I have a problem when my mobile device signs into its main WiFi provider. If anyone knows Virgin Media's wifi service, that's the provider, but the problem is probably generic and could affect almost any wifi device using captive portal.

I use Firefox Mobile. When I get in range of WiFi, I get the "sign in for your wifi" notification. I click it, and a tab opens in the browser with the Wifi providers initial splash page, at which point I'm logged in via cookies, and can close the tab.

I don't mind the splash page so much. The problem is that the splash page overwrites my most recently open Firefox tab when it loads, and not just that, the entire tab I was viewing and its history and form content (for posts I'm writing) is completely lost. I guess it's doing a redirect, a script that write()s, or a META REFRESH but not sure which. I also don't know if the problem is because of an issue with the notification/intent, or the HTML page/HTTP headers.

Everything else that launches a browser page seems to play nice and opens in a new tab so the device and browser is working fine. It's just this one situation where I regularly lose tabs I've found and was reading, or writing posts on. It's so annoying.

What can I do to stop this happening? More generally how can the tab's whole history be wiped by content loading? Surely it shouldn't be!

  • Questions about electronic devices, media players, cell phones or smart phones are off-topic (except when they interface with a computer). See On Topic. – DavidPostill Jun 19 '15 at 21:36
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    @davidpostill I think this question applies to every device connecting to wifi using 802.1X authentication via browser login, including computers. – user309301 Jun 19 '15 at 21:44
  • @user309301 Then the OP should edit their question to remove references to mobile ... – DavidPostill Jun 19 '15 at 21:46

Auto-refresh on mobile browsers is just standard behavior. There's no option to prevent it from happening, and most of the time it pulls the page out from the cache anyway instead of grabbing it from the server.

As for desktop browsers, all you have to do is not refresh the page. Just create a new tab, follow the login process, and then you are safe to refresh the rest of your tabs.

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  • Unfortunately, "it's just standard behaviour" isn't much of an answer or much help. A direction that causes a specific page (but no other pages) to open in the current rather than a new tab, or to overwrite in a way that deletes the ability to go back, are all behaviours that in principle can be modified via extensions, user scripts, or other means. But I don't have the technical knowhow to take this further, to a solution... – Stilez Jun 20 '15 at 6:22

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