Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Can I use a Roku at a Hotel that has a "Secondary" authentication via a Web Page? YES You can!

I finally took the plunge and took my Roku 3 to the Hampton Inn (Hilton property).  I plugged it in and set it up to connect to hhonors WIFI SSID.  And then I opened Netflix and BAMM, it didn't work!  :)  I didn't think it would.  I searched the Internet many times before this to see if anyone had an easy way to do the authentication.  The Roku doesn't have a web browser, so you can't connect to www.anything.com, which is required at Hilton properties.  When you connect to a site in your web browser, the Hilton WIFI service presents you a web page that you have to log into with your room number.

Ok.  I knew that, and I'm guessing if your still reading that you knew that also.  So, how do we fix it.

Some people bring a router with them, and use that to authenticate.  They clone the mac address of the router or something like that.  Well, I thought, why clone the MAC address of the router?  Why not just clone the MAC address of the Roku?  Hum, would it work?  Yes, it does!!!

So, how do you do it.  Let's walk through it.

A MAC address is a network address that is unique to every device.  It's only used locally on the network, it doesn't get sent out on the Internet, for that we use what's called an IP address.  So, what is the MAC address of the Roku?  You need to find that out in order to do this, so here's how you find the MAC address:

Go to "Settings", and then "Network", and then "WIFI" (This is for the Roku 3 with the new software, older Roku's should be close to the same procedure).

1.  Go to Settings:

2.  Write down the Roku MAC address
3.  Unplug the Roku (power it off)
4.  Clone the MAC address on your computer.

If your Computer is running Windows, this is a fairly complex process.  I will try to right up the procedure in another post soon, but I think it would be easiest to do it with a video.

If you have a MAC, do this:
1. Open Terminal
2. At the command line, type:
 ifconfig en1

You should see something like this:
    ether 68:a8:ee:ee:ee:fa  <-----THIS IS YOUR Computers MAC ADDRESS
    inet6 fe80::6aa8:6dff:fe19:2efa%en1 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x4
    inet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast
    media: autoselect
    status: active
3.  Write down your computers MAC address.
4.  Now, type this command: 
sudo ifconfig en1 ether ROKU-MAC-ADDRESS
NOTE: en1 is the Network adapter on my MAC (look at the two items I have highlighted GREEN), yours could be en0 or some other enXX

For example, if your ROKU has a MAC address of: B8:3E:59:FF:FF:FF use this command:
sudo ifconfig en1 ether B8:3E:59:FF:FF:FF

5.  Turn off your Computers WIFI network.
6.  Turn on your computers WIFI network
7.  Connect to the Hotels WIFI network
8.  Open a web browser like normal, and connect to www.yahoo.com and log into your hotels WIFI network.
9.  Reset your MAC address on your computer with this command:
 sudo ifconfig en1 ether computer-MAC-ADDRESS
NOTE: AGAIN, en1 is the Network adapter on my MAC (look at the two items I have highlighted GREEN), yours could be en0 or some other enXX

10.  Turn off your computers WIFI adapter
11. Power on the Roku, and enjoy!


  1. Can I do this on a nexus 7? I am getting permission denied on some of these commands. Must I be rooted for this to work?

    1. I don't know anything about the Nexus 7, sorry.

  2. so, does this mean you cannot be using wifi on your computer while streaming on roku? I am asking because your last direction is to turn off the wifi on your computer...? Thanks

    1. You can power on the wifi and continue to use both the computer and Roku at the same time.

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  5. I tried with my MacBook and a Roku 3 several times, following the instructions exactly. It did not work for me. Maybe some secondary login systems work differently?

    1. Your MAC might be using an en0 or en2 instead of en1. Try looking at ifconfig and see if you have multiple adapters. If you do, log into the WIFI network and type ifconfig at the prompt. In that data, look for the adapter that has an ip address, like this:
      inet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast

      Then, if it's not en1, replace en1 with whatever your computer is using.

  6. You, sir, are a genius! Thanks for making my travels better!

    1. Thanks for the post! I'm glad it worked for you. I have been using this for the last two years at Hilton properties and I travel a lot with it. I also have a PLEX at home that I have all of my movies on. I use that to stream from the big networks and also to stream my home movies. I can make a post about that too if it would help people.

    2. I typically stay in marriott. My only complaint (not from you of course) is that all the Roku apps work except Netflix. Netflix will play for a bit and then freak out and freeze while buffering. Any advice? I'm close to buying a HooToo...

    3. Also... do you know why it's now gone to saying status: inactive and not working... I don't know enough about computer configuration to fix it. :( but it worked great the first hotel! No matter what I try it doesn't seem to want to work at this one...

    4. Do not be surprise if the cause of your problems is Marriott itself. I came across the following news article today which shows how far some hotels will go to make sure that they charge you for and control your internet access:


    5. Damn. I've got the HooToo on the way to try and bridge the connection, I don't pay for the internet anyway since I'm an elite member, but still. I just really really want to use the Roku over the holidays in a hotel! :D

  7. For Windows 7 I found a fairly easy and free way to connect my Roku3 in a wireless environment that needs authentication using my laptop and a network cable.

    I know you are probably wondering why I say we need an Ethernet cable when we are talking about a wireless environment. This is to take advantage of ICS (Internet connection sharing) feature that requires the use of two network connections.

    1. Open the control panel on your laptop

    2. Click "View network status and task"

    3. Click " Change adapter settings"

    4. Select your wireless adapter

    5. Right click your wireless adapter (the one you are using to connect to the internet.)

    6. Select properties

    7. Select the Sharing tab

    8. Click the box that says "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's connection"

    9. Under the home network connection it will say select a private network connection. Click it and select "Local Area

    Connection" (this is your Ethernet jack)

    10. Click the settings box and select "Web Server (HTTP)" and just in case also select "Secure Web Server (HTTPS)

    11. Make sure to leave blank the box that says "Allow other network users to control or disable the shared connection"

    12. Connect one end of your Ethernet cable to your Laptop

    13. Connect the other end of your Ethernet cable to your Roku's Ethernet connection

    14. On you laptop establish your wireless hotel internet connection and complete the authentication process to make sure that you can see the internet.

    15. Go to your Roku's setting and select the wired (Ethernet) connection.

    16. Now sit back and enjoy your entertainment via your Roku.

  8. I have used your brilliant idea to get Roku in at a resort or hotel several times. Today it is asking for a password?? Never seen that before. I have put my MacBook Password when logging in and that doesn't work. Tried every password I could think of and it just resets it after 3 failed attempts. Any suggestions??
    Thanks in advance.

  9. I have gotten as far as step four, when i hit enter it asks for a password but it wont let me type anything at all. Any suggestions on how to get around this?

    1. Just type in the password it does not show up that your inputing anything just hit enter when done.

  10. i dont have an adapter im just trying to do this and no luck

  11. this tutorial worked perfectly for me!!! thanks so much

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  13. Loved it. Some really good points in there. Cheers, have a great day
    wifi for hotels

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  15. Hi Friends!
    I am Jack Samson, lives in the USA. I am a regular user of Roku streaming device. I have follow your guidelines to get Roku player in at a Hotel as well as Resort....Also, i get ideas about Travelling Channel like How to watch travel channel on Roku player. It is a amazing blog and includes important information about Roku Player.