Though Hulu is only officially available in the US, you can easily access Hulu abroad with a VPN service. Most VPNs — but not all of them — will let you into Hulu from just about any location.
To find out which VPNs work with Hulu in 2018, I tried out 5 different VPN providers: StrongVPN, IPVanish, NordVPN, ExpressVPN and VyprVPN. Keep reading to find out which of them will let you unlock Hulu overseas.
The Best Option: ExpressVPN
Out of the 5 VPNs we tested out, ExpressVPN was the strongest contender. It works consistently and the performance is just as quick as its name suggests. In addition, ExpressVPN has a much friendlier and more responsive support team compared to the other VPN services. And with three months free when you buy a year of service, its subscription prices are extremely competitive.
One big benefit of ExpressVPN is that it has servers that are specifically designed to work with Hulu and other streaming services. Though there isn’t much available information about how ExpressVPN’s custom-built servers work, we were impressed with how they performed when we tried them out.
Over the past year, ExpressVPN has emerged as the leading VPN provider for “geo-hopping.” Geo-hopping is the act of using a VPN service to access sites that are not available in your local area. After Hulu, Netflix and many other streaming service tried to place a blanket ban on all VPN services, many VPN providers gave up. However, ExpressVPN kept on developing geo-hopping solutions.
Another great thing about ExpressVPN is that it’s easy to use. The core interface is basically a giant off/on button.
ExpressVPN’s “hamburger” menu (the three horizontal lines on the top left part of the interface) opens up a bare-bones settings menu. You can do some basic things there, like switch between different VPN protocols, etc.
Hulu is Very Sorry
If you’re a Canadian or an American living or traveling overseas, you may have already seen this Hulu error message:
“We’re sorry, currently our video library can only be streamed within the United States. For more information on Hulu’s international availability, click here.”
The reason why Hulu won’t let you access their videos outside the US boils down to licensing issues. Hulu hasn’t made deals with international TV show and movie distributors. As a result, they aren’t allowed to let anyone located outside the US access their content library unless they live on a military base.
Fortunately, there is an easy way to overcome Hulu’s pesky geographical block. If you have a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service that works with Hulu, you can watch Hulu content anywhere in the world.
How to Use a VPN to Access Hulu
VPNs are services that let you browse the web anonymously. After you sign up for a VPN account, you can connect in through your VPN service’s software.
VPN software is very easy to use. Usually, all you have to do is pick out an American VPN server and hit the connect button. Once you’re in, Hulu’s servers and other computers on the internet will assume that you’re located inside the US. Then, you can use video platforms and other sites that only normally work inside the United States.
Most VPN providers have many tools at their disposal that allow them to help their customers blend in with internet users that aren’t using VPN services. One technique they use is data obfuscation.
Additionally, many VPN services use another trick to help their customers avoid detection: they assign new IP addresses to their servers on a routine basis. Changing IP addresses is effective because Hulu and other services that use geographic blocks rely on IP addresses to identify VPNs. If VPN services switch up their IP addresses regularly, they are much more difficult to filter out.
If You’re Canadian…
If you’re a Canadian, you’ll have to go through one additional step to use Hulu after you get your VPN because Hulu won’t let you open an account with a Canadian credit card.
With a Hulu gift card, you can open a Hulu account anywhere in the world. Just buy a Hulu gift card from one of many Hulu gift card sellers on Amazon, Ebay and other e-commerce sites. Then, log into your VPN and use your Hulu gift card to create your Hulu account.
Why I Use VPNs With Hulu
I’m an American Hulu subscriber, but I moved to Budapest, Hungary three years ago.
Even though Hulu is more than willing to keep on charging me wherever I happen to live, I can’t actually watch any Hulu videos without a VPN.
If I didn’t use a VPN to get to Hulu, there would be no way I could access my Hulu account because Hulu isn’t officially available here.
Without my VPN on, this is what happens when I try to play a Hulu video:
But after I connect to a VPN that works with Hulu, I can watch Hulu content anywhere in the world:
In order to see which of the major VPNs still work with Hulu, I tried out 5 popular VPN brands.
First, I signed up for all 5 services. Then, I tried out each one using my Windows 10 PC to find out whether or not I could successfully load an episode of The Path.
Here are the results of the test.
Other VPN Services
In addition to ExpressVPN, we tested out four other VPN services to see if they work with Hulu: StrongVPN, IPVanish, NordVPN and VyprVPN.
- Hulu: Yes
- Apps: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Routers, Linux
- Plans: $10 per month, or prepay $70 for a year or $24 for 3 months
- Trial: 7-day money back guarantee
Though StrongVPN is a fairly reliable service for geo-hopping, the client can be a little bit confusing– especially if you’ve never used a VPN before. However, StrongVPN does work with Hulu.
After I pulled up StrongVPN and connected to a New York server, I was able to load Hulu’s The Path without any issues.
