One of the greatest benefits of the iPhone is that you can surf the web in the same way that you do from your desktop. The promise is that you can view a site in all its glory rather than some dumbed-down version meant specifically for a portable device. Unfortunately, not all sites want to cooperate with this plan.

Take, for example, the New York Post. If you navigate to their site from a portable device like the iPhone, you get redirected to a version that is meant for the iPhone. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the special page has less code (so it loads faster) and fits the screen nicely, but it doesn’t give you access to all of the same material. Usually a well-designed site will give you the option of going to the full version if you choose, but sometimes there is just no obvious way to do it.

The web site knows that you are attempting to connect via an iPhone through the “user agent,” a string that is part of the header you never see that is sent to the web server every time you navigate to a page, so the only way to “trick” one of these stubborn sites is to make them think you are connecting from a different browser, but the iPhone doesn’t give you that option.

The solution: Use a web proxy to connect to the site.

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