What is a web browser?

A web browser is a piece of software or program that runs on your computer which enables you to browse or connect to the Web (commonly referred to as the Internet). Web browsers interpret web pages being sent (or served) by web servers and allows you to interact with it depending on how the web pages were made.

Sample web browsers

Sample web browsers (courtesy of submitedgeseo.com)

How does it work?

I’ll keep this as simple as I can. Basically web browsers can be compared to interpreters or translators –  just like what some people use if they could not understand a particular language. A web browser handles the translation of web codes sent by a web server (located somewhere in the earth) to a human enjoyable form.

It basically starts and ends with human interaction with web browsers handling the translation from machine readable format (web code) to human readable content. More or less the process looks like this.

  1. Human -> goes to a web page (Google.com) using a web browser.
  2. Web browser -> request the web server who manages Google.com the web code.
  3. Web server (this is a machine) -> sends the file that contains web code.
  4. Web code -> goes to a series of cables found all over the world.
  5. Web code -> arrives to your machine.
  6. Web browser -> interprets the wed code and displays them into the screen.
  7. Human -> reads and enjoys the images, text, videos, and other human readable and enjoyable content.

I have a computer, do I need to get a web browser?

Most of the time, computers ship with built in web browsers and you do not have to download one to connect to and browse the Web. However, if the default browser does not suite you, you can always download and install another one.

By default, a computer with:

  • Windows gets a built in browser named Internet Explorer or Edge
  • Linux usually gets Firefox or Chromium
  • macOS gets Safari

But I don’t have a computer. I have a mobile phone.

Just like computers, mobile phones do have their own built in browsers. The built in browser varies from one device to another but usually have the same familiar names:

  • Internet
  • Browser
  • Chrome
  • Safari

I am tired of my default browser, how do I get a new one?

The beauty of today’s machines is that you can always add more software to replace your old and aging programs. And in our case, we can replace or even add more web browsers.


If you have a computer, you can always open your default web browser and go to a search engine and search for web browsers. There can be a lot of web browsers out there but you can pick from the most common ones below:

After you have pick and download the file (commonly the web browser installer), all you need to do is run the installer and follow the installation instructions.

Mobile Devices

As for mobile devices, it is much more simpler. All you need to do is open your device’s store and search for web browser. There can also be a lot of web browsers to choose from so choose wisely. The most common ones are:

  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Opera
  • Opera Mini

Don’t worry, you don’t need to install anything as the store will take care of those.

Nowadays, a web browser is a very important piece of technology that is needed by almost all people. Without it, we could not access commonly uses web sites such as social networking sites (Facebook and Twitter) to communicate with our loved ones, research topics by connecting to information rich web sites (Wikipedia), and uncover new information by using search engines (Google, Yahoo! Bing).


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