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User Agent Strings

A "User Agent String" is a little snippet of info that your browser sends along with it's requests to servers. This snippet tells the server what browser and version you are using. A few example of user agent strings:

  • Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30618; MS-RTC LM 8)
  • Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20101203 Firefox/3.6.13
  • Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; en-US; rv: Gecko/20101203 Firefox/3.6.13

Don't be fooled by the "Mozilla" piece of the user agent string. Browsers have been using this format for ages to show compatibility with the mozilla rendering engine. This part of the user agent string is not telling you that this is a mozilla browser ( or firefox ). This is one of those lovely artifacts from the web. The "Mozilla" part of the user string is being carried on just for the sake of being backwards compatible.


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