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What Does Your User Agent Say About You?

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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".

(Source: Mozilla.org)

User Agent String

Browser Data

User Agent Id

author
Ellen Grant
• Tuesday, 08 December, 2020
• 12 min read

Browsers and search engine crawlers usually identify themselves through an HTTP useragentID string field. Some websites use the user agent string ID to detect if the visitor is a specific browser or search engine crawler.

user agent
(Source: play.google.com)

Contents

The HTTP useragentid string field allows websites to check and detect browser and versions; this information can be used to output different HTML and content. You can also use the underneath HTTP user agent strings in our desktop crawler and site mapper software tools to test how your own website behaves when exposed to different browsers and robots.

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.

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.

The permission to log on as a service is only needed locally on the Windows server that is the agent host. If you want to use server monitoring to identify users, add the service account to the Event Log Reader built-in group to enable privileges for reading the security log events.

During the initial connection, the agent transfers the most recent 50,000 events from the log to map users. On each subsequent connection, the agent transfers events with a timestamp later than the last communication with the domain controller.

service user agent account starting verify additionally settings sure services
(Source: live.paloaltonetworks.com)

There's no “standard” way of writing an user agent string, so different web browsers use different formats (some are wildly different), and many web browsers cram loads of information into their user agents. Some mobile web browsers will let you change what the browser identifies itself as (i.e. “Mobile Mode” or “Desktop Mode”) in order to access certain websites that only allow desktop computers.

English French German Spanish Portuguese Slovak They reveal a catalog of technical data about the device and software that the visitor is using.

Armed with this information, you can develop richer and more dynamic websites that deliver different experiences based on the user agent that's visiting. User agents are also critical in controlling search engine robots using the robots.txt file on your server.

In order to leverage this information, you need to understand the component parts of an user agent string and consider also the potential risks of using this method to deliver content. When the internet was a text-based system, right back at the beginning of its use, users had to type commands to navigate and send messages.

We simply point and click, and the browser is acting as our agent,” turning our actions into commands. When your browser (or similar device) loads a website, it identifies itself as an agent when it retrieves the content you've requested.

user agent service starting verify configured settings screenshot same above services account
(Source: live.paloaltonetworks.com)

Browsers : Including Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, BlackBerry, Opera, Opera Mini, iOS Safari, Chrome for Android, Samsung Internet, HQ browser, and others. Plus a whole range of feed readers, validators, cloud platforms, media players, email libraries, and scripts.

Once the user agent has identified itself to the web server, a process called content negotiation can begin. The user agent application is Mozilla version 5.0, or a piece of software compatible with it.

Note that a huge part of the user agent string is concerned with compatibility. That's because Internet Explorer originally had to declare itself to be Mozilla compatible in order to receive content with frames.

In practice, the majority of browsers now declare themselves to be Mozilla compatible to ensure that they can access all the content on the web. Check the capabilities of the browser or device, and load different CSS based on the outcome; Deliver custom JavaScript to one device compared with another; Send an entirely different page layout to a phone, compared to a desktop computer; Automatically send the correct translation of a document, based on the user agent language preference; Push special offers to particular people, based on their device type or other factors; Gather statistics about visitors to inform our web design and content production process, or simply measure who's hitting our site, and from which referral sources.

Overall, we can empower our scripts to make the best choice for our visitors, based on their user agent. More, we can feed that data back into a cycle of continuous improvement, analytics and other processes, like conversion optimization.

(Source: www.rick1208.com)

Chrome Review (Lollipop and above) Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 5.1.1; Nexus 5 Build/LMY48B; WV) Apple WebKit/537.36 (HTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Chrome/43.0.2357.65 Mobile Safari/537.36 An user agent is a particular string of characters in each browser that allows acts as an identification agent.

The user agent string contains the user application or software, the operating system (and their versions), the web client, the web client's version, and the engine responsible for the content display (such as Apple WebKit). It is a rendering engine that processes HTML and CSS to interpret and present web pages.

The Chrome (or Chromium/Blink-based engines) user agent string is similar to Firefox’s. For compatibility, it adds strings like HTML, like Gecko and Safari.

The Opera browser is also based on the Blink engine, which is why it almost looks the same, but adds “Or/”. In this example, the user agent string is mobile Safari’s version.

During the first browser war, many web servers were configured to send web pages that required advanced features, including frames, to clients that were identified as some version of Mozilla only. Other browsers were considered to be older products such as Mosaic, Cello, or Samba, and would be sent a bare-bones HTML document.

user agent change web browsers browser system firefox operating mozilla xtremerain need
(Source: www.xtremerain.com)

Automated agents are expected to follow rules in a special file called robots.txt “. The popularity of various Web browser products has varied throughout the Web's history, and this has influenced the design of websites in such a way that websites are sometimes designed to work well only with particular browsers, rather than according to uniform standards by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) or the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Websites often include code to detect browser version to adjust the page design sent according to the user agent string received. Thus, various browsers have a feature to cloak or spoof their identification to force certain server-side content.

For example, the Android browser identifies itself as Safari (among other things) in order to aid compatibility. User agent sniffing is the practice of websites showing different or adjusted content when viewed with certain user agents.

An example of this is Microsoft Exchange Server 2003's Outlook Web Access feature. When viewed with Internet Explorer 6 or newer, more functionality is displayed compared to the same page in any other browsers.

Web browsers created in the United States, such as Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer, previously used the letters U, I, and N to specify the encryption strength in the user agent string. Until 1996, when the United States government disallowed encryption with keys longer than 40 bits to be exported, vendors shipped various browser versions with different encryption strengths.

android user webview er agent htc run ua
(Source: android-er.blogspot.com)

^ a b RFC 3261, SIP: Session Initiation Protocol, IETF, The Internet Society (2002) ^ RFC 7231, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Semantics and Content, IETF, The Internet Society (June 2014) ^ Net news Article Format. Browser Versions Carry 10.5 Bits of Identifying Information on Average “, Electronic Frontier Foundation, 27 January 2010.

I've been rejected until I come back with Netscape” ^ “Android Browser Reports Itself as Apple Safari”. ^ User Agent String explained: Android WebKit Browser”.

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.2; ends; HTC_DesireHD_A9191 Build/FRF91) Apple WebKit/533.1 (HTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1 ^ Emberton, Stephen. ^ “Chrome Phasing out Support for User Agent ".

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04: Bing Bot User Agent
Sources
1 blogs.bing.com - https://blogs.bing.com/webmaster/december-2019/Announcing-future-user-agents-for-Bingbot
2 www.searchenginejournal.com - https://www.searchenginejournal.com/new-bingbot-user-agents/340683/
3 searchengineland.com - https://searchengineland.com/bing-to-update-bingbots-user-agent-326483
4 www.webnots.com - https://www.webnots.com/user-agents-list-for-google-bing-baidu-and-yandex-search-engines/
5 searchfacts.com - https://searchfacts.com/robots-txt-allow-disallow-all/
6 www.onely.com - https://www.onely.com/blog/detect-verify-crawlers/