Scenario. You’re at Starbucks or a conference and you’re trying to log into the wireless. You open up your MacBook, select the public wifi, and open Safari. Nothing happens.
Resolution. In the address bar, type captive.apple.com and press enter.
In most cases, this will take you to the public wifi login page (known as the ‘captive portal’ in technospeak).
More information. Safari does this as a security precaution. Wifi login pages work in a manner similar to a common hack. Apple has chosen a lot more security in exchange for a little inconvenience.
Additional troubleshooting. Login pages don’t work equally well on all browsers, especially the older login pages. You may find success with Firefox or Chrome. If you still can’t login, it’s time to ask for help.