To answer whether you should choose ExpressVPN for Hulu, it’s important to know whether ExpressVPN is good for streaming in general. And in order to know that, you would have to find out whether the VPN is good in general. While there’s an extensive ExpressVPN review on our website, we’ve picked the most important parts for those interested in getting the best Hulu experience. Since ExpressVPN is at the top of our best of list, we will only be comparing it to the 2nd place (NordVPN) where applicable.
Are ExpressVPN servers and their locations good for Hulu?
To start with, ExpressVPN has over 2000 servers in more than 90 countries. These numbers mean you will probably have good connectivity wherever you are (with the possible exceptions of the North and South poles). But since Hulu is a US-based streaming service, you should be most interested in the number of servers in this country.
Unfortunately, ExpressVPN doesn’t state exactly how many servers they have and list only server locations. 31 out of 148 (21%) server locations are in the USA. To compare, NordVPN has 1967 out of 5044 (39%) servers and 20 out of 88 locations (23%) in the US. In any case, since both numbers are similar, we can estimate that there are at least around 600 servers which ExpressVPN has ready for your Hulu experience. This is much less compared to NordVPN, but that doesn’t mean the average ExpressVPN server load is higher – it all depends on the number of users connected.
Are ExpressVPN servers fast enough for Hulu?
Server load is less of an issue if the speeds are generally high. To find out if ExpressVPN servers are fast enough for Hulu, we evaluated its connection to the US from Europe and compared it with NordVPN numbers. First, we tried Hulu’s recommended speedof.me test and put the results next to the results seen using probably the most popular Mbps counter – speedtest.com.
Here are the speed requirements for certain stream quality levels according to Hulu:
- SD: 1.5 Mbps
- 720p HD: 3 Mbps
- 1080p HD: 6 Mbps
Additionally, they recommend at least 3 Mbps for on-demand subscribers and 8 Mbps for Live TV.
Testing ExpressVPN servers on SpeedOf.Me
Without a VPN, we saw a download average of 47 Mbps.
NordVPN, New York
East coast speed was 20 Mbps, though the upload didn’t suffer and stayed at 38 Mbps. Too bad there’s not much use in it.
ExpressVPN, New York
27 Mbps download was a bit better compared to Nord’s, while the upload was similar to that of Nord’s.
NordVPN, Los Angeles
Apparently, on its journey to California, NordVPN lost a wheel and crashed into a signpost, crawling to Los Angeles at a pedestrian 3 Mbps, while still maintaining an honorable 24 Mbps upload. We couldn’t believe this, so we made a couple more tests and got a more realistic result:
27&14 Mbps makes sense if you add those extra miles traveling from the Big Apple.
ExpressVPN, Los Angeles
Express virtually switches NY’s download with upload speeds and what we get is 32 Mbps and 22 Mbps correspondingly.
To sum up, Hulu’s recommended SpeedOf.me results are in favor of ExpressVPN although both services should be able to handle full HD live streaming.
Is ExpressVPN’s price not too high for Hulu?
So now that we’ve settled the question of speed, it’s time to remember that everything comes with a price. And in case of ExpressVPN, it’s one of the highest ones in the industry – $12.95/month for a monthly and $8.32/month for an annual plan. On the other hand, NordVPN is only 1-dollar cheaper, so if you want a top VPN, you will need to pay top dollar.
The 30-day money back guarantee should be more than enough to see whether Hulu works for you and whether the speed is good enough. But this means taking out your credit card, while some competitors offer free trials.
Does ExpressVPN allow watching Hulu on many devices?
With ExpressVPN, it’ll be easy to watch Hulu on any device, because Express has apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and even routers. It also works with Amazon Fire TV Stick. It’s probably even not worth mentioning that you will have unlimited bandwidth, which is a must for any TV-show binger.
Every ExpressVPN user gets the MediaStreamer feature. Not only does it allow you to watch Hulu on different devices like game consoles, its smart DNS proxy service can be used separately to re-enable access to streaming services.
While this all sounds great, you must keep in mind that ExpressVPN only supports 3 simultaneous devices while most competitors offer at least 5, so if you’re an extreme multitasker or have a family with individual tastes, you should probably skip on this service.
Hulu blocked on ExpressVPN – is there something that can be done?
Even the best VPNs get blocked by various services, so you shouldn’t be surprised if Hulu doesn’t work forever. If you see the sad message “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy,” you can always try contacting ExpressVPN support which is very responsive and polite. They will let you know whether the problem can be solved quickly or if it’s something that’ll, unfortunately, take a while.
Another option is to try a different location from the list of ExpressVPN servers. If that doesn’t help, flushing your DNS might do the trick because ISPs can give you the wrong DNS entries intentionally, to block Hulu or certain websites. Flushing the DNS makes sure ExpressVPN can access the right addresses.
To do this on Windows, click ‘Start’, type ‘cmd’, right-click the search result and choose ‘Run as Administrator’. When the screen loads, type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter. You should see the message “Windows IP Configuration Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.”
Flushing DNS is possible on MacOS too. Here’s how to do it on High Sierra (you can easily find the answer for other Mac OS versions on the web):
- Open the Finder and go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
- Enter the following syntax at the command line: sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder; sleep 2; echo macOS DNS Cache Reset | say
- Press ‘Return’, enter your password, and press ‘Return’ again.
- You should see a message “macOS DNS cache reset.”
Chances are the issue is local – maybe you’ve recently installed some anti-virus software that might be blocking your connection? Or perhaps you’re using an outdated version of ExpressVPN itself? If all else fails, just remember that patience is a virtue.
Conclusion – ExpressVPN for Hulu?
Your doctor probably wants ExpressVPN never to work with Hulu, so you can spend more time spinning the hula-hoop or doing some other kind of exercise. Unfortunately for you and him, Hulu will work most of the time. Since ExpressVPN is the best VPN available at the moment (or at least one of the Top 2 according to most VPN rankings), you can simply create an account and find out for yourself how well it works for you. A 30-day money-back guarantee period is long enough to make up your mind.
Support is essential for Hulu enthusiasts because they can help you answer which server should be used for streaming and help you quickly fix issues that do not take hours or days to resolve. The ExpressVPN team does their job well and fast – that’s a big plus when deciding which VPN for Hulu to select.
If you already have an ExpressVPN account and are wondering if there’s a way to get something better speed-wise, you might win some Mbps with Astrill but lose the number of servers that can unblock the Hulu library.