Chromecast is one of the most popular digital media devices for streaming video and other media from a wide range of online channels to your TV. Unfortunately, many of those channels are geo-locked, meaning you can only access them from a specific country. Some live streams may also be subject to blackout restrictions that block users from watching sports and other events if they live within a certain region. A VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, can bypass many of these geographic restrictions and allow you to watch your favorite streaming channels from anywhere in the world.
A VPN encrypts all of a device’s internet traffic and routes it through an intermediary server in a remote location of your choosing, thereby disguising your real location from the streaming service.
How to set up a Chromecast VPN
Before we go into detail on the different VPNs you can use with Chromecast, we’re going to briefly explain your choices when setting up a Chromecast VPN.
Here are your options if you want to use a VPN with Chromecast:
- Set up a VPN on a virtual router
- Set up a VPN on your physical home router
Wondering why you can’t simply use a VPN app? Chromecast devices don’t support VPNs. Even if you managed to root the device, setting this up would be difficult. Smart DNS proxies, which often substitute for VPNs, aren’t supported, either.
For this reason, we recommend setting up your VPN on a wifi router, then connecting your Chromecast to that router. This will route all of the internet traffic from the Chromecast through the VPN server, allowing you to unblock geo-locked streams. Don’t worry if this sounds complicated, we’ll explain step-by-step how to do this later in the article.
In the rest of this post, we get into depth on each of the VPNs that made our top 6 list, but if you are short of time, here’s a quick rundown:
- NordVPN: Our top VPN for Chromecast. Offers multiple ways of working with Chromecast. Unblocks many popular streaming sites with good speeds. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: Best budget option. A speedy, security-conscious VPN with beginner-friendly apps and fantastic unblocking capabilities.
- ExpressVPN: Step-by-step tutorials for Chromecast setup. Unblocks a huge selection of geo-restricted streaming sites from around the globe. Fast speeds and high-grade security.
- CyberGhost: Easy to use apps make this a great choice for beginners. Some of the fastest servers we’ve tested for streaming.
- PrivateVPN: Extensive support and tutorials to get Chromecast set-up. Good streaming speeds and unblocking capabilities.
- VyprVPN: Speedy servers are suitable for streaming. Can handle multiple connected devices well. There are cheaper options higher on this list.
- Hotspot Shield: A fast and secure VPN that is ideal for streaming international content.
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Criteria for choosing a VPN for Chromecast
Not all VPNs are good at unblocking streaming sites, which brings us to the next limitation. Many streaming services block connections from known VPN servers, so you need a VPN that can outsmart those firewalls.
With all that in mind, we’ve curated our list of the best VPNs for Chromecast which you can read below our rankings
The Best VPNs for Chromecast
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN lists Netflix US, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, and BBC iPlayer among the many channels it can unblock. NordVPN’s online knowledge base includes a huge selection of tutorials for setting up your VPN on almost every type of compatible router. You can also purchase pre-flashed routers that are already configured with NordVPN’s servers through FlashRouters, a NordVPN affiliate. Those typically use either Tomato or DD-WRT firmware, which is fine but isn’t quite as quick and easy as ExpressVPN’s custom firmware.
NordVPN allows an industry-best six simultaneous connections. Combined with a low price, that makes it one of the best deals available especially if you share your account with family or flatmates. All your data is protected with military-grade encryption, and NordVPN keeps no logs whatsoever on its users. Some servers are specialized for additional security, stability, and fast downloads. With some 5,500+ servers in 59 countries, finding a speedy connection should be no problem. The app will even tell you how far away a server is and each server’s current capacity.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Linux, and Android.
- Can be configured directly onto some wifi routers. Pre-configured routers are also available
- Trusted provider that doesn’t skimp on privacy and security
- Speeds are fast enough for HD streaming
- Easy-to-use apps for all major platforms
- 24/7 live chat support available
- The Desktop app is a little cumbersome, could do with updating
BEST VPN FOR Chromecast:NordVPN is our first choice. A solid, security-conscious option that works well with Chromecast. Connects up to 5 other devices simultaneously. Also works well with most popular streaming services and achieves consistently good speeds. Includes a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is able to unblock all kinds of services including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. Better still, its website provides detailed setup instructions for a wide range of routers. If this is a little too involved, you can also purchase a pre-configured Surfshark router from Flashrouters.
