If you live in Canada, you can’t access Hulu’s library of movies and TV shows– unless you know the trick I’m about to reveal. Read on to find out how to get Hulu in Canada.
Why is Hulu blocking Canadians?
In order to understand why Hulu is blocking Canadians, you have to first understand how licensing works. Hulu executives don’t have a problem with Canadians. They just want to keep their lucrative licensing contracts from falling apart. When a new TV show or movie comes out, the studio that produced it sells broadcast licenses to anyone who wants to buy them.
For example, let’s say that 20th Century Fox just came out with a new comedy movie called Funny Phil. First, 20th Century Fox would try to get Funny Phil into movie theaters. To do that, they have to sell the right to play Funny Phil to various theater chains. Whichever theater purchased the broadcast rights to Funny Phil would gain the ability to play it and charge money for it.
If Funny Phil was only showing at the movies, it would make sense for theater owners to buy the rights to it. But if cable broadcasters were already playing Funny Phil on cable TV, hardly any theater owners would buy a license to play it.
The same concept applies to new content distribution channels like Hulu and Netflix. Why would anyone pay a premium fee to a cable company to watch Funny Phil if everyone could watch it for cheap or for free on Hulu?
Because different countries have different broadcasters, licensing timetables move at different speeds. It takes time for the suits upstairs to sort out the details of who gets to broadcast what.
Streaming technology offered by companies like Hulu and Netflix are disruptive. They make it harder to control who gets to watch what. So in order to preserve the old business model, executives are forcing Hulu and Netflix to implement content “geo-blocks.”
How is Hulu blocking Canadians?
Hulu’s geo-block is actually quite simple. Basically, a geo-block is just a simple IP address filter. Every machine on the Internet has a unique IP address. Computers can’t communicate without them. IP addresses help information flow from point A to point B. If you try to load the Hulu page from a computer that has a Canadian IP address, you get geo-blocked. But if your computer has an American IP address, you can easily watch Hulu from Canada.
The easiest way to change your computer’s Canadian IP address into an American one is to get a VPN. If you logon to an American VPN server, it’ll look like you’re located in the United States when you go online. Once you’ve got an American IP address, you’ll be able to access not only Hulu but also all the other licensed content that’s only available in the United States.
Can Hulu block VPNs?
VPN servers are not immune to geo-blocks. VPN servers are computers on the internet, just like yours. They have IP addresses, too. And they can be geo-blocked.
Hulu and Netflix have both tried to block out various popular VPN providers. But they haven’t been successful.
Unlike physical mailing addresses, VPN IP address are not permanent. Any VPN service provider can easily change all their servers’ IP addresses. All it takes is a few simple commands.
So long as the VPN service provider is willing to play “whack-a-mole,” it can react to and overcome any type of block that Hulu tries to implement.
We’ve identified several VPN services that are responsive when it comes to helping their customers avoid geo-blocks.
Can Hulu block Canadian credit cards?
Yes– but there is a workaround.
In order to keep out Canadians that use a VPN to access Hulu, the company has decided to ban the use of Canadian credit cards.
If you don’t have an American credit card, you can buy a Hulu gift card for yourself and purchase your subscription with that. Once you create your account, you’ll be able to logon to Hulu as long as you use a VPN to do so.
Please note that we are not responsible for any issues you have with purchasing a gift card from eBay. As always, use caution when dealing with sellers.
Which VPN service is the best one for accessing Hulu from Canada?
You have to be wise about the VPN service you choose if you want to get to Hulu content from Canada.
As mentioned above, some VPN services are very responsive to blocks. But others don’t react at all.
My personal favorite VPN service is IPVanish. But unfortunately, IPVanish does not react to geo-blocks. That’s the reason why I don’t use IPVanish when I want to get to American streaming content sites like Hulu and Netflix.
When I want to get to Hulu and other sites that offer United States exclusive content, I use StrongVPN.
StrongVPN always reacts to geo-blocks quickly to ensure that their customers always have access to American content. When Netflix or Hulu update their block list, we’ve found that StrongVPN tends to react as soon as they know that there is a problem.
5 Day Money Back Guarantee
According to StrongVPN’s FAQ page, you can get your money back if you aren’t satisfied by their VPN service.
Once you get a StrongVPN account, just login and verify for yourself that you can get to Hulu. If there are any problems, you can cancel.
StrongVPN is one of several different VPN services that we recommend here at AddonHQ. StrongVPN is a bit slow compared to IPVanish. However, IPVanish does not respond to geo-blocks. That’s why we think that StrongVPN is the best solution for people seeking to find out how to get Hulu in Canada.
I use IPVanish for general purpose browsing. But when I want to watch Hulu, I pull up StrongVPN.
Good Things About StrongVPN
- Positive reviews from by many authoritative news sites. TechRadar, The Sydney Morning Herald, PC Tech Magazine, Irish Times, Hong Kong Free Press and many others have given StrongVPN great reviews.
