Difference Between Browsing and Surfing

Browsing vs Surfing

The difference between browsing and surfing is in the way people interpret it. The terms browsing and surfing have become so popular that they are household names today as a result of internet pervading our daily lives and reaching a wide cross section of our population. There was a time in the late eighties when internet connection used to be a status symbol, and only few could afford it. But today, with the advancement in technology and rates or rental coming down drastically, internet has pervaded most of the homes. Leave alone computers, people are reaching the net for all their queries with the help of their mobile phones these days. The process of going across millions of websites to get to the site we require is known as both surfing the net and browsing through the net. However, briefly, just the two words surfing and browsing are used to describe the process. Let us find out if there is any difference between these two terms.

Whether you are looking for the meaning of a word or information on any topic, you need the help of a browser such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and so on. You also need the help of a search engine like Yahoo, Google, Bing, MSN and so on to take you to their main server from where they come up with results that are most relevant to your search. For example, when you double-click Chrome, you get to your search engine like Google. Now you need to type keywords to get the most relevant information or the URL of the website if you know it. For example, if you want to know the latest about your favorite celebrity, you just type his or her name, and the search engine comes up with all the results containing the latest information about him. But if you are looking for knowledge on some science subject, you just need to type the topic and the search engines come up with information that is close to what you are looking for and you can yourself get through a maze of information by clicking on links and get to what you are finally looking for.

According to some people,whether you say you are browsing through the net or surfing the net, it does not really make a difference as both terms are commonly used by people to describe the same activity of moving across websites on the net and watching or downloading content from the net. You can watch, read, listen to music, or enjoy movies and other videos (like Youtube or metacafe etc.), but all these activities come within the two terms browsing or surfing. Browsing, it seems has come into existence because of the use of browsers to get to websites on the net. However, some say they are two different things.

What is Browsing?

According to some people, browsing is searching for something on the internet without specifications. For example, think that you want to find about a certain topic such as racism. So, you go on to the internet and type racism. There are hundreds of articles about racism. So, you have to comb through all of these articles to find the one you are looking for. This is called browsing.

Difference Between Browsing and Surfing

What is Surfing?

According to people who believe that there is a difference between browsing and surfing, surfing is searching for something specific in the internet. Let us take the same example of racism. However, this time you know what article you are looking for. Let us just say Professor X wrote a paper on racism. So, you type on the search engine Racism by Professor X. Then, you will be able to find that article. So, here you are searching for a specific item. That is surfing.

 Browsing vs Surfing

What is the difference between Browsing and Surfing?

Browsing and surfing are terms commonly used to refer to the process of getting onto the internet and finding our way through millions of websites to what we are looking for. Browsing has come into use because of browsers that help us connect to the servers of search engines. Whether browsing or surfing, we perform the same activities of watching documents, listening to music, or watching videos or movies on the internet.

• Browsing and Surfing:

• According to some people browsing and surfing are the same thing. They refer to searching for something on the internet.

• Different Opinion:

Some believe that browsing and surfing are two different processes. Sure, they both mean searching for something.

• Browsing is searching for something without specifications.

• Surfing is searching for something with specifications.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Browsing by Vurter (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  2. Surfing by Michael Coghlan (CC BY-SA 2.0)