Best VPN for Hulu

Believe it or not, Hulu is one of the most difficult streaming platforms to access. Though our best VPN for Netflix picks are perfect for beating the Netflix VPN ban, some other choices are better if you’re concerned with Hulu. Lately, we’ve noticed a higher fail rate with Hulu, which suggests it has implemented a new blocking system.

Fret not, though, because we’ve tested nearly 50 virtual private networks to bring you our guide to the best VPN for Hulu. Over the course of this guide, we’ll give you our top five picks and why we think they’re the best for Hulu. There’s crossover between the best VPN providers and the best VPNs for streaming, so we’ll also give our thoughts on why we like each service overall.

Before getting to the picks, though, it’s important to talk about why you should use a VPN for Hulu or any other streaming platform. We’re going to discuss that and how we made our selections for this guide first.

Why You Need a VPN for Hulu

Hulu’s knowledgebase makes it clear that “a Hulu subscription is intended for use by members of a single U.S. household.” Outside of military bases and Puerto Rico, Hulu doesn’t intend for anyone else to use its service. Though that means Hulu doesn’t have the annoying geoblocks that Netflix does, it also means anyone outside of the U.S. is out of luck.

At least, Hulu would like you to think so. It also says that anonymous proxy services — also known as VPNs — will not work with the service. That isn’t true. While Hulu’s blocks are more difficult to bypass than Netflix’s, its proverbial walls can still be broken down.

There’s a reason why Hulu is so restrictive, though. Because it offers episodes of popular TV shows the day after they air, or live if you have the right subscription, the distributors are particular that only U.S. customers should be able to watch it. With a VPN, you can be anywhere in the world and still tune in to Saturday Night Live during its air time.

That said, U.S. users should still consider a VPN. Though it’s tough to say with certainty without serious digging, we’re inclined to believe Hulu’s ad delivery is catered in some way. If it isn’t, Hulu is the odd man out when it comes to serving ads.

If it is catered, that means information about you and your habits is collected or, at least, considered with other marketing data. With a VPN, your connection is secured, effectively masking your identity online. Because Hulu can’t cross reference you with other marketing data or track your habits as you stream, your personal information won’t end up in a database.

That’s true no matter where you use the VPN. Our picks allow you to install the VPN on multiple devices, including routers. With them, you’ll not only keep yourself secure while streaming Hulu, you’ll also keep yourself secure doing anything else.

Best VPN for Hulu 2019

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Choosing the Best VPN for Hulu

The key concern when making our picks was that a provider could access Hulu. Because it’s a U.S.-based streaming service that has contracts with multiple large media companies, Hulu is protective about who can access its service. Unlike our picks for the best VPN for BBC iPlayer, Hulu keeps its content under a tight lock and key.

Though it was the key concern, access wasn’t the only concern. Consistency is arguably more important. Access to Hulu is a bit more binary than Netflix or BBC iPlayer, but there are still providers that access it on a handful of servers while being blocked on others. We made our picks with consistency in mind, meaning a provider could access Hulu across multiple servers with little effort.

Speeds were a big piece of the puzzle, too. Many of our picks also made a showing in our fastest VPN guide, meaning they’re capable of streaming without serious speed degradation. Hulu isn’t capable of streaming 4K on most devices, so you don’t need a lot of bandwidth, but extra meat on the bone doesn’t hurt.

Because Hulu’s standard plan features ads, you’ll be pulling from multiple sources while you stream, making a higher than average amount of bandwidth important. Using a fast VPN, you’ll cut down on the time you wait when Hulu cuts to a commercial break.

The standard concerns apply here, too. Security and privacy are as important as any other time we round up VPNs, as is ease of use. Customer service and server locations are important, as well, but less so for this guide. Because Hulu is restricted to the U.S. and almost all VPNs have locations there, we’re not too concerned with the size or spread of the server network.

Best VPN for Hulu: CyberGhost

Ranked third in our VPN reviews, CyberGhost seems like a strange choice for first place in this guide. There are issues with the service, particularly in the way it authenticates devices, but they are minor and easily dealt with. Given CyberGhost’s excellent array of streaming-optimized servers and its ruthless access, it’s the best VPN for Hulu.

CyberGhost-Streaming-Servers

CyberGhost comes with many servers optimized for streaming. There are around 50, and each is located in a different part of the world and optimized for a service based in that location. Given Hulu’s restriction to the U.S., CyberGhost’s careful planning makes it a great choice for Hulu.

Consistency isn’t too big an issue considering CyberGhost only gives you one option for Hulu. Thankfully, that’s all you need. During our testing, the server always worked, connecting us to Hulu quickly and without issues. Plus, you don’t need to hunt for a server since CyberGhost tells you which is the best choice for Hulu.

The only downside is speed. CyberGhost is set to use IKEv2 by default and works well when you use that VPN protocol. On OpenVPN, though, which we consider the best option for VPN security, the speed is sluggish. For most users, that won’t be a problem, but if you’re tunneling from a particularly risky country, you’ll need to deal with slower speeds or use a different VPN.

