NordVPN not working on public WiFi? Here’s how to get online
Can’t connect to public Wi-Fi with NordVPN? Does the login page appear?
Trying to go online while NordVPN is running on public Wi-Fi? You may not be able to connect to NordVPN servers at all. You won’t be able to do anything, whether you’re trying to watch your favorite YouTube channel, join your friends online for a quick game, or if you need to do critical work.
If you connect to the Internet from airports, train stations, buses, or other public places, you’re probably familiar with restricted gates. This splash screen is usually displayed before you go online.
So why doesn’t NordVPN work on public Wi-Fi? Let’s find out and also learn how to fix this so you can always access the internet while your online privacy is protected.
Why NordVPN Doesn’t Work With Public Wi-Fi
Many NordVPN users complain that they cannot connect to any public Wi-Fi network, such as Starbucks. Apparently, the computer starts connecting to the captive portal (login page), but is cut off and unable to connect.
The only solution available to get online is to uninstall NordVPN. But then, your online privacy will be affected. Moreover, the chances of you getting hacked are higher when you are connected to public Wi-Fi networks.
This happens due to the way VPNs and restricted gateways work. Turning on the VPN will not work while trying to connect to a network with a restricted gateway. A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between you and a server in the cloud. No traffic outside this tunnel is permitted. On the other hand, the network setup for the captive gateway will see a completely different IP address than it expects. Therefore, you will not be able to view the login page and connect to the Internet.
Troubleshoot NordVPN connection problems when connected to public Wi-Fi
There are different types of restricted gateway settings. Some of them allow access to them through specific ports of the Internet. In that case, if you know the port, you can manually connect to the login page while NordVPN is running. Check out this Reddit thread on using VPN port 53 to bypass captive portals.
But most login pages have specific rules that do not allow external connections – such as those of your NordVPN server. In that case, if you are an advanced user, you can try some of the solutions suggested here. Also check out this interesting thread on the OpenWRT forum.
Remember to stay safe when using public Wi-Fi: Use a VPN
The best way to keep your information secure while accessing public Wi-Fi is to use a VPN. A VPN encrypts your data, so if someone is monitoring the network, they won’t be able to read the information you’re sending.
But what if your VPN (like NordVPN) doesn’t work on public Wi-Fi? Here are a number of ways you can reduce the security risks of a public Wi-Fi network:
- Do not allow your device to automatically connect to open Wi-Fi networks
- Do not enter http sites. Access only https sites because it is more secure
- Log out of all accounts once you are done using them
The best way to stay safe on public Wi-Fi is to use a VPN so that your traffic is encrypted. However, there are two problems with NordVPN:
- You must disconnect it while accessing captive portals (Wi-Fi login pages), otherwise you will not be able to access them.
- NordVPNs make the connection slower. And since public Wi-Fi networks are generally very slow, using NordVPN with them becomes difficult.
Try another VPN to keep yourself safe when NordVPN isn’t working on public Wi-Fi
Unlike NordVPN, Speedify can make the difference between a direct internet connection and one that requires a login page. When you join a WiFi hotspot with a login page, Speedify’s restricted gateway help:
- Speedify will show you a notification asking if you want to sign in.
- In the meantime, your other online activities (such as Skype/Slack calls, live streaming, and gaming) will continue to work over your cellular connection, which is protected by Speedify.
- If you tap the notification (or the message in the app), Speedify will pop up the login screen in a window.
- After successfully logging in, Speedify will immediately start using your WiFi connection.
Speedify uses channel linking technology to be able to combine multiple internet connections simultaneously. In the example above, it uses both WiFi and cellular connections on your smart computer. Therefore, when the WiFi login page is launched, it is able to seamlessly pass the traffic to the other connection(s) so that the network is successfully authenticated.
Best of all – if you’re on one of those pesky WiFi connections that require you to log in every hour or so, you’ll be protected by Speedify. Your gaming, streaming, or other activities won’t be interrupted, because Speedify’s failover protection will make sure your traffic is diverted to other work connections.
Still using NordVPN, even though it doesn’t work on public Wi-Fi? Try Speedify – As a VPN, recently rated as the fastest service by Tom’s Guide.