How to best deal with captive portals and outdated browser

I am currently on a long term travel and often find myself having to connect to “funny” WiFis. The captive portal detection on SFOS seems to fail very often so i am not even asked or redirected anywhere as long as i have 4G turned on. Once i turn off mobile i often find myself not being able to use the captive portals with the jolla browser, because the portals are just too modern or crappy.

So often i have to just not use the WiFi and waste my mobile data.

I tried fennec on the Android side, but that reports “no internet” and will not even try to get the portal redirect. Also the regular browser will complain about SSL certificates and refuse to open the portal redirects.

Do you guys have a reliable way of accessing a portal? Maybe that detection thingy can be opened manually. Do you guys know a way how to use an android browser, and a recommendation for one, just for captive portals?


I don’t know about fennec, but Firefox will most certainly work; if Android reports “no internet”, then there’s a different problem - I would restart the device, which is pragmatically the easiest thing to do.
Otherwise, 90% of the times going to SFOS Browser and entering in the URL deals with all the captive portals that aren’t detected automatically.
Why, you ask? Well, it doesn’t really matter, could be or any IP address to trigger the active portal hack :smiley:


This has been asked before. Use search.

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Go to the site


I know websites that are strictly no crypto. Still that all does not really help.

The browser used for the portals is not capable enough to deal with some portals, and the android browsers i have used did not even connect.

What helps to at least get the redirect for sure is turning off mobile data.

The “use the search” really is just plain stupid. This is one of the topics that has been asked many times, with no real solution. So no point reading about my problem again in other peoples words.

Maybe i should have named it … the browser is too old and that can be a problem if the browser is what you need to get internet in the first place!

It is not stupid. Solution for this problem was described in details.
People like you are simple too lazy to use search hence many questions regarding the same solved issue.

If anything comes up often enough so one could find “workaround” instead of “solutions” it is likely a bug. When you find yourself without internet “using the sailfish forum search” is not the first thing that comes to mind.

This forum is full of so many workarounds for well known problems. Problems that could be solved for good, also by making the ecosystem “real OSS”. But instead the few that speak up and try to contribute get constantly shut down with “use the search”, use “the workaround”. People that speak up want to help and are probably a low percentage of users.

Stop telling them to shut up. Take the input, identify the bugs with their help and solve them!

So yes, it is very stupid to tell people again and again that their problem is known and how it can be worked around.

For that one … i did not find a solution even using the “search”. So i am stupid, thanks!


I am quite sure you have a different problem. I used many captive portals and fennec with a no ssl address always worked…

except when friends with android phones also couldnt get into the wifis :wink:
its frustrating how often free wifis are just broken.
in german railways you cant even get an ip when the train is crowded

i understand your frustration and the underlying bugs for some of the stuff where workarounds are needed should get better with the next release. Why do i think this? Because i followed the pr’s to the oss parts of the system and they seem to have foxed issues with connman

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I am right now on a WiFi with a portal. A portal that does work with the regular browser and the popup browser thingy.

fennec does say “no internet” on all my no SSL sites, so fennec is clearly no browser to use when a portal would not work in the sailfish browser. No clue if other android browsers would work.

connman issues are several layers below “browsers and js”, so i am willing to doubt any change in connman will do any good. Maybe some routing prios … so the phone will actually go to the portals while the mobile network is still online.

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Did you maybe accept some "local” ca to use this WiFi portal?

The issue with connman is, that the android layer is sometimes loosing connection when switching networks.

NO! This one works “fine” with the default browser, just does not work with the android browser fennec. It kind of needs the 4G turned off to make sure i actually go to that portal and not use my dataplan.

And i know several “no SSL” sites. So this issue here is really “meta” with me not being able to tell for sure. What seems sure is that the sailfish browser is often not capable enough to deal with weird js. And that the routing prios are off, so you do not get that portal and end up using your data.

And for the “js” part of the story i would certainly blaim the default browser. There are like so many “sophisticated” websites for which i have to resort to an android browser already. It is just a real bummer when your portal ends up being one of them … and maybe you do not even have a signal.

You simply get no internet! While all old android phones and other devices will just happily connect.

A smartphone with no internet is really bad in my book. I can suffer a lot of pains, but that is not one of them.

Did I give you any reason to yell at me?

Maybe asking for help nicely would have helped.

Given i was pissed off and not so nice. But the issue remains, and i keep hearing that the problem is known. So i have to assume that others have asked nicely before me and nothing happened.

Where connman might help is with DNS resolution prios, not sure what happened on that end since sailfish last updated. Once dual-homed (4G and portal wifi) one actually wants to do DNS for the “portal browser” only via WiFi and take it from there.

I am still traveling and visiting such portalled WiFis (seem to be very common in NZ) and still always have issues with my phone. The best workaround is to make sure to turn off mobile data (nasty because you have to remember to turn it back on), and visit a site that is http-only with the sailfish browser. If the sailfish browser can not handle the portal … you are out of luck, android browsers will not be able to jump in.

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And you made sure that fennec is still not working after restarting appsupport? (on the 10ii it used to be flightmode, restart networking, flightmode off, may also try that)

What i am talking about relates to those issues: Android Mobile Data Connectivity Broken (they are not mobile only)

Having people abusing folk in the forums that are looking for help with the product is a major disadvantage to Jolla, sadly, given that it’s the main/only source of support available.
I’m not sure whether that’s the point of people doing it but …


Agree. Even if it’s only because it’s what a decent human being does, be nice to the newcomers.

Both firefox and fennec will claim “no internet” and not open the portal. When i use an IP instead of a name it seems to “kind of work” but the redirect uses a name and i am back to “no internet”.

So android browsers do not seem to cut it.

I invite anyone to simply try. Should not be too hard to find a portal near you, you do not even need credentials to log in.

You will see:

  1. portal redirect does not work reliable while you still have data on your mobile
  • both in the special portal browser and the browser
  1. portal detection likely fails in like 30+% of the cases while you still have data on
  2. android browsers will not be able to open the portal at all, so if you needed a modern browser to pass the portal … well you shall not
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How did I not know about this?! Absolute game changer! Thank you gabrielg, this is super useful.

@hennsch I for one am glad to see this question pop up, I have searched before myself but was never sure what exactly to search for, so appreciate seeing this today.

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