Table of Contents
- Products Covered
- Step 1 - Enable WiFi-As-WAN and Connect to WiFi
- Enable WiFi-As-Wan
- Connect to Public WiFi
- Prompt WiFi Login Screen
- Re-enabling Cellular Connections
- Requesting Assistance
This article will cover how to connect your Pepwave Mobile Router to a Public WiFi or Campground WiFi network that has a login screen such as those at Starbucks and many campgrounds especially any with paid WiFi service. Note that not all campground WiFi has a login screen. We recommend viewing our basic article and video first before moving on to this more advanced article specific to WiFi networks with a login screen: Connection to an external Wifi source with Wifi-as-WAN.
WiFi networks with a login screen will prevent use of the internet until you accept terms, pay a fee, enter a password or follow additional instructions. As such, your Pepwave mobile router will bypass these WiFi networks failing over to your cellular connection which can cause confusion as to how to get your modem connected. This article will show you how to get the login screen to appear so you can login to the WiFi network and utilize with your Pepwave. Follow the steps below to connect.
Pop up screens that allow you to login to campground WiFi are known as "Captive Portals" in the IT industry. If you see that term used, it refers to the pop up screen that allows you to login.
Step 1 - Enable WiFi-As-WAN and Connect to WiFi
In the examples below we are utilizing a Pepwave Max Transit DUO with dual modems however the steps for a single modem device are very similar yet your admin screens may differ slightly.
Connect your computer to your Pepwave router's wifi. Do not connect your device directly to the campground wifi. If you do this you will not be able to access your Pepwave dashboard in the next steps.
Visit your Pepwave dashboard at http://192.168.50.1 and enable WiFi-As-Wan by dragging the slide up to Priorty 1. You can drag the connection from its current state by clicking the bumps to the left of the connection name which will enable the drag slider. You will see a hand appear as the cursor and hold the primary mouse button and drag the connection to priority 1 as shown in the screenshot below. You can drag the 2.4Ghz and/or the 5Ghz WiFi-As-Wan sliders to primary however we recommend adding one at a time. 2.4Ghz typically has longer range and higher compatibility so we recommend starting with 2.4Ghz. See screenshot.
Connect to Public WiFi
Never connect to a WiFi network you do not recognize or that does not match the name provided by a campground. If you must, use a VPN solution to protect your browsing such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN.
Once you have dragged the WiFi-As-WAN connection to Priority 1 it will begin scanning for networks. Wait 30 seconds to allow the Pepwave to scan local networks. Then select the "Wireless Networks" button to bring up the wireless network list. See screenshot below.
Click "Connect" next to the name of the network you wish to connect to. If the network is Open (no password required) simply click save at the next dialog. If the network has a password, enter it on the next screen and take special care to type the password properly and remember the passwords are case sensitive.
It may take up to 1 minute for the Pepwave to connect to the WiFi as it tests the connection and attempts to negotiate a connection. Note that not all WiFi networks are compatible with each other and this unfortunately is just a fact of life when connecting two wireless devices together. Most networks connect without issue. Give it time and it should connect and will display connected as shown below.
Prompt WiFi Login Screen
Re-enabling Cellular Connections
Now that your WiFi is connected we recommend you re-enable your cellular connection(s). To save on cellular bandwidth you may wish to put your cellular connections in Priority 2 rather than Priority 1. If you put your connections in Priority 1 your devices will load balance the WiFi and cellular connections sending some traffic out the cellular and some out the WiFi also known as "load balancing". If you wish to save cellular bandwidth but still use cellular if the WiFi connection fails you can move your cellular connection(s) to Priority 2 like shown below. Setting your WAN priorities are personal preference.