If you are using a virtual private network (vpn) to access the US-based media streaming website Hulu, you may have received a notification in the last week instead of access to the contents the site offers.
Hulu has apparently started to block IP addresses of VPN networks, and while the company has not published any information about it on the official website, it has likely been done to block access to contents from unsupported regions.
As with many streaming services, contents are restricted to geographical locations. In the case of Hulu, that means the United States.
If you try to watch a stream from another location, you will receive information that the video library can only be watched from within the United States.
A virtual private network is one option to get around that restriction, as it tunnels your connection using an IP address in the US so that it appears to originate from a supported location.
The full message that you may have received while using a VPN reads:
Based on your IP address, we noticed you are trying to access Hulu through an anonymous proxy tool. Hulu is not currently available outside the U.S. If you're in the U.S., you'll need to disable your anonymizer to access videos on Hulu.
If you think you're receiving this message in error, please submit this form.
One of the issues here is that Hulu will also block users from the U.S. who use a VPN service to improve their privacy or connectivity to the service.
So what can you do if you are affected by this?
While some VPN IP addresses have been blocked, it appears that not all of them have. While it is not clear if it will stay this way or if Hulu will add IPs to the blocklist, you may be able to get an IP assigned to you that still works.
According to Torrentfreak, dedicated IP addresses, an add-on service that some VPN providers offer, can be a solution as they are exclusive to the user they are assigned to.
One service that appears to offer those is Torguard.
Another option that you have is to try other vpn providers to find out if they are blocked or not. This may however be only a temporary solution depending on how willed Hulu is to block additional IP addresses and providers.
Have another option? Lets hear it in the comment section below.