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Browser, E-mail, Search Engine – What’s The Difference?

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet, Windows 10

When I asked you tell me what you thought of the Microsoft Edge browser, I received a couple of responses that puzzled me:

“The Edge uses Bing as a browser, which is just awful.”

The biggest problem with Edge is the fact you cannot get rid of the preview pane in your email. This makes it a “Pain” to read your email. Switched back to Yahoo mail.”

This, and a few other questions I’ve received lately tell me that some of you still aren’t sure exactly what the difference between a browser, a search engine, and a mail client is.


Let’s take a closer look. Microsoft Edge is a browser. A browser is a program that allows you to “browse” the web. Browsers are used to accesses websites.  Popular browsers include Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

Each of these programs will let you go to nearly any website.


When you’re using a browser, you may need to use a search engine. Search engines are sites that allow you to search for items on the web. Google, Bing, and Yahoo are some well-known search engines. Many browsers have default search engines. That means, there’s one particular search engine that the browser will use unless you tell it to use something else. Edge’s default search engine is Bing, Chrome’s default search engine is Google, and Firefox uses Yahoo as a default search engine. However, you aren’t stuck with these as your default search engine. You can switch your browsers to use other search engines.


(Windows 10 does us Bing by default for the Cortana search function. That can’t be changed.)

To check your e-mail, you can use  an e-mail client like Outlook or the Mail App that comes with Windows 10. These are programs that download copies of your e-mail messages to your PC.  You can also check your e-mail online using a webmail interface.The mail interface should be pretty close to the same no matter which browser, you are using.  I checked my Yahoo mail using Edge.


Then  with Chrome.


And finally Firefox.


As you can see, it looks pretty much the same in all three browsers. Whether or not you have a preview pane is a setting in either the email client or in the settings for Yahoo Mail.

I hope this clears a few things up.

~ Cynthia

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One Response to “Browser, E-mail, Search Engine – What’s The Difference?”

  1. Markj says:

    Good explanation Cynthia. I hope it cleared a few things up for some of your readers also, unfortunately in my experience trying to explain things to folks I suspect it either wasn’t read, wasn’t fully understood, and/or will soon be forgotten. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying, at least when they will listen.

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