What is the safest way to handle operating system upgrades?
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What is the safest way to handle operating system upgrades?

The computer’s operating system may or may not be designed specifically for security, but if the software is not constantly updated, the computer will be vulnerable. How does the operating system handle the submission of these updates and which approach is most secure?

Which operating system has the safest method for handling OS upgrades?

  • Why do software updates need?
  • How does Microsoft Windows distribute operating system updates?

    • Security rating
  • How Apple macOS distributes operating system updates

    • Security rating
  • How Google Chrome OS distributes operating system updates

    • Security rating
  • How the GNU / Linux desktop distributes operating system updates

    • Security rating
  • Which method is the safest?

Why do software updates need?

There are three main reasons why software updates are so important.

  • New features: Operating system developers provide new features all the time and every user wants to experience them. Gone are the days when you had to buy a new product to get cool features. Now you get these through software updates.
  • Security patches: It is not possible to know all the security holes in a program before it is released. The update contains security patches, which help strengthen the ability to protect code running on the device. You can minimize many risks by running the latest software versions.
  • Continuous support: Today, a device’s viability is not based on whether it’s still functioning or not, but on whether it receives updates or not. A device that no longer receives updates will gradually lose access to new applications, successfully load fewer websites and become increasingly vulnerable to exploitation.

There are 2 ways to distribute these updates. One approach is to follow a centralized model, in which a single company manages all updates to your device, regardless of which brand or model you use.

In a decentralized model, components that come into the operating system come from multiple sources. There is a degree of separation between the developers and the parties responsible for packaging all the pieces together for users.

Both methods have their pros and cons. Proprietary desktop operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Apple macOS and Google Chrome OS all have a centralized approach. And GNU / Linux has a decentralized model.

How does Microsoft Windows distribute operating system updates?

How does Microsoft Windows distribute operating system updates?

Microsoft distributes operating system updates to anyone with a Windows PC. These updates are released based on the version of Windows you run.

For most of Windows history, moving to a new operating system version is costly. This encourages more people to continue using the older versions. With Windows 10, the situation is different. Microsoft initially offered Windows 10 for free, and instead of releasing another major upgrade, it will now focus on software updates.

Microsoft has traditionally supported popular versions of Windows after the release of one or two successive versions. For example, Windows 7 still receives updates 5 years after the release of Windows 10.

Windows Update automatically downloads updates and forces users to install them. This can be frustrating, but helps keep the computer updated. Just make sure you create regular backups. System updates can ruin the Windows installation process (or any other operating system).

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Microsoft is transparent about how long support Windows releases will receive. This helps users make informed decisions in the purchase of hardware. Required updates also keep users patched and up to date, as well as protecting more users from exploit attacks.

However, a large number of Windows users do not use Windows 10. Some people are using outdated versions, making Windows a vulnerable target.

How Apple macOS distributes operating system updates

How Apple macOS distributes operating system updates

Apple provides operating system updates directly to users through the dedicated Software Update tool. Unlike Windows, macOS does not automatically update the operating system, but you can enable it. Manual updates give you time to back up data before receiving new software.

Apple does not specify how long it will support each macOS version. Generally, the latest 3 releases will receive security patches. With new releases appearing every year, that means users can expect around 3 years of support.

Unfortunately, old releases can be retired at any time without official notice. Apple’s security update page shows which updates have arrived, but it is not known how long they will continue.

This does not tell the whole story. In general, there is little reason not to upgrade to the latest version of macOS. Changes tend to be more repetitive than the revolutionary changes that took place between Windows 7 and 8 and Windows 8 through 10. These upgrades are relatively cheap in the past and present. free.

Because macOS is only available on Apple hardware, it can clearly list which devices will be supported. Unfortunately, if your MacBook or iMac is not on the list, they will not receive updates. Now, you have to replace macOS with Windows or Linux to have the operating system with ongoing updates, even if the hardware is perfectly capable to run the latest version of macOS technically.

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Manual updates give you time to back up data, but many people choose to never install updates, making their systems more vulnerable to attack. Apple also did not tell users when a release of certain operating systems would end the support period.

On the other hand, Apple usually supports a certain computer model for many years. Just make sure you keep upgrading to the latest operating system. You can check the list of outdated Apple products.

How Google Chrome OS distributes operating system updates

How Google Chrome OS distributes operating system updates

On Chromebooks, updates appear quietly and automatically. No matter what device you buy, if your model is supported, you will receive each update after a few days. Google manages most of the software experience, so does Chrome OS, regardless of which Chromebook you buy.

Google provides regular scheduled updates. It’s possible that OS updates come about every 6 weeks, but security patches and software updates come at double the density. You have the option to turn off automatic updates if desired.

But Google is not transparent about how long each Chromebook or Chromebox will get support. It doesn’t really rely on support period on operating system version (like Microsoft) or specific devices (like Apple). Instead, Chrome OS support depends on the chipset in the device. Google promises to support each chipset for 6 and a half years after launch.

That poses a problem. Most users don’t know what hardware is beneath their keyboard. You can easily buy a Chromebook with a chipset that has been in existence for 5 years, without knowing that you’ll only get 1 and a half years of support.

Thanks to the design of Chrome OS, the danger of not having a software update becomes bigger. Because Chrome OS combines the web browser with the rest of the operating system, when the operating system updates are stopped, the web browser will no longer receive updates. Other platforms, where you can update apps separately, don’t have this problem.

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Chrome OS achieves a good balance between keeping users up to date with automatic updates, and gives them the freedom to upgrade at their own pace, by doing everything manually. . But the timing of its support is largely unclear and, with the design of Chrome OS, becomes much more important.

How the GNU / Linux desktop distributes operating system updates

How the GNU / Linux desktop distributes operating system updates

Users often call GNU / Linux simply Linux, but in this case, clarifying everything is important. The Google Chrome operating system is based on Linux, but the way it works is basically unlike other Linux versions based on the GNU software.

There are hundreds of different GNU-based desktops you can download. Most give you a degree of freedom about how to access software updates. In general, notifications will come automatically, but you must manually download and install the update. You can do so by using a simple application or the command line.

How often you receive updates depends on the size of your chosen Linux distribution. You can use a certain version of Linux until your computer no longer meets the minimum system requirements.

If you use a more specialized version of Linux, you risk losing access to updates because the project no longer exists. In such cases, you are free to switch to another version of Linux and continue to do your work.

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The GNU Desktop has the longest support life. The desktop will continue to work as long as the hardware meets the system requirements. And if your favorite Linux distribution doesn’t support it, you can switch to another option.

Updates are not automatic, but there are other aspects of how the free software is distributed, which greatly affects whether or not different parts of the operating system are actually up to date. Because the software is not manufactured in a central location, new updates and patches may be available for months or years, before the Linux version builders are available to package and release. them.

Which method is the safest?

In this case, the method is not as important as the result. If you manually update your PC every day or every two days and always update the software, your computer will be as secure as a system that receives automatic updates.

The automatic updates mainly prevent machines from operating for months and even years without being updated, prone to long-term vulnerabilities, making not only those machines but other systems. become less secure due to botnet.


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