Browser: The browser is the software that allows a user to navigate the Internet and browse its websites.
Launched in 1993, the Mosaic browser was the very first web browser and is credited with making the World Wide Web -- a fairly new concept at the time -- popular on a mass scale.
Some of the most popular web browsers in use these days include Google Chrome, Apple's Safari browser, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. Different browsers boast different features and tools to help users improve their online experiences, and many people have a favorite browser they prefer to use over others.
Used by 58.19% of web users as of February 2014, Internet Explorer is by far the most popular browser. It is followed by Firefox, used by 17.68% of users; Chrome, used by 16.84% of users; Safari, used by 5.67% of users and Windows' Opera, used by just 1.23% of people browsing the web. Note that these statistics don't take mobile browsing into account, they just apply to desktop versions of browsers.
In 2014, mobile browsing overtook desktop browsing as the most popular way to access the Internet. This is largely due to the fact that smartphones with inexpensive 3G and 4G data plans are widely available throughout the developing world -- areas where there is little to no infrastructure for at-home Internet connections. In fact, one study recently showed that more people on earth own a smartphone than own a toothbrush.
Web browsing has evolved radically since its advent in the early 1990s -- and as mobile browsing continues to grow, it's clear that this evolution is far from over.