Chromecast, Google’s most popular first-generation streaming dongle, turned 10 on July 24, 2023. Although it boasts a long list of online channels, a lot of its offerings are geo-restricted. Similarly, live streams are also often subject to blackouts meaning only users in specific regions or locations can watch certain events such as sports matches. However, by connecting to a VPN, you can safely work around these geo-restrictions and access all your favorite Chromecast channels from anywhere on the planet.
A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, achieves this by encrypting all your device’s internet traffic and routing it through an intermediary server based in a remote location of your choice. This helps to conceal your actual IP address by assigning you another one which in turn hides your real location. As a result, you’ll be able to securely circumvent Google’s geo-restrictions and watch any Chromecast channel regardless of where you are. This is particularly useful for anyone who travels overseas regularly or is looking to keep up with their local shows while on vacation.
This guide reviews the VPNs that are best suited to Chromecast. I’ll also walk you through how to get set up with a Chromecast VPN and respond to a handful of commonly asked VPN questions. In case you’re pressed for time and can’t read through all the reviews, I’ve provided a summary below.
The best VPNs for Chromecast:
- NordVPN: The #1 VPN for Chromecast. Can work great with Chromecast in several different ways. Safely accesses multiple streaming platforms. Offers fast speeds, robust security, and also includes a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: Best value for money VPN for Chromecast. A quick, user-friendly option with a focus on security. Can access Chromecast with ease.
- ExpressVPN: Provides detailed instructions for setting up Chromecast. Comfortably accesses a broad range of streaming services with geo-restrictions around the world. Rapid speeds along with top-notch security.
- CyberGhost: Intuitive, user-friendly applications that are ideal for VPN novices. Tests reveal that its servers are some of the fastest for streaming on this list.
- PrivateVPN: Robust security offerings, awesome connection speeds, plus a genuine zero logs policy.
- IP Vanish: 2,000+ servers in over 75 locations worldwide. Fast and secure servers. No issues circumventing Chromecast geo-blocks.
- Private Internet Access: Easy setup thanks to step-by-step tutorials on Chromecast setup. Decent streaming speeds and accessing capacity.
- Atlas VPN: Unlimited device connections allowed. Awesome accessing capability, as well as a host of top-tier security features, among them a malware and tracker blocker.
Setting up a Chromecast VPN
Before we begin exploring the different VPN providers that work well with Chromecast, let’s first discuss the number one decision you need to make when setting up a Chromecast VPN.
Below are your two main options if you’re looking to use a VPN with Chromecast:
- Set up a VPN on your physical router
- Set up a VPN on a virtual router
At this point, you may be asking yourself why you can’t just use a VPN app. Sadly, Chromecast devices do not offer VPN support. As such, setting up a Chromecast VPN would still be quite challenging even if you were able to root the device. Other options, such as smart DNS proxies that are common substitutes for VPNs, are not supported as well.
It’s with this in mind that I suggest first setting up your VPN on a WiFi router, after which you can connect your Chromecast device to that router. You should then be able to safely access geo-restricted content as all of the internet traffic from your Chromecast device will be routed through a suitable VPN server. While this might seem a bit complicated at first, I’ll explain how to go about this process in greater detail later in this guide.
The best VPNs for Chromecast
These days, it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed by the wide range of VPN options available on the market. Making the right choice is more important than ever since not all of them will fit your unique needs. To help you identify the best VPN for Chromecast I evaluated several providers based on the following criteria:
- Size and reliability of the server network
- Router support
- Security and privacy protocols
- Customer service
- Value for money
Further below in this guide, I’ll let you know more about my full process for testing and ranking all the VPNs I’ve recommended. But first, let’s take a quick look at each of the VPNs that made it onto the list.
Here’s my list of the top VPNs for Chromecast:
NordVPN is my top recommended VPN as I found it works best with Chromecast. This incredibly popular VPN has a multitude of subscribers who enjoy access to its vast online knowledge base. Nord users can find everything they need to get started including in-depth tutorials for setting up on nearly all kinds of compatible routers. It’s also possible to buy already flashed routers which come pre-configured with Nord’s servers via an affiliate known as FlashRouters. Such routers typically run on either DD-WRT or Tomato firmware.
