What Is a Captive Portal (WiFi Login Page)?
You may encounter WiFi login pages at the airport, hotel, condo, business centers, restaurants etc. Also known as captive portals, they are an alternative way to restrict access to the Internet until the user interacts with elements on the page. This interaction can range from accepting terms and conditions to logging in with a username and password.
This approach makes it possible to monitor the activity of the users and regulate access to the network. For example, they can issue credentials that are valid for a limited period of time.
Public WiFi hotspots are extremely unsafe and a big risk if you are conscious about your online privacy. The most effective way to protect your personal information and data from being stolen on public hotspots is a VPN. But sometimes they don’t work together with captive portals. At all. Best case scenario – you only have to disconnect from the VPN, connect to the public WiFi and then reconnect to the VPN server.
Is there a way to bypass WiFi login with a VPN? Read below.
Why You Can’t See the WiFi Login Page when Using a VPN
The issue is that once you connect to a VPN server, local redirects (like the ones usually made by captive portals) are not allowed. It all comes down to basic principal of how a VPN works: creating an encrypted tunnel between you and the VPN server. Any traffic outside of that tunnel is not allowed.
But is there a way to bypass the WiFi login page and stay connected to the VPN at the same time? There certainly is – using the VPN port 53 as described in this Reddit thread. Sadly, as concluded there, “a lot of enterprise captive portals intercept DNS traffic too. This is a good idea, but far from a silver bullet.”
Bypassing WiFi Login Pages with VPNs
Sadly, there isn’t any full-proof way to both use a VPN and access a WiFi login page. You will either have to give up your privacy or not connect to the network at all.
If you’re lucky, the network you are connecting to will allow you to reconnect to the VPN after interacting with the captive portal. But that’s not a rule…
So, let’s cut to the chase – use Speedify as your bonding VPN and you’ll be able to interact with WiFi login pages with no restrictions. Read below how it works.
How Speedify Bonding VPN Works with WiFi Login Pages
When you join a WiFi hotspot with a login page, Speedify will:
- Show you a notification asking you if you want to login.
- Keep you connected over cellular data so your other ongoing online activities (like Skype / Slack calls, streaming, gaming) will continue to work via the cellular connection, protected by Speedify so you don’t have to worry about dropped calls or streams.
- If you click the notification prompting you to connect to the WiFi hotspot, Speedify will pop up the login screen in a window.
- Once you login successfully, Speedify will immediately start using the WiFi connection, allowing you to seamlessly switch over from cellular to WiFi without stopping any of the things you are doing online.
Now you can finally connect to any hotspot and not worry about your data and privacy.