Web browser

A web browser (commonly referred to as a browser) is a software application for accessing information on the World Wide Web. Each individual web page, image, and video is identified by a distinct URL, enabling browsers to retrieve and display them on the user's device.

A web browser is not the same thing as a search engine, though the two are often confused.[1] For a user, a search engine is just a website, such as google.com, that stores searchable data about other websites. But to connect to and display websites on their device, a user needs to have a web browser installed.[2]

The most popular web browsers are Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Edge.


The first web browser, called WorldWideWeb, was invented in 1990 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.[3] He then recruited Nicola Pellow to write the Line Mode Browser, which displayed web pages on dumb terminals; it was released in 1991.[4]

Nicola Pellow and Tim Berners-Lee in their office at CERN.
Marc Andreessen, lead developer of Mosaic and Navigator

1993 was a landmark year with the release of Mosaic, credited as "the world's first popular browser".[5] Its innovative graphical interface made the World Wide Web system easy to use and thus more accessible to the average person. This, in turn, sparked the Internet boom of the 1990s when the Web grew at a very rapid rate.[5] Marc Andreessen, the leader of the Mosaic team, soon started his own company, Netscape, which released the Mosaic-influenced Netscape Navigator in 1994. Navigator quickly became the most popular browser[6].

Microsoft debuted Internet Explorer in 1995, leading to a browser war with Netscape. Microsoft was able to gain a dominant position for two reasons: it bundled Internet Explorer with its popular Windows operating system and did so as freeware with no restrictions on usage. Eventually the market share of Internet Explorer peaked at over 95% in 2002.[7]

WorldWideWeb was the first web browser.[8]

In 1998, desperate to remain competitive, Netscape launched what would become the Mozilla Foundation to create a new browser using the open source software model. This work evolved into Firefox, first released by Mozilla in 2004. Firefox reached a 28% market share in 2011.[9]

Apple released its Safari browser in 2003. It remains the dominant browser on Apple platforms, though it never became a factor elsewhere.[9]

The last major entrant to the browser market was Google. Its Chrome browser, which debuted in 2008, has been a huge success. It steadily took market share from Internet Explorer and became the most popular browser in 2012.[10][11] It has remained dominant ever since.

In terms of technology, browsers have greatly expanded their HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and multimedia capabilities since the 1990s. One reason has been to enable more sophisticated websites, such as web applications. Another factor is the significant increase of broadband connectivity, which enables people to access data-intensive web content, such as YouTube streaming, that was not possible during the era of dial-up modems.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Webblaaier
Alemannisch: Webbrowser
العربية: متصفح (ويب)
অসমীয়া: ৱেব ব্ৰাউজাৰ
asturianu: Restolador web
azərbaycanca: Brauzer
беларуская: Браўзер
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Браўзэр
भोजपुरी: वेब ब्राउजर
български: Браузър
Boarisch: Browser
brezhoneg: Merdeer
català: Navegador web
dansk: Webbrowser
davvisámegiella: Fierpmádatlogan
Deutsch: Webbrowser
dolnoserbski: Seśowy wobglědowak
eesti: Brauser
Ελληνικά: Web browser
español: Navegador web
Esperanto: TTT-legilo
estremeñu: Escrucaol web
فارسی: مرورگر وب
français: Navigateur web
Gàidhlig: Brabhsair-lìn
گیلکی: وبمۊج
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Mióng-ya̍p liû-lám-hi
한국어: 웹 브라우저
հայերեն: Դիտարկիչ
hornjoserbsce: Syćowy wobhladowak
Bahasa Indonesia: Penjelajah web
interlingua: Navigator web
íslenska: Vafri
italiano: Browser
עברית: דפדפן
қазақша: Веб шолғыш
kernowek: Peurel wias
kurdî: Gerok
Кыргызча: Браузер
latgaļu: Škūrsteitivs
Latina: Navigatrum
Lëtzebuergesch: Webbrowser
lietuvių: Naršyklė
Limburgs: Webbrowser
lumbaart: Web browser
македонски: Прелистувач
Bahasa Melayu: Pelayar web
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Uōng-hiĕk liù-lāng-ké
монгол: Цахим хөтөч
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဝဘ်ဘရောက်ဆာ
Nederlands: Webbrowser
नेपाल भाषा: वेब ब्राउजर
norsk: Nettleser
norsk nynorsk: Nettlesar
occitan: Navegador web
олык марий: Браузер
ଓଡ଼ିଆ: ବ୍ରାଉଜର
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Brauzer
پنجابی: ویب براؤزر
Plattdüütsch: Nettkieker
português: Navegador web
română: Navigator web
русский: Браузер
саха тыла: Уэб браузер
Simple English: Web browser
slovenčina: Webový prehliadač
slovenščina: Spletni brskalnik
کوردی: وێبگەڕ
српски / srpski: Веб-прегледач
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Web browser
svenska: Webbläsare
Tagalog: Web browser
தமிழ்: உலாவி
татарча/tatarça: Гизгеч
тоҷикӣ: Браузер
українська: Браузер
vepsän kel’: Kaclim
Tiếng Việt: Trình duyệt web
Winaray: Paklit ha web
ייִדיש: בלעטערער
Yorùbá: Web browser