What you can do against Hulu's anonymous proxy tool block
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 Hulu appears to have blocked IP addresses of known VPN services, it has not yet blocked browser extensions such as Hola Unblocker or Media Hint which you can use as well to access Hulu.
Both do have issues, but you can work around them. Check out this guide for Hola, and this for Media Hint.
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.
If I can’t watch stuff on Hulu anymore, I’d just go to a place that can’t be kept at bay >_>
If they want to treat visitors using VPNs as pirates, so be it.
I also hope that when their popularity stock starts falling, they aren’t puzzled about it.
I can’t disagree. This attitude is nothing but destructive. Netflix seem to have a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell kind of policy when it comes to people accessing stuff from other regions, and I do not see why Hulu can’t follow suit. They are delivering their content and their ads to someone, so where that person is shouldn’t really matter. Perhaps content providers are pressuring them to maintain the artificial geo-restrictions, but that is short sighted and solely punitive to genuine customers. If a person can’t pay for Hulu or sit through ads to earn the content because they dare to use a VPN, then that’s a customer the company doesn’t even want and they have only themselves to blame when that person downloads a hassle-free, high-quality torrent in five minutes. You can’t complain about someone ‘stealing’ content you refuse to sell to them. Either accept their money or leave them alone; you’re not losing inventory either way. There’s zero upside to telling someone they can’t view a video because they’re in France or Zimbabwe.
A lot of content providers are simply not learning. This week, Joss Whedon released a new film for five bucks on Vimeo because somebody finally realised that making everybody wait for it to come to their town isn’t necessary when the Internet exists. Some people are adapting to the reality they live in, and some are determined to stick to the model of the past no matter how much damage it does to them. I don’t really understand it: they are trying to cost themselves money and good will out of their addiction to controlling how and when people view things. It’s bad for business, even pure greed should drive them in a different direction.
To be fair, it’s highly improbable that it was Hulu who decided they have to figure out a way to get rid of that little extra income… Netflix might soon follow suit.
I still don’t understand why people jump through so many hoops to be able to buy stuff. Content providers don’t want distribute their stuff and get paid for it? Too bad. There’s tons of people willing to do it for them…
>>> Netflix might soon follow suit…
Here(http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/media-streams-spark-piracy-row-over-copyright/story-e6frgakx-1226078817583), Netflix said “accessing its content outside the US amounted to piracy”(…Calling their paid subscribers “pirates” sounds to me as if they are stating that they are selling pirated contents, BTW).
Also, this might have something to do with this(http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/02/netflix-slow-on-verizon-or-comcast-a-vpn-might-speed-up-that-video/).
Anyway, if JohnMWhite’s another comment below is true, they are claerly breaking WTO’s free trade agreements or competition law and anti-trust laws of many free countires!
So, tell them “Don’t call VPN users “pirates”. It is you who are the wrongdoers, Netflix and Hollywood! Stop defaming us, or we’ll sue you!”
I am going to cancel hulu. Everyone else should also cancel in protest over freedom of remaining discrete, I don’t like that company telling me that I have disclose my IP address
As someone that uses VPN and proxies and whom is also a business owner that advertises on Hulu I understand the reasoning behind blocking them. I want to be able to advertise my local business to only those in a certain radius. If I was paying to advertise and had to worry about ads being played for people a couple states or even countries away my ROI would be unreliable. If only the largest national brands/companies advertised then this wouldn’t be a top priority for Hulu. Just wanted to play devils advocate for a sec.
Why can’t I watch shows on hulu anymore keep getting messages blocking me from watching shoes what can I do
i am just about to contact Hulu to cancel my subscription. i was pretty happy about being able to watch before work/at lunch/after work, as i don’t have a computer at home.
i’ll just look around for another means of catching tv shows.
Use Puffin on your mobile. It has flash and thousands of proxies, with new ones frequently being added. Puffinbrowser.com, Google Play, and app store.
DNS services like Unotelly seem to be working with Hulu.
wah, new summary section
I don’t understand why copyright holders try to make it so cut and dry in the first place. What about our friends and family overseas who want to access something like Netflix? A lot of people gift subscriptions so that they can feel a little piece of home. What about those of us travelling or temporarily living abroad? We pay them for the service, we just happen to be ‘on the go’.
You know what REALLY grinds my gears though? The restrictions placed on devices streaming content. One time i wanted to watch ‘The Raid’ and decided to try out Amazon’s streaming rental system. It says you can stream it to all these devices, etc. Cool! So I went ahead and paid for it, and set up the app on my iPad. Then I hooked my iPad up to my television so I could watch it on a larger screen. NOPE! You’re NOT ALLOWED to do that. Even though I just paid for the convenience and rights to do so, you can only watch it on an iPad or what have you. You can’t then stream it to the TV. It’s against their copyright allowance. That was just awesome… *shakes head sadly*
The simple matter is, if someone is willing to pay you for the service… Let them have it. Who the hell cares if someone from X location outside of the US accesses it? They still PAY for it. Wouldn’t they want as many people from around the world paying them?
I prefer to watch shows in their original language and would pay for a service allowing me to do so. Problem is, there is no legal way for me to do so. I cannot get Netflix, Hulu or any of the other streaming services out there legally.
While I do not know how big that market is, I think it is very likely that I’m not the only one who would pay if only there was an option to do so.
I agree. I don’t understand why these firms (and the content providers) refuse to expand their market and refuse the money from potential viewers from other countries…
Aren’t you a US expat?
If so, you can try SlingBox, which some of my friends on service oversea are using…
BTW, I remember that you are the first one who introduced this method to the public, although I had been assuming it would work a long before that, since In2TV had come out…
Anyhow, I’ve never tried it because some comment on your post (by CR troll type person, I assume), suggesting that it could be illegal, which turned out pure lie, at least for paid users as ohcpt said, and I’ve lost completely interest in US TVs/movies since then.
