Browsers

By The Computer Guy

Date: April 25, 2018

 

    Did you know that when you use your computer, you may not always be accessing the internet?  The computer itself most likely is, but are you?  Let’s say you’re writing up a document in Microsoft Word, or relaxing with a game of Solitaire. In both these instances, the internet is not being utilized.

    When are you accessing the internet? Whenever you open up your browser to view websites is when the internet comes into play. What is a browser? So many questions.

   The 4 most popular browsers are Internet Explorer from Microsoft, Firefox from Mozilla, a nonprofit organization, Chrome from Google, and Safari from Apple. All 4 browsers do the same thing; they just have their own special way of doing it. Whichever one you decide to use is your preference. Think of them like cars. GM, Ford, and Chrysler all make cars; they all do the same thing. Which one you buy depends on which manufacturer’s product you prefer.

   When you open up your browser, you are now opening a window to peer into the world of the internet. Your browser is set with a home page, meaning the page that comes up first when you open your browser. This can be set to whatever the user wants by going into the browser’s options. I’ve found google.com, msn.com, and yahoo.com seem to be the most popular, but it can be anything you want it to be.

   I’ve heard many tell me that Google is their internet. The thought is that since Google is the first thing that comes up when they open up their browser, that this is what gets them online. The modem provided by your ISP gets you online, your web browser allows you to view what’s on the internet, and if Google is the first thing that comes up, then that is merely your home page, not your internet service.

    Once you have the browser open, you can view anything and everything the internet has to offer. You can either search for what you are looking for via the search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, or if you know the web page of the site you want, you can go directly to it by typing it into the address bar. That’s the bar that shows the webpage address ie: www.facebook.com, www.charter.net  and so on.

   To simplify the logistics, when you bring up a web page, such as www.facebook.com, you are looking at a computer elsewhere in the world called a server where Facebook stores its website and information. Your web browser finds this computer amongst the kazillions of computers in the world by the web address www.facebook.com. There will be only one computer with that web address. Change that address to www.aol.com, and the web browser starts searching through the world to find the computer that houses that website.

    Using the car analogy again, a web browser is like driving a car through the wild world of the internet. You pick an address you want to go to, and it takes you there. Once you close that browser, the ride is over, and you are back home in the real world.

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