Accessing streaming services such as Hulu outside the United States can be a bit of a pain. Licensing forces the services to limit their programming so the industry can make more money from viewers. While it might work for the industry, it also fuels piracy and illegal streams. That is no good for anyone. Good job there are ways to watch Hulu outside the United States if you know how to find them!
Even though I can freely watch Hulu as I’m within the U.S. I don’t like the idea of geoblocking. I think it unfair that a company is hamstrung by license holders to only broadcast its TV shows and movies within a certain territory. I think the global public is willing to pay good money for quality services and streaming is one such service. Piracy is an issue that needs to be addressed and offering the same content across the world, for a price, is a truly effective way to do that. Unfortunately, the industry isn’t listening.
Hulu is a solid competitor to Netflix that has more quality content on its servers. Unfortunately, it is only available within the U.S. and Japan but that doesn’t mean you cannot access it from elsewhere. I’m not going to delve into the legality or morality of accessing Hulu from outside the United States but I am going to show you how to do it. Information should be free for everyone after all.
Just be aware that accessing Hulu outside the U.S. or Japan is against Hulu’s terms and conditions and can get your account closed without a refund.
Watch Hulu outside the United States
To watch Hulu outside the United States you will need two things. A Hulu account and a solid VPN. The Hulu account is the easy part as most Visa or MasterCard numbers will work regardless of where they were issued. If your credit card doesn’t work, you can buy prepaid credit cards from U.S. outlets. Either have it sent to your home address or use a service like MyUS Address.
The hard part of watching Hulu outside the U.S. is getting a VPN to work. There has been a lot of press coverage of Netflix and their work to ban VPNs, proxies and network anonymizers. What doesn’t get so much coverage is that Hulu has been doing the same thing for much longer than Netflix. Its security is pretty good, so you have to select your VPN provider carefully.
Why VPN and not an anonymizer?
I suggest using a VPN for several reasons. First, it protects your privacy whatever you do online. It also works with most devices and offers much higher levels of security for your data. Anonymizers are either proxies or DNS tools. None of the major services offer secure connections or encryption. They are also usually the first to fall in blocklists.
You need a VPN that is:
- Not blocked by Hulu
- Is aware of Hulu VPN blocks and uses IP addresses to counter
- Fast enough to stream HD content
- Doesn’t keep logs of your activities
Here are a few VPN options that are not currently blacklisted by Hulu. That may change of course, which is why point 2 above is important. Check with the respective vendor before signing up that they actively monitor Hulu blocking and work to circumvent it.
Buffered VPN is a European VPN provider based in the UK and is aware of Hulu’s attempts to block access and regularly changes IP address ranges to counter them. The speed is good, reliability is excellent and customer service is responsive. The app is small and works well within Windows 10. I have used Buffered VPN before and never had any complaints.
Hola is a free VPN plugin for Chrome and Firefox on the Mac and PC. Install and activate the plugin and select U.S. as your location. Then log into your Hulu account and begin viewing. This is a crowdsourced VPN so isn’t as fast or as reliable as a paid-for service but does get the job done.
Express VPN is another well-known VPN provider that does what it can to avoid geoblocking. I have also used Express VPN and liked it. It is fast, the app works well, uses OpenVPN which means it plays nicely with L2TP-IPsec, SSTP and PPTP protocols and offers strong encryption too. While the company doesn’t guarantee to always work with Hulu, it has some servers working right now.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access (PIA) are my current VPN provider. It’s cheap at $40 a year, offers unlimited bandwidth, great support, helps block ads and malware, offers multiple devices to use it at once and regularly changes IP ranges to avoid geoblocking. Even though I can access Hulu legitimately, I use PIA to maintain at least an element of privacy while using the internet.
LiquidVPN works on Mac, Windows, Android and iOS and while not the cheapest VPN solution available, is very reliable. The intent is very much for privacy and security but a side effect of that is the ability to watch Hulu outside the United States. The service currently works with Hulu and Netflix and is fast enough for HD content. One notable feature of LiquidVPN is Liquid Lock, a built-in kill switch that saves having to configure one in your firewall.
NordVPN is another big hitter in the world of VPN. It bills itself as the most advanced VPN in the world and works fast enough for HD content and plays nicely with L2TP-IPsec, SSTP and PPTP. Strong encryption is the real strength of NordVPN and it focuses on that more than outright throughput. Nevertheless, tests showed plenty enough bandwidth for streaming at all times of day.
I won’t recommend any VPN service above any other as the industry changes at lightning speeds. Plus, thanks to Hulu’s continuing efforts to geolock their content, none of them can guarantee unfettered access. However, all of them actively work to circumvent geoblocking where at all possible.
The best thing to do if you do want to watch Hulu outside the United States is to check with the customer service department of your provider of choice to see if they are working with Hulu at that moment. Then avail yourself of a free trial before committing to test it out.