Private Internet Access not working with Hulu

If you’ve been watching Hulu outside the US with Private Internet Access (PIA) and it’s stopped working, you could be running into a number of issues. However, it’s most likely because the VPN blocking methods Hulu uses to stop VPNs from accessing its platform, have managed to block all the IP addresses PIA has given you.

This has happened because PIA’s measures to stay one step ahead of Hulu’s VPN blocks are no longer working. But the good news is although PIA isn’t working with Hulu, there are a number of fixes you can try to resolve the problem.

This article will explain how to fix Private Internet Access not working with Hulu.

Private Internet Access not working with Hulu: Fixes

Total Time: 5 minutes

  1. Check if your VPN works on another device

    Private Internet Access not working with Hulu

    This is the easiest thing you can do to figure out what you need to do next. If PIA works with Hulu on your smartphone, but not your computer, then you know your VPN isn’t the problem. If your VPN does work on one device, jump to Step 3 below.

  2. Contact PIA’s live chat service

    Private Internet Access not working with Hulu

    This is another easy one. Cycle through your VPN’s available servers. If you only have a few options available to you, go to the PIA website or your account and find the Live Chat feature. Here you can ask for a specific server number that works with Hulu.

    This is the single most effective way to diagnose if PIA is the problem or not. If they can’t point you towards a server that works with Hulu then you know, without doubt, that PIA is the reason you’re coming across this problem.

  3. Delete your cookies

    Private Internet Access not working with Hulu

    Deleting your cookies can potentially fix VPN issues. Accumulated or corrupted cookies in a browser might interfere with the way websites and online services function, especially when using a VPN like PIA.

    Clearing these cookies removes any old or problematic data, thereby ensuring a cleaner slate for your VPN connection to operate. This can help in establishing a more stable connection and resolving conflicts between PIA and streaming services like Hulu.

  4. Connect to a different US server

    Private Internet Access not working with Hulu

    If PIA has suddenly stopped working with Hulu, it might be because the IP address it has given you has been identified and blocked by the streaming service.

    Changing to a different US server will give you a different US IP address, and if that one hasn’t been blocked, PIA will work with Hulu again.

  5. Reinstall or update PIA

    Private Internet Access not working with Hulu

    Think of this as the classic “turn it on and off again” tactic. Removing PIA, and its settings, from your device and starting again is a good way to get the most up-to-date settings configured on your devices without much effort.

    If you don’t want to reinstall the software, you can always check to see if there’s an update available to download any fixes your service may have introduced.

  6. Switch VPN protocols

    Private Internet Access not working with Hulu

    VPN protocols are the beating heart of a VPN. They determine how the VPN works. When you use a VPN the protocol is responsible for hiding your data and rerouting it via VPN servers.

    If Hulu isn’t working with PIA, it might be because the protocol you’re using is no longer working with the service.

    PIA supports OpenVPN and Wireguard. Try changing between them see if that fixes the issue. Take a look at our VPN protocols article to discover more about which technology might be best for you.

  7. Upgrade your VPN

    Private Internet Access not working with Hulu

    If all of the above fails, you should consider upgrading to a high-end VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) or NordVPN ($3.79/month) for Hulu.

    For more information, check out our VPN list below to see which VPN suits your needs and budget.

Why does Hulu block Private Internet Access?

Hulu, like many other streaming services, employs geo-restrictions and tries to block VPN services, including Private Internet Access (PIA), to enforce licensing agreements and copyright laws.

Content providers often have contracts that limit where their content can be shown, and these contracts vary from country to country. By using a VPN like PIA, users can appear to be in a different location than they actually are, potentially accessing content that Hulu does not have the rights to distribute in their actual location.

Hulu actively detects and blocks the IP addresses associated with VPN services to comply with these licensing agreements. VPN services typically use a range of IP addresses that can be identified and blocked by streaming platforms. When Hulu identifies an IP address as belonging to a VPN, it will block access to its content to adhere to its contractual obligations with content providers.

How does Hulu block Private Internet Access?

