How to get Hulu Plus in UK
Updated: December 12, 2016
- Firstly get a VPN account setup
- Then install the VPN software onto the device you want to watch Hulu Plus in UK from
- Next, open the software and connect to a server location where Hulu Plus in available (e.g. USA)
- Then login to your Hulu Plus account or sing up for an account if you haven't already
- Enjoy Hulu Plus in UK
How to get Hulu Plus in UK in more detail:
When the opportunity to do a work placement with one of London’s most well-known tech companies came up, it was just too good an opportunity to turn down. Everyone talks about Silicon Valley, but the fact is that London is a growing tech hub and I was keen to experience the buzz there.
It helped that my girlfriend was British and the opportunity to move back to the UK with me for a while was one she liked… she didn’t get to see her family as much as she would like. So we packed up and headed for Shoreditch.
If you haven’t visited Shoreditch, you must go. It is the coolest part of London, with awesome nightlife, cool cafes and restaurants, and really interesting people. Our pad was a short walk from my office, and a half hour tube journey from my girlfriend’s family home. Everything was perfect, apart from one thing. British TV sucks!
When we had a night in, all I like to do is crash on the sofa, eat chips (crisps here) and watch whatever show takes my fancy… comedy, drama, horror, it’s all good to me. In the US I use Hula, just the best streaming service with the best shows from everywhere. In London though it was blocked. Fortunately, it didn’t take me long to work out how to get it going, and all I needed was a VPN.
Why is Hulu Plus not Available in the UK?
First, let me explain why I couldn’t just log into my Hulu Plus account as usual. As you can see from the error message above, the issue is one of rights. As a streaming service, Hulu has to buy the rights of the shows it supplies from the Production companies. These rights are sold on a country-by-country basis, and whilst Hulu owns the rights to stream their shows in the USA, they may well not hold them for the UK.
This means that if their service is available, they would be breaking the rights agreements which their business model so depends on. Therefore, they have to block their service, even for users who hold an existing subscription in the US. And to do this they use a technique known as geo-blocking.
How is Hulu Plus Blocking Access in the UK?
What is geo-blocking. Well it’s a really simple piece of technology which allows a site to restrict access to users depending on where in the world they are. To find this out it reads your IP Address. This is a set of data every internet user transmits to every site they visit and which includes various pieces of information including pretty precise location data.
If this indicates that you are in the UK and not in the USA, Hula Plus knows this, and blocks you from using their service. The only way to get access again is to log in with an IP Address that says you are in the USA. Therefore, you have to find a way to fool the software into thinking you are somewhere you are not, and this is what a VPN can help you do.
A VPN reroutes your internet traffic via an external server and it is the IP Address of this server that Hulu Plus sees. If the server is in the US, Hulu Plus will work, regardless of where you are. It’s really that simple and I will explain below precisely how to do it.
How to Use a VPN to Watch US Netflix in UK
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
So first, you will need to sign up for a VPN. Have used a lot of these over the years and my pick for streaming video is always is ExpressVPN.
So you will need to visit the ExpressVPN website which you can do by clicking a link on this page.
Once there, you will have the choice of a number of different subscription packages. Choose the one which best suits your requirements, and you will then be diverted to the payment processing page, where you can set up your payment using a number of different, internationally recognized, methods. Don’t worry. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied.
Once you have paid, you will need to confirm your account with ExpressVPN, which you will do by clicking the link in an email they send you.
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
Once you have confirmed your account, you will be asked to download and install the ExpressVPN software. All you have to do is pick the correct Operating System for your device from the menu you can see below and then follow the simple instructions to download and install it.
This should only take a couple of minutes at the most, and once it has finished the software should open automatically.
Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN
Once the software has opened, you will be presented with the very user-friendly ExpressVPN interface – you can see the one I use on my Android phone below.
All that is left for you to do is connect to one of their US-based servers. There are a number to choose from and it doesn’t matter which one you opt for.
Click on your chosen server and wait a few moments for ExpressVPN to establish a connection. Here's a quick snapshot of the connection process on an Android device:
Step 4: Setup Hulu Plus Account
And that is it. Log into Hulu Plus as usual, and you are ready to crash back on the sofa and open those Lays (Walkers in the UK!).
The last step is only if you don’t already have a Hulu account, because obviously you will need to visit their site and set one up.
To do this you will usually need access to a US Credit card, but if you don’t have one, there are a number of other options. You can buy a prepaid Hulu card on the internet from a variety of different outlets. You can also use a US Paypal Account, although there have been some rumors that this method doesn’t always work. And you can also use a Vanilla Mastercard to make payment.
Once your account is all set up, you are all ready to enjoy the wonder that is Hulu Plus.
It really is a simple as that, and for me it is an absolute no brainer for anyone living in the UK, as Hulu is just above and beyond every other streaming service.
Do leave any comments or questions you may have about this article in the box below. I always enjoy hearing about your experiences.
And if you are not a fan of ExpressVPN (or don’t trust my recommendation) there are of course plenty of other VPN providers on the market. Above you will see my pick of the Top 5 for getting Hulu Plus in the UK.