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In my last Chromecast for Canadians post, I wrote that I am less than electrified by the current selection of compatible apps. At last count there were 14.

Anyone who lives in a Netflix service region can download and cast from Netflix. YouTube, Google Play TV & Movies, and Google Play Music (which does nothing useful in this country) come pre-installed with Android. Google Play restricts Pandora and Hulu Plus to the USA. Plex requires a subscription to enable the Chromecast icon. The remaining Chromecast apps are pointless.

That means Canadian users face a harrowing First World predicament: should I buy Chromecast if the only apps that offer worthwhile content are Netflix and YouTube?

If you use either service to supplement your basic cable television subscription, then the answer is yes, absolutely. Read my review.

If you intend to use Chromecast as a way to replace your cable television subscription, I would dissuade you without Hulu Plus.

In my opinion, Hulu Plus is a necessary complement to Netflix. People who are prone to bitch about everything will also bitch about the fact that you have to sit through two or three commercials per viewing. Well, suck it up buttercup. If you want to watch New Girl every week, you have two options: whatever absurd amount you’re paying now for basic cable, or $7.99 per month for Hulu. I choose Hulu.

The problem, of course, is that Hulu is for Americans only and Google Play’s country restrictions are impenetrable. I’ve tried everything I know to bypass them. I stand before you, miserable and defeated.

Fortunately for you, I am one to never abandon an interesting technical challenge. It took a while – my pot-addled mind isn’t what it once was – but I had a literal flash of inspiration yesterday.

Here’s how I successfully installed Hulu Plus and Pandora on my Nexus 5, and used those apps to cast to my television.

  1. Install the Amazon Appstore. Amazon offers complete instructions on how to do this. Please, read and follow them. I am not your personal support service.
  2. Create a new account on Amazon.com. Enter your Android smartphone number when Amazon prompts you to register your cell phone.
  3. In your Amazon account, Add a New Address and choose any address in the USA. You will not be asked for credit card information. Inexplicably, you will be asked to re-enter your cell number.
  4. Search for Pandora and Hulu Plus on the Amazon Appstore for Android.
  5. Click the [Get now with 1-Click] button.
  6. Open the Amazon Appstore on your Android device.
  7. Go to My Apps > Cloud and install your apps. You may need to sync your device before you see Hulu Plus and Pandora listed for installation.

Now, the hard part. (What? You thought this was going to be a total cakewalk?)

Google very craftily hardcodes its public DNS IP addresses into Chromecast. What this does, effectively, is to bypass your unblocking service and connect to the Internet via Google’s servers. So Hulu Plus and Pandora, which are geoblocked to the good ol’ U.S. of A., still won’t work on your Canadian Chromecast, even if you’ve successfully installed the apps on your device.

There is a workaround. It took me a week to find it, but I’ll be damned if my devices won’t do precisely what I expect them to.

You will need a wireless router that allows you to add static IP routes. I use and highly recommend the ASUS RT-AC66U. From what I understand, all Cisco routers offer this capability. If you own any other device, your mileage may vary. Refer to your manufacturer documentation.

Enable static routing on your device and then add these four static routes to your route list:

Network/Host IP: 8.8.8.8
Netmask: 255.255.255.255
Gateway: Your LAN IP address (e.g. 192.168.1.1)
Metric: 2
Interface: LAN

Network/Host IP: 8.8.4.4
Netmask: 255.255.255.255
Gateway: Your LAN IP address (e.g. 192.168.1.1)
Metric: 2
Interface: LAN

Network/Host IP: 208.67.222.222
Netmask: 255.255.255.255
Gateway: Your LAN IP address (e.g. 192.168.1.1)
Metric: 2
Interface: LAN

Network/Host IP: 209.244.0.3
Netmask: 255.255.255.255
Gateway: Your LAN IP address (e.g. 192.168.1.1)
Metric: 2
Interface: LAN

This re-establishes your router’s precedence over the Chromecast’s hardcoded DNS IPs.

A few points to remember: You’ll still need an unblocking service to cast from Hulu Plus and Pandora over your home wireless network. I use and recommend Unblock-us.com but there are others. If you use your cellular data plan to stream US content to your Android device, then you’ll also need DroidVPN or similar software for Android to bypass geoblocking. These instructions work only for free apps on the Amazon Appstore. If you want to buy and install paid apps, then you’ll need to use a US credit card (with verifiable US address) or spoof a Canadian Amex by following these instructions.

  • Jason Dunham

    Why can’t you just use hola unblocker on your Android device to get Pandora, Netflix, and hulu?

    • Patronized

      If only it were that simple – and it was, once, but the VPN workaround has since been blocked. Google uses your phone’s location, the information in your Google wallet and other Google services, and some tricky supersecret stuff to geoblock Play services. If you have successfully loaded country-restricted apps from Play, please share your experience here for the benefit of all.

      • Jason Dunham

        Well I live in Canada and I use Hola unblocker. I have been able to watch American Netflix and listen to Pandora radio on my Android tablet. Hulu also shows up on Hola’s unblocked list but I haven’t tried it yet.

