Hulu VPN Not Working? 6 Best VPNs for Hulu in 2021

Published on: June 23, 2021

Best VPNs for Hulu

Hulu is a staple in my video-watching diet. So, when I travel outside of the US, going without my Hulu shows is like going without bread or milk (or the equivalent vegan staple).

Unfortunately, Hulu’s content is geo-restricted, so if you are traveling to the UK, Australia, or really anywhere outside of the US, you will be denied access to Hulu’s addictive shows and movies.

If you try to watch Hulu using an unreliable VPN, instead of unblocking your favorite TV episodes, you may see one of these proxy error messages pop onto your screen:

“It looks like you’re using an anonymous proxy or VPN. You’ll need to disable it to watch Hulu.”

“Error playing this video. You appear to be using an anonymous proxy tool.”

“Based on your IP address, we noticed you are trying to access Hulu through an anonymous proxy tool. Hulu is not currently available outside the US. If you’re in the US, you’ll need to disable your anonymizer to access videos on Hulu.”

The Good news is that there are VPNs that are strong enough to consistently unblock Hulu for you without encountering these annoying messages.

If you are wondering which VPN service is the best for accessing Hulu, here are some of our tried-and-tested favorites.

Hulu logo

In a Hurry? Here Are 6 Best VPNs for Hulu

Here’s a quick preview of the best VPN services that will give you consistent access to Hulu:

  1. ExpressVPNThe best VPN for unblocking Hulu and other streaming services consistently from abroad. Offers blazing-fast connection speeds and strong security features.
  2. NordVPN — Provides great connection speeds and top-notch security features.
  3. Surfshark — You can use unlimited simultaneous connections on a single account with this affordable VPN, which now offers a 7-day free trial.
  4. CyberGhost — Has good speeds and unblocks Hulu with ease.
  5. UltraVPN — Good speed for unblocking Hulu, and 45-day money-back guarantee.
  6. Private Internet Access (PIA)Strong security features and intuitive apps.

How Hulu GeoCensorship Works

Hulu content is strictly limited to those accessing the platform from within the US (or Japan). If you try to unblock Hulu from anywhere else, you will find yourself up against a brick wall.

Because Hulu content is only licensed for streaming in very few locations, Hulu uses geo-tracking technology to detect when users are trying to access their site with a foreign IP address. If they detect a foreign address, they throw up a geo block, making it impossible to enjoy any of their coveted shows and movies.

A VPN, or virtual private network, encrypts your internet traffic heading to and from your computer, routing it through a VPN server in a location of your choosing. In this case, you can opt for your VPN to route your traffic through a server in the US, where Hulu is permitted. This will make it appear to Hulu that you are located in the United States, even if you are really sitting in a flat in London.

Hulu also blocks connections from known VPN servers, where IP addresses on a particular server may be shared by multiple users at once. Even though Hulu can’t tell who you are when you are using these servers, they can tell that you are using a VPN.

For this reason, only the most capable, reliable VPNs will get past Hulu’s defenses. Free VPNs, and most other paid VPNs, cannot bypass Hulu’s strict geoblocks.

How to Choose the Best VPN for Hulu

It’s hard to know how to choose the most effective VPN for unblocking Hulu. What VPN features should you prioritize? Here are the criteria that we used to rank our best Hulu VPN providers:

  • Unblocks Hulu and other streaming services — It’s vital that your VPN choice has a solid history of unblocking Hulu and other popular streaming services, including Netflix, and Prime Video.
  • Fast enough to stream HD video — You need to make sure your VPN choice is fast enough to stream good quality content with no buffering and lag.
  • Plenty of server locations in the United States — You will need plenty of server locations in the US in order to be sure to find a reliable server connection for your Hulu access.
  • Fast customer support — In case any issues arise, it is important that your VPN service offers quick, professional, and readily available customer support.
  • Compatability — Since you likely stream Hulu on a variety of devices, you should make sure your VPN has apps for multiple platforms.

6 Best VPNs For Hulu

After testing dozens of VPNs on the market, here are the 6 VPN providers that consistently unblocked Hulu from locations outside the US.

