Hulu is one of the most popular online streaming services on the web. Any schmuck with an internet connection can access it as long as he’s on US soil. However, all that changes if you’re outside the US.
You can sign up on Hulu but you won’t be able to catch a glimpse of any movie, least of all see one. You will get an error similar to this one:
The goal of this article is to show you how to override this error and enjoy Hulu from outside the US. The solution is simple – change your IP to a US one, refresh the page, and voila. Hulu spreads its legs for your enjoyment.
However, this wouldn’t be a professional guide if I didn’t act as a guide in this sense. Therefore, let’s see how you can change your IP to a US one.
To unblock Hulu from outside the US, do this:
It’s as simple as downloading the VPN app, choosing a server, and clicking on the connect button. Your brand-new IP will trick Uncle Sam and Hulu altogether, giving you access to an excellent movie archive.
First, why is Hulu only available in the US? Your guess is as good as mine – perhaps international availability comes with unknown complications or they’re not even planning on making this step.
Whatever the case, one thing is clear – you want to use Hulu, and you don’t care that you don’t live in Uncle Sam’s backyard. Like I previously said, changing your IP to a US one will change the name of the game, and you will spontaneously gain access to Hulu.
An IP address (Internet Protocol address) is your identity on the internet. It tells any third-parties that you’re operating from a particular location in the world, Italy for example. With your IP in Italy, you won’t be able to access online services that are geo-restricted to France, for instance.
To access that service in France, you would need to have a French IP. So, either you:
In our case, the French online service that you can’t access from Italy is Hulu, only that it’s geo-blocked to the US, and you can’t access it from anywhere else in the world. Well, technically speaking, you can access it and even create an account. You just can’t see any movies. This difference may or may not interest you.
A Virtual Private Network, known as a VPN to most, does much more than allow you access to geo-blocked online services. But we’ll focus on that for now. VPNs act like a middleman between you and the overall internet, creating a private and secure network that you connect to.
While connected to that private network, your traffic becomes encrypted, which means that no third-parties will manage to discover your whereabouts on the web. They won’t know you’ve just downloaded 10TB of midget porn, for instance. That stays secret, lucky for you.
This anonymity is the most important reason why people have adopted VPNs so quickly. The second essential aspect to a VPN is that it changes your native IP to a different one, depending on the server you connect to.
When using a VPN, you need to connect to a specific server on the private network to benefit from the added encryption. Once you connect to a server in the Netherlands, for example, your device will automatically receive an IP originating in the Netherlands. To anyone else on the web, you will appear to live in the Netherlands, and any local geo-restricted services become accessible to you.
Think of it like this – if you were to infiltrate Area 51, you’d be more likely to succeed by impersonating military personnel than if you were to sprint by the guards hoping they won’t see you. You’ll get caught in both cases but the former seems more reliable, doesn’t it?
At PrivacyAffairs, we have reviewed countless VPNs, and this gave us an eagle-eye perspective on the pros and cons of most such services. We would personally recommend NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or CyberGhost, in that order.
Why? You’re about to see why in a moment.
NordVPN is the Kevlar-weaved stealth armor you don when you want to infiltrate the enemy territory undetected. Hulu won’t know what hit it if you use one of NordVPN’s IP addresses to waltz in unseen. We highly recommend this VPN for day-to-day use because their services are top-notch, and the prices are more than accessible.
Both ExpressVPN and CyberGhost have been here for years, and they’ve built a strong reputation among the netizens and privacy enthusiasts. ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Isles, one of the few places outside the 14-Eyes where there are no data-retention laws.
It brings top-tier encryption protocols, the fastest server speeds in the industry, and premium geo-unblocking tools for Netflix and Hulu alike. Its prices are also premium, much more so than NordVPN’s though.
CyberGhost, on the other hand, is based in Romania, a country whose government still hasn’t issued any data retention laws. And they aren’t cooperating in the 14-Eyes Surveillance Alliance either.
Both are excellent VPNs that you should give a shot if NordVPN is not to your taste. They can definitely help you unblock Hulu from outside the US.
