How to Use Chromecast in Your Hotel Room

ChromeCast pluged into Hotel TV

Please read my new article “Chromecast in a Hotel Room – Four Easy Ways To Get It Working” which supersedes this article.

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Updated 11th May 2016.

I love using my Chromecast in my hotel room while traveling. Chromecast makes an excellent traveling gadget because it’s small, inexpensive and it uses your smartphone as the remote control (less stuff to carry around).  My laptop is free to use for other things while I’m watching my favorite Netflix shows. The problem is, in hotel’s you’re using public Internet access which requires a login via a web browser. Chromecast doesn’t have a web browser but needs to be connected to the internet independently from your smartphone or laptop.

How to Use Chromecast in Your Hotel Room is a how-to guide. You can use this guide for connecting other streaming devices to your hotel room TV such as the Roku Stick, but I prefer the Chromecast because of its simplicity, compactness and it’s cheap.

 

Here’s What You Need

1. Before booking your hotel, research the hotel’s WiFi speed and reliability at HotelWiFitTest.com. It’s pointless trying to hook up your Chromecast to the hotel’s TV if the internet is too slow. I aim for a web speed of 2.0 Mbps or higher.

Chromecast with Extension Cable
Chromecast with Extension Cable

2. The most obvious things you need is a Chromecast and Smart Phone. Chromecast comes with a small HDMI extension cable about two inches long. You need to travel with this as it’s required on some Televisions where the HDMI ports are facing down in a recessed square on the back.   Also, take along the USB power cord and power supply that comes with the Chromecast as you may need this item too.

3. A Travel Router. I use a TP-Link Travel Router because it’s inexpensive (around $20) and it’s small. Remember, size and costs of items are important when traveling. You can use any travel router you wish, but the setup graphics here are from my TP-Link Travel Router’s setup screen.

4. If you are traveling internationally, use a good VPN Service back to your home country so you can still watch your favorite shows and movies. I recommend PureVPN as it’s very fast and reliable.

 

Setup Your Chromecast at Home First

Setup your Travel Router and Chromecast at home first. You can do this by connecting your Travel Router to your home internet. Set its SSID to the one you can easily remember and setup wireless security. Run the Chromecast Setup App on your smartphone and connect Chromecast to your Travel Router. Tip: It’s best to set your Travel Router to hide its SSID as it will help prevent anyone else from trying to access it.

TP Link Wireless Setup Screen
TP-Link Wireless Setup Screen

Hotels With WiFi Only

Travel Router Connected to laptop
Travel Router Connected to laptop

1. On your Laptop computer, log in to the hotels WiFi and login to the internet.

2. Connect your travel router to your Laptop Ethernet port and if you wish, power the travel router from one of your laptop USB ports.

 

 

 

Network Conections and Sharing Center
Fig. 1

3. On your laptop, open the Network and Sharing Center by clicking on WiFi Status on the right of the taskbar (see Fig. 1)and then click on Network and Sharing Center at the bottom of the popup Wireless Connection list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Network and Sharing Center
Fig. 2

4. From the Network and Sharing Center, Click on Change adapter settings (see Fig. 2).

 

 

 

 

 

 

wireless network adaptor
Fig. 3

5. Right click on your wireless network adapter and then click on properties from the bottom of the popup list (Fig. 3)

 

 

 

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Wireless Network Connection Properties dialog box
Fig. 4

6. In the Wireless Network Connection Properties dialog box, click on the Sharing tab at the top.

7. Check the checkbox at the top “Allow otter network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection” (see Fig. 4) and then from the pull-down list “Home network connection:” (See Fig. 4)select Local Area Connection.

8. Click OK, and close the other windows. You have now set up a personal network in your hotel room.

Note: There are programs available that will allow you to create a hotspot using your laptop, but the ones I’ve tested don’t seem to be very stable. I’ve found using this method with a travel router to be the most stable and reliable.

9. Next, connect your Smartphone to your Travel Router and check you have internet access.

10. Plug your Chromecast into the hotels’ TV HDMI port. If the TV has a USB port labeled “USB In,” then you can power your Chromecast from this port. Otherwise, you will need to power your Chromecast from the power supply it came with or another USB power source.

Connect Chromecast to Hotel's TV
Connect Chromecast to Hotel’s TV

11. Change the TV input to the HDMI port your Chromecast is plugged in too. I’ve found that on most Hotel Room TV’s you will need to do this from the menu buttons (usually located on the right-hand side of the TV) as there usually is not an option to change the Source/Input on the TV’s remote.

Note*: Hotels with On Demand Video systems such as LodgeNet, you will need to obtain a universal remote to change the TV’s input. The front desk usually keeps one on hand so that guests can use their own video games. You can also pick one up cheap (around $4) from Walmart.

