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How to Watch Hulu with a VPN & Fix Your VPN Not Working

Headshot of Top10VPN.com Site Editor Callum Tennent

Callum Tennent oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his VPN advice has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society. Read full bio

Our Verdict

You can unblock and watch Hulu from anywhere using a top VPN for Hulu. The best VPNs easily bypass the platform's VPN and proxy detection. If your VPN isn't working with Hulu, your VPN IP address has been detected and blocked, but we'll show you how to fix this.

how-to-bypass-hulu-vpn-blocks

EXPERT ADVICE: Many VPNs don’t work with Hulu, but our tests reveal NordVPN is currently the best VPN for Hulu, unblocking the platform in 15 US server locations. Try NordVPN risk-free for 30 days.

Hulu is only available in the US and Japan. Using a VPN, you can change your IP address to an American or Japanese one.

Sadly, Hulu detects and blocks many VPN connections. When this happens, Hulu displays error code P-EDU101 or error code 16.

Luckily, the best streaming VPNs let you avoid Hulu VPN and proxy errors from countries like Australia, Canada, Germany, and the UK.

Here’s a summary of the best premium and free VPNs for Hulu in 2022:

  1. NordVPN – Overall Best VPN for Hulu
  2. ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN for Hulu
  3. CyberGhost – Best Cheap VPN for Hulu
  4. Windscribe – Best Free VPN for Hulu
  5. PrivadoVPN – Fastest Free VPN for Hulu

In this guide we’ll list the best VPNs to watch Hulu from anywhere, including the top free Hulu VPNs.

We’ll also guide you on what to do if your VPN isn’t working with Hulu.

Why Trust Top10VPN.com?

We’ve spent thousands of hours testing and reviewing VPNs for Hulu using our Hulu VPN testing methodology to recommend the most suitable streaming VPNs.

Here’s an overview of our key Hulu VPN testing statistics:

  • VPN services tested: 70
  • Test platforms/devices: Windows, Mac, Fire TV, iPhone, Android, Apple TV & PS5
  • All-time Hulu unblocking tests: 10,000+
  • Weekly speed tests: 3,000+

Using a VPN with Hulu also lets you access (for an extra fee) additional streaming services like Showtime, Starz, and HBO Max.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: If you’re a US Disney+ subscriber, you can already watch Star, an international version of Hulu. Star only features titles Disney owns, though. American Hulu has a richer library, with TV shows and movies from other studios, too.

Finally, subscribers to India’s Disney+ Hotstar can already access the Hulu library. You can use a VPN to watch Hotstar in the USA.

The Best VPNs That Work with Hulu

We’ve run over 10,000 Hulu streaming tests since 2016, and many VPN services fail to unblock the popular video content platform.

Thanks to our extensive tests, we’ve identified five reliable Hulu VPNs that consistently unblock Hulu from any country.

Based on our latest tests, the best VPNs for Hulu are:

  1. NordVPN – Overall Best VPN for Hulu
  2. ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN for Hulu
  3. CyberGhost – Best Cheap VPN for Hulu
  4. Windscribe – Best Free VPN for Hulu
  5. PrivadoVPN – Fastest Free VPN for Hulu

The above VPN services operate a wide range of US servers optimized for unblocking American content platforms.

The table below summarizes the results of our tests. It compares how 10 popular VPNs performed in our Hulu-specific VPN streaming tests.

1. NordVPN: The Outright Best VPN for Hulu

PROS CONS
  • Fast long-distance speeds
  • 16 US server locations
  • Useful Smart DNS feature
  • IP and DNS leak protection
  • Affordable price tag
  • Slower than ExpressVPN
  • Only one Japan server location
  • Unable to pay with PayPal
NordVPN unblocked Hulu in our tests

NordVPN consistently unblocked Hulu in our tests.

NordVPN has all you need for getting around Hulu’s VPN blocks. In our tests, NordVPN has never failed to unblock Hulu from abroad.

The VPN service has a large number of servers in US cities throughout 13 states, and delivers buffer-free streaming speeds, even if you’re located thousands of miles away.

NordVPN isn’t quite as fast as ExpressVPN, but it’s more than fast enough for HD streaming.

NordVPN includes additional features to stay ahead of Hulu’s VPN blocks. It has a Smart DNS tool, to unblock streaming apps on games consoles and Smart TVs, and a functional app for Amazon Fire TV, too.

