Un portal captive es un pagina web monstrate al nove usatores ante que les es concedite un accesso plus large al ressources de rete. Le portales captive es communmente usate pro presentar un pagina de accesso que pote requirer authentication, pagamento, acceptation de un accordo de licentia pro usator final o un politica de uso acceptabile, o altere valide credentiales al quales adhere ambe le hospite e le usator. Le portales captive es usate pro un large range de servicios mobile e pedestrian broadband services - including cable and commercially provided Wi-Fi and home hotspots. A captive portal can also be used to provide access to enterprise or residential wired networks, such as apartment houses, hotel rooms, and business centers.
The captive portal is presented to the client and is stored either at the gateway or on a web server hosting that page. Depending on the feature set of the gateway, websites or TCP ports can be white-listed so that the user would not have to interact with the captive portal in order to use them. The MAC address of attached clients can also be used to bypass the login process for specified devices.