7 Google Chromecast Limitations All Potential Buyers Should Consider

CIO.com's Al Sacco goes hands on with Google's Chromecast dongle and shares a number of noteworthy limitations that potential buyers may not be aware of.

Wed, July 31, 2013

CIO — I ordered my Google Chromecast streaming dongle thingamajigger within an hour of its announcement last week, and it promptly arrived on my doorstep on Monday. I've been putting it through the paces and trying to envision unique uses for it ever since.

During my experimentation with the new device, I discovered a handful of limitations that potential Chromecast buyers may want to consider before making a purchase. My experience with Chromecast has been mostly positive, and these limitations aren't meant to dissuade you from buying a Chromecast. The list is intended to spotlight a few "quirks" that you probably wouldn't know about unless you spent some time with the device.

Here's my list of Google Chromecast limitations:

1) Chromecast System Requirements

Anyone interested in Chromecast should consider its system requirements before making a purchase. They are as follows:

 Google Chromecast System Requirements

Chromecast may work for you even if your PC doesn't meet these requirements, but you probably won't be impressed with the overall experience. I tried "casting" from the Chrome browser on my 2008 MacBook running Mac OS X 10.8; it worked, but the video quality was so choppy that it made me dizzy. Also of note: Windows XP isn't supported at all, and the only Chromebook that's officially supported is the new Pixel model. So if you're running XP, own a pre-2010 Mac or another model Chromebook, Chromecast might not be for you.

Related Story: Google Unveils $35 Chromecast Device for TV and Music Streaming

2) Chromecast Hates Your Corporate VPN

Anyone who wants to use Chromecast via a secure corporate VPN while traveling, or via a proxy server, is out of luck. "Chromecast cannot communicate with your laptop over these networks," according to Google.

This is notable for travelers who want to use Chromecast in hotel rooms without exposing themselves on potentially risky hotel Wi-Fi. I haven't had a chance to use Chromecast in a hotel yet, but as far as I can tell, you should be able to use it with an HDMI-compatible TV, assuming the network is fast enough for streaming and you don't mind the security risk of "going unprotected."

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