This service has 3,200 servers in more than 60 countries. Unlike many other VPNs, it allows an unlimited number of connections by default, so it’s great for sharing. User traffic is secured using 256-bit encryption, a customizable kill switch, and DNS and IPv6 leak protection. Just as important, Surfshark doesn’t keep any logs whatsoever. If you’d like, you can even choose to pay in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple for added anonymity.
Surfshark offers apps for iOS, Windows, MacOS, Android, and Linux.
- Can be manually installed on a wide range of routers
- Fast enough for uninterrupted browsing and streaming
- Connect as many devices as you like
- Very strong on security and privacy
- No-logs policy
- Some slow speeds recorded during testing
BEST BUDGET OPTION:Surfshark is inexpensive, easy to set up, and highly secure. Able to unblock a huge number of geo-blocked services. With decent speeds, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and a strict no-logs policy, there’s certainly a lot to like here.
Read our full Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN unblocks Netflix US, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, SlingTV, and BBC iPlayer, among others. The website has tutorials specifically for setting up a VPN with Chromecast, and 24/7 live chat support is at your disposal. Shoot a quick message to the support team to ask which servers to use for a particular streaming service, as not all of them will work.
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of configuring a router, ExpressVPN has you covered: the company makes the hands-down best pre-configured, VPN-enabled routers in the game. It makes its own router firmware which you can either download and install on your own router (if compatible) for free, or you can purchase a pre-configured router that’s already set up for you.
The router firmware allows you to select which devices connected to get tunneled through the VPN and which ones use a normal internet connection. Managing devices and tweaking settings is intuitive and easy thanks to a well-designed dashboard.
ExpressVPN operates over 3,000 servers in 94 countries. The company keeps no logs of your IP address or traffic contents, and all connections are protected with 256-bit encryption and perfect forward secrecy. You may connect up to five devices at a time, and a router only counts as one device. Apps are also available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Fire TV, and Linux.
- Can install at the router level for Smart TVs
- Super fast servers can unblock just about any popular streaming service
- Server speeds are great for HD streaming and fast downloads
- Encrypts all traffic to prevent ISP snooping and throttling
- Slightly more expensive than other providers
- Less suitable for those who need control over advanced settings
STRONG ALL ROUNDER:ExpressVPN is a pleasure to use It has a vast network of servers that is fine-tuned for high-speed connections. User-friendly apps for all operating systems. Tough to beat on privacy and security. T30-day no-quibbles money-back guarantee included.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost unblocks Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, and BBC iPlayer among many other streaming channels. Setup tutorials are available on the website for DD-WRT and Tomato wifi routers. Pre-configured DD-WRT routers are available through FlashRouters.
Customers can connect up to five devices at a time on a standard plan. 256-bit AES encryption and perfect forward secrecy keep your data inside the VPN tunnel. The Romania-based company keeps no logs of users’ activity or IP address. CyberGhost operates nearly 3,600 servers in 59 countries as of time of writing.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
- Direct router configuration available
- Our tests revealed above-average HD streaming speeds
- Happily unblocks a host of geo-restricted content
- Apps are easy to install and use
- Won’t unblock as many streaming sites as others on this list
- Lack of customizable features
BEGINNERS CHOICE:CyberGhost is great for beginners. Another budget option that works well with Chromecast. Stores no internet activity logs and stream HD video reliably. Can struggle with unblocking some popular streaming sites. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN is a relative newcomer and thus has a smaller network of servers than others on this list, but it keeps pace with the big players when it comes to speed, privacy, and unblocking capabilities. You’ll get access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, and more—the service has unblocked everything we’ve thrown at it thus far. No pre-configured routers are available, but PrivateVPN has several tutorials for setting up OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec connections for the most popular router firmware.