Update: On some LodgeNet TV remotes, you can press the zero button to change the source input to the HDMI port.

 

Windows 10

I’ve recorded a short YouTube video for steps 3 to 8 above in Windows 10. Please view at full screen!

 

 

Hotels with Wired Internet (Preferred)

This is much easier and more reliable than the WiFi method.

Travel Router Connected to Hotel Ethernet
Travel Router Connected to Hotel Ethernet

1. Connect your Travel Router to the Hotel’s wired internet.

2. Login to the Hotel’s internet from either your laptop or smartphone.

3. Connect your Chromecast to the hotel’s TV HDMI port. If the TV has a USB port labeled “USB In,” then you can power your Chrome Cast from this port. Otherwise, you will need to power your Chrome Cast from the power supply that it came with or another USB power source.

4. Change the TV input to the HDMI port your Chromecast is plugged in too. See step 11 above for further information.

*See note above for On Demand Video systems such as LodgeNet.

 

Using VPN if Outside Your Home Country

Note: Netflix and Hulu are cracking down on VPN use and are actively blocking known VPN networks including ExpressVPN.   

This is basically the same at Hotels with WiFi only accept for the following:

  • After Step 1, Start your VPN software and connect to a server in your home country.
  • In step 5, right click on your VPN Network Adapter and then click on properties from the bottom of the popup list. Do not right-click on the Wireless Network Adapter otherwise, you will bypass the VPN.

 

Netflix On TV
Watch Netflix in Your Hotel Room.

Now you can relax and enjoy your favorite shows in your hotel room while traveling.

Please read my new article Best Streaming Stick to use in a Hotel Room and feel free to leave a comment.

About Colin Robinson 58 Articles
Colin works for a high technology equipment manufacture as a senior product manager. The majority of his time is spent traveling to visit clients and to teach them in using this hi-tech equipment. He has to keep up with the latest advances in computer technology and trends, and has spent over 30 years in his line of work traveling extensively. He is very passionate about sharing his knowledge and experiences with others. Read more at http://www.worksmartandtravel.com/colin-robinson/

23 Comments on How to Use Chromecast in Your Hotel Room

  1. I already have the same router and have done this setup in the past, but the hotels I’ve stayed in always had ethernet ports. Prior to this trip I found your article and brought a laptop simply to broadcast through the router. I’m able to connect to the shared router but there is no internet connection. How do I fix this?

    Thanks,
    Gary

    • Hi Gary,

      I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. I’ve been on the road myself quite a bit. Once in a while you have to turn off internet sharing and switch it back on again for things to work. Well, that’s what I’ve found with Windows 7 anyway. I haven’t tested in Windows 8, but will test on my trip to Mexico tomorrow on Windows 10.

      Thanks for your post.

      Colin.

  2. In many cases, there’s an easier way. Chromecast now supports “guest mode”, which doesn’t require a router or access to a wifi network to connect a cell phone to a chromecast.

    I tried this at home, and it works. In the near future, I’ll try it “in the field” (at a hotel)

    Trying googling “chromecast guest mode” for more info. A few caveats:

    -you have to enable “guest mode” on your chromecast device using a wifi network – it’s easy, but you’ll want to do this before you leave on your trip

    -guest mode only works from chromecast enabled apps like youtube or netflix, it doesn’t work with screencasting.

    -to you use guest mode, your mobile device should NOT be connected to a wifi network. Turn off wifi on you cell phone when using guest mode.

    Since guest mode won’t work in all situations, the travel router is still a useful thing to have.

    • Hi,

      Thank you for your comment on my blog, It’s much appreciated.

      Chromecast Guest mode is nice for giving your guests access to your Chromecast without giving them access to your network. But Chromecast still needs to be connected to the internet for it to stream video and here lies the problem with hotels. Hotel WiFi is nothing more than a public hotspot that requires a each device to login via a web browser. The Chromecast doesn’t have a web browser and therefor you cannot connect it to a hotspot or hotel Wi-Fi! Following the instructions in my article gives you a way round this problem by creating your own reliable network.

      Another problem is Network Client Isolation. Public hotspots and Hotel Wi-Fi both use what’s known as Network Client Isolation ) where devices or clients are firewalled off from each other. If you are able to connect your Chromecast to the hotel Wi-Fi and get internet access on, your phone app will still not see it because of Network Client Isolation. Chromecast Guest Mode would then be a viable solution to this problem.

      I hope this helps. Again, thank you very much for reading and posting to my blog.

      Kind Regards,

      ColinR.
      colin@worksmartandtravel.com

      • Oops, my mistake. I had hoped (and thought) Chromcast guest mode would allow me to stream video from my android phone’s cellular data connection, so that internet access in the hotel would not be required at all. Sounds like that’s not the case.

