I’m absolutely in love with my GL.iNet GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX), but occasionally, it has trouble connecting to captive portal Wi-Fis.

The symptoms: the device reports that the network is not connected to the internet but won’t show me a captive portal – or it fails to get a local IP address in the first place. Meanwhile, connecting by phone or notebook works flawlessly.

As usual, the solution was hiding in a support forum1: especially when connecting to UniFi access points, you must try out different MAC addresses:

Go into the “Network” submenu and find “MAC address”. Set it to “Manual” and click on “Random”. If it doesn’t help, try again.

Setting the MAC address to a random value.
Setting the MAC address to a random value.

Since employing this weird little trick, I could connect to any Wi-Fi without problems.

And if you can’t remember the name of some non-HTTPS website to trigger captive portals without certificate alerts, like yours truly, here’s mine: http://p.ox.cx/ (or http://notls.ox.cx/)

Bonus tip 1: Be careful with DNS overrides and rebind protection which can also interact poorly with captive portals. If you want privacy, use a VPN after connecting successfully.

Bonus tip 2: If you play with any of the device’s Wi-Fi settings and run into connectivity problems (for example, the repeater just deactivating itself all the time), try rebooting the device before you spend too much time troubleshooting.

Addendum: A Love Letter to the Beryl AX

I’m so in love with this device that if you have yet to hear of it, here’s the spiel: It’s a tiny USB-C-powered travel router that gives you Internet via Wi-Fi 6. As of writing it’s 129.00 € on Amazon.de and $119.90 on Amazon.com (not affiliate links because I’m an idealistic idiot).

The GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX). Pen for scale.
The GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX). Pen for scale.

What does it take the Internet from? Everywhere! It can work as a Wi-Fi repeater as described above: you arrive at a hotel, set it up once (including captive portal bullshit), and all your devices have Internet without configuring anything. Have you ever had a room with good Wi-Fi only in one corner? Put it there and your whole room has amazing Wi-Fi.

But you can also attach it to Ethernet (there might be unofficial Ethernet in your room – check the back of your TV ), to your phone for tethering, or a cellular modem.

Then there are tons of other features like attached USB storage being exposed as SMB drives, support for OpenVPN and WireGuard (both as a client and as a server), and even Tor support! Did I mention Tailscale!? It’s incredible what that little box is offering.

You have to believe me, I don’t receive any kickback – I just found it life-changing when traveling and need to share.

  1. Please use indexable forums instead of Discord for support – I beg you. ↩︎