Tell me, did this ever happen to you?
-You’re at McDonald’s enjoying your Big Mac. You open your laptop to get some work done, select the Wi-Fi network, and…nothing happens. Your Wi-Fi icon is showing it’s connected. But when you go to open your browser nothing loads. The Wi-Fi login page never shows up.
Does this sound familiar? Let me explain why you can’t connect to McDonald’s Wi-Fi.
What is a Captive Portal?
Before we can discuss why you can’t connect to McDonald’s Wi-Fi, we need to talk a bit about captive portals. Captive portal is a web page that you have to view and interact with before connecting to the Internet. You’ve seen this, when you first log on to McDonald’s Wi-Fi. A web page that requires certain actions before Internet access is available will pop-up.
Now that we know what a captive portal is, why are you unable to connect to McDonald’s Wi-Fi? It’s hard for you to know unless you are the one running the captive portal. System breaks can sometimes occur. 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. In most cases the problem is related to the network itself and you can’t do anything about it.
Can’t connect to McDonald’s Wi-Fi when using a VPN?
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 Wi-Fi hotspots. A VPN encrypts your data and prevents any hackers from stealing your personal and sensitive information.
However, you may notice that you can’t connect to McDonald’s Wi-Fi if you are connected to a VPN. You will have to disconnect the VPN in order to connect to the Wi-Fi which leaves you open for hacker attacks. Sometimes you will be able to connect to the VPN once you are already connected to the network. The network setup has specific rules. There are IP address ranges that are acceptable to log in. With a VPN you are masking your IP address and 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 will if you use Speedify bonding VPN.
This is How Speedify Bonding VPN Works on Captive Portals (McDonald’s included)
When you can’t connect to McDonald’s Wi-Fi, you should try Speedify. 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 / 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 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.
Now you can finally connect to any hotspot and not worry about your data and privacy.