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3. Web Basics: Web Browser Overview

A web browser is used to navigate and move around on the Web.  Web pages are displayed in a browser on your computer – and also many portable devices, such as cell phones.
There are several web browsers available (and in the early days of the Web, there was one that was text-only!).  Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera are just some examples of them.

This tutorial will show examples from Internet Explorer 8 – terms and appearance will vary between browsers.  However, there are quite a few web browsers available.  Most computers come with at least one browser installed already (usually Internet Explorer for Windows-based computers and Safari for Macs) - but you aren’t stuck with that one.  See a comparison of web browsers if you would like to pick another.

You view a web page within a web browser.  You can have several web pages open at once in a single window using multiple tabs or you can have several different browser windows open (some people even have different web browser types open at the same time!).

Here is an example of a web page being viewed in a browser – note some of the key features:


browser outline



What web browser are you using to view this tutorial? If you're not sure, look at this browser comparison page and see if you recognize a logo.

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