When it comes to protecting your private information, it employs 256-bit AES military-grade encryption. It also stores zero logs of your activity including your IP address, and offers protection against IPv6 and DNS leaks. A kill switch is also included to prevent any accidental data leakages in case of downtime. Finding a suitable server to connect to is quite straightforward thanks to its 5,500+ servers scattered across 60+ countries. Several of these servers are optimized for enhanced reliability, security, and rapid download speeds.
Among the many channels it works with include Amazon Prime, Netflix US, and BBC iPlayer. It also allows six simultaneous connections and provides apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. You can also opt for browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.
- Can be configured directly onto some WiFi routers although pre-configured routers are also available
- Expansive network of stable servers
- Trusted provider that doesn’t skimp on privacy and security
- Speeds are fast enough for HD streaming
- User-friendly apps for all major platforms
- Round-the-clock live chat support is available
- The desktop application could use some updating
BEST VPN FOR CHROMECAST:NordVPN is my top recommended VPN. It works great with Chromecast and enables up to six simultaneous device connections using a single account. It’s a reliable provider with a focus on security. Offers fast, consistent speeds to easily access the majority of streaming platforms. Includes risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark is a popular provider that runs a larger-than-average network of over 3,200 servers that are spread across 100+ nations. It can easily access most of the popular streaming services including Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Netflix. What’s more, setting up on any kind of router is easy thanks to Surfshark’s step-by-step instructions available on its website. However, if you’d like to avoid the hassle of a manual setup, you might want to purchase a pre-configured router from FlashRouters.
A stand-out feature of this VPN is its limitless simultaneous device connections. This makes it ideal for sharing with loved ones. To protect your online traffic, Surfshark employs a kill switch, 256-bit encryption, along with IPv6 and DNS leak protection. It also follows a strict no-logs policy, and for an extra layer of anonymity, you could also pay using Bitcoin, Ripple, or Ethereum.
Surfshark offers apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Amazon Fire TV. Note that Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available to download.
- Can be installed on a wide range of routers
- Fast enough for uninterrupted browsing and streaming
- Connect as many devices as you like
- Keen emphasis on security and privacy
- Zero logs policy
- Expensive one-month plans
GREAT ALL-ROUND VPN:Unlimited number of connections allowed. Incredibly affordable, especially taking into account the numerous advanced features that are available. Genuine zero logs policy. Beginner friendly. Free Smart DNS service. 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN runs well over 3,000 servers that are spread across 94+ countries around the world. As a result, it can easily access popular streaming platforms including Netflix US, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video. On its website, users can find stepwise guides on how to configure ExpressVPN with Chromecast. However, if the prospect of a manual setup process sounds like too much of a hassle, this provider has your back. Subscribers are free to choose from its amazing lineup of VPN-enabled, pre-configured routers.
The company also provides its own router firmware that’s freely available for download, provided your router is compatible. In case it’s not and you’re unable to complete installation, you can still purchase a pre-configured router that has everything set up in advance. ExpressVPN is a legitimate zero-log provider and stores no records of your IP address, or online traffic. It employs perfect forward secrecy and 256-bit AES encryption to safeguard all user connections.
Apps are also available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV. Browser extensions can be found for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.
- Allows for installation at the router level for smart TVs
- Lightning-fast servers that comfortably access several streaming platforms
- Optimal server speeds for a smooth HD streaming experience and quick downloads
- All traffic is heavily encrypted to protect against ISP snooping and throttling
- Helpful customer service available round the clock
- Slightly less affordable than its competitors on this list
- Not ideal for users who prefer greater control over advanced settings
AWESOME ALL-ROUND VPN:ExpressVPN is an incredibly well-rounded provider. For starters, it boasts a broad server network that is optimized for lightning-fast connections. Apps feature a user interface on multiple platforms. Robust security and privacy features. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
CyberGhost is a reputable VPN that works great with BBC iPlayer, Netflix US, Sling TV, and several popular streaming platforms. The company runs an impressive network of more than 9,000 servers spread across over 90 countries. It also offers a zero-lag streaming experience by providing lightning speeds as well as unlimited bandwidth.
Easy setup is made possible by its straightforward tutorials that can be easily found on its website. This applies to both Tomato and DD-WRT WiFi routers. Alternatively, users looking to avoid a potentially lengthy manual setup have the option of purchasing preconfigured DD-WRT routers through FlashRouters.