Other Reasons We Like CyberGhost

Though they’re the coolest feature, CyberGhost’s streaming servers aren’t its only feature. The update to version 7 brought with it an overhauled interface, as well as a slew of new toys. Along with the streaming servers, CyberGhost includes servers optimized for torrenting, which is why it earned a spot in our best VPN for torrenting guide.

There are other uncommon features, too. The most interesting is a built-in form of automation, which CyberGhost calls “smart rules.” Though the customization isn’t as deep as Astrill’s (read our Astrill review), smart rules provide a simple way to automate the VPN experience by telling CyberGhost when it should connect and disconnect.

Given CyberGhost’s impressive performance and range of features, we’d be fine with spending more than average for the service. Thankfully, we don’t have to. CyberGhost is one of the cheapest providers around, offering the same level of service as other providers for a fraction of the cost.

You can read about the pricing and specifics of the service in our CyberGhost review or try it yourself with its generous 45-day money-back guarantee.


Pros:

  • Streaming-optimized servers
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Slow when using OpenVPN
Starts from $ 275 per month
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ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is usually our first choice for most online activities online. Though it’s our top rated provider overall, it isn’t as good for Hulu. During our last testing period, it was able to access Hulu, but it didn’t have the same consistency as CyberGhost.

That said, ExpressVPN makes up for that small inconsistency in every other area. In addition to providing the fastest speeds we’ve seen from a VPN, its network works as it should. It may not have the greatest consistency when accessing Hulu, but it does everywhere else.

It can still access Hulu, too. Though you’ll have to hunt for a server more than you’d need to with CyberGhost, ExpressVPN makes it simple. With a streamlined interface and no-nonsense approach to server navigation, it isn’t difficult to find a location that works with Hulu.

Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN earns a silver medal in this guide because of all other aspects of the service. It’s decent when it comes to Hulu, but the quality of service is what sets it apart. Its impressiveness may not be apparent at first, though. The interface is streamlined, but not particularly dense, and its pricing is in line with other top-shelf providers.

Digging into the details provides more insight, though. Between speed, security and privacy, ExpressVPN is king. It does what every other provider does better, with a level of resilience that’s unmatched in the VPN market. It’s rare that you’ll find yourself with a failed connection or unanswered question about a particular feature.

Because of that, it’s the best pick for most people, but it may not be the best pick for you. ExpressVPN does everything a VPN should do, and does it better than everyone else, but it doesn’t have a specialty. It’s forte is unyielding connection quality, a trait that some providers trade in favor of more features or specialization.

You can learn why we rate it first in our ExpressVPN review or try it yourself with its 30-day money-back guarantee.


Pros:

  • Fast
  • Easy to use
  • Optimized server network

Cons:

  • Expensive
Starts from $ 666 per month
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NordVPN

NordVPN leans toward the other side of the spectrum. Unlike ExpressVPN, it has more consistent access to Hulu — and all other streaming platforms — but the rest of the service shows a much higher level of inconsistency. It can break into Hulu, but it may not be able to stream Hulu on every server.

That’s because of how large NordVPN’s server network is. It’s one of the few providers that allows you to choose the specific server you want to connect to, adding a level of flexibility that’s seldom seen. That means you’re more likely to connect to a dud server, though, which happened to us during our last batch of testing.

You’ll find two wildly different services depending on the server you connect to. Some servers are great, providing higher top speeds than ExpressVPN and easily bouncing around to different streaming platforms. Others lead to multiple disconnects and sluggish performance, despite being able to access Hulu.

That just means you’ll need to put in extra leg work, though. Once you find a server, NordVPN is great, and nailing down that selection isn’t the worst thing. It can access Hulu and provide a good streaming experience, so the extra work doesn’t keep it from being worthy of inclusion.

Other Reasons We Like NordVPN

Though we like seeing consistency, NordVPN throws that out the window. It plays fast and loose, providing high top speeds on some servers and little to no bandwidth on others. That translates to extra work nailing down the server you want, but the payoff is worth it.

Outside of the core service, NordVPN comes with a lot of goodies. You get CyberSec for free, which is one of the better VPN-bundled ad and malware blocking tools. It doesn’t stand a chance against the best antivirus software, but it’s impressive as a free inclusion with the VPN.

Like CyberGhost, NordVPN has a lot of specialty servers, but none are optimized for streaming. Instead, each of the four flavors is optimized for a different aspect of security or privacy. For example, the peer-to-peer servers can deal with the increased bandwidth that comes with torrenting, while the DoubleVPN servers provide an extra layer of security.

There’s a lot to like about NordVPN, despite its unfortunate downsides. You can learn more in our NordVPN review or try it yourself with its 30-day money-back guarantee.


Pros:

  • Large server network
  • Built-in ad blocker
  • Specialty servers

Cons:

  • Inconsistent speeds
Starts from $ 299 per month
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VyprVPN

VyprVPN is the epitome of a middle-of-the-road VPN. With a dated interface and few notable features, it doesn’t stand out much compared to top-shelf providers. That said, it has an incredible ability to access streaming platforms, making it an excellent choice for Hulu.

