Defined by digopaul, a web browser is primarily a program for displaying web pages. It is also possible to view other documents, for example images and PDFs, with a web browser. Colloquially the program is only called browser. The name comes from the English verb “to browse”, which means “to browse” in German. The most popular web browsers include Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Apple Safari.
- The first browsers were characterized by special navigation elements.
- The web browser Netscape Navigator first achieved great fame in 1993.
- Almost every fourth German surfed the net via Google Chrome in 2020.
- The different browsers mainly differ in the speed at which they are displayed.
Back and forth – a revolution
The first browsers were characterized by special navigation elements. When reading texts in the browser, users could navigate through various files using forward, backward and index commands. This principle also characterized the first web browser, which was developed in 1989 at CERN in Geneva. The browser was called WorldWideWeb and, in addition to navigation, featured other extras. Links could be clicked through the use of hypertext; graphics were also visible in the browser.
The web browser Netscape Navigator first achieved great fame in 1993. Its developers recognized the commercial possibilities of the Internet and adapted the browser accordingly. A graphical user interface (GUI) and a faster page load were the recipe for success of Netscape Navigator and secured the market leadership for the web browser for several years. Over time, other web browsers such as Opera, Safari , Google Chrome and Microsoft came along Edge on the market. They replaced the pioneering browser Netscape Navigator, the further development of which was completely discontinued in 2008. The source code of the Netscape Navigator was then released by the developers. The Netscape Navigator thus became an open source project, which later became the Mozilla project and the popular Firefox browser .
Web browser at a glance:
Firefox can be downloaded for free from the Internet and offers many options for customizing it – but it also works without any extras. The program has now caught up with the speed of page loading, which was often criticized in comparison tests.
Internet giant Google’s browser is widespread. In comparisons of computer magazines, it does very well, primarily because of its speed. If you have a Google account, you can save your browser settings, bookmarks and extensions there and then access them from other computers. Google Chrome runs on various operating systems . These include macOS, Linux, Android and iOS .
Safari is Apple’s web browser. It also loads websites extremely quickly and displays most of the content without any problems. Safari is characterized above all by graphic effects that make browsing through history and favorites particularly clear.
Opera has long been a leader in the development of new, innovative technologies that later became established in other browsers as well. In the beginning, users had to pay for an ad-free version; the browser from Norway is now free. Opera users can also synchronize their browser settings between multiple devices. For mobile surfing, there is the Opera Mini, on which the desired Internet pages are displayed in compressed form. This saves on data transfer fees.
Microsoft Edge replaced Internet Explorer as the standard browser in 2015. Microsoft Edge runs across devices on Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. However, the success of the original Microsoft Edge version was short-lived – Microsoft has not updated this browser since the beginning of March 2021. There are no more security or other updates. The old Edge browser was replaced by an Edge browser based on Chromium, the so-called “Edge Chromium”. Microsoft, Apple iOS and Android users can use the browser.