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.
A typical user agent string looks like this: "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:35.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/35.0".
To do so, simply visit our project on the Debate hosted instance, create an account and either select an existing language or add a new one to get going. This way it becomes much easier for me to keep track of reported issues and get back to you if additional information is needed to help you.
This feature is useful for SEO professionals, for example, to identify issues with cloaking which is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines or auditing websites which has different look depending on the device. User agent is an HTTP request header string identifying browser, application, operating system which connects to the server.
Get our daily newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry! By changing user agent, sometimes, one can get access to restricted part of a website with extra contents that normally open only to bots, or search engine crawlers.
This kind of area typical example is “Member Only” forums or sites that don’t want to lose out on search engine traffic. Modification of user agent string also enable surfers to trick websites into believing that they are actually using a particular web browser or using specific system in order to avoid and disable advertising display or junk ads that targeted to specific segment of viewers of the websites only. Once installed and restarted Firefox, simply go to Tools UserAgentSwitcher, and you will see a list of user agents which you can choose.
Even popular browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari can often display web content in inconsistent ways when compared with each other. But there are hundreds of user agents out there, ranging from browsers you’ve probably never heard of to email and RSS readers.
In this article, we’ll discuss the technical side of user agents and how you can take advantage of software and browser plugins to manipulate how content is shown on the web. This information is passed to web servers via HTTP headers, and it can be used to change the way that content is displayed.
While an user agent won’t identify you anywhere near as narrowly as an IP address, you’re still giving up the way you browse. Nowadays, most popular browsers include a developer console that will allow you to change all sorts of things, such as your viewing resolution and user agent.
The problem is that if you intend to change your user agent frequently, going through the steps to take it through a developer console can be tedious. This Chrome extension has nearly two million total users and was developed by Google, so its compatibility with the browser should be as good as you’ll ever find.