How to Connect to WiFi at Starbucks If the Login Screen Won’t Come
Starbucks is a great place to get your cup of morning Joe. With 87,000 drink combinations possible, you are sure to find something that will kickstart your day. And if that’s not enough, you should look up the secret menu. 😉
Now, while you enjoy that sweet nectar of the gods, you are thinking of getting some work done. Did the following ever happen to you?
- You’re at Starbucks enjoying your pumpkin pie latte, you open your laptop. You sit down to work, 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 WiFi login page never shows up.
So why can’t you connect to Starbucks WiFi? Keep reading and you’ll find out!
What Are Captive Portals and How Stabucks WiFi Uses Them
Before we can talk about why you can’t connect to Starbucks WiFi, you need to understand what a captive portal is.
Captive portals are web pages that are displayed once you connect to a public WiFi network usually. The user has to either accept some terms and conditions or log onto the network.
When you log on to a Starbucks WiFi hotspot, you should be redirected to a webpage – the captive portal. That requires you to accept some terms and conditions before you can use the Internet.
So, why can’t you connect to Starbucks WiFi? The problem is not that you can’t connect to the network, but you can’t get the captive portal to display.
It’s hard to know why this sometimes happens unless you are the one running the network at Starbucks. 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. 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 Starbucks WiFi When Using a VPN – 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 Starbucks WiFi if you are using the VPN. You will need to disconnect the VPN in order to connect to the WiFi, which leaves you exposed.
This happens because the network setup has specific rules about IP address ranges that are acceptable to log in. These are assigned by the hotspot / router at Starbucks. 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.
Lucky for you, there’s a simple solution for that: just use a smart bonding VPN like Speedify
How Speedify Bonding VPN Works on Starbucks WiFi
When you join the Starbucks WiFi hotspot, 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 Starbucks 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 Starbucks WiFi and not worry about your data and privacy.