The Evolution of Web Browsers Over a Quarter of a Century

Web browsers are a critical part of accessing the internet. Without a web browser it is pretty much impossible for you to get any kind of access to the world wide web. Perhaps the most notorious browser out there is Internet Explore. However, the fact of the matter is that Microsoft is finally doing away with this reviled web browser.

In 2021, Internet Explorer will be no more and this will without a shadow of a doubt be considered the end of an era because of the fact that while Internet Explorer wasn’t very popular it was still emblematic of an age of the internet during which things changed drastically. Internet Explorer going away for good is a sign of how much things have changed, and the history of web browsers is something that can shed quite a bit of light on the history of the internet in general as well.

Over the years a lot of internet browsers have risen to and then fallen from grace. The first truly popular web browser was Netscape, and the fact of the matter is that while people might think that web browsers are a very recent invention they’ve actually been around for about a quarter of a century.

After Netscape faded into obscurity, the modern crop of browsers starting with Internet Explorer started to gain a lot of traction. These days most people agree that using Google Chrome is the best option making it the gold standard for other browsers to follow. Even Microsoft’s revamped browser Edge is based on the same basic open source software that Google Chrome is built on. People are often looking for alternatives that don’t have anything to do with Google, and Firefox has emerged as a privacy safe alternative. Most people seem to be perfectly content with Google Chrome and this doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon.

Take a look at this video to learn more about some of the most popular web browsers (1993 - 2020):

Read next: The History of the Internet’s Most Popular Sites
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