This content originally appeared on Mashable for a US audience and has been adapted for UK audiences.
If there’s anything nicer than pulling on a pair of pajamas, snuggling between the crisp, slightly cold sheets of your bed, and fighting through an entire season 90 Day Fiancé After a busy day, we have yet to experience it.
This delightfully trashy reality series is a secret delight for many out there, and it’s just one of literally thousands of TV shows and movies available on Hulu, the bright green-branded streaming service founded in 2007.
Hulu offers on-demand access to an extensive program that includes hit films such as destruction And Sorry to bother you; Cult favorite shows like Rick and Morty And this is us; and exclusive originals like Shrill And The story of the maid.
Unlike Netflix, which has expanded internationally, so has Hulu’s library strictly limited for viewers in the US, Puerto Rico and US military bases. That’s because Hulu doesn’t own any international streaming rights to any of its shows and movies; it only owns the US distribution licenses. If Hulu were to expand the availability of its content abroad, it would have to sign new deals with distributors to acquire streaming rights in other regions — and that requires a lot of negotiation and cash spending.
There’s still a chance Hulu will go global. But until then, those who want to watch Hulu from outside the US will need to bypass Hulu’s geo-restrictions using what’s known as a virtual private network, or VPN.
Need a VPN to Watch Hulu?
To prevent users from outside the US from accessing its shows and movies, Hulu requires its account holders two things: a US-issued form of payment and a US Internet Protocol (IP) address — that’s the numeric ID, the information about your location and web activity. This is assigned to your device by your internet search provider or ISP when you connect to a local area network. It’s like the physical address of a house, only for your computer/smartphone/tablet.
This part of the IP address is where a VPN comes into play. For the uninitiated, a VPN is a service that creates a secure connection over the Internet by routing your device’s traffic through its own private servers. Known as encryption, this process protects your personal information and online activity from the prying eyes of your ISP and creates—and this is key—a temporary IP address that hides your true location.
You can probably guess where we’re going with this: If you’re trying to watch Hulu from outside the US, you can use a VPN to spoof your IP address and trick Hulu into believing you’re based in the US. It’s easy, isn’t it?
Actually not that much. Because here’s the thing: Hulu isn’t stupid.
Does Hulu block users with a VPN?
Just like Netflix, Hulu prohibits its account holders from using VPNs to protect its licensed content, and you’ll get an error message if the company thinks you’re trying to use one to watch its content. His tactics are threefold:
Hulu blocks anonymous IP addresses whose geographic location cannot be verified
Hulu checks your IP address against its own blacklist of known VPN servers
Hulu looks for IP addresses with a large number of users. If too many people are sharing a given server, Hulu will assume you’re all using a VPN and shut down that crap.
If a VPN provider wants to unblock Hulu for their users, they need to stay clear of Hulu’s blacklist while maintaining an extensive US server network. These aren’t easy tasks, so the list of VPNs that can permanently bypass Hulu’s dangerous firewall is pretty short.
What’s the Best VPN for Watching Hulu?
Need help understanding all this? Below we’ve broken down the pros and cons of VPNs currently capable of unblocking Hulu and keeping you anonymous online. That way, you can make an informed decision about how to spend your hard-earned cash.
These are the best VPNs for watching Hulu in 2023.