Have you just bought a brand new Chromecast without having the slightest idea how to configure it? Do not worry, because we are here to help you during the configuration process. Chromecast will let you stream content from your phone or tablet to your TV. Depending on your needs, it could also completely replace current smart TV devices. There are currently several versions of Chromecast (first gen, second gen, and the Chromecast Ultra 4K model), although these instructions for setting up Chromecast can be applied across the board. But we will also see how you can watch the contents of your smartphone or desktop on the TV.
Set up Chromecast with Android phone
- Connect your Chromecast to the TV’s HDMI input.
- Connect the Chromecast to a USB port on your TV. If there is no free USB port on the TV (or if it is in use), proceed using the included power adapter to connect the device to an electrical outlet.
- Change the input channel of your TV to the one to which your Chromecast is connected.
- Download the Google Home Android app from the Google Play Store on your mobile device.
- Open the app, accept the terms, log in to your Google account and follow the instructions.
- The main page should appear after completing the initial configuration.
- Click on “Devices” and click on “Configure” after viewing your Chromecast.
- Select “Configure” again.
- A code should appear on both the TV screen and the smartphone. Make sure it is the same on both devices.
- You will be asked if you want to change the name of your Chromecast with a custom name. You can choose to do it, or you can leave the default one. When finished, select “Set name“.
- Next, you’ll be asked to choose a Wi-Fi network for your Chromecast. Continue to the necessary steps and then select “Set up network“.
- Your Chromecast may receive updates. Wait until they’re finished.
- The Chromecast device should now start. After that, you’re ready to enjoy your Google Cast experience!
Once you’ve finished configuring Chromecast, compatible applications on mobile devices should show a Cast icon (if connected to the same Wi-Fi network). For example, when you watch a YouTube video, simply press the Cast icon and select your specific device. The content will be displayed on the big TV screen and you can easily control it with your smartphone.
How to mirror your devices with Chromecast
There are essentially two ways to transmit to your Chromecast: via your smartphone and from your computer. Although both methods are easy enough to implement, the smartphone route is the most popular option, as it allows you to use Chromecast as a connector to take your small screen to the big screen.
That said, we will cover both methods in the guide.
Transmit to Chromecast from Android and iOS
To be able to transmit to Chromecast from your smartphone, you’ll need a casting app. There are so many free options, but we’ve found that LocalCast for Chromecast for Android offers the best streaming speed without sacrificing sound or image quality. You can download it from Google Play While for iOS, Castio seems to be the most downloaded from the Apple Store.
The procedure is intuitive for both apps. Once you have downloaded and installed LocalCast, launch the app and touch the Cast icon in the lower right corner and choose the device you want to broadcast on. Now, use your phone to find anything you want to broadcast to Chromecast on TV (movies, photos, songs, etc.), and it’s done.
You’ll notice that the installation process is more or less the same for iOS users. However, the Cast icon may be in a different location on Apple devices.
Transmit to Chromecast from Mac and PC
While transmission to a smartphone requires a third-party app, transmission from your desktop or laptop device does not require these prerequisites if you have Google Chrome installed.
To stream from your Mac or PC, just open the Chrome browser and click on the menu icon in the upper right corner. Scroll down and click Cast. You may receive an occasional pop-up requesting to enable Google Hangouts and other cloud-based services. Decide if you want to allow it and click OK.
Now choose where you want to transmit. If installed properly, you should see your Chromecast device from the options provided. From there, simply click on your new Chromecast icon and you’re done.
Get more from your Chromecast
The great thing about Chromecast is the fluidity of the interface: you can instantly transmit Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and other fantastic services. That said, Amazon Prime is a bit more complicated to configure, as you’ll have to go directly through the Chrome browser on your Mac or PC to stream.
Another noteworthy feature of Chromecast is the ability to turn your smartphone into a mobile game controller. Google has released a series of dedicated Chromecast games that essentially transform your phone into a portable gamepad. Click here for an updated list of these apps.
How to use Chromecast with a VPN
Now that you know how Chromecast works, you can start having fun with its various features. Although one thing you might notice is how some apps and services could be blocked in your country.
Fortunately, you can expand your streaming capabilities and at the same time protect your connection using a VPN (or Virtual Private Network). A VPN allows you to circumvent geographical restrictions and stream content from anywhere in the world, while providing a level of secure protection by encrypting your connection and making your position anonymous.
Even if Chromecast devices do not offer (yet) integrated VPN functionality, you can install a VPN on your router and immediately cover all the devices in your home.