Browser versus Search Engine
A browser is the software program that lets your computer show you pages on the World Wide Web. A search engine (or directory or index) helps you find pages (on the Web) about specific topics of interest to you. Netscape and Internet Explorer are browsers, programs that you install on your own computer. AltaVista, Yahoo!, Lycos, Excite, and a host of other search engines are Web sites that can help you find stuff on the Web. Think of the browser as the telephone, and the search engine as the phone book, or maybe the directory assistance operator.
Internet Vs. World Wide Web
Are the Internet and the World Wide Web the same thing? Nope. The Internet started in 1969 and is a network of networks. The World Wide Web, born in 1989, is a system of interconnected Web pages that you can access via the Internet. In the past couple of years, the Web has become the most common way of using the Internet, and more and more, Web browsers include traditional Internet technology. For example, you can send and receive e-mail from Netscape Navigator, and find Usenet newsgroups. On the other hand, you can find plenty of things other than the Web on the Net, such as instant message systems, multi-user games, and plain old email.
This is a fantastically simple shortcut to save you some typing, and the best thing is that works for just about everyone -- regardless of your browser or operating system. Most of the time, your Web browsing probably takes you to Web addresses that look something like this: www.something.com. Right? Makes one wonder how many pages you could fill with the countless repetitions of www. and .com that we type every day. Waste precious keystrokes no more! Next time you want to visit, say, www.google.com, go to your Address box at the top of your browser, type google, and then hold down the Ctrl key and press Enter. Voila! The word google magically transforms into www.google.com and your browser takes you to your destination.