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Information sent from your browser to the server
Everytime you access a website, your browser sends the information in the box below to the server:
Here a short descriptions of the most common lines:
- GET /browser/info.shtml HTTP/1.1:
- This is the main command and instructs the server to send the webpage /browser/info.shtml.
Some possible commands are "POST", used to send filled out forms to the server and "HEAD", used
to check if a page changed. The last part is the version of the HTTP
(HyperText Transfer Protocol) protocol used.
Three versions exist, 0.9 (ancient), and still in use are version 1.0 and 1.1.
- Host: www.mensus.net:
- This line gives the hostname of the webpage you are looking for. Using this information
the same server can hand out multiple different webpages (a server doing this is said to host multiple "Virtual Hosts").
An example are the two websites Fiebre Latina and Futsal San Jose. Both are served
by the same server:
- The user agent describes your browser and the operating system you are using.
Note that all graphical browsers claim to be "Mozilla". This is a
historic "accident": the first browser to support graphics was called Mozilla, and web servers used this to decide whether the browser supports graphics.
Later graphical browsers then had to add Mozilla to their user agent string to get graphics served. Although today no longer a problem its still tradition
for all graphical browsers to include "Mozilla". Within the parenthesis you will find the real browser and version, and usually some
information about the operating system too.
If you use Firefox you can install an extension that allows you to change the
User-agent string to anything you want. This allows you sometimes to access pages that only accept Internet Explorer
by pretending to by Internet Explorer.
The referer line shows the page on which you clicked. This allows a web master to see how people find the website. In particular, if you
make a search using a search engine the web server of the website you go to can see what your search command was. This allows webmaster
to get some idea on how they can improve their website to make it easier to be found.
- This line is supposed to described all the different file types that the browser supports. Very few browsers actually list all file types,
and many servers ignore that line.
- This line defines the preferred language of the user. There are webpages that will send you a different page depending on
your language preference. The page below for example will be displayed in English, Spanish, French or German, depending
on your preference set in your browser:
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