What Does Your User Agent Say About You?


A user agent is a computer program representing a person, for example, a browser in a Web context.

Besides a browser, a user agent could be a bot scraping webpages, a download manager, or another app accessing the Web. Along with each request they make to the server, browsers include a self-identifying User-Agent HTTP header called a user agent (UA) string. This string often identifies the browser, its version number, and its host operating system.

Spam bots, download managers, and some browsers often send a fake UA string to announce themselves as a different client. This is known as user agent spoofing.

The user agent string can be accessed with JavaScript on the client side using the navigator.userAgent property.

A typical user agent string looks like this: "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:35.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/35.0".


User Agent String

Browser Data

Edge Chromium Chrome User Agent

Maria Johnson
• Tuesday, 05 July, 2022
• 7 min read

The new Microsoft Edge running on Chromium isn’t yet here officially, but a leaked build allows us to try out the browser in anticipation of its highly-anticipated release. Using the browser on a daily basis isn’t obviously recommended as experimental builds like this can’t by any means become your main driver.

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For many users, switching to a different user agent and thus emulating another browser is a method to bypass certain website restrictions that concern a specific app. The best example is Skype for Web, which doesn’t work in Firefox anymore, so Mozilla users need to switch to another user agent to connect to the service.

In other words, switching to the Chromium -powered browser shouldn’t cause compatibility issues and still let your users connect to internal apps. For those unfamiliar with this screen, it’s specifically supposed to provide developers with advanced tools that let them analyze code and website performance.

Changing the user agent is actually considered a developer option that helps webmasters check their pages against potential compatibility issues with different browsers. By default, Microsoft Edge is configured to Select automatically the user agent, so you need to uncheck this option to be able to choose a custom setting.

User agent is an HTTP request header string identifying browser, application, operating system which connects to the server. Not only browsers have user agent but also bots, search engines crawlers such as Google bot, Google AdSense etc.

Platform identifiers change based on the operating system being used, and version numbers also increment as time passes. Mapping UA string tokens to a more human-readable browser name for use in code is a common pattern on the web today.

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When mapping the new Edge token to a browser name, Microsoft recommends using a different name than the one developer used for the legacy version of Microsoft Edge to avoid accidentally applying any legacy workarounds that are not applicable to Chromium -based browsers. When Microsoft is notified about these types of issues, website owners are contacted and informed about the updated UA.

In these cases, Microsoft uses a list of UA overrides in our Beta and Stable channels to maximize compatibility for users who access these sites. The new Microsoft Edge web browser is based on Chromium, the same core that Google Chrome uses.

It may identify as Chromium because of that and that should give it the same level of compatibility with websites and applications as Google Chrome. One of the main motivations for doing so is Edge's improved support for media streaming sites like Netflix.

Edge may restrict exposure to one of the supported DRM plugins on select sites. It does so for CBS, Shudder, TV now, Bitcoin and Sling currently, and exposes only Google's Wide vine to these sites.

Microsoft has not published any article or information on Edge's user agent changing capabilities. Microsoft picks the classic Edge browser to unlock high quality streams on certain media streaming sites, Google Chrome when the user agent offers advantages, and the default user agent of the browser on the majority of sites out there.

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Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. Next time you visit the Chrome Web Store on Microsoft's newly-updated Chromium Edge browser, you might be met with a concerning warning.

When Microsoft switched its Edge browser to Google's Chromium platform earlier this year, it was supposed to be a major boon for compatibility and extension support. The original iteration of Edge, released five years ago, was based on a then-totally new engine that never rose to the level of ubiquity of Google's, and so its performance suffered on many websites.

In fact, the work Microsoft's done to integrate Edge within Windows 10s security suite means it's probably one of the safest browsers out there for the operating system. It's a bit of an underhanded move from the search and web giant, given that last April, Google actively dampened concerns that it would block its services from Chromium Edge users, after Hangouts Meet was found to be non-functional in the beta version of Microsoft's browser.

In a sense, it's almost ironic: Microsoft has exercised a litany of tactics over the years to get Windows users to stay on Edge or Internet Explorer, rather than switching to Chrome or Firefox. Chrome, as well as several web browsers such as Opera and Vivaldi are being developed based on chromium codes.

Out services such as Netflix are providing content through web browser using HTML5 based Multi-DRM technology to get more end users. However, Wide vine DRM embedded in these browsers has software level security (Wide vine Level 3), which makes it easy to copy DRM video using various screen recording tools.

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Edge on Windows 10 and Safari on macOS each support Already or Airplay DRM with hardware/OS level security. Therefore, these browsers prevent DRM video from being captured by screen recording tools.

It is much safer from illegal leakage than playing DRM content on Chrome or Firefox. In terms of content services, it is more secure to support only those browsers that prevent screen recording.

By testing preview version Edge, I found that the DRM support of Chromium Edge differs depending on each OS as below: Chromium Edge installed in Windows 10 supports both Already and Wide vine DRM.

If Wide vine DRM is used instead, the video can be captured by screen recorder because of its software level security. Web pages that play multi-DRM content must detect the DRM and Encrypted Media Extension (EME) types to apply the DRM settings appropriate to the browser environment.

In that case, the DASH content will be played with Wide vine DRM instead of Already and you will miss the advantage of Already such as hardware DRM and prevention of screen recording. Chromium Edge installed in environments other than Windows 10 supports only Wide vine DRM.

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Therefore, it is basically the same browser as Chrome in terms of DRM support and vulnerable to content leakage through recording tools. In order to respond to Edge ’s low market share and Chrome ’s screen recording issues, it is necessary to limit the quality of the content according to the browser, or to apply forensic watermarking in addition to DRM to track illegal leakage.

The problems appear to be rooted in how Google properties, and sites at large, try to identify your computer settings to provide the best web experience. The browser itself will relay the information over what's called an user agent string,” which can include details like whether the user's computer is a Windows PC or a Mac, and if the browser is Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari.

A Microsoft program manager explained earlier this month that Google recently updated its user agent “sniffer code” to recognize the Chromium -based Edge browser. Last year, the company faced accusations from a Mozilla manager who said Google had slowed down YouTube on rival browsers in order to keep users on Chrome.

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