For more than twenty years the browser it is the medium through which millions of users reach the most disparate pages and sites: from search engines to online newspapers, from gaming or streaming platforms to social network.
The browser is a software designed specifically for navigation web.
But today browsers are full of advanced services and features. For example, they present possibility of customization almost unlimited: both in terms of colors, themes and layouts, as well as in terms of widgets and extensions.
Furthermore, they have also made great strides in terms of protection of cyber security and user privacy: think of advertising defense and unsolicited pop-ups, but also alla creation of blacklists of dangerous sites.
Added to this are various technical characteristics that allow you to work on the creating a user interface rich and at the same time intuitive. Not to mention an interoperability that takes practically into account every operating system.
Browsers such as Google Chrome e Mozilla Firefox they work a lot on computers Windows as for the various types MacBook. And in the same way they can be installed on device mobile Android e iOS.
Per choose a browser with the right level of awareness one must learn to enter certain technical details. But most of all identify your needs and relate them to the features and services available.
0. The first browsers in history
The history of browsers is closely related to that of the Internet. On the other hand, the browser is software designed to allow the user to interact with pages or sites. And, more generally, to interact with all those contents and those information available on the world wide web.
It’s not easy to locate the oldest web browser ever. Also because the first experiments in this sense were linked to a use of the web bordering on the private.
In this sense it is possible to mention the WorldWideWeb browser created by Tim Berners-Lee: the Turing-winning English computer scientist who, together with Robert Cailliau, is considered the “father” of the Internet as we understand it today.
Berners-Lee designed his browser for use limited to NeXTSTEP operating system, now fallen into disuse. Also for this reason many sector journalists tend to believe Mosaic the first browser in history.
Mosaic is considered the first multimedia navigation tool for the Internet to have achieved a certain level of international appreciation. Several insiders consider it a real one computer killer application.
Today the 90’s are remembered as those of the prima browser wars: a historical period in which several companies started a rather bitter commercial conflict to obtain a privileged position in the newborn web market.
As already mentioned above, Netscape Navigator “took the throne” from the previous Mosaic. Yet even Netscape Navigator would soon be ousted, right in its moment of maximum splendour.
In the 1995 microsoft presents Internet Explorer: a browser for web browsing developed directly by the Redmond company. Internet Explorer is present by default on devices that install the Windows operating system.
Windows at the time was by far the most popular operating system internationally. And this means that the Internet Explorer browser also ended very quickly in the homes of hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.
1. Browsers of the new millennium: Firefox, Safari and Opera
Microsoft’s choice of self-distribute the Internet Explorer browser in all PCs with Windows operating system led to a net reduction of Netscape Navigator users: the web browsing software created by Marc Andreessen, one of the first developers of Mosaic.
Not by chance the Netscape team sued the company founded by Bill Gatesaccusing her of illegal and anti-competitive behavior in 1996. The trial would end in a conviction for abuse of dominant position in 1997.
At the same time Microsoft was not going to change theirs sales strategydominating the browser market unchallenged until the advent of the new Millennium.
In the meantime though Netscape created the conditions for the birth of another browser that is very famous today: Mozilla Firefox. The team indeed he decided to open source his codesgiving birth to the Mozilla project and the Mozilla Foundation. The latter in turn would have favored the birth of different browsers: Yes Suite a Galleonuntil you get right to Firefox.
Internet Explorer has been the most used browser in the world for years. The podium was completed by Firefox, Safari and Opera
Thus we arrive at the so-called second browser war: the one that comes to life during the very early 2000s. Even in this historical period Internet Explorer is the best-selling and most used browser in the world.
Following FirefoxThat could be downloaded for free by users. In third position the newborn Safari: the browser made by Apple and installed by default on all devices running macOS.
Finally it is worth mentioning too Opera: un browser available for virtually all operating systems in circulation: from Windows to macOS, passing through Linux and also for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems.
Opera has distinguished itself from its competitors both from the point of view of marketing as from that of the operational characteristics. First of all, it was one of the first browsers ever to grant thefree use against advertisements. A choice supported until September 2005, the month in which it became completely free.
Added to this is the fact that Opera it’s not simply a browser for web browsing. It integrates typical functions of a client FTP and of a NNTP protocol for the worldwide Usenet network. But it’s also a protocollo SMTP which allows reading emails in safety and which can also be used in the context of peer-to-peer operations.
2. What is a browser and how does it work?
A browser is a program that allows the user to interact with the World Wide Web. A good way to start approaching this kind of software is to start right from parola “browser” and its meaning.
The verb “to browse” in english it means navigatebut also browse o browse: words perfectly in line with the type of experience a user lives on the web.
From a technical point of view, a browser integrates the functionality of a modello client/server: a program that allows you to make requests to the web server, often using i protocolli HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol).
Il browser is the client, which send a request from the device of the user. The server receives the request and send the information to the browser. Finally the browser interprets this information and returns them in visual terms on the user’s device.
Among the most important interoperable parts of a browser it is possible to mention at least the user interface, which is the level that allows the user to interact with the browser. But also the engine and the rendering engine: the first queries the second, which in turn returns the requested web page.
Il networking of a browser ensures both communication and security. Il backend instead, it allows you to create widgets and more generally to proceed with the personalization of web browsing.
The user interfaces of the various browsers have several common elements: from the homepage to the address bar
Individual browsers are distinguished by specific services, features and settings. Similarly it is possible to locate a series of elements that have now become a kind of standard.
One above all homepage: the predefined page that the user can recall quickly by placing the mouse cursor on the famous house icon. But also there address barthrough which the user types the site he wants to reach or the keywords from which he wants to start to search.
Browsers are then generally equipped with a whole series of buttons. For example, i Back and Forward buttonswhich allow the user to retrieve the open web page previously, or to go back to the next one.
It is also worth mentioning among the most popular buttons Refresh and Stopwhich allow for reload a web page oh you stop loadinginterrupting communication with the server.
But also the button Tab and the button Bookmarks: thanks to the first the user can open multiple web pages within the same window. The second allows instead of to save a whole series of predefined web pages.
3. What browsers do with browsing information
Talking about the term browser and its meaning is only the first step in starting to understand what happens during a browsing session web.
In this sense, an element deeply felt by users concerns the navigation information management: an aspect that has a lot to do with the protection of privacy onlinehow much with the internet security.
From this point of view, browsers relate to the user’s navigation information through different software and technologies.
First of all browsers have a cache: a particular portion of memory in which they are saved information or resources that you download from a website.
The cache is kind of secondary database, which maps to main memory. It has a smaller capacity than the main memory, but expects a lower access time and load on the system.
The cache allows the user to load the page much faster or the information you want. It achieves this goal by creating a kind of link and decreasing the tasks that weigh on the main memory.
To use a browser safely it is good to know what the cache, cookies and history are
Nevertheless too full a cache can cause slowdowns excessive system. The user should therefore remember to empty the browser cache every tot: also to be sure of displaying pages that are always updated.
The use of the browser also binds to so-called cookie: small text filewhich allow a…