Have you ever connected your Chromebook to an open Wi-Fi network and wondered why Internet was not working? It could be as simple as being trapped behind a captive portal but how would you know?

The chromium team is currently tackling this issue behind the experimental chrome://flags/#network-portal-notification flag in Dev channel. When enabled, a notification will be displayed if Chrome OS detects you're connected to a network behind captive portal and will give you the opportunity to open the network's login page.

Source: https://codereview.chromium.org/171423005
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22 comments
 
That's the same notification I get on Android when connecting to public WiFi. Keep up the good work!
 
I get this a lot when working on customers sites so will be great to know when im trapped! 
 
I would put an exclamation mark over the wifi signal instead of brackets... Just sayin... 
 
While you are at it you might as well warn people of the dangers of using captive portals/open WiFi. 
 
I really hate people who invented this superbly annoying shit. 
 
This needs to be implemented for chromecast too! 
 
The wifi network of the hotel nextdoor uses a captive portal that self signs any SSL certificate it encounters, so I could visit google.com and see the wifi login. Only chrome thankfully currently blocks this.
 
+Michael Goodall you tell em! Perhaps also for phones and tablets during initial setup. When I bought my n7 I had to wait 1 whole full day before I could use it, due to only having access to a wifi network behind such a captive portal thingy. Same happened when I bought the Chromecast, had to wait weeks for that one (was staying in a hotel when I bought it) 
 
+François Beaufort when you say, the team is currently tackling the issue, do you mean, how to recognize that you're behind a CP?

This seems trivial enough, doesn't it? Try to establish a connection to a remote server, if you get a redirect and no success, show the pop-up.
 
I mean working on the notification stuff and the UX overall.
How would your already loaded tabs should react when you log in successfully? for instance.
 
I think they all should be redirected to that annoying login page instantly! The good part is, people would blame wifi for that :) 
 
What would be BRILLIANT is if this detected what needed to be done to log you in, so it would remember how to do it next time. (Or an extension would do that). As one example - in UK Starbucks, you have to press a big green button marked "connect", before you are connected. Seems automatable to me.
 
+James Cridland Definitely automatable (is this a word?), but it'll be hard to find a generic solution that works for all cases.

I like the idea though!
 
Pro tip to anyone who gets stuck on these: You can often get to the captive portal login page by using the router IP (often 192.168.0.1) as the Web address to force it.
 
+Jonathan Almeida There won't a generic solution. But here's how it should work. As an Apple Mac does, it should notice that it is behind a captive hotspot and pop up a dialogue box to allow the user to log in. As the user logs in, the dialogue box should (by consent) record the login - which buttons are pressed, what tick boxes are checked, what text is entered into the form. When full internet connectivity is attained, the dialogue box should go away.
On reconnecting to the same WiFi (based on MAC address probably), it should offer to play back the recording of the login ("Do you want to login automatically?"), with a further check box, if successful, to automatically login in future.
 
Great! I had that problem at a hotel this weekend. The only way I could get in was to type the exact address that appeared on my iPhone when it connected. Even then, I had to do a bit of wrangling. It's one of those things that should happen easily. Though, of course, I understand it's a pain for the designers.
 
+James Cridland the cookie expiration (which controls long you can go before pushing the button) is configurable. The Gateway authentication is  likely provided by a major ISP partnering with Starbucks UK.  They've likely chosen an arbitrarily short cookie expiration to satisfy their business requirements.  I don't mean to say that's a great experience, just that Browser decided long ago that providers should be able to determine these rules for themselves.  Just like how bank websites can choose to kick you after a certain timeframe for security.
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