What Is A Web Browser?
A Web browser is simply defined as a software application that actually enables a user to interact with the images, games, videos, text, music and various other type of information that is basically available on the Web page of a Web site (on the local area network or on World Wide Web). Images and Text of a Web page may contain various hyperlinks to some other Web pages (of the different or same Web site). A web browser enables a user to easily and quickly access various provided hyperlinks of a web page. Web browsers actually format the HTML documents in order to display them, so the appearance of different web pages depends upon the type of browser that you are using.
No doubt, web browsers are mainly used to access the WWW (World Wide Web), but web browsers can also be used to access the information that is provided by the Web servers (of the private networks).
History of the Web browsers
WorldWideWeb should be seen as a foundation of the first Web browser that was laid by Tim Berners-Lee in the year of 1991. Since from that many companies launched their successful Web browsers. Examples include- Microsoft, Opera, Apple, Netscape and Mozilla. Just a few days before, Google also entered in the market of Web browsers.
Most popular web browsers
Some most popular and successful web browsers (for personal computers) are- Mozilla Firefox, Avant Browser, Microsoft Internet Explorer, AOL Explorer, Opera, Google Chrome, Safari, K-Meleon, Lynx, Flock, Konqueror, Arachne, Maxthon and Epiphany.
Standards and protocols of web browsers
Web browsers actually communicate with the Web servers on the platform of HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) in order to fetch the Web pages. The protocol of HTTP enables the Web browsers to submit the data/information to the Web servers and it also allows the Web browsers to fetch the web pages from the respective Web server. Most popular version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol is HTTP/1.1.
HTTP/1.1 is completely defined in the RFC 2616. HTTP/1.1 works on some specific standards. Microsoft internet explorer is not able to support all the specific standards of HTTP/1.1, but most of the modern and advanced Web browsers are enabled to support HTTP/1.1 at its fullest.
Web browsers locate a requested page on the basis of its URL. URL means Uniform Resource Locator; it acts as an address (specific for specific web pages) that begins with the notation http:
Many web browsers are able to support various other types of URLs and their respective protocols also. For example- ftp: (File Transfer Protocol), https: (HTTP Secure), rtsp: (Real-time Streaming Protocol).
Early Web browsers were supportive only for simple versions of the language HTML. But modern and advanced Web browsers are able to support the typical versions of HTML and more advanced language- XHTML. Most of the popular Web browsers (Internet suites) are also able to support IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and Usenet news. They support various protocols like- SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), POP (Post Office Protocol), NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol) and IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol).