VPN Tips: How To Access Streaming Services While Abroad

Hulu has become one of the top streaming video services. Since its launch in 2008, it now boasts 82 million users, 28 million subscribers, and has streamed more than 700 million hours of video content. It trails only Netflix, YouTube, and HBO Now in streaming video app earnings. With so much content to stream on the platform, it’s no wonder that it would be desirable to watch Hulu if you happen to be outside of the States while traveling. Here are our VPN tips to help you get your binge-watch on.


VPN Tips


Even if you’ve got a legitimate subscription to Hulu, watching the streaming service outside the U.S. can be a hassle. Geoblocking by Hulu makes it nearly impossible. There is a trick to make watching the service possible through a VPN service. This technique will also work if you want to watch HBO or the U.S. version of Netflix anywhere you travel throughout the world.


REQUIRED DISCLAIMER:  Hulu’s TOS (Terms of Service) prohibits performance of videos outside the United States. Use this information at your own risk.


The Virtual Private Network


Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) were developed to afford users privacy. Using the public internet, it allows users to create a private network that encrypts traffic to avoid detection.  They create a secure tunnel between your device and the VPN servers. Anyone looking in will not be able to see your internet traffic.  At the connection point, they will only see the IP address of the VPN host and not your own.


In addition to making you invisible when you are on a public internet connection, it also makes it impossible for someone to know where you are. So, using a VPN with a U.S. based server, Hulu will authenticate the stream because it believes you are originating the connection within the U.S. regardless of where you are.


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Will A VPN Really Work With Hulu?


There may be a bit of trial-and-error involved here. Streaming services may recognize some of the IP addresses generated by VPNs and block you. If too many people are trying to hit the same service from the same IP address at the same time, Hulu and other video streaming services may assume something’s not right and shut down your connection.


The good news is that most VPNs will offer a diverse group of servers. If one gets blocked, try another. It may take a few tries, but you should be able to find one that works. Even if one IP address doesn’t work one day, it may work on another day.


You may be able to connect with a free VPN that you can find online, but you need to be extra cautious. Some of these free VPNs have bandwidth caps, lower speed, and limited server options. They may also be free because they are logging your personal data and selling it to third-party providers. That kind of defeats the purpose of having a secure, private connection. 


You also want to watch out for tracking software with free VPN apps. Some providers will give you free service in exchange for showing ads. These ads can also install malicious software that monitors and tracks your movements. There have also been some reports of malware being installed by free apps.


Best VPN for You 


Many virtual private networks will provide a good option for watching your favorite shows on Hulu. A favorite among many is NordVPN, which has more than 3,000 servers available and offers fair pricing. Another popular option is ExpressVPN. 


You may be able to connect with a free VPN that you can find online, but you need to be extra cautious when doing so. Some of free VPNs have bandwidth caps, lower speed, and limited server options. They may also be free because they are logging your personal data and selling it to third-party providers. That defeats the purpose of having a secure, private connection. 


Your best bet is to select a high-quality provider from a well-known company that does not log your movements or sell your data. If you are looking for the best VPN provider for you, compare the best iPhone VPN services and do your due diligence before choosing a provider.


Extra Methods of Safety 


There are various safe methods to use when watching Hulu through a VPN to ensure that you do not get blocked while viewing. You may obtain a unique IP address, which may be purchased through some VPN providers. Purchasing one of these IP addresses separates you from one of the other IP addresses that are used by literally hundreds of other people at the same time. When companies like Hulu see these addresses, they are more likely to be able to eliminate and block them. 


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Host Your Own 


If you have sufficient bandwidth in your home, one option is to simply host your own VPN. You may do so by creating a VPN server on your home computer. If this is not an option, another way to do this is to purchase a web-hosting package and host a VPN server from there. Speeds and functionality will be optimum on the package no matter what, and you can do the same thing from there. 


Watching Hulu With A VPN


Now that you have a VPN, you still need to have a valid subscription to Hulu, which itself it not free. At this time, Hulu offers packages starting at $5.99 a month, with premium packages going up to $50.99 a month in price, which include live TV. Unfortunately, Hulu is known to sometimes block credit cards based outside of the United States, so if you’re purchasing in another country, this might present an issue. There is a way around this, however. Various retailers sell Hulu gift cards, which allow you to create an account without the need for credit card information. If you need a US-based address and phone number to complete registration for Hulu, you can sign up for those at various websites. 


Once you have signed into Hulu using the VPN of your choice, you may use Hulu using the virtual private network on any of your devices, including your tablet, smart TV, game console, and wherever Hulu may be viewed. However, make sure to check with your specific VPN service’s advice on setting the service up for each of your smart devices. Enjoy the freedom, wherever you are, and wherever you may roam around the world, to watch your favorite shows. 

About Nia McKenna

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Nia is an Associate Editor at The Fairytale Traveler and self diagnosed travel junkie. Having traveled to 5 of the 7 continents, her love of good food and culture is a force to be reckoned with. When she isn't off adventuring with her husband, which she writes about on her blog CircaWanderlust, she can be found with a good cup of tea cuddling her pups and taking pictures of her food. She loves black and white movies and could listen to Elvis on repeat.

2 Comments on this post

  1. Decided to install ExpressVPN a few months ago and have been very impressed. Makes life so much easier when I can stream abroad.

    Jessie Grayskull / Reply
  2. Apart from these two vpn’s mentioned here, I also found this article with other vpn suggestions. Personally, I use Surfshark and it’s quite decent for streaming, also it has auto-connection so I never have to worry about not being connected and secure.

    sean.h / Reply

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