How to Connect to McDonald’s WiFi in Full Security
Tell me, did this ever happen to you?
You’re at McDonald’s enjoying your Happy Meal (or maybe that’s just me). You open your laptop to get some work done, select the WiFi network, and… nothing happens. Your WiFi icon is showing it’s connected, but when you go to open your browser nothing loads. The McDonald’s WiFi login page never shows up.
Sound familiar? Let me explain why you can’t connect to McDonald’s WiFi.
What Is a Captive Portal? Why Is McDonald’s Using These?
Before we can talk about why you can’t connect to McDonald’s WiFi, we need to talk a bit about captive portals.
Captive portals are web pages that the user of a public network is redirected to once they connect to the WiFi hotspot. They must interact with those before they are able to access the Internet.
You’ve seen this: when you log on to the McDonald’s WiFi hotspot, you see a webpage that requires certain actions before Internet access is granted – accepting the terms and conditions.
So, why can’t you connect to McDonald’s WiFi? It’s hard to know unless you are the one running the captive portal. Sometimes there are breaks with the system but it could be a different reason for different networks. In other cases having your computer set to use a custom DNS server can cause problems with a captive portal. But in most cases the problem is related to the network itself and you as a user can’t do anything about it. If you are using a VPN, chances are the VPN is causing the issue.
That said, there are still things you could try, just don’t get your hopes up too high. Check out our cheat sheet here for some potential fixes.
Can’t Connect to McDonald’s WiFi When Using a VPN – Here’s How to Fix
If you are even a little concerned about your online security and privacy, chances are you are already using a VPN. And if you’re not, you should be, especially if you often connect to public WiFi hotspots. A VPN will encrypt your data and prevent any hackers from stealing your personal and sensitive information like social media passwords, credit card details etc.
However, you may have noticed that you can’t connect to McDonald’s WiFi if you are using the VPN. You will need to disconnect the VPN in order to connect to the WiFi which leaves you vulnerable for hacker attacks.
Why is that? Since the network setup has specific rules about IP address ranges that are acceptable to log in which are assigned by the hotspot / router at McDonald’s, since you are using a VPN to mask your IP address, the login page will see a completely different IP than the one it’s expecting. So, you won’t be able to connect to the Internet at all.
But you can connect to McDonald’s WiFi if you use Speedify bonding VPN.
Use the McDonald’s WiFi with a VPN and Stay Safe Online
When you join the McDonald’s WiFi hotspot while running Speedify, it 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 McDonald’s 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.
Speedify uses channel bonding technology in order to bond multiple Internet connections at once. In the example above, it uses both WiFi and cellular connections on your smartphone or laptop.
Now you can finally connect to any public WiFi hotspot and not worry about your data and privacy.