Unable to connect to public Wi-Fi using macOS Monterey

Recently some of our Apple clients have reported that after updating their macOS computers to the latest Apple macOS Monterey they have not been able to properly connect to regular public wireless networks that before they were able to connect. Thanks to our friends in Reddit, we have found a quick and easy work-around to allow you to connect quicker to these public networks.

If you’re a mac user, you likely have seen a strange popup window appear on your computer when you try to connect to the internet at a hotel, coffee shop or airport. It looks like this:

 

This popup is a utility built into macOS called the Captive Network Assistant (CNA). The idea was to make it easier for users to authenticate on visitor-based Wi-Fi networks that require some form of authentication (usually initiated from a web form) to get online.

They are referred to as “captive” networks as the user is held captive – unable to browse the web freely – until the end users accept the terms and conditions, purchase access, fills required fields, etc.

If the source of the page is simply the text Success, the process assumes the user is on a normal network and does not display a popup. If, however, the URL does not return the success message due to forced captive portal redirection, the CNA popup is trigged, and the captive portal page is displayed in the popup.

In macOS Monterey 12.5 and higher, some customers have complained that the Captive Network Assistant (or network pop-up) never comes up and thus they are unable to browse the internet, connect to Microsoft Teams or Zoom, or connect to any other cloud provider.

In order to circumvent this issue, please keep this URL in your favorites to make sure the next time you visit a public Wi-Fi you are able to connect with no issues.

http://captive.apple.com/hotspot-detect.html

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