American streaming platform Hulu hosts a huge archive of high-quality cinema and current TV shows, many of which aren’t available (legitimately) in other parts of the world. But what can European film fans do if they want to access Hulu?
Should you have to be denied access to some of the finest films and TV ever made, just because you happen to live in the wrong part of the world? Of course not. But the good news is that with the right VPN for Hulu, the problem disappears.
However, if you want seamless access, it’s vital to pick a Hulu VPN you can trust. This article will explore what you need to look for, and we’ll suggest a few contenders that are well worth investigating. But before that, let’s quickly discuss why VPNs are needed, and what they can do for Hulu fans.
Why would you need a VPN for Hulu?
Hulu is one of the world’s largest streaming platforms. Part-owned by Disney and 20th Century Fox, it offers packages which blend live streamed or “over the top” TV, as well as access to an archive of film and TV which stretches back decades.
In the past few years, it has also produced a few hits of its own, including the worldwide hit “the Handmaid’s Tale” (which was widely syndicated in Europe) and “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week, the Touring Years”. Both won numerous awards, and suggest that Hulu is a major player in the TV and movie production market – not unlike Netflix or Amazon.
So what’s the catch? Well, although Hulu has been around for almost a decade, it has expanded slowly, and it still hasn’t landed in the UK, France, Germany, or Spain. So if you want to access it, you’ll need to be resident in the USA – or seem to be so.
Admittedly, there are plans for a UK launch. But, even then we can expect Hulu to replicate the Netflix model of dividing up its content by region. So subscribers may be disappointed that certain shows aren’t present.
Enter VPNs: why finding the best VPN for Hulu is important
Here’s where VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) come into the picture. These tools are able to assign users completely different IP addresses, making it look like they are resident in the USA, no matter where they might actually be.
This makes it possible to access Hulu from abroad. And it also helps American subscribers who travel to places where Hulu isn’t yet available.
With a good VPN for Hulu, you can also encrypt your traffic, so Hulu won’t know anything about you. And good providers will leap over Hulu’s geoblockers with ease. So hopefully you can see why these privacy apps are a TV fan’s best friend.
What makes the best VPN for Hulu: key things to look for
Now we know about how useful a Hulu VPN can be, we need to qualify that statement just a bit. While good VPNs are invaluable, poor quality VPNs are useless. They won’t protect your IP address or properly reroute your traffic, and their speeds are often woeful.
So we’re talking about the very best providers here. Some mediocre companies satisfy a few criteria, but the elite manage to fulfil all of these requirements, and those are the ones you need to go for.
First up, when you need to unblock streaming servers around the world, it always helps if the VPN in question has a large server network. Providers like NordVPN have thousands of servers, including plenty in different parts of the USA.
Remember, the key to unblocking Hulu from overseas is masquerading as an American. With more local servers, good VPNs can allow you to explore regional content in the US itself, and gives you the best chance of working around Hulu’s geoblockers.
Speed is also vital. When you’re accessing streaming services via laptops or smartphones, these platforms can be very data intensive and resource hungry. When you add a VPN on top, there’s a danger that it will cause streams to judder or freeze, while lag is never far away.
Again, this is where an elite VPN for Hulu will shine. The best providers maintain their own servers and use efficient protocols which maximise speed. There will be some loss of efficiency, but you shouldn’t notice that while you use Hulu.
However, speed is nothing without the ability to encrypt your data and route it safely through servers around the world. This is where the professionalism of VPNs really matters.
In the best cases, VPNs use military-grade encryption, maintain their servers meticulously to avoid an technical errors, and employ sophisticated protocols (look for IKEv2 or OpenVPN for a high standard of leak protection).
There should be clearly documented DNS and IP leak protection on the provider’s web page. And when you carry out IP leak tests, they should always show that your traffic has been effectively redirected.
4. Multiple devices and apps
These days, streaming fans generally use more than one device. Users could easily have a smartphone, laptop, and Smart TV – and all should be connected to a VPN if you want to beat Hulu’s geoblockers.
The best VPN for Hulu will always offer multiple apps, with both iOS and Android options, as well as MacOS, Linux, and Windows. And browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox are also useful.
Moreover, they should be easy to add to streaming services like Kodi, which can be used to access Hulu. And, just as importantly, they will cater for multiple devices. Some only let you protect 1 or 2 devices. But many people need far more, and good VPNs are much more generous.
5. Unique IP addresses
This final criterion is really important. Hulu’s blockers don’t just work by detecting where you are located. The company also buys bulk lists of IP addresses that are known to be used by VPNs.
VPNs sometimes get lazy, and assign the same address multiple times. But the best providers aren’t so lax. They assign unique IP addresses or employ systems like Double VPN to make it tough to know whether a VPN is even being used.
What is the best VPN for Hulu? Some providers you can rely on
So, having laid out a few key considerations, let’s make some recommendations. These VPNs are all exceptional companies, with a good record of unblocking Hulu, so you should find that they do the trick:
1. NordVPN ‣
Based in Panama, NordVPN operates thousands of servers and is famous for its high speeds. Relatively affordable (especially with discounts), it doesn’t struggle at all with geoblockers, while DoubleVPN adds another weapon for Hulu members to try.
2. ExpressVPN ‣
Almost as suitable as NordVPN, ExpressVPN may be a tiny bit faster, although there’s not much in it. Also well-respected for beating geoblockers, ExpressVPN also comes with a smart DNS called MediaStreamer which helps it defeat Hulu’s defenses.
3. CyberGhost ‣
Easy to use and reliable, CyberGhost offers a bit more information about each server, letting you know which servers to use with different streaming platforms. Affordable and fast, it can handle HD streams with no problems.
Any of these three VPNs will serve Hulu members well. And remember, all of them have free trials, so if one doesn’t seem to work with Hulu, you can shop around. In any case, you don’t need to be limited by corporate blockades. With a good VPN for Hulu, you can watch your favourite shows whenever and wherever works for you.