Hulu is the third most popular streaming service in the United States. A buddy in the U.S. would not shut up about The Handmaid’s Tale. I decided to check it out, but I needed Hulu to watch it…and Hulu is only available in the U.S. Knowing the best Hulu VPN will come in handy for anyone outside America.
Fortunately, I had a handy VPN I could use for streaming Hulu. My friend shared access to his Hulu subscription (don’t look at me like that, I know you mooch sometimes, too). I used the VPN to spoof a U.S. server and started streaming Hulu in no time.
Whether you’re outside the U.S. and thinking of accessing Hulu or you’re an American worried about unblocking Hulu from your hotel in Japan, I’ve got you covered. I hunted for the best Hulu VPN and found seven you can get started with today.
TL;DR: My top rec is ExpressVPN. It’s great for unblocking streaming sites like BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video, but it really shines with Hulu streaming. However, if ExpressVPN’s not your style, there are six other VPNs you can use if you’re having trouble accessing Hulu. Keep reading to find out more.
Why Do I Need the Best Hulu VPN?
You might be going, “Well, duh. I need it to access Hulu content when I’m out of the States.” And while a VPN does help access streaming services, that isn’t the only use case. You should consider using a VPN even if you’re in the U.S. and can easily stream Hulu. Why?
Access Global Libraries
Apart from the U.S., Hulu serves another location with exclusive, region-specific content: Hulu Japan. Even if you’re based in the U.S., you won’t get to watch Hulu Japan unless you have a VPN running. If you use a VPN, you can hop from one regional library to another in no time.
Staying Protected, Secure and Anonymous
It’s no surprise that there are a lot of creeps on the internet. Stalkers, hackers, cybercriminals just waiting to strike…the reality of that threat might not hit you until you’re staring down the barrel of a ransomware attack and forking over thousands of dollars to get your sensitive data back.
Accessing public WiFi or unreliable connection spots carries even more risk. Such connection spots are open to the public, don’t have any screening process and aren’t as encrypted. It’s easier for hackers to tap into such networks and access your files.
A VPN can make sure your internet identity remains safe and anonymous by routing you through VPN IP addresses and encrypting your sensitive personal data.
It helps avoid throttling
And no, I’m not talking about the kind of throttling Homer does to Bart. Unless Homer’s your internet service provider and poor Bart’s neck symbolizes your internet connections.
Sometimes, internet service providers (ISPs) throttle your bandwidth, meaning they’ll restrict your internet connection speed, which later translates to terrible lags for you. That’s not what you want when you’re streaming the season finale to your favorite show, is it?
ISP throttling can sometimes happen if a provider has a tie-up with a specific streaming service like Netflix. They might be prioritizing traffic to that service over others, throttling the speed for Hulu instead. With a VPN, your traffic gets encrypted, and the ISP won’t be able to sniff out which service you’re accessing.
What Makes the Best VPN Service to Unblock Hulu?
You might have a VPN app that ticks all your boxes: excellent speeds, super security and jam-packed with features that make secure online browsing a breeze. But not all VPN services are built for unblocking Hulu. Finding the best VPN for streaming Hulu can take time, but lucky for you, I’ve cherry-picked the top seven you can use today:
- ExpressVPN — Incredibly fast with reliable access to all popular streaming services.
- NordVPN — Large server network in the U.S. with “smartplay” technology.
- Surfshark — Budget-friendly with reliable speeds and a “camouflage” mode.
- VyprVPN — Affordable option that uses the Chameleon VPN protocol.
- Hide.me — A lesser-known VPN with several streaming-friendly features.
- ProtonVPN — Best free VPN for Hulu with free servers in the U.S. and Japan.
- Ivacy — A solid VPN with an easy-to-use interface for beginners.
When you’re looking for the best VPN for watching Hulu, you should keep a couple factors at the top of your mind.
First, Hulu is on the prowl for VPN users and actively tries to block all VPNs. Some of its efforts are successful, but certain VPNs can get past the dreaded proxy error and still access the service.
Next, check if the VPN has a broad server network in the U.S. If one server suffers the Hulu proxy error, you’ll want to have many other choices to try.
You’ll also need a fast VPN. It’s all for naught if the VPN you’re using gets past the Hulu blocks but doesn’t allow easy HD streaming due to poor speeds. Some VPNs offer streaming-optimized servers, while others build all their servers with streaming in mind.
Lastly, a good VPN for Hulu should grant a VPN connection without any data caps or bandwidth restrictions. Imagine going through all the trouble of finding a VPN that unblocks Hulu, only to be left hanging in the middle of an episode cause — oops — you used up your data cap. Generally, any VPN you pay for offers unlimited data, but free VPNs might not.
