Program updates and operating system patches fix flaws in the software and apps, but driver updates are something different. As the name implies, it’s particular files that tell the internal components of your device how to behave.  Read on to see why you must update your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth drivers immediately.

Here’s the backstory

Almost all pieces in your desktop computer or laptop require drivers to run smoothly. Your motherboard, graphics card, Wi-Fi receiver, and even keyboards need these files. Unfortunately, Intel discovered a handful of security flaws in certain drivers recently. That’s why Intel just released updates. The tech giant published an advisory that 23 vulnerabilities are present in its Wireless Wi-Fi, Wireless Bluetooth, and Killer network adapters. You might not even be aware that you have an Intel product on your device. Thankfully, the flaws aren’t necessarily anything to be concerned about, but you should take steps to patch them. Only three flaws have been rated as high in severity and have to do with the escalation of privileges. That means a hacker could enter your computer through the drivers to give themselves access to your files. The affected Intel PROSet or Wireless Wi-Fi components are:

  Intel Wi-Fi6E AX2106-AX2016-AX2006-AX2106-AX2016-AX200Intel WirelessAC9462AC9461AC9260AC9560AC9260AC9560Intel Dual Band WirelessAC8260AC8265AC3168AC3165AC8265Intel Wireless 7265 (Rev D) FamilyKiller Wi-Fi6E AX16756 AX1650Wireless-AC 1550

What you can do about it

Updating your drivers isn’t as straightforward as updating your operating system, but thankfully it isn’t complex either. Some driver updates are bundled with OS updates, but you must download some of them manually. The easiest way to check if you have Intel wireless parts in your Windows machine is to:

Click on the search icon in the taskbar.Type in Device Manager and click on the app.After the window opens, click on the arrow next to Network Adapters. If you see any Intel PROSet or Wireless Wi-Fi components, you must update.

If your Windows-based computer uses the drivers in question, you can download them directly from Intel. For Killer products, you can find the updates on the Intel website here. After downloading, right-click on the item in the Device Manager and click Update Driver. From the two choices, select Browse my computer for files. Point the installer to the correct folder, and the drivers will update.

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