Realtime Soundbytes: Updates vs Upgrades - Realtime Smart Home Technology and Lighting Design Consultancy
Realtime AV is an exclusive consultancy specialising in the design & installation of discrete home technology, audio visual & lighting design. We pride ourselves on working on high end projects across London, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.
Exciting times for Realtime as we celebrate 20 years in the technology industry.

Realtime Soundbytes: Updates vs Upgrades

One question that comes up time and time again from our clients is – what is the difference between an upgrade and an update? And what should they do when that little red circle appears on their device? Although the terms may sound similar, they actually have two different functions. Here we explain their purpose and what actions you should take.


Let’s start with Updates as this is quite straightforward and easy for users to implement.  We see updates as good housekeeping for all devices and and advise that it’s part of your technology routine.  

On a basic level, updates will fix bugs and improve the performance and smooth running of your system such as speed. On a more serious note, an update may include the latest security patch to further help protect your device from the threat of a virus or hacking attempt.

There is usually a frequent flow of updates and the process is a relatively simple one. If you are confident, then you can action yourself.  Just click on the update button and your system will prompt you on what to do next. Otherwise contact us and we will be happy to help and advise.


Upgrades are a major overhaul and introduce more significant changes to your system. Normally this will require additional upgrades of your application software (Word, Excel, accounting software etc).   Examples include the addition of a new functionality or the obsolesce of a system or programme software.  

Upgrades can be a relevant and a necessary action to take depending on your needs.  But if your system flags an upgrade then we would always advise you get in contact with us first so that we can implement if required on your behalf. Why? Upgrading software can be a complicated task and can stop your computer or device from working.

It’s useful to know that whenever there is a new upgrade available, we at Realtime will install and test on our own devices. This way we can experience first hand any glitches or issues that may occur.  We will also know whether to recommend or not, as not all upgrades will be appropriate depending on the age of your computer and the system you are running.  The installation also requires more expertise than an update and is not always straightforward.  

To finish, we would always recommend that you perform a backup of your device before undertaking any type of work on your system.

For further information or advice, we are always around to help so please do get in contact with us.