Many people are aware of what a browser is, and what it does, but is there really any difference between them?
It may come as a surprise, but there actually is! Most ordinary users will not be aware of the differences between them, but they can be quite large, and the ideas and intentions of their developers can differ greatly. Far from being a simple piece of software that just shows you internet content, browsers have been evolving since the internet came into existence.
Browser software may look simple but that’s because most of the work they do is in the background, and it can be difficult as an end-user to see any discernible difference between them. What we end up looking at is usually identical no matter which browser we use, because each browser is built to understand and translate the instructions it is given in the same way, using a standardised instruction set.
Modern browsers are orders of magnitude more complex than their older counterparts – many of them now are multitasking software designed to store and retrieve information from your device, send and receive secure data, store passwords securely, play media, play games, or use web apps such as Office Online. It’s easy to see why a good browser is the backbone of good internet experience.
Our browsers now are also often the first line of defence against malicious code, scams and hacks on the internet. Keeping your browser up-to-date is and paying attention to its internal security warnings is, along with keeping your system updated overall, one of the most important measures you can take to keep your information secure and private.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be looking at a variety of different browsers and their pros and cons, their differences, and why you might like to choose them.