It uses both perfect forward secrecy and 256-bit AES encryption to secure data with the VPN tunnel. Additionally, this VPN features a kill switch, protects against DNS leaks, and provides an antivirus for Windows users.
CyberGhost VPN stores zero logs of user activity or IP addresses. Subscription holders can connect a maximum of seven devices at once. Also, in case you need help with anything, live chat support is on hand around the clock. CyberGhost offers apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Amazon Fire TV. It also has a free Chrome extension as well.
- Allows for direct router configuration
- Displayed above-average HD streaming speeds during recent tests
- Can easily access a broad variety of geo-restricted content
- Apps are simple to set up and use
- Risk-free thanks to its 45-day money-back guarantee
- Does not offer customizable features
- Unable to work consistently in China
BEGINNERS' CHOICE:CyberGhost is a user-friendly VPN. Fast and reliable connections plus a broad variety of servers. Great privacy, a legit zero logs policy, along with DNS leak protection. A wide server network around the globe. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Private VPN is one of the less established providers on this list yet it still works well with Chromecast. It operates a modest network of only 200+ servers that are spread across more than 60 countries around the world, with some based in the US. Although it’s smaller than its larger competitors, Private VPN can more than match them when it comes to server quality.
In fact, during recent trials, it clocked some of the fastest speeds of any VPN that I tested. This is, in part, since Private VPN also offers unlimited bandwidth which makes it excellent for Chromecast. Users can stream any Chromecast channel safely and reliably even in high definition.
PrivateVPN is ideal for VPN newbies thanks to its user-friendly apps. As a result, setting up and connecting to a suitable server is quite straightforward. It’s also an incredibly secure option as it hides your VPN traffic by disguising it as normal traffic. This allows users to easily circumvent deep packet inspection and stream additional geo-restricted content. Other security features include a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and 256-bit AES encryption.
Private VPN follows a strict no logs policy meaning even it doesn’t know anything about your online activity. It also places a generous maximum limit of 10 simultaneous device connections. PrivateVPN apps can be downloaded for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, while Linux can be set up manually.
- Ability to access several popular streaming services
- Can be set up to work with a home WiFi router
- Above-average streaming speeds displayed during trials
- Privacy and security are top-notch
- A limited number of servers to choose from
- Could benefit from round-the-clock live chat support
LIGHTNING SPEEDS:PrivateVPN is an excellent choice for HD streaming. Works exceptionally well with Chromecast and allows up to 10 devices on a subscription. Relatively small server network but fast. Has powerful accessing ability. 30-day money-back guarantee.
IPVanish operates an impressive network of more than 2,000 servers spread across 75+ locations worldwide. The company sets itself apart from its competitors by owning its servers. This enables it to deliver above-average speeds and resolve problems faster than most of the VPNs on this list. For this reason, IPVanish has a clear edge over its competition when it comes to streaming geo-restricted Chromecast content.
It also uses 256-bit AES encryption and has several optional online security features, including LAN traffic blocking, timed IP switching, and OpenVPN obfuscation. As an additional security offering, this VPN provider offers DNS leak protection along with a kill switch to keep your identity private and secure. It also follows a stringent no-logs policy and allows an unlimited number of device connections.
Apps are available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire Stick. You can also set it up manually on Linux systems and some wireless routers. In case you run into any challenges with the VPN, live chat support is on hand 24/7.
- Owns and operates all the servers on its network
- Good speeds
- Strong encryption and privacy protections
- Keeps no logs whatsoever
- It doesn’t accept cryptocurrencies
- Apps don’t work in China
CONNECT ALL YOUR DEVICES:IPVanish runs a massive network of servers that it owns. Rock-solid VPN for Chromecast users with high privacy standards. Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Private Internet Access is an awesome Chromecast VPN. It operates over 3,300 servers that are distributed across more than 80 nations. However, the company is still based in the United States and runs multiple servers in dozens of American cities.
This makes it fairly easy for users to find a server that allows them to access services such as Hulu and Netflix US. Its vast network of servers also helps to prevent challenges associated with traffic congestion. Using Chromecast with this VPN is also enhanced by the introduction of WireGuard, and having unlimited bandwidth.
When it comes to securing user data, Private Internet Access is at the forefront. The VPN features military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. PIA also allows you to tailor your level of encryption to your specific needs, which could help optimize the overall performance of your VPN
Unlike some of its competitors on this list, this VPN allows unlimited simultaneous connections, meaning you can secure multiple devices at the same time. Apps are available on almost any platform you can think of, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Amazon Fire TV. In addition, Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available.
