Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are excellent ways to turn dumb televisions into smart ones but there’s a problem that many owners encounter when they’re trying to connect these streaming devices to hotspots with web-based authentication, such as what many colleges and hotels do. The good news is that Amazon is about to fix this with a new update that will bring support for web-based authentication at “most major hotels, as well as some universities.”
Streaming media dongles like Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick are fantastic options for simple, no-frills video streaming and music listening. That is, of course, unless you live on a college campus or frequent hotels with hostposts that require you to interact with a web page before connecting. But for Fire TV and Fire TV Stick owners, “captive portal anxiety” will soon be a thing of the past – among a slew of other improvements, Amazon’s rolling out support for web-based authentication. Amazon claims that the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are the first streaming media devices to support so-called captive portals, and should be able to connect to wireless networks at “most major hotels, as well as some universities.” The mechanism in use here won’t be clear until the update hits, but it will most likely rely on a built-in web browser to serve the necessary pages.