When someone starts using a computer or the internet the first thing they need to know is what is a web browser & the usage of a web browser.
In a short sentence, a web browser is a software application that finds, retrieves, and displays content on the WWW (World Wide Web). It includes web pages, images, videos, and other files. The browser is the client run on a computer that requests information from a Web server. So, a Web server is a different computer (Host) that responds to a web browser by serving content to it.
Is it too much to grasp at a glance? Though it is a big topic I’ll try to describe it in as simple words as possible.
In this article, I will cover everything about the web browser so that after finishing the article you will get a clear idea about it.
Table of Contents
Let’s start by asking the first question.
What is a web browser?
When someone starts using a computer or the internet the first thing they need to know is what is a web browser and how does it work?
In this article, I will cover everything about the web browser so that after finishing the article you will get a clear idea.
Browsers are meant for browsing the internet. In the old age of computers only served one purpose. Which was to display a web page. But now we are able to use the browser for almost all purposes. It has become an all in one application for our computer. But still, there are many we need to know that a browser can’t do yet.
The most important program on your computer is the web browser. And yet most people are unsure which web browser they are using and even what web browser is? Let me first try to explain what a web browser is not? A web browser is different from a window or mac which are our systems & allow us to manage files & programs on our computer. And it’s different from the search engines which are used to search on the internet. Instead, a web browser is a program on your computer that allows us to visit websites.
When you search for something on the internet a web browser will take you on the web world & find anything for you. A web browser is a software application that allows us to access anything on the internet. When someone requests a web page on a specific website a web browser finds the content from the webserver & displays it to your screen.
How does web browsers work?
A browser can be defined with 7 components.
- The User Interface: The UI is the space where the client communicates with the program. It incorporates the location bar, back, and next catches, home catch, invigorate and stop, bookmark choice, and so forth All other parts, aside from the window where the mentioned website page is shown, go under it.
- The Browser Engine: The browser engine functions as an extension between the User interface and the rendering engine. As per the contributions from different UIs, it inquiries and controls the rendering engine.
- The Rendering Engine: The rendering engine, as the name suggests is responsible for rendering the requested web page on the browser screen. The rendering engine interprets the HTML, XML documents, and images that are formatted using CSS and generates the layout that is displayed in the User Interface. However, using plugins or extensions can display other types of data also.
- Networking: Component of the browser which retrieves the URLs using the common internet protocols of HTTP or FTP. The networking component handles all aspects of Internet communication and security. The network component may implement a cache of retrieved documents in order to reduce network traffic.
- UI Backend: UI backend is used for drawing basic widgets like combo boxes and windows. This backend exposes a generic interface that is not platform-specific. It underneath uses operating system user interface methods.
- Data Persistence/Storage: This is a persistence layer. Browsers support storage mechanisms such as localStorage, IndexedDB, WebSQL and FileSystem. It is a small database created on the local drive of the computer where the browser is installed. It manages user data such as cache, cookies, bookmarks and preferences.
What does a web browser do?
Of course, it serves your web pages but do you know it can also work as your Microsoft Word? Most of the applications you use already has a web version of them. Like Skype, Microsoft office, Whatsapp, etc. Also, there are lots of alternatives for the applications that you purchased with a lot of money.
Using web applications saves your pc from lagging. Spend some time on google to find the best websites that serve your purposes.
How to use browsers?
The address bar is the main part of a web browser. Without an address, a browser can not display contents. The address is called Uniform Resource Locator or in short URL.
Now the real question is how to find or get a URL that you are looking for? That is where the search engine comes in. High chances are that you already know about search engines. Otherwise, how would you come across this article?
What basic functionalities does a web browser have?
The most popular web browsers have some common features. They allow the user to set bookmarks and browser the internet in a private mode. They can also customize or add features by installing extensions. Some of them provide a sync service too.
Most browsers have these common user interface features:
- Tabs: Allow the user to open more than one page at the same time.
- Navigation Buttons: Back and forward buttons to go back to the previously visited page or move forward to the next one.
- Controls: A refresh or reload and a stop button to reload and cancel the current loading page.
- Home Button: A home button to return to the browser’s default page or your modified home page.
- Address Bar: An address bar to input the URL of a website and display it.
- Search Bar: A search bar to input terms into a predefined search engine. On most browsers, the search bar is merged with the address bar.
How to add or extend browser functionality?
A browser extesion is a small software module for customizing or adding feature to a web browser. Each popular web browser has it’s own extension library. Browsers allow a variety of extensions. Types includes user interface modifications, ad blocking, and cookie management.
There is a difference between a plugin and an extension. The main difference is that extensions are usually just source code, but plugins are always executables. Recently plugins have been deprecated by popular browsers.
Before installing a lot of extensions, you need to understand a few things. Web browser extensions have access to sensitive data, such as browsing history, cache, and cookies. They have ability to alter some browser settings with or without your permission. They can replace website content, show you unwanted things, or transfer data without you knowing. So always read about the extension and its reviews before installing.
What is the most popular web browser?
According to Wikipedia the most used browser till 2020 is Google Chrome. It is the most popular browser for mobile, tablet and desktop devices.
A web browser is our ride to destination. It is our daily tool that fullfills are personal, work and educational needs. We can find any kind of information from the web. If you find this article resourceful you can leave us your feedback. If you need any kind of information about the web browser or anything related to the web you can ask