10 Essential Examples of Web Browsers

When we use computers or other electronic computational devices that have support for Internet access, we come across web browsers. Web browsers are software that comes pre-installed with such electronic devices. Most of the devices come with a customized web browser developed by their manufacturer. However, we can install the web browser of our choice on our device.


In this article, we are discussing the examples of web browsers using which we can perform various tasks on the internet. Before discussing the examples of web browsers, let us take a brief introduction to web browsers.

What is a web browser?

By the definition, “A web browser is a program used to connect to the Internet to access the World Wide Web or a local website.

The web browser acts as a layout provider or markup for HTML documents. It receives information from other parts of the web and makes it available on our computers or other electronic devices. Information is transferred using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, which defines how text, images, and videos are transmitted over the web. The web browser is commonly referred to as ‘browser’ and ‘Internet browser’.

Currently, you must be using a specific web browser to read this article on your device. When we navigate web pages or websites to find information, it is called 'web surfing' or 'web browsing'. Since browsers help in surfing through websites, developers always try to make websites compatible with as many browsers as possible.

Note: The first browser was created in 1990 by W3C Director Tim Berners-Lee. It was first named WorldWideWeb and then renamed as Nexus to distinguish it from the World Wide Web or WWW.


What are popular examples of web browsers?

There are countless web browsers with unique features and even growing regularly. Every web browser has some unique feature and is great in its own way. However, while choosing a browser, people always look for key requirements such as speed, security, ease of use, and availability across different platforms.

Below is a list of the most popular web browsers that are feature-rich, fast, secure, and easy to use:


Examples of Web Browsers

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer, or IE, is a web browser developed by Microsoft. It was released in 1995 with the Windows 95 operating system and has since come preinstalled with other operating systems offered by Microsoft. Since it comes preinstalled as the default browser in Windows, it is the primary browser with which most users first interact while web browsing.

Although IE is very popular, it is no longer the leading web browser after the advent of the Google Chrome browser. Most of the users use Internet Explorer to download and install other browsers like Chrome, Firefox, etc. Start-up speed was always a big problem with Internet Explorer for many users.

Since IE is tightly integrated with Windows, it has some unique features such as visual search, statistics about the performance of installed add-ons, enhanced security, power saving, adding sites to the taskbar or start menu, etc. Despite all these features, it could not get ahead of its competitors like Chrome, Firefox, etc. This is the reason why Microsoft stopped working on IE and introduced another web browser called Microsoft Edge. Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) is the eleventh, final, and now obsolete version of the Internet Explorer web browser.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is currently the most popular web browser with a global share of over 50%. It is developed by Google. The browser was initially introduced as a beta version in 2008. It is a free-to-use browser with all the required features. Due to cross-platform support, users gain access to their bookmarks, history, passwords, and other browser data across different devices by logging into their Google accounts.


Google Chrome is designed in such a way that it helps to manage most of the Google services with ease. It is also the fastest browser with tight security. Additionally, there are hundreds to thousands of useful extensions available to install with Chrome to add or extend functionality and enhance the overall browsing experience.

Some great features of Google Chrome include Voice search, Image search, Data sync, Import/Export browser data, Instant translation, Data saver, Incognito mode, Warning about malicious sites, Popup blocker, Smart personalized recommendations, Print and download webpages, etc. Google Chrome comes preinstalled with Android-based smartphones.

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox, simply called Firefox, is another free but open-source web browser to use. It was initially created in 2002 by a community of thousands of people around the world under the code name 'Phoenix'. Community members wanted a standalone browser, rather than a bundled full Mozilla application suite.

Firefox received great responses from users in its beta phase and was praised for its speed, security, and add-on support. It was finally released for public use in 2004 under the name Firefox and soon became very popular worldwide, overtaking Internet Explorer. According to StatCounter, Firefox was the fourth most popular web browser in December 2021 after Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge.

Like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox is also available for various platforms including Windows, Android, and iOS. It is very difficult to decide which is faster Firefox or Chrome. Firefox is undoubtedly one of the best web browsers with all the necessary features.