The best Hulu VPNs account for all these factors. So, let’s see how our top contenders fare.
Which VPN Is Best for Streaming Hulu?
Maybe you’ve got Hulu set up and ready on your Android TV or Apple TV. Or maybe you downloaded the Hulu app onto your phone and want to watch an episode during your morning commute. Whatever platform you choose, here are the top seven VPNs you can explore today.
The Lightning McQueen of the VPNs. Its unofficial motto is “I am speed.”
- Incredibly fast servers
- 5 simultaneous connections
- Exceptional ability to unblock Hulu & other streaming services
ExpressVPN’s speed means that even if you’re connecting from a location farther away from the U.S., you’ll still get unfettered access to Hulu without lags or that dreaded buffer symbol.
But ExpressVPN’s offerings go beyond just speed. It has 23 server locations in the U.S. across 14 cities. This wide selection means you can easily find a server that isn’t too crowded and use it to access Hulu. ExpressVPN’s exceptional ability to get past geoblocks also means your Hulu access will be travel-proof.
ExpressVPN allows you to connect up to five devices simultaneously. So if you want to enjoy Hulu access while backpacking around the world with your four siblings, this VPN’s got your back. Combined with multi-platform support that covers computers, phones, tablets, smart TVs and more, this makes ExpressVPN a killer option for Hulu access.
ExpressVPN’s pricing is expensive, with the most affordable plan being $6.67 per month for a year plus free three months. If you need more time to decide, you can opt for the 30-day money-back guarantee.
A more affordable option to ExpressVPN for Hulu access.
- Extensive server network in the U.S.
- Up to 6 simultaneous connections
- “Smartplay” tech for optimized streaming access
- Expensive monthly plan
NordVPN has 15 U.S. server locations. If one keeps throwing off your access to Hulu, you have 14 others you can try until you find one that sticks. Fortunately, the chances of you having trouble accessing Hulu are minimal, as NordVPN unlocks most streaming platforms with ease.
NordVPN’s “smartplay” tech allows you to benefit from smart DNS without the hassle of setting it up on your own. It comes integrated with NordVPN and gives you a better chance to bypass geoblocks. “Smartplay” is available on all NordVPN devices, so you can get block-free access to Hulu on your phone, Apple TV, desktop or any other device.
NordVPN’s speeds are also top-of-the-line. The VPN uses the NordLynx protocol, its own customized and supercharged version of the WireGuard protocol.
The most affordable plan for NordVPN starts at $3.71 per month if you sign up for a term of two years. If that’s too long a commitment, you can sign up for the monthly plan, though that’s more expensive. You can also give the 30-day money-back guarantee a try before arriving at a decision.
A pocket-friendly VPN with a decent U.S. server spread.
- Wide server network in the U.S.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Inexpensive longer plans
- Special camouflage mode feature
- Less user-friendly UI
- Relatively new VPN with less-tested security
Surfshark has over 500 servers in 20 U.S. cities, boasting one of the largest server counts on this list. But it doesn’t just have numbers going for it. Surfshark ensures that user loads are optimally distributed between its most popular servers in the U.S., making sure they don’t get overloaded and slow down.
Additionally, Surfshark has a smart DNS feature that helps to unblock content more easily, not just on Hulu but also on other streaming sites.
Surfshark’s camouflage mode helps mask your VPN connection by scrambling your data to make it look like a regular internet connection. If you’re planning to travel to a country where VPNs are banned or harder to access, you can use this handy obfuscation method to cover your digital footprint and get into Hulu.
Surfshark’s one of the more budget-friendly options on this list. Its best plan is $2.49 per month for a two-year commitment. Like the others on this list, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you have time to make a decision.
A fast VPN with stellar security.
- 30 simultaneous connections
- Chameleon VPN protocol
- Excellent streaming performance
- Small server count
VyprVPN has a smaller fleet of U.S. servers with only eight locations across the country. You can easily connect to these servers no matter where you are, and rest assured that your surfing remains safe thanks to solid security.
However, server speeds can be inconsistent over long distances. If you’re far from the U.S., it might take you several tries to find a connection fast enough for HD video.
The Chameleon protocol helps you access Hulu from countries that restrict the internet, like the UAE or China. This VPN protocol also helps manage bandwidth throttling like a pro.
Another thing going for VyprVPN: it offers 30 simultaneous device connections. You can share your account with family and friends so they can all enjoy Hulu. It also unblocks HBO, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video easily.
VyprVPN used to be one of the most affordable quality VPNs out there, but the company increased its prices in late 2021. It’s now more expensive than ExpressVPN. However, you can also check out the 30-day money-back guarantee and see if it’s the best fit for you first.
