In our day to day life where the Internet becoming a part and parcel of our life, we hardly know about what Web browser actually is and how does it work. Actually, it is impossible to explore the taste of internet without the web browser or as it is commonly known “browser”.
Browser is simply a software program that allows the users to broaden their knowledge by accessing information on the world wide web.
Also Read: Top 5 Web Browsers and Their Browser Engines
It is working as an interface between the user and the world wide web and locating, retrieving and displaying content either in the form of images, videos, audios, or files. Many of us may confuse it with the search engines like Google Search, Bing etc.
The search engines are the stores that keep the data of other websites whereas to connect to these websites and web pages, web browsers need to be installed.
According to current data, about 55% of the world’s population is using a web browser. Among different browsers present, Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari are the most famous one.
The main functions of the browser are:
- connecting to the webserver
- Requesting for the information and displaying it on the user’s computer.
Structure of a Web Browser
For better understanding, we have to understand the structure of a browser. A browser mainly consists of the following components-
- User interface: It is an interactive platform for users with the browser.
- Browser engine: It builds the interaction between the rendering engine and user interface
- Rendering engine: It gathers resources and displays the content requested.
- Networking Module: It mainly sends HTTP command to the web server and transfers the data collected from the server to other components.
- UI backend: Basic images like windows and combo box are painted by using this.
- Data storage: All types of data are stored here.
How Does Web Browser Work?
Usually, it all starts with an URL. When any user puts an URL and press enter, the browser with the help of domain name server converts the domain name into an IP address. The local computer with the help of the DNS sends HTTP command to the webserver.
The server builds a TCP connection for data exchange. When the browser is connected it is then allowed to read the HyperText Mark-up language and retrieve the web page.
Once it is done the browser engine and rendering engine of the browser displays the content on the user’s device.
Usually, the networking layer sends the content to the rendering engine where it is converted into two types of trees – DOM trees or content tree and renders tree. The first one generates the hierarchy and the later one adds style properties in the HTML content.
In the next step, the layout is done by assigning the elements to their position. Next, comes the painting, where colour, texture are done using UI backend. And finally, the webpage is ready to display to the user. The rendering engine always tries to provide the webpage as soon as possible.