Google’s Chromecast is the perfect travel-sized streaming stick, but what happens when you don’t have Wi-Fi to connect to?
Google’s Chromecast streaming stick is wonderful. I couldn’t imagine life without one, streaming content from my phone, tablet and laptop directly to my TV is just fantastic and, if I thought to carry it with me everywhere I go, I would.
But using it on the go isn’t as blissfully simple as it should be. Google certainly improved things with an update back in 2014 allowing it to work via a local network rather than an internet-connected Wi-Fi connection. However, if you want to use it in a hotel via Wi-Fi, it’s still an uphill climb.
Thankfully, I'm here to detail all the options available so you can get Chromecast working wherever you are in the world.
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi:
Using Chromecast without Wi-Fi is really quite simple because Google now allows you to cast locally stored content from your phone or laptop to Chromecast without a Wi-Fi connection. You can also mirror your device without Wi-Fi.
If you haven’t twigged, this means those of you with meaty mobile data packages can stream content over 4G to your phone and mirror it to your Chromecast. Not only does this save your precious tethering data allowance limits, but it also saves you faffing around with mobile hotspots.
How to use Chromecast on hotel Wi-Fi:
Getting a Chromecast to run on hotel Wi-Fi is, to put it bluntly, a complete nightmare. Not only do some hotels restrict what you can do on their Wi-Fi connection, almost all of them require you to connect to the network via a digital form. Obviously, while the Chromecast can see the wireless network, with no actual system interface it won’t be able to navigate past the signup form to receive an active internet connection.
Don’t worry too much, though. If you’re determined enough, you can circumvent this with a little bit more tech savvy or a pocket-sized travel router.
Using Connectify Hotspot
Connectify Hotspot is a great way to share your laptop’s Wi-Fi or wired internet connection as a hotspot location. While it is a paid-for app, there is a free version for basic usage such as this. It’s also a doddle to set up.
Connect to your hotel’s Wi-Fi, completing any forms.
Open Connectify Hotspot and share your connection as a Wi-Fi Hotspot.
Connect your Chromecast to the new hotspot you’ve created.
Voila, you’ve got a working Chromecast.
Using a travel router
A pocket-sized travel router could be the answer to your Chromecast streaming woes. However, the biggest downside is that they’re the fiddliest solution on our list. If it were up to me, I’d suggest simply loading your phone or laptop up with video content and streaming it directly instead.
You can buy a pocket-sized travel router cheaply from Amazon:
If you want to use a travel router, here’s the simplest way to sort it all out:
Set up your travel router at home first by assigning it an SSID and password.
Connect your Chromecast to it via the Chromecast app on your Android or iOS device. Doing things this way around means that, when you connect your travel router to your hotel Wi-Fi, Chromecast will automatically connect.
Once at your hotel, connect the pocket router to the hotel’s Ethernet connection.
If you need to go via a login screen, you can do so by connecting one of your devices to the router and navigating to the login page via a web browser.
- Voila, your Chromecast and device should now be connected and be able to talk to one another with ease. Stream to your heart’s content!