Difference Between Search Engine and Web Browser

The terms "search engine" and "web browser" are related to the Internet. A search engine is basically a tool that is used for searching information over the Internet, whereas a web browser is an application software that is used for loading HTML files such as web pages.

Read this article to find out more about search engines and web browsers and how they are different from each other.

What is a Search Engine?

A search engine is a tool that is used to search all other websites and information over the internet. Search engines are mainly intended to gather information related to different URLs (Uniform Resource Locators). A search engine contains its own database. It provides a search box to enable the user to type the keyword or a phrase for searching related information over the Internet. When you use a search engine, you enter a word or phrase, called a "query," and the search engine returns a list of web pages that are relevant to your query.

A search engine has three main components namely crawler, index, and search algorithm. The crawler is a software, also known as search engine bot, that locates the websites related to the searched keyword. The index a table of URLs which is used to improve the search process. The search algorithm is the mechanism involved behind the whole searching process. Examples of search engines include Google, Yahoo, Baidu, etc.

What is a Web Browser?

A web browser is an application software that is installed on the user machine. A web browser is used to load the HTML files or webpages. The first graphical web browser was MOSAIC, launched in 1993.

When you use a web browser, you can type in a web address, called a URL, and the browser will connect to the Internet and load the website associated with that URL. A web browser makes a request for a web service or web document to the web server. It basically acts like an interface between the user machine and the web server.

Some popular examples of web browsers include Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Opera Mini, etc.

Difference between Search Engine and Web Browser

The following table highlights all the important differences between a search engine and a web browser −

S. No. Search Engine Web Browser
1. A search engine helps find information in the World Wide Web. It makes use of the search engine to retrieve and view information from web pages.
2. Once the information has been found, the results are displayed in one place. The information seen on web page is actually present on the web servers.
3. It helps gather information from multiple URL’s and helps maintain it. They help display the web page of a current URL that is available at the server.
4. It has its own database. No database is required for a web browser.
5. A search engine does not have cache memory. A web browser contains cache memory to store cookies.
6. Examples of search engines include Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckgo, and Baidu Internet Explorer. Examples of web browsers include Mozilla Firefox, Netscape Navigator, and Google Chrome.


The most significant difference that you should note here is that a search engine is a tool that is used for searching other websites on the Internet, while a web browser is an application software that is installed on the client’s machine to process the web pages and other HTML files.