Internet Browsing

1. Introduction: In Internet environment, browsing refers to opening a website through the web browser that contains hyperlink and with the help of these hyperlinks, jumping to a new web document in the same or a new window. It is also known as navigating or surfing the web. Browsing or searching in Internet environment is nothing but retrieving of relevant results from the Internet.

In Internet environment, the downloading refers to copying or saving the data, information from the Internet to the local computer. Uploading is just the opposite of downloading. It is the sending of the data or information from the local computer to the Internet. The Online means staying connected to the Internet and the offline is just the opposite i.e. the user is no longer connected to a remote computer or the Internet.


2. Internet Browser: A web browser commonly referred to as a browser is a software application for accessing information on the World Wide Web. There is a different between a search engine and a web browser. While search engine like Google is just a website that stores searchable data and information about other websites, but to connect to and display websites on our devices we needs to have a web browser.

The first web browser, called WorldWideWeb, was invented in 1990 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. As on today, the most popular web browsers are Google Chrome (first release in 2008), Mozilla Firefox (first release in 2002), Safari (first release in 2003) and Internet Explorer (first release in 1995). Some other web browsers are Mosaic (first release in 1993), Microsoft Edge, Opera, UC Browser and Netscape Navigator.


3. Changing the Home Page in the Browser: The Home page is the first page of the browser that loads automatically when the browse is opened. To change the home page of the browser in Internet Explorer move to “Tools” and then select “Internet Options”. Now under “General” tab, you will find the “Home page” box, typing the website address in this box and clicking on “Apply” and “Ok” will change the home page of the browser. In case of Google Chrome, you have to move the “Customize and control”, “Settings” and then “Appearance”. In case of Firefox, you have to move to “Menu”, “Options” and then under “General”, “Startup”.

4. Changing to Private Browsing: Privacy mode or “private browsing”, sometimes informally referred to as “incognito mode”, refers to privacy features in some web browsers. Historically speaking, web browsers store information such as browsing history, images, videos and text within cache. In contrast, privacy mode can be enabled so that the browser does not store this information for selected browsing sessions. This allows a person to browse the Web without storing data in the local computer that could be retrieved at a later date. One can locate the InPrivate Browsing in Internet Explorer in “Tools”, “Safety”, “InPrivate Browsing” (the shortcut key is Ctrl + Shift + P). In Google Chrome, the “New incognito window” is located in “Customize and control” (the shortcut key is Ctrl + Shift + N). In Firefox, it is located under “Menu” as “New Private Window” (the shortcut key is Ctrl + Shift + P).


5. Working with Browser: In the online mode one can use web browser for arriving at a particular address. In the Address box of the browser, typing the web site’s address (URL) and pressing the “Enter” button (Google Chrome) of the keyboard or by pressing “Go” button (Firefox, Internet Explorer), the browser will open a particular website. When the web site opens, its home page is displayed. Keying appropriate URL in the address box of the browser is obligatory. The website or home page will contain links to other website or hyperlinks. By clicking on the highlighted words or links one can access other files of the same website or entirely a different website.

            If you browse through several pages in a window, you can move backward and forward by clicking the “Back” (←) and “Forward” (→) button in the standard toolbar of the browser. These two options will only back or forward one page at a time. But, you can also jump over to any pages by clicking on the “Down” (↓) arrow (or by clicking and dragging on the “Back” button) besides the forward and back button, and then clicking on any site from the list of previously visited sites.

Clicking on the “Stop” or “X” button in the browser stops whatever the browser is doing, and will wait for your next instruction. It is particularly useful for undoing mistakes. The reloading or refresh button (in keyboard Ctrl + R) can be used to reload a page in the browser.

Clicking on the three dots (:) in the Google Chrome browser will open a whole lot of features like New tab, New window, New incognito window, History, Downloads, Bookmarks, Zoom, Print, Cast, Find, More tools (Save page as, Create shortcut, Clear browsing data, extension, Task manager, Developer tools); Edit, Cut, Copy, Paste, Settings, Help and Exit.

6. Working with Mouse: While we are on a webpage, we can use the vertical or horizontal scroll bars to move to top and bottom of the page or left and right of the document.

            A webpage contains many hyperlinks in the form of text as well as images. When you move your mouse cursor over the hyperlink, it will take the form of a hand with a pointing index finger ( ). You can open the hyperlink by just clicking on it. You can also open a hyperlink by right clicking it and selecting the “Open” option from the shortcut menu, or by selecting the “Open in a New Window or Tab” option to open the link in a new window.

            The left click button of the mouse can be used to select a portion of the text for copying. Right clicking on any part of the website will open a lot of other options which are already available in the browser. However, a new option named “Translate to English” will be available that can be used to read any website content which are not in the English language.


7. Working with Keyboard Keys: We can use “Up” (↑) and “Down” (↓) arrow keys to move up or down one line. Pressing the “Page Up” (PgUp) key moves up one window length, and pressing “Page Down” (PgDn) moves down one window length. Pressing “Ctrl+Home” takes us to the beginning of the document and pressing “Ctrl+End” take us to the end of the document.

            In Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer pressing the Ctrl + P button will open the dialogue box to print the current page and Ctrl + S button will open the dialogue box to save or download the current page to the local computer.


8. Conclusion: Browsing is used when user’s information needs are not precisely defined. By browsing one can determine the exact forms of information he/she is looking for. The browser is a program on your computer that enables you to search and browse and retrieve information on the World Wide Web (WWW), which is part of the Internet. However, they can also be used to access information provided by web servers in private networks or files in file systems. The major web browsers are Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari. Internet browsing means accessing the internet and viewing of web pages on the computer with the help of the browser.

How to Cite this Article?

APA Citation, 7th Ed.:  Barman, B. (2020). A comprehensive book on Library and Information Science. New Publications.

Chicago 16th Ed.:  Barman, Badan. A Comprehensive Book on Library and Information Science. Guwahati: New Publications, 2020.

MLA Citation 8th Ed:  Barman, Badan. A Comprehensive Book on Library and Information Science. New Publications, 2020.