Also, US TVs/movies lost much popularity these days in our country, which used to be said to be the 2nd biggest market for them.
So, what I wanted to say is, that they’d better not try to prevent people from getting(purchasing) their products for whatever reasons, or those people will lose business with them…
No, I’m German.
Sometimes the way these content providers work is that they don’t want someone from, say, Europe to be able to access a movie in the United States on Netflix because they have a better distribution deal in that person’s home country that forces the European viewer to pay $40 for the DVD. That’s why we have region-encoded DVDs, for example. It’s pure greed, but often their reach exceeds their grasp because they end up turning away paying customers over something they can’t even get in their own region, and now instead of some money they have zero money from that user for that content. At that point, even greed isn’t much of an explanation, just spiteful insistence on control.
What about H**u Plus customers who dare to pay and use the service trough now blocked vpn will they be able to cancel subscription?
Martin how did you know that MH still works I tried and it does not with H**u.
Maybe H**u wants vpn providers to pay them up under the table of course…imagine one dollar per customer monthly.
It baffles me that we have “geo restriction” in this day and age, it just shows the influence of the “Big Media” dinosaurs is still making content distribution evolve at a glacial pace.
Any company doing this MUST be boycotted. Please if you have paid ask for refund and cancel subscriptions. We need to tell these media terrorists that such behavior will not be tolerated.
I received the same message from Hulu. My Friend told me about PureVPN Smart DNS it works fine and i can still watch Hulu again with all its original
Had the same problem with HMA, but luckily had only few weeks left on my subscription so I switched to another relatively new provider called ZoogTV (http://zoogtv.com) and guess what it works! I hope they are not blocked any time soon by Hulu and their money hungry media bosses.
I’m sorry to report that ZoogTV could not get around the block for me. That screenshot you post above? Same thing I got with zoog. On my Android Phone I got a different kind of error message. Long story short, after working with their helpful support staff for a week, nothing worked. I had paid for a year membership and they charged me a 28% fee before giving me a refund, which if you ask me stinks considering they clearly advertise that their product works with Hulu.
Just an update to say that Zoog provided a nearly full refund after I worked with them.
I’m using ZoogTV VPN with Hulu without any issues. Speed is great from UK. I also use it for watching American Netflix on iPad and Mac.
I did what everyone should do: cancelled my subscription and told them exactly why. First they want you to pay them to watch commercials then they want you to give up your online security. I voted the only way they understand: with my wallet.
I’ve got the same annoying message and I’ve tried several VPN providers with no luck. However, one did work for me after initial setup – ZoogTV. More than happy with the streaming quality on my iPad and the service overall.
Great article Martin. VPN is good if you want to hide your real location. However, about content streaming, I prefer the DNS option. Currently, I am using UnoTelly and have no speed loss which allows me HD streaming with my 10mbps connection.
I’m using playmo.tv; it’s a bit tricky for HuluPlus (it’s best if you’ve got someone in the US who can buy Hulu gift cards for you), works like a charm with Netflix (they gladly accepted my ITALIAN credit card) and you can have Amazon Prime too. It seems like those guys are immune to Hulu’s blocking (so far, at least!)
What the heck do you do if they do this to you when you ARE in the US? I’m in freaking Florida, I’ve paid my bill, and they’re refusing me service. I’m pissed.
I’m in Florida also I’m pisssec Off
Looks like Hulu just lost a long time customer. I’m taking my money to Netflix.
Using a VPS with a dedicated IP doesn’t work – I hardly ever use my US VPS for streaming video yet it’s been blocked. They seem to be blocking entire ranges owned by ISPs, not just over-utilised ones.
I’m an American serving my country overseas – and using a VPN with Hulu ws the only way I could stay connected to U.S. television. They just started blocking my service too. I pay for Hulu, so I do not see how they feel I am untitled to watch the shows I pay for. I’m unsubscribing from them.
“I still donâ€™t understand why people jump through so many hoops to be able to buy stuff. Content providers donâ€™t want distribute their stuff and get paid for it? Too bad. Thereâ€™s tons of people willing to do it for themâ€¦”
Because it is the only way people in non English speaking countries can access good English entertainment. The publishing and entertainment industries are slow to grasp globalization. Most expats would pay more to get US tv and movies.
Until now, vpn connection is still the best way to access inaccessible sites like Hulu and Netflix. Been with Astrill for years now and never have to miss any of my fave shows.
Astrill indeed rules in the vpn world. I used purevpn for 2 months and it was terrible. I asked for refund and switched to Astrill. Very happy now that I can watch all my netflix series wherever I am.
I have no idea about the VPN or Proxy all I know is that I have been able to watch then today I can’t this is bull that you all did this I cancelled Netflix for the same thing I am paying for to watch Hulu I don’t care how I get to watch it this is stupidest thing they have done they better get this fixed.
I CAN NOT ACCESS MY HULU ACCOUNT YOU KEEP SAYING I AM USING AN ANONOMOUS PROXY TOOL. I DONT EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT IS . AND YOU SAY MY E-MAIL IS WRONG WELL FOR YOUR INFO STUPID I HAVE HAD THIS -MAIL FOR 25 YEARS.SO GUESS AGAIN.
I AM CANCELLING MY SUBSCRIPTION TO HULU. I REFUSE TO PAY FOR SOMETHING I DO NOT GET. AND I LIVE IN OHIO. NOT A FOREIGN COUNTRY. CHECK YOUR DAMN MAP.
I am not using any kind of proxy or anonymizer. I was watching shows one day and not allowed to watch the next. And Hulu is less than helpful in this area. The issue is with Hulu and not my side.