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Often, as I'm walking and using the internet, I'll walk by a Starbucks and my phone will auto-connect to attwifi (which is free, but requires that I open my browser and confirm). I lose internet access for a little while, for no good reason.

I could turn off auto-connecting to known Wi-Fi networks, but then I'm getting rid of a useful, bandwidth-saving feature.

Any ideas for ways to get the best of both worlds, auto-connecting only to Wi-Fi networks that don't require a captive portal to sign in?

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Turning auto-connect to free networks off not only gets you rid of a bandwidth-saving feature -- but at the same time of potential dangers (session hijacking and the like -- just google for DroidSheep to see what I mean). – Izzy Jan 20 '13 at 1:34
Sure - I guess what I really want is to remember individual MACs (and check for ARP spoofing) rather than Network Names. – AlexeyMK Jan 31 '13 at 6:12
With individual APs this is easy: Turn off auto-detect of "free WiFi hotspots", and simply connect once to each you want to remember. To those your device will auto-connect then when in reach. Take a look at WeFi Pro - Automatic WiFi for how to figure out whether it's a "captive" or not. Does that go into the right direction? Let me know, so I can turn it into an answer with some more details. – Izzy Jan 31 '13 at 7:38
Maybe one of the tools in this answer (Open WiFi Cleaner or WiFi AP Whitelist)? / – ǝɲǝɲbρɯͽ Jan 2 at 20:46
5.0 (lollipop) has a "smarter" wifi and bluetooth AI that allows for non connect or non auto connect to "weak signals" networks with "landing pages/signin pages" are considered weak signals "normally". – linuxdev2013 Mar 22 at 5:38

4 Answers 4

I think updating to lollipop will do the trick. As lollipop continues using your mobile data connection if your WiFi connection is not connecting you to the internet. However, I have not tested this with connections that need you to login.

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There are numerous apps which might help you auto-connect.(Apps like wifi connect). But it is recommend not to auto-connect with unknown networks eventhough they may be free.These networks can harm your personal datas.

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There are news on the web that unknown networks, evil APs can be dangerous because they can monitor your data, steal it, can do MITM, etc. but how exactly does it harms your personal data? I don't get this. Can you mention the source where you read this? Also, could you please add the hyperlink to the said app which would be good for the reader to continue ahead for the same app. – Firelord May 2 at 1:13
@Firelord ,there are tons of articles available ,please have a look on the topic.."Why You Shouldn’t Connect to Unsecure Networks"…… – utility May 2 at 5:42

Depending on your specific Android device there may be an option to disable auto connect for certain networks - on Sony Xperia handsets (including my Z1 Compact) you can press and hold the WiFi network name and untick the "Auto-connect" option - this allows you to stop the Android device automatically connecting to WiFi constantly, but without you needing to remember to delete it on the odd occasion you actually use the same network.

WiFi long press options on Xperia Z1 Compact

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"Best of both Worlds" Since 2012, i've been using WiFi Web Login to automate captive portal logins for this very reason (Phone would stay connected to access point even though it was not logged in, meaning no internet) I tried a few other similar apps first, but my college wifi at the time used a complicated captive portal (three fields to fill, buttons to press, more than one window to click through...) WiFi Web Login was the first app that was able to automate the entire process, so i've stayed with it ever since.

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