Important differences between a patch and a software update

These are independent projects that we add to the PC operating system and we save on disk drives due to the functionalities they offer us. In these moments when technology reaches almost everyone, we have a huge number of titles to choose from. But the first thing we must be clear about is the type of use we need and the proposal for that specific sector that best suits our needs.

This is something that is extended to both operating systems and Windows or Linux, as well as the independent programs that we install in them. This is where sectors as important as multimedia reproduction, internet browsing, office automation, leisure, security, communications, etc. come into play. At the same time, once we have chosen the sector or type of use we need, we must also consider whether we are willing to pay for that software, or not.

From there we can start working or enjoy our chosen titles and get the most out of our computer. But not everything ends here, since for everything to work as it is correct, these programs need a maintenance. Generally, this is something that the developers of the titles that we have selected are usually responsible for, all through their corresponding patches and software updates. However, sometimes these are two terms that we cannot fully distinguish, let’s see what their main differences are.

Distinguish between a patch and a program update

The first thing we must know to be able to differentiate between both elements clearly, is that all patches are updates, but not all updates are patches. This is because when we get a patch for a program or an operating system, it is in charge of solving a specific problem. This can be of a functional or safety nature. In addition, it is usually downloaded and installed as if it were an update. Thus, as it is easy to imagine, these elements are usually lighter and smaller than the updates as such.

On the other hand, we find the aforementioned updates themselves. These tend to be much more general in nature and affect other sections of software. It must be said that the security updates are coming to us for fix more general bugs, not for a specific malware or vulnerability. In the same way, these integrate other elements such as recent bug fixes, support for new hardware, or new functions. Once we know all this, we can come to the conclusion that both pieces of software that come to us are important.

However, updates as such make a more profound change to the program or system on which they are delivered. Hence, more precisely, they are more likely to cause us certain problems once we have downloaded and installed them. This is something that we have been able to verify on many occasions throughout the history of Windows, for instance.

But unlike these, a patch is smaller, lighter, and sent to correct more specific errors; hence the probability of failures that it may bring with it is less.

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