Not getting a "captive portal detected" message on iOS devices

  • I've been on many hotspots with my iPhone that prompt me AS SOON as I connect to a wifi connection to login to their captive portal.  I've been successfully running my CP now with pfSense 2.0 RC3 for the last week, and it just dawned on me that I don't get a CP notification when attaching iDevices to our wifi.  It gets an address and plods along happily but without any Internet access until loading up a web browser and authenticating.

    Is there something I'm missing that queues iOS to bring up the auth page (and thusly an auto-login option)?  I'd really like to set my iPhone to auto-login instead of having to remember to pull my phone out as soon as i get to the office and authenticate.  I've been missing a number of important emails as a result :(

    Thanks in advance,


  • Can anyone at least describe their iOS experiences?  Windows 7 seems to recognize a CP in the way, and it's clear that the Apple test method isn't returning a success so I'm not sure what's going on.

  • Find where the documentation of Apple describe their discovery process and put a feature request in redmine.

  • I've looked- their method is to check and if it's different than expected, it should bring up a captive portal notification. Clearly trying to load that behind a CP it clearly isn't what's expected, so I don't know why it isn't working. I've even told squid to NOT cache anything from

  • Hi quadrinary,

    here it works without any problem. as soon as i connect my iphone/ipad to my wifi hotspot, an authentification page comes up to enter my voucher. I have not setup any special.

  • Interesting. Thanks for the feedback. I wonder if my use of squid/squid guard has something to do with it though I tried on my home pfsense box this evening (without squid) and i still got no prompting for a captive portal. Would you mind sharing your CP config and DHCP config?

    Also, I wonder if it may have something to do with the fact that I use a no-authentication page that just has terms of use and a "click to agree" button.


  • Oh, last question. Which version of pfsense are you using? At the office I'm running 2.0 RC3 and at home 2.0.1.

  • On a base pfsense CP setup (without squid, and without allowing by adding it to walled-garden) iOS should work as expected, i.e. pop-up Apple's custom "crippled" web-browser prompting the user to login.

    However due to issues with the crippled browser, some sites (e.g. universities) prefer to configure their CP to trick IOS into thinking it has full Internet access and let the user login with Safari.

  • I figured out why it isn't working - iOS doesn't look for captive portals when you connect to a secure network.

    As soon as I made a virtual WAP with no encryption needed, the login page popped right up.

    I'm not sure whether I want to think of this as a "feature" or not since I'd like to see our iOS devices be able to use "auto-login".

    Looks like this is definitely more of an apple issue.

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