Like Explorer, you might already have a copy of Navigator on your computer. Navigator isn't as widely preinstalled as Explorer, but the chances are still pretty good, especially if you've purchased your computer within the last year or so.
But like we discussed last chapter, it's also very likely that you don't have the latest version of the browser on your computer. Netscape can take care of that for you by allowing you a free download of the software from its Web site.
Download the Latest Version
Even if you're pretty sure that you have the most recent version of Netscape Navigator on your computer, it can't hurt to check. Besides, if you do have the latest and greatest Navigator, the Netscape Web site will sense that and tell you not to download another one. Pretty cool, huh?
So, using your old, antiquated version of Navigator (or Explorer if you don't have Navigator on your computer at all), log on to the Netscape site at home.netscape.com, and we'll get started.
Download and Install the Latest Version of Netscape Navigator
At the Netscape home page, click on the Download button on the top of the page. This opens the main download page (see Figure 9.1). As you can see, you can also use this area to order a free CD, but let's download instead. Click on the Netscape Browsers link.
Figure 9.1. Step 1: Go to the Netscape download page.
Whenever you plan to download or install anything you'll need to make sure you have sufficient disk space available for the files. Most installation programs perform a check for you before installing files. It will let you know how much room the files will take up, and how much space you have available.
To suite or not to suite? At the time of this writing, there were two different browser versions available for Netscape. If you download the entire Netscape Communicator suite, it comes with Netscape Messenger for email, Composer for creating Web pages, and Navigator. But at this writing, the Communicator suite was in version 4.77, as was the version of Navigator that came with it. You could also download Navigator 6.01, which offers Netscape Mail (instead of Messenger). Netscape Mail now supports multiple email addresses, but Messenger is a more full-featured email program. For purposes of this chapter, we'll be using the latest version of Navigator, 6.02, because it offers more features and functionality as a browser.
This page shows you the version of the browser you are now using (see Figure 9.2). Click the Download button under the name of the latest version of the Navigator browser (not the Communicator suite).
Figure 9.2. Step 2: Click on the Download button.
Choose a location for the file you are going to download (see Figure 9.3). The Desktop is a convenient location, because the file will be easy to find later.
Figure 9.3. Step 3: Choose a location for the file.
When the file is done downloading (it is a relatively small file), double-click its icon on your desktop. This launches the Netscape Setup program (see Figure 9.4).
Figure 9.4. Step 4: Launch the Setup program.
Click the Next button, read the license agreement, and click the Accept button (see Figure 9.5).
Figure 9.5. Step 5: Read the license agreement and click Accept.
Choose the Recommended installation, and click the Next button (see Figure 9.6). Netscape asks you where you want to download the program from; I recommend leaving this setting at Default. Click Next. On the Start Install screen, click Install.
Figure 9.6. Step 6: Select the Recommended installation.
The program begins to install on your computer (see Figure 9.7). This may take a few minutes (or longer, depending on the speed of your connection). When it's completed, you'll have a Netscape 6 icon on your desktop.
Figure 9.7. Step 7: The program begins to install on your computer.
Starting Up Netscape Navigator
A simple double-click on the icon you now have on your desktop will launch the Navigator program. By default, Navigator opens to the Netscape home page at home.netscape.com (see Figure 9.8). You'll learn later in this chapter how to change that home page to one of your choosing, if you want.
Figure 9.8. Navigator opens to the Netscape home page by default.
You might be asked to activate a screen name the first time you launch Netscape. If so, follow the onscreen prompts to do so; it won't cost you anything.
Version 6.01 of Navigator has a completely new look over previous versions of the program. As a result, some of the basic buttons have been moved.
As you can see from Figure 9.8, the Back, Forward, Reload, and Stop buttons are all in their usual locations. The Home button, however, has been moved to the Personal Bar, a toolbar that you can customize (discussed later in this chapter). Meanwhile, the Search button has been moved to the right of the address box.