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".
Have you ever had problems accessing a webpage while using a browser other than Internet Explorer? The main advantage is that you will be able to visit pages that only allow access with Internet Explorer, something that continues to happen even today.
If you have a mobile device or browser you want added to this master list, please provide the following information: If standard, just provide the user agent string (scroll to the bottom of this page to see your current user agent string printed out), along with an explanation of why it should be included in the main list, and which category directory it belongs in.
Read this MSN article for more info on the new syntax and possible user agents. Users of the PHP browser detection script will want to update and test as well because the new MSI 11 standard UA string is totally changed.
Moved older Chrome to legacy, also moved Minefield to legacy because Firefox is not using that syntax on their nighties anymore, they will use the 2.0.1pre23 type syntax in standard Firefox /fence strings. Mobile devs, if you have a device/OS/browser you want added, please post here, note what device it is plus the full user agent string, thanks.
There's lots of uses for user agent switching as long as there are lame website makers who do silly Internet Explorer only user agent detection when the site runs fine on Firefox. For testing your own scripts too it's pretty useful, to make sure you didn't forget anything if you are doing for example CSS user agent detection.
We made this one to test our PHP browser detection script because there was a certain point where we had some awful bugs in it that would have been caught if had used the useragentswitcher. Personally, I'd turn the question around and ask if it is a legitimate use of HTML and the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol in general to make a site that only works in one of the technically the worst browsers out there at the moment, MSI.
Personally, I'd turn the question around and ask if it is a legitimate use of HTML and the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol in general to make a site that only works in one of the technically the worst browsers out there at the moment, MSI. In the wireless/handheld world, using the UA string to determine the capabilities of a device and send appropriate information used to be a requirement if you wanted anything beyond plain text. Today most handheld browsers support some level of CSS and most of HTML 4.01 (or XHTML), but if you are still trying to squeeze the most out of a user's device capabilities, the UA string may tell you that the device only supports 2-bit B&W images, etc...
Paul, I use it for testing all sorts of service that sniff UA strings, such as “mobile” versions of various websites (CNN, Google, Yahoo, etc...). Some of these services see your UA and direct you to a totally different set of pages that you would otherwise only see in a handheld/cellphone browser.
MobiGeek, thanks for mentioning mobile testing, that's going to be a bigger and bigger part of the market soon, reminds me to add a few mobiles to the user agent switcher list, which would you recommend if you were only going to add a few? The access log data would be useful if you feel like posting the various user agent strings from it, I almost never see mobiles in my stats.
I had that page bookmarked too, too bad the site is gone, but I saved that, got a link to a wireless XML data file on Sourceforge. That's a pretty complete list, but the annoying thing is that there is absolutely no consistency in user agent patterns, none.