- Hundreds of US-based VPN servers. Hulu easily block VPN services that only have one or two American VPN servers. But StrongVPN has a hundreds of servers in the United States– and they’re adding more every day.
- Configurable port settings. “Cookie cutter” VPN services always use port 1194. Blocking one port is even easier to block than an IP address– all it requires is the press of a button. Because StrongVPN customers can choose their own port, they are much harder for Hulu to block.
- Obfuscation mode. One really cool thing about StrongVPN is obfuscation mode. When StrongVPN users access Hulu with obfuscation mode on, there is no way for StrongVPN’s computer guys to figure out that your connection is running through a VPN.
There are tons of fly-by-night VPN services that help Canadians get to Hulu. However, not all of them are safe– and some of them don’t even work at all.
StrongVPN, on the other hand, has been around since 1995. They’ve received reviews from legitimate news organizations like TechRadar, The Sydney Morning Herald, PC Tech Magazine, Irish Times, Hong Kong Free Press and many more.
Another thing we really like about StrongVPN is the fact that they’ve got a huge amount of VPN servers that are located in the US. Each server has a unique IP address. That means that every time Hulu tries to block Canadian StrongVPN users, they have to enter in hundreds of IP addresses into their router’s blacklist.
Hulu rarely bothers to block StrongVPN servers anymore. Every time they do, StrongVPN changes their server IP addresses– and then the StrongVPN technology team has to re-update their firewall all over again. Subscribers of smaller VPN services tend to lose and gain access to Hulu on a regular basis.
Bad things about StrongVPN
Compared to other VPN services (like IPVanish, for example) StrongVPN does seem slow.
The reason for the slight lag is probably the fact that there are extra levels of encryption for the server to sort out.
You can use Hulu normally with StrongVPN, but you may have to wait a few extra seconds longer than you normally would for your TV show or movie to buffer.
What are other publications saying about StrongVPN?
Here are just a few positive comments from other web publications that have reviewed Strong VPN.
“Experienced users will appreciate StrongVPN’s configurability.” -TechRadar
“By using StrongVPN’s proxy, your account is rendered essentially invisible to your ISP.” – TopTenreviews
“StrongVPN offers exit points in an impressive 15 countries.” – Lifehacker
“Strong VPN’s customer support is top-notch.” – Deep dot web
Here are some additional StrongVPN benefits
How to Watch Hulu in Canada With StrongVPN
Is this your first time signing up for a VPN service? If so, don’t worry. Getting started is easy.
Just follow the instructions below to gain instant access to Hulu from Canada in 6 quick steps.
Step #1: Sign up for a StrongVPN account.
The first thing you have to do to get StrongVPN client is sign up for an account. You can pick from several different membership packages.
Tip: You can get a deep discount if you sign up for 12 years of service.
Step #2: Get your password
After sign up, StrongVPN will automatically send you your login credentials via email. Your first password will be randomly generated, but you can always change it to something that’s easier to remember later on.
Step #3: Download and install StrongVPN
After you’ll log in, you’ll reach a screen that looks like the one depicted below. Click the section labeled “StrongVPN Client” to get to the software download page.
After you pick the operating system that corresponds to the one you’re using, you’ll be able to download the StrongVPN installer to your desktop. From there, just follow the wizard’s instructions to complete the installation process.
Step #4: Open the StrongVPN client and login
The first time you open StrongVPN, you’ll need to type in (or copy-and-paste in) your login information and password. Of course, if you opt to allow StrongVPN to save your credentials, the next time you open StrongVPN you’ll be able to login with a single mouse click.
Step #5: Select any United States server from the server list
It’s a good idea to start with the server that’s closest to your location. If you live in Ottawa, try out one of StrongVPN’s NYC servers first. If you notice any lagging, switch your server to a different one and reconnect.
Once you’ve connected to a StrongVPN server, you should see an American flag appear in the left corner of the screen. You should also see the VPN STATUS: CONNECTED message to the right of the flag.
Step #6: Activate “Scramble”
StrongVPN‘s scramble mode adds an additional layer of privacy when you surf the web.
Navigate to the “Advanced” and click the menu entitled “Scramble.” Then, choose the “Obfuscate” option from the list to prevent Netflix’s servers from detecting that you’re using a VPN.
Will Amazon follow in Hulu’s footsteps?
Hulu and Netflix have stirred up controversy lately. Both streaming services have received criticism for implementing geo-blocks. But will Amazon be the next to place restrictions on what their customers can watch?
Lynn Schindler of Inferse.com thinks that it’s a possibility.
“Like Hulu, every company is making changes to lure more customers. Amazon Prime has signed deal with HBO for streaming movies, comedy specials and series. The move might boost the sale of its newly launched Amazon Fire TV.” – Lynn Schindler, Inferse.com