Hulu, like many streaming platforms, uses several methods to block VPNs such as Private Internet Access (PIA) and maintain control over its geo-restricted content. These methods are part of their efforts to comply with licensing agreements that dictate where content can be shown. Here’s how Hulu might be blocking access through VPNs:

  1. IP Address Blocking: Hulu can identify and block the IP addresses used by VPN services. Since VPNs route your internet traffic through their servers, your IP address is replaced with one from the VPN. Streaming services maintain databases of known VPN IP addresses and block them. Because VPNs often use a limited range of shared IP addresses for many users, once Hulu identifies an IP address as belonging to a VPN, it can block all traffic from that address.
  2. Port Blocking: By monitoring for traffic patterns typical of VPN use, Hulu can block the ports used by VPN protocols. This method isn’t as common for targeting VPNs specifically but can be part of a broader network management strategy.
  3. Deep Packet Inspection (DPI): Hulu can use DPI to analyze the type of traffic and packets sent to their servers. DPI can distinguish between regular traffic and VPN-encrypted data, allowing Hulu to block VPN use. However, this method involves sophisticated technology and might not be the primary tool due to privacy concerns and the complexity of accurately identifying and blocking VPN traffic without affecting regular users.
  4. DNS Filtering: When you use a VPN, your DNS requests should also go through the VPN tunnel. However, if a VPN does not correctly route DNS requests, or if Hulu can detect discrepancies between IP locations and DNS responses, it might block access. This method relies on catching “DNS leaks” where the DNS request reveals the user’s actual location.

Does Hulu work with a VPN?

Yes, there are VPNs that can work with Hulu, but that’s because they use specific strategies to get around Hulu’s blocks. Here’s how they manage it:

  1. Changing IP Addresses Frequently: Good VPNs keep updating their IP addresses. When Hulu blocks one, the VPN switches to another new one that’s not on Hulu’s blacklist yet.
  2. Using Advanced Technology: Some VPNs use special technology to make their traffic look just like regular internet traffic. This makes it harder for Hulu to spot that you’re using a VPN.
  3. Offering Dedicated IP Addresses: A few VPNs offer the option to use a dedicated IP address that only you use. Since these IPs aren’t shared with lots of people, Hulu is less likely to recognize and block them.
  4. Regularly Testing Their Servers with Hulu: The best VPNs for Hulu regularly check their own servers to see if they can access Hulu. If they find a server that’s been blocked, they work to replace it or fix the issue.

So, while Hulu does a lot to block VPNs, there are still some VPNs that manage to stay one step ahead. These VPNs invest in technology and strategies specifically designed to avoid detection and blocking by Hulu.

The VPNs we recommend for Hulu when PIA isn’t working

1. NordVPN

An excellent, affordable, and fast VPN option for 2024

  • Affordable pricing
  • Effective streaming access
  • Diverse server types
  • Solid speeds
  • Useful add-ons
  • Strong security
  • Limited server locations
  • No virtual servers
NordVPN

Streaming: NordVPN excels with Hulu through its Double VPN feature, which routes your connection through two servers, adding an extra layer of obfuscation to avoid detection by Hulu’s VPN blocks.

Servers: NordVPN boasts over 5,500 servers worldwide, with a significant portion dedicated to the U.S., enabling a vast range of IP addresses for Hulu streaming. This extensive network allows NordVPN to offer consistent access to Hulu, even as IP addresses are detected and blocked.

Privacy: NordVPN’s secure connection and no-logs policy have been verified via three independent audits, including one by Deloitte. The audits have confirmed NordVPN’s adherence to its no-logs policy, ensuring user privacy.

Price: NordVPN offers three pricing plans: Complete, Plus, and Standard. The 2-year plan for the Standard package is priced at $3.19/month, the 1-year plan at $4.99/month, and the monthly plan at $12.99/month. It accepts major credit cards and various payment systems.

