Web browser

If you want to view web pages on different websites, you will need to use a program called a ‘browser’. This acts as your door to the internet. Browsers are all slightly different, but they all allow you to explore the internet and access different websites.

Types of browsers

f you have a Windows device, you’ll have a browser program called Internet Explorer. If you have an Apple product, then you’ll use a browser called Safari. There are also other browsers available, such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. To access the internet, you’ll first need to click or tap on your browser program’s icon. A browser window will open.

Features of a web browser

URL – To load a web page you want to view, just type in its web address – also known as its ‘URL‘ – into the address bar (the space at the top of the window) and then press the ‘Enter’ button. As a shortcut, you can copy and paste a URL into the address bar.

Links – On any page of a website, you will see text links which may be underlined. An image on a web page may also contain a link. By clicking or tapping on a link, you might be taken to a different place on the same web page, a different page on the same website, or another website altogether. You can tell if a piece of text or an image is an active link as your cursor arrow will change in appearance as you hover over the link.

Backwards, forwards and refresh buttons – There are two arrow symbols at the top of your browser window – one pointing left (which is the back icon) and the other pointing right (which is the forward icon). If you want to go back to a previous page, you can click or tap on the back icon. Similarly, you can use the forward icon to go forwards. You may also want to reload the same page, for example, if it’s a breaking news story that is being regularly updated. Some browsers refer to this function as ‘refreshing’ a page. 

Favourites and bookmarks – As you browse various web pages, you’ll probably find ones you like and want to visit again. You can use your web browser to save and store links to these pages. Firefox, Chrome and Safari refer to these stored pages as ‘Bookmarks’, while Internet Explorer calls them ‘Favorites’.

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