How to Locate, and Download Wireless Drivers
The most important facet of updating wireless drivers for your laptop, PC, or mobile device is actually identifying what you need. Downloading and installing drivers is super easy, but sometimes it's tricky to figure out exactly which driver to download.
Find the Right Wireless Driver
Here, we'll provide a basic overview that should help you locate your specified driver. Generally, there are three major wireless systems, and we'll pass on information on how you can pinpoint the correct wireless drivers.
In general, the three significant kinds of wireless devices are Bluetooth, WiFi, and peripheral wireless. Peripheral wireless refers to computer tools that run wirelessly, such as peripheral mice or keyboards.
These devices communicate through the 802.11 standard to create local wireless networks. In plain English, this means WiFi creates a network where wireless devices can interact with one another.
WiFi represents the most popular form of wireless communication. It's also known for being the safest. Nearly every wireless router in the world uses an 802.11 WiFi standard to connect to the Internet.
Cell phones and other mobile devices most commonly use the Bluetooth network, which is administered by over 5,000 companies and oversight groups. Medical and scientific industries also utilize this network due to its ability to improve bandwidth usage in low-strength wireless networks.
Bluetooth has gained in popularity because of its ability to "manufacture bandwidth." Bluetooth operates differently from WiFi in that its adapters allow laptops and desktops to connect through a generally mobile protocol.
3. Peripheral Devices
Nowadays, wireless mice, keyboards, headsets, and other devices are becoming all the rage. These devices really facilitate workflow, but it's likely you'll need to download drivers for these devices, especially if you didn't purchase them directly from the manufacturer
Most companies that manufacture these devices offer drivers on their website. Sometimes you might not be able to identify which company made your device, which makes it harder to find drivers. On the other hand, you might be running an unsupported driver.
Using Windows to Identify your Wireless Device
There's a pretty simple way to figure out who built your wireless device. You need to open up the Control Panel and click "Device Manager." Then, open "Network Adapters." A whole bunch of information about your network adapter will appear. Look for the manufacturer, model, and make of the adapter in question.
The majority of Bluetooth devices are clearly labeled, making it easy to identify their make and model numbers. You can just look on the casing of your Bluetooth device to figure out the specs.
Sometimes, Bluetooth adapters are installed inside the actual machine. In this case, you should again open the Device Manager, but this time click on "Other Devices" to locate information about your Bluetooth device.
Visit the Hardware Manufacturer's Site
Navigate over to your hardware manufacturer's website. Most manufacturers put all of their driver downloads within a section of the site called "Support and Downloads." For ease of use, we'll take a look at Intel's website so that we've got a reference point to refer to.
On the upper right of the image, you'll see the "Support" link. Click this, and you'll be directed to full support page, where you can search for drivers and eventually download the necessary driver.
Double-click on the appropriate driver to begin downloading. Always click "Save" when the "Run" or "Save" dialog box opens.
So that it's easy to find, you might want to create a new folder on your desktop and name it after your wireless device. You can also just build a folder into your "My Documents" area.
After the download has finished, all you need to do is double-click on the device. An Installation Wizard will open, so just follow the directions of the Wizard. You will need to restart your computer to update the driver.
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