What is a Captive Portal?
You may encounter Wi-Fi login pages at the airport, hotel, restaurants etc. Also known as captive portals, Wi-Fi login pages are an alternative way to restrict access to the network instead of passwords. This way, it is possible to regulate access to the network. For example, to issue credentials that are valid for a limited period of time and monitor your activity.
Since these are public Wi-Fi hotspots they are extremely unsafe. The only way to protect your personal information and data from being stolen on public hotspots is a VPN. Sadly you may find it impossible to connect to a network behind a Wi-Fi login page if you are using a VPN. In some cases you may be able to turn on the VPN once you log onto the network. But in most cases you won’t be able to use your VPN at all.
So is there a way to bypass Wi-Fi login with a VPN?
Why You Can’t See the Login Page When Using a VPN
Once you connect to a VPN server, local redirects ( like the ones 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.
It would be nice if there was a way to bypass the Wi-Fi login page and stay connected to the VPN. There are ways to do this, like using the VPN port 53 as described in this reddit thread. Sadly as discussed there “A lot of enterprise captive portals intercept DNS traffic too. “This is a good idea, but far from a silver bullet.”
What is Happening in the Background?
Captive portals usually redirect you to a web page so you can log in or accept the terms of usage. The network setup has specific IP address ranges that are accepted. These are assigned by the hotspot / router you’re connecting to. Since you are using a VPN to mask your IP address and protect your private data, the login page will see the VPN server’s IP address. Therefore, you won’t be able to connect to the network. Sadly, since there is no way to bypass a Wi-Fi login page with a VPN you will either have to give up your privacy or not connect to the network at all.
Unless you use Speedify.
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.
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This is How Speedify Bonding VPN Handles the Wi-Fi Login Page
When you join a Wi-Fi hotspot with a login page:
- Speedify will Show you a notification asking you if you want to login.
- It will keep you connected over cellular data so your other ongoing online activities (like Skype calls, streaming, gaming) will continue to work via the cellular connection. You don’t have to worry about dropped calls or streams.
- If you click the notification prompting you to connect to the Wi-Fi hotspot, Speedify will pop up the login screen in a window.
- Once you login successfully, Speedify will immediately start using the Wi-Fi connection. This allows you to seamlessly switch over from cellular to Wi-Fi.