Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #189 2/27/2013

Question: What are Internet/web browsers?


Internet or web browsers are programs used to look at web pages on the Internet. There are a number of different browsers available.

Internet or web browsers show content you want to look at that is stored on computer servers (usually larger computers designed to store a lot of information and retrieve the information quickly) that may be located anywhere in the world. The browser shows you the content in a way that is easily understood by non-technical people (average citizens) that has been sent over the Internet by programs on the web servers that are highly technical and written in languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Java, PHP, ASP.Net and others. You will see it as text and pictures and audio files to listen to and video files to watch and email.

In the early days of the World Wide Web on the Internet in the late 1990s the most popular browser was Netscape. Netscape is no longer made but Mozilla Firefox was built off of parts of it.

Today the most popular browser is Internet Explorer and is made by Microsoft. Most people are using version 9 unless they are on Windows 8 in which case they use Internet Explorer (abbreviated IE) 10. IE does not have the market share it once had. Mozillaís Firefox has made a lot of gains in recent years and represents a large amount of the market. Other browsers you will see people use include Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Opera and others. Different browsers work better for some people and work better on different operating systems and with certain pages.

Most people use only one browser but there is no reason you canít have more than one browser and one does not work well on a page to try another. When you download software (programs) you do need to be careful and not install browsers (often Chrome) that you are not wanting or their search tool or toolbar or you may have different browser become default by itself. By being default means if you were to click on a web page address in an email or document it will open in the default browser. If it does change just start the browser you want as default and it will normally ask if you want as the default and then choose to change to it.

Internet Explorer is included with Windows. You can get the different browsers free. IE is available at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/internet-explorer/download-ie, Safari at www.apple.com/safari, Chrome at Google.com/chrome , Opera at opera.com, and Firefox at http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox