A browser is software for operating the World Wide Web using a personal computer. When a person requests a webpage from any site, the browser retrieves the required data from a Web server and displays the requested page on the computer user’s display. In simple terms, browsers are tools which help users to access information on the Internet. There are many browsers available for download free of charge or for a fee.
There are two general categories of browsers; the Window-Based and the Portable. The Window-Based browser is exclusively designed for Windows operating systems, while the other uses the Internet Explorer (OE) program that works on Mac OS and Linux operating systems. While the later has fewer features than the former, it is an effective choice if one needs to view the limited information on the Internet. It is available as a free download from Microsoft. However, one can upgrade to the paid version that offers more security features.
There are two types of Internet browsers, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Although the names sound the same, they differ in terms of features. The Explorer is a browser program while Firefox is a browser that presents web pages in a format that is compatible with the Firefox browser. The former displays web pages in a Windows-readable format while the latter presents pages in the HTML format.
Before the Internet became popular, the typical computer user browsed sites using the Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer. But it soon became clear that Internet Explorer was not compatible with many web browsers available at that time. This made browsing more complicated because users often had to select the browser type from a list given by the operating system before they could proceed. Not only this but Internet Explorer also had poor search functionality, slow page loading and lacked many advanced security features that could help protect the user from security threats. As a result, most Internet users switched to the Mozilla Firefox browser.
Mozilla Firefox has taken Internet Explorer by storm because it includes several features that are very useful to Internet users. One such feature is the Do Not Track tool which allows the browser to delete unwanted cookies from the user’s computer without prior knowledge. This reduces the risk of phishing scams as well as other security issues that are usually associated with cookies. Another important feature is the Safe Sitebar which prevents the browser from accidentally opening up to a site that may be harmful or insecure. Some extra security features include add-ons for blocking pop-up ads and Google Toolbar integration which block the browsing of third party websites.
What is Browser Helper Object Access Language (BHO) is another security feature that is useful to the Internet user. BHO allows the browser to connect to ActiveX controls through Win32 API and to read information from the registry. With the help of BHO, hackers do not have access to system registry and can modify or delete system files. This feature comes along with the Mozilla Firefox browser and is another reason why it is so popular among net users.
Mozilla Firefox has also included features that allow it to run faster. It utilizes the Shared Workers technology that is new in the browser and is capable of managing browser processes and security features independently. This technology is called forklift and provides the mechanism to create multiple web workers and load pages independently. It also contains additional security features like Add-on Privacy and is highly customizable. The Add-on Privacy feature secures the content on a website and helps in protecting private data from being stolen or compromised.
A major advantage of this browser is that it is free from any form of spyware or adware. It is compatible with all versions of Windows and does not require installation. Mozilla Firefox also has an extended support version for Windows, Linux, and Apple Macintosh operating systems. Another major advantage of this browser is its customization features. It includes a built-in viewer that allows the user to view different web pages in the browser without downloading them. Web designers have full control over the appearance of the browser.