Chromecast is Google’s answer to the streaming and casting craze: people want to share their screens with the bigger TVs and displays in their homes, and devices capable of doing so are selling like hot cakes now. With Apple, Amazon and all the major players jumping on the bandwagon, Google’s offering stands out as a champion in its own right, boasting incredible features and user-functionality that we all expect from Google.
However, that’s not to say that the device is all-encompassing and cannot be defeated. Like many other distractions of this era, all you need is a click of the Wi-Fi router and half of them are now useless. Which begs the question: why does Chromecast need internet? There are many people, with a limited understanding of how screen sharing and casting works, who ask the salesman questions like ‘do you need internet for Chromecast’.
Also Read: Android Cast Screen to TV Without Chromecast
And in an era where we have smart fridges that can and need to be connected to the internet, its really not all that brainy to pose a question like ‘does Chromecast need internet to work?’ So, while the answer is yes, you can understand that a good majority of functionality in today’s world is now derived from the internet,
and to be productive, you need to be connected. In addition to answering this question, we’ll also deal with how can Chromecast be used without internet and whether this will affect the functionality of the device, or if you will be able to continue streaming and casting screens like before, albeit with some technological hocus-pocus and magic on your side.
So, without any further ado, lets get to the first question: Do I need internet to use Chromecast?
Why Does Chromecast Need Internet?
First things first. As mentioned beforehand, a lot of things in the 21st century run because of the internet. And in the post-pandemic world, we’ve come to realize this importance even more, as we rely more on DoorDash, UberEats and Amazon for the smooth functioning of our lives. And they all require, yes, you guessed it right: internet. So, to answer the question: Chromecast requires internet because of two things;
- For smooth casting and streaming from once device to another
- To receive updates that help with its functioning
These are the two primary reasons as to why does Chromecast need internet. Other than that, should developers manage to get these into offline mode as well, there might be people who will be able to jailbreak this thing and then be able to do God-knows-what with it.
But these are the two primary reasons. So, here’s a bit of explanation to help you understand why does Chromecast need internet.
Explained- Why Does Chromecast Need Internet?
Chromecast can and will run without internet, and many tests have shown that you can actually stream the content from your phone or PC without internet to your TV using Chromecast. But the fact remains; to operate and utilise the device at its optimal performance point, you will need internet. Here’s the explanation for the above-mentioned two points.
One of the primary reasons. Check any guide, any walkthrough of how to operate a Chromecast, and the primary requirement will be: make sure that the PC and the TV (to which the Chromecast is connected) are both connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Basically, if you’re using your home Wi-Fi, the Google dongle needs to be connected to the home Wi-Fi as well,
to ensure that whatever content is being played on the mobile screen, the smartphone can cast it to the TV using the Wi-Fi. This is, in essentiality, the principle of casting and streaming; using Wi-Fi signals to broadcast the content being played on one device to another, with a receiver acting as the intermediary (in this case, the Chromecast). This is one reason why Chromecast needs internet, and as you can see, it’s a big one.
We’re going to out on a limb here and say that you’re reading this on a laptop computer, or a mobile. If you are using any of those, you know about updates, right? Those pesky updates that don’t let you use the laptop computer and doesn’t let you shut it off either, and if you actually do so, it corrupts the whole computer or drive. So yeah, those things, they are what many people like ourselves would call ‘necessary evil’. Its necessary because without it the device wont function, and its evil because its evil and it robs you of the precious time you get with your laptop or cell phone.
The Chromecast is nothing different; it too is a piece of hardware running on software, and when something new comes up or a bug has to be resolved, there will be a new update, and they are usually released as OTA updates or ‘Over-The-Air’ updates, which means that they are released and once the device is connected to the internet, it will automatically download and install the update.
This point is particularly important, considering that an updated Chromecast can work without internet, but if miss an update, the Chromecast wont work at all, which means one way or the other, it’s got to connect to a Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot.
Can I use Chromecast Without Internet Connection?
Yes, you can, and its relatively easy. But for you to pull it off, you’re going to need an updated Chromecast, because as stated earlier, if the Chromecast isn’t updated, it won’t work without internet. And while there is only one way to actually get the Chromecast to work truly without internet, the rest of the methods are just substitutes of internet that you can get the dongle to run on. Here is how can Chromecast be used without internet, explained.
Casting Android Phone Screen to Chromecast Without Internet
The first and truly offline method relates only to an Android phone, because the OS and Chromecast share the same manufacturer (Google) and as such, Google has placed some important features within the two to ensure offline connection can be made.
Start by launching the Google Home app on your phone. If you don’t have one, download it off the Play Store. Once it has been downloaded, play any downloaded media on your phone (considering you don’t have internet) and press on the Cast option on the top right of the phone.
With Google Home active, the device will look for Chromecast devices in a radius, and once it finds one, it will prompt you with a pin displayed on the TV (via the Chromecast). Enter the pin on your Google Home application on the phone and the connection will be established. Now you can cast your screen onto the TV without internet, using proprietary software and hardware provided by Google.
Using Mobile Hotspot To Keep Chromecast Connected
As explained beforehand, save for the one mentioned beforehand, there is no other way to actually run Chromecast without internet. If you are out of a Wi-Fi’s range or don’t have it simply, here are two substitutes that you can use to make do for the while. And the first one is by using the Mobile Data of your phone to create a hotspot and using it to connect the Chromecast to the internet.
Start by turning on the mobile data in your phone, and turning on the hotspot. Once the hotspot has been turned on, it will act like a regular Wi-Fi device or router, and you can set the password and the name of the connection by yourself. Once that has been done, simply turn on your TV, connect it to the mobile hotspot and the Chromecast will automatically connect to the internet, and now you can use the dongle without internet (well, technically Wi-Fi).
Disclaimer: this will eat up your data plan, considering casting and streaming takes up a lot of data, so, you know, do take this with a grain of salt.
Using An Ethernet-enabled Travel Router
Many people like to take their Chromecast with them on trips, treating them like a TiVo. If you identify as one of them, then you can make use of this device, which is what is commonly known as a travel router. It uses an ethernet connection to provide internet to any device, including a Chromecast, so, if you find yourself in a hotel with no Wi-Fi the next time, be sure to keep this device at your hand.