Using a public WiFi network is an easy way to get online while you are traveling. If you are working at home and need a change of scenery, or you are someone who is simply concerned with your privacy and want an easy way to hide your IP address, using the WiFi in a public place like a hotel or a restaurant can be an attractive option.
Establishments that offer public WiFi, in a bid to enhance the security of its users and to limit instances where people abuse their resources, usually require users to log into a given page. This is normally a simple, easy, and flawless process even when you are using a VPN for added security especially given the fact that you can always use a VPN on multiple devices. However, there are times when the log-in page simply refuses to open. This can be both inconveniencing and frustrating. The good news is that fixing this problem is easy. Here is what you should know about how to force a public WiFi log-in page to open.
What is the best way to force the log-in page to open?
The best way to force the log-in screen of a public WiFi to open is to adjust your DNS settings. This is because using an alternative DNS server is a leading cause of this problem. Therefore, more often than not, turning off the alternative DNS server is usually enough to fix the problem. Other fixes that can also work include clearing a browser’s cache, opening the default page of the router, and restarting the computer that is having trouble connecting with the public WiFi.
Best tips on how to force a public Wi-Fi network login page to open
If your computer starts acting up when trying to connect to a public WiFi network, you needn’t worry. There is nothing wrong with your computer. This is because fixing this problem is easy. The following are tips that will come in handy in helping you to get you up and running.
1. Changing your DNS settings
Typically, your computer should be able to automatically pick up the DNS server of any network that you are using. In most cases, this is usually enough to cause a Public WiFi page to automatically open up.
However, a problem will arise if you alter your DNS settings. This is so especially if you choose to use a 3rd party DNS server. Therefore, if you have added any third-party DNS like OpenDNS or Google DNS, your computer may have a hard time getting the log-in page to open.
To fix this problem, all you have to do is to remove the third-party DNS servers. You may have to restart your WiFi for the log-in page to get loaded.
2. Opening the default page of the router
If you have checked your settings and found that you are not using an alternate DNS server, then you should try to access the page manually. An easy way to achieve this is by loading the default page of the router.
Start by typing http://localhost, 188.8.131.52, 127.1.1.1, or 192.168.1.1 into the address bar and then hit enter. This is sometimes enough to force the log-in screen to load. However, if that doesn’t work, typing the IP address of your computer in the address bar and then replacing the last digit with 1 should work.
3. Going to a company’s official website
In some cases, companies allow people to access their website via their public WiFi without necessarily requiring them to log in. Therefore, if you are using the WiFi of a company whose address you know, you should try to go to their official website. Doing so will allow you to check if they provide a direct link to the WiFi log-in page, and if they do, clicking the link should be enough to force the page to load.
4. Clearing your browser’s cache
Your browser’s cache can be the source of your frustration. This is because, in an attempt to make it convenient for you to browse the internet, it may be using DNS information that is already saved. This then creates a loop that essentially keeps the WiFi login page from loading.
In such a case, clearing your cache will be enough to break the loop. And while this may prove to inconvenience as far as your browsing experience is concerned, it is an effective fix for this problem. However, if you don’t want to clear your cache, you can be able to get the page to load by taking advantage of Incognito mode. To do so, simply open a new window in Incognito mode, and then try to access a non-HTTPS website like example.com.
It is important to note that while these methods are the best at forcing a public WiFi’s login page to open, fixing this problem can be as easy as restarting your computer. Furthermore, avoiding the risks that are associated with public WiFi is usually as easy as taking advantage of the benefits that VPNs offer.