History of Web browsers - Protocols and Web services

With the origin and emergence of browsers we get access to services such as: www, ftp, newsgroups, email, social networks and others.

History of Web browsers - Protocols and Web services | Learn HTML | With the origin and emergence of browsers we get access to services such as: www, ftp, newsgroups, email, social networks and others
As long as the Internet connection works, the browsers will work automatically.

The browsers are responsible for requesting, obtaining and viewing the Web Sites on the monitor. There are different browsers in the market with different versions, each with its own characteristics.

When creating a website you should consider that each browser displays the pages in a different way.

This implies that before hanging a site on a server, available to all users, you must preview the pages in the most important browsers in search of possible imbalances.

It is also advisable to test the site on different platforms: Windows, Mac, OS and Unix.


For major browsers and platforms, the site must be free of errors. Microsoft Internet Explorer is still the most used browser on the market with a third of market share worldwide, although other browsers such as Google Chrome gain ground. At least try the site in the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox. It is also important to validate the site with the W3C tools, looking for some code outside the standards to avoid browser failures. Browsers use HTML, CSS, JavaScript and other languages to process documents. Let's take a brief tour of these languages.

Browsers interpret HTML and give access to all kinds of servers: www, ftp, newsgroups, email and others.

When the Internet reached popularity in the mid-90s, Netscape Communication Corporation, which deliberated as the hegemony of the market, launched the first version of Netscape called Mozilla.

It was a time when web design was done directly in HTML code and then optimized for Netscape

Microsoft then introduced Internet Explorer, starting a strong competition on the two browsers that caused the aforementioned deformation in the HTML standard.

Both companies tried to get designers to assimilate their technologies and optimize their sites for just one browser. This struggle for market control spawned new versions in short, regular intervals of time.

Even when that competition benefited the market with the quickness with which the potential for work appeared, it was clear that designing for one of the browsers excluded the market sector that the other browser used.

The new tools could only be used by the browser of the manufacturer that had created them and then it was necessary to design versions for the two browsers, something that is certainly cumbersome.

That era of confrontation is known in the computer environment as the war of the browsers and it may have been the most negative phase of the Web in its short history.

The virtual community demanded to put an end to this disorder and the result was to bet on working with common standards to the two browsers.

The more standards the browsers support, the easier it will be for designers and programmers to work, as they will have the certainty that their pages will be interpreted by any browser.

In order to control and develop these standards, the aforementioned World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was created to guarantee the operability of the Web.

Despite all this, some companies develop functions mainly associated with DHTML (Dynamic HTML) that are unique to their browsers and that we do not recommend.

If you want your Web site to be seen by as many users as possible, use the standards. .

Web browsers are configurable. You can set, for example, the default font size, if images and other details are to be displayed.

Although the main browsers support these settings, how to perform them can vary drastically.

Proxy Server

Many organizations, including businesses and schools use a proxy server to filter Internet access to ensure greater security and performance.

Normally, a Web proxy is not transparent to the client application. This must be manually configured to use the proxy. Therefore, the user can avoid the proxy by simply changing the configuration.

The proxy server is an intermediary computer that intercepts the connections that a client makes to a destination server.

The proxy server allows access to the Internet to all computers having a single computer connected, that is, a single IP address

Applications that want access to Internet resources send requests to the proxy server, protecting client PCs and allowing the network administrator to monitor and restrict access to the Internet.

To configure the proxy options in Internet Explorer, the "Internet Options" dialog box is also used. There, select the "Connections" tab. Click on the "LAN configuration" button that activates the "Local area network configuration" (LAN) dialog box

Note that several options are offered: detect the configuration automatically or specify the address of a proxy server, information provided by system administrators.

If you choose to automatically search for a proxy server and you do not have any in your network, the browser will try to connect to the Internet directly.

Security Setting

When setting up the browser, make sure to set the security parameters. Many websites contain programs that are downloaded and work automatically.

These programs are written in specialized languages and formats such as PHP, Java and Active Server Pages.

Active Server Page (ASP) is a server-side technology created by Microsoft for automatically generated Web pages.

Some sites often act as a portal for pirated programs.

