Using a VPN to Access Hulu from outside the U.S.
Hulu is currently available only in the United States. The platform cannot be accessed using anonymizers or proxy services.
Fortunately, you can access it from Australia with the help of a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN service can allow users to select their location to enable them to access geo-sensitive sites such as Hulu.
As Hulu’s service is only available in the U.S. due to licensing agreements and other restrictions, the platform only recognizes American IP addresses. You then need to find a good VPN service provider that has many servers located in the United States. Each of these servers can provide their own U.S. IP address that you can use to watch Hulu.
Best VPNs for streaming Hulu in Australia
How to Get Another IP address with a VPN Service
With the use of a VPN, all the online activities of a user are funneled into a remote server. Since these activities are encrypted and happen on a remote server, the service provider will not be able to see them. Websites such as Hulu can only see the IP address of the server that is masking these activities, not the user’s actual IP address. Once the VPN service tunnels a user’s activity through a server in another country such as the U.S., that server will generate an IP address for the chosen location.
Selecting a Good VPN Provider
However, using just any VPN service is not enough. Free VPNs will not work either. A good VPN provider should have servers in the U.S. The U.S.-based server can then generate a USA IP address that can be recognized by Hulu. Furthermore, the VPN provider should be able to unblock Hulu. Other features of suitable VPN providers include strict security and privacy setups, affordability, ad-blocking capability, accessibility on multiple devices, fast connection, and 24/7 customer support. Some VPN providers that can allow users in Australia to access Hulu include Express VPN, Nord VPN, PrivateVPN, Surfshark, Cyberghost, UltraVPN, and FastestVPN.
Hulu Account Creation with VPN
PC and Mac users
- Pick and subscribe to an appropriate VPN provider.
- Change your location to the USA.
- Register and subscribe to Hulu.
For those with Android devices, you have to log in first to your VPN account and select a U.S. server. You can then go to the Google Play Store and access the three-dot menu located in the top left corner. You will then need to select “Account” from the picklist. Once you are in the Account area, you will then need to look for the option where you can change your location and select the U.S. as your new location. Once this is done, you can then install the Hulu app. After installing the app, just proceed with signing up using your basic information.
Hulu on iOS
For Apple users, you will need to log out of your iCloud account. You will then need to create a new iCloud account indicating the USA as your new location. After this, you can install the Hulu app on your device. You can use your phone details to sign up for the service.
If you will be watching Hulu on a Smart TV, you can readily access Hulu after setting up a VPN account on the device. After setting up your account, you can readily access Hulu’s streaming library and select any content you want.
Roadblocks to Hulu access via VPN
“Error playing this video. You appear to be using an anonymous proxy tool”
If there is any problem connecting with Hulu using your chosen VPN, you can try to disconnect the VPN and reconnect to another server in the United States. If the problem persists, you’ll need to double-check whether your IP is restricted. You can also try emptying out your DNS cache to ensure smooth access to the streaming service with a VPN.
Regardless of whether you are using the best VPN service, there will still be a possibility that Hulu will find out that you are using a VPN and cut off your access. If this happens, you can try other available servers in the United States. You might be able to discover one that can access the platform after several tries. If all the servers that you selected still cannot access the service, you can attempt to connect again the next day with a different server.
Another potential roadblock to your Hulu access is the possibility that Hulu might block your non-U.S. credit card. You might need to find a card or payment provider that is based in the United States. Some solutions to this include the use of Revolut, Payoneer, or other U.S. and international financial services providers.
What is Hulu
Hulu provides an on-demand video streaming service in the USA that can be accessed by paying subscribers. The name Hulu was derived from two Mandarin Chinese words, húlu (葫芦/葫蘆), meaning “calabash; bottle gourd”, and hùlù (互录/互錄), “interactive recording”. It is considered to be one of the top and biggest video streaming services in the country on account of its 29 million subscribers. Hulu’s platform consolidates all acquired and original television and movie content for streaming to internet-linked devices. The service offers subscription plans to those who wish to access its streaming library and the linear streams of various broadcast and cable channels.
On March 22, 2007, NBC Universal (the parent company of NBC and Universal Studios) and News Corporation (the parent company of the Fox Broadcasting Company and 20th Century Fox) made an announcement that they were launching Hulu. They were able to finance the service with $100 million in funding from Providence Equity Partners and internet distribution agreements with AOL, MSN, MySpace, and Yahoo!. On October 29, 2007, a “private beta version” of the Hulu platform was released. The platform was made accessible to the general internet community in the U.S. on March 12, 2008. Today, the Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu.
Who Owns Hulu?
Hulu is now primarily owned by The Walt Disney Company, which has a 67% share. Comcast’s NBC Universal is also an equity shareholder of Hulu. The service was first formed as a joint venture between News Corporation, NBC Universal, and Providence Equity Partners, with The Walt Disney Company joining later.
On March 20, 2019, the Walt Disney Company bought the outstanding capital stock of Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., which then changed its name to TFCF Corporation, a global media, and entertainment firm. Before the acquisition, TFCF and a recently established subsidiary of TFCF (New Fox) signed a separation agreement. With this agreement, TFCF transferred to New Fox its various array of news, sports, and broadcast divisions and other assets. TFCF kept all the assets and liabilities not transferred to New Fox. The biggest of their assets include Twentieth Century Fox film and television studios, some cable networks (mainly FX and National Geographic), TFCF’s international television divisions (including Star), and TFCF’s 30% interest in Hulu LLC (Hulu). As an outcome of the acquisition, Walt Disney’s controlling interest in Hulu rose to 60%. In May 2019, Walt Disney further raised its ownership interest in Hulu to 67%. NBC Universal (NBCU) holds the remaining 33%. That same month, Walt Disney also signed a put/call contract with NBCU that enabled the former to fully control the operational aspects of Hulu.
Can I use a free VPN for Hulu?
It is not advisable to use a free VPN to access Hulu from Australia o elsewhere as the company is highly aware of the use of VPNs to jump over geo-restrictions. Hulu employs extremely effective anti-VPN software to unmask and blacklist IP addresses that come in through VPN servers. Given this, free VPN servers are not strong enough to overcome these actions from Hulu’s software.
Why Does Hulu Try to Block VPNs?
Hulu and other streaming services block most VPNs in order to adhere to their regional agreements with licensing firms. These video streaming service providers typically have to sign an agreement with the licensing firms that hold the rights to a movie or TV show before they can add these content types to their libraries. Licensing firms typically hand over popular shows to the highest bidder.
The Cost of a Hulu Subscription
Hulu offers three types of plans that users can try for 30 days free of charge. The most popular plan is “Hulu.” It can be accessed for $5.99 a month. Users can try this plan for free for 30 days. With this plan, subscribers can access award-winning Hulu original shows on their TVs, laptops, phones, or tablets. A maximum of 6 user profiles can share the account. Subscribers can also watch shows on two separate screens simultaneously. They can also add the following channels at an additional cost:
- HBO Max™
Hulu Plan (No Ads)
For those who prefer to watch without advertisements, the Hulu No Ads plan can be yours for just $11.99 per month. Users can also opt first for a 30-day free trial. This plan includes all the features of the basic Hulu plan. On top of that, the plan also lets subscribers watch Hulu shows with no advertisements. Subscribers can also download and watch Hulu shows on their devices. The following add-ons are also available for subscribers of this plan: HBO Max™ ($14.99), CINEMAX® ($9.99), SHOWTIME® ($10.99), and STARZ® ($8.99).
Hulu + Live TV
The Hulu + Live TV bundle can be accessed for $64.99 per month. Users can also try this plan for 7 days. This plan provides all the Hulu basic plan features. On top of that, subscribers of this plan can access Hulu’s Live TV with over 65 channels with no cable needed. They will also be given a Live TV guide for navigating all the channels. Subscribers can also record shows from Live TV with 50 hours of cloud DVR storage. However, this plan has advertisements in the streaming library. Also, subscribers will not be able to download the video content from the library. For this plan, the add-ons include the channels available for Hulu and Hulu (No Ads). In addition to that, subscribers can also add the following add-on features: unlimited screens ($9.99), enhanced cloud DVR ($9.99), entertainment add-on ($7.99), and Espanol add-on ($4.99).
College Students’ Discounted Plan
Hulu also gives out a special discount for college students. Students can access Hulu’s libraries for just $1.99 a month. This 65% discounted price is applicable as long as the subscriber is a college student. They can also opt to cancel anytime.
Disney Plus-Hulu-ESPN Plus
The streaming service also offers its Disney Plus-Hulu-ESPN Plus bundle for just $12.99 per month. This bundle can be obtained with the Hulu with Ads plan. Subscribers can opt for the No-Ads plan with this bundle for $18.99 per month.
