What’s the difference between hardware and software IT support?

Caitlin McGregor - Uploaded on June 20, 2022

Caitlin McGregor - Uploaded on June 20, 2022

When it comes to maintaining your computer or laptop, it’s good to understand the difference between hardware and software so that you can choose the right type of IT support specialist to service your needs.

What is hardware maintenance?

Computer hardware relates to the physical components of your machine – the parts you can see and touch. These make up the primary electronic elements included in the computer’s structure and could include things like the Processor, Memory Devices, Keyboard, Mouse, and the Central Processing Unit (CPU).

Hardware is what makes a computer operate – and these elements deteriorate over time or can be broken, causing your computer to be slow or glitchy which is why regular maintenance of computer hardware is so important.  Hardware support can consist of proactive maintenance or more reactive solutions - like when something unexpectedly breaks. IT hardware maintenance companies would usually need to provide on-site IT support for this as the components would need to be manually taken apart or replaced. 

Hardware Support on demand

Using an online tech support app like NerdApp makes this process easy because you can simply book a qualified hardware support specialist for an on-site visit and they will bring all the necessary components with them to fix your hardware issue on the spot where possible. 

What is software support?

If hardware is the physical components of a computer, software is the collection of instructions, procedures and documentation that makes the computer perform different tasks. Computer Software can also be described as a programming code executed on a computer processor. The primary types of software would be Operating Systems (such as Windows of MAC OS) and Applications Software (such as MS Word, Powerpoint, Photoshop or Chrome).

All software requires at least one hardware device to operate. For example, certain software like word processing software uses the computer’s processor, memory, and hard drive to create and save documents. Since they work in tandem, maintenance of computer hardware and software are both equally important.

Why do I need Software support?

Software also requires maintenance, but it comes more in the form of updates and bug fixes and usually the third-party supplier – or software creator – would be supplying these updates and your IT support specialist would help to implement any changes that need to be made. 

Regular updates to software can be important for several reasons. Software updates can help to prevent security breaches and data loss from bugs or outdated protocols. Typical software packages roll out updates every 1-4 months to ensure that you stay protected.

Software Support on demand

Providing software support can often be done remotely. Using an on-demand IT support application like NerdApp, you can find a registered software support specialist and get advice and assistance on software issues at your own convenience, in the comfort of your own home. 

In the past, maintenance of computer hardware and software could be complex and frustrating. It could require endless research to find the right IT support supplier, then waiting for an appointment, having to travel to the location and potentially leave your computer behind for an unknown period of time. Today, on-demand IT support apps like NerdApp make it convenient and affordable to get support for IT within minutes – either to your doorstep or from your home office. 

Find out how Nerdapp can help you solve your hardware or software IT support issues now. 


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