PepWave WiFi WAN Feature Request

Hello -

Presently the WiFi WAN in the PepWave units does not allow you to take advantage of any ISP, which requires authentication thru a captive portal (webpage) to access their Hot Spots. Would love the ability to configure the WiFi Wan, so it will present credentials to the ISP’s captive portal webpage, thereby authenticating and granting access to their network. Sign in to Xfinity

Yeah, that would be a great feature, I agree with you gradywhite

This is much easier said then done and there are multiple different types of captive portals out there, we could not possibly support them all. Besides, this would be a clear violation to their ToS:

  1. Prohibited Uses

You specifically agree not to:

access (or attempt to access) the Comcast Web Services through any automated means (including use of scripts or web crawlers), except through APIs or other interfaces specifically provided for this purpose, or violate the instructions set out in any robots.txt or similar file present within the Comcast Web Services;

attempt to or actually circumvent any method used by Comcast to control access to Comcast Web Services, including, but not limited to, spoofing or otherwise impersonating an IP address for your computer that is not actually assigned to your computer or setting up a proxy or other device that allows others to access the Comcast Web Services through it.

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I am not looking to circumvent anything. I have accounts with the ISP, but your appliance does not allow me to authenticate . You provide this very same provision (captive portal) to authenticate with your APs . I am looking for a web interface integrated on your appliance that would allow me to authenticate to the ISP

We appreciate the feature request but this is not something we will expend resources on. From a legal standpoint this is not feasible and also many of these captive portals are starting to use captchas and check boxes to confirm it is a human accessing there network. The continuous updates to workaround their login would be a nightmare. Thanks.

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Your WiFiWan component of your code emulates the WiFi hardware found in every laptop. I am just asking for one additional feature. The ability of your code to cause a pop-up window running a open source (or whatever) browser, so I (a human) can enter legitimate credentials and even answer check box and/or captcha box. I am not asking you to workaround anything. The world is more and more wireless and moving toward this sort of authentication workflow. I am not sure why you feel this functionality would be a waste of resources… I see this feature allowing those who travel with your appliances the freedom on contracting with HotSpot providers and not forced to rely solely on cellular

If you are willing to do that much “manual work” manually logging into the ISP’s captive portal every time, why not do that with a laptop running Windows and then using Internet Connection sharing, run the Pepwave’s Ethernet WAN port off the Ethernet port of the laptop? You can do the same with a Mac ( or Linux ( Windows ICS:

One advantage of doing it this way is that you never have to mess with the Pepwave. The downside is you need one more computer, although it could be something as cheap as a Raspberry Pi or some ancient laptop.

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So here is why at least some of us will want this feature and are not pleased with the total dismissal. I use the BR1 in a camper van about the size of a FedEx van. Metal skin. The BR1 is paired with a MobileMark antenna mounted through the roof. Outside the metal skin. The MobileMark I use has a wifi element. It can reach quite far mated with the BR1. I’m sitting outside a Pilot truck stop. The Wifi signal the BR1 refuses to use is very strong. The signal reaching my iPad, pretty weak. The point is, I use the antenna and router I selected specifically to get that roof access.

the changes required to provide what we’re all asking for are to show the SSID, and show a button that will launch a new browser window open to the captive portal URL.

If you really do not want the RV market, a statement to that effect would be appreciated.

Just curious. Once you’ve logged in to the Pilot Truck Stop’s WiFi, if you disconnect, and then reconnect, do you have to log in again? The reason I ask is if the authentication is for some period of time, and MAC based, maybe you can gain BR1 access by having the BR1 run with a clone of the PC/tablet MAC Address that you authenticated with. I know that’s a long shot, but might be worth a try.

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In general there is the issue of getting access in the first place. Again I’ll point to the difference between the MobileMark roof antenna and my laptop or tablet’s internal antenna. What we find is the roof antenna can get enough signal, but the laptops and tablet cannot. The Pilot and Flying-J authentication seems to last a good long while, at least overnight, and that’s quite sufficient for the need. Changing the MAC address on the BR1 might work if the BR1 would even show the SSID, but this is one of those where it shows a blank instead. If I manually configure the SSID, it is possible to connect, but without knowing the URL of the login page, that doesn’t work well.

