How to Watch Hulu in Germany
Updated: November 10, 2016
- Start with getting a VPN account setup
- Next, download and install VPN software onto device(s) you want to watch Hulu in Germany on
- Open VPN software then connect to US-based server location
- Login to your Hulu account or signup for one if you don't have one already
- Enjoy Hulu in Germany
How to watch Hulu in Germany in more detail:
After spending a lot of my days dreaming of taking "just one more" trip around Europe, I finally jumped at the opportunity to visit Berlin, Germany just a few weeks ago.
To me, Berlin is the absolute pinnacle of "kitsch" and "grunge" as far as European cities go. So I was super excited to visit it for the first time in years. However, since I arrived late, my first immediate activity was incredibly important: to catch up on my favourite Hulu TV shows!
I was ready to watch 'my shows' as soon as I arrived at my AirBnB in Berlin. However, I was shocked to see that when I opened Hulu to start viewing -- I was blocked for accessing it. What the heck?!
Not one to back down from a problem like this, I immediately set to figure out why and how Hulu was not offering giving me access. I quickly figured it out and got a solution set in place so I could unblock Hulu in Germany without any technical expertise.
Here's exactly how I did this, condensed into a super quick guide for you to go through in less than 5 minutes!
Why is Hulu Not Available in Germany?
First things first, let's explain exactly why Hulu blocks access from anyone attempting to access the service from outside the US and Japan.
The reason for this heavy restriction basically comes down to licensing rights agreed upon between Hulu and the production company's that own all the media Hulu offer on their service. So Hulu will pay for licensing rights to let them offer their media to users in the US and Japan, but not any other country (as then they would have to buy licensing rights for each additional country they want to offer their service in).
Essentially, Hulu are not willing to fork up the money to buy licensing rights allowing their users to access the service from countries outside the US and Japan. This means that Germany is no exception. Boo!
How is Hulu Blocking Access in Germany?
Now we get to the interesting part! In order to understand why the solution I lay out is so effective, I will explain to you exactly how Hulu knows which users to give access to the service and which ones to block.
Hulu uses a process known as geo-blocking. Geo-blocking can be imagined like a virtual bouncer that checks every single user that tries to use the service; checks their location; then grants or denies access to Hulu based on that information.
Let's face it -- no one really likes bouncers, but they are necessary evil right? Wrong! I was determined to figure out how to trick this bouncer to unblock Hulu in Germany while I was there. So I determined how Hulu figures out my location: my IP address.
You see, your IP address tells Hulu where you are accessing the service from. So if you're in Germany then your IP address will reflect this and Hulu will check and deny their service because of this.
Therefore, if you can change your IP address to make your location "appear" within the US or Japan, Hulu will believe your IP address and give you access, letting you watch all your favourite Hulu media from the comfort of your German location!
IMPORTANT: I went through quite a few methods to changing my IP address, but Hulu has clearly put a lot of time and research into making their "bouncer" very good at determining whether you are using an IP address 'manipulator' or not:
Thus, many methods simply won't work to unblock Hulu.
However! Although Hulu is aware of using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), these awesome pieces of software are still ahead of Hulu, and thus if you choose one wisely, you will be able to fully unblock Hulu in Germany securely, quickly, and consistently.
So I went ahead and researched to determine the VPNs that are still able to unblock Hulu, and narrowed down my choice to ExpressVPN. Thus, I'll be using this VPN as the example VPN to explain the quick setup guide below.
How to Use a VPN to Watch Hulu in Germany
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
Firstly, you want to head over to the ExpressVPN website (click the button below) and then choose the plan that best suits you out of the three that they offer.
Once you've done that and confirmed your account setup, which only takes a few minutes, you will be ready to download the software. Here's how straight forward the sign up process looks with ExpressVPN:
As you can see, you have plenty options to make payment through, including Bitcoin, which is an ideal payment method if you care about protecting your online privacy (as Bitcoin leaves no paper trail back to you from the purchase.)
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
To download and install the VPN software, you literally just follow the steps laid out for you clearly by the VPN provider. For example, with ExpressVPN, in your account confirmation email you are promptly directed to the download area, which automatically highlights to download link for the software compatible with the device you're currently on.
VPNs are compatible with practically every device you would ever consider watching Hulu in Germany on, which makes them a brilliant solution for this problem. Check out the list of ExpressVPN's compatible devices below:
Once you click on the appropriate download link, the software will automatically download then ask you to go through the installation process.
Like I said, zero tech expertise is required for this. You just simply follow the few steps by clicking "Next" when asked on screen until the software installs itself on to your device.
When the VPN software is installed, you want to open it up and get ready to connect to your VPN!
Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN
This is the all important step in the process; connecting to the server through your VPN that will change your IP address and bypass Hulu's sophisticated geo-blocking checker.
So you want to make sure you select a US-based server location from the list of global locations presented to you in the VPN software. For example, here's how simple it is for me to connect to a New York based server on my ExpressVPN software on my Macbook:
And since I like to have my smartphone ready for watching some Hulu on the go, I also downloaded the free ExpressVPN app from the Google Play Store and here's how straight forward it is to connect to the VPN on my Android mobile device:
Step 4: Setup Hulu Account
This step is optional. If you already have a Hulu account fully setup (like me, since I am based in the US), then you are ready to watch Hulu in Germany! Go ahead and access Hulu now.
If you do not yet have a Hulu account setup then once connected to a US location on your VPN, you want to go to Hulu.com once and go through the sign up process. You will be required to give a valid Zip code, which you can find by Googling this no problem.
Once you have a Hulu account set up, it's time to watch Hulu in Germany!
And there you have it. A quick guide and walkthrough on how to watch Hulu in Germany by using a VPN.
I mentioned that I checked out a bunch of VPNs before narrowing down the few that are ahead of Hulu and still give you access to the service from Germany. So to give you some more options, here are the top five VPNs I found that unblock Hulu in Germany:
Check them out and go with the one that works best for you and your specific budget. If you have any questions or feedback at all on this quick guide, go ahead and let me know by commenting below.