The Google Chromecast has access to Google’s extensive apps store, unlocking thousands of games, movies, sports and live streaming programs like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now. Unfortunately, Chromecast does not run on Android. You may have access to a large number of applications, but the Chromecast itself does not have the same suite of apps an Android-based device might have. So if you’re hoping to sidestep a few geographic content restrictions with a VPN, you’ll have to take a few extra steps to install a VPN on Google Chromecast and Chromecast 2. Below, we walk you through those steps.
Important note: The Google Chromecast and Chromecast 2 use Google’s Chrome OS operating system, however, the OS is more similar to the Android OS found on Google TV. Independent investigations into the system found that both Chromecast devices are not built to install APK files, a typical method used to get apps on Android devices that are not found in Google’s App Store. This means it’s not easy to install a VPN on Google Chromecast.
The method we’ve provided below requires you to change the settings on your home router in order to work. However, this method may not work for you without the proper firmware installed.
You will need to install DD-WRT or Tomato on your router and will need to ensure that your router can have either of these two installed. Routers vary, so you should follow the guide from the included links to install DD-WRT or Tomato onto your router, or already have either of these two installed before attempting to do this method. Our guide focuses specifically on DD-WRT.
Want to skip this whole process? Order a DD-WRT or TomatoUSB FlashRouter from IPVanish. These routers come ready to use with IPVanish out of the box, no messy installation needed. You can even enter your IPVanish information upon purchase to have everything set up for you before the product ships.
Can I Just Download a VPN App from Google’s Chromecast App Store?
Unfortunately, Google’s Chromecast App Store has no VPNs available. While Google’s Android App Store, Google Play, is loaded with VPN software from some of the best VPN services around, Google’s Chromecast has no access to any of these apps. The Chromecast also has no built-in VPN service,
As such, we would want to remind our readers that this method will only work if you have Tomato or DD-WRT firmware on your router.
Installing a VPN on your router allows you cover your entire home network. Although you can utilize the following method with most VPN services, our recommendation for this purpose is IPVanish. IPVanish is a high-level VPN software that provides easy access to geographically-locked content across a spectrum of different streaming services. We recommend IPVanish for anyone looking to add VPN protection to a Google Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra. IPVanish places a strong emphasis on privacy and security as well. We’ve thoroughly reviewed IPVanish, giving it the highest ranking among other major VPN services.
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How to Install IPVanish on Your Router
To install IPVanish on your router, you will first need to make sure that your router has either DD-WRT or Tomato installed. IPVanish works for either type. This walkthrough will focus solely on DD-WRT, and will also require you to have an IPVanish account created before you begin. You can create an account for free and benefit from a 7-day trial to see if the service is right for you.
For a DD-WRT router, do the following:
- Select either OpenVPN or PPTP. We suggest using OpenVPN, which provides better security. If you prefer speed, however, go with PPTP. Click here for a detailed guide on how to do this process with PPTP
- Open your DD-WRT administration page. This is easily accomplished by typing in 22.214.171.124. That said, your default LAN address may differ. If youre unsure, or if the typical default LAN address does not work for you, go to your computer’s Command Prompt and type, or copy and paste, the following: ipconfig | findstr /i “Gateway”. This will reveal your gateway address
- Click the “Services” tab at the top of the page and enter your authentication. If you are unsure what this information is, you may need to perform a factory reset on your router and create new authentication
- Under “Services”, scroll to the bottom of the page and locate System Log. Click Enable and then click on Save at the bottom of the screen. This is just a precautionary step that allows the IPVanish support staff to better assist you should anything go wrong during this process. This will keep a log of all changes
- The page will refresh after the previous Save. Return to the top of the page, and click on the sub-tab that says VPN. Under OpenVPN Client, click on Enable
- The previous step will expand your options. Now, follow the next steps exactly as written here:
- Server IP/Name: enter the IPVanish host you wish to connect to. In the example, hostname ‘lax-a01.ipvanish.com’ was chosen. You can find specific host names by logging into your regular IPVanish application, connecting to a VPN of your choice, and then checking the hostname from the main screen. You can also find host names by clicking here. Simply use the city abbreviation and the number, and then add in “ipvanish.com’ to the end, such as dal-a01.ipvanish.com for a Dallas-located hostname.
