Logging into a Public Captive Wi-Fi Network [webOS 2.x] | webOS Nation

Logging into a Public Captive Wi-Fi Network [webOS 2.x]

by Adam Marks Fri, 24 Jun 2011 10:15 am EDT

This tip is only for devices running webOS 2.0 and higher

Keeping your device logged into a Wi-Fi network has many benefits, including preserving battery life, providing a faster data connection than most cellular networks, and of course saving your precious megabytes if you are on a limited data plan. Public Wi-Fi networks are a great way to take advantage of these benefits, but just connecting to the Wi-Fi network is usually not enough to actually access their data. On webOS 1.0, this can be frustrating because it may appear as if you are connected to a Wi-Fi network (which will then disable your cellular data radio) but no data will flow until you load up the Web app and accept the terms and conditions from that provider. This can be doubly frustrating when you accept those T&Cs the first time, but when your phone disconnects and then auto-reconnects to that network, no data automatically flows because it will require you to accept those T&Cs again.


Luckily webOS 2.0 contains a method to identify when you connect to one of these Wi-Fi networks that require a second step to authorize you. Not only that, but webOS will maintain your cellular data connection until you perform that step (notice both the 3G and the Wi-Fi icon are present in the screenshot). When you connect to one of these networks, a dashboard notification will appear alerting you that a "Captive Portal Detected on WiFi". If you ignore or dismiss that notification you will continue to use your cellular data, but tapping on it will bring up a new card that will allow you to accept the T&Cs for that site to access their network. If you ever disconnect from the network and reconnect, you may see this dashboard notification again and you will need to reauthorize your access, but at least you will maintain your data connection until you do this.


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