Even more so than our higher ranked picks, VyprVPN consistently accesses streaming platforms. During testing, it was able to get in to Hulu on without issue on every server we tried. Unlike NordVPN, VyprVPN doesn’t suffer from incessant disconnects and failed connections. Each connection is rock solid in terms of reliability and access to streaming platforms.

It isn’t solid when it comes to speeds, though, which is why it takes the fourth slot in this guide. Despite claiming “blazing speed,” VyprVPN rarely gave us back half of our unprotected speed. Some locations, such as the server we tested in Australia, failed to provide even 10 percent of our unprotected speed.

That could make for a sluggish streaming experience, depending on how fast your unprotected connection is. If you’re dealing with decent speed, you should be fine considering Hulu only streams in high definition. That said, if you’re operating on thin margins, one of our other picks will suit you better.

Other Reasons We Like VyprVPN

Though mostly unimpressive, VyprVPN has a few unusual features that make it stand out in the crowded VPN market. In particular, it offers a level of customizability we’ve only seen from a handful of providers — read our TorGuard review for an example — which allows power users to tweak it to their liking.

Like CyberGhost, VyprVPN has automation built in, though its implementation only works with WiFi. You can set trusted WiFi networks in the application, effectively telling VyprVPN to automatically start the service on any WiFi network that’s not on your list. For those trying to bypass the dangers of public WiFi, that’s an efficient and convenient solution.

There’s a list of advanced settings, too, but you shouldn’t mess with them unless you know what you’re doing. For example, you can select a specific TAP adapter to use or change the TLS timeout time. If that’s gibberish to you, it’s better to leave these settings alone.

VyprVPN isn’t the best service, but it’s not a bad choice, either. You can read our full thoughts in our VyprVPN review or see how you like it with its free three-day trial.


Pros:

  • Access to all streaming platforms
  • Inexpensive
  • Many customization options

Cons:

  • Not the fastest
Starts from $ 500 per month

Windscribe

Windscribe is the best free VPN, providing a high level of value for no money. Though free VPNs are usually bad — read our worst free VPN guide to see why — Windscribe provides a good service. Outside of being decent with speed and functionality, it’s good at cracking streaming geoblocks.

Its specialty servers, known as “Windflix” servers, are built to access streaming platforms. Windscribe has two Windflix locations, one for the U.S. and one for the UK, and both are solid performers when it comes to streaming. Some of the normal locations work, too, but we recommend sticking with the Windflix locations for consistent results.

Its speeds are good, too, but not as good as ExpressVPN’s or NordVPN’s. Windscribe imposes a hefty initial tax on your connection, with a small gradient downward as you move further from your tunneling location. It’s faster than VyprVPN, but not as fast as the top providers.

There doesn’t seem to be a significant difference between the normal servers and Windflix servers, either. From our testing, both produce around the same speed, and we had no problem accessing Netflix, Hulu or any other streaming platform with the native options. That could be luck of the draw, though.

Other Reasons We Like Windscribe

Though Windscribe is the best free VPN, you can’t use Windflix on the free plan. Free subscribers can use up 10GB of data per month across a restricted server network, which, unfortunately, doesn’t include the Windflix locations. That said, Windscribe provides a simple upgrade path that allows you to add locations without upgrading to a full plan.

You can add locations to your free plan for $1 each per month, which includes the Windflix locations. Windscribe doesn’t sell specific locations in a country, though, so that extra dollar will purchase both Windflix locations. Plus, your monthly limit will be increased by 10GB for each location you add.

There’s even an option to purchase unlimited data, which, like purchasing other locations, is only $1 extra per month. Though Windscribe’s paid service is cheap enough, building your own Hulu streaming plan is even cheaper. When it’s all said and done, you can stream as much Hulu as you want for as little as $2 per month.

Windscribe’s value is unmatched, and though it isn’t perfect in every regard, it makes a strong argument with how low the price is. You can learn more in our Windscribe review or sign up for a free plan to try it yourself.


Pros:

  • Excellent free plan
  • Optimized streaming servers
  • Extra privacy features

Cons:

  • Annoying interface
  • Not the fastest
Starts from $ 370 per month
Free plan available

Final Thoughts

Hulu has a tough shell to crack, but the providers listed above make quick work of its proxy block. It’s getting more difficult to find a VPN for streaming as the blocking methods become more sophisticated. That said, our picks above have continually proven that they’ll access Hulu, Netflix or any other streaming platform, so you’re in good hands.

If streaming is one of the main reasons you want a VPN — and we assume that it is — check out our streaming archive. There, you’ll find other roundups and guides for watching the latest movies and TV shows online, and, in most cases, for free.

Do you agree that CyberGhost is the best VPN for Hulu? Tell us why or why not in the comments below, and, as always, thanks for reading.

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