Devices compatible with ExpressVPN
Company location: British Virgin Islands
Number of servers: 3000+
Number of locations: 94 Country
Speed: Great
# of connections: 5 devices
24/7 live chat: Yes
Guarantee: 30-days
No-log policy: Yes
Torrenting servers: No (but support p2p)
Free trial: No
Compatibility: Win, Mac, Android, ios, Linux, routers, browser
Streaming: Netflix (multiple libraries), Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, SkyTV, Disney+, and many others

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Hulu in terms of speed, functionality, ease of use, and performance. It has over 3,000 servers, with more than 20 servers based in the US, ensuring that there will always be adequate servers to connect to when trying to access Hulu in the USA.

ExpressVPN has a super fast and reliable MediaStreamer Smart DNS feaure that is awesome at streaming everything you could possibly want to watch — from Hulu, to Netflix, to BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more — all in HD/4K.

In terms of finding just the right server, you can choose your own, or you can rely on its expertise to get you connected. ExpressVPN has a Smart Location feature that allows you to connect to the fastest server available with the click of a button.

If you are worried about compatibility, Express is available on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, Firestick/FireTV, Smart TV, Roku, Chromecast, Xbox One, PS4, and Apple TV — so you are set, no matter which device you use.

As for privacy and security — ExpressVPN has all the vital features to keep you and your information secure — like their internet kill switch, DNS leak protection, split tunneling, strict no-logs policy, and its 256-bit AES military-grade encryption.

ExpressVPN helps me time and time again with any issues or questions that come up with its 24/7 live-chat customer service. If you find that, after a few weeks, you are not pleased with any aspect of ExpressVPN, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you really have nothing to lose with this VPN service.

Pros:

  • Unblocks Hulu in HD
  • Top security and privacy features
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Connect up to 5 devices simultaneously
  • Smart Location feature
  • 24/7 live support

Cons:

  • Not as cheap as some other providers

2. NordVPN

Company location: Panama
Number of servers: 5400
Number of locations: 54
Speed: Average
# of connections: Up to 6
24/7 live chat: Yes
Guarantee: 30-days
No-log policy: Yes
Torrenting servers: Yes
Free trial: No
Compatibility: Win, Mac, Android, ios, linux, routers, browser
Streaming: Netflix (multiple libraries), Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, SkyTV, Disney+, and many others

NordVPN boasts over 5,500 servers, 1,970 of which are located in the US. All of these servers will allow you to stream Hulu streaming service in HD without any buffering or lag.

Nord VPN has a SmartPlay feature that is designed to bypass geo-blocks while maintaining your security. SmartPlay combines VPN and Smart DNS technology. SmartPlay serves the same purpose as Smart DNS, but it also adds the security of a VPN to your connection, automatically.

If you are looking to watch other popular streaming services, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go, and many other options, are all easily unblocked by NordVPN.

Nord is packed with security and privacy features, including military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, double encryption, an internet kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a zero log policy.

NordVPN offers the highest number of optimized servers for streaming, is inexpensive, and it works well on both mobile and desktop devices, keeping it up there in my top 2 VPN choices, time after time.

Nord also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you change your mind and decide to go with another VPN, you can get your money back with no penalty. Its customer support is available through 24/7 live-chat, so you will never have any trouble reaching a representative who can help troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

Pros:

  • Fast servers to stream Hulu in HD
  • Top privacy and security
  • Smart DNS services
  • Double Encryption
  • Allows 6 simultaneous connections
  • Unblocks Hulu and most popular streaming sites
  • 24/7 live-chat Support

Cons:

  • Split tunneling not available across platforms
  • OpenVPN configuration isn’t user-friendly

Devices compatible with Surfshark
Company location: British Virgin Islands
Number of servers: 3200+
Number of locations: 65
Speed: Average
# of connections: Unlimited devices
24/7 live chat: Yes
Guarantee: 30-days
No-log policy: Yes
Torrenting servers: No (but support p2p)
Free trial: 7-days for mobile
Compatibility: Win, Mac, Android, IOS, Linux, Routers, Browser
Streaming: Netflix (multiple libraries), Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, SkyTV, Disney+, and many others

Surfshark has over 3,200 servers, with more than 500 servers located across 24 different cities in the US. Surfhark’s streaming is fast, but it has been slightly inconsistent with its speeds across servers.

In terms of security and privacy, Surfshark offers an internet kill switchDNS leak protection, and a zero logs policy.

Surfshark VPN has apps compatible with Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, Firestick/Fire TV, Smart TV, Roku, Chromecast, Xbox One, PS4, and Apple TV.

If you are taking a break from your Hulu streaming service, you can use Surfshark’s dedicated Smart DNS service to unlock 12 Netflix libraries, SkyTV, Fox Go, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, Spotify, and more.

