Use of the Internet is pervasive in both business and personal computing, and the web browser is the primary software application used to access Internet resources. Therefore, web browsers are one of the fundamental software applications that you will support in a network environment.
Deﬁnition: A web browser is a software application used to display web pages. Most web browsers can display text, graphics, multimedia elements, and interactive elements such as buttons and forms. Additional software called plug-ins or add-ons might be required for some web page functions. Web browsers use Internet protocols to establish communication between the client and the web server. A typical web browser enables the user to navigate between web pages, store favorite pages for easy access, search the Internet, return to previously viewed pages, and conﬁgure viewing and functionality options in the browser.
Popular Web Browsers
Microsoft Internet Explorer®is the most widely used web browser on the market, largely because it is included for free with Microsoft Windows operating systems. However, there are other browsers on the market that you might be called upon to install, conﬁgure, or support. Some of these include:
- Mozilla Firefox
- Opera, from Opera Software
- Safari®, built in to Mac®OS X
- Google Chrome
Internet Explorer Versions
Microsoft updates Internet Explorer independently from the Windows operating system. This means that you can upgrade your browser from the version that was included with your release of Windows. If you are upgrading from Internet Explorer 7 to Internet Explorer 8, you will need to demonstrate that you have a valid, licensed, and activated copy of Windows in order to download the installation ﬁles from Microsoft.