If you’re struggling to set it up, PrivateVPN offers remote help via TeamViewer, in which a support representative can remotely control your computer. You may connect up to six devices at one time. Encryption standards are strong and the company adheres to a strict no-logs policy.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.
- Gaining reputation for their growing list of sites they unblock
- Can be configured to work with a home wifi router
- Above-average streaming speeds in testing
- Privacy and security are top-notch
- Small number of servers to choose from
- Doesn’t have 24/7 live chat
GREAT SPEED:PrivateVPN is a good family choice. Works well with Chromecast and allows up to 6 devices on the same account. Small server count. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
VyprVPN unblocks Netflix US but may struggle with other streaming channels that block VPN connections. The company makes its own router app, but it only works if your router already has Tomato MIPS/ARM firmware. The router includes obfuscation (Chameleon), private DNS (VyprDNS), and allows you to set VPN preferences for each connected device, including your Chromecast. It’s much easier to set up and use than standard Tomato or DD-WRT firmware. If you don’t have a Tomato router, you can buy your own or purchase a pre-configured VyprVPN router from FlashRouters.
A basic subscription allows three simultaneous connections, and the premium tier nets you five. VyprVPN uses best-in-class encryption and keeps no logs of user activity, but it does log your real IP address for 30 days. The company owns and operates its own network of servers, which count over 700 in some 60 countries.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and certain Tomato routers.
- Has a custom app for Tomato routers, can also manually configure with OpenVPN
- Unblocks most popular geo-blocked sites
- High-end encryption and decent streaming speeds
- Apps are slick but lack advanced configuration options
- Not the cheapest option on this list
- No pre-configured DD-WRT routers available
EASY TO USE:VyprVPN is user friendly. No issues with Chromecast. Unblocks most popular streaming services. Good privacy and security but a bit pricey. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full VyprVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.
Hotspot Shield is a VPN provider based in the USA. It is a fast VPN that we often recommend for streaming because it has a super-fast VN tunneling protocol called Catapult Hydra. This makes it a great option for streaming in HD, gaming, and torrenting.
Apps are available for multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. It also has some VPN router compatibility and setup guides for using the VPN with those devices. This makes the VPN suitable for use with a Chromecast device for streaming.
Servers are located in over 80 countries, and they work with a whole host of popular services, including Netflix US, iPlayer, Hulu, and more. The VPN also has a kill-switch, AES encryption, and DNS leak protection, so everything you do online will be well protected in terms of privacy and security.
The biggest drawback is that it does kee some minimal connection logs and it is based in the US. That said, it stores no usage logs which are the important ones. You can compare it to our other recommendations using its 45-day money-back guarantee.
- Fast Catapult Hydra protocol
- Easy to use
- Works with Netflix and other popular services
- No usage logs
- Servers in 80+ countries
- Based in the US
- Some connection logs
GREAT SPEEDS:Hotspot Shield is great for streaming thanks to its Catapult Hydra protocol. Servers in 80 countries. Works with Netflix and other popular services. 24/7 support. AES-256 encryption. No usage logs. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Hotspot Shield review.
VPN testing methodology
Comparitech aims to publish the most useful and accurate VPN recommendations and reviews on the web. To do so, our reviewers evaluate each VPN based on expert analysis, real-world experience, and a battery of tests. When it comes to Chromecast VPNs, we specifically examine:
- Router support: Chromecast doesn’t support VPNs or DNS proxies, so setting up a VPN on a router and connecting the Chromecast to it is the next best thing. We recommend VPNs with router apps or at least detailed configuration guides for popular firmware.
- Streaming: Chromecasts are streaming devices, so if you want to use a VPN with one, chances are you want to unblock region-locked streaming content. We use real-world test to find out which VPNs can unblock popular streaming services from around the world.
- Speed: If you want to stream in high quality without buffering, you need a fast connection. We measure and record connection speeds to VPN servers located around the globe.
