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How To Bypass Hulu VPN Blocks

Headshot of Top10VPN.com Site Editor Callum Tennent

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

You can use a VPN to stream Hulu from anywhere in the world. But what if Hulu blocks your VPN? In this step-by-step guide, we explain what to do if your VPN isn’t working with Hulu so you can avoid detection and bypass Hulu's VPN blocks.

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Hulu is only available in the US and Japan. However, you can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to change your IP address and make it look like you’re using the internet from another region, bypassing Hulu blocks from countries like Australia, Canada, Mexico, and the UK.

Unfortunately, Hulu tries to detect and block VPN traffic – but there are still some VPNs that work. This guide explains what to do if your VPN isn’t working with Hulu, how to stream Hulu from anywhere, and which are the best VPNs to avoid detection.

If you use a VPN to watch Hulu from outside the US, you’ll also be able to access additional streaming services without cable, including Showtime, Starz, and HBO Max, as long as you pay an additional fee. If you want a VPN for HBO Max specifically, read our advice on HBO Max VPNs.

If you have a Disney+ subscription and you’re outside of the US, you can already watch an international version of Hulu called Star, but it’s not as good. Star’s content library is limited to what Disney owns. US Hulu has a much bigger library that includes TV shows and movies from other studios, similar to how Netflix works.

If you’re in the US and want to access Star and avoid the Disney+ bundle subscription cost, you can read our list of the best VPNs for Disney Plus.

Hulu VPN Not Working? How to Avoid Detection & Fix VPN Errors

Here is a video showing how to use your VPN to get around Hulu blocks and watch Hulu from anywhere. We’re using ExpressVPN as an example:

As you can see in the video above, we encountered no Hulu blocks or errors, and we tricked Hulu into thinking we are in the US.

If your Hulu VPN isn’t working as shown in this video or you’re encountering error codes, then your VPN is being detected and blocked by Hulu.

So how do you bypass Hulu blocks, detections, and errors so you can watch Hulu from outside the US?

The best thing you can do to beat Hulu blocks is use a VPN with a reliable track record for accessing the service.

If you already have a VPN and Hulu is detecting it, try these workarounds to fix it:

1. Connect to another US (or Japan) server

The easiest and quickest thing you can do if your VPN is not working with Hulu is to change the VPN server. Simply close your browser window, connect to a different US VPN server, and then reopen Hulu in a new browser window.

While Hulu may identify that a server you’re using is owned by a VPN service, it might not know about one of the VPN’s other US servers.

For this reason, it’s beneficial for you to choose a VPN with lots of US servers, as this makes it harder for Hulu to identify all of them.

VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN have thousands of US servers that are updated regularly, making them effective at evading Hulu detection.

However, we don’t suggest wasting your time testing more than five American city servers. It’s highly unlikely any will work if none have already.

EXPERT TIP: If you want to access Hulu Japan you need to sign up with a Japanese payment method or purchase a gift card. You cannot just change your server and watch Japanese Hulu.

2. Contact your VPN’s support team

If you’ve tested several US servers and your VPN still doesn’t work with Hulu, try contacting your VPN’s customer support and asking if they have a server optimized for Hulu access.

They might recommend an optimized server or offer other tips, such as changing your VPN protocol.

They also might tell you that the VPN you’re using simply isn’t equipped to bypass Hulu’s VPN blocks. This can save you time debating whether your VPN will work with Hulu at all.

Ideally your VPN will have 24/7 live chat support available on its website for a quick and efficient response. Alternatively, you can send an email.

3. Clear your cache and cookies or use incognito mode

Clearing your browser cookies and cache removes any potential geo-location traces. Cookies are web identifiers used by websites to track your online activity. Deleting them might help to evade Hulu’s geo-location techniques.

Clearing Browsing Data on MacOS Chrome

Clear Browsing Data option as seen on MacOS Chrome.

You can also use your browser’s incognito mode and try accessing Hulu that way. Incognito mode provides a private browsing window that removes most forms of online tracking that can be used to identify your real location.

4. Check for IP address or DNS leaks

Your VPN might be detected by Hulu because information is leaking outside of the encrypted VPN tunnel. You can check if this is happening by using an IP leak test while your VPN is running.

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

Free or low-quality VPNs are far more likely to suffer from data leaks than top-rated VPNs for streaming. The best VPNs usually 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.

5. Disable IPv6

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

If your network uses IPv6 and you use a VPN that doesn’t cater to this traffic type, your connection request will revert back to your ISP and travel outside of the encrypted VPN connection. This exposes your real IP address, and therefore your location, to Hulu.

Top-rated VPNs like ExpressVPN offer the ability to block IPv6 traffic altogether. There are also some VPNs that offer full IPv6 support, like AzireVPN and Perfect Privacy, but they are rare and may not be ideal for Hulu in other respects.

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.

6. Purchase a dedicated IP address

You can also avoid Hulu’s VPN blocks by using a dedicated IP, which is an IP address reserved exclusively for you.

Hulu detects VPNs by monitoring for unusually busy activity on certain IP addresses. By having an alternate US IP address reserved for you alone, it’s far less likely that Hulu can associate it with VPN use.

