tvl: The miracles of captive.apple.com for public WiFi

OK, I can’t believe I hadn’t learned this tip, but if you have trouble connecting your iPhone or Mac to a public WiFi captive portal. Many times, the phone seems to hang.

The trick is to go to Safari and type in captive.apple.com This is the magic URL that will repoint you to whatever login portal website you need.

Most of the time when you connect via Settings > Wifi > Connect a new network it should come automatically but lots of times for me it doesn’t, so this is a great hack that’s even officially sanctioned πŸ™‚

The default Apple behavior is that when you connect to a new WiFi, they hijack a DNS request from your browser and redirect you to a local page that lets you log in. What Apple does is when you first connect to WiFi, it tries to connect to apple.com and if it doesn’t get the right IP address, it knows there is DNS hijacking going on.

So in the WiFi connection itself, it brings up a web page, you can even see captive.apple.com for a split second and then the public WiFi takes over. This sometimes doesn’t work and then you have to manually do the captive.apple.com connection with your browser.

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I’m Rich & Co.

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