Published on 06 April 2017

You’re at a new cafe. You haven’t signed onto the wifi before, so you ask the barista what the password is.

“Oh, no password. Just “HipsterCafeWIFI”. It’s open.”


So, you open your laptop, and connect to the network. You refresh gmail. Nothing happens. You refresh Facebook. Nothing. Still says you’re signed off.

At this exact moment, what do you do?

There’s only one real solution; try and find a non-SSL site. SSL is a fancy way of saying using https - a more secure protocol for sharing information. You see, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter — the sites you’re on most often - all have https enabled and enforced. This means that you can’t be redirected through to the log-in page that HipsterCafeWIFI requires. There’s a button you need to press on that page to get into the wifi, though. So you need to find a site that has only http, and not https, in the URL in order for this button to pop up.

I have a site I always go to: It’s mine, and I haven’t enabled SSL on it. I asked around on Twitter, and there’s a few sites other people use. makes the most sense - it’s actually run by the people who run the internet (that’s a super simplified way of putting it, of course). But I hadn’t heard of NeverSSL before. It was made specifically for this purpose. If you need a site that doesn’t have SSL enabled, go there. End of thread, really.

Of course, if that doesn’t work and you’re not sure why, Mercury may be in retrograde, so maybe you should check that site, too.