Absolutely unable to connect to a captive portal WiFi

jasoncarle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 13, 2006
240
127
Minnesota
As the title suggests, I am unable to log into a captive portal WiFi with my Mac running Mojave.
I have tried every fix I can find online. Even booting into safe mode. None of them worked. I’d list them but there are far too many that I have tried.
Any ideas?

edit. I posted this from my phone which connected just fine.
 

HDFan

macrumors 68020
Jun 30, 2007
2,260
592
So you see the SSID, select it, and never get the landing page?

Does wireless diagnostics (option Wifi icon in menu bar) tell you anything? If you turn on logging (Window/logs) and try to connect does that tell you anything?
 
Last edited:

jasoncarle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 13, 2006
240
127
Minnesota
So you see the SSID, select it, and never get the landing page?
Exactly.

Does wireless diagnostics (option Wifi icon in menu bar) tell you anything? If you turn on logging (Window/logs) and try to connect does that tell you anything?
I will try this and report back.
- - Post merged: - -

Even weirder. iMessages and iPhoto apparently synced but Safari kept saying I wasn’t connected. I turned off all ad blockers, allowed pop ups, etc in Safari.
 

hwojtek

macrumors 65816
Jan 26, 2008
1,319
399
Poznan, Poland
It's because your computer asks the captive wifi for a SSL page (https, virtually all webpages use secure connections nowadays) and the captive portal only works in http. Put http://httpforever.com into the address bar and your captive portal landing page will load.

(On technical "why doesn't a captive portal work with SSL?" read here: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/08/how-captive-portals-interfere-wireless-security-and-privacy - your "perhaps because the certificates would not match and the browser would throw an error?" thinking is right)
 

jasoncarle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 13, 2006
240
127
Minnesota
It's because your computer asks the captive wifi for a SSL page (https, virtually all webpages use secure connections nowadays) and the captive portal only works in http. Put http://httpforever.com into the address bar and your captive portal landing page will load.

(On technical "why doesn't a captive portal work with SSL?" read here: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/08/how-captive-portals-interfere-wireless-security-and-privacy - your "perhaps because the certificates would not match and the browser would throw an error?" thinking is right)
How does this differ from

captive.apple.com

and

just trying google.com ?

I tried those and they didn’t work.
 

OldGreyGuy

macrumors member
Jan 14, 2014
88
10
Near Brisbane, Australia
I don't know if this helps. I was at a workshop with another company a couple of weeks ago and they gave me a guest SID/Password access. The catch was I had to access the SID, use their password and then open a browser to accept certificate and put in the second password. This was not working for the 3 MacBook users in the room. I tried Safari, Firefox (my preferred work browser) and Google Chrome and when the network guy was called in his response was that they only supported Edge.

So now I have 4 Browsers on my MacBook Pro. 🤬
 

jasoncarle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 13, 2006
240
127
Minnesota
So, I think I just figured this out. A block list I subscribe to inside Little Snitch was blocking connection to the part of OSX that checks for captive portals. I haven't been able to test this hypothesis yet due to the fact that everything is closed and we're sheltering in place, but rest assured I will when this is over with and update this thread.
Screen Shot 2020-04-16 at 5.19.51 PM.png
 
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