- Port: enter 443.
- Tunnel Protocol: click the drop-down, and select TCP
- Tunnel Device: click the drop-down, and select TUN
- Encryption Cipher: click the drop-down, and select AES-256-CBC
- Hash Algorithm: click the drop-down, and select SHA256
- nsCertType Verification: leave this alone
- Advanced Options: click the button labeled Enable
- With the Advanced Options clicked, you’ll now need to enter more information. Enter each of the following under the Advanced Options area exactly as written here:
- Use LZO Compression: Click the button labeled Enable
- NAT – tick the radio button labeled Enable
- Local IP Address: leave this alone
- TUN MTU Setting: leave this configured at 1500
- MSS-Fix/Fragment across the tunnel: – leave this alone
- TLS Cipher: click the drop-down, and select AES-256-SHA
- TLS Auth Key: leave this alone.
- Beside Additional Config, you’ll need to enter the following exactly as written below. Where you see [IPVanish Hostname], replace the phrase, brackets included, with the hostname you chose above:
persist-remote-ip keysize 256 tls-remote [IPVanish hostname**] auth-user-pass /tmp/auth.conf script-security 3 system
- Under the CA Cert box, click here, and then copy the text on that page into the CA Cert
- Review your settings and check for any inconsistencies from our list here. Then, at the bottom, click on Save. Your page will be refreshed. From there, go back to the top and click on the Security
- Under the Security section, locate the Log Management. Click Enable and then select High from the drop-down menu for Log level. Finally, click Save at the bottom. This will help provide enhanced log information for IPVanish support services should you have issues with the next steps
- Next, after the page refresh, return to the top of the screen and click on Administration. Under Administration click on the Commands sub-tab. In the Command Shell enter the following in the empty box. Replace everything in the brackets (brackets included) with your IPVanish user information. Make sure to keep the quotation marks:
#!/bin/sh touch /tmp/auth.conf echo "[YOUR USER NAME*]" > /tmp/auth.conf echo "[YOUR PASSWORD**]" >> /tmp/auth.conf
- Once you’ve entered the above information, click on Save Startup. You will then see the information you just entered in a new box labeled Startup
- At the top of the screen, while still in the Administration tab, click on the Management sub-tab. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Reboot Router. After waiting a few minutes, head to a website like https://www.whatismyip.com or https://www.speedtest.net to test your IP address. If it’s now changed to the host you entered, you have successfully setup your router with IPVanish!
If, for whatever reason, your Chromecast is not connecting to your preferred geographic location, further setting changes may be needed. IPVanish provides more details specific for Chromecast users if this is your situation.
It’s important to note as well that using this method does not provide you with the same functionality you get with a typical IPVanish application. That means you cannot change settings, and you can not easily change your host. To change your host, return to the above router setup and change the hostname where applicable.
Why Would I need to Install VPN on Google Chromecast and Chromecast 2?
For regular streaming purposes, a VPN is not a necessity. However, if you plan to utilize your Chromecast or Chromecast 2 to gain access to different, regionally blocked content (such as getting HBO Now while in the UK), a VPN is a necessity. You should consider utilizing a VPN if you purchased a Chromecast to stream American television content while outside of the US, or if you plan to stream content from your computer through the Chromecast.
If you are streaming content from your web browser through the Chromecast, you will not need to install a VPN on Chromecast or even on your Router. If your purpose is simply to use the Chromecast as a conduit for streaming content from your laptop, you can opt to install the actual IPVanish VPN application onto your computer.
However, if your goal is to stream directly through Chromecast, a VPN on your router will be necessary, as the Chromecast cannot have a VPN installed without completely hacking the device and altering the operating system.