How Do You Log onto a Free WiFi Network When There Is a “Internet not available” Error?

Problem scenario
You try connect via your wireless router to a WiFi network (e.g., at a restaurant, hotel, or public library).  You open a web browser because you were told you would be prompted with a splash screen.  On this page you would agree to the terms of service and/or enter a password.  You are not seeing this web page.  You try different URLs (e.g.,,  You are never prompted for a username or password.

Firefox may show something like this: "Hmm. We’re having trouble finding that site."

Chrome may show something like this: "There is no Internet connection...DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NO_INTERNET"

The Wireless Network Connection status shows you do not have internet access.  You cannot ping from a command prompt either.  There is no evidence you are connected to the network.  You appear to be connected to the WiFi network itself.  What should you do to gain access  to the internet?

Possible solution #1

Go to an IP address (with numbers) in a web browser and NOT a regular URL with letters.  Any IP address should work (e.g.,  This may resolve to the intended entrance webpage.

Possible solution #2  
Try a different web browser.

Possible solution #3
Try a different machine (e.g., a smart phone, tablet, or PC).

Possible solution #4
Reboot the machine.

Possible solution #5
Do you have a software firewall or security application with strict security settings?  This could be the cause of the problem.

Possible solution #6
Is your wireless network interface card configured to work with an internal DNS?  If there was special configuration done on your NIC, it may not be ready for a regular, public WiFi.

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