More internet woes… and solutions

March 7, 2012

I blogged the other day about my difficulties getting internet access. Well, this time I came across a different problem, but with some astute observation and a curious mind I was able to fix it.

I’m staying at a place in Texas where they have free WiFi for guests.  Initially, I could only get ‘Local Connection’, but after a few tries, I could get ‘Local and Internet’. Despite that, I couldn’t access the outside world. Supposedly I was meant to see an ‘I agree to the terms and conditions’ webpage from the accommodation provider, but I got nothing. Even the guy on the desk who came to my room to let me know he’d reset something was puzzled as to why I couldn’t get access, even though the network icon in the system tray told me I had an excellent wireless connection to ‘local and internet’. He asked me to try entering the URL for the resort, but that didn’t work either.

I’d been able to get a WiFi connection on my phone, but I couldn’t download my emails. Then I tried Google on my phone and got the Terms and Conditions webpage. Once I’d clicked OK on that, I was through to the internet on my phone and then all my emails downloaded fine. I had to use the browser first — downloading emails or opening TweetDeck wouldn’t display the Terms and Conditions page.

When I got the Terms and Conditions page on the phone, I noticed that the URL changed to an internal IP address — e.g. The 192.168 bit of the address was a dead giveaway that it was routing to a local server or router.

Hmmm… I wondered if typing in that IP address manually would work on my laptop?

I reconnected my laptop to the resort’s WiFi, opened a browser window, and entered the IP address. Voila! I got the Terms and Conditions page, clicked the ‘I agree’ button, and I now had full access to the internet.

I let the guy at the front desk know — he had no idea that an IP address will often resolve where a named URL won’t. And I’ve since helped a few other people in my workshop who were having the same problem as me get connected too.


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