One thing you can’t complain about nowadays is the variety of streaming services that are available on the market. In fact, there are so many of them that it’s becoming a bit annoying to find one that provides you with the content you are interested in. With so many of them out there, it’s starting to feel like cable all over again, since you have to pay for multiple services to avoid missing out on your favorite shows or movies.
While Netflix is still the leader in terms of content and user base, others are starting to catch up as well, including big names like Disney+, HBO Go/Now/Max, and Amazon Prime. However, there is one other service that’s been around for almost as long as Netflix has: Hulu.
In fact, Hulu can be considered the second biggest streaming platform on the Internet at the moment, even though the company has not really disclosed any details regarding the size of its library. On the other hand, we have to keep in mind the fact that Hulu is also branching out into live TV lately, which means that you can watch more than just movies and TV shows. That is something Netflix does not offer yet, and it doesn’t seem like this is on their roadmap anyway.
Another major difference between Hulu and Netflix is the fact that Hulu includes ads into one of their subscriptions. The ad-ridden subscription is actually very affordable, so you are at least saving money. Even so, having to watch commercials while streaming content on the Internet is about the most annoying thing ever – especially since you are a paying customer.
However, Hulu’s most defining flaw is that it is not available outside of the United States, and it seems like this will likely be the case in the near future as well. The only exception is Japan, but that’s more of a knock-off than anything else, especially since the Japanese version does not have the same content. Other than that, no one from outside the US can get a subscription, which is a bit of a bummer, especially since there are quite a few original shows that are not available anywhere else.
Getting around this limitation is a lot trickier than it sounds, especially since there are some kinks when it comes to how Hulu operates.
To begin with, anyone can register an account, regardless of your location. It means that you do not need a VPN to access the website or to create your account, which is a bit strange and slightly misleading. The issues appear when you try to purchase a subscription because you will hit a brick wall when it comes to finding a payment method that works.
In essence, Hulu does not seem to accept credit cards that are not registered in the US, and the same goes for PayPal accounts. Hence, you won’t be able to purchase a subscription regardless of what VPN you are using, given the fact that a VPN does not help with this issue at all – it just masks your real location.
Paying for a Hulu subscription from outside the US
If you are really adamant about getting a subscription, there are definitely a few ways to work around these restrictions. One of them is to use prepaid credit cards or gift cards, although sometimes you have to acquire these from third-party resellers, which can be a bit risky. This goes double for eBay, where you can easily get scammed if you don’t do your research.
Another alternative is the use of virtual credit cards. In short, there are services on the Internet that allow you to create virtual credit cards and deposit as much money as you want into them. Obviously, these credit cards can pose as being registered in the United States, which should allow you to pay for a Hulu subscription as well. This is not always the case however, so you should still do some research beforehand.
As for getting a PayPal account registered in the US, a VPN can help with that, but it won’t help you when it comes to associating a bank account with it. To do that, you will have to use the aforementioned virtual credit card service.
Lastly, keep in mind the fact that this is going to be an ongoing subscription, so this trick has to work every month. If the virtual credit card service stops working, then you won’t be able to continue your subscription.
What makes a VPN good for Hulu?
Streaming videos is all about bandwidth since you are literally downloading the video file to your computer while it is playing. As long as your download speed is higher than the bitrate, then you shouldn’t run into problems regarding excessive buffering or choppy playback.
As such, a good Hulu VPN needs to be able to make efficient use of your Internet connection and introduce as little overhead as possible.
Furthermore, good obfuscation methods are also very important, because Hulu has some pretty top-notch VPN detection methods. Not only that, but many VPN servers are actually banned by Hulu, so not every VPN will be able to bypass these safeguards. We already know that VPNs are nearly impossible to fully block however, so you can definitely gain access to the platform, especially if you opt for a highly-regarded VPN provider.
Here are a few other things that you should be looking for when choosing a Hulu VPN:
- The number of servers in the United States. This is very important because if the VPN only offers one server you can experience lag and other issues due to the fact that the server is being overloaded.
