C. David Tobie: Downloading Printer Drivers Safely
Aug 2013 29

We have all learned to use search engines as our main method of looking for items on the internet; but there are occasions where this is not the safest way to find what you need. Looking for printer drivers is certainly one of those cases.

Lets say that you have just purchased a new printer. Perhaps this printer is a wide format printer for which your Operating System does not supply drivers automatically. And you understand that any drivers on an optical disk in the box with the printer may be outdated. Your first impulse in such a situation might be to type the printer name and model into the Search, or Combined URL/Search, line at the top of your browser. That may be a risky way to proceed.

Here’s why: There are many companies who would like you to book your hotel through them, rather than the hotel’s own website. Similarly there are many sites that host drivers for various devices, in hopes that you will find them through a web search, and download your drivers from their website. And generate ad revenue for them in the process.

But such sites are not necessarily a secure and safe place to find drivers. Not all such sites are actually offering the latest drivers from all vendors. And there is always the danger that you might access a malware site which is offering Trojan Horse downloads, which are labeled as driver installers, but in fact install something much less desirable to your computer; a perfect way to infect your machine with whatever malware they are serving up at the moment.

So the proper way to download printer drivers (and most any other type of drivers) is to, instead, search simply by the company’s name. Then go to their official site, chose your location, or follow any other paths they use to categorize their users, and enter your printer name in the website’s search function, instead of a world wide web search.

This should not take but a minute longer than searching directly in your search engine. In return you are assured to get the latest drivers, and nothing but the drivers. A similar technique can be used to make searches for many other types of downloads more effective, and more secure.

C. DAVID TOBIE has been involved in color management and digital imaging from their early development. David has worked to see affordable solutions put in place for graphic design, prepress, photography and digital imaging, and then taught users how best to utilize them. He has consulted internationally for a wide range of color-related companies, and is best known by photographers for his writing and technical editing of texts and periodicals for the photo industry such as Mastering Digital Printing, and Professional Photographer magazine, and his seminars on color and imaging at photographic workshop around the globe. David is currently Global Product Technology Manager at Datacolor, where he develops new products and features for their Spyder line of calibration tools. His work has received a long line of digital imaging product awards including the coveted TIPA award, and a nomination for the Spyder line of calibration tools. Much of David’s recent writing can be found at his photography blog: cdtobie.wordpress.com, and his samples of his photography can be seen at: cdtobie.com.