Which is your favorite programming software

You can do this if your favorite software is no longer supported

At some point the time has come for all software: It is no longer supported. Unfortunately, the developers don't care whether you are very satisfied with the software and actually don't want to part with it yet. Microsoft is no exception. The different Windows versions have been supported for a long time, but at some point this will also come to an end. Support for Windows 7 was only discontinued in January 2020. But what exactly does that mean? And what can you do if you still want to use the software?

What happens when support for software ends?

1. You will no longer receive security updates

When support for software ends, it is a big problem that you will no longer receive security updates from that point on. And it doesn't matter whether it contains serious security gaps.

That means you are on your own when it comes to security. Of course, you can use antivirus and security software to protect yourself, but they can't work miracles either. They definitely cannot replace software that is constantly updated with the latest security components.

In addition, the security and antivirus programs will sooner or later stop supporting outdated software.

2. Other program providers will also end their support sooner or later

Outdated operating systems become a problem at some point. Sooner or later updates will be discontinued, and that applies to all software and hardware companies. This means that at some point there will no longer be any versions that run on the old operating system. If this takes a long time, it will definitely happen at some point.

3. Difficulties with new hardware components

Even if you buy new hardware components, it can happen that they are not compatible with your outdated system. After all, hardware manufacturers are concentrating on the new software systems and not on those that are already outdated and rarely used.

What can I do if my software is no longer supported?

Of course, the best thing is to upgrade to the latest version. So you are definitely on the safe side. But there is also an alternative. Time and again, third-party providers manage to develop their own firmware with the help of the source code and offer it for the relevant operating systems or devices. With Android, for example, even large parts of the system are available in source code.

For example, there are projects like Lineage OS that keep smartphones updated with operating system updates many years after official support has ended.

However, you should be aware that installing alternative firmware requires a certain amount of technical know-how. But if you bring this with you and don't let the greater effort put you off, it could be an interesting option.

Should you use alternative firmware or not?

So much in advance: the use of alternative firmware does not offer a perfect solution. After all, it can only be used to update the components that are also available in the source code, that is, all those that are published in Google's Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Software components such as graphics and Bluetooth drivers or the WLAN chips can only be updated by the device manufacturer. The baseband, which is responsible for the mobile phone tasks, can only be kept up to date by the manufacturer. This means that security gaps or other weaknesses that occur in these areas after the end of support can no longer be remedied.

On the other hand, it is definitely better if you switch to alternative firmware instead of just leaving the outdated system as it is. The former option makes much more sense, especially from a security perspective. Ultimately, security gaps can at least be closed with the help of the publicly accessible Android code. However, this approach is not really safe either. In the meantime, the proprietary components are to blame for most of the vulnerabilities in Android.

So it is all the more important to take all possible safety precautions. In addition to antivirus programs and other security software, using a VPN is also a very good idea. With this you can improve the security of your system a good deal again. A VPN disguises your IP address so that you can move around the network anonymously. In addition, all of your data is encrypted so that potential attackers cannot start with it.

Conclusion

The safest and easiest solution to the problem is to choose safely by updating your software and operating system to a newer version as soon as the support for your version has expired. You will then automatically receive all updates from the manufacturer and no longer need to worry about security gaps.

However, if this is out of the question for you, you should place even more value on good security solutions, such as VPNs.