Hulu is a popular streaming service by Walt Disney, offering a variety of TV shows, movies, and on-demand channels. Unfortunately, Hulu is exclusively available within the US and Japan. This means you cannot access your Hulu account or its content when traveling or residing outside the US or Japan.
So if you’re trying to access Hulu, you will receive an error message due to geo-blocking and licensing laws.
However, you can use a VPN(Virtual Private Network) to change your IP address to an American to unblock and access Hulu from outside the US. Unfortunately, Hulu also detects and blocks VPN traffic, but with a premium VPN, you can bypass Hulu VPN blocks.
We will explain why you cannot watch Hulu with a VPN and how to bypass those VPN blocks.
Can I use Hulu with a VPN?
Hulu has joined Netflix, NBC, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and other major broadcasters in blocking VPNs from accessing its services. So although streaming Hulu with a VPN may be difficult, it’s always possible. Fortunately, there are premium VPN services that can bypass Hulu VPN blocks.
How to watch Hulu outside the US with a VPN
Follow the steps below to get a VPN on Hulu working.
- Download and register a premium VPN service with US servers. We recommend NordVPN, ExpressVPN or Surfshark.
- Install the VPN to your device and connect to a US server.
- Go to the Hulu website and log in or create an account.
- Alternatively, you can download the Hulu app, sign in and start watching your Hulu content.
Why can’t I watch Hulu with VPN?
Unfortunately, not all VPNs will work with Hulu. A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a VPN server in a location of your choice. It masks your real location and makes it seem like you’re in the US, thus giving you access to the exclusive Hulu content.
However, IP addresses on these VPN servers are shared by many users at once since there are more VPN users than VPN servers. So when too many people connect to the same IP address, it becomes apparent to Hulu that you’re using VPNs and proxy servers, hence blocking the IP address.
Therefore trying to watch Hulu with an ordinary VPN will result in an error message. In addition, these ordinary VPNs cannot bypass Hulu’s strict firewall rules.
Based on our latest tests, the following VPNs don’t work with Hulu. This is because Hulu has identified and blocked all VPNs’ IP addresses.
- Hotspot Shield
- Private Internet Access(PIA)
- Avast VPN
- Kaspersky VPN
How do I get Hulu to stop detecting a VPN?
If you have a VPN and want to avoid being banned by Hulu, below are several ways you can achieve this:
Change your VPN service
The best way to avoid Hulu detecting your VPN is to use a premium VPN that works with Hulu. The best VPNs for Hulu usually have a few servers each that can bypass the proxy ban. You will have to call their customer support to know which specific servers can access Hulu.
Unlike VPNs with blocked servers, VPNs that work with Hulu can stay one step ahead of Hulu’s checks. They will close the blocked IP address and open a new one almost immediately, ensuring you stream consistently from anywhere in the world.
Change to another US-based VPN server
If Hulu is not working with VPN, the first thing to do is a change to a US VPN server. To change to a US server;
- Close your browser window.
- Select a different US VPN server location in your VPN app.
- Reopen the Hulu app or in your browser.
VPNs such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN have thousands of servers in the US that are updated frequently, thus bypassing Hulu detection. If your VPN doesn’t work after connecting to more than five American servers, it’s unlikely to work at all.
Contact the VPN’s support team
If your VPN doesn’t allow Hulu access after several trials, you have to contact their customer support and ask them for a server optimized for Hulu. They may recommend an optimized American server or notify you that their VPN service can’t bypass Hulu’s VPN blocks.
Delete your cache and cookies
Cookies and your cache can sometimes store data that tells websites where in the world you’re connecting to the internet. So these cookies can notify Hulu that you’re using a VPN server to stream its content from outside the US. So start by clearing your cache and cookies to remove all geo-location evidence.
Check for IP and DNS address leakage
When you first sign up for Hulu, the software uses your IP address and GPS location to determine which channels you can watch. Hulu calls this your “home location.” So even if you change States, Hulu will still show content from your home location.
But if you’ve traveled outside the US and are trying to stream on Hulu, its software could be leaking your real IP address. Or the VPN has a DNS leak. This occurs when DNS requests fall outside the VPN connection, revealing your true location.