Also, NordVPN is one of the most private VPNs we’ve reviewed. IP and DNS leak protection are enabled by default, which combined with an effective kill switch prevent Hulu from seeing your real IP location.

NordVPN only costs $3.29 per month on its cheapest deal, which is 50% cheaper than ExpressVPN.

2. ExpressVPN: The Fastest VPN for Hulu

PROS CONS
  • Fastest long-distance connection speeds
  • 11 US city locations
  • Three Japan servers: best for Hulu Japan
  • In-built DNS and IPv6 leak protection
  • MediaStreamer Smart DNS tool
  • Good Fire TV Stick app
  • Most expensive Hulu VPN
ExpressVPN worked with Hulu

ExpressVPN worked very well with Hulu.

ExpressVPN consistently bypasses Hulu’s blocks and delivers the fastest long-distance speeds connecting to America from overseas.

Based on our tests, there’s barely any buffering or loading time required when watching Hulu’s movies and TV shows with ExpressVPN.

While there’s no option to buy a residential IP, ExpressVPN’s standard VPN servers work to consistently get around Hulu’s restrictions.

This is because it comes with a large server network and regularly-updated IP addresses specifically for streaming access.

ExpressVPN is also our highest-rated VPN for Japan and the best VPN for streaming Japanese Hulu. It comes with three server locations in Japanese cities, including Tokyo and Osaka.

Additionally, ExpressVPN is our top VPN for watching LINE TV outside Taiwan, which has Japanese anime, dramas, and movies in its content library.

MediaStreamer Smart DNS also works well with Hulu and other US streaming channels. This lets you watch Hulu on your Smart TV and other devices without native VPN compatibility.

ExpressVPN has built-in DNS and IPv6 leak protection to prevent accidental exposures of your real IP address too, which means it’s much harder for Hulu to tell you’re using a VPN.

ExpressVPN’s main drawback is its price. The cheapest subscription price is double NordVPN’s. It’s still great value, but NordVPN performs just as well with Hulu.

3. CyberGhost: The Cheapest VPN for Hulu

PROS CONS
  • Three Hulu-optimized servers
  • Smart DNS available
  • Cheapest VPN for Hulu
  • Fire TV Stick app available
  • User-friendly apps
  • Unreliable speeds
  • Inconsistent performance
  • No IPv6 leak protection
  • Fewer US and Japan servers
CyberGhost Works with Hulu

CyberGhost’s Hulu-optimized servers worked on most occasions.

 

CyberGhost comes with three Hulu VPN servers: one for Hulu on desktop, one for Android TV, and another for Fire TV Stick.

These specific servers all work to unblock Hulu. Hulu detects CyberGhost’s regular US servers, though, so stick to these Hulu-specific ones.

There’s also a Smart DNS tool which you can configure across big-screen devices, and a Fire TV Stick app if you want to stream Hulu on your TV.

Based on our streaming tests, CyberGhost is less reliable than ExpressVPN and NordVPN, though.

While the VPN works with Hulu most of the time, we have encountered temporary blocks. CyberGhost’s performance is also less impressive than the competition, averaging a slower 64Mbps average download speed.

Despite its inconsistency, CyberGhost only costs $2.29, making it the cheapest option for bypassing Hulu VPN blocks.

The Best Free VPNs for Watching Hulu

Our latest Hulu streaming tests reveal that Windscribe and PrivadoVPN are the best free VPNs to bypass Hulu’s VPN blocks.

Testing Windscribe we were consistently able to stream Hulu from overseas using the VPN’s free US server.

PrivadoVPN is also a good VPN. It works less consistently with Hulu than Winscribe, but it’s considerably faster.

Windscribe Free Hulu Streaming

Windscribe Free reliably unblocks Hulu.

Sadly, both free VPNs limit data usage to 10GB each month. You simply won’t be able to stream much video content before you run out of data.

Other than Windscribe or PrivadoVPN, we don’t recommend any other free VPNs to stream Hulu.

Most safe free VPNs don’t work with Hulu. Plus, many free VPNs suffer IP leaks, log your internet activity and, in the worst instances, inject malware and trackers.

Also, free proxy services won’t unblock Hulu, either. They’re simply not advanced enough to circumvent Hulu’s geo-blocks.

How to Fix a VPN Not Working with Hulu

Hulu doesn’t allow the use of anonymous proxy servers and VPN services.

Many VPNs aren’t designed to work with streaming services, or simply aren’t good enough to bypass Hulu’s VPN blocks.

