From 1995

A viewer (also called a browser) is the software that lets you see this. What is this? Well, if your viewer has an option to "view source," try it. A viewer is sort-of like needing a pair of 3-D glasses to view a 3-D movie.

Many different viewers are available. Perhaps the way you are viewing webs could be more pleasant. However you choose to view a web, knowing how to operate your viewer won't hurt. Go ahead. Try clicking on some of the menu options. In particular, try your page back and page forward buttons. If you would like to view some other basic "hints", please click on these words.

Most viewers allow you to hear sound. Some do not. If you can hear sound with your computer when doing other things, you should be able to connect the sound to your viewer. Check your viewers "options" or "preferences." Click here to learn more about hearing sound on the world wide web or click here for more multimedia tests.

Some viewers can only see text. Some viewers can't see everything. The two most common forms of pictures on the world wide web are "giffs" and "jpegs." If you can't see either of these, check to make sure you have your viewer set to view images. Still can't see? Maybe an additional software set-up (like a jpeg viewer) is needed, or maybe you should check into a whole new viewer below.

Would you like to try your viewer out on a "giff" or "jpeg" ?

The background of this page should have question marks (?) all over it. If you can't see backgrounds, you may be missing a large part of the show.

Here are some more tests. The word should appear the same as what it is. For instance, the word blinking should be blinking.


real small


Preferences & Upgrades

Since you've made it here, presumably you already have a viewer. However, you may wish to upgrade. First, make sure you are getting the most out of the viewer you have. Click on your viewer's menu bar to see if you have a "preferences" or "helper applications" choice. This is where you tell your viewer what software program to run for different types of files. For instance, this avi file will only be viewable if you have set up your viewer to talk to your multi-media player. (avi, mov & mpeg files are video. The same holds true for wave (.wav) files - most viewers won't play sound files unless you tell them how to find your soundcard.) Click here to learn more about multi-media on the world wide web.

If you still can't get your viewer to perform, try either of the following places:

"click" here, and maybe we can help you out.

CERT Update From 2010

Web browsers allow you to navigate the internet. There are a variety of options available, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

How do web browsers work?
A web browser is an application that finds and displays web pages. It coordinates communication between your computer and the web server where a particular website “lives.”

When you open your browser and type in a web address (URL) for a website, the browser submits a request to the server, or servers, that provide the content for that page. The browser then processes the code from the server (written in a language such as HTML, JavaScript, or XML) and loads any other elements (such as Flash, Java, or ActiveX) that are necessary to generate content for the page. After the browser has gathered and processed all of the components, it displays the complete, formatted web page. Every time you perform an action on the page, such as clicking buttons and following links, the browser continues the process of requesting, processing, and presenting content.

How many browsers are there?
There are many different browsers. Most users are familiar with graphical browsers, which display both text and graphics and may also display multimedia elements such as sound or video clips. However, there are also text-based browsers. The following are some well-known browsers:

•Internet Explorer
•Safari – a browser specifically designed for Macintosh computers
•Lynx – a text-based browser desirable for vision-impaired users because of the availability of special devices that read the text

How do you choose a browser?
A browser is usually included with the installation of your operating system, but you are not restricted to that choice. Some of the factors to consider when deciding which browser best suits your needs include

•compatibility – Does the browser work with your operating system?

•security – Do you feel that your browser offers you the level of security you want?

•ease of use – Are the menus and options easy to understand and use?

•functionality – Does the browser interpret web content correctly? If you need to install other plug-ins or devices to translate certain types of content, do they work?

•appeal – Do you find the interface and way the browser interprets web content visually appealing?

Can you have more than one browser installed at the same time?
If you decide to change your browser or add another one, you don’t have to uninstall the browser that’s currently on your computer—you can have more than one browser on your computer at once. However, you will be prompted to choose one as your default browser. Anytime you follow a link in an email message or document, or you double-click a shortcut to a web page on your desktop, the page will open using your default browser. You can manually open the page in another browser.

Most vendors give you the option to download their browsers directly from their websites. Make sure to verify the authenticity of the site before downloading any files. To further minimize risk, follow other good security practices, like using a firewall and keeping anti-virus software up to date (see Understanding Firewalls, Understanding Anti-Virus Software, and other US-CERT Cyber Security Tips for more information).
25 December 1994 and 2 March 2010