- Whether the app includes a kill switch and split-tunneling
- High download speeds. This is especially important if you want to watch full-HD content.
How to choose a VPN for Hulu
Before making a choice, it’s wise to consider some other uses you may have for your VPN since it’s highly unlikely that you are going to purchase it exclusively for Hulu. Other factors come into play if you also want to use the VPN for privacy reasons, for gaming, torrenting, or for unblocking other streaming services as well.
Thankfully, there are plenty of solutions out there that can handle almost anything you can throw at them, so you are definitely not getting stuck with a one-trick pony. Most VPNs proudly advertise the fact that you can use them for a variety of purposes, which is great news for everyone.
Hence, here are some other things to consider when it comes to choosing a VPN that’s right for you:
- Can it also unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime, or other streaming services?
- Can you play online video games while the VPN is running in the background?
- Does the VPN collect any data about you while using the service, or during the sign-up process?
- Is P2P traffic allowed by the VPN?
- Is there a money-back guarantee in case you change your mind?
- What platforms does the VPN support?
- How many simultaneous connections are allowed per subscription?
- Is the customer support reliable, and does it offer live chat?
5 Best VPNs for Hulu in 2020
Now that we got all that out of the way, it’s time to unveil our picks for the best VPNs for Hulu in 2020. All of these VPNs should be able to provide you with access to Hulu from anywhere in the world, and that’s on top of all the other useful features they bring to the table. If you want to quickly jump to a specific entry on our list, you can use the links below:
For a more direct comparison, you can also use the following table in order to see which one is the right choice for your specific needs.
|ExpressVPN||NordVPN||CyberGhost||Surfshark||Private Internet Access|
|Company part of the 14 Eyes alliance||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||30 days||45 days||30 days||30 days|
|Maximum simultaneous connections||5||6||7||Unlimited||10|
|Live chat support||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
As our best all-rounder, ExpressVPN needs no introduction if you are familiar with the VPN market. The service manages to do everything right, and that’s in spite of the fact that it already boasts tens of millions of users worldwide, which probably puts a lot of strain on their infrastructure. Not only that, but the company is always striving to innovate and pack even more features into their apps, which is exactly what a company of this caliber should do.
When it comes to Hulu, ExpressVPN is perfectly capable of bypassing all those restrictions, which means that you can easily gain access to the platform from anywhere in the world. In fact, you can also enjoy geo-restricted content on many other streaming platforms as well, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and others. The only thing you have to do is select the appropriate server from the list and let the VPN do the rest.
A kill switch is included with every ExpressVPN app, regardless of whether we are talking about the mobile or the desktop version. In addition, the same is true for split-tunneling, which is designed to be as easy-to-use as possible. You can quickly add or remove apps from the list, which comes in handy for when you want to allow your video games to bypass the VPN and remove all the extra latency.
Speaking of which, ExpressVPN has spent a lot of money on servers, which is why the download speeds are up there with the best of them. This is great news for streaming enthusiasts since you can even watch 4K content without worrying about playback issues or long buffering times. The pings are very low as well, which means that it’s not really necessary to use split-tunneling in order to get a smooth online gaming experience.
The great download speeds also come in handy if you are interested in P2P downloads. There are no transfer caps to worry about either, so there’s no limit to how much you can download. Naturally, torrenting is permitted and not discouraged in any way, so your account is never at risk of being disabled because of it.
When it comes to obfuscating your connection, the fact that ExpressVPN even works in China should be a testament to its abilities. Thus, it’s highly unlikely that services like Hulu are going to be able to detect the fact that you are using a VPN. The strong encryption methods also ensure the fact that your traffic is secure and never exposed.
Even though ExpressVPN supports a wide variety of devices, platforms, and operating systems, you can only connect a maximum of 5 devices at the same time, which is a bit disappointing, especially when you take a look at what the competition is offering in this regard. The monthly subscription prices are also a bit too high for many people.