If your Hulu VPN isn’t working, and you’re encountering error codes like P-EDU101, then Hulu has detected and blocked your VPN connection.

There are a number of ways to get around this:

1. Choose a Different VPN Service

The best way to beat Hulu VPN blocks is to use a VPN that unblocks the content platform 100% of the time.

Out of 70 VPNs we tested, we found three top Hulu VPNs that work very well. NordVPN currently works the best.

The video below shows how to use your VPN to get around Hulu blocks. We used ExpressVPN as an example:

As you can see in the video above, ExpressVPN tricked Hulu to think we’re in the US, without blocks or errors.

2. Connect to Another US VPN Server

If you already have a VPN but it isn’t working with Hulu, the quickest thing to do is try changing US VPN server. Hulu may not have blacklisted all your VPN’s US IP addresses.

To change US server, close your browser window, connect to a different US VPN server location in your VPN app, and then reopen Hulu in a new browser window.

This fix only works if your VPN operates hundreds, if not thousands, of servers in the United States.

VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN have thousands of US servers that are updated frequently, successfully evading Hulu detection.

If your VPN still doesn’t work after testing more than five American city servers, it’s highly unlikely to work at all.

EXPERT ADVICE: To access Hulu Japan, you need to sign up with a Japanese payment method, or purchase a gift card. You can’t just connect to a Japan VPN server and watch Japanese Hulu.

3. Contact Your VPN’s Support Team

If your VPN doesn’t work with Hulu after testing several US servers, contact your VPN’s customer support. Ask them if they have a server optimized for Hulu.

They may recommend an optimized server, or they may inform you the VPN service isn’t equipped to bypass Hulu’s VPN blocks.

Ideally, your VPN service has 24/7 live chat support available for faster responses. Alternatively, send them an email.

For instance, we contacted ExpressVPN’s live support team and they told us their New York and Los Angeles servers unblock Hulu.

ExpressVPN Hulu Live Chat Support

ExpressVPN’s support team told us which servers work with Hulu.

4. Clear your cache and cookies

Clearing your browser cookies and cache removes potential geo-location traces.

Cookies are web identifiers used by websites to track your internet movements. Deleting them can help evade Hulu’s geo-location techniques.

Clearing Browsing Data on MacOS Chrome

Clear Browsing Data option as seen on MacOS Chrome.

5. Check for IP and DNS Address Leaks

Hulu could be detecting your VPN because the software is leaking your real IP address.

Or, the VPN could be experiencing a DNS leak. This happens when DNS requests (website visit requests) fall outside of the VPN connection, revealing your true location.

Check if this is happening by running an IP and DNS leak test while your VPN is running.

Free or low-quality VPNs are far more likely to suffer from IP and DNS leaks than the most secure VPNs.

The best VPNs have built-in DNS and IP address leak protection to stop these leaks from happening. For this reason, we caution against using free VPNs with Hulu.

6. Change VPN protocol

Your VPN should come with a range of different VPN protocols to choose from.

If the current protocol you’re connecting with isn’t working with Hulu, try changing to a different one in your VPN’s settings.

ExpressVPN Protocol Settings for Hulu Guide

ExpressVPN protocol settings.

For instance, ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol is the most efficient at unblocking streaming platforms. We found the same with NordVPN’s NordLynx.

7. Disable IPv6

Many VPNs still aren’t compatible with IPv6 traffic, and this can lead to IP address leaks.

If you have an IPv6 internet connection, and your VPN doesn’t support IPv6 traffic, your connection request will revert back to your ISP.

In other words, the connection will travel outside of the VPN connection, exposing your real IP address location to Hulu.

Highly-rated VPNs like ExpressVPN can block IPv6 traffic altogether. A few VPNs even offer full IPv6 support, like AzireVPN and Perfect Privacy, but they don’t work with Hulu.

If you suspect your VPN is leaking IPv6 traffic, choose an alternative VPN that comes with IPv6 leak protection.

Alternatively, you can disable IPv6 on your device.

To disable IPv6 on MacOS, go to System Preferences > Network > Advanced > TCP/IP > Configure IPv6 to Off.

Configure IPv6 on MacOS

Configure IPv6 on MacOS via Network settings.

If the ‘off’ option is not available, you can also disable IPv6 via your Mac Terminal.