        • Hi Alex, no sorry that is not the case. You can stream from your phones cellular data connection and I have done that. You don’t need Guest Mode for that to work! The only problem with using your cellular data connection is the amount of data your phone plan allows! My T-Mobile plan gives me 10Gb per month. But Netflix, YouTube and other streaming services will soon gobble up this data allotment so its really not a good idea. Check you data plan first.

          Thank you for your Email this evening, I hope I was able to answer your additional questions.

          ColinR.

  3. Hi

    I purchased the TP link in hopes to follow your guide and cast on the road. However I dont think there is enough detailed steps to even get the router setup for home use. Could you please follow up with more detail on the initial setup. Specifically the ‘quick setup’ guide for the TP.

    What type of setup shoudl I choose, and do I connect to my home wifi?

    • I have the same issue. Setting up the travel router has been difficult and TP’s instructions are very vague and assume you understand all of the ports and what they do. I’m assuming I should set it up in “repeater” mode?

      • Hi Sean, if you are following the instructions in my article then you need to set up the TP Travel Router in “Router” mode. Repeater mode does not work well with the TP router. After saying this, I have found another travel router that works very well for repeating a hotel hotspot and is very easy to set up. I finishing my article on it now and will post later this week.

        Thank you for reading my blog.

  4. I have a Win 10 computer. When I check the box in “Sharing” for my wireless adapter it doesn’t give me the opportunity to select Local Area connection. There are a variety of services I can authorize in settings, is there any one I can check to make this work?

  5. hi,
    and how about when the hotel has no ethernet connection, only wifi? And i have only a smartphone? How do i use de tp- router for my chromecast?

    • Hi Robin, yes I’m here. I apologize for the late reply and for your original message falling through the cracks.

      When you only have a smartphone and the hotel only has WiFi, I recommend using the EdiMAX Travel Router. It’s powered by USB and you can use any USB power supply with it. It’s great at sharing a WiFi hotspot with other non-PC devices such as your phone and chrome cast. It’s what I use now and I wrote an article about it at https://www.worksmartandtravel.com/2016/sharing-wifi-easy-way/

      Thanks for reading,

      ColinR.

      • Hi Collin,

        Thank you for your answer. Is it also possible with the tp-link tl-wr802n? Or the tl-wr702n? I just ordered it 3 days ago….

        Thx

        • Hi Robin,

          Your welcome.

          In regards to travel routers, you need one that supports WISP, Wireless Internet Service Provider. Theoretically, you can use bridge mode on the TP routers, but my TP travel router, WR702N, doesn’t work very well when connected to a hotspot with a login page such as hotel hotspots.

          Over the years, I’ve tried serval travel routers that claim they can share a wireless hotspot, but none of them worked well. Then I came across the EDiMax at Frys Electronics late year for less than twenty bucks, so I bought it and tested it. To my surprise, it works very well for sharing hotspots and is now my primary travel router.

          If you can, return the TP for the EdiMax. You will probably have to pay for return shipping if you bought it from Amazon.

          I hope this helps,

          Thanks,

          ColinR.

  6. Hi Colin,

    I read your article and bought the TP Link router but I’m still having issues with Chromecast in a hotel.

    I followed all of the steps in the article but I’m having no luck. Every time I try to cast Netflix or YouTube, it says “Brain Freeze.” I know the Chromecast works because it works at my house, and I’m able to screen cast (or screen mirror) in the hotel; however, I get the the “Brain Freeze” error for YouTube and Netflix while using either my phone or my laptop.

    Am I doing something wrong?

    • Hi Sean,

      I don’t think you are doing anything wrong. I did some internet research on the problem you see as I have not experienced it. The Brain Freeze error doesn’t seem to have a single cause, but there are reports it’s linked to IPv6. So I would disable IPv6 in your TP-Link router. Other than that, I’m hard-pressed to come up with an answer and can’t reproduce the problem.

      Thanks for reading,

      ColinR.

  7. Hi Colin,

    Even though I’m asking this for a real old article, i’m hope you can answer my question. I’m only interested in casting local content (e.g. home movies/pictures) from my phone/tablet to the chromecast. If I’m not planning to use any of the streaming apps that require an internet connection, can I do the initial setup of the chromecast with my travel router at home, then just plug it all in at the hotel/conference room and connect to the chromecast? Or do I need an internet connection to be able to cast local content form my phone/tablet?

    • Hi Afsheen,

      Yes, this is an older article, but it’s still getting a lot of traffic.

      I believe you can do what you are suggesting, but I can’t be certain. I no longer travel with my Chromecast. You should be able to test at home before traveling.

      Please let everyone know here by leaving a comment after your testing.

      Thanks for reading,

      ColinR.

Comments are closed.