Though Chrome is the most popular web browser, Firefox has some unique features by default whereas we have to install add-ons to use such features in Chrome. Some of the unique features of Firefox include enhanced tracking protection (ETP), autoplay blocking, text to speech, screenshot tool, reading mode, primary password, blocking of third-party cookies, blocking of crypto-mining scripts, and blocking of social trackers.

Apple Safari

Safari is another popular web browser developed by Apple Inc. primarily for OS (such as iOS and macOS) offered on Apple devices. It comes preinstalled as a default web browser on all Apple computers. Safari was first released as a beta version for public use in January 2003. Although Safari was primarily developed for Apple devices, it was also released for the Windows platform in 2007. However, Apple discontinued support for Safari for Windows in 2012, making it obsolete on Windows.

Safari is also tagged as the world's fastest web browser due to its use of the powerful Nitro engine. It also has various unique features, which provide a best-in-class browsing experience to the users. It brings robust customization features, powerful security features and privacy protection, and industry-leading battery optimization, so we can browse the internet continuously for longer periods of time.

Like other web browsers, Safari also has all the necessary features needed to browse the Internet and perform related tasks. One of its main strengths is its continuity feature across Apple devices. The Safari browser stores or syncs all browser data to iCloud, making it available across all linked Apple devices.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is a new web browser introduced by Microsoft after Internet Explorer. It was first released for Windows 10 in 2010. Later, it was also released for other platforms including Android, iOS, Linux, etc. Microsoft Edge has replaced Internet Explorer in the new Windows operating systems (i.e., Windows 11) and comes preinstalled as the default browser.


In 2020, Microsoft started the automatic rollout of the Edge browser over Windows updates for older versions, including Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. With the Edge browser, Microsoft again began to compete with the leading web browsers, ranking third globally as of 2021 by a StatCounter survey.

The new Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based) is developed using the same underlying technology implemented in Google Chrome. The main objective of the Edge browser is to provide world-class compatibility and top-notch performance to the users while browsing the internet or installing third-party extensions. Some of the essential features of Edge include sidebar search, website installation as an application, built-in coupons, web capture, put tab to sleep, pinning tabs to start menu or taskbar, etc.

Opera

Opera is one of the oldest web browsers still actively developed today. The history of the opera is thought to have begun in 1994 as a start-up research project at the Telenor company. Later in 1995, the project branched out and found a new company named Opera Software ASA. The browser was first introduced in 1995 and its public version 2.10 was released in 1996, available for MS Windows 95. The development of the first Opera browser for the mobile platform began in 1998.

Initially, the Opera browser was made available to users on a trial basis, and users had to purchase it after the trial was over. In 2000, it was also released to users who did not want to pay for it, displaying advertisements to users in order to continue the development and maintenance of the browser. However, with Opera 8.5 version in 2005, the ads were also completely removed. Since then, it has been available for free to use.

Opera browser is available for almost every platform and has many unique features. It is credited with introducing awesome features which were later added to other web browsers to compete in the market. Some such features include speed dial, pop-up blocking, private browsing, tabbed browsing, reopening the last closed tab, a built-in screenshot tool, tracking blockers, etc. Opera browser also has a built-in VPN to make browsing secure.

Note: In 2016, Opera's ownership was changed after it was bought by a group of Chinese investors. Opera Software ASA officially announced that it has sold the Opera brand, web browser, and privacy and performance apps to Golden Brick Capital.


UC Browser

UC Browser is developed by the popular mobile Internet company UCWeb, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group. UC Browser is one of the most loved web browsers by smartphone users, especially in India, Indonesia, and China.

Initially, in 2004, the browser was released only for the Java (J2ME-only application) platform. However, it gained popularity and further development began. As of now, UC Browser is available for all major platforms including Windows, Android, and iOS. It is free to use web browser.

UC Browser has many useful features that help users perform specific tasks while browsing the internet or downloading files. UC Browser mobile version includes in-app widgets, Cloud Boost technology, a powerful download manager, built-in file manager, wide range of customizations, night-mode, powerful ad-blocker, quick access from the notification panel, text-only mode, gesture support, etc. Some of these features are also available for the UC Browser desktop version.

Brave

Brave is another free-to-use open-source web browser known for its privacy-focused browsing experience. It is based on the Chromium web browser and developed by Brave Software Inc. It is a standard browser like other typical web browsers that enables users to navigate websites, run web apps and view other online content or media on various devices and platforms.

