If you’ve ever used public WiFi before, you’re probably familiar with one common problem that just about everyone runs into every once in a while. You’ve selected the theoretically open WiFi network that you want to join and your phone tells you that you’re successfully connected, but when you head to Chrome and try to load up a page, you get nothing. In the Android WiFi settings menu, you may see a message along the lines of “Connected. No connection available”. I ran into this problem myself a few times just this week, but now I’ve found the solution…
To get your WiFi connection working, chances are that you need to successfully log in to the network. Most of the time your device will prompt you with a notification telling you to open the network’s sign in page, but sometimes it… just doesn’t. The phone will “connect,” but you haven’t logged in so you don’t have a working connection. I’ve experienced this most often on my Nexus devices as of late, and it’s frustrating sometimes because even using the “Forget Network” button doesn’t seem to help. It still connects, but doesn’t prompt me to go to the login page.
It turns out that there’s a really simple fix. The root of the problem could be some kind of outdated or buggy router firmware, a bug in Android, or some combination of the two, but there’s actually a quick workaround regardless of the cause.
If you find yourself needing to login, the first thing you should try is just opening up the browser and navigate to a webpage. In most cases, I’ve found that this will automatically redirect me to the network’s login page if I haven’t logged in already, and then I’m just a few taps away from having full connection. If this doesn’t work, though, there’s a second option that not many people know about. If you head to 192.168.1.1, the most common default router IP address, I’ve found that nine times out of ten I’m immediately redirected to the login page.
Theoretically, this little workaround should work on any device with which you’re having trouble connecting to open networks. I’ve found that the same thing happens on my MacBook sometimes, and always knowing that I can always access the login page even if for some reason my computer isn’t prompting me brings peace of mind if I’m behind on work and headed to a coffee shop.