- Security: Every VPN we recommend uses effectively uncrackable encryption. We also test for a range of data leaks to ensure your data never leaves the encrypted tunnel.
- Customer support: Our reviewers contact each VPN’s customer support as secret shoppers to gauge the quality of responses and measure response times.
- Server network: Chromecasts can use streaming apps from all of the world, but most of them are restricted to specific countries. Having a larger server network that spans more locations gives you more international viewing options.
This is just a condensed summary of how we rate and test VPNs. Find the full version on our methodology page.
Can I use a free VPN with Chromecast?
Using a free VPN with your Chromecast is generally a bad idea. Free VPNs often use shifty tactics to make money, such as harvesting your traffic data for personal details, injecting tracking cookies into web browsers, and inserting ads onto web pages. If you install a free VPN on your router to use with Chromecast, it could put all the devices connected to that router at risk.
In any case, most free VPNs require you use their apps and not configure connections manually so, in most cases, router setup is not even an option. There won’t be any support to help you get set up. Free VPNs also implement data caps and bandwidth restrictions that can interrupt whatever you’re doing online.
It’s worth it to pay a few dollars a month to get the performance and support you need to use VPN with Chromecast.
How to set up a Chromecast VPN on a router
Once signed up for a VPN, you have a couple of options to connect your Chromecast to it: a virtual router or a physical router.
How to set-up a Chromecast VPN using a virtual router
This first option is easier and more accessible to most people: a virtual router. This will create a wifi hotspot that broadcasts from a laptop. Any device you connect to the wifi hotspot will have its internet traffic routed through the VPN server.
The main downside to this method is that you have to keep a laptop nearby and running whenever you want to use your Chromecast with the VPN. On the plus side, it’s free and fairly easy to set up. All you need is a laptop with the ability to create a hotspot, or virtual router, which most laptop models do have these days.
If you’re a PC user, check out our tutorial on how to set up a VPN-enabled virtual router on Windows. And if you have a Mac, see our guide on how to set up a VPN-enabled wifi hotspot on macOS.
Once you’ve configured the virtual router, go into your Chromecast wifi settings to connect to the new network.
How to set up a Chromecast VPN on a wifi router
The second option requires a bit more tech savvy and a compatible router but doesn’t require you to keep a spare laptop around. By configuring a VPN connection on your home wifi router, any devices that connect to it can be tunneled through the VPN, including your Chromecast.
To do this, you’ll need a router with firmware that supports VPN connections. Cheap routers probably won’t cut it—even if they have VPN support, the resources necessary to encrypt and decrypt all of the traffic can seriously impact performance.
If your router firmware doesn’t support VPNs but you think it’s powerful enough to handle the job, run a search for the make and model to see if it’s compatible with a free and open-source firmware, like DD-WRT or Tomato. You can replace your router’s stock firmware with one of these, but bear in mind that the process of doing so, called “flashing”, can permanently damage your router if not done properly.
If that sounds too intimidating, consider purchasing a pre-flashed router that comes already configured with all of your VPN provider’s servers. This is a more expensive route, but it will save you a lot of time and hassle. ExpressVPN is known for making the best VPN-focused router firmware in the business. The company’s pre-flashed routers cost a pretty penny but are easy to use and work great. You can even get the firmware for free to use on your existing router if it’s compatible, but you’ll need an ExpressVPN subscription.
FlashRouters is a third-party affiliate to many of the VPNs we recommended above. They sell DD-WRT and Tomato routers pre-configured for the VPN provider of your choice. These aren’t as nice as ExpressVPN’s firmware, but they certainly get the job done.
Once you have a VPN subscription and compatible router in hand, check your VPN provider’s website for instructions on how to get set up. Because router firmware varies so much, there’s no one broad set of instructions for all of them, but your VPN provider should be able to help in the way of a knowledge base or customer support.
Now that you’ve configured the router, go into your Chromecast wifi settings to connect to the new network.