DEV Community

Cover image for How to Display the Authentication Page for Public WiFi When It Doesn't Automatically Appear in the Browser (Bite-size Article)

Posted on

How to Display the Authentication Page for Public WiFi When It Doesn't Automatically Appear in the Browser (Bite-size Article)


Many public WiFi networks feature an authentication page that automatically appears in your browser, where you sign in or agree to the terms of use before you can start using the service.

A common issue that sometimes occurs is that this automatic pop-up page doesn't appear even though you're connected to the WiFi, leaving you unauthenticated and unable to use the internet. I've faced this situation myself on several occasions and found it quite troublesome (I'm sure many of you have experienced this too).

Recently, when I encountered this issue again, I decided to research a solution and managed to resolve it successfully. In this article, I'll share the method that worked for me, along with a few other possible solutions. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I hope you'll find this information helpful.

※Note: This article includes operations such as using the terminal and resetting settings. These actions may change your PC's settings or erase data, including WiFi settings, so if you decide to follow the instructions in this article, please do so at your own risk. Also, I use Mac, but I understand that some readers may be using Windows. Some of the operations described here may not apply directly to your environment and may need to be customized accordingly. Please be aware of this!

Image description

Accessing Web Resources Using the curl Command

To put it simply, I was able to resolve the issue by running this on Terminal:

curl -k -v -L -D myfile
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

curl is a command-line tool used for communicating with websites and APIs. By adding several options to the curl command, I was able to find the necessary information. Here's what each option means:

  • -k (--insecure): This option instructs curl to skip the verification of SSL certificates. This can be useful when accessing servers that use self-signed certificates or certificates from untrusted authorities. However, while this method can be a temporary workaround when the authentication page does not automatically appear, it also carries security risks. Therefore, caution is advised when entering personal information or exchanging important data (it seems that skipping SSL certificate verification with the -k option is generally not recommended for security reasons).

  • -v (--verbose): This option causes curl to display additional detailed information about the connection as it runs. This includes the request and response headers, the SSL certificates used, and other debugging information.

  • -L (--location): This option makes curl automatically follow redirects, such as those to an authentication page.

  • -D: This option saves the response headers to a specified file. In this example, the headers are saved to a file named myfile.

Finally, is the URL of the server you are trying to access (in this example, it's, but this address could be any other address as well).

To summarize, this curl command connects to without verifying security, follows redirects, displays detailed information about the connection process, and saves the response headers into a file named myfile.

Run this operation and take a look at the section labeled "location" in the execution results. If all goes well, you should be able to identify the URL. By copying this URL and opening it in a browser, you should be able to view the authentication page.

Image description

Other Methods

In addition to the methods mentioned above, here are some other solutions I've researched and verified.

Try Using a Different Device

If you have access to another device with an internet browser, such as a spare PC or smartphone, try connecting to the WiFi on that device. If the WiFi authentication page pops up on these devices, note down the URL. Then, enter this URL directly into the browser of the device where the problem is occurring. This method is completely risk-free, so it might be a good first step to try if possible.

Reset WiFi Settings

Resetting your device's network settings can resolve potential connection-related issues. This includes deleting WiFi settings and resetting network configurations. However, be aware that this might erase saved information for other password-protected WiFi networks, so proceed with caution. The method for doing this will vary depending on your device, but you should be able to delete or reset WiFi settings from your PC's network environment settings page.

Change DNS Servers

Changing your device's DNS settings to use a different DNS server might solve the problem.
The steps for making this change are similar to the reset mentioned previously and will vary depending on your device, but you should be able to find the option to change DNS settings in your PC's network environment settings. In some cases, deleting the current DNS server configurations, turn off WiFi, and rebooting the browser can lead to an improvement in connectivity issues.

Image description


In this article, I've detailed the solution that worked for me and introduced several other methods that could be helpful. I hope this information assists those who read it. Moreover, I intend to refer back to this info shared here as a personal reminder in case I encounter similar problem down the line.

Thank you for reading, have a great day!

Top comments (0)