On the other hand, at least you get a 30-day money-back guarantee. This allows you to make full use of the service for a full month before requesting a refund, which is a great way to test the VPN and make sure it’s the right choice for you. ExpressVPN also offers live chat support, so it’s very easy to ask questions in case you experience issues or you are unhappy with the product. Read our review.
+ Large server network that covers most of the world
+ Great download and upload speeds, which is great for video streaming
+ Unblocks all sorts of streaming services, not just Hulu
+ Low pings that don’t affect your online gaming sessions too much
+ 30-day money-back guarantee
+ Offers split-tunneling functionality
+ Native apps for a variety of devices and operating systems
+ Also works in China
– A bit too expensive
– Only 5 simultaneous connections per subscription
NordVPN is one of the largest VPN providers on the market, as well as one of the most trusted services of this kind. Even though there have been some minor security mishaps in the past, NordVPN has always managed to stay relevant, while also continuously growing and expanding. At the moment the service relies on over 5600 servers in 58 countries, which means that there’s enough room and also bandwidth for every subscriber.
Thanks to its industry-leading tech, NordVPN is also capable of unblocking Hulu with ease, especially since you can do the same for many other streaming services. This also applies to Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Go, as well as a few others. Unfortunately, there are no specialty servers for streaming, so you have to manually choose a server in the desired country in order to gain access to geo-restricted content.
The state-of-the-art server network is also the reason why NordVPN can get you fairly fast download speeds, usually regardless of the chosen location. This translates into a very smooth video streaming experience, even if you like to watch high-resolution content. As you can expect, no transfer caps are in place either, which means that there’s nothing stopping you from binge-watching as many shows as you wish.
One downside we would like to see addressed in the future is the lack of split-tunneling support. Most other VPNs of this caliber include this functionality into their apps, and it’s a bit strange that NordVPN seems to be lagging behind. Thankfully, you do get a kill switch to protect you from unexpected server issues.
There are some extra features you get to enjoy as well, such as the fact that you can use a double VPN option to make your connection extra secure. If you are not familiar with the concept, the main idea is that your traffic is bounced between two different servers instead of one. The two servers are also in different countries, which makes it that much harder for websites to track your activity.
Furthermore, there is also a dedicated IP option, which is a very sought-after feature in some circles. This allows you to maintain a static IP address even when the VPN is active, thus allowing you to host all sorts of servers. Thanks to this, you can allow other people to connect to your device using the assigned IP address. This is not possible with a regular VPN connection, mainly because the IPs are periodically shuffled.
When it comes to how many simultaneous connections are allowed, NordVPN is slightly more generous than ExpressVPN, offering you the possibility to connect up to 6 devices at the same time. This is definitely not the best deal out there, but 6 connections should be enough for most people since you can pretty much hook up all of your devices at the same time.
Lastly, you can take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee to request a refund if you are not satisfied with the service. There are no major restrictions in this regard either, so you don’t have to worry about justifying your decision when it comes to getting your money back. Read our review.
+ Many servers to choose from
+ Unblocks the majority of streaming platforms with no issues
+ Great for gaming as well
+ Offers dedicated IP and double VPN options
+ Includes a built-in malware protector and ad-blocker (CyberSec)
+ Works in China
+ Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
– No split-tunneling capabilities
If server count were the only metric that mattered, CyberGhost would definitely be the VPN king. With over 6300 servers in 112 locations and 89 countries, no other service comes close to CyberGhost in this regard. However, we all know that there’s a lot more to a VPN than how many servers it offers. Thankfully, the guys and gals at CyberGhost know it too, which is why they have packed a lot of goodies into their apps.
To begin with, the most relevant thing in the context of this article is that CyberGhost can indeed unblock Hulu. Since that’s not nearly enough nowadays, you can also unblock a plethora of similar streaming services, thanks to the generous list of specialty servers that are specifically designed with this purpose in mind.
As such, you can watch geo-restricted content on platforms like Netflix, YouTube Red, Comedy Central, Amazon Prime, as well as many others. Not only that, but you can even use location spoofing in order to unlock content from France, Canada, and a few other countries. This is definitely a huge selling point for CyberGhost, given the fact that not many other VPNs are willing to go this far when it comes to video streaming.