A dedicated IP address (sometimes called static or fixed IP) is offered by some VPN services, including NordVPN, PureVPN, and more. The feature is designed to mimic the appearance of a residential IP address, but it usually costs an additional sum.

Dedicated IP addresses aren’t ideal for privacy because you are simply swapping your real public IP address for a fake one. This means it is still possible to link your online activity back to a single IP address. However, they are very effective for streaming.

CyberGhost has developed a “token-based” dedicated IP system designed to bypass this problem. When you redeem a token, CyberGhost won’t know the details of who is using the dedicated IP. This means you can maintain your privacy whilst retaining the benefits of a dedicated IP address.

CyberGhost Dedicated IP Address Sign Up

CyberGhost’s token-based dedicated IP feature.

You can see which VPN services offer a dedicated IP address feature in our Hulu VPN comparison table.

7. 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, Hulu can work out that 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.

Some VPN services offer a simple Smart DNS feature. Smart DNS allows you to change your default DNS servers to servers in the US, tricking Hulu into thinking that’s where you are.

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. Smart DNS is compatible with games consoles and Smart TVs, which makes it a particularly useful feature if you want to watch Hulu on a large-screen device or Amazon Fire TV Stick.

You can see which VPN services offer Smart DNS in our Hulu VPN comparison table, or find out how to set up Smart DNS in our guide to using a VPN with HBO Max.

8. Choose a Different VPN Service

If none of these troubleshooting tips have worked for you, it’s highly likely that you need a better VPN.

Not every VPN service is designed to work with streaming services, which means some VPNs will not work reliably with Hulu no matter how hard you try.

Remember that most VPNs come with 30-day money-back guarantees, so you might be able to get a full refund if your VPN doesn’t work with Hulu.

We’ve tested 68 to find the three VPNs that work most reliably with Hulu, and found NordVPN to be the best overall.

Are VPNs Allowed? Why & How Hulu Detects VPNs

It’s completely legal to use a VPN with Hulu, but Hulu tries to block them anyway. Just like Netflix, Hulu has licensing agreements that restrict the content you can stream based on where you are physically located.

VPN services work to hide your IP address and spoof your location. As a result, Hulu tries to detect and block VPN traffic to help enforce the licensing agreements it has with content producers.

Hulu Proxy Detection Error Code

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 that it associates with VPN usage.

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.

Streaming sites can use GeoIP databases to discover the IP addresses of VPN servers. More simply, many VPNs make their IP addresses public, so they’re not even difficult to identify.

Hulu can also identify VPNs by checking for mismatches between a user’s IP address and DNS (Domain Name Server) servers. While your IP address might be attributed to the US, your DNS servers might be located in the UK, for example.

You’ll know that your VPN has been detected if you get the error code P-EDU101:

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

Or you may get Error 16:

“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.”

Here is a breakdown of various Hulu error codes and how to fix them:

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

The Best VPNs to Get Around Hulu Blocks

The best Hulu VPNs are able to dodge Hulu detection altogether because they have thousands of servers that are regularly updated and optimized for streaming. They provide reliable access to Hulu from anywhere in the world.

They also include features that are useful for users looking to get around Hulu VPN blocks. These include a dedicated IP option, Smart DNS, as well as IP, DNS, and IPv6 leak protection.

We’ve put together a table that compares the 10 best VPNs for Hulu based on these features for streaming. You’ll also be able to compare each VPN’s long-distance speeds and the number of servers available in the US and Japan:

Based on the latest test results, the best VPNs for Hulu are:

1. NordVPN: The Best VPN for Hulu

  • Fast long-distance speeds
  • 15 US server locations
  • Dedicated IP available to buy
  • 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
Nord VPN Unblocks Hulu

NordVPN unblocks Hulu consistently.

NordVPN has everything you need for getting around Hulu’s VPN blocks. It has a large number of servers in US cities and it delivers fast international speeds to guarantee buffer-free streaming, even if you’re thousands of miles away. In our tests, NordVPN has never failed to unblock Hulu from abroad.

It’s not quite as fast as ExpressVPN, but it’s more than fast enough for HD streaming.

NordVPN includes a bunch of additional features that ensure you stay ahead of Hulu’s VPN blocks. It offers Smart DNS, which provides reliable access to US streaming services on games consoles and Smart TVs. There’s a simple and functional app for Amazon Fire TV, too.

IP and DNS leak protection are enabled by default, which means it’s unlikely that your real location will ever be exposed to Hulu. NordVPN is also one of the safest VPNs available, with watertight AES-256 encryption and a strict no-logs policy.

In addition, you can purchase a dedicated IP address from NordVPN to prevent Hulu from associating your traffic with a shared VPN server. This costs $70.00 per year on top of the standard NordVPN subscription cost.

NordVPN only costs $3.30 per month on its cheapest deal, which is 50% cheaper than ExpressVPN.

2. ExpressVPN: The Fastest VPN for Hulu

  • Fastest long-distance connection speeds
  • 14 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
  • No dedicated IP option
  • Most expensive Hulu VPN
ExpressVPN Unblocks Hulu

ExpressVPN offers a reliable way to avoid Hulu VPN detection.

