Trying to get on new WiFi networks with captive portals first disable ad blockers
Wow, what a pain, every time I end up at say Alaska Airlines WiFi, airport WiFi or the UW WiFi or Hilton, there is a so-called captive portal that needs to turn on. And with all the security and threat management, it is hard to figure out what to disable to make this work. The big problem is that Apple makes connecting to WiFi really easy. If it sees something from before, it will autojoin.
The big issue is that in this mode when you see WiFi for the first time that things will just not work. There are two reasons:
- If you try to get to an encrypted site like https://tongfamily.com the normal process is that the captive portal intercepts the request for a site at the DNS level which then redirects you to the captive portal. So for instance, https://alaskawifi.com, gets every network access. The problem is that Apple thinks that it has already seen the connection and then you get access denied. So for iPhones you oftentimes
- The main thing is that you have to be sure to remove the various ad blockers that are in the way. The thing that caused me the most trouble is the NordVPN Threat Protection. This is an addition to the NordVPN connection and you can forget that you have this on. Also for IOS devices, you need to disable the Privacy Pro, and also on Mac you need to disable the Ghostery and other blockers.
- The next issue is that some sites recognize the mac id which means that when you enter an airplane, it will automatically roam to the network. This works badly when you've landed and you lose the cellular connection. So for things like Alaska WiFi you need to turn off autojoin. And in some airports there is the same problem. JFK has this issue but interesting not Seattle where when you connect to the Wifi, you do not need the login page again.