On-demand video streaming services have totally changed the way we think about entertainment. Now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, countless movies, shows, documentaries, and more are only the click of a button away, easily accessible on your computer, TV, tablet, or other connected devices.
One of the top streaming services out there right now is Hulu, but even though Hulu has millions of subscribers in the United States, it simply isn’t available in almost every other country worldwide.
So what do people do when they want to access Hulu outside of the US? They use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), of course. Read on through our Hulu VPN guide to learn all about what Hulu has to offer, how you can use a VPN to bypass its geoblocks, and how to find the best VPN for Hulu on your mobile, PC, and more.
What Is Hulu?
First, let’s have an introduction. There are many streaming services out there right now, from Netflix to Disney+, so it can get a little complicated trying to tell them all apart. Hulu is a US-based subscription service that is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company, but was actually founded as a joint effort between three major TV networks, Fox, ABC, and NBC.
The big draw with Hulu is the sheer quantity of content it has to offer. It features thousands of films and episodes of TV from the aforementioned networks, as well as partner channels like Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, SyFy, and PBS.
Then, in 2016, we saw Hulu expand to include its ‘Hulu + Live TV’ packages that include live streams of 50+ channels. Other unique features of Hulu include the ability to create up to six user profiles on each subscription to share around the family, as well as a cloud DVR service to let users record and save their favorite content.
Why Would I Need a VPN for Hulu?
Even though Hulu has so much to offer in terms of films and TV shows, its geographical reach is extremely limited. For now, the service is only available in the US and in Japan in conjunction with Nippon TV.
For many years, plans have been rumored to be in place for Hulu to expand into international markets, and these plans were confirmed by Disney CEO Bob Iger in February 2020. However, many countries are predicted to be waiting years for Hulu to finally arrive on their TVs and other devices.
This is why a VPN for Hulu can be so valuable to so many people. If you’re outside of the US and want to check out all of the great content available on Hulu, you need to use a VPN in order to get around the geoblocks that usually prevent non-US users from accessing the service.
Even if you’re a US citizen or resident but want to access Hulu while on vacation or out of the country for other reasons, you will need a VPN to do so.
Why is Hulu Unavailable in Many Countries?
The exact reasons behind Hulu’s decision to focus solely on the US and Japanese markets for so long are not entirely clear. In fact, the streaming service has come under fire by some critics for this exact reason, especially when compared to other services that are globally available like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
A big part of the issue with streaming services trying to expand to other countries is rights. Even though Hulu might have the right to broadcast or distribute certain shows in the US, those same shows might have other rights holders in other countries, and this creates legal challenges for the company to overcome.
As stated, Hulu has now announced plans to expand into other territories in the future, but the details and timings of these plans remain unclear for the moment.
How Does a VPN Work to Unblock Hulu?
When you connect to a service like Hulu, or any site or service online, it reads your IP address to see where you’re trying to connect from. If the system sees you’re trying to access from somewhere outside of the US, you’ll receive a message saying that Hulu isn’t available for you and won’t be allowed to view the content.
A Virtual Private Network for Hulu works by hiding your IP address and changing it to seem like you’re in a different location. With a VPN, you can actually choose to connect to servers in countries all over the world, including in the US, in order to effectively ‘trick’ sites into thinking that you’re in these other places.
So, with a VPN installed, you can simply connect to one of the US servers, head over to the Hulu site, and then sign in and start watching the content as normal, even if you’re on the opposite side of the Earth. VPNs also offer other advantages like anonymous browsing and access to other streaming services such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer.
Which Devices Can I Use to Watch Hulu with a VPN?
This all depends on the VPN you choose to buy. Some of them are limited to computers and laptops only, but many of the best Hulu VPNs have mobile apps that let you watch via your smartphone or tablet. Some even come with software that can hide your wireless router or change the IP address of your smart TV or game console.
Can I Watch Live TV with a Hulu VPN?
This is possible, yes. As mentioned earlier, Hulu offers its ‘Hulu + Live TV’ package as an optional extra for members, giving them access to dozens of TV channels across the ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and other networks. However, in order to actually sign up for this, you may need to enter a US ZIP code.
Does Hulu Allow Users to Access its Services with a VPN?
Like most streaming services out there, Hulu isn’t too happy about people trying to access its services from outside of the US via VPNs. That’s why it tries to block any non-US users and it does have some security systems in place to try and identify VPN users and prevent them from getting in. However, while some VPNs can struggle to access Hulu, the best VPNs for Hulu are able to bypass all the blocks and offer unrestricted access to this streaming service.
Do All VPNs Work on Hulu?
Unfortunately not. When it comes to accessing Hulu via VPN, the golden rule is that results will vary depending on which VPN company you use. Some VPN providers aren’t able to get around Hulu’s geoblocks, but others can. We can help you find the best Hulu VPNs with the most reliable access, the best security features, and the fairest prices too.
Do Free VPNs Work on Hulu?
It’s technically possible for a free VPN to work on Hulu, as many free VPNs work exactly the same way as paid VPNs. However, a lot of them also come with data caps that prevent you from using too much data each day or month. If you want to stream shows, films, and live TV, you need to use a whole lot of data, so most free VPNs will only give you a glimpse into what Hulu has to offer.
Can I Watch Sports on Hulu?
Hulu does offer live sports streaming via its Hulu + Live TV service. With this premium add-on, you can get ESPN, Fox, and other sport networks too.
Will a VPN Slow Down my Connection to Hulu?
Only if you choose a bad one! There are some low rated VPNs out there that struggle to maintain your download and upload speeds while running, but the best VPNs for streaming services like Hulu are able to keep your speeds high in any situation, giving you more than enough power to stream content in high definition.
How Do I Find the Best VPN for Hulu?
We can help you find the best possible VPN for Hulu through our guides and reviews. The trick is to ensure that your chosen VPN has good ratings, plenty of servers in the United States, and high download speeds too. You might also want to consider a VPN with a free trial, as this will allow you to test out the performance on Hulu and see how it works before committing to a paid subscription.
How Many Devices Can I Use to Watch Hulu with a VPN?
The Hulu app works on mobiles, video game consoles, tablets, smart TVs, and more, but the number of devices you can have running at any one time will depend on your Hulu plan level and VPN too. The basic Hulu plan lets you have two devices streaming simultaneously, but the Unlimited Screens plan lets you have as many devices as you like!
The same logic applies to VPNs. Some VPNs will only let you connect 2/3 devices at once, while others offer many more simultaneous connections. So if you have a big family or need to have lots of devices running Hulu all at once, it pays to invest in the high-end Hulu plans and VPNs that offer many simultaneous users.