What is a Virtual Browser?

What is a Virtual Browser?

A regular web browser, like Chrome or Firefox, allows users to browse the web with an easy-to-use interface.

When a virtual browser is used, websites are opened in an isolated, virtual environment and the rendered web content is streamed back to the device, typically using application delivery or remote desktop technology. Virtual browsers are either virtual appliances with just enough operating system to run, or standalone applications in a virtual machine that contains a copy of the entire operating system.

A virtual browser could be located on an endpoint machine, or accessed remotely through the cloud, or over a private network. Some virtual browsers allow personal settings to be saved, whereas others use an anonymous mode where cookies, history, and settings are not saved after a browsing session.

Here are the top reasons you might choose to use a virtual browser:

Virtual browser uses:

Preventing web-based malware infections
From a security standpoint, virtual browsers can act as an effective protective barrier from web-based malware. A remote solution provides more protection that a virtual browser that runs client-side, as malware cannot easily reach the endpoint machine and infect it.
Avoiding browser compatibility issues
Sometimes web-based applications will only run on an older version of a browser. Using a virtual browser can allow these applications to run when the required browser is not installed on the machine.
Testing with different browsers
Web developers can use virtual browsers to test their projects on different browser versions to check for issues and bugs that may be browser-specific.