Surfshark has a 30-day money-back guarantee, and offers one of the most competitive subscription fees of all its competitors.

Pros:

  • Built-in malware blocker and ad blocker
  • 7-day free trial for mobile users
  • Good speeds and unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Offers 24/7 live chat support

Cons:

  • Inconsistent server speeds

Devices compatible with CyberGhost
Company location: Romania
Number of servers: 6800+
Number of locations: 90
Speed: Average
# of connections: Up to 7
24/7 live chat: Yes
Guarantee: 45-days
No-log policy: Yes
Torrenting servers: Yes
Free trial: 24-hours
Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and routers
Streaming: Netflix (multiple libraries), Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, SkyTV, Disney+, and many others

CyberGhost is one of the larger VPN services, with over 6,000 servers in over 90 countries worldwide, with almost 1,500 servers located in the US.

When I connected to CyberGhost’s optimized NY server, I was able to watch Hulu with minimal buffering and lag.

CyberGhost uses My Smart DNS for great speed and access to streaming content. It can unblock most popular streaming platforms, like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer, but it did have trouble unblocking Amazon Prime Video.

CyberGhost has top-notch security features, with AES 256-bit military-grade encryption, DNS leak protection, no-logs policy, and kill switch, as well as an ad blocker and split tunneling.

There are CyberGhost apps available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, Apple TV, Firestick, Android, smart TV, game consoles, routers, and more.

CyberGhost has 24/7 live-chat customer support and a 45-day money-back guarantee, which is more than any of its competitors’ offer.

Pros:

  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Allows 7 simultaneous connections
  • Let’s you access Hulu and other services
  • Apps are easy to install and use
  • Dedicated high speed servers for HD/4K streaming
  • Low-cost

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work reliably in China or UAE
  • Doesn’t unblock Amazon Prime Video

Devices compatible with UltraVPN
Company location: USA
Number of servers: 100+
Number of locations: 17
Speed: Average
# of connections: Up to 6
24/7 live chat: No
Guarantee: 30-days
No-log policy: No
Torrenting servers: No
Free trial: No
Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and routers
Streaming: Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, HBO Go, HBO Now, and ESPN

UltraVPN is among the smaller VPN provider options, with around 100 servers spread across some 60 countries, with 34 servers in North America. Despite this, I was impressed with UltraVPN’s connection speed and reliability, and the fact that it will work with Hulu.

You can also use UltraVPN to unblock Netflix and HBO GO, and you can easily connect with apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

The most restrictive of the bunch, an UltraVPN account only allows you to use 3 devices simultaneously, so if more than three of you want to connect at once, another of the other VPNs might be a better option.

Pros:

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 Toll Free number

Cons:

  • Smaller server network
  • Keeps some logs
  • Slower speeds
  • Only connect 3 users simultaneously

PIA
Company location: USA
Number of servers: 24,870+
Number of locations: 77
Speed: Average
# of connections: Up to 10
24/7 live chat: Yes
Guarantee: 30-days
No-log policy: No
Torrenting servers: No (P2P is allowed on all servers)
Free trial: No
Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, PS4/Xbox, and routers
Streaming: Netflix (multiple libraries), Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, SkyTV, Disney+, and many others

PIA has over almost 20,000 servers in 76 countries worldwide, with over 11,000 servers in the US! This certainly makes it one of the largest and most widespread VPNs around.

PIA is able to access US Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu with little buffer or lag.

PIA offers a no-logs policy, unlimited bandwidth, and a built-in ad-blocker (MACE). Its default encryption is 128-bit, but you can manually choose the higher-level 256-bit military-grade encryption, DNS leak protection, and kill switch on all platforms. You should note, however, that this VPN provider is based in the United States, which is the founding member of the Five Eyes Alliance.

PIA apps are available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, Android, routers, with extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, and custom apps for Amazon Fire Stick.

Pros:

  • Fast Speeds
  • Live support and 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unblocks US Netflix and Hulu
  • Large amount of servers in USA

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work in China
  • Based in United States in 5-Eyes-Alliance

Can I Use a Free VPN to Watch Hulu

While you are welcome to try a free VPN, free VPNs are simply not powerful enough to get through Hulu’s geo-blocks to access the streaming service.

The free VPN providers are not giving you their VPN service at no cost just as a service to humanity. They are making money, just not in the straightforward way the reputable VPNs make it — via subscription fees.

