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What is an update and what types of updates are there? Definition and examples

UPDATED ✅ Do you really know what an Update is? ⭐ ENTER HERE ⭐ And discover everything about this process to keep software and hardware safe

We live in a world so connected to devices that the term “update” It doesn’t sound strange to practically anyone. They notify us, we accept and that’s it. Nevertheless… Have we finished knowing what an update really is and what it implies?

If we go further we can also ask you if you know how to differentiate between the types of updates that exist and if, when you make the updates that your phone, or any other device, demands, you know exactly what you are installing.

It may seem that, today, it matters little whether or not we know what is happening on our devices since, updates end up being practically forced (just look at Microsoft’s insistence on update windows 10, for instance). This makes the user end up resigning himself and ending up accepting any new update.

What is an update? Definition, concept and meaning

New alerts, security, more features, patches, improvements, translations, later versions… Apparently, there is much to improve in our devices and software and, since we are going to do it, what less than knowing what an update is and what types exist!

Despite what it might seem from the countless types out there, the concept of updating has a very simple meaning. It is a process carried out with a result of improving the system of a device or programcausing it to be in a version later than the one you have.

Nowadays, this term seems to be coined mainly within the computer worldwhere one speaks of software or hardware upgrade. Updates are created to fix problems or incorporate improvements to systems. As programs today must have a large number of reviews to be competitive, they are updated very regularly.

Sometimes, they can create a gap in the use of programs, mainly because programs are released very quickly and programmers discover errors that affect the integrity of the software. For this reason, what they call in computer terms “patch“, but it is really an update of the program that includes solutions for those bugs detected by the programmers in the version that is considered official.

But updates must not only be made to fix bugs in applications, they are also released due to the complexity of the equipment users have today. Allowing a multitude of different configurations makes it is difficult for developers to find the diversity of failures and then go fixing it as difficulties arise.

New updates available to install

In the section related to video game enhancements, we can say that the developers are not to blame for the large number of updates to which the user is subjected. This is due to the pressure exerted by marketers, since the launch date they set is immovable and always with a fairly short margin. For this reason, whoever programs, designs and develops a title creates and offers a complete version to launch on the market but needs to test and correct it and there is no other option than to do it with the game already in the hands of users.

This is not liked, of course, mainly because of the delay that consumers have to spend time working on their device, sometimes on the same day that the software in question is published. Not all users have high-speed internet at home. In addition, the main detail, these users have bought a product and they deserve a complete and adequate service for the investment they have made.

In some cases, even the companies themselves force them to pay certain amounts in the event that they have to download an updatewhen it should be free. Although these are opinions that have nothing to do with the updates and it can always be good to know it.

In general terms, this is an update; a data package that is downloaded and installed on your device to improve the information you have in some way. As you can see, the motivation is usually diverse but the concept remains.

Some synonyms for this concept and that you can find anywhere are:

  • update
  • Enhancement Data Pack
  • improvement files
  • Patch
  • Upgrade
  • Improvement (no more)…

Why is it so important to keep updates up to date and what are they for?

The main debate that opens for organizations when a new update appears is to know if these updated programs or operating systems comply with safety conditions. In many occasions, these patches are created as an improvement due to the discovery of new security vulnerabilities within the industry.

Each company in charge of an operating system creates a rule to review its security vulnerabilities at certain times. In the case of microsoftfor instance, they always do it on the second tuesday of every month.

If our operating system offers us a new update that is important with respect to security, we must install it as soon as possiblesince the risk of an attack on our system is very high, although we do not consider it that way.

Windows has a classification system so that you can determine if you carry them out and alert you to the level of need for them to be included in your system, although, as we always say, all updates are essential for the proper functioning of any system.

The Windows Rating Systemwhich is the reference and one of the most important (for those who use Windows, of course) is divided into:

All versions Logos Windows Operating System

  • Important updates (essential for the proper functioning of the system)
  • Recommended (they represent an improvement for the system)
  • Optional (they do not imply improvements, but add new programs to the system)

The risks that may arise in the event that there is an update pending in reference to the security of a system are:

  • Worms or Trojans
  • Exploits
  • malware
  • vulnerabilities

With all this information, what is intended to indicate is that it is very important keep our computers protected against the appearance of malicious software and one of the fundamental tools that we have at our disposal is that of updates or updates. It means wasting a bit of our time installing them, but it will provide a solution and long-term protection for our system against malware and cybercriminal attacks, which, believe it or not, are much more common than you think.

Let us remember that it is not only important to improve our operating system, but also to review the data facilities that may arise for applications that we use daily. Each company publishes them for them and, once they connect to the Internet, some check if they exist. Developers prepare each program to act on improvements in the way that is most efficient for them.

When an error is located in a program, the work procedure is as follows:

  • The supplier is informed, who will look for the importance of it and will develop a solution or patch, which will then be exposed to the user. in the form of an update.
  • Once conformed, it will add the possible improvements that it has been able to carry out and will extract the solution to the system.
  • From there, each system or program will follow the steps also marked by the application programmers. This includes, for example, if at the time the device connects to the internet it automatically downloads the enhancement package or if it will wait for the user to give the go-ahead to do so.
  • From that moment on, it is the turn again for the malware developers, the well-known hackers, who will be in charge of looking for new weak points in the system or application and attacking them.

In short, having updates means that we are safe and that, in addition, we have all the improvements, at any level, that exist for our products.

What types of updates are there?

