What Is a Web Browser?


Web Browser is a software that is used to browse or surf web pages. Web Browsers generally used on internet web pages. Web Browser also called Browser, Internet Browser. World Wide Web or WWW is the main area Web Browsers operate. Web browsers can navigate web pages as well as different protocols and services like FTP servers or even open PDF documents which are generally provided via web pages.

Web Browser History

Web browser history starts in the near feature where the World Wide Web or simply Web is invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990. Web inventions created the need for the browser to browse, navigate, or surf the Web. The first browser called the World Wide Web is also created by Tim Berners-Lee where its name changed to Nexus later. The first popular graphical Web browser was created with the name of NCSA Mosaicin 1993.  Two NCSA/University of Illinois named Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina created NCSA Mosaic and supported till the start of 1997. Then browsers like Netscape, Internet Explorer arrived in the market where they are dominated for a while.

Web Browsers Popularity and Usage Statistics

For the history of the browsers which are about 30 years, the popularity of the browsers changed a lot. In the start, Netscape was very popular and then Internet Explorer gained a lot of users. Netscape changed to the Mozilla which is an open-source company and gets the leadership of browsers. But in recent times like the last 8 years, the trend is very similar. Google created Chrome which is faster, innovative, integrated. Google Chrome is the most popular browser and has a percentage of 80% for the market. Its competitors can not even close to him like Edge/Internet Explorer with 3.6%, Firefox 9.5%, Safari3.3%, and Opera 1.7%. We can see in the graph that Google Chrome also gain more users day by day for the last months.

Web Browsers Popularity
Web Browsers Popularity

Popular Internet Browser List

There are a lot of browsers in the market even they are not soo popular. They provide different and unique features to users like more privacy, speed, ad blocking, etc. Here we will list some of them for different platforms and operating systems like Windows, Linux, MacOSX, Android, iOS.

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Windows Browsers

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Opera
  • Vivaldi
  • Torch
  • Maxthon
  • Brave

Linux Browsers

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Opera
  • Vivaldi
  • Brave

MacOS Browsers

  • Safari
  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Opera
  • Vivaldi
  • Maxthon
  • Brave

Android Browsers

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Opera
  • Maxthon

Web Browser Protocols and Technologies

World Wide Web consisting of different types of protocols and technologies where Web Browsers are used to consume these technologies and protocols. Here we will list popular protocols and technologies Web browsers generally deal with.

  • HTTP is the communication protocol for a browser with the server in order to get content in different formats like HTML, Javascript, CSS, Image, etc.
  • HTTPS is the secure version of the HTTP where it encrypts the traffic between the web browser and server.
  • www is not a protocol or technology but generally used in domains in order to specify the webserver like www.poftut.com which means web server for poftut can be accessed from the www.poftut.com server or host.
  • HTML or Hypertext Markup Language is a markup or scripting language used to create web pages like this page. HTML is interpreted and displayed by the browser. It provides different options like images, tables, animations, text sizes, etc.
  • JavaScript is a scripting language that runs on the browser and used to put some dynamism to the HTML page for user interaction like click, send, input, animate, etc.
  • FTP is a file transfer protocol that is supported by browsers to download files from FTP servers.
  • CSS is a styling configuration used to create visual elements and elegance for the HTML elements in a web browser
  • URL or Uniform Resource Identifier is used to specify the web page or web resource location like hostname, path, and file name. “https://www.poftut.com/what-is-linux” is an URL that specifies a post on the domain named poftut.com.
  • Cookies are created by web sites via browsers to store and track information about the user. Cookies are stored on the client browser cache and contain text-based information about the user history and authentication.
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Web Browser GUI and Parts

Web browsers provides very simple graphical user interface and most of the case the GUI is very similar to the eachother. Also web browsers borrows best features and GUI design from eachother which makes most of the browsers very similar. Below we will explain the graphical user interface and parts of the Google Chrome web browser.

Web Browser GUI

TAB LIST contains multiple pages where every page is opened in different tab. In the old days in order to navigate different pages at the same time multiple browsers should be opened but with the creation of tab a single browser can open multiple web pages at the same time and these tabs are listed in the TAB LIST.

NAVIGATION BUTTONS exist for long time which are used to take action about the current tab. NAVIGATION BUTTONS consist of BACK, FORWARD, STOP and HOME buttons. HOME button is optional but can be added by setting the home page of the browser. BACK buttonwill go back to the previous URLs or web pages. FORWARD will navigate reverse of the BACK button. STOP button will stop current operation which is generally loading a web page.

ADDRESS BAR will show the current web site and page URL or address in a more elegant and readable way. ADDRESS bar also provides information like the web site or domain name HTTPS status and certificate.

PLUGIN and CONFIG provides list of plugins installed and browser configuration menu access.

WEB PAGE CONTENT is the biggest part of a web browser where the web page is displayed with the JavaScript, HTML Code, CSS, Image, Video, etc. content.

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WINDOW ACTION part contains buttons to close, minimize, fullscreen.

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