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Surfshark not Connecting with Hulu? Easy Solutions Here

Is your Surfshark app not working with Hulu? Don’t panic. It’s not a unique issue, and is usually easy to solve.

In this guide, we’ll show you the most common fixes to ensure you can access Hulu using Surfshark. And if those don’t work, we’ll give you the best alternative VPNs to switch to.

How to stream Hulu with Surfshark

First, let’s make sure you’ve configured Surfshark correctly to work with Hulu. 

The process is the same for every Surfshark app, regardless of your device (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, etc.).

Here’s what to do:

  1. Sign up for Surfshark. You can use the 30-day money-back guarantee for a risk-free test run.
  2. Download the app to your Hulu device.
  3. Connect to a server in the US.
  4. Clear your browser cache and cookies (ensures no historical location data). Clear the Hulu app as well.
  5. Sign in to Hulu and enjoy your favorite shows!

Switch servers to different locations within the US if you can’t connect to Hulu the first time. If that doesn’t work, keep reading for more solutions.

How well does Surfshark work with Hulu?

Surfshark is one of the best VPNs for Hulu, thanks to state-of-the-art privacy and IP masking tools that can trick even the toughest anti-VPN detection tools. 

Surfshark also has an extensive network of high-speed servers in the US that never get crowded with users and rarely get detected by streaming sites. 

Our global test team connected to Surfshark’s US servers from Europe, Asia, and Africa and could stream Hulu in 4K HD with minimum buffering. Surfshark uses lightweight VPN protocols and the latest software to ensure a smooth, reliable, fast connection from anywhere. 

Surfshark is one of the best streaming VPNs available, but like any technology, it can face some issues. Let’s explore the most common technical issues for why it’s not working with Hulu.

Why isn’t Surfshark working with Hulu?

Hulu is a US-only streaming site. It's not available anywhere else in the world, and due to its copyright and broadcast licenses, it must actively block anyone outside the US from accessing its content. 

To ensure this, Hulu invests heavily in detecting and blocking VPN servers, as most people use VPNs to access its content outside the US. Even if you’re in the US and using a VPN like Surfshark to improve your online privacy, Hulu will still block you. 

The best VPNs for Hulu constantly find ways around its blocks – but it's not easy. They’re in a constant game of cat and mouse with the streamer. 

However, technical factors and software limitations in Surfshark can contribute to it not working with Hulu. Here are the most common:

1. Surfshark has a software glitch. Every software tool occasionally experiences technical faults, so don’t be concerned if it happens.

Solution: Restart your Surfshark app or your device.

2. Hulu is reading old location data from your browser or device. Every time you log into Hulu, it records your location. If you’ve previously logged in without a VPN, it may have your actual location on record. 

Solution: Clear your cache and cookies or use Hulu on your browser’s incognito mode.

3. Hulu has blocked your Surfshark server. Hulu records every VPN server it identifies and blocks them to a "block list.” 

Solution: Try another Surfshark server in the US.

4. Hulu is using your GPS information to establish your location. Hulu’s mobile apps can access your device’s GPS data (from Google Maps and other apps). This may clash with the location displayed by your Surfshark server. 

Solution: You’ll have to stream Hulu on your device’s browser (Chrome, Safari, etc.) using incognito mode or a GPS spoofing app.

Best alternatives to Surfshark for streaming Hulu

If you’ve tried everything, and Surfshark still isn’t working with Hulu, you might need to switch to a different VPN. 

We’ve tested countless VPNs against Hulu and every other popular streaming site (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, etc.) and found only five we recommend. 

Take a quick look at them below, or read our complete VPN reviews, to see exactly how every VPN performs in streaming, privacy, security, value, and much more. 

1. NordVPN
Editor's Choice | June 2024

NordVPN is the best Hulu alternative for Surfshark. It delivers super-fast connections, airtight security, and offers excellent value. 

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $3.69/mth
      70% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.99/mth
      59% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Works with the most popular streaming sites
    • One of the fastest VPNs in the world
    • Industry-best security
    • Privacy-friendly
    • 5,800+ servers in 60+ countries
    • Low-cost plans
  • Cons

    • Switching servers can be slow
    • Small server network in Africa
    • Router setup requires technical knowledge
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

NordVPN is the best-performing VPN for Hulu and everything else. It has a massive US server network that delivers stable, buffer-free 4K HD streaming on Hulu and every other streaming site. 