Hulu App and Supported Devices
Subscribers can also access Hulu shows through the latest Hulu app. The Hulu app is supported on the following devices:
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Android smartphones and tablets
- iPhones and iPad
- Mac and PC browser/apps
- Samsung TV
- Echo Show
- Fire Tablets
- Fire TV
- Fire TV Stick
- LG TV
- Nintendo Switch
- VIZIO SmartCast TVs
- Xfinity X1 TV Boxes
- Xfinity Flex Streaming TV Boxes
Meanwhile, subscribers who are using the classic Hulu app can access the platform using certain models of the following supported devices: Samsung TVs and Blu-ray devices, LG TVs and Blu-ray devices, Apple TV (3rd Gen), Roku and Roku Stick, TiVo, Sony TVs, Blu-ray players, and VIZIO TVs.”
Can you share your Hulu account?
A Hulu subscription is meant to be accessed only by users in a single U.S. household. A subscription plan can be shared by a maximum of 6 user profiles. Profiles for kids are locked to the Kids Hub.
Recently, the company has started to take action against unauthorized account sharing. Some users who are jointly sharing a Hulu account and who didn’t have the auto-pay feature registered to their residence have now discovered that they cannot access the Hulu platform anymore. More restrictions like this are bound to happen in the near future as Hulu increases its monitoring activities for any unauthorized password sharing.
How Much Content is on Hulu?
Hulu’s streaming library contains around 2,500 movies and over 40,000 episodes from thousands of TV shows. It also allows subscribers to access live TV shows through the Hulu + Live TV plan. Through this plan, they can watch over 60 cable TV channels on top of their access to the standard streaming library videos.
What popular shows are on Hulu?
Most Popular and Highly-Rated Shows on Hulu
Based on the ratings from Tomatometer, some of the most popular TV shows and movies on Hulu include Ramy, Justified, Better Things, Atlanta, What We Do in the Shadows, Pen15, Harlots, Mrs. America, Difficult People, Solar Opposites, You’re the Worst, The Wrong Mans, Mr. InBetween, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Man Seeking Woman, Legit, Fargo, I Love You America with Sarah Silverman, Casual, Baskets, Looking for Alaska, Sasquatch, Terriers, Legion, Normal People, Damages, Future Man, This Way Up, National Treasure, Archer, The Shield, Love, Victor, The Bisexual, City So Real, Rescue Me, Veronica Mars, Castle Rock, The Great, The Looming Tower, The Act, Sons of Anarchy, Marvel’s Runaways, Snowfall, Shrill, Staged, The Mindy Project, High Fidelity, Mayans M.C., The Riches, Das Boot, The Hotwives of Orlando, Catch-22, Wilfred, 11.22.63, Breeders, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, Fosse/Verdon, Devs, The League, Thief, Monsterland, Hillary, Animaniacs, Dimension 404, The Strain, The Handmaid’s Tale, Little Fires Everywhere, Trust, The Path, American Horror Story, Taboo, Chance, Woke, The Most Dangerous Animal of All, A Teacher, Into the Dark, The First, A Wilderness of Error, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, and Tyrant.
Hulu Original Shows
Hulu has also aired its own original shows. From January 17, 2011, to April 24, 2014, the platform has streamed “The Morning After,” its own in-house web series. On January 16, 2012, Hulu reported that it will be streaming Battleground, its first original script-based series. The show premiered in February 2012 on Hulu’s free web service instead of on the subscription-based Hulu Plus.
Other original shows that Hulu has released include the following: The Fashion Fund, Day in the Life, Up to Speed, Don’t Quit Your Daydream, Flow, The Awesomes, We Got Next, Joshy, and The Beatles: Eight Days a Week.
Why does Hulu have Ads?
Hulu needs to show advertisements to subsidize the fees that they need to pay to the various TV networks and still keep their rates reasonably low. With the income from the advertisements, Hulu mentioned that they can offer a wide array of current season TV shows, exclusive content, award-winning original shows, and more at a competitive price.
Some shows are also not included in Hulu’s No Ads plan due to their streaming rights. Subscribers will still see an advertisement at the beginning and at the end of each episode. Some of these shows include Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Subscribers will also see advertisements if the show that they are streaming is not in the Hulu streaming library and, therefore, not owned by Hulu. They will also see ads in the bonus content of an episode. HBO, SHOWTIME, Cinemax, and STARZ videos usually have no advertisements. However, they may show promo content before certain videos.
Advertisements can also be shown in cloud DVR recordings. However, subscribers can skip them by pressing fast-forward if they purchase the enhanced cloud DVR.
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Author Per-Erik Eriksson
Per-Erik-Eriksson is the main author of VPNetic. Everything you read here has been written by him or one of his colleagues. Per-Erik has 10 years of experience within cybersecurity and has previously worked at Microsoft as a software engineer.
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