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.

A web proxy is a site that will act as a middleman between you and your destination. You tell the proxy which site you want to view, it loads up the page, then displays it to you as if you had gone to the site directly. Since the site doesn’t know anything about you, it doesn’t know you are connecting from a portable and will display the full site.

The real purpose of these web proxies is privacy, but it works for this purpose splendidly. It turns out that there are roughly 1 billion of these services out there, but I like Proxify as it properly displayed the aforementioned New York Post site. While you can pay Proxify for additional options, the free version works just fine for iPhone purposes.

[Written by Kem Tekinay]