Cookies, IP Addresses, Web Beacons and Browsers
A HTTP cookie (also called web cookie, Internet cookie, browser cookie, or simply cookie) is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored on the user's computer by the user's web browser while the user is browsing. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember stateful information (such as items added in the shopping basket in an online store) or to record the user's browsing activity (including clicking particular buttons, logging in, or recording which pages were visited in the past). They can also be used to remember arbitrary pieces of information that the user previously entered into form fields such as names, addresses, passwords, and credit-card numbers.
An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two main functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing.
A web browser (commonly referred to as a browser) is a software application for accessing information on the World Wide Web. When a user requests a particular website, the web browser retrieves the necessary content from a web server and then displays the resulting web page on the user's device.
A web browser is not the same thing as a search engine, though the two are often confused. For a user, a search engine is just a website, such as Google Search, Bing, or DuckDuckGo, that stores searchable data about other websites. However, to connect to a website's server and display its web pages, a user must have a web browser installed.
As of March 2019, more than 4.3 billion people use a browser, which is about 55% of the world's population. The three most popular browsers are Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.