Offers a free plan if you want to tighten up the purse strings.
- Has a free plan
- Uses WireGuard tunneling protocol
- 10 simultaneous device connections
- Free plan limits data to 10GB
- Weak kill switch
This VPN offers access to nine server locations in the U.S. That might seem a little underwhelming compared to the top contenders on this list, but Hide.me is still a feasible option.
Hide.me’s free plan offers 10GB of free data per month. If you’re vampiric with streaming and love to binge content, you’ll eat up that data fast, but you can always switch over to the paid plan after. If you’re a traveler who wants to casually access an episode before returning to the U.S., then Hide.me might be perfect for you.
Hide.me also supports 10 simultaneous device connections, which is great if you’re juggling multiple device types or traveling in a group. That being said, the Linux app isn’t great, so you should look higher up this list if that’s your preferred OS.
Its most affordable plan is $3 per month for 15 months, which is middle of the road compared to the other VPNs on this list. You can also try its 30-day money-back guarantee before making the commitment.
ProtonVPN is the best free VPN for Hulu U.S. and Hulu Japan.
- Great free plan
- Inexpensive paid plans
- Slow speeds
- No IKEv2 on desktop app
ProtonVPN has over 60 servers in the U.S. if you opt for the paid plan. With the free plan, you get access to nine U.S. servers and three Japanese servers.
Like all the others on this list, ProtonVPN also has a fast connection feature that automatically connects you to the speediest server, but you might not always have much luck because ProtonVPN’s servers sometimes suffer congestion. Considering that ProtonVPN only has 12 total free servers you can use to unblock Hulu (Japan and U.S. combined), hoping for fast speeds is a bit of a gamble.
That said, you can use the VPN app to manually check which server has the least traffic. ProtonVPN also has unlimited bandwidth and data on its free plan, which is rare among free VPN apps.
If you want to go beyond the free plan and get unfettered access to ProtonVPN’s more than 60 servers, its most affordable plan starts at $3.29 per month for two years. You can also give their 30-day money-back guarantee a try before committing to a long-term subscription.
Check out ProtonVPN’s pricing and free plan here.
A secure and inexpensive VPN to access Hulu.
- Offers a free trial
- Affordable pricing
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Inconsistent speeds in certain locations
Ivacy warrants a position on this list thanks to its recent update that allows you to access Hulu through your desktop and mobile devices. This VPN has 12 server locations in the U.S. across 11 cities. Its smart connect feature allows you to instantly connect to the fastest server available, but you can also manually choose a server.
Ivacy’s speeds are mostly reliable but can be inconsistent on certain servers. You might have to try your luck with different protocols at times.
Though it doesn’t have a free plan, IvacyVPN offers a free trial for seven days. Furthermore, it grants 10 simultaneous device connections and comes with apps enabled for mobile devices, desktop clients and even Amazon Fire TV. Lastly, Ivacy’s most affordable plan is $1.00 per month for a five-year commitment.
Check out Ivacy’s pricing here.
How to Use a VPN to Watch Hulu
Ready to get in on that Hulu unblocking action? Here are the straightforward steps to follow:
- Choose your best VPN for Hulu from this list.
- Install your chosen VPN onto your device.
- Connect to the country you need to unblock for Hulu.
- Go to Hulu on your browser, or open the Hulu app on your phone or PC.
- Start streaming your favorite shows!
Now, you’ll be able to watch Hulu peacefully with your VPN enabled. If Hulu’s still throwing hands at you with an anonymous proxy error, just switch servers until you find one that sticks.
Are There Free VPN Providers That Work With Hulu?
The word “free” is highly subjective. Even if you aren’t paying out of your pocket, you’re still paying in some form when you use a free VPN. Undependable and unsecured VPNs that brand themselves as “free” may be selling your data or personal information without you knowing.
Shady, right? That’s why you have to be careful.
Instead, look for freemium VPN providers that offer either paid subscription plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee or limited forever-free plans. Some freemium VPNs offer free plans with restrictions on data usage, speed or server locations. While these restrictions might be annoying, these VPNs still vouch for your safety and security.
Of these VPNs, some free providers that work with Hulu include ProtonVPN and Hide.me VPN. CyberGhost also has a free trial for one day — just enough to watch an episode or two if you’re on a short trip outside the U.S.
Conclusion: Best Hulu VPN
I need my unfettered access when watching Hulu and don’t mind paying more in exchange for value, so I opted for ExpressVPN. But if you have budget constraints, you can check out the other providers on this list that also do a solid job of accessing Hulu.
So VPN users out there — it’s your turn to chime in. What VPN do you prefer using to unblock Hulu content? Let me know in the comments.