WiFi Login Screen Won’t Show Up at Starbucks? Here’s the Fix
Starbucks is a great place in between the office and home. Great service, great coffee and free WiFi. Sadly, although WiFi is available, connecting to it isn’t as straightforward as it should be. Sometimes the Starbucks WiFi login screen won’t pop up. And that means you will not be allowed to use the Internet, as you didn’t accept the terms and conditions.
In this article we’ll go over some things that you should keep in mind about accessing public Wi-Fi networks, as well as potential fixes to this Starbucks WiFi issue.
Starbucks WiFi Login Page – What It Is and How to Troubleshoot
Before we can talk about why Starbucks WiFi login screen won’t pop up, we need clarify the captive portals thing.
A captive portal is a web page that usually shows up when you connect to a public WiFi hotspot. You have to either accept some terms of service and/or login with a username and password before actually getting online.
So why won’t the Starbuck captive portal display on your device sometimes? It’s hard to know unless you are the network admin running the captive portal. Sometimes there are faults within the system. In other cases having your computer or mobile device set to use a custom DNS server can cause problems with a captive portal. 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, chances are the VPN is causing the issue.
Here’s what you can try to fix the Starbucks Wi-Fi login screen issues:
- Change your DNS servers – If you don’t know where to change your DNS settings, you’re probably fine, your device by default picks up a DNS server from the WiFi router, which is what the public WiFi expects you to use. And that’s good, at least with public WiFi. If you change your DNS settings you should try reverting them and the WiFi login page should appear. If you forgot where the DNS setting is – this article from HowToGeek should refresh your memory.
- If the first step didn’t solve the issue, the problem could be that your browser cache is still trying to use the DNS info it knows to access sites instead of loading the WiFi login page. You can try to break this cycle by visiting something new. You could clear your browser cache or better yet, open an incognito window in your browser and try visiting a non-HTTPS site. You may be wondering why a non-HTTPS site – if you try to visit a secure site and your network tries to redirect your browser to a login screen, your browser will prevent to keep your data secure. Make sure to use an incognito window!
- And the last step, which should be first, restart all elements involved.
- Turn the WiFi on your device off and then back on.
- Restart the device – laptop, smartphone, tablet.
- Restart the router if you can or ask the bartender to do it.
How to Fix: Starbucks WiFi Won’t Pop Up 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 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 Starbucks WiFi won’t pop up if you are connected to the VPN. You will need to disconnect the VPN in order to connect to the WiFi, which leaves you exposed.
This happens because the captive portal network setup has specific rules about IP address ranges that are acceptable to log in. These are assigned by the hotspot / router at Starbucks when you join the Wi-Fi hotspot. And 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.
Luckily, not all VPNs are the same. And Speedify is one of the exceptions that allows you to connect to Starbucks WiFi without sacrificing your online security.
Speedify Bonding VPN and Starbucks WiFi Login Screens – a Success Story
When you join the Starbucks WiFi that uses 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 Starbucks WiFi hotspot, Speedify will pop up the login screen in a window.
- Once you login successfully, Speedify will immediately start using the Starbucks WiFi connection, allowing you to seamlessly switch over from cellular to WiFi without stopping any of the things you are doing online.
Speedify is the only app that can combine multiple internet sources into one bonded super-connection for more stable and secure live streaming, video calling, and web browsing. It 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 any hotspot and not worry about your data and privacy.