What is Firmware?Application, Differences, Security and Warning Signs

what is firmware

Maybe a lot of people have heard of firmware and they must be thinking that what is Firmware? So in today’s article, I will tell you what is Firmware? What are the differences between the software and the firmware and I will also tell you about some of its applications, warning signals and security risks.

What is Firmware?

firmware is a special software that is permanently burned or embedded onto hardware device by the vendor. Firmware is data or Instructions that are permanently stored on a computer’s or other hardware devices read-only memory (ROM) at the time of manufacturing. It provides instructions on how that hardware device should function.

what is firmware

Or A Firmware is a software program or set of instructions programmed into Read-Only-Memory(ROM). Generally, we conclude us software for the hardware devices. Firmware is a semi-permanent software programmed into read-only memory.  It acts a hardware device operating system to control monitor and data manipulation functions.

Firmware is stored in Non-Volatile memory or permanent memory devices such as ROM or Flash Memory. Changing the format of the device may rarely or never be returned each life frame. Some devices install the firmware permanently and can’t be changed after manufacturing. Some manufacturer released firmware updates that make the device work more efficiently.

what is firmware

Firmware updates are issued by hardware manufacturers for fixing bugs, adding new features and improve security some of the internet active devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers check for regular updates and install them into the devices automatically. While the other device manufacturers require the user to check the manufacturer’s official website to download the firmware and update it manually.

Now, if someone asks you that firmware is a software or hardware? Then you should answer it that, It is a software designed for specific hardware. Firmware can’t update. But, if you want to update the firmware then you will require special equipment or device to do that.

What is the difference between Software and Firmware? 

  • Firmware handles very low-level function without which the device will become non-functional.
  • Software on other hands is used to address high-level application. (Can be copied, changed and destroyed easily)

What is the difference between Hardware and Firmware?

  • Hardware is tangible or physical. It has a life and similarly can break, or wear out.
  • Firmware is virtual. Software that serves a very narrow purpose. ( Designed for the specific type of hardware, hence not generic like software)

Applications of Firmware

1. Personal Computers

Firmware is the components of a computer is most important as an operating system in a working computer. Firmware is available in computer devices such as BIOS, Hardisk, Flash Storage and gets rarely updated. Most computer components are themselves special purposes computing devices such as graphics card, printer, scanner, webcam and USB Flash Drive. These devices are internally stored firmware.

2. Consumer Products   

Firmware is available on consumer products and manufacturer supports firmware updates such as put up a music player, controlling music and video attributes timing and control system of the washing machine.

3. Automobile

Firmware is used in automobiles onboard computer and various sensors to direct the mechanical problems. Most of the modern vehicles have computer controlled like ABS, TCU ( Transmission Control Unit), Tire Pressure Monitoring, Fuel Indication. Local dealers can update the vehicle firmware.

So, we know what is firmware? software vs firmware, firmware vs hardware and some its application. Now let’s know some of its warning signs and security risks.

Firmware Warning Signs

what is firmware

You will find manufacturer’s warning displayed before beginning the installations of the firmware stating that not to shut down the device while updating or make sure that the battery is full before proceeding. Because it will result in firmware corruption and seriously damage the hardware device. It is equally important to avoid the wrong firmware update to a device because giving one device the firmware that belongs to different hardware can definitely kill your hardware devices and more function normally as before.

Security Risks Of Firmware

what is firmware

Yes! There are many onboard security risks for firmware present in almost all electronic devices. Firmware can easily be misused and can cause dangerous with the online. Especially, the hackers can easily spy on your computer by reprogramming the firmware and can change the behavior of the device. But at the same time the usage of firmware like the electronic devices to work efficiently and provide good performance to the user.

Also, read: Computer Virus: Different Types of Computer Viruses and Its Effect


So, Now I hope you know very well about what is Firmware? Its application and differences between software vs firmware vs hardware. We also discuss warning signs and security risk of firmware. If you feel doubt then you can freely contact us on contact us page. I’ll try to solve your problems with this topic. Now, if you think this post is helpful and informative then share with others who want to know the same topic.



About Manoj Prasad

Manoj Prasad is the founder of Trendinwire. Manoj is interested in science and tech subject. He is also interested in learning new things. He wants to share whatever he learned with the world.

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