To do this: Open Terminal (⌘ + Space > Terminal) > Type in networksetup -listallnetworkservices > Type etworksetup -setv6off “Wi-Fi”

If you are on Ethernet, type networksetup -setv6off Ethernet

For Windows users, you can disable IPv6 this way: Network & Internet settings > Scroll down to Network & Sharing Center > Select your adapter/network > Properties > Uncheck Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) > Close.

8. Purchase a residential IP address

You can also avoid Hulu’s VPN blocks by using US residential IP. These are IP addresses that belong to household ISPs like AT&T and Verizon.

Unlike shared VPN IP addresses, which belong to data centers, residential IPs are indistinguishable from regular IP addresses. They’re also assigned to one user, typically.

Very few VPN services offer residential IPs, though. The most reliable one so far is Windscribe.

Windscribe is the best free VPN for Hulu, but residential IP addresses are only available to premium subscribers, and cost extra.

The residential IP section of the Windscribe app

Windscribe’s residential IP addresses works with Hulu.

Using Windscribe’s US residential IP service works to unblock Hulu, but it’s not the most cost-effective solution.

9. Activate Smart DNS

Hulu can also detect VPNs by checking a user’s public IP address against their DNS settings.

If there’s an inconsistency between IP address and DNS credentials, Hulu can work out you’re using a VPN and even identify your real location.

By changing your DNS settings, you can bypass Hulu’s VPN blocks and even stream Hulu from outside the US without using a VPN at all.

You can change DNS settings by using a tool called Smart DNS, which some VPNs offer. Smart DNS lets you change your default DNS servers to servers in the US.

Surfshark Smart DNS

Surfshark Smart DNS tool.

Smart DNS doesn’t encrypt your traffic or hide your IP address like a traditional VPN. Instead, it reroutes your DNS requests towards US DNS servers, granting you access to blocked websites and streaming services.

We recommend using Smart DNS to stream Hulu on games consoles and Apple TV, which don’t support native VPN software.

You can see which VPN services offer Smart DNS in our Hulu VPN comparison table.

How We Test Hulu VPNs

To identify the absolute best VPNs for unblocking Hulu, we tested 70 VPNs in accordance with our Hulu-specific review process.

The highest-rated VPNs for Hulu can stream the geo-blocked content platform easily, reliably, and at HD/4K speeds.

In fact, our recommended Hulu VPNs operate streaming-optimized servers in several US states, ensuring very high picture quality.

Another important factor is a VPN’s compatibility with streaming devices such as Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, gaming consoles.

In particular, we look for an effective native Firestick app, Smart DNS functionality, and router compatibility. The latter are necessary to stream content on devices that don’t support VPN applications.

We also consider if the VPN’s customer support is helpful and knowledgeable about unblocking Hulu.

We calculate the overall Hulu VPN rating based on the weighting of each category we test for:

  • Easy and consistent access to Hulu: 40%
  • Long-distance speeds (based on London to New York connections): 20%
  • Number of available US Servers: 20%
  • Quality of Fire TV Stick app: 10%
  • Smart DNS funcionality: 10%

How to Bypass Hulu VPN and Proxy Errors

If Hulu has detected your VPN or proxy, it will display error code P-EDU101:

“It looks like you’re using an anonymous proxy or VPN.”

Or, you may get Error 16 while using a VPN:

“Based on your IP address, we noticed you are trying to access Hulu through an anonymous proxy tool. Hulu is not currently available outside the US. If you’re in the US, you’ll need to disable your anonymizer to access videos on Hulu.”

To fix error code P-EDU101 and 16, you’ll need to try workarounds with your existing VPN, or use a VPN that definitely unblocks Hulu.

Full list of Hulu’s error codes and how to fix them

The table below lists the most common Hulu error codes and how to fix them:

You can also check whether the problem lies with Hulu by using downdetector.com.

How Hulu Detects and Blocks VPNs

Hulu doesn’t allow the use of anonymous proxy servers and VPN services.

The streaming platform tries to block VPN and proxy connections because, just like Netflix, it has licensing agreements to stream content in the United States (and Japan).

VPNs change your IP address and spoof your location. As a result, Hulu tries to block VPN traffic to enforce the licensing agreements it has with content owners.

Hulu Error Code Proxy Detection Error Notification

Hulu’s proxy detection error notification.

As Hulu states in its terms and conditions:

“Content may be limited to distribution in certain geographic locations. For that reason, we may use different technologies and methods to verify your geographic location.”

How does Hulu know you’re using a VPN? It monitors and blacklists (bans) IP addresses it associates with VPN services.