The split-tunneling feature can be found in the Smart Rules section of the app, and it’s very customizable, albeit not as powerful as one would expect. Hence, you can tell CyberGhost to automatically start and connect to a server whenever you run specific apps on your computer, but you can’t exclude them like you can in ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access. You can exclude website addresses on the other hand, which is still useful.
One other quirk you will have to live with is the fact that the kill switch cannot be disabled. In truth, there are very few situations where disabling the kill switch makes sense, – and we would never recommend it anyway – but it’s always nice to have the option. In addition, even though CyberGhost is great for gaming, a kill switch can really mess up your day if your Internet connection is disabled in the middle of a competitive game.
As far as extra features are concerned, there are quite a few of them, each one of which can be enabled or disabled at will. You can allow CyberGhost to block ads and malicious websites, as well as to prevent websites from tracking you. It’s also possible to force HTTPS connections in your browser, although that should happen automatically in modern browsers anyway.
If you are wondering how many devices you can connect to a single CyberGhost subscription, the answer is 7. This is definitely better than others, and you can actually get a lot of use out of 7 simultaneous connections. In some cases this may even be enough to share some spots with a family member or a roommate.
CyberGhost is also very generous when it comes to the money-back guarantee since you are eligible for a refund for up to 45 days after starting your subscription. Most VPNs give you only 30 days to change your mind, so CyberGhost definitely wins some points here. There is also a live chat option if you want to contact tech support. Read our review.
+ The biggest server network money can buy
+ Specialty servers for streaming and P2P
+ Includes a built-in ad-blocker and anti-malware solution
+ You can create smart rules and use split-tunneling for specific websites
+ Unblocks every imaginable streaming platform, with location spoofing as well
+ 45-day money-back guarantee
+ High download speeds
– The kill switch cannot be disabled
Surfshark is a very reliable VPN service that manages to pack a surprising amount of features and customization options into a fairly lightweight app. In fact, you can get a couple of cool extras as well, including split-tunneling support, static IP, and MultiHop connections. To top things off, you can connect an unlimited number of devices to your account, so you never have to worry about running out of spots for your extra phones.
Obviously, Surfshark is perfectly capable of unblocking Hulu – otherwise, it wouldn’t be included on our list. However, Hulu is not the only streaming platform that can be unblocked, since you can also do the same for Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and others. There are no specialty servers to help you out in this regard, but it’s relatively easy to manually connect to the proper server.
Speaking of servers, Surfshark is definitely the runt of the litter when compared to the rest of the VPNs on our list, given the fact that it only offers around 1000 servers in 61 countries. Even so, we have yet to run into any connection issues because of this, which means that the servers are robust enough to handle a large number of users concurrently.
The app includes a MultiHop feature as well, which is designed to maximize your privacy while browsing the web. There are all sorts of country combinations to choose from, depending on what exit nodes you prefer and which ones are closer to your actual location. Keep in mind the fact that MultiHop connections take a significant toll on your download and upload speeds, not to mention the fact that your pings are going to drastically increase.
If you are worried about malware and ads, Surfshark comes to your aid with the CleanWeb component. This is designed to function as a built-in ad blocker and anti-malware solution, although it’s not quite on par with a proper antivirus software. On the other hand, at least you do not have to install additional add-ons in your browser to handle ads, and that’s always a plus.
In case you are a gamer and you are concerned about speed and latency, you should know that we have recently included Surfshark in our best VPNs for gaming article. You can let the app do its thing in the background while gaming and still have a great experience in terms of latency. In addition, downloading patches is not an issue either.
Split-tunneling is included as well, although in Surfshark’s case this feature is called the “Whitelister”. This allows you full control over which apps can be rerouted through the VPN and which can bypass it, and you can even add website addresses as well. Naturally, you can make use of this feature to whitelist your online games if you really want to take full advantage of your Internet connection while playing.