This is likely an issue for free or low-quality VPNs. The best VPN for Hulu should have built-in DNS and IP address leak protection to avoid these leaks; therefore, if you’re on a free VPN, it’s best to invest in a paid package. ExpressVPN has a money-back guarantee program that lets you test it.
Change the VPN protocol
A VPN protocol is a set of instructions determining how your device communicates with the VPN server. Some protocols prioritize speed, while others focus on privacy and security. A good VPN for Hulu should have a variety of VPN protocols to choose from.
If the protocol you’re connecting with isn’t streaming with Hulu, try changing to a different one in the VPN settings. For example, Lightway protocol is the best at unblocking streaming sites with ExpressVPN, while the same with NordLync with NordVPN.
IPv6 is the latest Internet Protocol that succeeds IPv4 and provides the unique IP addresses necessary for internet-enabled devices to communicate. Unfortunately, several VPN services aren’t compatible with IPv6 traffic leading to IP address leaks.
If you’re using an IPv6 internet connection and your VPN doesn’t support it, your connection will travel outside the VPN connection, revealing your real IP address location to Hulu.
Fortunately, you can switch to premium VPN services such as ExpressVPN, which comes with IPv6 leak protection. Alternatively, you can disable IPv6 on your streaming device.
Buy a residential IP address
You can prevent Hulu from detecting your VPN by investing in a residential IP address. These are IP addresses given by household Internet Service Providers(ISP) such as AT&T and Verizon. Shared VPN IP addresses belong to data centers, whereas residential IP addresses are assigned to one user and are indistinguishable from regular IP addresses.
Few VPN services offer residential IPs, but you can watch Hulu with a free VPN such as Windscribe. Additionally, Windscribe also offers residential IP addresses only to premium subscribers at an extra cost. Therefore, Hulu will not detect your VPN use since a residential IP address is unique and unshared.
Activate Smart DNS
Hulu’s software can detect your VPN by matching your public IP address against your DNS settings. The Domain Name System(DNS) is like a phonebook of the internet. It changes domain names into IP addresses, which browsers use to load internet pages.
So if there are inconsistencies between the IP address and DNS credentials, Hulu figures that you’re using a VPN service and even identifies your real location.
So changing your DNS settings can help you bypass Hulu VPN blocks and stream Hulu outside the US without using a VPN. First, you will need a tool called Smart DNS, which some VPNs offer. This tool allows you to change your default DNS servers to servers in the US, giving your access to Hulu outside the US.
Is using a VPN on Hulu illegal?
However, it’s important to check with laws of the country you’re in. VPN use is highly restricted by some governments, such as China, Uganda, Iran, Iraq, Belarus, Russia, and Turkey. Streaming online content using VPNs in any of these regions warrants serious penalties like fines or prosecution.
Also, it’s imperative to know that illegal online activities remain illegal even with the use of a VPN. These activities include pirating copyrighted content, buying or selling on dark web marketplaces, hacking, stalking, or cyberbullying someone.
Why does Hulu ban VPN users?
Although streaming on Hulu with a VPN is legal, they ban VPN use to maintain geographical barriers to their content due to their broadcasting licenses. Streaming services like Hulu have licensing contracts with their content providers to stream movies and shows in the US and Japan.
Hulu doesn’t produce most of its shows but hosts copyrighted content from corporate content creators. Therefore, Hulu has to block VPNs from accessing their content to enforce the contracts with content owners.
Unfortunately, these corporate content creators risk losing a lot of money because of illegitimate content distribution. That’s why Hulu uses GeoIP databases to monitor and block the IP addresses associated with VPN services. But with the right VPN, you can bypass geo-restriction blocks and watch Hulu content.
The only way to unblock and watch Hulu from anywhere in the world is with the help of a premium VPN, a US IP address, and a few other tips from the article. The right VPN will hide your IP address and allow you to bypass geo-restricting websites and streaming services like Hulu.
However, Hulu doesn’t allow the use of anonymous proxy servers and VPN services. Once detected, it will block your VPN traffic and even your Hulu account. So even though Hulu blocks VPN IP addresses, successfully bypassing those blocks using a VPN is completely legal.