How to Work Around Wi-Fi Hotspot Captive Portals on Browserless Devices

(Curtis Wilcox) #21

Hmm, use a Mac to join public WiFi, enable Internet Sharing to share your WiFi with computers on Ethernet, then connect an access point in bridge mode to the Mac’s Ethernet. Yes, that should work, other devices should be able to connect to your access point’s SSID and to the public WiFi, all the traffic will appear to be coming from the Mac. The AirPort Express would needs its own wall outlet for power.

(Steve Davidson) #22

Bridge mode might work, but I don’t know if the Express will pass the captive portal registration page. I would be very interested in the result of an experiment.

(Curtis Wilcox) #23

The point of Simon’s idea is the devices connecting to the AirPort Express don’t need to access the portal page, the Mac the Express is connected to has already gone through it. When the Mac is performing Internet Sharing, only it sees the MAC addresses of the devices it’s sharing with, it’s the router.

(Steve Davidson) #24

Curtis, you are right. I misread Simon’s post. It may not even need to be in Bridge Mode if the Ethernet is attached to the LAN port on the Express, since the connection between that port and the Wi-Fi access point is an Ethernet switch (on the same side of the router).

(Simon) #25

Yeah, I just realized I could basically achieve what Steve describes with an old AP Express without buying a new device. The downside of course is no battery power.

What I like about a scheme like this is that it hides all my local clients from the hotel. Especially those silly joints where they think one wifi client at a time is sufficient. Or the even sillier establishments that try to make a point about how they give you [gasp] two clients included in that $320 room rate. :smiley:

Plus, once I’ve hooked up my own wifi router to the hotel wifi, all my clients will automatically connect to that known wifi and get a connection, no passwords, no tokens.

(Curtis Wilcox) #26

Bridge mode isn’t required but would avoid adding a third NAT layer.

(jrg) #27

Since the latest WatchOS I have been getting dismissible warnings for each Wi-Fi it’s been unable to join because of captive login pages (only once per SSID, so it must be learning)

Also, just the other day I downloaded a Wi-Fi profile to my phone (private key/certificate protected Wi-Fi) and it asked me if I wanted to install it on my phone or on my watch. That’s new, I think?

(Adam Engst) #28

Yes! I just saw the warning about not being able to join a captive-portal Wi-Fi network too. And Spectrum wanted to know if it could install its Wi-Fi profile on either the iPhone or Apple Watch when I used the MySpectrum app.