How to unblock and watch Hulu outside the US with a VPN

(Image credit: The Handmaid's Tale / Hulu)

If you're reading this, you probably already know that Hulu is one of the biggest US streaming services, boasting over 50 channels to watch live, as well as many movies and TV shows. So how can a VPN help?

While it still trails behind Netflix, Hulu’s Live TV and streaming service has well over 20 million subscribers – no doubt helped in part by the Emmy-award winning TV show, The Handmaid’s Tale, which was produced by Hulu. The list of best Hulu shows is now  an embarrassment of riches.

Unfortunately, like many other TV streaming services and VOD providers, Hulu geo-blocks its content, and you have to be in the United States or its territories to stream the service. This can be very frustrating if you’ve bought a subscription and can’t access it while traveling or living outside the US.

The good news is that you can bypass Hulu’s – and for that matter any video service’s – geo-blocking quite easily with a VPN. We’ll take you through the necessary steps.

How do I unblock Hulu outside the US?

There are two ways to unblock content on Hulu: proxies and virtual private networks (VPNs), although one greatly surpasses the other in terms of reliability. Let’s look more closely at both options.


(Image credit: Hulu)

Anonymous proxy tool

The first method is to use an anonymous proxy tool, which acts as an intermediary between your browser and the internet, masking your real location with another location, like the US. Proxies are fast and can be used for free, making them ideal workarounds for geo-blocks. For a comprehensive list of the finest out there, check out our best proxies guide.

While this could work with proxies that have US IP addresses, Hulu is constantly looking for IP addresses that are associated with proxy tools, so if it detects that many users are accessing its website through one IP, you will find yourself on a screen that says something like this:

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. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please submit this form.

Because Hulu is owned directly by a group of content partners, they are relatively quick at identifying and blocking IP addresses they think come from proxies. With many of these tools only offering just a handful of IP addresses, you may find yourself having to trawl through several proxy tools before finding one that works.

Virtual Private Networks

The second and more reliable way to unblock Hulu is with a good VPN. There are plenty of reasons why you should be using a VPN, and their ability to bypass geo-blocking on any site is one of them.

The process works the same way as proxies unblock Hulu, by masking your IP with a US IP address, but VPNs also encrypt your traffic, giving your browsing (and streaming) habits a layer of privacy from snooping ISPs and government bodies.

As with proxies, there are plenty of free VPNs out there, but you should remain wary of how they could be profiting from your use of their service and consider paying for your VPN. Paid VPNs are also more likely to have more server locations and IP addresses for you to find a location that unblocks Hulu. Plus, you can only use them for a certain amount of time - you won't exactly be able to watch The Handmaid's Tale for long with a freebie.

For more info, check out our guide to the best Hulu VPN options.

How to use a VPN to unblock Hulu

You can unblock Hulu with a VPN in a few simple steps. All you need to do is get a good VPN, select one of its US locations, and sign in to your Hulu account to start streaming.

How to choose the best VPN providers to unblock Hulu

When looking for a good streaming VPN for Hulu, you essentially want two things: fast streaming speeds and a wide selection of US locations to choose from.

ExpressVPN, for instance, has 25 server locations at the time of writing (and more than a thousand servers) in the US that you can connect to, and it offers good connection speeds.


There are also other things that you should consider when choosing a VPN, such as the presence of a kill switch, a ‘no log’ policy, and support for all your devices.

ExpressVPN has all of these nailed, as well as excellent 24/7 live chat support, fast connection speeds for seamless streaming and more. Oh yeah, plus a 30-day money back guarantee in case you change your mind.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.