To ensure the safety of a good browser, you must confirm whether you want these programs to work. The decision depends on personal factors.

If the browser rejects a Java program, it can know it through an alert message

Security does not only cover programs. Another big concern in security is related to Internet commerce.

People are afraid to enter personal information such as credit cards, so that it is not intercepted by hackers.

Fortunately, there are methods of encrypting information. The most secure are Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS), its successor, which are cryptographic protocols that provide secure communications on the Internet.

It is easy to know if these Websites use protocols, first because the Web address starts with https instead of http and second the browser shows a symbol of a lock reminding you that you are using an encrypted connection.

There is a security risk against which no one can fully defend themselves... Yourself.

Be very careful when downloading Internet programs. It is easy to download programs to install and run on your computer.

It may not have problems but the downloaded program may have a virus, contain a Trojan or be incompatible with your operating system.

Appeal to common sense.

Download only programs from reliable sources and read the online documentation of the version of the program you are downloading.

Check the compatibility of the operating system. Finally, always have a good antivirus program installed, which verifies that the downloads are free of viruses.


URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) or Resource Locators are unique addresses used to locate a Web page and its contents on a server in the network.

These addresses are written in the address bar of the browser so that it sends a request through the network and as a culmination of the process, it is possible to visualize in personal computers the content of a site hosted on a remote server.

URLs allow you to locate any type of resources on any Internet computer. It is used primarily in browsers. It combines the name of the computer that provides the information, the directory where it is located, the name of the file and the protocol to be used to recover the data.

When you type a URL or address in the browser, or when you click on a hyperlink, a request is generated.

The servers called the root server are responsible for selecting the requests, and the DNS servers establish the correspondence between the names of the pages and the equivalent IP addresses.

When you type a URL in a browser, if you do it without entering the server, the program defaults to the web protocol, that is, http.

When the request arrives at the server, it examines it and according to the address locates the document. Sometimes the server needs to connect to another server to get the information; in this case, it is acting as a client of that other server.

A URL is formed by a string of characters, for example: https://disenowebakus.net/elements-multimedia

http: // indicates the subprotocol that is being requested from the server. The same server on the Internet can offer different resources with different services and their corresponding protocols.

The first part of a URL, just behind the two bars, contains the type of protocol used in the exchange of information, in this case http:

Examples of protocols:

  1. http, document
  2. ftp, file transfer
  3. news, usenet news
  4. telnet, remote access

The second part of the URL corresponds to the name of the domain where the data or the service is located and, optionally, its connection port.

In this example: disenowebakus.net

Occasionally, in the URL, the port number appears, a 16-bit number that allows you to identify the active connections on the Web server where the site is hosted.

Some resources or services are standardized protocols and always use the same port number.

The last part contains the path to reach the resource within the server, in addition to the proper name of the resource::


Browsers allow you to save the most visited URLs in a special menu, which in Internet Explorer is called favorites, in Chrome it is known as bookmarks.

In this way, it is enough to click with the mouse to access a previously saved URL.

If you want to know the URL of a hyperlink, hover over it. An icon with one hand will appear and you will see the URL in the status bar located at the bottom of your browser screen.

Many URLs do not include a file name at the end, but instead end or point to a directory.

When a server receives a request with the address name instead of a file, it looks in that directory for a default document, usually called index.html, which is the one that returns for viewing.

In some cases the URL does not have the final slash indicating that it is a directory, because the server adds it automatically.

The name of the default file may vary, depending on the configuration of the server.

Some servers use the default.html file name instead of index.html

If the site uses server-side programming to generate the pages, the file will be called index.php or index.asp

Check that the administrator of the service where you are going to hang your site, what is the name of the default file.

Some servers display the contents of the directory if they do not find the default file. Make sure you have a default file to prevent your directories from showing up in the browser in the eyes of the curious.


It was one of the first services incorporated into the Internet. It allows users to send and receive instant messages through electronic communication systems.

These messages are not only texts, it is also possible to include images, sounds, videos and even executable programs.

Electronic mail has become one of the most commonly used forms of interpersonal communication at the moment.

