What is a webbrowser?
A web browser is a pice of software that you use to surf the World Wide Web (www), the part of the internet you are using now, and most likely, you are using a webbrowser to read this blog too.
The very first graphical webbrowser, NCSA Mosaic, was developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and released in april 1992. Although not being the only browser around at that time, it did become the most popular one, and carries a great responsability in the popularity of the www of today!
The Top Three (+ one)
Although many different browsers are available, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera are the most popular. (And on Mac the Safari browser.)
Firefox, the only one of the three that is licensed under the GPL License, was released in November 2004; version 2.0, with enhanced security and other new features was released in October 2006 and has been updated periodically.
However, the best known of these will most probably be Microsoft Internet Explorer. Microsoft Windows still being the most popular operating system, the market penetration of Microsoft Internet Explorer is inevitable, as it is installed together with Microsoft Internet Explorer.
The least well known, and yet, one that is seen almost everywhere nowadays is Opera. This browser is available for a wide variety of systems, such as personal computers, but also PDA’s and mobile phones.
You can download Internet Explorer, Firefox and Netscape Navigator for free from each company’s website. If you have one browser already, you can test out the others. Also note that all these browsers, with the exception of Safari are available for Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh and Linux., albeit with some small differences.
Once you’ve installed a browser, you can surf to your heart’s content, however, since it’s easy to get lost in this vast electronic network your browser comes loaded with all sorts of handy features.
Fortunately, you can learn the basics in just a few minutes, then take the time to explore the more advanced functions.
Make sure you choose a browser that you feel comfortably with, because surfing the web with a browser that you dislike, will definately mess up your internet experience.
As for my personal opinion, I prefer Firefox, then Safari, third place for Opera (however first on some other platforms, such as my mobile phone), and lastly Microsoft Internet Explorer.
And to be honest, if it wasn’t that some webmasters still haven’t learned that you should follow the web-standards (Which Internet Explorer doesn’t always comply to), and thus, some websites simply do not work (well) in other browsers then Internet Explorer, I would never use it again.