- Comfortably accesses a decent range of streaming services
- Unlimited simultaneous connections on a single account
- WireGuard implementation allows for decent speeds
- Unable to circumvent censorship in China
- The desktop app could use a more user-friendly interface
ADVANCED CUSTOMIZATION:PIA has a massive server network spread across 80+ countries, and enables encryption level tweaking. Also offers unlimited bandwidth, unlimited simultaneous connections, and a strict zero logs policy. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Atlas VPN boasts a respectable network of 750+ servers distributed across 43+ locations across the globe. Its incredibly rapid servers are excellent for streaming Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and several other popular streaming services. This provider brings together impressive accessing capability and lighting-fast speeds through its implementation of WireGuard.
Atlas VPN safeguards user data via cutting-edge AES encryption, along with a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. It distinguishes itself from the majority of free VPNs by featuring MultiHop servers plus a tracker and malware blocker. What’s more, it places no limit on the number of simultaneous device connections allowed. This makes it perfect for cost-sharing with roommates or family members.
Its applications are incredibly simple to navigate making them suitable for VPN novices. However, in case you run into any issues, round-the-clock live chat support is on hand. Atlas VPN has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV. Sadly, this VPN doesn’t support routers plus it doesn’t offer any browser extensions either.
- Comfortably accesses several major streaming platforms
- No limit to the number of devices you can connect at a time
- A couple of additional security features such as MultiHop servers
- Doesn’t offer router support
- Limited number of servers compared to other VPNs on this list
GREAT ALL-ROUND PERFORMER:AtlasVPN provides apps for all major platforms and unlimited device connections. It has top-notch security features and lightning-fast connections. A 30-day money-back guarantee allows you to test it out before making a long-term commitment.
Our Chromecast VPN testing methodology
As VPN use grows in popularity, it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed by the variety of options available on the market. Identifying a VPN that is compatible with Chromecast can easily seem like trying to find a needle in a haystack. To help you out, I’ve curated this list of recommended VPNs based on several key criteria.
Privacy.net prides itself on publishing the most accurate and helpful VPN reviews and suggestions on the internet. After extensive testing, here’s a quick breakdown of what I looked for in a suitable Chromecast VPN:
- Router support: Since Chromecast provides no support for either DNS proxies or VPNs, you’ll have to set up your VPN on a router. Only then will you be able to connect your Chromecast device. I strongly suggest picking a VPN that offers apps for routers or stepwise setup instructions for popular firmware.
- Streaming: Considering Chromecast is a streaming dongle, anyone looking to connect it to a VPN is most likely trying to bypass geo restrictions on streaming content. To find out which VPNs work to access which streaming services, I carry out extensive real-world trials.
- Speeds: For users looking to stream HD content smoothly with zero buffering, a fast VPN is essential. I measured and recorded connection speeds to various VPN servers around the world and identified the quickest providers out there.
- Security: All the recommended VPNs on this list have top-notch encryption standards. Part of the testing process includes checking for a broad range of data leaks so your data doesn’t escape the encrypted tunnel.
- Customer support: To evaluate their helpfulness and response times, I contacted each provider’s customer support as anonymous prospective customers. For the most part, I try to go for VPNs with round-the-clock live chat and email support.
- Server network: For Chromecast devices, you need a VPN with a sufficiently large server network that covers a wide range of locations around the world. That’s because although Chromecast can access several popular streaming services, most of its content is restricted to certain regions.
- Value for money: Unfortunately, Chromecast only works well with a select few VPNs. All the recommended providers on this list offer reliable performance at a reasonable price. Each of them combines security, strong accessing capability, and fast speeds. Additionally, I’ve included discount coupons plus each VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. The only exception is CyberGhost which offers a 45-day guarantee.
Keep in mind that this is a boiled-down version of how I test and rate VPNs. To find out more, check out the full version on the methodology page.
How to set up a Chromecast VPN on a router
There are two main options when it comes to connecting your Chromecast device to your VPN of choice. You could either opt for a physical router or a virtual one. In this section, I’ll walk you through the setup process for each.
