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OST 140: Internet Communication and Research: Web

What is a Web Browser?

Highway exit sign for Browse

Photo by Jim Salvas via flickr. Used under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 License.


A web browser is a computer program that is used to view webpages on a computer or other device. There are many different browsers available, usually for free.

Internet Explorer (IE) is one of the more commonly used browsers and is included on all Windows PCs. Apple computers come with Safari. Other well-known web browsers include Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera, all of which are free downloads from the Internet. The web browser you choose to use is based on your computer's capabilities and your personal preference.You are also free to use multiple browsers, even at the same time.

Here's a tip: If you are having difficulty with a website in one web browser, copy and paste the site address to a different browser and see if it works there.

What is a Web Browser?

Web Browser Basics

Photo: Refrigerator and stove with writing on them. Refrigerator says, "Come in and take a look, browsing is free!"

Photo by Matthew Burpee via flickr. Used under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 License.

Knowing how to use a web browser is essential to navigating the World Wide Web. Most web browsers are fairly user-friendly and can be used with minimal training. However, for those who are not used to using them, web browsers can still be confusing.  The list of resources below includes links to a couple of tutorials and several articles that can help you get started surfing the web like a pro.

A Better Browser

Comfortable with web browser basics? Read the articles below for help choosing ones that work for you and learning how to use them more effectively.

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