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What are the Different Types of Internet Drivers?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are many different types of Internet drivers, as this term typically refers to drivers that can be downloaded from websites on the Internet. Though drivers are often provided with new hardware, often on a compact disc (CD) or similar media, many hardware manufacturers also provide downloads for drivers. This allows someone to install drivers even if a disc has been lost, and makes providing updated drivers for customers easier for hardware manufacturers. The nature of such Internet drivers can vary widely, though they may be available for hardware such as printers and scanners and for internal devices like video cards and network adapters.

Internet drivers are typically drivers for computer devices that can be found and downloaded on the Internet. Drivers are computer files that allow a computer’s operating system (OS) to recognize and communicate with various pieces of hardware. This is typically in contrast with devices that are referred to as “plug and play” hardware that can usually be plugged into a computer and will work without any type of software or driver installation. Other devices may combine both sorts of functionality, such as a mouse that can work when plugged in, but may have some buttons that will only function properly with the correct drivers installed.

In general, Internet drivers refer to any sort of drivers that can be found and downloaded on the Internet, usually from the websites of hardware manufacturers. These drivers can be used for just about any type of hardware or device, though they are usually intended for secondary hardware. A motherboard, for example, will not typically require drivers by itself, but various ports and adapters on a motherboard may need drivers. Common types of Internet drivers include those needed for printers, scanners, optical mice, and internal devices like wireless adapters, video cards, and sound cards.

The term “Internet drivers” can also be used to specifically refer to drivers that are used by devices that allow a computer to connect to the Internet. Such drivers are often used to allow a computer to properly utilize something like a wireless network card or a wired network adapter that is part of the computer. These could be part of the motherboard, and so the drivers might be included as software with a motherboard, or they could be separate devices that are connected to a computer or motherboard. Internet drivers of this type will usually be provided with the hardware, since they may need to be installed before a computer can connect to the Internet, though updated drivers might be available to download for these devices.

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