Can You Get Hulu outside the US?
Hulu has been around since March, 2007 and is owned by several companies including NBC Universal, and Walt Disney Company. It is an online video service offering hit shows, films, film excerpts, and more. The service is ad-supported and, therefore, free for consumers living in the U.S. Currently, there is no ability to use the services of Hulu outside the US.
Hulu also offers a service called Hulu Plus, which is an ad-supported service that offers current and older shows from the likes of ABC, FOX, NBC, Comedy Central, and MTV. This service is also unavailable outside the USA.
But American expats living in other countries and tourists temporarily out of the country who would like to watch Hulu outside the US do have a way to watch their favorite movies and TV shows. The same goes for those living in foreign countries who may be curious about Hulu.
In fact, there are two solutions – though one of them has been somewhat discredited, and more or less replaced by the second. The first is called a “proxy”, and the second method uses a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Both technologies work by assigning an IP address that corresponds to the physical location of the proxy or VPN. This is the reason why these two methods are used in the first place. Websites in the US, such as Hulu, check the IP addresses of users attempting to access the site to see whether that address is from the U.S. or not. If an IP address comes from a foreign computer, that user cannot access the features of that website (in this case films and American TV shows).
Why does this matter?
Movies and TV shows are copyrighted, and their distribution is governed by what are called licensing rights. These rights are sold or leased to companies such as Hulu so that they can be made available to the public. In America, the cost of obtaining these rights is at least partly absorbed from selling time to commercial advertisers. This is how regular American TV works. Cable/satellite shows that do not support commercial advertising rely on subscription fees levied on consumers to cover these costs. Additionally, the programming or broadcasting rights are only licensed for American distribution. These rights would have to be negotiated with other countries before consumers living in those countries could gain access to websites such as Hulu.
This has not yet been accomplished, so Hulu still denies video streaming requests to those not currently in The U.S.
However, the use of American proxies and VPNs will work because they fool the Hulu website into thinking that the service request came from the USA.
Open proxies are generally slow, not to mention unreliable and distinctly unsafe due to the fact that the data traveling back and forth from proxies is not encrypted. This makes your personal information is out there for all to see and exploit if you access Hulu in a public wifi zone. Even paid proxies or safer proxies with a big name like Hotspot Shield are most likely blocks.
VPNs are more reliable, safer, and work 100% of the time. Though you may initially experience blocks, even with the VPN, all you need to do is clear your cookies and browser cache/history to get a fresh go at Hulu or Hulu Plus.
**For Hulu Plus details, please check out the on [Hulu Plus Outside The USA] page.
Top 3 VPN Services For Hulu Outside The US
My number one recommended service is Hide My Ass. They offer 1 month, 6 month, or 1 year options, with 3 different prices to match (ranging from $11.52 per month to $6.55 per month). You also get access to 43 different other countries’ IP addresses, which means you’ll also be able to access TV, Movies, Music, Downloads, and Websites from 43 other countries. Remember that VPN server proximity can affect streaming and downloading speed, so the free server switching is a cool feature. They also offer the option to organize servers based on speed and number of users signed in, so you’ll never be blindly searching for a fast server. All of this is backed by a money back guarantee.
Another great service to get an American IP address is PureVPN. They also offer 1 month, 6 months, and 12 months plans, with discounts accordingly. Their standard plan is $74.95 per year, and comes with a 30GB per month cap. The advantage of PureVPN is in the live support, which is very convenient to get set up fast with complicated things like PS3, Xbox, Apple TV or other device that don’t come with VPN clients (trust me, it’s a bit complicated). You get access to all 14 country locations no matter which package your choose.
One more service worth checking out is 12VPN. Though they only offer 1 year plans, they’re fairly priced at $79 for 10 different US IP locations. There are two advantages with 12VPN. One, is that you get broader devices support for VPN routers, mobile devices, and computer operating systems. The other is that their customer service team is very friendly and helpful. This service is particular good for newbies who are afraid that they won’t be able to set up the VPN properly, or are unable to troubleshoot without smashing up their computer.