Their efficiency and low cost have succeeded in replacing traditional postal mail.

The protocol used in this exchange guarantees absolute compatibility in the exchange of messages.

The best-known email management program is Outlook Express, which performs a total management of each of a user's email accounts.

The news groups

This service allows the exchange of opinions and information about common hobbies

Newsgroups are a means of communication in which users read and send text messages to different boards distributed among servers, with the possibility of receiving and answering messages.

The messages are usually telematic and the traffic is large, so only the most recent messages appear.

Usually they are organized between groups of people who share personal tastes and hobbies and have become an excellent source of information, ideal to clarify and ask questions and update any type of information.

Here everyone can explain their ideas with total freedom and at the same time value those of others.

In comparison with other Internet services, the news has a much slower flow, because the answer to a certain question is not obtained immediately. This is due to the fact that the information that is sent to the server must reach all the user servers that are components of the newsgroup

The messages that are sent to newsgroups are public, of course, and anyone can send a response back.

Like the Web, email and instant messaging, newsgroups work through the Web.

FTP, File Transfer Protocol

It can be translated as File Transfer Protocol.

Sometimes you need to transmit a large volume of information that is precisely the biggest limitation that email has.

In addition to a file transfer protocol, FTP is an excellent manager based on the client-server architecture.

From a client computer it is possible to connect to a server to download a large amount of information or to send our own files regardless of the operating system of each computer, as long as the computers support these functions.

For this service it is necessary that the computer has an FTP client program, responsible for establishing the connection with the FTP server program, which is on the remote computer.

When an FTP connection is established, the remote server must allow access to its file system and for this it requests a user name (user-login) and a password (password).

Although the main function of the FTP protocol is the transfer of files, it also allows creating, moving and modifying data on the remote computer.

Currently, FTP client programs tend to resemble the well-known Microsoft Windows file explorer, making it easy to use.

There are also so-called anonymous FTP servers, which store free information and where it is also possible to deposit information for public use.

FTP is thought to offer the maximum speed in the connection, but not the maximum security, since all the exchange of information, from the login and password of the user in the server until the transfer of any file is done without any type of encryption, so the intruders have easy access to the server and appropriate the transferred files.

Most users have enough capacity with emails, but things change in the case of companies that need to move a lot of information in both directions.

FTP servers, generally private, allow authorized users to upload and download all types of files, regardless of size depending on the speed of your Internet connection.

Voice transmitted over IP

The voice transmitted over Internet Protocol allows the transmission of voice through networks in the form of data packets.

In other words, it allows voice and fax calls to be made over IP connections.

Despite having been present for a long time in the market, the emergence of new and innovative services have made the integration of data and voice a reality, which implies for many users a greater effectiveness in communications and a significant decrease in cost.


E-mail is an innovative means of communication, but the conversations through the chats are more dynamic and in real time, with the attraction of being able to meet new and interesting people immediately.

The origin of these talks is the IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and conversations can be carried out on channels in which several people participate, or with someone in private.

The chat consists of writing messages that will be visible to everyone and can be implemented using a specific program that is installed on the computer through Web sites, which have them incorporated and are known as Web chat.

With the passage of time and the generation of instant messaging and forums, users have been leaving the chat a bit, although it is still a demanded service.

The chat has evolved to video chat, making the service much more tempting.

The exchange of texts, video and audio simultaneously through a program guarantees the realization of live talks, conferences, training programs.


In general, they allow live images to be transmitted, but they can also capture images or small videos that can be recorded and transmitted over the Internet.

Some web servers have this digital camera permanently connected, and place images on a page updating them every so often.

These Webcams allow to see in real time photographs of beaches, volcanoes, roads and mountains and other places around the world.


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APA Format Reference:

Delgado, Hugo. (2019).
History of Web browsers - Protocols and Web services.
Retrieved Jan 12, 2024, from


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Professor at the University of Guadalajara

Hugo Delgado Desarrollador y Diseñador Web en Puerto Vallarta

Professional in Web Development and SEO Positioning for more than 10 continuous years.
We have more than 200 certificates and recognitions in the Academic and Professional trajectory, including diploma certificates certified by Google.



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