Unifi - suggestions for non-gitchy guest captive portal?


#1

I’m wondering if anyone has suggestions to try for running non-glitchy captive portals.

I’ve played around with the built in Unifi guest portal, but I find some device/browser/http/https combinations don’t re-direct users to the captive portal (leaving them with no login page as well as no wifi).

I’m really looking for a reliable solution–nothing fancy–just a splash page with typical disclaimers for using the network & then clicking OK to enter it, but it needs to work on all devices/browsers…

Is there anything that comes to mind that “just works”?

thanks!


#2

That’s a strange behavior which I haven’t experienced so far. Although I’ve never deployed Unifi’s CP, the way they generally work is to block all traffic except for the local network. It’s up to the client to realize they don’t have internet access. Usually, a client will make a test request to an HTTP server whose behavior is known and examine the response. If it contains a redirect to a local resource, the client assumes that it is stuck behind a captive portal and takes according action (e.g opens the browser to the login page which it now knows).

A mechanism where the captive portal actively notifies the client of its existence is not known to me. Maybe the Unifi’s CP doesn’t block your OS manufacturer’s test page?

I can however say that I’ve had positive experiences with pfSense’s CP. I work at a school where we have it deployed, with some 200 daily clients without a problem. Also on the plus side, you can customize the login page with your own HTML. It works nicely with squid proxy as well.


#3

I haven’t messed with them much myself. I do know that you need an onsite controller for them to work well though.


#4

Thanks so much for replies…

Good to know about pfSense’s CP.

In the back of my mind, I know some implementations work well. Locally to me, Home Depot’s free WiFi captive portal seems to work well (I believe that’s with AT&T, but I don’t know the hardware)… And a local school’s free WiFi (the portal is powered by Aerohive).

Apart from pfSense, are there other options I can try? What I’m trying to avoid is having users time-out of their captive portal session, only to have their browsers failing to re-direct them to the log-in page (so that their wifi mysteriously “doesn’t work”, just because of the captive portal glitch).

thx!