Firefox "browser identification" extension
July 7, 2007 7:42 AM   Subscribe

Is there a Firefox extension that changes the way my browser is identified? I know that Opera will let you mask the browser identification so that a site you visit thinks you're actually running Firefox or IE instead of I just want this same capability in Firefox. I can't seem to find one in the Mozilla Add-ons site.

Many websites can present content based on what they identify your browser and operating system as. In the old days I'd see a site to tell people to download the latest Internet Explorer or whatever if their browser wasn't compatible with the site. Yesterday I ran into this exact problem on another site, which thinks I'm running some old Netscape or something and won't let me get to any content. (I'm actually running BonEcho with is an Mac-optimized Firefox.)
posted by pithy comment to Technology (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
See my previous question. I found out about User Agent Switcher, the FireFox plug-in. Works great!
posted by sindas at 7:52 AM on July 7, 2007

Doing this will work in most cases. I have run into problems running Java applets using User Agent Switcher on XP.
posted by rachelpapers at 9:26 AM on July 7, 2007

Often, web sites are sniffing only for 'Firefox,' and don't recognize that Bon Echo, Minefield, Camino, SeaMonkey, and other Gecko-based browsers all have the same rendering engine as Firefox (see When these sites see Bon Echo, they treat it as some unrecognized browser rather than as Firefox.

The Bon Echo name isn't only used for third-party "Mac-optimized"builds of Firefox, it's simply the default name for any build of Firefox 2.0 without the Firefox branding. I suggest you try using an official build, which has the proper branding and identifies itself as Firefox to websites. I doubt you'll see much of a performance difference. You could also try using User Agent Switcher in your BonEcho build to set the User Agent to one for Firefox.
posted by zachlipton at 11:23 AM on July 7, 2007

And one other thing: if you run into web sites that allow Firefox but block Bon Echo, consider sending the webmaster a quick email pointing them to Gecko is Gecko and encouraging them to sniff for 'Gecko,' not 'Firefox,' when using browser sniffing on their sites. The Web should be open to all browsers, not just those with large market shares.
posted by zachlipton at 11:26 AM on July 7, 2007

I disagree with Zach. The difference in performance between the optimized version (BeatnikPad, right?) and non-optimized build is actually fairly considerable. And, yes, User Agent Switcher is one thing, but Firefox gives you a native way to do it.

Go to your address bar and type "about:config". In the filter, type "general.useragent.override". If one doesn't exist already, right-click and pick "New," then off the submenu, "String."

The name of the string is "general.useragent.override", and what you want to put in there is "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X; en-US; rv: Gecko/20070628 Firefox/".
posted by WCityMike at 11:53 AM on July 7, 2007

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