Speeds: Below is a table showing the speeds tested for NordVPN. From our tests in New Zealand, NordVPN displayed very good speeds, although slightly behind ExpressVPN, but significantly faster than many other VPNs on the market.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)937.07520.93
NordVPN US server710.906.98
NordVPN UK server531.123.73

Read our full NordVPN review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

2. ExpressVPN

The fastest and most reliable VPN of 2024

  • Physical servers in 104 countries
  • Brilliant for unblocking streaming services
  • Very high-speed Lightway protocol
  • Available on almost any device
  • Very secure
  • Pricey
  • Only 8 simultaneous devices
  • No addons
ExpressVPN

Streaming: ExpressVPN stands out for Hulu because of its Lightway protocol, offering fast speeds and seamless switching between IP addresses, making it harder for Hulu to detect and block its connections.

Servers: ExpressVPN shines for Hulu users with its strategically placed servers in 104 countries, including multiple locations across the U.S., ensuring you can always find a server near you for the best streaming speeds and reliability, crucial for bypassing Hulu’s geo-restrictions seamlessly.

Privacy: ExpressVPN’s privacy measures include passing independent audits by cybersecurity firms like Cure53 and F-Secure, ensuring a strong level of security and no significant weaknesses in its macOS, Linux, and Windows apps. More details can be found in the audit reports available online.

Price: ExpressVPN offers three payment plans: a 1-month option at $12.95/month, a 6-month option at $9.99/month, and a 12-month option at $6.67/month. Payment methods include major credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other systems, accommodating a wide range of users.

Speeds: ExpressVPN maintains high download speeds with minimal drop-off, ensuring efficient performance. Tests showed a slight decrease in upload speeds, but download speeds remained fast across various server locations, including the US, UK, and Vietnam.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
VPN off937.07520.93
ExpressVPN US server824.626.96
ExpressVPN UK server794.953.70
ExpressVPN Vietnam server761.903.81

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

3. PureVPN

A mid-range VPN that balances performance and price

  • Affordable
  • Unblocks major streaming services
  • Use on up to 10 devices simultaneously
  • Streamlined user interface
  • No log audit verified by KPMG
  • Several free add-ons
  • Buffering on BBC iPlayer at peak times
  • Past concerns with “no log” policy
PureVPN

Streaming: PureVPN offers a Streaming mode specifically designed for services like Hulu, prioritizing speed and access with dedicated streaming servers that evade detection more effectively.

Servers: PureVPN stands out with specialised streaming servers and a feature that automatically selects the fastest server for Hulu, ensuring a buffer-free experience. Their servers in North America are finely tuned for streaming, providing a reliable connection to Hulu.

Privacy: PureVPN has faced criticism in the past for its privacy policies. However, it has recently undergone a no-log audit verified by KPMG in the past 12 months, aiming to reassure users about its commitment to privacy.

Price: PureVPN offers three payment options: a 1-month plan at $10.95/month, a 1-year plan at $3.74/month, and a 2-year plan at $1.96/month. PureVPN accepts all major credit cards, PayPal, and a variety of other digital payment options.

Speeds: Below is a table that gives you an idea of the speed performance you can expect when using PureVPN. The VPN has shown variable download speeds across different streaming servers, with some experiencing significant drop-offs during peak times.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN189.44139.82
PureVPN UK Server24.3198.99
PureVPN US Server49.83106.52

Read our full PureVPN review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

4. Surfshark

Affordable and secure VPN with unlimited device policy of 2024

  • Attractive pricing for long-term subscriptions
  • Supports unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Robust security and privacy
  • 24/7 responsive chat support
  • Extensive server network in 100 countries
  • Has trouble with services like Hulu
  • Lacks a unique proprietary protocol
  • App can be overwhelming
  • Not the fastest among competitors
Surfshark

Streaming: Surfshark uses Camouflage Mode to mask your VPN traffic as regular internet traffic, making it particularly difficult for Hulu to identify and block its users.

Servers: Surfshark offers a unique advantage with its unlimited simultaneous connections and servers in over 65 countries, including many in the U.S. specifically optimized for streaming. This makes it easy to access Hulu on any device, anytime, without worrying about server overload.

