Whether you’re too busy to watch episodes at their scheduled air times, or you simply prefer to watch programs on your computer or mobile, streaming site Hulu is a great way to keep up to date with all your favourite TV shows.
If you’re based in the US or Japan, that is. Those located outside these two countries? Not so lucky.
This is because Hulu is available to stream from the US (and US military bases), while Hulu Japan is available in Japan. You cannot currently use Hulu in any other location.
Unless you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), that is! VPNs are incredibly easy to use. You just have to download one, install it, and then choose either an American or Japanese server (depending if you’re after access to Hulu or Hulu Japan). By clicking on a server in either of these countries, the VPN makes it appear to Hulu as though you’re actually located there. This dupes Hulu into giving you access to its entire content library!
Unfortunately, like Netflix, Hulu has become wise to the fact that people outside the US and Japan are using VPNs to watch its shows. As such, it has started to block IP addresses that are known to belong to VPN services.
That said, there are still a number of VPN providers that have managed to stay one step ahead of Hulu and ensure access for their subscribers. They do this by constantly rotating new IP addresses so that Hulu will not detect and block them. To save you the trouble of finding these savvy VPN services yourself, we’ve put together the following list of the five best VPNs for Hulu. They all have a history of always being able to bypass blocks on the video site. Sign up with any of them and you can enjoy watching Hulu outside the US and Japan!
Best VPN for Hulu: Summary
- Our Score
- Visit Site
Special Deal: Save 49% Today!
- Plenty of US servers
- Fast browsing and streaming speeds
- Excellent app
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Slightly pricey but worth the cost
ExpressVPN is not only an excellent VPN for Hulu, but an excellent VPN for streaming video content all around. It boasts some of the fastest speeds on the market, its app works brilliantly on every device, and it downloads in an instant. What’s more, it has dozens of servers in both the US and Japan (not to mention the rest of the world, as its server count currently stands at a colossal 94 countries). The one caveat of ExpressVPN is its cost, which is admittedly above-average. However, we think that you’ll find it’s more than worth the price tag. If you don’t agree with us, that’s alright, too – it has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’re in no danger of losing cash should you wish to give it a go.
Visit ExpressVPN »30-day money-back guarantee!
- Lots of Hulu-accessible servers
- Very fast download/upload speeds
- Seven-day money-back guarantee
- No logs policy
- Allows torrenting
- Slightly expensive
- No live support
IPVanish is a reputable VPN provider that offers its users speed, security, and reliability. If you decide to sign up for IPVanish to watch Hulu outside the US, you can do so on both your computer and smartphone, thanks to its two simultaneous connections policy. With access to 40,000 IP addresses and 13 server locations in Japan and the US, you’ll have no shortage of ways to connect and watch Hulu online.
IPVanish is a little cheaper than ExpressVPN, but still costlier than the majority of VPN services that we review. Still, with all the features the provider offers – including the all-important seven-day return policy – it’s good value for money.
- Strict no logs policy
- Large server network
- Very safe to use
- Stellar customer service
- Great apps for multiple devices
- Not the fastest, but still good enough to watch Hulu
NordVPN is another great choice for accessing Hulu. It has multiple servers in Japan and the US, so you can access whichever version of Hulu you like. It’s also available on all desktop and mobile operating systems, as well as routers and gaming systems, so you can watch content on whichever device you want!
The major downside of NordVPN is that its speeds could use a little work. However, they’re sacrificed for increased security and bulletproof encryption, so more privacy-conscious users may think it’s worth it. Don’t let its slightly slower speed scare you off from giving NordVPN a go, though – its connections are reliable and optimized for streaming, and you won’t notice much lag (if any).
- Blazing fast speeds
- Five simultaneous connections
- Servers in 37+ countries
- Frequent upgrades
- Limited payment options
- Some restrictions on the money-back guarantee
Hungarian provider Buffered is a solid choice not only for unblocking Hulu, but for unblocking other streaming services as well. It’s one of the few that still consistently manages to unblock Netflix and BBC iPlayer. The service is optimal for watching TV shows and movies online. This is thanks to its blazing fast speeds and generous five simultaneous connections.
While Buffered’s server count is smaller than most other providers – it currently hovers at around 37 countries – it’s consistently growing, and services all the major players like the US, the UK, and Canada.
- No logs policy
- Good security features
- Fast speeds
- Servers in 54+ countries
- Five simultaneous connections
- So-so customer service
- Some security concerns over Swiss location
Our last suggestion for VPNs for Hulu is VPNArea. This popular provider is another VPN with a strong focus on online privacy. This shows in its great security features, such as military grade encryption and a kill switch, which will disconnect your internet if the VPN stops working.
Other attractive features of VPNArea are its servers in 54 countries, fast speeds, and a five simultaneous connections policy. The latter means you can not only watch Hulu on your devices, but on those of others in your household as well!
Best VPN for Hulu: Considerations
The above list of the best VPN services for Hulu is based on our professional testing. Nevertheless, we strongly encourage you to try out the services for yourself and make an informed decision based on your personal experience. Since all of the VPN providers mentioned in this article offer money-back guarantees, you can do a trial run before you commit.
Hulu Won’t Work with your VPN?
Hulu Proxy Ban
Hulu is strict in wanting its content to be available only to residents of the US and Japan. As such, it has followed Netflix’s lead in blocking access to their streaming service by proxy servers. Figuring out which IP addresses are actually VPN servers is relatively easy, as often dozens of people are accessing it at once. This sends the signal to Hulu that there is some abnormal activity going on. As such, if you try to access Hulu through the majority of VPNs on the market, you’ll be met with the following message:
“Based on your IP address, we noticed you are trying to access Hulu through an anonymous proxy tool. Hulu is not currently available in the US. If you’re in the US, you’ll need to disable your anonymizer to access videos on Hulu.”
Not all VPNs are victim to the Hulu VPN ban – for example, the ones we list in this article work perfectly with it at the time of writing. This is because they use sophisticated obfuscation technologies that keep it from being detected by Hulu. They also have multiple servers that can bypass the Hulu proxy ban rather than just a few. This lightens the amount of traffic going through each one and makes their servers harder to detect.
VPN Providers Who Bypass the Hulu VPN Ban
While we aim to keep this list as up-to-date as possible, the situation regarding which VPNs can beat the Hulu proxy ban changes on a day-to-day basis. The VPN providers listed above work to stay on top of Hulu access. As such, if Hulu blocks some of their servers, you can be confident that they’ll be quick to set up new ones.
If you sign up for one of these services and Hulu doesn’t work, let the provider know. If the provider is unable to return access to Hulu even after you contact them about the issue, you can always take advantage of the money-back guarantee. Thus, should a service not work for you, it’s relatively easy to request a full refund and move on to another VPN on the list.
Free Hulu Service Discontinued
Hulu has recently discontinued its free service, which provided access to some TV content without a paid subscription. Therefore, if you’re looking to access free TV shows on the internet, you’ll to look for alternatives.
If you’ve put down the cash for a paid Hulu account, though, the above VPN services should allow you to view content from anywhere you may choose to live or travel.
What about using a free VPN?
Some people may be wary of now having to pay for a VPN service on top of Hulu itself. Free VPNs for Hulu do exist, but we don’t recommend them to our readers.
When it comes to using free VPNs, it’s true that if you’re not paying for it, you’re likely the product. Many free VPN services sell off user data to third parties to make up for the lack of revenue they get from users. This compromises user privacy and security – bad news if you’re using a VPN to try to get around Hulu’s geographic blocks.
Because of these safety concerns, we have chosen not to include any free options on our list of the best VPNs for Hulu.
Watching Hulu from Outside the US
If you don’t have a paid Hulu account, and want to open one from outside of the US, you may encounter some problems. Hulu doesn’t accept credit or debit cards with billing addresses outside the US or Japan.
Furthermore, PayPal has cracked down on users who use VPNs and attempt to use its service to make payments to Hulu.
Depending on where you reside, you might be able to use a workaround that will let you pay for Hulu outside the US. It entails signing up for one of the aforementioned VPN services, changing your location to the US, then buying a Hulu gift card from the likes of Best Buy, Target, GameStop, Kroger, Walmart, Rite Aid, or other official sellers.
The seller will usually transmit the card numbers via email, so you don’t need the physical card to use it on the Hulu site. Once you enter your gift card number, you can access Hulu content as long as you have sufficient credit in your account.
Best VPN for Hulu: Conclusion
Hulu has been working hard on cracking down on VPN access to their streaming content. That said, all of the providers mentioned in this article have been staying one step ahead, managing to find ways to continually beat the Hulu proxy ban. This makes Hulu available to people location outside of the US and Japan.
Here at BestVPN.com, we strive to keep our content and reviews as up-to-date as possible. However, things in the VPN industry change frequently! Therefore, it’s important that you research all the providers mentioned above yourself, in order to determine which one best suits your need. If you do notice an outdated fact or statement in our review, please leave a comment below – we will certainly appreciate it!