ExpressVPN reliably bypasses Hulu’s blocks and offers the fastest long-distance speeds for those connecting to the US 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 dedicated 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 the best VPN for streaming Japanese Hulu. It comes with three server locations in Japanese cities, including Tokyo and Osaka.

MediaStreamer Smart DNS also works well with Hulu and other US streaming channels. This allows you to 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 that of NordVPN. It’s still great value, but NordVPN performs just as well with Hulu.

3. CyberGhost: The Most Affordable Hulu VPN

  • Three Hulu-optimized servers
  • Smart DNS available
  • Token-based dedicated IP
  • 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 Unblocks Hulu

CyberGhost comes with Hulu-optimized servers.

CyberGhost comes with three Hulu VPN servers: one for Hulu on desktop, one for Android TV, and another for Fire TV Stick. This provides plenty of options – and they all work to unblock Hulu. CyberGhost’s regular US servers do get detected by Hulu though, so make sure you stick to the Hulu-specific ones.

For a small additional fee, CyberGhost also offers a token-based dedicated IP for you to reserve. This means that Hulu will have a harder time identifying your VPN traffic.

The CyberGhost dedicated IP costs $5.00 per month on top of your usual subscription price, which costs $60.00 per year on the cheapest tier. This is cheaper than NordVPN’s dedicated IP feature, and more private too.

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 tests, CyberGhost is less reliable than ExpressVPN and NordVPN, though. While it works with Hulu the majority of the time, we have encountered temporary blocks. Its performance is also less impressive than the competition, averaging 64Mbps download speeds.

Despite its inconsistency, CyberGhost only costs $2.25, making it the cheapest option for bypassing Hulu VPN blocks.

Popular VPNs That Don’t Work with Hulu

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

Top-tier VPNs that don’t currently work with Hulu include Surfshark, HideMyAss, and IPVanish.

Based on our latest streaming tests, you should avoid the following VPNs:

  • Avast SecureLine VPN
  • BitDefender
  • Encrypt.me
  • Fastest VPN
  • Freedome VPN
  • HideMyAss
  • Hidester
  • Ivacy
  • IVPN
  • Kaspersky VPN
  • Le VPN
  • Mullvad
  • Norton Secure VPN
  • PrivateTunnel
  • SurfEasy
  • TunnelBear
  • VPN Secure
  • ZenMate
  • ZoogVPN

Expert Tip If you’re unsure whether a VPN will work with Hulu, you can always contact our team of experts at hello@top10vpn.com and we can take a look.

Can I Use a Free VPN or Proxy to Access Hulu?

Our testing has found that Windscribe Free is the only free VPN that works reliably to stream Hulu from overseas and bypass Hulu’s VPN blocks.

However, Windscribe Free is limited to 10GB of data per month. This means you won’t be able to stream many movies and TV shows in Hulu’s library before your monthly data cap runs out.

Put simply, free VPNs are not reliable at getting around Hulu blocks. They’re prone to IP leaks and are therefore easier for Hulu to identify.

Many are unsafe, too. Free VPNs often log your activity or connection data, and some have been known to inject malware and trackers.

Proxy services will not work to unblock Hulu, either. They’re simply not advanced enough to get past Hulu’s firewall.

How to Bypass Hulu Home Location Error

You can use Hulu to watch live TV on local US channels. This could include your region’s version of CBS, or regional networks like SNY.

The channels you’re allowed to watch are determined by your IP address and GPS location when you first sign in to your living room device, like your Roku or Fire TV Stick.

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

Your home location will apply to any device associated with your Hulu + Live TV account. So even if you’re across the country, watching Hulu on your laptop or mobile will still only give you the content from your home location.

If you’re away from your home location for more than 30 days, you’ll get an error message.

But can you get around the Hulu home location restrictions?

Hulu allows you to legitimately change your home location up to four times a year. But Hulu uses GPS technology to determine your location alongside your IP address. You cannot change your home location without granting access to your GPS location.

That means if you attempt to change your home location when you haven’t physically moved, Hulu will inform you that you cannot.

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.

To beat the Hulu home location error, try these workarounds:

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 will also have to watch Hulu using a streaming device that does not 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, although you’ve tricked Hulu into thinking you live somewhere else, you’ll have to reverse this workaround if you want 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 might also alert Hulu to the use of a VPN. With this in mind, it might be worth investing in a dedicated IP so that your VPN IP address remains consistent. For detailed setup instructions, read our guide to installing a VPN on your router.

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, which means you need to spoof your GPS location to bypass it.

There are some VPNs that offer GPS spoofing tools. For example, 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.

This GPS tool is limited to Android only, but it does mean that you should be able to watch Hulu + Live TV from anywhere on your mobile.

But even with the GPS override solution, before you can watch anything you have to change your IP address and GPS via the Surfshark app and then change your Hulu home location in settings (via your home living room device beforehand) to match this proxy location.

You might wonder whether the technical demands of getting around Hulu home location errors are worth the effort.

About the Author

  • Headshot of Top10VPN.com Site Editor Callum Tennent

    Callum Tennent

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