iGCSE Computer Science - Distance Learning

Tutor Marked Assignment 6
Tutor Marked Assignment 8 (Programming)

The Internet – The Role of The Browser

When we discuss networks, we should be aware that they don’t always need connection to the internet. However, the internet is an example of a WAN (Wide Area Network). Understanding how the internet works also gives us an insight into how smaller networks transmit data.

A web browser is a piece of software that allows the user to access web pages which are stored on the Internet. By typing in the URL for uniform resource locator into the address bar off the browser it can communicate with your Internet service provider to request the data from the web server where the web page is located. We were looking to ISPs in more detail in the next lesson.

Web browser software is a type of application software. This means that it allows the user to perform a task rather than control the system as is the case for utility software. Browsers have a number of features that allow us to access and interact with the various web pages on the Internet.

Most web browsers will allow you to bookmark a page. This creates saved link which can be used to quickly access that web page again either using an icon or a menu.

The ability to have multiple websites open using different tabs is a feature of most modern web browsers. This allows us to not only access multiple web pages but use them at the same time swapping between tabs which are clickable links to each window. The downside of having multiple tabs open is that this takes up CPU processing time and space within the ram as the web page is currently open. This means that the more tabs you have open the slower your system will run.  

There are a number of different web browsers available and because all web browsers must work with the same HTML code, many are very similar. Some well-known examples Firefox, Chrome comma and Internet Explorer. Other web browsers such as Tor are becoming more popular as they also include features to help protect data whilst using the Internet.


Create a table to compare the different browsers available for your computer. What similar features do they have? Do they have any features that do not appear in other browsers?