Understanding the Differences Between Web Browser And Search Engine

The Internet and its benefits have made life a lot simpler for us than we could have ever imagined. All of the world is under our fingertips and we can just search for whatever topic comes to our mind and get thousands of articles related to it. This is mainly done with the help of a web browser and a search engine. A lot of you may be confused at this point regarding what’s the difference between the two; as a lot of people consider both the browser and the search engine to be the same technology. However, these two are different but no doubt related to each other.

What Is A Search Engine And Web Browser?


In order to understand the core difference between them, it is essential to first look at them separately.

Web Browser

A Web Browser is in simple words a software application which is used to navigate on the internet. A browser is actually what enables you to access the content you have searched for. Through the web browser you are able to access your desired webpage like the one which you are looking at right now.

How it Works

The main function of browsers is to convert web codes into texts, images, videos etc, so that they are easily comprehensible to a human being. The browser is otherwise in languages like JavaScript or HTML which cannot be understood by us. Without the browser, these languages will look like a jumble of incomprehensible letters to us. Hence, a web browser is essential in order to use and surf on the internet.

Features of web browser


Most web browsers are more or less the same with very little differences. There are some features which are common in all web browsers. Let’s look at some of these features:

  • A Browser Window: As the name suggests, it is quite literally a window where you can view and navigate websites.
  • An address bar: Address bar is the website address or the link of the webpage. Address bar is on the top right of the page.
  • Navigation: These are the back and forward buttons which help in navigation back and forward from the pages and also the refresh button to refresh the page.
  • Tabs: There are many tabs in the browser window to open an additional webpage.
  • History: The history tab keeps a track of your navigation history which you can refer to whenever needed.

List of popular Web Browsers

There are many popular browsers which are used by users across the globe. The most popular ones are Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Samsung Internet.

Search Engine

The Search Engines on the other hand are web-based services which help you in searching for your desired question. They are certain keywords which when you add in search engines gives you links to relevant websites containing your required information.

How it Works

Each webpage is ranked according to various keywords, and once you search for your something, the search engine runs through ranks of various websites finding the most relevant ones for you. This is like a books library but a virtual one.

According to many researchers, there are around 1.8billion websites on the internet and without the help of search engines it is impossible to find your relevant material.

Basic Formula of Search Engine


While, there have been many complex ways of searching on the internet, all search engines follow the following basic formula:

  • Crawling: The web crawlers scan the internet for URLs and keywords
  • Index: Data is collected by crawlers, then organised into index
  • Search: When users search a query, the key words are run through index to find the required result
  • Rank: Results are then divided into ranks to show results with the relevant ones on top

List of Popular Search Engines

Among the many Search Engines used by users across the world, Google remains on top taking around 90% of the total search engines share answering the question of what’s the best search engine. There are other internet search engines as well after Google, including Bing, Yahoo and Baidu.

Similarly, there are many private search engines which have recently gained a lot of popularity. These search engines have become famous users mainly because people are looking for search engines that don’t track their personal data as this is what is promised by private search engines. You can check here a list of best private search engines. Among the many benefits of using a private search engine, the most dominant one is that your privacy and data is protected from unauthorized access/usage which has become really common with mainstream search engines.

Web Browser VS Search Engine


Web browser and Search Engines are two separate but linked technologies with many notable differences. Many people do not know or understand the difference between the two and consider them the same while in actual they both have many important distinctions. Let’s look at some of the differences:

  • Web browsers are software programs while search engines are websites.
  • Web browsers are for surfing the internet while search engines are used to search for relevant websites
  • Web browsers are generally pre-installed on computers and mobile phones which is not the case with search engines
  • Their functionalities are entirely different
  • HTML and other scripts are used to make contact between the web server and the page while the search engines discover and explore webpages on the Internet
  • The many components of a web browser include User Interface (UI), address bar, network component, data storage etc. The search engine has three main parts including crawl, search Index and the algorithm.
  • Graphical User Interface (GUI), is used by web browsers to display web content while search engines contain their own database through which the required results are generated.
  • Browsers store cookies, history, and cache unless the data is cleared by the user manually. The search engines on the other hand collect data from the search queries of the users. There are few private search engines, however, which refrain from letting data collectors gain access to your search history.

Final Thoughts

Web Browsers and Search Engines are thus the major technology used by almost all of us around the globe. Without understanding their true difference and purpose, it is difficult to gain maximum benefits which it otherwise provides. We hope this article has helped you in understanding their differences and also regarding how to save your private search history from unauthorized access, which is by using private search engines.