Privacy: Surfshark emphasizes its commitment to privacy with successful DNS leak tests and independent security audits by Cure53, ensuring robust online security and privacy. You can find more about their security audits here.

Price: Surfshark offers a 1-month option costing $12.95/month, a 12-month option at $3.99/month, and a 24-month option at $2.49/month. It accepts major credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and various cryptocurrencies.

Speeds: Below is a table that gives you an idea of the speed performance when using Surfshark. From our tests, we observed decent speeds, suitable for general use, but not the fastest compared to some rivals.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)940.55520.24
Surfshark US server775.96.15
Surfshark UK server587.793.79

Read our full Surfshark review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

5. CyberGhost

Affordable and secure VPN with extensive server coverage

  • Features NoSpy servers, a Killswitch, and split tunnelling
  • Attractive pricing for long-term subscriptions
  • Over 9,000 servers in 91 countries
  • Independent audit confirms no-logs policy
  • 7-device coverage
  • Not optimal for streaming due to speed issues
  • Majority of servers are virtual
  • Lacks a proprietary protocol
Cyberghost

Streaming: CyberGhost has streaming-optimized servers that are regularly tested and updated for accessing Hulu, ensuring a smooth streaming experience by evading VPN blocks with tailored configurations.

Servers: CyberGhost has servers dedicated to streaming, including those optimized for Hulu, which are regularly updated to ensure they work with the service. With over 7,000 servers worldwide and extensive coverage in the U.S., CyberGhost users enjoy uninterrupted access to Hulu.

Privacy: CyberGhost has a no-logs policy that has been independently audited by Deloitte, ensuring user privacy and security. This audit confirms that CyberGhost does not keep records of users’ online activities while using the VPN.

Price: CyberGhost offers three payment options: a 1-month subscription at $12.99/month, a 6-month subscription at $6.99/month, and a 2-year subscription at $2.19/month, which includes an extra two months for free.

Speeds: Speed tests conducted in New Zealand showed significant drops in both download and upload speeds across various servers when using CyberGhost, indicating a performance issue in terms of speed.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)930516
CyberGhost US server192.292.63
CyberGhost UK server139.191.90
CyberGhost Vietnam server232.244.32

Read our full CyberGhost review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

PIA not working with Hulu: FAQs

Q: Why is Private Internet Access not working with Hulu?

Answer: Hulu utilises advanced technology to detect and block VPN services, including Private Internet Access. If your VPN connection is disrupted, it’s likely due to Hulu identifying and blocking the IP address provided by Private Internet Access. The streaming service continuously updates its list of known VPN IP addresses to enforce geographical content restrictions.

Q: Can I bypass Hulu’s VPN block with Private Internet Access?

Answer: Bypassing Hulu’s VPN blocks requires a VPN that can regularly refresh its IP addresses to avoid detection. Private Internet Access may occasionally manage to bypass these blocks if it provides new IPs or uses advanced techniques to mask VPN traffic. However, success is not guaranteed as Hulu’s detection methods are quite sophisticated.

Q: What are the best alternatives to Private Internet Access for streaming Hulu?

Answer: If Private Internet Access is not working with Hulu, consider using a VPN known for its ability to bypass streaming service blocks. VPNs like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark have been successful due to their large server networks, dedicated streaming servers, and advanced obfuscation technologies.

Q: How can I improve my chances of accessing Hulu with a VPN?

Answer: To improve your chances, connect to a server located in the U.S. where Hulu is available. Look for VPNs that offer dedicated or streaming-optimised servers. Additionally, clearing your browser’s cache and cookies can help prevent Hulu from detecting your actual location.

Q: What should I do if Hulu blocks my VPN?

Answer: If Hulu blocks your VPN, try switching to a different server or IP address provided by your VPN service. Contacting the customer support of your VPN can also be helpful, as they may be able to recommend a server that currently works with Hulu. If issues persist, considering a VPN with a proven track record of overcoming Hulu’s restrictions might be necessary.

Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like Stuff.co.nz, thebit.nz, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here