Using an Apple TV on a captive network

Apple TV can be a great traveling companion, giving you access to your iTunes collection, streaming sites, and other content without taking up a ton of space in your luggage. However, one feature that it lacks, is the ability to log in to captive networks (that is, networks that require you to take some kind of action before you can access the Internet). Fortunately, if you have a laptop with you, you’ll be able to perform the login, and then hand the connection back to your Apple TV. These instructions assume that you have a computer running macOS with you.

1. Download and install LinkLiar.

  1. Click here to download the application.
  2. Go to your Downloads folder, and double-click the icon.
  3. Drag the (new) icon to your Applications folder.
  4. Drag the icon to the trash.

2. Start it up (first time only).

  1. Go to your Applications folder,
  2. Right-click (or control-click) the icon.
  3. Select Open.
  4. You will probably get a dialog saying that the application is from an unknown developer. That’s okay; allow it to open the application.
  5. You will see an icon appear in your menubar, that looks like a person falling backwards. That’s the LinkLiar menu. Click it.
  6. Click Authorize LinkLiar…
  7. Enter your login name and password (this is the one you use to log into your computer; not your iCloud, email, or any other identity).

Subsequent startups will only require you to double-click the LinkLiar icon.

3. Get your Apple TV’s MAC address.

  1. On your Apple TV, go to the Settings App.
  2. Select About.
  3. You will see a Wi-Fi Address. It will look like this: aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff. Write it down.

4. Unplug your Apple TV.

5. Set your laptop’s MAC address to match your Apple TV’s.

  1. Go back to your laptop, and click on the LinkLiar menu.
  2. Mouse over the address listed under “Wi-Fi”.
  3. Select Define manually.
  4. Enter the MAC address from your Apple TV in the previous section.
  5. In a moment, you should see your laptop start to look for a new wireless connection. It should automatically rejoin the same network.
  6. You should then see the captive network’s login page. Do whatever needs to be done, to get yourself Internet access.
  7. Confirm that you’re on the Internet by bringing up a web site.

6. Reset your laptop’s MAC address.

  1. Click on the LinkLiar menu.
  2. Mouse over the address listed under “Wi-Fi”.
  3. Select Keep original.

7. Plug in your Apple TV.

If all went well, you should now be online. If you’re not, go to the Settings app, select Network, and make sure that you’re on the right wifi network. If you’re on the right network and you still can’t get to the Internet, repeat sections 4 through 7.

Disclaimer: I did not write LinkLiar; the author’s page can be found here.