How to watch Hulu with ExpressVPN: ultimate guide
Hulu has one of the richest libraries among the many streaming services but, sadly, it’s region-restricted and only viewers in the US and Japan can access it. For the rest of us, we’ll need the help of a VPN to issue a US IP address, so that we can bypass the geo-blocks and stream Hulu from anywhere. A high-quality VPN like ExpressVPN works perfectly with Hulu.
Now, with content like The Bear, Rick and Morty, and Abbott Elementary as well as Hulu’s long list of other TV shows, movies, and demand channels at stake, there’s no room for error. Fortunately, ExpressVPN is well-equipped for the job with over 3,000 high-speed servers, 8 simultaneous connections, SmartDNS, and more. Plus, it’s effortless to use.
In this article, we’ll walk you through exactly how to use ExpressVPN with Hulu and how to tackle any issues that might pop up. Let’s dive right in.
How to watch Hulu with ExpressVPN: a quick guide
- Install ExpressVPN on your device.
- Connect to a US or Japan server.
- Head over to Hulu to log in or create a new account.
- Enjoy streaming!
Hulu not working with ExpressVPN: what to do?
Hulu is known to crack down hard on VPN usage and, occasionally, even the most powerful VPNs can’t escape unscathed from its restrictions. So, there could be rare instances where you might find Hulu not working with ExpressVPN.
So, here are some fixes that you can try when you come across ExpressVPN not working with Hulu:
1. Double-check your IP
First, let’s start with the simplest solution: double-check if your IP address has actually changed. The easiest way to do this is by searching for something on Google. Next, go ahead and scroll down to the bottom of the results page. This is where you’ll see your current location according to Google.
If it’s showing your actual location, you are not connected to ExpressVPN. In that case, you can quickly resolve this by reconnecting with ExpressVPN. Once done, try unblocking Hulu again.
2. Try connecting to different servers
Hulu is very vigilant when it comes to VPN usage. And, while it might not be able to ban ExpressVPN entirely, it can, however, block its IP addresses. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for this since it’s a server-specific issue and all you need to do is find an IP that hasn’t been blacklisted.
So, to watch Hulu with ExpressVPN again, simply switch to a different US server to get a new IP address. This should be an easy enough task since ExpressVPN has servers in over two dozen locations across the US.
Once you’re done connecting to a new server, refresh your browser. You should find the ExpressVPN and Hulu duo working seamlessly again.
3. Clear your browser's cache
If you’re still striking out and missing your favorite shows because Hulu is not working with ExpressVPN, the problem could lie in your browser’s cache. Your actual IP address is likely stored in your browser’s cache and Hulu could detect it. In that case, Hulu would block you from accessing its content library.
To rectify this, you’ll need to clear your browser’s cache and delete cookies. The actual steps to do so might vary slightly depending on your browsers and devices but you can typically find the option in settings.
For instance, just press control + shift + delete if you use Google Chrome. Alternatively, click on the three dots in the upper right corner, click “more tools,” and hit “clear browsing data.”
Or, click here for a detailed guide on how to clear browser cookies and cache on different browsers and devices.
4. Reset the DNS settings to default
While not very common, your DNS settings could also be the obstacle standing in the way of ExpressVPN and Hulu. If you have custom DNS settings, you might not be able to access Hulu with ExpressVPN.
In light of this, resetting the DNS settings to default could be your answer. ExpressVPN advises that you can use 220.127.116.11 as the Preferred DNS server and 18.104.22.168 as the Alternate DNS server. Both are OpenDNS’ secure DNS servers.
5. Update your ExpressVPN app on desktop
By default, ExpressVPN’s mobile apps will automatically update to the latest version available. However, that’s not the case with its desktop apps.
So, you’ll have to be the one to make sure that you have the latest version of its desktop app as this could fix the problem of Hulu not working on ExpressVPN. This is because running the latest version of the app could help with compatibility issues, performance, efficiency, and security.
To update your ExpressVPN desktop app, go ahead and uninstall your current ExpressVPN app. Then, head over to ExpressVPN’s website to download the latest version. The provider has desktop apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
6. Get a dedicated IP address
A dedicated IP is essentially a static IP address that is all yours. Since you’re the only one using the IP and it doesn’t change willy-nilly, it’s less conspicuous to Hulu. In turn, this means that your IP address is less likely to be detected and blocked.
However, like most VPNs, ExpressVPN doesn’t offer dedicated IPs. Instead, its IP addresses are rotated to boost privacy and anonymity by making it harder to trace online activities back to a specific user.
Now, it’s for you to decide if a dedicated IP address is worth the risk. If it’s worth the gamble to you, there are VPN services that offer static IP as a paid add-on. Check out our article on some of the best VPNs with dedicated IPs.
7. Change your protocol on ExpressVPN
To put it simply, a VPN protocol is a set of rules that dictates how your device connects to a VPN server. According to ExpressVPN, it’s best to use its Automatic protocol option, which is already selected by default.
