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Lets say you are running Windows and there is only one browser installed. What if one day this browser dies, would it be still possible to connect to the Internet somehow (to search for the solution or at least download some file or patch)?

In other words, can you work with Internet without a browser in Windows? At least some basic operations - view page in text format or even html sources, download file through http.

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15  
[Joke] If the only browser in Windows is dead, how to ask a question on SuperUser? –  Hemant Oct 3 '09 at 17:19
    
By default, not so easy. But if you are a Windows Developer, you will have Visual Studio or MSDN Help. Then you can browse internet via them or Winamp, or download accelerator Plus etc. –  Ganesh R. Oct 3 '09 at 19:15
    
I'm still scratching my head as to what exactly "browser is dead" means. –  quack quixote Oct 3 '09 at 20:17
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Browser is dead means it throws an error during launch and won't start (or freezes, or goes into BSOD). It could happen after a system update or for any other reasons. Just like any other software. –  serg Oct 4 '09 at 4:17
    
I think Winamp uses the IE engine. Maybe Songbird, though, since it uses some Mozilla guts and has a web browser. –  Nathaniel Oct 5 '09 at 19:43
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9 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Well, there is always the ftp program that comes by default - you could probably download an alternative browser that way.

If you can install additional utilities, there is Telnet through the Windows installer, so you can browse sites through port 80. (Telnet is no longer installed by default in Vista and 7)

There are many other nice tools such as wfetch, however, I think Telnet and ftp are the only programs that are built into Windows for internet that are not tied into Internet Explorer.

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The only limitation is that Telnet doesn't support http file downloads. So I guess you will have to search for alternate browser ftp site using telnet, then download it using ftp, install alternate browser and then go from there. –  serg Oct 3 '09 at 16:45
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Now there's a superuser -- browsing the web with MS telnet!! –  quack quixote Oct 3 '09 at 20:14
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Type the things in bold...

telnet www.google.com 80
Trying 74.125.45.100...
Connected to google.com.
Escape character is '^]'.
GET /search?q=ftp+download+browser HTTP/1.1
Host: www.google.com
[press Return for one blank line]

(And to stop, hold down Ctrl and press ], if the connection is not closed automatically, and type quit or bye.)

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Two downvotes no less. Care to explain why? –  Arjan Oct 3 '09 at 19:42
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I cannot explain why, but I will upvote you :) –  Yar Oct 3 '09 at 20:27
    
(It's not like I need the reputation or anything, it just made me wonder why.) –  Arjan Oct 3 '09 at 20:48
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Some people will down vote other people's answers, even if they are correct, to try to move their answer up in the ranks. It's a douchebag move, but what are you gonna do? –  raven Oct 3 '09 at 21:23
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You could use an FTP client to download a browser. Of course, you would have to know the address of an FTP site that had a browser available for download.

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Hola, someone downvoted. Why? –  Arjan Oct 3 '09 at 17:24
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Think someones going through pushing the others down. –  Rich Bradshaw Oct 5 '09 at 19:29
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Browsers don't usually die, but if it did and you don't have another, you could use the command line ftp client to download a new browser (ftp.mozilla.org). Technically speaking, using the build in telnet client you to connect to whatever.

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Actually, the internet is not equal to the world wide web. I assume, you mean the WWW in your question.

But as it just fits in fine here I wanted to mention that the WWW is just a little part of the internet. Say, together with e-mail it is the tip of the iceberg that "normal" PC users only see and know (and need to know, I think).

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That's the solution: I guess somewhere still a Web-to-Email gateway is active! Send the URL you want, and get the response through email. (Too bad emailweb.us is not free, though they don't really mention that on their homepage.) Or just ask a friend to mail you a browser. No need to keep Internet Explorer in Windows then! ;-) –  Arjan Oct 3 '09 at 17:37
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I just have another idea that could be helpful. Although there are steps necessary before the browser dies ...

I have once more come across portable apps to be installed on a USB memory stick, for example Lupo PenSuite or PortableApps Suite

Well, it does not have to be the whole suite, but you never know if the browser is the only application that "dies".

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This issue came up when EU ruled that bundling of IE on Windows is a violation of antitrust laws, and consequently, Microsoft was told to remove IE from future Windows versions sold in EU.

So, without a browser, how are users expected to download another browser? Thus the answer to your above question of "In other words, can you work with Internet without a browser in Windows? At least some basic operations - view page in text format or even html sources, download file through http.", is no, you can't.

FTP might get you somewhere, but you are probably limited to that, and only that.

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Windows has built-in WebDAV support (which is apparently usable even for loading runtime libraries). This could be used to download a web browser. Of course, there's SMB (samba) too.

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may be you should download a new browser from your friend's computer...Then use a flash disk to install it to your own computer to fix the error.That's it...

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Although I too don't know why your answer was downvoted, I think you should mind your words and stop insulting others here. –  Martin Oct 4 '09 at 11:32
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It doesn't really answer the question, which was: "What if one day this browser dies, would it be still possible to connect to the Internet somehow (to search for the solution or at least download some file or patch)?" –  Nathaniel Oct 5 '09 at 19:45
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