Connecting a chromecast to a wireless network that has a captive portal

In September I rented a large house in the Poconos that to my surprise required users to go through a captive portal before being able to access the internet. This is certainly common in hotel networks, and these days most consumer routers even offer this functionality although in my experience its rare to see it utilized. I’d say of the 3-4 dozen houses we have rented i’ve seen it maybe 2 or three times. Regardless, one thing I love to always have in my backpack is a spare chromecast as its great for streaming media from plex or netflix while on the go.

One thing that became immediately apparent was that the chromecast lacks the ability for the user to provide any type of input so if you run into a captive portal your out of luck. However there are a couple of ways to make this work. First, I would not recommend following the below steps to get your chromecast working if you are on a hotel network. While it will work (although they may restrict certain kinds of traffic) you open yourself up to having any other user also connected to the network. Most likely someone would start playing something random and screw with you. For this though there is still a solution. Look into getting a travel router. This would also easily work for the scenario above as well.

However, if you dont want to spend any coin and happen to have a *nix laptop handy theres an easy way to make this work. Temporarily spoof your chromecast’s MAC address on your laptop, auth with the captive portal, turn wifi off, reset your MAC back to factory setting, and use your phone to join the chromecast to the network.

I’ll show you how to do this for OS X.

First, record your current MAC Address by typing the following:

Copy ether 3c:15:c2:b8:ad:be to your notepad

in terminal, type the following:

This will change your MAC address. Then run the following commands

Now, reconnect to the wifi network, and auth with the captive portal

Once thats done, turn off your wifi card again and use your phone to go through the normal setup to put a chromecast on the network. This time it should properly connect.

Run the following to reset your MAC address to its original

All done!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *