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VPNs for Hulu with proven effectiveness

Last updated: September 30, 2020 By Dean Chester

You need a VPN to access Hulu content from outside the USA. In this article, I will tell you how to install and run a VPN app on any device easily, quickly, and 100% securely.

Increasingly, overseas Americans and Internet users from many other countries want to access video content from streaming services that restrict or block access from non-US IP addresses. One of such services is Hulu.

Proxy error when trying to access Hulu with a non-US IP address

The easiest and most effective way to bypass the restrictions is to use the Virtual Private Network by installing a VPN app.

I tested over 30 VPNs with my hulu.com account and figured out what a Hulu VPN should be and how to use it correctly

 
Have a look at the best VPNs for Hulu:
  1. ExpressVPN: Most consistently supports bypassing geo-restrictions of all popular streaming video services, including Hulu, Netflix, HBO, BBC iPlayer, and others.
  2. NordVPN: Strong VPN with support of the strong WireGuard protocol, ideal for mobile devices. Effective for all video services.
  3. Surfshark: Budget VPN # 1. With a long-term subscription, the service price drops to $1.99 per month, which is more than half the price of many other VPNs.
  4. CyberGhost: It has special locations for streaming, divided by country and service name. Testing revealed low speed on the US servers.
  5. PIA: Suitable for networks with strong restrictions.
 
Free VPN services for Hulu *:
  1. Hide.me: While testing in 2020 did not return positive results, hide.me has long been the best service with a free streaming plan.
  2. TunnelBear: Effective against geo-restrictions, but it has strong restrictions
  3. VPN Gate: Non-commercial project. Effective for Hulu, but difficult to find an active US server.

 *Free VPNs bypass the protection of popular video resources very poorly, as their IP addresses are included in the blacklists. Besides, other problems are listed below.

Read on to find out why Hulu uses restrictions, how to sign up on hulu.com, how to safely change your IP address to American for your account and tell you more about the 5 most effective VPNs that have been verified from outside the US and 3 free services that are also worth a try.


Learn more about Hulu and VPN

Hulu is a VOD (Video On Demand) streaming video service owned by Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International. Specializes in broadcasting shows, TV series, and movies. Since 2017, the service has also been broadcasting TV channels, of which there are over 50 in 2020. The subscription with TV channels is called Hulu + Live TV.

To date, the service has over 30 million subscribers (according to Statistic). Officially, only Americans can watch Hulu, but thanks to Virtual Private Network technology and, to some extent, Smart DNS, in 2020 it is possible to push the boundaries to any point on the world map.   

Before going directly to how to install Hulu VPN on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, I want to clarify a question that worries many people - why did Hulu introduce rules to which its content is only available in the USA?

Everything is simple and complicated at the same time.

Hulu does not have international rights to broadcast its content. In today's world, each region or country needs separate agreements to display any public content. These are not only copyrights or licenses, but also national rules that govern information transferred from other states. 

Earlier, Hulu spoke softly about geo-restrictions and reassured that they were trying to expand their broadcasting to other countries, but since December 2019, Hulu has been speaking about it more succinctly:

A Hulu subscription is intended for use by members of a single U.S. household. Therefore, you will need a U.S.-issued form of payment when you sign up

What does a VPN do?

Using a completely legal virtual channel technology, which is only slightly younger than the Internet itself, a VPN connects your device directly to a special server that can be located anywhere in the world (in our case, in the United States). This server virtually merges with your computer or smartphone, making the entire Internet think that this server is you.  

And so do Hulu, Disney +, +, Netflix, Pandora, and any other video or audio streaming service.

Why isn't every VPN suitable for Hulu?

At the same time, you probably already know that Hulu discourages VPN use. This is expressed in the fact that when trying to play a video through regular, non-specialized service, an error appears:

Connection error when trying to log in from outside the US or with an unsuitable VPN

By itself, this error does not mean anything. But it immediately disappears if you use a good VPN for Hulu:

Successfully logging into Hulu with a good VPN

The difference is obvious! And you don't have to be in the US at all.

Read on to find out which VPN is the best for Hulu and how to install it + instructions for those who haven't signed up at hulu.com yet.


Set up Hulu VPN - Step-by-Step Guide Using with a Real Example

There are at least 5 VPN services that have been tested with Hulu. I'll go into more detail about each of them, but for now, I'll pick the best one - ExpressVPN to describe the installation process.

5 Easy Steps to Run Hulu over a VPN

  1. Sign up to ExpressVPN.  
    Go to the VPN service website and sign up by choosing the duration of the subscription that suits you. I have tested ExpressVPN thoroughly many times and I am confident in it, but in any case, the service will refund your money within 30 days if you fail.

    ExpressVPN Sign Up Button

  2. Download and install the VPN app.
    Modern providers not only provide services by providing access to their servers but also have convenient apps. ExpressVPN has apps for all OSs. Download and install the app for your platform. If you plan to use a VPN on Smart TV then take advantage of their MediaStreamer technology.
  3. Select a US location (you do not need to select a city).

    US location in the app

  4. Connect to VPN.
  5. Log in to Hulu.

That's all you need to do to start unrestricted viewing of the content you are interested in from any country. 

VPN technology automatically protects all device traffic. It means that all programs and apps will see the network through the virtual channel. If this does not suit you, then use the Split Tunneling option. There you can select those apps that do not need protection, or vice versa, that need it. For example, a web browser or Kodi.


Sign up with Hulu outside the US

There is good news for those looking to sign up with Hulu outside the US.

Unlike HBO, subscribing to hulu.com does not require a credit card issued by a United States financial institution. Testing has shown that cards from other countries are also suitable for registration.

This greatly simplifies sign up and reduces it to just using a VPN.  

3 Easy Steps to Sign Up for Hulu with a VPN  

1. Install and run the VPN app as described in the previous section.

2. Go to the Hulu website and go through the signup procedure for a free trial subscription. The only "protection" I found was the need to introduce an American ZIP code. But no further verification followed.

3. Enter your card details. This is necessary so that the service can withdraw money for a subscription after the end of the trial period.

As you can see, signing up for Hulu via a VPN is pretty straightforward. Such an account will work as long as you pay for the service and use the VPN. 

I am not urging you to circumvent the rules established by Hulu, but only describe my personal experience gained while studying all aspects of this video service.


VPNs for Hulu that have been verified on a real account

After conducting over 200 tests with over 30 VPN services, I have selected the top 5 that either most consistently bypass Hulu geo-restrictions or have rare technical capabilities for networks with a lot of restrictions.

Comparison of VPN features for Hulu

Service Ranking
(out of 10)
Speed in the US, Mbps Hulu
Support
Support
for other streaming services
Price
(monthly)
ExpressVPN 10 >60 + + $6.67-12.95
NordVPN 10 >50 + + $3.71-11.95
Surfshark 10 >20 + + $1.99-11.95
CyberGhost 9 >15 + + $2.75-12.99
PIA 8 >50 + - $2.69-9.95

ExpressVPNExpressVPN logo

Pros:
  • High efficiency of bypassing geo-blocking
  • Support of all platforms
  • Super-fast connection speed and stability
  • Support of all streaming video services
  • Up to 5 devices simultaneously
  • Split Tunneling
Cons:
  • Does not provide the function to select a specific IP address
  • No long-term (cheap) tariff plans

Overview

ExpressVPN is great for both Hulu streaming and sign up. Testing has shown that using it requires a minimum amount of manipulation with the app. All blocking bypass consists of only three simple points:

  1. Sign up
  2. Set up the app
  3. Connect to the US location

I didn't need to look for a working server or any additional configuration of ExpressVPN apps.

The speed of the provider's servers allows you to consistently receive the maximum image quality.

When using multiple devices at the same time, the app itself balances the load between different servers.

Price

The table lists the ExpressVPN * plans

  1 month 6 months 1 year
Monthly cost $12.95 $9.99 $6.67
Money-back guarantee, days 30 30 30

* Prices include discounts following this link.

Despite the relatively high minimum price compared to other services, when subscribing for 1-12 months, the provider offers average market prices. Plus, ExpressVPN has a rare 6-month subscription.

Summary

  • ExpressVPN has strong support for Hulu
  • Effective in unblocking any streaming video services
  • Has super-fast servers
  • No more expensive than many VPNs with a 1 or 12-month subscription
  • Allows up to 5 connections simultaneously
  • Passed all confidentiality tests and meets all security requirements
 
ExpressVPN Preview
Get an extra 20% discount
 

Also read:

ExpressVPN for Hulu


NordVPNNordVPN logo

Pros:
  • Sustainable Hulu support
  • Ability to select specific servers
  • Interactive map of locations
  • Support of all platforms
  • Works even in countries with VPN blocking
  • Up to 6 devices simultaneously
  • WireGuard (a high-performance protocol to reduce processor load)
Cons:
  • Not founded

Overview

NordVPN is another efficient VPN service that supports Hulu. All tests conducted over the past two years have shown consistently positive results. 

When does it make sense to choose NordVPN?

  1. If you want to save money by subscribing for more than a year
  2. To be able to choose a server (in ExpressVPN this happens automatically)
  3. If you are in a country where the VPN is blocked
  4. If you plan to use different countries (convenient interactive map)

Perhaps the biggest plus of NordVPN is the ability to choose not only a country and a city but also a specific server. This can be indispensable if Hulu tightens its opposition to VPN services and blocks most IP addresses. In this case, it will be possible to find the working IP by a simple search.

Server selection in the NordVPN app

Price

The table lists the NordVPN * plans:

  1 month 6 months 1 year 2 years
Monthly cost $11.95 $9.00 $5.75 $3.71
Money-back guarantee, days 30 30 30 30

* At the time of writing, NordVPN has a 68% discount on its 2 years plan.

NordVPN is one of the largest and steadily growing services today. That and the fact that it has a significantly reduced price on 1-2 years subscriptions makes it the # 1 service for long-term use.

Summary

  • NordVPN has stable support of streaming Hulu and other services
  • Has a convenient choice of servers
  • Confirmed consistently high quality of services
  • Available with long-term use
  • Allows up to 6 connections simultaneously
  • Supports NordLynx (WireGuard) protocol, ideal for mobile devices
 
NordVPN Preview
Take advantage of the current promotion -68%
 

Also read:

NordVPN for Hulu and other streaming video services


SurfsharkSurfshark VPN logo

Pros:
  • Perfect combination of price and quality
  • Good support of Hulu
  • Ultra-modern obfuscation for censored countries
  • Apps for all OSs
  • Unlimited devices used
Cons:
  • Not very high speed on the US servers

Overview

Surfshark VPN combines all the 2020 features you need to unblock video content in any environment, including countries where foreign VPNs are banned.

But most importantly, all this is available at a record low price among the services of the highest level.

Testing of all modes revealed only one minor drawback - the speed is less than 30Mbps on US servers. This is more than enough for watching videos in any quality, but there is not such a significant headroom as, for example, ExpressVPN.

I also want to note that Surfshark has improved technical capabilities to bypass blocking in countries with Internet restrictions. For example in the UAE and Iran.

Price

The table lists Surfshark VPN plans:

  1 month 1 year 2 years
Monthly cost $11.95 $5.99 $1.99
Money-back guarantee, days 30 30 30

The provider also offers additional services that increase the security of email correspondence and web surfing.

Summary

  • Surfshark allows you to change the region for Hulu effectively
  • Supports most popular video services
  • Unlimited devices used
  • Super low price when you subscribe for more than 1 year
  • Works in countries with internet censorship
 
Surfshark Preview
Install an efficient VPN for $ 1.99 + per month
 

Also read:

Surfshark for Hulu streaming


CyberGhostCyberGhost VPN logo

Pros:
  • Special servers for Hulu (read below about their features)
  • 7 devices simultaneously
  • Access to specific servers
  • Indicator of consumption and traffic speed
  • Split Tunneling
Cons:
  • May significantly increase the load on Windows
  • Unstable streaming support

Overview

CyberGhost is the largest VPN service that claims to support bypassing geo-restrictions on more than 10 online video services. Moreover, it has an important difference from competitors - a separate list of locations where specially configured servers for streaming are located.

Among them, there is a location for viewing Hulu. I’ve tested it and here is my expert opinion:

Unblocking is possible, but not 100% of the time. One day everything works well, but the next day it can take time and multiple reconnections. Testing also revealed too low speed for HD and Ultra HD quality. As a result, CyberGhost is more suitable for SD.

Price

The table lists CyberGhost pricing plans:

  1 month 1 year 2 year 3 year
Monthly cost $12.99 $5.99 $3.69 $2.75
Money-back guarantee, days - 45 45 45

If necessary, you can improve the speed and quality of Hulu support by purchasing an additional US dedicated IP for $5 per month. I recommend you first contact the support service and clarify if streaming is currently supported for dedicated addresses.   

Summary

  • CyberGhost has a dedicated location for accessing Hulu
  • Unstable streaming support
  • Not all advertised servers help bypass the block
  • Allows up to 7 connections simultaneously
  • Can be very stressful on Windows computers. Especially with an unstable connection and with possible automatic reconnections.

Also read:

CyberGhost for Hulu


Private Internet AccessPIA VPN logo

Pros:
  • High speed
  • Up to 10 devices simultaneously
  • Many advanced options (VPN connection settings)
  • WireGuard
  • Shadowsocks
Cons:
  • Intermittent HBO support
  • Limited choice of US servers

Overview

The next VPN service, Private Internet Access (PIA), at the time of publication was unable to unblock Hulu, but I put it in fifth place because it has functionality that other VPNs do not have, and which can bypass blocking in places where it VPN protocols don’t work.

In some cases, there is simply no way to run a classic VPN using OpenVPN or IKEv2. In such cases, it is more convenient to use an additional link - Shadowsocks over a virtual network. This way most filters and protections can be bypassed.

Unlocking Hulu may require you to sweep the server several times. On some days, no server is efficient. But if other VPNs can't get around the blocking by your ISP or network administrator, then PIA may be the only solution.

Price

The table lists PIA pricing plans:

  1 month 1 year 2 years
Monthly cost $9.95 $3.33 $2.69
Money-back guarantee, days 30 30 30

Over the past year, the provider has repeatedly cut prices and is currently one of the cheapest VPNs.

Summary

  • Private Internet Access has low efficiency but can help in extremely difficult cases of blocking.
  • Has a high speed in most locations
  • Allows up to 10 connections simultaneously

Also read:

Private Internet Access for Hulu


Unlock Hulu for free

Is it possible to bypass geo-blocking without spending a penny?

Definitely yes.

Is it possible to do it without having special skills and without spending a lot of time?

No.

Today, the degree of protection of Hulu and other similar services is so great that methods that are widely available no longer work. Free proxies, which can be easily found through Google, do not work, free VPN apps, which are offered in large numbers in the Google Play Store, Huawei AppGallery, Apple App Store, and others, do not work.

The only effective solutions are private proxies, which are conceived as illegal, as they are installed on the computers of unsuspecting users using malicious software. But they are unlikely to be easy to get.

However, I found 3 free VPNs for Hulu that, with some restrictions, can still bypass its geo-restrictions.

Hide.meHide.me logo

The free plan of this service sometimes allows you to connect to Hulu at a speed of 2-4 Mbps. True, this does not happen often. This year, only two times I managed to start watching a movie in SD quality.

Hide.me also has a 10 GB per month limit.

TunnelBearTunnelBear logo

It is the most efficient free VPN of all. In 7 cases out of 10, it bypasses the restrictions.

But TunnelBear has a limit of only 500MB per month. Therefore, it is unlikely that you can use it more than once. The only way to continue browsing is to upgrade to a paid plan.

VPN GateHotspot Shield logo

For more advanced users, VPN Gate may be suitable. It uses volunteer computers as servers and therefore never gets blocked by Hulu. But the problem is that it is very difficult to find a working US location since the service is popular mainly in Japan and neighbouring countries.

Chief Editor
Dean Chester
Cybersecurity and online privacy expert and researcher. He's been published on OpenVPN, EC-Council Blog, DevSecOps, AT-T Business, SAP Community, etc. Dean has been testing VPNs for 8 years.

Write a review

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6 user reviews for VPNs for Hulu with proven effectiveness

Which of the VPN services

Which of the VPN services from the rating are the fastest VPNs for Hulu?

Dean Chester's picture
1294h, all 5 representatives

1294h, all 5 representatives perform good internet speed connections. ExpressVPN is ranked as the best one, including its speed performance. Still, it all depends on your actual geo-location. For example? If you are in Australia and connect via a VPN server in the US, the connection might be slower in comparison with the servers located near Australia. It may happen due to the distance between you and the server.

Hello, I want to tell about

Hello, I want to tell about my experience of unblocking Hulu with ExpressVPN. I like it very much, though it is much more expensive than Nord of Vypr, for instance. I started using this service about a year ago. I obtained a subscription for one month, and was happy to know that they provide with a 30-day money refund, without questions asked. I was not afraid of wasting money as I knew I had the chance to take them back. Fortunately, there was no need for this. After I downloaded the app on my PC, I installed it without troubles, it took several clicks to set up the software. It has an attractive and clear interface. Then I tried to connect via ExpressVPN servers. The first one was somewhere in Germany, I was pleased to watch video via it, no lagging, nice speed. Then I tried their American servers in order to unblock Hulu. They have about 20 servers in the USA and all of them work with OpenVPN. Still, I failed to connect to the servers in New Jersey and Washington several times, but after a few tries, I managed. Most of them unblocked Hulu. I am also satisfied with ExpressVPN’s speeds, it was a pleasure to watch Hulu via this VPN. Guys, cool post! Thanks!

If want to unblock Hulu in

If want to unblock Hulu in Canada, what VPN servers shall I connect to? Canadian or American? I am not technician, and don’t understand how VPN actually works for Hulu and other similar service…

Dean Chester's picture
Hi Lizzy, thanks for asking,

Hi Lizzy, thanks for asking, I’m happy to answer your question. First of all, let me explain how VPN works for unblocking websites. With the help of VPN for Hulu, for instance, you may change your geolocation by connecting via another IP address offered by a VPN provider. Thus, having changed it, you may pretend and overcome geo-restrictions. So, if you are going to unblock Hulu in Canada, you are to connect via American servers as the service is available in the USA. Hope the answer will help you to unblock Hulu in Canada.

Hi, I read your article and

Hi, I read your article and find it very useful for Hulu users trying to access it outside the US. But one thing I don’t agree with: why not use free VPN for Hulu? I personally use a free US VPN and it works quite well with it. Sometimes there are some negative sides, but most of the time it is ok.