Don’t worry, using VPNs is entirely legal in the civilized world, and no one’s going to arrest you for using one. Unless you’re doing it for illicit purposes and the VPN company reports your wrongdoings to the authorities.
But unblocking Hulu is in no way illegal. You aren’t accessing something secret and classified. Instead, you’re finding a way to overrule Hulu’s geo-restrictions which didn’t allow you access outside the US in the first place.
What’s more, once you connect to a NordVPN server, your data and internet traffic are anonymized and encrypted. From that point on, no one knows who you are and what you do, not even NordVPN itself. Because it has its jurisdiction in Panama, NordVPN will never report anything to the authorities. No one can force it to either.
However, you must be careful about which VPN you choose. Under no circumstances should you choose a free VPN because they are cancer in digital form. The services are crap, the server speeds are subpar, the customer support doesn’t exist, and the security is thinner than a sheet of paper.
Using a free VPN is akin to smearing yourself in honey and poking an angry bear with a stick while running butt-naked through the woods. It’s that bad.
However, not only free VPNs are bad. There are plenty paid VPNs out there with relatively similar standards, and you should avoid them like the plague. Choose a premium VPN like NordVPN, ExpressVPN or CyberGhost – go to war in full-plate armor, not wrapped in paper towels.
There’s only one reason why Hulu would give you the middle finger this way. Your current IP address is on its blacklist, and it’s already banned. Just like Netflix, Hulu does periodical check-ups of their databases, and they ban any IPs associated with VPNs.
Thankfully, the solution is even more intuitive – change your VPN server, and you’ll receive a brand-new IP address. Hopefully, that one isn’t banned on Hulu. Try as many US servers as you want before finding the sweet spot. However, you should know that the next time you want to access Hulu, the server you tried before might not work.
This is why we recommend premium VPNs like NordVPN – because they have extremely extensive server networks. Currently, NordVPN has 1904 servers in the US – imagine the possibilities there.
What’s more, NordVPN’s staff constantly replaces banned IP addresses with new ones. So, the chances of Hulu successfully banning your access is close to zero, considering these two aspects.
Conclusion – if you still get an error while trying to see movies on Hulu, go to your VPN server list, and connect to another one. This will solve your problem in a matter of seconds.
If your internet connection is slow and your movie is freezing, that’s a common case of slow performance server. The solution stays the same – change the server, and you’ll most probably get different results.
With NordVPN, having so many US servers means there are fewer chances yours will be overloaded with people. Usually, the more people are on a server, the lesser a performance it will dish out. This means you’ll have to switch between a few servers and look for a freer one.
However, the slow performance issue only exists with low-to-mid-tier VPN services. NordVPN, for instance, doesn’t have this problem at all. Neither does ExpressVPN. This is because they have an extremely performant server network specifically devised to handle large informational levels simultaneously.
In short, your server might be flooded with people but it won’t slow down one bit. Well, maybe a bit but it’s still far from interfering with your streaming activities. Once you subscribe to NordVPN, you will never want to unsubscribe again.
For the sake of it, I went ahead and made some tests on a few NordVPN servers. This is the benchmark we started from:
US, Chicago server:
Los Angeles server:
Contrary to popular belief and all the other guides on the internet, no. Upon further testing, I managed to access Hulu with a Revolut card and a Romanian ZIP Code. I could create an account but I still couldn’t start any movie.
The moment I swapped my IP with a US one, it all worked like a charm. Thus, I can only conclude that you don’t necessarily need a US credit card to run Hulu. Try using your Revolut account, and it should work. Though, you still need a VPN to get a US IP address.
However, this information overturns anything you knew about Hulu. Just create a Revolut account, use it on the Hulu website, and then stream anything you ever wanted. With a functional VPN connection on, of course. Connect to NordVPN before accessing Hulu, and you should be good to go.
This takes much of the difficulties away in using Hulu because there was basically no way to mimic a US payment without actually being in the US. Now, you can do that for free, and take advantage of the 30-day free trial. However, know that without a VPN turned on, you still won’t be able to watch any movies.