The Chromecast is a pretty awesome little streaming device, but if you have cruddy Wi-Fi (or no Wi-Fi at all), you’re going to have a really bad experience. Thankfully, it’s trivially easy to add Ethernet support to the otherwise wireless Chromecast and improve the speed and reliability of the Chromecast’s connection in the process.
If you’re having trouble with your Chromecast, you can always work your way through our Chromecast troubleshooting guide to rule out (and potentially fix) a variety of problems. But if you experience poor network connectivity and stuttering video, there’s a good chance the culprit is your Wi-Fi. While you could always upgrade your wireless router in the hope that cranking up the juice fixes your issue, there’s a much cheaper solution that cuts Wi-Fi right out of the equation altogether—you can hook your Chromecast directly to your wired network for superior speed and rock solid reliability.
Even if it has been a while since you set up your Chromecast you likely recall that the Chromecast is particularly slim and certainly didn’t include an Ethernet jack. That’s where Google’s $15 Ethernet Adapter for Chromecast comes into play (if you have a Chromecast Ultra, it comes with one of these adapters, no additional purchase necessary).
Adapter in hand, you simply set up your Chromecast as you normally would with one tiny adjustment: plug the Chromecast into a free HDMI port on your HDTV, plug the Ethernet Adapter into the Chromecast, then plug an Ethernet cable into the adapter. When everything’s hooked up, plug the other end of the Ethernet adapter into the wall—it is your new power source.
As long as that Ethernet cable leads back to your internet-connected router (either directly or through your in-home wiring), you’re in business. As long as your wired Chromecast and your Wi-Fi connected phone are on the same local network, you can go back to streaming without skipping a beat.
Now that your Chromecast is hard-wired, you can send requests to the Chromecast from other hard-wired devices on your network (like a home server running Plex Media Center or from your desktop with the Google Cast extension) for a start-to-finish wired experience, too.