The first stable version (1.0) of the Brave browser was released in 2019. The latest versions of Brave are surprisingly fast, feature-rich, and secure and also allow users to earn while browsing the internet. Brave blocks online ads and website trackers by default. On the other hand, it allows users to turn on optimal ads to help them earn in the form of Basic Attention Token (BAT) cryptocurrency.


As of December 2021, Brave Browser claimed to have over 50 million monthly active users, 15.5 million daily active users, and a network of over 1.3 million content creators. Some of the useful features of the Brave browser include ad blocking, fingerprint prevention or randomization, cookie control, HTTPS upgrading, block scripts, per-site shield settings, configurable global shield defaults, blocking all third-party storage, etc.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is a popular Internet search engine like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. However, it is considered more secure with some unique features. It was launched in February 2008. The search engine gained popularity very quickly and was added as a search engine in many major browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Tor, etc. Later in 2018, DuckDuckGo came with its desktop browser extension and mobile web browser to go beyond the search box tag.

Unlike the other web browsers listed in this article, the DuckDuckGo browser is not available for Windows and other desktop platforms. It is available only for iOS and Android. However, the desktop version of DuckDuckGo is believed to be released soon, sometime in 2022 or later. For now, DuckDuckGo has an intuitive add-on or extension that can be installed on major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc. This specific extension is developed to handle our data privacy online when using desktop browsers.

DuckDuckGo strictly focuses on privacy to differentiate its products from competitors. DuckDuckGo Browser is an all-in-one privacy app that helps protect our online activities. It is a fairly secure, free-to-use web browser that offers a lot more privacy than other leading browsers. In fact, the main selling point of DuckDuckGo is our search privacy. This means that DuckDuckGo does not collect user data or track user searches.


Vivaldi

Vivaldi is a freeware, cross-platform, highly customizable web browser initially introduced with a stable release in 2016. However, the technical previews of Vivaldi were already introduced in 2015. Vivaldi Browser is developed by Vivaldi Technologies, a company founded in 2014 by the co-founder and CEO of Opera Software. Vivaldi's mobile (Android) beta version was released in 2019, followed by regular releases in 2020.

The Vivaldi browser was created in response to community outrage with changes to the Opera web browser. Vivaldi aimed to introduce Opera's minimalism and adaptability to an entirely new web browser. Unlike many other browsers, Vivaldi uses fewer resources and therefore consumes less RAM. However, as with many features, Vivaldi's user interface may not be ideal for many non-technical users, especially those who want a simple web browser.

Vivaldi browser is based on Chromium and allows users to install most of the Chrome add-ons directly from the Chrome Web Store. Like Chromium, Vivaldi's source code is also publicly available for viewing or auditing for security purposes. Some of the essential features of the Vivaldi browser include an ad blocker, privacy protection, tab tool, custom keyboard shortcuts, mouse gestures, tabs in split-screen, notes manager, custom macros, built-in translation, mail, calendar, and feed reader.

Links to Install Listed Web Browsers

The following table lists all the above web browsers with their official website links for further information, support, or download of the respective browser on our devices:


Browser Name Official Website
Internet Explorer Click Here
Google Chrome Click Here
Mozilla Firefox Click Here
Apple Safari Click Here
Microsoft Edge Click Here
Opera Click Here
UC Browser Click Here
Brave Click Here
DuckDuckGo Click Here
Vivaldi Click Here

Summary

The article discusses 10 examples of web browsers that are widely used these days. These browsers have almost all the necessary features that make them the best among a wide range of other web browsers available in the market. People can install more than one web browser on their devices depending on the requirements.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the five most popular web browsers?

There is a wide range of web browsers available for different platforms. Some are platform-specific while others are available for different platforms. Despite this fact, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera, and Microsoft Edge are the five most popular web browsers.

Which is the best browser for surfing the web?

Google Chrome is currently the best web browser. It is available for almost every platform and outperforms its competitors by securing the highest global market share in the list of leading browsers.

Is Google a search engine or a browser?

Google is a leading American multinational company known for providing Internet-related services and products, including the search engine and web browser. The search engine of Google is called Google Search Engine while the web browser is called Google Chrome. It has provided many other services and products globally.


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