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About Browsers

A Web browser is an application that runs on a personal computer or workstation and enables you to locate, access, and view pages and files on the World Wide Web via Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). There are many different types of browsers available, each suited for different purposes. GRU.net recommends Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, and Opera. The two most common browsers are Internet Explorer and Netscape. Opera has become a leader in the development of Web browsers for Internet devices, such as e-machines.

Browser versions vary, but in general, it is important to have the latest version of the browser software in order to ensure compatibility with the latest Web standards and technologies. Browsers may be downloaded for free from the Internet.

Blocking Unwanted Sexually Explicit Material

The Internet and the Web are marvelous resources. Keep your children's exploration of them safe with software programs that filter or monitor Internet activity or regulate computer usage. There are several products available, ranging from multifunction packages such as Cyber Patrol and Net Nanny, which block and filter Web content and help limit your child's use of computer games, to single-purpose products such as SurfWatch, which block and filter Internet content only.

Most filtering products use lists of URLs or match words, phrases, and patterns to block content. But the products vary in how they monitor. Some use keyboard input, display output, or the local PC Winsock, others a proxy server, to filter based on their lists. Unfortunately, most products that use a list-based approach do not allow you to view the list. Vendors are concerned that, by providing access to their lists, they will lose a primary competitive advantage or be seen as providing a road map to pornography on the Net. But most of the packages at least let you edit the lists - blocking and unblocking according to your own preferences.

Common Problems

If your browser displays errors when visiting Web sites that use Java or some other recent technological advancement, you should reinstall the browser or upgrade to the latest version of the browser.

If you are attempting to load a Web page, and you receive an error stating that the page cannot be displayed, it is possible that you've been disconnected from the Internet. Reconnect, if necessary, and try again. If this is not the problem, then it is possible that the Web page could be temporarily out of order. Try back later.

If Web pages are loading slowly, it is possible that there are a lot of large images on the page that must first be downloaded before they can be opened. When you visit a Web site for the first time, all of the images are downloaded to your browser's cache. As long as these images remain in your cache, each time you revisit the site, the images will load quickly because they're already on your computer.

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