As I’ve noted, in cases where the access point redirects all traffic to the login page, it’s possible to use the BR1 by simply disabling health check on the wifi-as-wan.

Has there been any additional thought to building in an open source browser that one can launch within the Peplink admin panel to quickly authenticate?

Many places are using web authentication and most have nothing against or no ToS barring people connecting devices like Pepwave. Hotels, marinas, campgrounds, truck stops, public WiFi, paid WiFi services, etc.

I’d argue the Comcast ToS cited " other device that allows others to access the Comcast Web Services through it" specifically says others so if its for your own use I dont think its an issue they just dont want someone setting up an open hotspot to re-broadcast to the masses.

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A Browser implemented in the Web-Admin sounds great… +1

Maybe something that says “Needs web authentication” where the WAN interface status normally shows on the Dashboard page, can click, it disables the health check, lets you log-in, then re-enables the health check with the prior settings, automatically after successful authentication. Would save a few steps. Perhaps building in notifications for this specifically would also be helpful. I.e. can get an email saying WAN interface blah blah blah is down, needs authentication.

Hello @dennis.hofheinz & @mystery,
Be VERY VERY AWARE OF THIS, connecting any form of a router to most of the Wi-Fi services out there (such as at hotels, event centres, and other public places) is normally a breach of the terms and conditions of that service unless they have given explicit written permission for you to use their service via your router.

We have heard of several Wi-Fi service providers now not just blocking MAC addresses from known router manufactures though also blocking any user accounts those devices may attempt to use (they let the user log in to capture their details then shut down the connection for breach of the terms based on the MAC address). The automated process leaves the user requiring the service provider to be contacted to explain why the account should be enabled again, all the best in trying to explain that breach to the major public Wi-Fi providers.

We know the Peplink/Pepwave equipment is capable of connecting to WI-Fi service providers, though as @Tim_S said it is a legal mind field that we all must be very careful with. I have posted previously in the forum on this topic also (though cannot currently find the previous post to reference back to).

Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:

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I have read many Terms of Service and most I have read do not say its a breach. I have never heard of someone being blocked or running into a problem. That said, many of the providers I am thinking of are 100% OK with it, especially those at Marinas, Campgrounds, long-term stay hotels/motels/executive apartments, etc.

That said it would be up to the end user to follow TOS and I dont think its fair for someone else to make the decision for them.

Agreed or Linksys, Netgear and ASUS (to mention a few) would not be making routers that connect to these very same providers… all be it wired — the true answer is peplink does not view this ability as important

While this is an old thread, I am still interested in the outcome. I just replaced the routing network in my motorhome with the highly recommended PepWave SOHO product. Now it seems I have lost an important capability. My old system consisted of a Ubiquity Bullet on the roof for connection to the local campground, truck stop, or other hotspot. Many of these, especially in Alaska require a web page connection. This was provided with the Bullet so I just assumed it would be the same with PepWave. While I have not tested the latest software, I was greatly surprised when I read that it did not work. I have at least a dozen devices behind my router so I need the router to be able to make this connection.

I expected that I when I was ready to use one of these locations that I would have to open the admin screen, scan for the SSID, create a connection, then the sign on page would pop-up in the admin window. Is this not the case? This would only require that the PepWave identified the packet and forward them to the existing browser running the admin screen.

This is particularly critical as more and more campgrounds are using pay for service systems that need to collect billing information before they activate the connection. Once connected, the access generally lasts at least 24 hours so this process is very do-able from my point of view.

I’m in a RV in a campground that offers Tengointernet. If you connect to this provider from your phone a web page appears where you create an account and provide your site, email, etc. and enjoy free Internet for X days. Using my Pepwave BR1 MK2 I’m unable to use this resource as I cannot connect and create the required account.

What needs to happen is just like on your mobile device. When you connect to this WiFi provider and they require a web page response a web page should appear within the Pepwave Admin CP that shows the information you have to fill out, the web page closes, the connection continues.

Peplink team has no interest in even investigating this… and they have said as much, yet the level of benefit it would bring to the product line would be tremendous

Anyone worked out how to do this yet ? best ive seen is using a raspberry pi that runs a script to login to the portal.