So you bought a new Chromecast and you’re wondering if you can use Chromecast with a mobile hotspot. Is it possible?
Do you really need to bring a router around with you? Can you use a Chromecast when you travel like in hotel rooms? As it turns out, there are some solutions that you might find helpful. Stay on this page to learn more.
Chromecasts can make simple things like showing people media so much easier because you can simply cast media from your phone to the device. And with the newer version, you can even watch Netflix and other apps.
Can You Use Chromecast with a Mobile Hotspot?
Connecting a Chromecast to a mobile hotspot is not an officially supported feature. However, you can use Chromecast with a mobile hotspot by either using a second phone to configure the Chromecast through Google Home, or manually entering the hotspot’s network name and password on one phone.
I’ll walk you through each of the steps below:
Where to Buy a Chromecast?
Remember, only the latest Chromecast, Chromecast with Google TV has a menu and a remote, so connecting it to a Wifi network with it is pretty easy. However, all of the older Chromecast’s do not have a menu, and you can only configure them with a phone.
You can also read my Chromecast with Google TV review here.
What You Need to Know:
Another point to keep in mind is older Chromecasts can only connect and remember one Wifi network at a time. If you want to connect your Chromecast to a hotspot, you need to factory reset the Chromecast and make sure the hotspot is the first network it connects to.
Also, remember the Chromecast needs to be connected to the same Wifi network as the device that controls it. You can’t cast to a Chromecast if it is not on the same Wifi network. However, you can connect and configure new Chromecasts for the first time without being on the same network.
Bear in mind, if you’re trying to use Dex with Chromecast, you’re in for some bad news, which I talk about over here. Let’s get to the tutorial.
How to Connect a Chromecast to a Mobile Hotspot With Two Phones:
The easiest way to connect a Chromecast to a mobile hotspot is with two phones, one creates the hotspot, and the other connects to the hotspot and configures the Chromecast.
Here’s what you need to do:
1 – Setup the Chromecast, Power it On
Make sure the Chromecast is plugged into an HDMI port and turned on. It should show a stable white light and your TV should show the Chromecast background with its number and PIN.
If you used the Chromecast before, you might need to reset it.
2 – Use One Phone to Turn on a Hotspot
Start the hotspot on one of the phones. It’s best if the phone has a cellular internet connection. The easiest way to start a hotspot on Android is to drag down the notification bar and tap the hotspot icon. Set the phone that hosts the hotspot down for now.
3 – Connect to Hotspot on the Second Phone
Connect your second phone to the first phone’s hotspot. If you don’t have it already, download Google Home app and open it.
4 – Use Google Home on Second Phone to Configure the Chromecast
In the Google Home app, tap the plus icon, and let it search for the Chromecast. It should find it. Tap on your Chromecast and go through the setup installation.
When it asks for a WIFI network, connect it to the hotspot on the first phone. And that’s it. Now you can use the Chromecast with a mobile hotspot.
Just watch the data usage!
How to Connect a Chromecast to a Hotspot with Only One Phone:
If you only have one phone, connecting your Chromecast to its hotspot is a little trickier but it is possible. I have tried this on the Chromecast Ultra and can confirm it works. It’s definitely a lot more convenient because you can do this pretty much anywhere
It’s also a lifesaver when your home’s internet dies!
1 – Start a Hotspot on Your Phone
Drag down the top bar of your phone and tap the hotspot icon. I would tap and hold the icon to open the hotspot details now, so you can easily switch over to them later on. I would also suggest changing the hotspot info to something simple.
2 – Open Google Home, Find the Chromecast
Like before, open the Google Home app, tap the plus icon, and connect to your Chromecast. Don’t quickly tap the next buttons. When it asks which WiFi network to connect to, you’ll notice that your hotspot is not on the list of WiFi networks.
3 – Scroll Down the WiFi List and Tap “Other WiFi Network”
Here’s where you enter your mobile hotspot’s WIFI information (the SSID and password). The name and password need to be an exact match, which is why I recommended changing the hotspot’s name to something simple. Be careful with upper and lowercase letters.
If you entered the details correctly, the Chromecast should be able to connect to the hotspot, and you’ll be able to cast and screen share with no problems. I can confirm this works on Androids but iPhones might not work.
The good news is once your Chromecast is connected to the hotspot, it will automatically connect every time the hotspot is turned on.
There’s also a mode called Guest Mode which you can enable once the Chromecast is connected. Guest Mode is supposed to allow people who are not on the same Wifi network to cast to the Chromecast but it’s quite unreliable.
Don’t Like Chromecasts?
If you don’t like Chromecasts, you can find an alternative on Amazon.
The main concern with using a Chromecast on a mobile hotspot is data chargers. Most people have limited data on their mobile plans, and using a mobile hotspot, especially for streaming HD media, can eat into that plan.
Remember, you aren’t actually sending media from your phone to the device. The way it works is your phone tells the Chromecast where to find the media online and it separately loads it, that’s why an internet connection is required. A Chromecast won’t work without an internet connection.
For that reason, be careful about how much data the Chromecast is using through your mobile hotspot. Most of the time, that’s easy to check, simply open the data usage app on your phone and you should see what’s using the most data.
But the Chromecast doesn’t just use data for streaming media, it also needs data for software updates and background processes, so it can consume a lot. Most people say it eats about 3GB of data relatively quickly.
I’m sure you don’t want to be hit with an over-the-limit bill, so be careful. Obviously, with an unlimited mobile data plan, this won’t be an issue.
Mobile Network Speed
Again, on the subject of data, something to worry about is the speed of your mobile network. If it’s too slow, the Chromecast won’t be able to load any media, and it would be kind of useless.
Chromecasts recommend an internet speed of 5 Mbps minimum, which is feasible for mobile networks, but it depends on the area you’re in, and the mobile network coverage. 4G and 5G should handle it with no problems.
It’s Not Officially Supported
Once again, using a Chromecast with a mobile hotspot is not officially supported, so it might be disabled or patched at any time. There’s no guarantee it will work.
For the most part, it seems like people are able to get it to work following the steps above. But don’t hold it against me if you can’t.
The Bottom Line:
To summarize, Chromecasts can make your life a lot easier, and they’re especially useful for showing media to friends or family on a TV that doesn’t already have casting functions. It also really helps if you don’t have a router or home internet.
It also makes things like watching Netflix a breeze, not to mention other setups like using a portable projector, which is easy too. The main takeaway is that you can use Chromecast with a mobile hotspot but you need to have a hotspot with fast and reliable internet.
At least, if you plan to use the Chromecast this way on a regular basis, for a few YouTube videos, it shouldn’t bankrupt you. And that wraps up the article. Leave a comment below if you have any questions.