Captive portal for local network only



  • Hello guys,

    as extended googleing didn't help I am turning to you for help.

    I am trying to setup a local network with a server running on  a Mac Mini (that part works) and everyone who connects to the network I create shall be automatically redirected to said server.

    Now I got out an old Netgear WiFi router I had, deactivated its DHCP server and reused an old Dell laptop to run pfsense off a USB stick and act as a router.

    What works is that every device connecting to the WiFi network (provided by the Netgear) or via LAN gets an IP-address by the Dell and is able to see each other.

    Now for the difficult part. I am no networking engineer and I might lack understanding but I used a tutorial I found to set up the captive portal with a destination IP and bound it to the LAN device. Now I would expect everything that connects to the network to get to the portal and be redirected to the IP-address I specified but nothing is happening. Even after opening a browser and trying to open a page it just delivers an error message.

    What am I missing?


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    Providing the error message might help someone help you.



  • Hi and thanks for your answer. I can't recall the exact error message as it is generated in Google Chrome on Android and I was pretty sure it just meant that Google was unavailable. Just googled and it was something like ERR_NAME_NOT_RESOLVED or ERR_NAME_RESOLUTION_FAILED.

    PFsense didn't show any activity in the captive portal and no active user.


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    You have to pass DNS using IP address pass throughs so your clients can resolve names. If the browser can't resolve names the browser never attempts a connection so there's nothing for the captive portal to intercept.



  • Pass through? Does this work locally as I don't intend to use an Internet connection. What is passed through and where do I adjust that?


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    put 10.10.10.10 in your google chrome address bar and see what happens.



  • It apparently waits quite a long time for something to happen (blue progress bar loads to about a third) but then presents me an ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT.

    I clicked around in status and found the services running like seen on the picture below. Don't know if that helps.

    ![Bildschirmfoto 2016-02-11 um 10.29.16.png](/public/imported_attachments/1/Bildschirmfoto 2016-02-11 um 10.29.16.png)
    ![Bildschirmfoto 2016-02-11 um 10.29.16.png_thumb](/public/imported_attachments/1/Bildschirmfoto 2016-02-11 um 10.29.16.png_thumb)


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