This article will explain best practices for configuring your UniFi network with Chromecast/Google Home devices.
NOTES & REQUIREMENTS: This guide assumes the use of a UniFi Security Gateway. If your network does not, some of the steps below may not apply.
Table of Contents
- Create a Separate SSID/VLAN
- Enable MulticastDNS Service
- Connect Chromecast/Google Home to your new SSID
- Test Streaming/Discovery
- Related Articles
Using Chromecast and/or Google Home can introduce some potential issues to your UniFi Network. This article will explain how to configure your UniFi network so you can enjoy the benefits of these devices while limiting any potential negative impact on performance. Both Chromecast and Google Home rely on wireless connectivity to access media and stream it from local wireless clients to these media devices. Use of these devices can introduce some logistical concerns to your UniFi network, especially for deployments with a large number of devices.
Some key considerations:
This article will discuss some recommended configurations of your UniFi network when using these devices.
Create a Separate SSID/VLAN
To help segment and isolate traffic related to your Chromecast and Google Home devices, it is recommended to put these devices on a separate VLAN. This is possible with use of the USG’s MulticastDNS service that helps devices discover devices like Chromecast.
- First, let’s walk through how to setup a VLAN in the UniFi Controller. Follow these steps:
- Go to Settings > Networks.
- Click "Add New Network".
- Select "Corporate" network type.
- Assign a VLAN# to your network: in this example 55.
- Define the DHCP scope--e.g. 192.168.55.1/24.
- Click "Update DHCP Range".
- Enable IGMP Snooping as it can help with multicast traffic.
- Configure any other desired settings and click "Save".
- Next, create a dedicated SSID for your Chromecast/Google Home and other IoT devices and assign it the proper VLAN:
- Go to Settings > Wireless Networks > Create Wireless Network.
- Enter a name for your new wireless network i.e. “TestIoT”.
- In most cases, you’ll want to select WPA Personal for Security Type.
- Enter a secure Security Key that can be used to authenticate to this network.
- Assign the VLAN ID associated with the network created earlier, by clicking “Use VLAN” checkbox, and entering the number associated with the VLAN, in this example 55.
- Click "Save" to finish.
Enable MulticastDNS Service
3. Next, we need to enable the Multicast DNS service on the USG to ensure that the devices are able to discover the Chromecast/Google Home devices without issue. To do so:
3.1. Go to Settings > Services > MDNS
3.2. Switch the “Enable Multicast DNS” button to ON
3.3. Click "Apply Changes"
Connect Chromecast/Google Home to New SSID
After you have completed the above steps, you have configured everything necessary in UniFi. All that is then needed is to connect your Chromecast/Google Home devices to your new SSID associated with the new VLAN.
NOTE: The following instructions are just general steps to follow. Please use Google's help guides to configure Google devices for the most current instructions. You can start here: Change the Wi-Fi network of Chromecast or Chromecast Audio.
4. To do this, open the “Home” app made by Google. Select the device you wish to configure, and then forget the network.
4.1. Click Forget next to the previous Wi-Fi Network, then Forget Network to confirm.
4.2. You will then need to set up the Chromecast and connect to the new SSID you created.
4.3. After you have finished adding the new network, you should be ready to test streaming on your Chromecast.
Test Streaming and Discovery
To confirm everything is working, test Chromecast by connecting a wireless client like a laptop or mobile device to your original SSID, the one that your Chromecast is not connected to.
Once connected, open a video on a site like YouTube, and click the Chromecast button in the top right.
If you have setup everything properly, you should then see your Chromecast device listed as shown below. Select the proper Chromecast device and enjoy streaming!
Use a similar method to test proper discovery and audio streaming to a Google Home device as well.