Do you have a browser

What is a browser and which one is recommended?

According to the current D21 Digital Index, 76.8 percent of Germans are now online and most often use the Internet to search for information. Based on these statistics, almost 54 million people in Germany are likely to have already used a browser.

If you read these lines, you can count yourself among these 54 million people and you can already use a browser. But could you tell me straight away what a browser is exactly, how it works technically and which browsers are available on the market?

No? Then you've come to the right place!

What is a browser

A browser, also known as a web browser, is a computer program that you can use to display websites on the World Wide Web (WWW). The term browser was derived from the English verb to browse, which means something like rummage, browse or browse.

The web browser displayed in the Firefox browser

How does a browser work?

According to the definition above, you can use a browser to display websites. To do this, you simply enter a URL in the address line of the browser and it will contact the web server on which the website to be accessed is stored.

The Hypertext Transmission Protocol is used for this communication and the web server sends the requested files back to the browser via the connection. The web browser then takes over the display of the requested HTML document and the files linked to it (images, etc.) on the monitor.

HTML documents consist of source code and the browser breaks down every single line of it. It is important that the browser interprets the source code as intended by the web developer. For this reason, browsers such as Mozilla Firefox must adhere to the conventions of the markup language used.

As a result of the process, you will see the fully visualized website on your monitor.

In addition to requesting websites from the WWW and interpreting the source code, modern browsers take on a number of other tasks. Each browser provides its own browser cache by saving the content of a website that has already been downloaded. This speeds up the loading of the relevant page enormously, as the elements can be loaded directly from your computer's hard drive and not from the Internet.

Furthermore, you can not only call up websites with a browser by entering a URL in the address bar, but also navigate between individual pages using the so-called hyperlinks. This enables easy browsing through the hypertext. In addition, all browsers have buttons with which the user can return to previously called pages.

Another convenience function of the browser is the management of bookmarks or favorites. Once you have found a website that you really like, you can save it as a bookmark in the browser and call it up again conveniently and easily for a new session without having to remember the URL.

Here you can find an overview of all the tasks of the browser:

  • Requesting websites from the WWW
  • Interpretation of the source code
  • Presentation of the website on the monitor
  • Provision of the browser cache
  • Navigation through the hypertext
  • Management of bookmarks

Which browsers are there?

Since the appearance of the first web browser WorldWideWeb in 1990, a lot has happened in the browser market. Many have been added and others, such as the Netscape Navigator, have fallen victim to the browser war.

There are currently five browsers fighting for the favor of users and attracting you with many different features. So that you get a good overview of the browser market, I show you the market shares of the individual browsers in the graphic below and then introduce them to you individually.

Market shares of the individual browsers (as of May 2015)

The rest of the market is divided among representatives such as Iron, SeaMonkey or other exotic species.

Mozilla Firefox

By Mozilla Foundation [MPL 2]

Mozilla Firefox is currently very popular. With a market share of 30.2 percent in Germany (as of May 2015), it is the most widely used browser in this country.

As a user, you can expand Firefox almost at will. This is ensured by themes, with the help of which you can adapt the entire surface to your taste. There is also a large number of add-ons. These add-ons expand the Firefox browser with numerous functions, such as developer tools, ad blockers or screenshot tools.

Firefox supports so-called tabbed browsing. With this very cool feature, you can have several websites open at the same time in one program window. In Firefox, the tabs are arranged in a horizontal bar and you can easily switch back and forth between the open websites.

Overall, the very clear interface of the Firefox browser is convincing. But the surfing speed is also top notch. Firefox is one of the fastest browsers on the market.

Download Moziall Firefox

Google Chrome

It was not until the end of 2008 that Google launched its in-house web browser, Chrome, which started a success story that is second to none. Within a very short time, the browser was able to secure a market share of 25.1 percent. And that in the highly competitive browser market.

Google Chrome can also be easily adapted to your own needs with many add-ons, and themes allow the user interface to be designed individually. An integrated translation service translates websites into your own system language on request.

But that's not all. One of the strengths of the browser, in addition to the fast display of websites, is the synchronization of bookmarks, languages, themes and extensions via your own Google account. But these features also have their price, because the Chrome browser uses a lot of memory.

Download the 64-bit version of Google Chrome

Internet Explorer

The all-time favorite among browsers is Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It is supplied as standard with the Windows operating system and is therefore widely used. However, it is currently no longer used by too many users. At the beginning of the new millennium, IE still had a market share of well over 50 percent, today it is only around 15.

Internet Explorer is currently being delivered in version 11 and comes in two versions on your computer. Once you can use the classic desktop version of IE or you can opt for the new app version under Windows 8.

Internet Explorer has never been the fastest. Since the latest version, an improvement can be felt and the gap between Microsoft's browser and the competition has become significantly smaller.

With Windows 10, Microsoft is introducing its new Edge web browser. Edge is to replace Internet Explorer in the future.

Download the Internet Explorer 11 in the 64-bit version


The Safari from Apple is in fourth place in the current browser charts. It was released in early 2003 and comes standard with the Mac OS operating system. But Safari is not only used on desktop systems. It is also available as a mobile version for iOS.

Safari was previously also developed for Windows, but since version 6 it is no longer supplied for the Microsoft operating system. Windows users should therefore steer clear of this browser. Potential security gaps represent a major threat to the security of your computer.

Safari is the first choice for all Mac users. In addition to a distinct management of bookmarks, a tab function and an integrated search, the Safari also has a very good pop-up blocker.

Download Safari for Mac OS


The last browser on my list is Opera. Opera was released in 1996 and was one of the first browsers with tabbed browsing and a built-in pop-up blocker.

Currently, however, only 0.4 percent of all German Internet users use the browser. He is far behind the other four competitors. Nevertheless, he always finds new followers. For example, TV manufacturers Sony and Samsung are relying on Opera with the emerging merging of Internet and TV.

The Opera can also be expanded with add-ons and has an integrated phishing filter. In addition, the long development time contributes to the fact that you can use a mature browser with the Opera.

Download Opera

Which one should you use?

When it comes to the number of users alone, the answer is obvious. Almost every third Internet user is currently using Mozilla Firefox on the World Wide Web. In addition to this fact, Firefox also offers you a lot of convincing additional features.

With the option of installing additional add-ons, you can expand the browser almost as you like. With the help of the themes you can adapt the interface according to your wishes and in terms of speed, Firefox is way ahead.

All convincing arguments, but they also apply to Google Chrome.

In the end, it largely comes down to your personal tastes and preferences. But you can't go wrong with Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome and always surf the Internet at high speed.

By the way. If you don't know which browser you are currently using, there is a nice service that you can use to find out the name and version of your web browser.


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