How to set up a Chromecast VPN using a virtual router
Connecting Chromecast to a virtual router is a simpler method and is ideal for VPN newbies. For most people, accessing a virtual router is much easier as it only requires a wifi hotspot that broadcasts from a laptop. All devices that you connect to this wifi hotspot will be automatically secured since their traffic will be routed through a VPN server.
That being said, this option does have one major drawback. Because you’re relying on a wifi hotspot, you’ll need to keep your laptop close by and constantly running to protect your Chromecast device using the VPN. However, this also makes this option a pocket-friendly option since nearly all recent laptop models are capable of creating a virtual router, or wifi hotspot. Your current laptop will most likely work, plus the setup process is relatively straightforward. Once you’ve set up the virtual router, head to the Chromecast wifi settings and connect to the new network.
How to set up a Chromecast VPN on a WiFi router
Physical router setup is a much more involved process that’s more suited to experienced VPN users. While it does need a compatible router, it does not require you to have an extra laptop lying around. Once you’ve set up the VPN connection to your home WiFi router, you can then tunnel any device connected through your VPN including your Chromecast dongle.
Naturally, the first thing you’ll need is a physical home router that has firmware capable of supporting VPN connections. In most cases, cheaper routers don’t have this key feature. Although some claim to offer VPN support, they often lack the necessary resources for encryption and decryption, which could result in serious dips in VPN performance whenever it faces heavy traffic.
Another potential scenario could be that your router firmware lacks VPN support, but you still believe that it has enough power to get the job done. In that case, simply do an online search to find out if the make and model are compatible with free and open-source firmware such as Tomato or DD-WRT. By replacing the stock firmware that comes with your router with one that’s VPN compatible, you’ll be performing a process commonly known as “flashing.” Remember to take extra caution as improper flashing can result in permanent damage to your router.
If you’d prefer to avoid this risk entirely, buying a pre-flashed router is a great alternative. They arrive already configured with your VPN of choice, allowing you to connect to their servers immediately. Unfortunately, pre-flashed routers are quite expensive, although they do make up for their hefty price tag by saving you considerable time and effort.
ExpressVPN has built a reputation for offering top-tier VPN-focused router firmware. While its pre-configured routers are not the most affordable, they perform impressively and are incredibly user-friendly. It’s also possible to get the firmware for free allowing you to use it on your existing router provided it’s compatible. However, this will require an ExpressVPN subscription.
A lot of the recommended VPNS on this list have FlashRouters as a third-party affiliate. They offer both Tomato and DD-WRT routers that are already configured to your preferred VPN. Although they aren’t quite as good as ExpressVPN firmware, they still manage to perform decently.
As long as you’ve subscribed to a VPN and have a suitable router, you can find your VPN setup instructions from their website. It’s important to keep in mind that instructions vary from one router firmware to the next as they are significantly different from each other. However, your chosen VPN still needs to provide some kind of knowledge base along with customer support.
Once you’ve configured the router, open your Chromecast wifi settings to connect to the new network.
Chromecast VPN FAQs
Can I use a free VPN with Chromecast?
I strongly advise against using Chromecast with a free VPN. Most of them employ shady strategies to obtain and eventually sell your private data. Beyond harvesting your data, free providers often also inject ads into web pages and tracking cookies into browsers. What’s worse, installing it on your router exposes all connected devices to these risks.
Free VPNs also typically come with bandwidth restrictions and data caps that prevent a smooth streaming experience. In general, free VPNs are a terrible idea. Paying a couple of dollars for a reputable Chromecast VPN is a worthy investment.
Is it illegal to use a VPN with Chromecast?
Short answer: yes, it is legal to stream Chromecast using a VPN. That said, there are a few countries that are exceptions. For instance, in China and Russia, VPN use is prohibited, hence it’s important to double-check with your local laws before installing a VPN.
Why should I use a VPN with Chromecast?
For most VPN users, especially those trying to stream with Chromecast, the main objective is to access geo-restricted content. By going through a server in another region, it becomes possible to change your IP address and spoof your location to access geo-blocked content. Having a new IP address also allows you to stream privately as your real physical location will be hidden from snoopers as well as your ISP.
What can I stream on Chromecast?
By using Chromecast with a reputable VPN, you can access a broad range of popular streaming services including:
- BBC iPlayer
- Amazon Prime Video
- Sling TV
- HBO Max
- TuneIn Radio
- Apple Music