However, at the same time, ExpressVPN also recommends tweaking the protocol as one of its troubleshooting methods. After all, the protocols’ different encryption algorithms and tunneling methods could yield different results with Hulu.
So, if you find that ExpressVPN is not working with Hulu, you can try the other protocols in this order:
- Lightway – TCP
- Lightway – UDP
- OpenVPN – TCP
- OpenVPN – UDP
Why choose ExpressVPN to unblock Hulu?
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs to bypass different platforms’ geo-restrictions — including the intricate ones imposed by Hulu — from anywhere in the world. If you’re outside of the US or Japan, we’d absolutely recommend using ExpressVPN with Hulu. Here’s why you should choose ExpressVPN to unblock Hulu:
- Vast US server network. ExpressVPN has servers in over 20 locations in the United States, which means that you’ll almost certainly have no trouble finding one for Hulu. And, if you ever want to switch to another streaming service like Netflix, ExpressVPN’s over 3,000 servers in 94 countries would come in incredibly handy to access different content libraries, too.
- Excellent speeds. ExpressVPN has great speeds especially if you’re using its proprietary Lightway protocol or OpenVPN UDP. You’ll be able to binge all your much-awaited Hulu content without buffering.
- 8 simultaneous devices. The provider allows 8 simultaneous connections. So, you can install the VPN app and stream Hulu on all of your devices or even share with family members and friends.
- SmartDNS. The VPN has a SmartDNS feature called MediaStreamer that helps to unblock geo-restricted content on devices that don’t support VPN apps natively. With the feature, you can stream Hulu on all sorts of devices, including smart TVs and gaming consoles.
- Prevent ISP throttling. Many internet service providers (ISPs) intentionally slow down your internet when they detect high bandwidth activities like streaming. However, if you use ExpressVPN with Hulu, the VPN will encrypt your traffic so that your ISP won’t be able to see your online activities and make you a target of their throttling efforts.
Can I watch Hulu free with ExpressVPN free trial?
You can certainly use ExpressVPN's free trial to access Hulu at zero cost but bear in mind that you’ll still have to pay for a Hulu account. For its ad-supported plan, you’ll need to pay $7.99/month or $79.99/year. Alternatively, you can also get rid of the ads by paying $14.99/month.
That said, there’s a short-term workaround where you don’t have to pay a single cent. Here, you’ll have to make full use of the 30-day money-back guarantee and free trial offered by ExpressVPN and Hulu, respectively.
What ExpressVPN server to use for Hulu?
At the time of writing, Hulu is only available in the United States and Japan. Now, Hulu USA and Hulu Japan are two entirely different platforms, so this should be taken into account when you’re considering what ExpressVPN server to use for Hulu.
If you want to stream Hulu USA, you’ll need to pick a server from ExpressVPN’s 20+ locations in the United States. This includes its servers in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Washington DC. Meanwhile, the ExpressVPN location for Hulu Japan is more limited but you can still choose from four different server options.
If you have trouble deciding between the two Hulu versions, know that the most distinct difference between them is only in terms of content. The American version has a bigger and more diverse content library. Meanwhile, Hulu Japan is understandably geared more toward the Japanese audience. It houses mostly Japanese films and TV shows.
Does Hulu work on ExpressVPN free trial?
Yes, Hulu works on ExpressVPN’s free trial. The VPN service has a 7-day free trial for Android and iOS devices. Here’s how you can get the free trial:
- Head to the Play Store or the App Store and search for ExpressVPN.
- Download the app.
- Hit the bright green “Start 7-Day Free Trial” button and then click “Subscribe.”
- Fill in the details and allow ExpressVPN to add VPN configurations.
- Make full use of your 7-day free trial.
If you’re on iOS, you don’t have to provide your payment details at all. However, if you’re on Android instead, you’ll be automatically charged if you don’t cancel the free trial before the 7-day period is up.
To get a better feel of ExpressVPN, you can also take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee for a longer risk-free trial window. You have full access to all of its features and you can get a refund if the VPN is not to your liking.
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Does Hulu work with ExpressVPN?
Yes, Hulu works seamlessly with ExpressVPN so that you can stream from anywhere. It bypasses Hulu’s sophisticated geo-blocks with ease and its fast speeds also ensure buffer-free streaming sessions. All you need to do is install ExpressVPN, connect to a US server, and head to Hulu to enjoy your shows.
How does Hulu know that I'm using a VPN?
Hulu knows that you’re using a VPN because it blacklists certain IP addresses used by VPN services. You’ll see the Hulu proxy error message if your VPN’s IP address is blocked. To solve this, switch to a different US server to get a fresh IP address that hasn’t been blacklisted by Hulu.
Is it illegal to use ExpressVPN to watch Hulu?
No, it’s not illegal to use ExpressVPN to watch Hulu. Although it’s against Hulu’s terms and conditions, you won’t face any changes and your account won’t be suspended. However, you’ll need to make sure that VPN usage is legal in your country as it’s outlawed in certain countries like North Korea and Belarus.