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I can connect to a hotel or library wireless network using the standard Windows 7 WiFi connection and I can acquire the IP address. However when I start a web browser session I'm unable to see the hotel or library login screen. The login screen where you put in a code of some sort on a ticket that they give you and you continue.

In one place I was able to go to the gateway IP address directly and continue. However other place that tactic doesn't work.

This behavior is the same for IE, FF and Chrome. Windows 7. It started doing this a while back and I can't recall what setting, if any, I would've changed back then.

My Kobo Vox Android tablet has no problems seeing the login screens in it's browser so it's something in my laptop.

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Did you check your DHCP- and proxy-settings? –  Tom Feb 15 '12 at 8:19
    
So what I'm I supposed to check for? And where? The WiFi adapter? Hmmmm, I did have the DNS set to Google 8.8.8.8 due to some problems a while back. That could be related. I've removed that and let it use the default. The DHCP settings on the WiFi are defaults. There are no proxy settings present on the Internet Options tab in IE. –  Tony Toews Feb 15 '12 at 18:24
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A captive portal usually works with DHCP and DNS. So Google-DNS might not know the hostname of the captive portal, which leads to an error. No hostnames and DNS are involved when browsing to an IP-address; so this worked. Setting the wireless connection to DHCP(yeah, also DNS) should work. When you want to use another DNS in your home-network, you should consider setting it on the access-point or router and not your local connection. –  Tom Feb 16 '12 at 7:39
    
Tom, yes, I was thinking on that after I made the change. And yes the equipment would have to start by rerouting all DNS traffic to it's own server before letting you log in. So that would make a lot of sense. Learn something new every week or so. Anyhow I start a road trip in the next hour or so so will confirm this worked this evening. –  Tony Toews Feb 16 '12 at 19:04
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Tom, removing the DNS entry fixed the problem. Thanks for suggesting the area to look at. –  Tony Toews Feb 18 '12 at 18:05

2 Answers 2

Sometimes with corporate login screen that appear in your browser, you'll first have to navigate to some website like www.google.com or www.facebook.com. The hotel/library wireless service will intercept this request and present you the login screen.

Hope this helps. (I experienced this with my school login and also the public WiFi login in my place.)

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Yes, but it's been my experience that as soon as you attempt to open any page that the WiFi security device intercepts that request and forces you to login. That isn't happening now. –  Tony Toews Feb 15 '12 at 17:51
    
I've noticed before that sometimes it only works on the root url like www.google.com but not on a page url like www.google.com/some-page.html. Could you try that? –  ADTC Feb 18 '12 at 7:46
    
Removing the DNS entry fixed the problem. –  Tony Toews Feb 18 '12 at 18:06
    
That's great! I didn't know about the DNS thing. Glad it all worked out for you. –  ADTC Feb 19 '12 at 1:22

Thanks to Tom for pointing me in the right direction. I had added a DNS entry due to some DNS issues a while back. Removing that solved the problem. Here's what Tom said:

A captive portal usually works with DHCP and DNS. So Google-DNS might not know the hostname of the captive portal, which leads to an error. No hostnames and DNS are involved when browsing to an IP-address; so this worked. Setting the wireless connection to DHCP(yeah, also DNS) should work. When you want to use another DNS in your home-network, you should consider setting it on the access-point or router and not your local connection. – Tom 2 days ago

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