Instead, free VPNs make money from annoying ads that they allow to pop up on your screen, and by selling your private information to third-party vendors. They have also been known to introduce malware to your devices, and compromise your online security.

Using a free VPN for Hulu will almost certainly be a waste of your time and your resources.

How to Watch Hulu from Abroad with a VPN

If you want to access Hulu, VPN services can be your magic key. You can use your VPN’s servers to change your IP address and trick Hulu and your internet service provider into thinking you are connecting from anywhere in the world — in this case, the US. Once you know which server with which to connect, unblocking Hulu with a VPN is simple.

Here’s how to watch Hulu from abroad with a VPN:

  1. Sign up for and download a VPN that works with Hulu. ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Hulu.
  2. Install the VPN app on your device.
  3. Choose a server or server location that can unblock Hulu — In this case, a server in the US. If you’re unsure, ask your VPN’s customer service which server works best.
  4. Open Hulu and start streaming!

List of VPNs that Don’t Work with Hulu

The following VPNs do not currently work with Hulu:

☑️ Zenmate
☑️ PureVPN
☑️ Hotspot Shield
☑️ Hola
☑️ IPVanish
☑️ Tunnelbear
☑️ CactusVPN
☑️ IronSocket
☑️ Unotelly
☑️ CactusVPN
☑️ Buffered

How to Download Hulu from Outside of the US

Here is how to download Hulu to your iOS device or Android device from abroad:

iOS – (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV)

  1. Open your VPN and connect to a server located in the USA.
  2. Log out of your Apple ID and create a new one in the US. (We recommend making a new Apple account rather than changing your existing one so it will not affect your existing apps and purchases)
  3. If you opt to change your existing Apple account to the US — On your device, go to Settings > iTunes & App Store > View Apple ID > Country/Region > Change Country or Region
  4. Choose the US as your country.
  5. For payment method, choose “None.” (You will still need a US payment method to pay for Hulu)
  6. Agree to the terms and conditions.

Android

  1. Open your VPN and connect to a US server.
  2. Go to payments.google.com
  3. Go to Settings > Edit
  4. Change your address to a US one with a corresponding postal code, and accept the changes.
  5. On your device, close the Play Store.
  6. In Apps, find the Google Play Store, select “Force Stop,” and Clear All Data.
  7. Open the Play Store again and you should be able to download and install Hulu.

How to Disable IPV6

Even with a VPN provider, you still might encounter an error message on Hulu, letting you know that it can see that you are using a VPN. The reason for this is that the majority of VPN services still don’t protect against IPv6 leaks. While a VPN will route all of your traffic through its own DNS servers and mask your IPv4 address, IPv6 addresses are still sent without being masked. IPv6 serves the same role as IPv4, but with a larger range of possible IP addresses for device connections.

The answer to this problem is not an ideal one, but it is effective; To fix this problem, you need to disable IPv6.

How to disable IPv6 on a Windows PC (Windows 10):

  1. Disconnect and close your VPN app.
  2. Tap Windows Key+R to open the Run prompt.
  3. Type ncpa.cpl and hit Enter to open your Network Connections.
  4. Find the connection you are using, right click it, and select Properties.
  5. On the Networking or General tab, uncheck the box that says Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6).
  6. Click OK to save changes and close the Window.
  7. Tap Windows Key+R and select Command Prompt (Admin), then hit Yes when asked if it’s okay for the program to make changes to your computer.
  8. In the command prompt (black window), type ipconfig /flushdns and hit Enter.
  9. Reconnect to the VPN, refresh the Hulu page, and gain access to Hulu!

How to disable IPv6 on Mac OSX:

  1. Disconnect and close the VPN app.
  2. Open the Apple menu.
  3. Choose System Preferences > Network > AirPort > Advanced
  4. Click TCP/IP.
  5. Click on the Configure IPv6 pop-up menu and select Off.
  6. Click OK and Apply (to apply the change).
  7. Reconnect to the VPN, refresh the Hulu page, and gain access to Hulu!

FAQs

star Where is Hulu available?

Currently, Hulu is only available in the US and in Japan, though these two libraries are totally separate with almost no overlap. If you are not in America or Japan, you will need a VPN for Hulu access.

star Is it illegal to use a VPN to watch Hulu?

