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Thu, Aug 24, 2017 11:01 pm

Firefox - Detect Captive Portal

When you start the Firefox web browser, it will attempt to determine if the network connection available to it when it starts is via a captive portal. If you use a hotel's Wi-Fi service, a free WiFi service provided by a restaurant or other business, or some other public WiFi service, when you first open your browser you may see a web page asking you to accede to terms of service, an acceptable use policy, or to provide some authentication information, e.g., perhaps your name and room number for a hotel, or to provide payment information if you are accessing a wireless service that is not free. You won't be able to go elsewhere on the web, at least not easily, until you deal with the demands/conditions specified on the captive portal page.

Firefox makes a determination on whether there is a captive portal constraint by attempting to download the file success.txt from http://detectportal.firefox.com/success.txt (there is only one word in that file, the word "success". If it can successfully retrieve that file, it can assume that it is not constrained by a captive portal. You can see such attempts using the free and open-source (FOSS) Wireshark packet analyzer utility by specifying a filter of "http.request.method == "GET".

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[/network/web/browser/firefox] permanent link

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