The client software that allows you to display and interact with hypertext document hosted on the web server is called the web browser. When you access a document using a browser the document is transferred to the local host and the link is broken thereby reducing the amount of traffic on the internet. Viewing the web requires the use of any browser program to view files, download images and movies or listen to the downloaded sound files.
There are different kinds of text based and graphical user interface based browsers. Text based browsers are simple and require less sophisticated computers and terminals than graphic user interface browsers. The graphic user interface browsers are mouse or icon oriented programs that run under graphic user interface systems such as windows, Macintosh etc. most of these programs automatically display the formatted text with various fonts, pictures, sounds and movies, with a simple click of the mouse- they provide internet multi media. The text based browsers also read the same hypertext markup language text files as graphic user interface browsers but they display them without formatting. They do not display inline pictures from the document being read, but allow some of the pictures and the sound files to be downloaded and viewed or played on the local computer at a later time, provided the computer has the proper software and hardware. Browsers allow you to directly enter a uniform resource locator to go to a specific document.
Also there are different types of text based web browsers like Linux. It is a text- only browser developed at the University of Kansas. Linux runs on the UNIX or VMS based host computers where you have your login id not on your PC. Therefore phone line access does not require a SLIP or PPP account with the internet service providers. Just as a shell account with internet access the presence of the Linux program on the internet service providers system is sufficient. With Linux you cannot view graphics or listen to sound, but you can read hypertext, place the cursor on highlighted words and move around the web by clicking on the mouse.
The graphic user interface browsers are easy to use, point and click type that operate under the same graphical system like windows, Macintosh etc. when started, most of them automatically retrieves and displays a home page. This default home page is often the home page of the site where the browser was developed. You can also change this home page to any other page for which you have a universal resource locator. Netscape navigator and internet explorer are the most popular graphic user interface browsers.