Search Engines vs Web Browsers

Technology terminology is often a confusing subject. A common confusion is the difference between web browsers  and search engines. This arises because Google Search is a popular search engine and Google Chrome is a popular web browser.

major web browsers

A web browser is software that interprets code allowing users to see the text, pictures, videos and links that make up the website. Without a web browser, all users would see is a screen of code written to create the website. There are many different web browsers available. The default for a computer running Windows 8.1 and earlier is Internet Explorer. If you have Windows 10 the default is Edge Browser. Both of these browsers are identified by the blue ‘e’ icon. The default web browser on Mac is Safari, which is represented by a compass icon. Web browsers that can be installed on both PC and Mac are Google Chrome, which has a round red, yellow and green icon, or Mozilla FireFox which has an icon of a fox wrapped around a globe.

A search engine is a website that allows you to search for a particular term and returns a list of websites, images, videos and news articles relating to that term. There are many different search engines available however Google is the most popular. Other popular search engines are Bing and Duck Duck Go. Less popular search engines include Ask, WebCrawler and MyWebSearch. These often automatically install on your computer when you are installing other software. Because of this, these search engines are often regarded as Malware or Junkware. Although they cause no major damage, they do display more pop up ads which can slow down the web browser. They also automatically reinstalled as the default search engine when removal is attempted, making them tricky to eradicate once installed.

Search engine capability is built into most web browsers meaning you can change search engines without the need to visit the search page. On Firefox and Safari a search box is also positioned at the end of the address bar. The address bar is the white line at the top of the screen where you type a web address. In most search engines, the address bar doubles as a search box, meaning you can enter a word and it will return the search results. You should avoid typing web addresses into the search box.

Everyone has a preference when it comes to the best web browser. All modern browsers kept current with necessary updates, offer the same protection against malicious attackers. Keeping your software updated, running Internet Security software such as ESET Smart Security and ensuring you untick optional extras when installing software is the best way to keep safe online.

If you have any questions regarding web browsers, search engines or if you need helping removing Ask, WebCrawler or MyWebSearch, feel free to Contact Us.