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Local connection only

March 7, 2012

Ah, the joys of traveling! There’s the whole phone thing, and then there’s WiFi in places like airline lounges, airports, hotels, etc.

I had a devil of a time trying to connect to the internet in the Qantas Lounges in Perth and Sydney. They have free WiFi and I was using my laptop. I was getting ‘Local Connection Only’ and just couldn’t get to the outside world. Eventually, I figured I’d connect to the Qantas Lounge’s WiFi via my phone, then tether my phone to my laptop and get access that way. That worked, but it still bothered me that I couldn’t get internet access direct from my laptop when everyone else seemed to have no trouble with it. I just thought it was Qantas’ connection, but it looks like I was wrong.

When I got to the hotel at Dallas Forth Worth Airport, I could only get ‘Local Connection’ too. I could access some websites (e.g. Google, an Australian news site, Wikipedia) but not others (e.g. my WordPress blog, an Australian bank site etc.). As I’d paid for this WiFi, I figured I’d call the number listed on the piece of paper with my password on it. I got through to a helpful chap who thought I probably had a static IP address on my laptop (that sounded familiar!). And I did.

After I noted down the static IP settings (‘cos I’ll have to re-enter them when I get home), I turned on the ‘obtain IP address and DNS automatically’ settings and suddenly I had full access!

So, my apologies Qantas — it was my laptop’s settings that likely caused the problem I had. I’m going to have to remember that for next time…

Steps (for Windows 7):

  1. Open the Network and Sharing Center from the Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the link for the internet, then click Properties.
  3. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), then click Properties.
  4. IMPORTANT!! Write down the details from that second Properties page and KEEP this information! Do not lose it as you’ll need it when you’re back home or in the office and reconnected to that system.
  5. Select Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically, then click OK as many times as necessary to close these windows.

When you’re back home:

  1. Open the Network and Sharing Center from the Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the link for the internet, then click Properties.
  3. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), then click Properties.
  4. Select Use the following IP address and enter the details you wrote down at step 4 in the previous steps.
  5. Select Use the following DNS server addresses and enter the details you wrote down at step 4 in the previous steps.
  6. Click OK as many times as necessary to close these windows.

2 comments

  1. […] newsletter/blog of CyberText Consulting – technical communication specialists « Local connection only More internet woes… and solutions March 7, 2012 I blogged the other day about my […]


  2. From a Mac user: For Mac people, delete the settings to force auto DNS (there’s no explicit setting).



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