A web browser is a piece of software that lets you display and interact with all kinds of images, videos, text, and any other kind of information that is on a website or a local area network.
If you are reading this, you are using a web browser right now. Web browsers let you navigate between many different websites and jump around via hyperlinks to other websites or pages within sites.
There are tons of web browsers available right now and the best thing is that they are all completely free! Everyone has used Internet Explorer since it comes with most PC's pre-installed. Netscape Navigator used to be very popular but Internet Explorer pretty much wiped it off the market. Netscape Navigator got released as open source and that was used to create one of the most popular web browsers, Mozilla Firefox.
What's the difference between all the web browsers? Really, they all do the same exact thing. They let you view websites and web pages. There are many reasons to check out a few of them to see what you like though. Internet Explorer is very easy to use and is the most popular web browser of all time. It has many toolbars you can customize and is very user friendly. The problem is, bored hackers target Internet Explorer because it has had some vulnerabilities in the past. This is constantly being upgraded and usually isn't a problem for many people.
Firefox is gaining popularity because it is very fast, doesn't use much of your computer's RAM, and can be customized to your hearts content. It also doesn't see much of the virus content that Internet Explorer does. It's a good idea to download a couple different ones and see which has the features you like the best. No web browser can be considered the best, just the best for you.
These two protocols were developed in the early days of the Internet by the U.S. military.