Internet Browsers

Learning Objectives

  • Identify three main browsers used to access the internet.

A web browser (commonly referred to as a browser) is a software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web (also known as the internet or the Net). The most popular web browsers are Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge (formerly Internet Explorer), Mozilla Firefox, and Apple’s Safari. If you have a Windows computer, Microsoft Edge (or its older counterpart, Internet Explorer) are already installed on your computer. If you are running an Apple computer, you already have Safari installed on your computer. You may also have other browsers installed on your computer. If the browser you want to use is not installed on your computer, download links for Chrome and Firefox are in their respective sections below.

This course will focus first on the three primary browsers (Chrome, Firefox, and Edge) and then walk through a set of tools and skills which can be used in any browser.

Identifying Browsers

There are three primary browsers that are used to access the internet that you need to be able to identify and use. Each of these browsers is made by a separate company, and has a different look, but there are many tools and shortcuts that can generally be used on any of the browsers.

Microsoft Edge

You have most likely heard the name of one or more of these browsers, but let’s first identify the Microsoft Edge browser.

Microsoft Edge Browser icon. The internet explorer icon.
This is the icon associated with the Edge browser. This is a recent change to the original Microsoft browser which was called Internet Explorer. The older Internet Explorer (IE) icon may be on your desktop, but the Edge browser is the preferred browser for Microsoft now. For your reference, the older IE icon looked like this.

Unlike other browsers, which must be downloaded, Microsoft Edge (or Internet Explorer) comes with Windows. That means if you have a Windows computer, Edge (or Explorer) is already on your computer. The Edge icon on a Windows 10 computer system can be found either on the bottom taskbar or along the side. Click on the icon with the mouse and it will open the browser. The icon might be in slightly different places on your desktop, but look for the icon and double click on it to open the browser. Regardless of which version of Windows you have, you can also open the browser from the start menu. Select the start button, and when you see the icon for Edge, select it and it will open.

The desktop of a Windows 10 is displayed. There are two green arrows pointing at the two places where the edge browser icon can be found. The desktop of a Windows 10 is displayed. There are two green arrows pointing at the windows button on the desktop. The second arrow is pointing at the browser icon in the newly opened menu.

After clicking with the mouse on the Edge icon, a window will open up and will look like this window if new (#1), or may have a news page displayed (#2), or it will open to the business default page that has already been established by the company’s Information Technology (IT) department.

The Microsoft edge browser home. A news page is displayed with several articles showing.

Practice Question

Google Chrome

The Google Chrome icon.

One of the most popular web browsers is Google Chrome (often simply referred to as Chrome). This icon is associated with the Chrome browser. This browser will be used as an example in this course in order to learn basic browser navigation skills and perform the other assignments and tasks associated with this module.

If Chrome is on your computer, the Chrome browser icon can be found on the Windows 10 desktop in the bottom task bar or along the side. Regardless of which version of Windows you have, you can also open the browser from the start menu. Select the start button and type in Chrome. If the Chrome browser is on your computer, it will be displayed in the menu, where you can now see the icon and select it to open.

If you wish to use this browser but do not have it on your computer, it can be downloaded and added by going to this website https://www.google.com/chrome/ and selecting the Download option from the top menu.

The desktop of a Windows 10 is displayed. There are two green arrows pointing at the two places where the Google Chrome icon can be found. The desktop of a Windows 10 is displayed. There are two green arrows pointing at the windows button on the desktop as well as the search box. The second arrow is pointing at the Google Chrome icon in the newly opened menu.

After clicking on the Chrome icon, a window will open up and look like this window, or it will open to the business default page that has already been established by the company’s IT department. You may already notice that some of the features have similarities between the browser windows. Now to the final browser identification.

The Google Chrome homepage.

Mozilla Firefox

The Mozilla Firefox browser icon.

Mozilla Firefox (often simply referred to as Firefox) is a browser created by the company Mozilla and is another browser frequently used to “surf” or search the World Wide Web. This is the icon associated with the Firefox browser.

If Firefox is on your computer, the Firefox icon on your Windows 10 computer system can be found either on the bottom taskbar or along the side. The icon might be in slightly different places on your desktop, but look for the icon and click on it to open the browser. Just like the other two browsers, it may also be opened in the Start menu box by typing Firefox, then selecting the option to open it.

If you wish to use this browser but do not have it on your computer, you can open a browser that you do have and use this address to download the Firefox browser https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/ onto your computer.

The desktop of a Windows 10 is displayed. There are two green arrows pointing at the two places where the Mozilla Firefox icon can be found. The desktop of a Windows 10 is displayed. There are two green arrows pointing at the windows button on the desktop as well as the search box. The second arrow is pointing at the Mozilla Firefox icon in the newly opened menu.

After clicking on the Firefox icon, a window will open and look similar to this window, or will be on a default page that has been set up by the company.

The Google Chrome homepage.

Practice Question

Check Your Understanding

Answer the question(s) below to see how well you understand the topics covered in the previous section. This short quiz does not count toward your grade in the class, and you can retake it an unlimited number of times.

Use this quiz to check your understanding and decide whether to (1) study the previous section further or (2) move on to the next section.