For example, if thousands of Hulu users are using the same IP address, there’s good reason to think it’s a VPN IP address.

Also, Hulu uses GeoIP databases to discover the IP addresses of VPN servers. Moreover, many VPNs make their IP addresses public, making them easy to identify.

Finally, Hulu checks for mismatches between a user’s IP address and DNS (Domain Name Server) servers, usually caused by VPN DNS leaks.

If your visible IP address is a US one, but your DNS credentials place you somewhere else, Hulu will likely block access.

The VPNs That Don’t Work with Hulu

Hulu’s geo-detection methods are just as sophisticated as DAZN and Netflix. So much so, even some of the most popular VPNs struggle to beat its geo-restrictions.

Based on our latest streaming tests, the following VPNs don’t work with Hulu:

  • Avast VPN
  • AVG VPN
  • BitDefender VPN
  • Fastest VPN
  • Freedome VPN
  • HideMyAss
  • Hidester
  • Ivacy
  • IVPN
  • Kaspersky VPN
  • Mullvad
  • Norton VPN
  • PrivateTunnel
  • SurfEasy
  • TunnelBear
  • VPN Secure
  • ZenMate
  • ZoogVPN

If you want to know if a VPN unblocks Hulu, contact us at hello@top10vpn.com, and we’ll confirm if it works or not.

How to Bypass the Hulu Home Location Error

You can use Hulu to watch live TV on local US channels. This includes regional versions of CBS, or regional networks like SNY.

Your IP address and GPS location, when you first sign up, determines which channels you can watch.

Hulu calls this your “home location” and it’s part of the Hulu + Live TV package. Importantly, Hulu home location restrictions do not apply to standard Hulu streaming packages.

Your home location applies to any device associated with your Hulu + Live TV account.

Even if you’re across the country, watching Hulu on your laptop or mobile will still only show content from your home location.

If you’re away from your home location for more than 30 days, you’ll get the error message below:

“It seems like you’re not at home. Your current ZIP code and IP address don’t match the location of your home linked to this account.”

Hulu lets you legitimately change your home location up to four times a year. But, Hulu uses GPS technology to determine your location (zip code) alongside your IP address.

In fact, you can’t change your home location without granting access to your GPS location.

If you attempt to change your home location when you haven’t physically moved, Hulu will inform you that you can’t.

In this scenario, a VPN can only get you so far. It can change your IP address, but it won’t change your GPS location. This makes Hulu home location errors extremely difficult to get around.

Two ways to fix the Hulu home location error

We’ve identified two methods to bypass Hulu’s Home Location restrictions:

1. Install a VPN on your home router

You can associate your Hulu + Live TV account to a location of your choice by setting up a VPN on your router.

However, you’ll need to do this at the very beginning of the process, before signing up to Hulu.

You must also watch Hulu using a streaming device that doesn’t use GPS technology, such as Roku or Fire TV Stick.

When you install Hulu and it tries to determine your home location, it should identify the location of the VPN server you’re connected to on your router.

However, despite tricking Hulu into thinking you live somewhere else, you’ll have to reverse this workaround to watch live TV from your home region. In other words, you’ll encounter the same problem in reverse.

If you change your VPN server frequently, you may also alert Hulu to the use of a VPN.

With this in mind, consider investing in a residential IP to keep the same VPN IP address.

2. Get a VPN with a GPS spoofer

Hulu’s Home Location feature uses GPS to stop you accessing local content outside of your assigned region. This means you need to spoof your GPS location to bypass it. Unfortunately, not many VPN services can change your GPS location.

Surfshark has a GPS spoofer on its Android app called ‘GPS override’. It works by automatically aligning your GPS location with your chosen VPN server.

GPS Override feature in the Surfshark Android app

The GPS Override feature in Surfshark Android.

IVPN, Windscribe, and Surfshark are the only VPNs that have GPS spoofers. It works by automatically aligning your GPS location with your chosen VPN server. But all are limited to Android devices.

Taking Surfshark’s ‘GPS Override’ as an example: firstly, you have to change your IP address and GPS via the Surfshark app. Then, you need to update your Home Location in Hulu’s settings to match your proxy location.

This isn’t a quick process and its limited to Android only. For that reason, and until GPS spoofers are more widely available to use on bigger screen devices, we recommend using the VPN router setup method.

About the Author


  • Headshot of Top10VPN.com Site Editor Callum Tennent

    Callum Tennent

    Callum Tennent oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his VPN advice has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society. Read full bio