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Web Browser – A Complete Overview

Last Updated : 08 Feb, 2024
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Web Browser is an application software to interact with the World Wide Web. It acts as a User Interface to browse files online. It is basically a client program to render HTML on the client side by making HTML requests. It supports various internet protocols to fetch files and email from the internet. Let us learn more about the world of Web Browsers.

Web Browser

Getting Started with Web Browser

Presented below are the important topics that come under the Web Browsers. After navigating all the important topics, you’ll have a basic understanding about using the Web Browser available on the internet.


Learn more about Popular Web Browsers

Functions of a Web Browser

  • Bookmarking and history: Helps to save permanent links and keeps record of visited pages
  • Downloading Function: This function helps to save files, applications and images from different URL to the system
  • Plugins: These are small pieces of code which help to customize and add extra features to browser
  • Cookies and Cache management: These help to enhance user experience and increase webpage loading speed

Apart from these functions a browser also provides functions to enhance user security such as Phishing and Malware Protection, Tracking Prevention, SSL/TLS Encryption, Pop-up Blocking, Password managing etc.

History of Web Browser

  • The development of web browsers started in the year 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee. Later it was changed to Nexus.
  • Later, first browser was developed to display text and images on screen named Mosiac. It was the first web browser to have GUI(Graphical User Interface)
  • Microsoft launched its web browser Internet Explorer which came pre-installed in Windows.It was a freeware so it ensured .
  • In competition with Explorer , Netscape released a browser which later became the foundation of Mozilla with an open source model
  • In competition with all these browsers Apple launched its browser Safari in the year 2003 which is a dominant browser of all Apple devices
  • Google’s Chrome debuted in the year 2008 and had a huge growth and nearly captured all the market share in initial years
  • Microsoft replaced Explorer with Edge since Windows 10 was released as a much faster browser

Note: Prior to selecting a browser, it is important to determine why you want to use it. For everyday use, you can select any of these browsers, with the exception of Tor, which is typically used for dark websites. You can select Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari from a development standpoint.

1. Google Chrome

Developed by Google, Chrome is one of the most widely-used web browsers in the world, known for its speed and simplicity. It is cross-platform and has features such as ad-blocking and incognito mode

2. Mozilla Firefox

Developed by the Mozilla Foundation, Firefox is an open-source browser that is known for its privacy features and customization options. It has great add-ons and plugins and also has a special application dedicated for developers also known as firefox developer edition

3. Apple Safari

Developed by Apple, Safari is the default browser on Mac and iOS devices and is known for its speed and integration with other Apple products. Works best in an apple ecosystem where data can be easily passed between devices such as Mac, iOS or iPadOS

4. Microsoft Edge

Developed by Microsoft, Edge is the default browser on Windows 10 and is known for its integration with other Microsoft products and services. Its built-in features such as sleeping tabs and startup boost enhances its performance

5. Tor Browser

Developed by The Tor Project, Tor Browser is a web browser that is designed for anonymous web browsing and is based on Mozilla Firefox. It enables data encryption before it is sent on the internet. It can allow users to access locked websites


Q1. What are the main functions of a web browser?
Ans: Web browser performs the task of retrieving information from WWW(World Wide Web) and display it to the users in a GUI format. Users can access and view websites using a Web Browser

Q2. How is a web browser different from a search engine?
Ans:A web browser is an application which retrieves data from the internet and a search engine is a website where information is displayed based on the query searched by user

Q3. What is the architecture of a web browser?
Ans: A web Browser consists of three components such as Controller/Dispatcher, an interpreter and a client program. Controller acts like a CPU whereas interpreter process the information received and client program implements the protocols to show the data.

Q4. What are the most popular Web Browsers?
Ans: The most popular web browsers according to their usages are:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Edge
  • Safari

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