Definition - What does Captive Portal mean?
A captive portal is a webpage that a user must view and interact with before being given access needs to a public network.
It is mainly used for authentication purposes and is usually in place for free Wifi hot spots, business centers, airports, lounges and lobbies. A captive portal also can restrict users on a public network on the basis of usage and services they can render.
Techopedia explains Captive Portal
Features of Captive Portal:
- Most captive portal keeps an idle and hard time out, i.e. a minimum time that a user has by which to interact or use services, in order to maintain basic level of security.
- Only selected MAC or IP addresses are allowed to access the network.
- Can place bandwidth restrictions on users.
- Different user authentication choices are provided along with https authentication.
- Capable of providing customizable content on the portal page.
- Allows for local user management options
- Requires customers to read and accept the acceptable usage policy.
- All Internet traffic is blocked until the user finishes the authentication process. In cases of a logout or other technical issues, a redirection url is provided.
- Can indirectly help in winning more customers for business, especially when free Wifi is provided.
- Browsing patterns also can be indirectly be captured using the same.
- Can help in generating revenue. The customizable page can be shown with deals and advertisements. Another way is to make customer pay for usage of the Internet plan.