There is a standard known to some as WISPr XML - which provides a convenient way for non-browser based authentication on captive portal networks. The technique is used by a variety of smart-client and access controller vendors. Chilli, as an access controller, has long had support for WISPr; initially funded by WeRoam in the original ChilliSpot. Support for WISPr continues in CoovaChilli, and here is how to use it. To test and use this method of authentication to login, albeit, from the browser, install the new Coova Firefox Extension. Tested against CoovaAP and Colubris, it should work with any WISPr implementation.

[img_assist|nid=204|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=166|height=203][img_assist|nid=203|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=161|height=45]What does it do? First, the extension checks to see if you are online. It does this by trying to access a page on the Internet - a page not in the walled garden. At Hotspots supporting WISPr, the access controller sends back some XML along with the initial browser redirect to the captive portal. Smart-client applications use this information, which includes the hotspot location name, to login to the network. This extension does the same thing, plus it:


  • shows the location name of the hotspot in the status bar,
  • shows the duration of your session when logged in,
  • will optionally remember your username and password,
  • can automatically login to a hotspot on start-up,
  • shows session status info if controller is chilli (using JSON)
  • helps test WISPr implementations.