Every time you go online, visit websites, browse different web pages, go to your favorite email portal, you use a web browser. Web browsers have helped shape the Internet as we know it today, making web browsing a very pleasant experience.
A web browser is a computer program designed to read HTML or PHP code, presenting it as web pages we are all used to. The web browsers are based on different browser engines, which read HMTL and PHP code and present it as an end result. Web browsers exist since the 1980s and are being constantly developed and upgraded to provide the user with faster loading times, more stable web pages and better looking websites.
The most popular web browsers today are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera, Google Chrome.
When talking about web browsers, the term "browser wars" is something that you are bound to come across. "Browser wars" actually refers to the serious competition in the world of web browsers. The first such "war" was between the NetScape Communicator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
At the time Internet Explorer was launched, NetScape Communicator was completely dominant in the web browser world. However, as soon as Internet Explorer was integrated into the Windows OS, and since Windows began to be shipped as OEM software for other providers to use, Internet Explorer quickly replaced NetScape Communicator as the number one web browser, which ended the first so called "browser war".
After they lost a significant market share to Internet Explorer, the people from NetScape turned their heads to the open-source community and started to work on the Mozilla browser, which later evolved as Mozilla Firefox.
Today, all of the popular web browsers are in a constant struggle for web dominance, with Internet Explorer still keeping its position as the most used one, with Firefox not far behind.
Web browser comparison
Most people tend to use Internet Explorer since it comes with Windows and there is no need to install any additional software. However, Internet Explorer is far from being the best solution for web browsing.
To determine which web browser behaves best, the Acid test was created, named after the acid test for gold. The Acid test represents a simple image, which contains most of the W3 standards. Acid 1 was mainly aimed at Internet Explorer and its habit of showing web pages differently than other web browsers. After the release of Acid 1, and due to the improvement of the web standards, Acid 2, and later Acid 3 were also released to test browser compatibility. Today, every modern web browser is Acid 2 compliant, and most of them achieve high scores on the Acid 3 test.