As mentioned above, Surfshark is one of the few VPN services that allow unlimited simultaneous connections for any subscription. Thanks to this, you can share your VPN credentials with your family as well. There are no hidden transfer caps either, so there’s really no reason to limit yourself to only a handful of devices at a time.
The 30-day money-back guarantee is on par with what we would expect from a top-notch VPN these days. In addition, you do not have to worry about sketch refund policies either. The support staff is very helpful as well, and you can make use of the live chat option in order to quickly get in touch with someone. Read our review.
+ Includes a very customizable split-tunneling feature
+ Unlimited simultaneous connections
+ The CleanWeb component protects you from malware and blocks ads
+ Great download and upload speeds across the board
+ Offers static IP servers
+ You can run it in the background while gaming without taking a performance hit
+ 30-day money-back guarantee
– A limited number of servers
– No specialty servers for streaming
Seeing how Private Internet Access is one of the fastest VPNs we have tested here at FindYourVPN, it’s really not much of a surprise that it’s a good choice for streaming as well. In fact, PIA is a regular on our lists because it packs an impressive number of features, which help it excel when it comes to almost anything you could want from a VPN.
To begin with, Private Internet Access allows you to unblock Hulu and watch your favorite content from anywhere in the world. But since that’s not enough these days, it can also do the same for many other streaming platforms, including Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and others. To top things off, the impressive download speeds allow you to crank the resolution as high as it goes without stumbling into performance issues.
Server-wise, PIA’s service relies on around 3,300 servers distributed in over 50 locations and 30 countries, which is a respectable number even when compared to the other industry leaders. The key difference is that you have complete control over how you connect to these servers, given the fact that every parameter can be adjusted using the settings panel.
Thus, you can choose between OpenVPN and WireGuard in terms of protocols, while also being able to change things like the encryption method, handshake method, IP configuration method (DHCP/static), as well as the desired connection port. Naturally, regular users won’t ever touch these settings, but the fact that they are there means that PIA cares about more advanced users who can make use of all these customization options.
Private Internet Access also includes split-tunneling support, and there are no restrictions when it comes to what you can let bypass the VPN. You can add as many apps as you wish, as well as choose between either blocking these apps from using the VPN or rerouting their traffic as usual.
Just like most of the other VPNs on this list, PIA includes a security component designed to protect you from ads and trackers while surfing the web. This is called MACE, and you can activate it using a simple toggle button. Its effectiveness depends on what kind of websites you visit since it’s not really a substitute for a dedicated antivirus solution, but it can definitely save you a few headaches every now and then.
Private Internet Access allows you to connect up to 10 devices at the same time, which is very generous when compared to most other VPNs. This should enable you to keep all of your devices safe, as well as share a few spots with your family in case you don’t want to pay for an additional subscription for them. It’s also worth pointing out that there are native apps for almost any kind of device, including phones, TVs, and routers.
If you are not satisfied with the VPN’s performance after buying a subscription, you can use the 30-day money-back guarantee in order to request a refund. This was not always the case since Private Internet Access used to only offer a 15-day period in the past. Read our review.
+ Plenty of servers and locations to choose from
+ Includes split-tunneling support
+ Impressive download speeds
+ The PIA MACE feature protects you from ads and trackers
+ The low pings are great for online gaming as well
+ Many customization options and advanced settings for power users
+ 30-day money-back guarantee
– Company based in the United States, which is part of the 14 Eyes Alliance
As you can see, all the big names in the VPN business can handle Hulu when it comes to watching content from outside the US. However, you should still keep in mind the fact that it may be a bit difficult to get a subscription in the first place, and VPNs cannot help too much with this aspect. It is also quite easy to fall for scams when you are trying to create virtual credit cards, so make sure that you carefully research the topic beforehand.
It’s also obvious that the best VPNs for Hulu are not going to disappoint in other regards either, so you can definitely get more out of them. Thus, there’s no reason to settle for a Hulu-specific solution when there are much better all-rounders on the market.