  • Brett

    Hey Patronized, just picked up a chromecast this week. Grrrrrrr. I can’t get it to broadcast from my chrome browser (which is huge for me) and I’ve tried your steps. Any help you could provide would be amazing. Just cut the cord about a month ago and love it so far…just wish I could get this working…:)

    • Patronized

      Hey Brett. While I’m not in the business of providing support for the products I write about, I can certainly try to help with some of the basics. I know nothing about your setup, so let’s start by eliminating the obvious. Did you plug your Chromecast into a power source? Did you confirm that your router supports Chromecast? Are you running on Windows or Mac or Android? (You can only cast in Android from Chromecast-supported apps and not from the Chrome browser.) If Windows or Mac, did you confirm that your system meets the Chromecast minimum requirements for tab casting? Did you install the Cast extension in Chrome? Did you enable it and ensure that your computer is on the same network band as your Chromecast? (Chromecast operates only on the 2.4 Ghz band. If you have a dual-band network at home, and your computer is on the 5 Ghz band, then you won’t be able to connect to Chromecast.) Does your wireless network have enough firepower to cast at the supported minimum bit rate? Is there a device, like a microwave, or another home wireless network, that may be interfering with your wireless signal? (In either case, Google will display and helpful bitchbox to let you know there’s a problem.) Do you have your browser configured to use a slow VPN or secure proxy? Finally, and most importantly, have you checked Google Chromecast Help? If there’s a possible solution that I haven’t mentioned here, then Chromecast Help probably has it covered.

      • Brett

        Hey Patronized..thanks for this. I’m in a small home office – everything you’ve talked about is good on my end. My router is a generic Cisco Rogers router. I’ve installed the chromecast extension in chrome and it recognizes the device but says “the selected device is no longer available”. To be honest, I really only want to be able to “cast” items from my browser to the television, that’s it. Thanks for even taking the time! So appreciated…

        • Patronized

          Turn off your unblocking service and try to cast some Canadian content to your TV. If it works, then your unblocking service is probably not compatible with Chromecast.

          • Patronized

            Or, I should have said that your unblocking service probably hasn’t been properly configured.

    • Brett

      PS: Also using Unblock Me

  • Graham

    Now that Google has officially launched Chromecast in Canada, do you have any thoughts on the Canadian version versus the original US version. I’m wondering if the steps listed here would work on the Canadian version.

    • Patronized

      That’s a good question, Graham. I’m waiting for delivery of my Canadian-edition Chromecast. Once I’ve run it through its paces, I’ll update my article.

      One thing I do know for certain is that the Canadian launch’s media blitz has torpedoed my original review’s No. 1 Google ranking! I’m totally bummed about that.

  • CraigNoyes

    Quick Question….. (your lan ip address)… Is this the address of your router ? or the address of the device you are using… It has to be the router right ? otherwise its just creating an endless loop ? My Canadian Chromecast is on its way, and Im hoping that i can use this method… instead of having to flash DDWRT onto another router, essentially making me have to reconfig the entire network :/

    • Patronized

      It’s your router’s IP address, yes. Keep in mind that I’ve successfully tested this method with a US Chromecast on an ASUS RT-AC66U wireless router (extremely robust feature set). I have no idea how Google has configured the Canadian edition.

      • CraigNoyes

        Thanks, well… I guess we shall wait and see…..

        • CraigNoyes

          Just to Followup… Confirmed that this method does work on the Canadian Version.

          I am using a Belkin N+ router….

  • booshmeister

    I just discovered your gem of a web presence. With your help Pandora is working great on my Nexus 4. If I could only figure out why Pandora does not run on my new Denon Network HT Receiver. Everything else I own will allow me to use Pandora, US Netflix and Spotify. Denon must do something different or it’s a case of finding out if it has its own hard-coded DNS to route to limbo. Keep up the great work and thanks again!

    • Patronized

      Thanks for the great feedback, Booshmeister. I wish I could offer advice, but I know virtually nothing about networked home theatre solutions. Please, drop in with an update once you resolve your issues with that Denon receiver.

  • LouLou

    Hi! I’m American and trying to solve the problem of Chromecasting Netflix while using Hola Unblocker. My goal is to Chromecast Canadian, British, and French Netflix. Might these static routes work for me? Thanks!

  • eatsnor

    Regarding getting Hulu Plus: Amazon seems to know I’m in Canada even though I put in a US address. When I search for Hulu Plus on the Amazon Appstore, all I see is a bunch of games and stuff like that.

  • alfie

    tunnelbear app or addon is handy 🙂

  • Sergio

    For what it’s worth, I live in the Caribbean, so this topic is near and dear to me.

    You can side load almost any app you want – regardless of country restrictions. Play restrictions only block access to the app through the Play store, not the apps actually function if you’re able to side load it. I’d check http://www.apkhere.com for a good list that seems to be updated regularly.

    To get your chromecast to work with your DNS service (such as Unblock-us.com), as the author describes, you need to learn how to re-route any DNS lookup requests to the Google DNS service so that your own DNS service that you’ve plugged into your router takes precedent.

    Once you’ve got this figured out, all of your apps – like Neflix, Hulu, Youtube, etc. – operate as if you were in the US.

    Enjoy!

  • Brad Romano

    A question regarding the router settings above. Does this impact any devices besides chromecast? I can’t have the rest of my devices showing up as US for a couple reasons. But i’d like to try this if it relates strictly to the chromecast.

    • Patronized

      This procedure won’t make it look like your computer is connecting to the Internet from the USA – you need a VPN or unblocking service to do that. It just keeps your Chromecast from geoblocking its own apps. In my experience, no other services are affected by the static routes to Google’s IPs.

  • Steve

    I tried this with the the new ChromeCast in Canada on my Videotron ZyXEL modem. I set up the 4 static routes, and rebooted the modem but Netflix US won’t cast with Hola.

  • Steve

    Ah, it worked with UnblockUs, but I had hoped it would work with Hola as I don’t want to spend another $50/year. Thanks for your help.