Updating any kind of software can sometimes be a tedious process. It’s easy to keep clicking “Remind me tomorrow” rather than taking the time to close all browser windows and applications and set your computer aside for a bit.
But updating firmware is important to keeping copier/printer technology functioning properly and security up to date, and as a result, keeping your business functioning properly as well.
What is Firmware?
Firmware is a hard-coded language that machines need to communicate a process. Firmware is necessary for the machine itself to operate, as it decodes and provides instructions from the computer to the printer.
For example, when using a remote control for your television, when you want to change a channel, you press a certain button. When you press the button, it’s connected to a sensor pad, which then connects to a program board, that performs the requested action. But how does the program board know which button was pressed? That’s where firmware comes in.
Why Should You Keep Your Firmware Updated?
While there are an endless amount of reasons why it’s important to have your firmware always updated to the newest version, we’ve compiled four of the biggest concerns most customers should have.
1. Always Have the Most Up to Date Security for Your Device
Because it’s also connected to your network just like your computers, printers are just as susceptible to security breaches as computers are. As serious as you might take your computer security software, you should be applying the same reasoning to your copier/printer technology.
Firmware is one of the first lines of defense when it comes to protecting your sensitive information, and as new security threats are launched, firmware is rewritten to add additional defense mechanisms in order to prevent unwanted intrusion. By updating your firmware, you will always have the newest in security offered by your printer manufacturer.
2. Address Any Features that Might Not Be Performing Correctly
We all know that when it’s been a while since you’ve updated your phone or your computer, little things can start to glitch or go wrong. You probably receive notices from your phone manufacturer that there are software updates for your phone. Firmware works in a similar way to these programs.
Because firmware serves as the communication between your print driver and your printer, sometimes this interpretation via programming code can have bugs or minor issues, causing an unwanted outcome. Avoiding service repairs and maintenance calls is important to most businesses, so keeping firmware up to date should be too.
Most manufacturers release new firmware in order to address these issues and to keep programs running as smoothly as possible.
3. Get Constant Updates with New and Exciting Features
Another nice thing that comes with updating your phone’s operating systems are new features, and sometimes even fresh interfaces. There’s always something exciting about finally getting the newest operating system and seeing all the new functions that come with it.
Much like that, copiers/printers that get new firmware often receive new applications, functions, and additions that aren’t available on the previous version.
4. Keep Current Compatibility with New Operating Systems
When computer operating systems change and new versions are released, incompatibility between operating systems and firmware can arise, resulting in a loss of full functionality of the printing device and its features. This can range from a minor annoyance to a severe disruption in business processes, especially when team members are relying on certain functions to perform as expected.
Keeping your firmware up to date is your best chance of mitigating this potential risk and ensuring that your business remains running smoothly and efficiently.
How Do I Update My Firmware?
This mostly depends on your brand of equipment. Newer equipment has update capabilities within the settings of the device or on the embedded webpage. Some machines even come with auto-update, so you don’t have to worry about constantly checking for updates.
Older technology will require a visit to the manufacturer’s website where firmware can be downloaded and installed manually.
Keep Your Firmware Up to Date!
Firmware is a crucial component of keeping your technology running smoothly. To avoid any mishaps or malfunctions that can derail important office processes, keep your firmware fully up to date, and enjoy the full benefits of your copier/printer technology.
If you have any questions regarding your firmware, one of our consultants can offer guidance and direction with your technology. Contact us today for assistance.