As we have been able to anticipate, there are improvement data packages of all kinds. In this way, each update is much more precise than if all kinds of files were joined (bug fixes, security…). Let’s see what types of updates exist and what each of them consists of.

From apps (WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram…)

In the case of applications, we must bear in mind that there are two main types of new data installations. On the one hand, we have bug fix updates and, on the other, those that include stability and performance improvements on our phones and tablets. Developers should indicate what improvements we will see by the time the update is done, which is good to encourage us to do it as soon as possible.

In any case, there is a section dedicated to the “changelogs” in each application, which is where each developer indicates what is going to be modified. In iOS, if they do not fill in that section, the application is penalized, but in the case of Android, this does not happen and many times the programmers do not write anything, so the user is dissatisfied with said action. Many of you are interested in install the new whatsapp updateand it is that this app is one of the ones that makes the greatest number of improvements every so often.

Operating systems (Android, Windows, iOS, MacOS, Linux, Ubuntu…)

All versions iOS operating system

In the case of operating systems, updates must always be up to date since a small crack, no matter how small, is the way pirates have to harm a greater number of people, and touching an OS is not a exactly nonsense.

Each operating system decides the seriousness that exists for not installing the new data and, if it is considered important (as practically always happens in the case of OS) it does so in a mandatory way, without going through the user permission filter, which is important so that the computer is not left unprotected the moment it connects to the Internet.

of computer software

There are basically two types of computer software updates:

Security updates: These serve to control some problems that, otherwise, could seriously affect our devices, we normally talk about Automatic Updates.

In addition, the device searches to perform them at a time when it is not being used so as not to interrupt other activities, although, sometimes, when the corresponding improvement has not been possible, it ends up running at any time, to the limit, being able to seriously interrupt our activity.

Manual updates: They are those that are made on a scheduled basis or at the time they are requested, but with the user’s own confirmation.

This is not always the most recommended, but it is true that in certain cases, “nothing happens”, because they are improvements that hardly have anything to do with our security being compromised.

Therefore, what must be done when connecting to the website of the product in question is to check if there is any update available and notify the person in charge of doing so or do it ourselves if we have permission to do so. If one is available, we can choose to download the data and install it or, on the contrary, we will leave it pending for another occasion; as we wish.


In the case of hardware, changes can be made to the physical components. This is not always easy and updating them requires an evaluation of the PC. It is about deciding if the computer that we use as a machine has the most modern basic components and software.

The most important thing is to review the motherboard and, depending on it, decide what is installed and if the update will conflict with what each of the peripherals has pre-installed and the changes that should be made. This must be done for the CPU, core memory, and system I/O. You can see a guide on how renew graphics cards here and how improve RAM memory from your computer from here

For security

Security updates are, perhaps, the most important. It is a set of data that is developed after a study of the element to be protect and the types of attacks and cybercriminal tendencies.

All kinds of components are installed that have the sole objective of shielding our system or software so that no external attack penetrates it. Here lies the importance of keeping a device or program always up to date.

A security upgrade for your device should be done immediately to forget that it exists and that our system can be left without receiving it. We should not hold back a security update of any kind.


In the case of Windows operating systemit is allowed to configure the importance of the applications to specify the way in which the download will be carried out.

  • Install apps automatically“: This is the default configuration, in our opinion, especially in the case of a client computer, where it is preferable to do everything alone.
  • Download apps, but let me choose whether to install them“: Allows you to have control over what is being installed on the system at all times. Once the improvement content has been downloaded, a message will be displayed to install it. This configuration is the most recommended for systems and servers .
  • Check for updates, but let me choose whether to include them on my system“. This option works like the previous one, but in this case, I must even approve the download of the content. The system only warns us that, indeed, there are data packages that can be included depending on the version in which we are.
  • Don’t check for updates“. This option should, directly, not exist. That is, because it leaves all the responsibility for the improvement on the user, with which the system will be at risk for too long. Some people may think that it is the most comfortable for “not bothering us”. However, remembering to check for updates is not common and, in the end, we find ourselves with unprotected equipment and devices.


windows update program to update

Automating this download system, in my opinion, is a complete success. The user does not want to waste time working and doing it to decide which updates to install or not is one way to do it. I agree that there should be a control of them, so as not to waste time every time I turn on a device and it asks us to update.

For this reason, the user must be able to choose the periodicity based on the update system. If one is marked as important, then the moment a new one appears, will ask you for confirmation for download and installation. If we mark other options, the installation times will vary.


This is the consideration to the previous section. When this is declared type of update, we must bear in mind that the moment any notification appears, it will ask us for confirmation to start the download and installation; requiring our confirmation yes or yes. Thus, we must assess if this cuts us too much in our daily work.


This is any data package after the version that we have. They are the ones that exist and are, as their name indicates, updates available. Depending on the consideration we have given them, they will have been downloaded to our devices or not even that.


This is especially useful for applications that have updates that do not affect their integrity. In this case, they are allowed to remain “queued” or pending. They are the ones that, in one way or another, are trying to access our device, either because we have configured them that way or for any other reason.


In the case of being optional updates, it is because some improvement has been created at the level of requested requests, but, if we do not want it, we do not even have to inform ourselves about them. In the event that its installation is not done, it will be notified with different codes of its existence.but, as we say, you are free to decide if you want it or not because its content is not essential at all.


These updates, although not scheduled as automatic, must be done as soon as possibleespecially in the event that they affect the operating system itself or conflicting applications, data transfer via the web.

This is so because they have a great weight in terms of the importance of their content. If the creator recommends them to you, it is because they include information that should be on your device.

Operating systems