This article provides an overview of web browsers, a list of the most popular web browsers and links to more information.
What is a web browser?
A web browser is a software application that operates on a computer, laptop, or mobile phone. It enables a user to display and interact with text, images, and other information typically located on a web page, at a website on the internet, or on a local area network.
Web browsers allow users to access information provided on pages and sites by clicking on hyperlinks. Most web browsers are available to download for free via the internet.
List of the Most Popular Web Browsers
The list of the most popular web browsers changes from time to time, as software companies continuously compete for the top position. Following is a list of the most popular web browsers at the time of this writing, with a brief description of each.
Google Chrome is developed and distributed by Google. It combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the internet faster, safer, and easier. It runs on computers, laptops, tablets and mobile devices. It available to download for free.
In addition, there are numerous browser extensions available in the Google Play Store. Most are available for free, but some have a nominal charge. These extensions can greatly extend Chrome’s capabilities.
I use Google Chrome almost exclusively due to its speed, stability and ease of use. Learn more about Google Chrome.
Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer, abbreviated IE or MSIE, is a graphical website browser developed by Microsoft. It is included as part of the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems. It used to be the most widely used browser since 1999, but lost it’s market share to Chrome in recent years.
It provides improved navigation through tabbed browsing, web search right from the toolbar, advanced printing, easy discovery, reading and subscription to RSS feeds, and much more. Microsoft Internet Explorer is available for free.
Internet Explorer is a solid, secure browser and is a close runner-up to Google Chrome. However, I find that Chrome is much faster and easier to use. Learn more about Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Mozilla Firefox is a free, open source, cross-platform, graphical content surfer developed by the Mozilla Corporation and other volunteers.
Mozilla Firefox began as part of the old Navigator web browser component of the Mozilla Application Suite. Firefox has since become the Mozilla Foundation’s main development focus, replacing the Mozilla Suite. It is available for free download.
Safari – Apple Safari is the web browser developed by Apple Computer in 2003. It is available as part of the Mac OS X operating system that is installed on Mac computers and laptops. Also, it is installed on iPad tablets and all versions of iPhones, making is one of the top 5 most used browsing tools.
Efficient, built-in tools help you save, find and share your favorite web content easily and securely. It works with iCloud so you can have a consistent browsing experience across all of your Apple devices.
The Safari browser does not run on Windows. You can run Safari, Chrome and Firefox on Apple devices.
Opera – Opera is an Internet suite which handles common internet-related tasks, including visiting sites, sending and receiving e-mail messages, managing contacts, and online chat. Opera has a built-in ad blocker, VP and batter saver. It is available for free.
Following are less popular options. Beware of using any browser that is no longer being updated. This makes it vulnerable to security flaws, viruses and malware.
Avant – Avant’s has a user-friendly interface.
Camino – Camino was an open source browsing tool developed with a focus on providing the best possible experience for Mac OS X users. However, it fell behind the fast-pace of technological advances in this area. It is no longer being updated.
Lunascape – Lunascape integrates three rendering engines (Trident, Gecko, WebKit) into a single browser. It comes with additional built-in functions, so you don’t have to install a bunch of extra add-ons and extensions. I do like the “highlighted search” feature which allows you to highlight a word or URL, right click, and then perform a variety of tasks such as search, go to URL, translate, search with Amazon, and more.
Maxthon – Positioned as a “browsing assistant”, Maxthon provides basic browsing functionality. It includes a set of features intended to improve your surfing experience such as: note taking, password keeper, virtual email inboxes. You may consider it to be some what obscure, but its helpful features may be something worth checking out.
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