigation toolbar near the top of the main page which should have a section labeled "drivers" or "support." There will be found either a list or a search box which will allow you to locate the drivers needed by searching the model name or number of the product in question, which can be found on one or more of its labels.
If you are searching for drivers but have not yet attempted to connect the device, you may save yourself some time and energy by going ahead and hooking it up to your system without bothering to look for the drivers yourself. This may surprise you, but in fact a quite large portion of the data contained in an operating system's kernel is comprised of preloaded driver files! This is done to minimize the mount of time users need to spend looking for and installing drivers from various sources in an attempt to make the environment more user friendly. Your component's drivers may already be included and if so will be automatically installed once it has been connected.