StrongVPN was one of the first VPN services that actually worked with Hulu, Netflix and other video services when I first moved to Hungary 3 years ago. Since then, several other VPN services have emerged that are faster and cheaper.
Though StrongVPN has experimented with various software interfaces over the years, they recently decided to simplify their client. Here’s what StrongVPN looks like now:
Pick an American server from the drop-down box, then click connect — and you’re good to go.
- Hulu: No
- Apps: Windows, Mac, iOS, Windows Phone, Linux, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Routers
- Subscription plans: $10 per month, or prepay $78 for a year or $27 for 3 months
- Trial: 7-day money back guarantee, 7-day free trial for iOS users
Because IPVanish is fast, it’s good for downloading files anonymously. However, it’s pretty much useless for geo-hopping into Hulu and other commercial video services that use geographic blocks.
I ran into this error message when I tried to play an episode of The Path while connected to IPVanish:
Even after checking the “Obfuscate VPN Traffic” box in my IPVanish client, I still couldn’t use Hulu. I tried switching to several different protocols too, but that didn’t work either.
IPVanish is a prestigious VPN service with many good reviews and a large network of fast servers. However, the fact that you can’t seem to use IPVanish with Hulu means that you should skip it and go with a different provider if Hulu is your priority.
- Hulu: Yes
- Apps: Windows, Mac, iOS, Apple TV, iPad, Android, Routers
- Subscription plans: $12 per month, or prepay $70 for a year, $80 for 2 years or $100 for 3 years
- Trial: 3-day free trial
Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN lets you access the Hulu catalog from outside the continental United States.
When I first tried NordVPN years ago, it was still an extremely basic service. But when I tried it out again to see if it works with Hulu, I was more than impressed.
NordVPN’s Windows client is responsive and sports a slick design. Plus, it’s jam-packed with features I didn’t find on the other VPNs I tested.
NordVPN works right out of the box. You don’t need to enable any advanced settings to use it with Hulu.
However, once you start digging around in the settings menu you’ll find some interesting stuff. NordVPN has a bunch of special servers that are designed for different types of web activity. For example, there is an option to switch on “Double VPN.” Double VPN is a new VPN technology that improves your anonymity by hiding you behind two interconnected VPN servers.
In addition, there’s an obfuscation toggle switch you can activate if you have a hard time accessing blocked web content. I was able to get to Hulu with Obfuscated Servers in the off position, but it’s nice to have the option to turn it on. If Hulu ever upgrades their geographic filters, obfuscation could come in handy.
Another thing I like about NordVPN: its generous 3-day trial. If you want to try out NordVPN, you can leave your credit card in your wallet. You can use NordVPN for 3 days without it.
Yet another benefit to NordVPN is that it gives you a steep discount if you’re willing to stick with the company over the long haul. You can get 3 years of service for just $100, which is an outstanding deal.
- Hulu: Yes
- Apps: Windows, Mac, Blackphone, Android, iOS, Apple TV, Routers, QNAP, Anonabox
- Subscription plans: $10 per month, or prepay $60 per year
- Trial: 3-day free trial
VyprVPN is simple but effective VPN service that gives you a quick and easy way to watch Hulu outside the US.
Though VyprVPN’s $60 yearly subscription isn’t quite as good as NordVPN’s 3-years-for-$100 deal, VyprVPN is still one of the cheapest VPNs out there.
VyprVPN has a premium subscription called VyprVPN Premium, but you shouldn’t get it if all you want to do is watch Hulu. I tested out both, and they both work with Hulu. However, plain vanilla VyprVPN costs less, so it’s the logical choice.
There is, however, one benefit to VyperVPN Premium: it lets you connect from 5 different devices at once. If you have a large family, you may want to consider Premium. Otherwise, it makes more sense to save money and go with the regular version of VpyprVPN.
Here’s what VyprVPN’s Windows 10 client looks like:
VyprVPN brags that it’s fast — and it is pretty speedy. My video resolution looked chunky when I first opened my Hulu video with VyprVPN. However, it quickly transitioned into HD.
Fortunately, lots of VPN providers have adapted to geo-block techniques in recent months– so you now have lots of options for accessing Hulu and other geo-blocked sites. Which VPN you should choose depends on your priorities.
The all-around best VPN for Hulu…
ExpressVPN is our #1 choice when using a VPN to geo-hop into Hulu and other streaming services. ExpressVPN is the VPN I use to get into my Hulu account from Budapest. The software is very easy to use and you don’t need to configure it to get it to work.
The cheapest VPN for Hulu…
If you’re willing to pay for several years of VPN access in advance, NordVPN’s 3-years-for-$100 deal is the best offer out there now. The next least expensive long-term subscription offer is VyprVPN’s $60-per-year plan.
The Hulu VPN with the best free trial…
NordVPN offers the best free trial out there by far. Every single other VPN provider that I’ve tried forces you to whip out your credit card to sign up, but NordVPN does not.