Getting online at a hotel can be frustrating. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what the WiFi network name is for the hotel. Then when you can connect, you usually have to log in with your credentials. This usually means entering in your name and room number. If you get premium internet, you have to select it even though the login page says you’ll need to pay, the front desk said you won’t be charged and they’re never wrong, right?
But what if you can’t get the box to log into the network to show up. The WiFi signal shows that you’re online but you’re definitely not. I’ve written about the various tricks I’ve learned over the years that have helped us get online.
There are plenty of tips in that article but at the last hotel where we stayed, I was stumped. I was able to log into the hotel network on my MacBook and my iPad Pro but my phone was resisting. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get the login box to pop up.
After over an hour of searches, I finally found an answer in the most unlikely of places. The Apple website. Amazing.
Maybe it’s me but I’ve always found the Apple tech articles to be along the lines of someone telling me, “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?”
In this case, I was linked to an article on the Apple Communities page and right there I found my answer.
If you have the BOINGO WI-FI FINDER app installed, uninstall it.
The app doesn’t work and breaks the login for a lot of free wi-fi services.
You’ll know this is the problem if you pick the hotel Wi-Fi network and shortly thereafter the red bar saying “Boingo Wi-Fi available here” pops down from the top of the screen, and yet the login screen never occurs so the little wi-fi icon (waves) never appears in the top left corner.
And no, switching to the Boingo app won’t get you connected either. I already knew it was a piece of crap since its never worked to connect me to any networks at airports or otherwise and I’d said as much in my review. Didn’t realize yet (or maybe they made the app worse recently?) that it would break existing free Wi-Fi networks you had no trouble logging into without it installed. \
Anyway, try this.
Back when I had an AMEX Platinum card that provided free Boingo WiFi Passes as a perk, I made an account and downloaded the Boingo app to my phone, where it’s sat ever since. I never found a single place where I could use the Boingo benefit, even when the app said I should have been able to log into a network. After a while, I just ignored the notification when “Boingo WiFi available here” showed up in the link of WiFi networks.
I noticed the hotel where we were staying showed as a Boingo provider on the list. As soon as I deleted the app to the Apple Cloud ether, I was able to connect to the hotel WiFi and the login page appeared immediately.
You don’t need to have the app installed to connect with Boingo WiFi so there’s no need to keep it on your phone. American Express is removing Boingo access as one of the benefits of the Platinum card, so there’s even one more reason to delete the app.
As I heard someone say once, IT is hard. Who knew that having a WiFi Finder app on my phone would prevent me from logging into a hotel WiFi network? I’m just happy I was able to find an article online from someone who had the same problem and was smart enough to figure it out.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary