Captive Portal is Not Showing Up – Here’s Why and How to Fix it
A captive portal is a web page that the user of a public network has to view and interact with. Once you interact with the captive portal you can access the Internet. Captive portals are typically used by airports, hotels, coffee shops, and other venues that offer free Wi-Fi.
You’ve seen this. When you first log on to a network with a captive portal, there is a web page that requires certain actions before you can access the Internet. A simple captive portal forces you to at least look at a use policy page. And then click on a button indicating agreement to the terms of the policy. Now, you may be wondering why that is. Well, this can help the provider of the network avoid responsibility if it turns out you were up to no good while logged on.
You’ve surely seen other versions of captive portals. Some, for example, advertise the provider’s sponsors and you must click through them before accessing the Internet.
Other captive portals require you to enter an ID and password like the ones in hotels for example. Doesn’t sound too complicated, right?
Captive Portal Not Showing When Using a VPN
The way captive portals work: they redirect you to a web page so you can log in or accept the terms and conditions. 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 and not the one assigned by the hotspot/ router. Therefore, you won’t be able to connect to the network. Sadly, since there is no way to bypass the captive portal with a VPN you will either have to give up your privacy or not connect to the network at all.
Troubleshoot Captive Portal When It’s Not Showing
Captive portals solve many problems when it comes to regulation, but while solving some problems they do impose others.
The most common issue is when a captive portal doesn’t show up. If you are having this issue, take a look at our guide on solving it here.
A bigger problem and one that people are becoming more aware of these days is online security and privacy. When you connect to a public network, your device is exchanging data, syncing your emails, social media accounts, and other profiles. But what if somebody intercepts that traffic and gets a hold of your credit card numbers, social media password, confidential emails and messages, and browsing history?
Privacy is an easy thing to achieve with a VPN. But if you’re already using one you may have noticed that you can’t connect to a network behind a captive portal at all. Why is that? Let’s find out!
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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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How Speedify Fast Bonding VPN Connects to Captive Portals
When you join a Wi-Fi 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 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, allowing you to seamlessly switch over from cellular to Wi-Fi without stopping any of the things you are doing online.
As a VPN, Speedify encrypts your traffic and you can finally connect to any hotspot and not worry about your privacy.