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 mine, using it to stream 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. Thanks to an update from Google in 2014 Chromecast did become far more viable to use on the road without Wi-FI. If, however, you want to use it in a hotel via Wi-Fi, it's still an uphill climb.
Thankfully we're here to detail all the options available to you 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 as 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 needing a Wi-Fi connection either.
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, 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 sign-up 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 pay-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 among our list. If it was up to me, I'd just suggest loading your phone or laptop up with video content and streaming it directly instead.
If you insist on using 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 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!