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

User Agent String Ipad

Paul Gonzalez
• Friday, 18 December, 2020
• 8 min read

It seems to be consensus that every mobile Apple device, iPhone, iPad, or iPod uses an user agent that contains both 'Mobile' and 'Safari'. However, using the latest SDK (4.0.1) and reading the user agent on my rails server (using request.env), we never get the 'Safari' part.

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Safari on iPaduseragentstring in iPhone OS 3.2 SDK beta 3: I think it is worth mentioning that you don't generally need to use the whole agent string, unless perhaps you find a reason where you need to tailor the website to a specific model.

If you want to change the content someone sees when he/she accesses a certain page of your website, you can check the Sergeant of the browser of that user and enable accordingly re-directs. Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; intel ma cos x 10_14_6) applewebkit/605.1.15 (HTML, like gecko) version/13.0.3 safari/605.1.15What I am doing now is to match for ‘iPhone’ instead and hope that everything else is ‘ iPad ’.

Dear Apple, please, pretty please… define a consistent way for us to detect an iPad with or without an enabled Safari > Request Desktop Website setting. It's easy to search the millions of user agents we've got with the API.

There is protection in place to stop the scraping of these user agent listings. We've had to do this because otherwise we get constantly overrun by inconsiderate or malfunctioning bots which overload the system.

As such, we're forced to block traffic from popular web hosting companies, VPNs and Proxies, we also rate limit requests and have some other checks too. If you need to get access to the listings of user agents you can either get them in an easy-to-use database download or via the API.

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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.

You’ve probably been annoyed at one time or another when visiting a website that requires a specific browser. Luckily, you can fool a website into thinking you’re using a different browser and you can do this with most, including Safari.

The solution to this was often to send a false useragentstring,” which would fool the web server into delivering you the preferred content. Today, users are less likely to have a problem since websites and browsers are better at adhering to web standards.

The “Other…” option allows you to specify an user agent other than those listed, such as if you’re curious to see how Google Chrome on an iPad running iOS 8.2 renders, you’d use the appropriate string. When you open the “Other…” option from the Sergeant menu then, you’d simply type of copy the useragentstring for the browser you want to test.

If you have anything you’d like to add, such as a question or a comment, please provide feedback in our discussion forum. He's covered Windows, Android, macOS, Microsoft Office, and everything in between.

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It is possible to change or “fake” what your web browser sends as its user agent. 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 While all the above sounds great, over time the Sergeant has been misused by some web developers and occasionally even abused by the bigger tech companies, in positions of power.

Vivaldi is frequently blocked, shown alternate (incorrect) versions of a website or spurious warnings are displayed, based solely on the Sergeant. Sometimes it could arguably be considered a mistake, with the development team of a website naively assuming that only browsers they have personally tested be given access to their site, blocking anything that isn’t.

Although it is a big hack job, it works surprisingly well in much the same way as providing someone else’s name can get you into an exclusive club. We also often encounter websites that block the exact string “Vivaldi”, with no contact or warning to us.

This is particularly problematic when the larger technology behemoths (some of whom we directly compete with in the browser space) do this. When this happens and error messages are displayed, or intentionally invalid copies of the website are sent our way, users typically assume Vivaldi has an issue, and even sometimes struggle to comprehend that anyone would target us.

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In all such cases, we have tried via various means to get someone in the respective companies to stop breaking these sites for our users. Follow-up requests have been made both by us and our more technical fans multiple times since than, via various contact channels but to no avail.

The problem with our current approach is that with the web being almost infinite, we can’t possibly discover all the websites who have blocks set against us. For a handful of sites where we know the label Vivaldi (and our version number) is responsibly used, we will present our full Sergeant.

There is a downside for us in doing this since Vivaldi will effectively disappear from third party rankings of browser popularity (we will be indistinguishable from Chrome) but that is a price we will happily pay to provide the best website compatibility for our users. A fan of Linux (Slackware), uni cycling, simple solutions and a “slow” lifestyle.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In

01: Definition Of User Agent
02: Detecting User Agent Browser Version
03: Device Atlas User Agent Tester
04: Device User Agent Strings
05: Netflix User Agent
06: Netscape User Agent
07: Net Core User Agent
08: New Edge Browser User Agent
09: Parse User Agent Javascript
10: Parsing User Agent String
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