Differences Between Software and Hardware Testing

Software and hardware testing are similar but have some important differences. Both types of testing involve systematic procedures, but software testing is less hands-on than hardware testing. Software testing is typically automated or at least partially automated, whereas hardware testing is more hands-on and often involves the use of special equipment. Both types of testing are necessary to evaluate a product before it goes to market. And that’s the reason why many businesses consider outsourcing software Testing is to ensure that the developed product meets the expected quality benchmarks.

Software Testing

Software testing involves evaluating software to make sure that it functions as expected and meets the requirements of the customer or company. It can take many different forms, depending on what the software does, but generally involves a series of test cases that check for bugs in the code and test the limits of its functionality. There are many different types of software testing, including unit testing, integration testing, system testing, performance testing, and acceptance testing.

Hardware Testing

Hardware testing involves evaluating physical devices or components to make sure they meet specifications and perform as expected. It can include stress tests to test the limits of a device’s functionality or durability tests to make sure it can withstand certain conditions. Hardware testers often have access to specialized equipment designed to simulate extreme conditions or induce failure in certain components. Hardware testers also have access to diagnostic equipment that allows them to identify problems with individual components or systems.


Test cases

Test cases are a set of conditions or variables under which a tester will determine whether an application, software system, or one of its features is working as it was originally established for it to do. It may take many test cases to determine that a software program or system is functioning properly.

Software testing allows the human tester to execute a software component or system component to evaluate one or more properties of interest.

Cost of testing

Testing software is expensive. It’s estimated that about one-third of the cost of developing software goes to testing it. In comparison, testing hardware is even more expensive. Hardware requires time and materials for testing, which makes it costly even at the early stages of development.

For example, the cost of software testing a new feature in a software product may be as simple as adding a few lines of code to an automated test script and running it. The cost of testing hardware can include buying components and supplies, building or modifying a device to test, and executing the test.

In addition, software testing is often done by a small number of people who are familiar with the product, while hardware testing usually involves more hands-on work from people less familiar with the product. That means additional time spent training testers on how to set up and run tests, as well as time spent creating training materials.

Consequences of bugs

Software bugs can cause software systems to crash, become unresponsive and lose data. These problems are often easy to fix, but they can be extremely costly if they result in lost work, damaged equipment, or injury.

With hardware testing, on the other hand, a bug might just mean that a feature doesn’t work as expected. It might be annoying, but it shouldn’t damage anything.


Software is flexible and adaptable, whereas hardware is not. This makes it much easier for software testers to change and improve their tests than for hardware testers. Hardware testers must rely on a physical prototype whereas software testers can rely on a virtual model of the product.

Field knowledge

As a software tester, you will be provided with a software build. You need to check whether it meets the business requirements. Then you will report bugs, if any, to the developers. Once the developer fixes the bugs, you will again test the same and report if there are any more bugs. This process will continue until all the expected functionalities are tested and verified.

When testing Hardware, you need to have field knowledge to understand how a device is used in real life. For example, if you want to test a mobile phone, then you need to know how people use the mobile phone in their day-to-day life. You need to understand the usage patterns and then test accordingly.

Some other differences between software and hardware testing are:

  • Hardware testing is done in a real-time environment. On the other hand, software testing is performed in a non-real-time environment.
  • The hardware testing takes place at different levels such as unit level, integration level, system level, performance level, and acceptance level. But for software testing, includes Smoke Testing, Sanity Testing, Functional Testing, Integration Testing, System Testing, and User Acceptance Testing (UAT).
  • In the case of hardware testing, we use tools such as Oscilloscopes, Multimeters, etc., but in the case of software testing, we use tools such as QTP(Quick Test Professional), Load Runner, etc.
  • Software testing is a very tedious and time-consuming process and requires a lot of patience. Hardware testing, on the other hand, is fast and easy.
  • Software test focuses on usability, functionality, compatibility, performance, and security of applications while hardware test focuses on aspects such as functionality, reliability, and durability.
  • A software tester may be required to understand the architecture of the software being tested but a hardware tester does not need to understand the architecture of hardware being tested as he can pass this test based on his field knowledge.

Wrapping Up!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and it has given you a better understanding of the differences between software and hardware testing. I further hope it has raised your awareness of the challenges that traditional companies face when attempting to adapt to the needs of a digital marketplace as well as making you aware of the types of services that exist within our industry today. Finally, I hope it has made you aware of what to look for in your future search for an outsourced quality assurance company.

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