Software vs. Firmware – Differences & Comparison

Software and Firmware are both types of programs that are run on electronic devices. Software is installed in computers and gadgets and has power processing, while Firmware is stored in the chip with limited power processing power.

Main Difference

Firmware is designed to remain stable and reliable. On the other hand, Software can be replaced as needed. Furthermore, Software can modify the developers and users, while end users can not change Firmwareet. We discuss the main differences between Software and Firmware in detail.

What is Software?

Software is a program that is installed and run on a computer device. It gives commands to the computer device. It provides power to the computer what to do. Moreover, some examples of Software are web browsers, Linux, macOS, video processors, and others.

Moreover, the software can store in a solid state drive, hard derive, and others. In addition, it is specially made to perform specific tasks for functions. Software is categorized into system, programming, utility, and others. The software has a graphic user interface.


  • Stable and reliable
  • Security
  • Low-level control
  • Graphic user interface

What is Firmware?

Firmware is software installed in a device with limited processing power. It is stored in the chip which is inside the machine. In addition, it does not have an operating system like a printer router or digital camera.

It is primarily available in electronic devices such as digital cameras, network routers, computer peripherals, and other appliances. Furthermore,  Firmware has the potential to control the low-level functions of some devices and tools, including initializing hardware components and managing operations like input or output.


  • Stored in Read-Only Memory
  • Security
  • Efficient
  • Stable and reliable

Key Differences Between Software and Firmware

  1. Software is stored on hard drives, solid-state drives, and many others connected to the computer. On the other hand, it is stored in the ROM chip core of the device.
  2. Software is planned to run on devices with powerful processors, while Firmware has limited computing power.
  3. Software is updated from time to time and as needed. On the other side, Firmware remains reliable and stable for all life.
  4. The software has a user-friendly graphic interface, while Firmware has no user-friendly interface.
  5. The software can modify the developers and users, while the end user can not change Firmware.

Comparison Table between Software and Firmware

Features Software Firmware
Power Powerful processor Limited computing power
Lifespan Can be updated and replace  Designed to remain stable and reliable
Storage Store in hard drives, solid-state drives, and many other Store in read-only memory ROM
Computing Run the device on it Installed devices on it


In a nutshell, we can say that Software and Firmware are pretty different. However, both sources are best in terms of their respective functions.

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