What Is a WiFi Captive Portal?
A captive portal is a web page that is displayed to newly connected users of a WiFi network. It requires some sort of interaction before granting access to network resources. In other words – if you want to connect to a network that runs that, you need to go through a captive portal first.
Captive portals are commonly used to present a landing or log-in page which may require:
- acceptance of an end-user license agreement, acceptable use policy,
- survey completion,
- other information that both the host and user agree to adhere by.
The Trouble with Internet Blocked by Captive Portal
Let me know if it sounds familiar: you connect to a public WiFi hotspot and open your browser. And then… nothing, you have no internet access. You run the network diagnostic and get a message “Internet blocked by captive portal”.
So what happened? Well, 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 captive portals.
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 to stay safe on public WiFi (which you should absolutely do!), you almost certainly won’t be able to connect to a network behind a captive portal. Unless you disconnect from the VPN to connect to the network, which will then pose you at risk. So, what can you do?
How to Fix Internet Blocked by Captive Portal
You have to get the captive portal page to display. Try these tricks first:
- Close all open tabs in your browser. If you have a secure site open ( https:// ), the portal can get confused. Close everything in your browser. If you have your startup setting “Continue where you left off”, then change it to “Open the new tab page” and open your browser again. If you don’t see the captive portal come up, try going to a http:// website as they can trigger the captive portal.
- If you are in a hotel you may need to log into the captive portal after a period of time to continue using the internet. This will force you to go through the whole thing again.
These are all temporary solutions and not the most convenient ones. You may want to raise a complaint to your ISP or if you are staying at a hotel you may want to bring it up to the management as this is an ISP issue.
And if you are using a VPN the only way to connect through a captive portal is to turn it off. Unless you are using Speedify bonding VPN, the only VPN for combining multiple Internet connections at the same time.
How Speedify Fixes the Issue of WiFi Captive Portals Blocking the Internet
For those of you concerned with privacy that would like to use a VPN on public WiFi hotspots behind a captive portal, you can finally do that with Speedify.
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 forget about the issue of Internet blocked by captive portal. Connect to any WiFi hotspot and not worry about your data and privacy.
Use all of your connections at the same time
Multiple connections, maximum performance
Speedify can bond any combination of 2 or more Internet connections and will intelligently distribute your online traffic between them for optimal performance.
In the majority of cases, Speedify will automatically detect and start using any Internet connections available to your device - but if you need help we have quick start guides available for most common set ups.