What’s An Internet Browser?

internetbrowsersAn Internet browser is an application that’s used to obtain information from the World Wide Web. People use Internet browsers to glean information, watch videos, chat with others in chat rooms, view images, obtain content and a variety of other resources. Internet browsers have hyperlinks that allow them to quickly jump from one page to another. The most popular Internet browsers are Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

While Internet browsers are mainly used to connect to the World Wide Web, they are also used to obtain and view information from other venues like private networks, file systems and web servers. When data is retrieved through a browser, it’s often referred to as “fetching”. When people use a browser to view data, images or other information, it’s called “rendering”. When a browser is used to access other types of data or information, it’s called “navigating”. Navigating occurs when web surfers use a browser to jump from link to link, typically by clicking on hyperlinks found within web pages.

The web surfing process within a browser starts when the user types in a uniform resource locator (URL) into the browser. URLs usually start with “http:”. If an “S” is placed at the end, it’s a secure connection. These are typically used by banks and web retail sites. When the desired resource is found, it’s shown in the Internet browser window. Most browsers have plug-ins that allow Java applets and Flash applications to display video content. When the user goes to a website that has a file that’s engineered to be downloaded instead of shown on the screen, the browser will request that the user save the file. There are even some browsers that go as far as containing extra components that support e-mail, display news and provide Internet relay chat (IRC). These are commonly referred to as Internet suites instead of Internet browsers due to their extra content and capabilities.

Today’s Internet browsers are so advanced that users can have multiple browser windows or tabs open at the same time. Tabs allow different information resources to be seen within the same browser window. Browser extensions also exist to increase the browser’s functions in a variety of ways. Extensions are typically created through diverse types of web technologies like CSS, HTML and JavaScript. Aside from added functions, extensions boost the efficiency of the browser interface with add-ons like plug-ins and various toolbars.

People are browsing the Internet at a higher frequency and a faster pace than ever before. Like anything else that becomes popular, there are risks involved and they’re not to be taken lightly. Internet browsers are kept secure through a variety of means. Most come with pop-up blockers to prevent annoying and potentially harmful browser windows from popping up against the wishes of the user. As mentioned above, there are also “https” websites that secure any information that the user enters and transmits. Users can also delete their browser’s web cache, browsing history and cookies to stay secure.

Which is your preferred browser and why?