A browser or web browser is a software application for navigating the web. It is used to request, fetch, and display information hosted on the World Wide Web (WWW). The information can be in the form of text, images, videos, and any other assets.
A browser operates on a computer or mobile device and interacts with the web server using HTTP (Hypertext transfer protocol) for the information requested by the user. The web server then responds with the data to the browsers that display the search query results on the computer or mobile devices.
Top tech giants like Google and Microsoft run their mainstream search engines: Google Search and Bing. However, there is a slight difference between a search engine and a browser. A web browser is a client application that displays the web pages, whereas a search engine is a web-based system that searches for and identifies items in the database based on the search queries (or keywords).
Now that you have a good gist of what is browser, let’s focus on its components.
- User interface: It is a space where the user can interact with different options like address bar, backward and forward buttons, bookmarking, etc.
- Browser engine: It is the core component of a web browser that connects the user interface and rendering engine. The browser engine translates HTML documents and web page assets into an alluring visual representation.
- Rendering engine: It renders a specific web page requested by a user. Rendering engines transform the HTML, XML documents, and CSS-styled images into a layout and display it on a user’s screen.
- Networking: It fetches the URL using standard protocols like HTTP or FTP. Networking takes care of Internet communication and also looks for security issues.
- UI backend: It is used for drawing combo boxes and basic widgets for Windows.
- Data storage: The browser uses data storage to store all types of information locally, such as cookies. The data storage is a persistent layer. The browser must be compatible with data storage mechanisms like WebSQL, IndexedDB, etc.