It is not illegal to watch Hulu with a VPN, and Hulu’s terms of service do not specifically mention VPNs or proxies. It does, however, state the following which seems to imply that Hulu VPN use is frowned upon:

“You may not either directly or through the use of any device, software, internet site, web-based service, or other means remove, alter, bypass, avoid, interfere with, or circumvent any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices marked on the Content of any digital rights management mechanism device, or other content protection or access control measure associated with the Content including geo-filtering mechanisms.”

If you go against this policy, it states that the company will notify you and block your access. It does not seem to mention account termination or suspension, and we have not heard of any cases of a Hulu user being punished for using a Hulu VPN. On top of this, VPNs are legal in almost all countries.

star How can I pay for Hulu from outside the US?

Hulu doesn’t simply require that IP addresses be in the United States; It also requires your payment method to be from the US. If you do not have a US domestic credit card or PayPal account, this can be a bit complicated.

There are a couple of workarounds that can help at getting past this payment snafu:

Prepaid Card

  1. Create a virtual prepaid payment card through Statescard.com.
  2. Enter your details and set up a password.
  3. Click on the verification link in an email.
  4. Provide your license, ID, or passport to confirm your identity.
  5. Load funds with a credit card or PayPal account.
  6. Start using your StatesCard to get a Hulu account outside of the US.

Paypal

  1. Use a VPN to create a US PayPal account. Connect to a US server and signup for Paypal.
  2. Use your credit card for the US PayPal account. Make sure that your CC isn’t linked to another PayPal account.
  3. Enter a US postal code in the address.

Gift Cards

  1. Buy Hulu gift cards from ebay.com.
  2. You will get a code in the email to sign up for a Hulu subscription.
  3. Make sure that you’ve connected your VPN proxy server in the USA before you sign up.

Friend

  1. Ask an American friend or family member to get a Hulu subscription or to give you their credit card details, and then pay them back.

star How does Hulu know I’m using a VPN?

Hulu’s anti-VPN technology is very strong — even more powerful than Netflix’s geo-blocks.

Hulu only allows its content to be viewed from within the US and Japan (from US servers or Japanese servers) so if you’re in any other location, or if you’re not using an effective VPN, you’ll see one of Hulu’s really discouraging error messages.

Hulu uses geo-tracking technology to detect where your IP address is located, blocking connections from any IP address that is located out of the US. You need a VPN to help you connect to a US server, making your IP address a US address, and tricking Hulu into thinking you are accessing its television networks and shows from within the United States.

star Does Surfshark work on Hulu?

Yes.  Surfshark is able to unblock Hulu and other streaming services from abroad. Surfshark has plenty of US servers that will allow you to stream with great video quality. Surfshark also allows you to use unlimited simultaneous connections, so your family can stream from as many devices as it wants, all at once. It also unblocks Netflix US and UK, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer, and other streaming services.

star Can I stream Hulu from my Smart TV with a VPN?

If your smart TV is a product that supports VPN apps, than yes — you can stream Hulu from your kind of Smart TV. If not, you can stream from your Amazon Fire TV Stick, or set up your VPN on your wifi router. Setting VPN up on your router allows anyone who is connected to your wifi to be connected to your VPN, all as only one user.

star Will using Hulu and a VPN slow my Internet speeds?

All VPNs will slow your connection to some degree due to the extra step it takes to send your data through the VPN’s encrypted servers. All the best VPNs we recommend, however, provide more than enough bandwidth for streaming Hulu, so users will not notice a difference in the video quality watching Hulu, VPN or no VPN. Low quality and free VPNs are less likely to offer sufficient bandwidth for high-quality video streaming.

star Can I unblock Hulu if the VPN is on my router?

Definitely! If you install your VPN on your router, you can unblock Hulu on any device that is connected to your wifi without having to install the VPN app on each device. Using a VPN with your router also means that you can connect an unlimited number of devices to your router, all of which only count as one device; so if you are using ExpressVPN, which allows 5 simultaneous device connections, you can connect a dozen people to your router via your wifi, and still have 4 regular device connections to spare.

Conclusion

These days, Hulu is a service that has become way more of a necessity than a luxury.

After extensive research, the above 6 VPNs are truly the best Hulu warriors out there, helping access your favorite shows, movies, and all of the best Hulu content. They offer the best connection speeds, the largest pools of servers, and the ability to consistently bypass Hulus blocks.

In my opinion, ExpressVPN is the very best VPN for Hulu because of its top connection speeds, reliable servers, and consistent ability to circumvent geoblocks on a huge array of streaming sites.

Happy streaming!

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