NordVPN is also incredibly secure. It uses industry-best tools to keep your data, location, and identity hidden, including automatic kill-switches for every device, DNS/IPv6 leak protections, and 256-bit AES encryption (the same standard used by banks, governments, militaries, and spy agencies). Its patented NordLynx VPN protocol is the best on offer, boosting speeds across its network without reducing encryption or other protections. 


You can install NordVPN on almost every device imaginable, including iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Or you can use its SmartDNS tool to stream on devices that don’t support VPNs natively, like smart TVs and game consoles. 


If Surfshark isn’t working with Hulu, try NordVPN on its risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

ExpressVPN is a premium VPN that offers fast, reliable connections worldwide, advanced security, and excellent privacy.

  • Pricing

    • 12 months + 3 months FREE + Backblaze backup: $6.67/mth
      49% OFF
    • 6 months: $9.99/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • 3,000+ servers in over 90 countries
    • Lightning-fast
    • Advanced security
    • Works with top streamers
    • Works in VPN-restricted countries like China and the UAE
  • Cons

    • Only five simultaneous device connections
    • Premium price
    • It doesn’t label servers optimized for streaming
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

ExpressVPN often vies with NordVPN for the top streaming VPN title. It has servers in 90+ countries, including more than 20 US cities. Each one delivers fast, reliable, secure connections anywhere in the world. 


ExpressVPN uses RAM-only servers to guarantee total anonymity as you browse the internet in the US – one of the most notoriously hostile to privacy countries on Earth. You also benefit from automatic kill-switches, military-grade encryption, and other advanced security features to keep your location, identity, activities, and data hidden. 


When it comes to streaming, ExpressVPN’s exclusive Lightway protocol delivers smooth, buffer-free streams on Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and live streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming.


ExpressVPN gives new users a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee. 

CyberGhost is a beginner-friendly VPN that offers incredible value and streaming-optimized servers in over 90 countries – including the US.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $2.11/mth
      83% OFF
    • 6 months: $6.99/mth
      42% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • 9,500+ servers in over 90 countries
    • Beginner-friendly
    • Up to seven simultaneous device connections
    • Easy to configure across multiple devices
    • Fast customer support
  • Cons

    • Some servers don’t work for streaming
    • No stealth mode or obfuscated servers
    • Limited P2P support
    • No apps for routers
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

CyberGhost has 1,400+ servers in the US alone, and 9,500+ in 90+ countries across the globe. 


The provider’s streaming-dedicated servers offer the best experience, but you can use any server, and they should still work with Hulu. These servers will be slower or less reliable but stick to streaming. 


CyberGhost is incredibly easy to use. After installing it on your first device, you can download it six times with all your settings pre-configured. It’s almost identical across every device. So, you can rest assured you’re getting the best protection and privacy on each one. 


CyberGhost includes a generous 45-day money-back guarantee on all new plans. 

Private Internet Access (PIA) was built for P2P and torrenting but works just as well for streaming, with incredible customization and total anonymity online.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 2 months FREE: $2.19/mth
      82% OFF
    • 6 months: $7.5/mth
      38% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.95/mth
  • Pros

    • 20,000+ global servers
    • 10 simultaneous device connections
    • Lots of customization
    • Excellent for P2P and torrenting
    • Responsive customer support
  • Cons

    • HQ’d in the US
    • Not beginner-friendly
    • iOS apps missing some features
    • Lacks some advanced security tools
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

PIA was originally built for torrenters, and P2P fans worried about their privacy. So it's focused heavily on providing complete anonymity and fast download times – making it a good choice for accessing US streaming content outside the country. 


The provider is the most customizable VPN on this list. Privacy nuts will enjoy unrivaled opportunities to test your settings for different uses. Newer VPN users might be overwhelmed. If you’re not tech-savvy, stick to easier Surfshark alternatives like NordVPN or ExpressVPN.


PIA also lacks some advanced features offered by top streaming VPNs. And while its 20,000+ global servers are impressive, many are virtual and may not work with Hulu. 


Try PIA with a 30-day money-back guarantee to see for yourself.

Proton VPN is one of the best free VPNs, with few limitations and good connection speeds. However, it lacks some features you'll need to stream Hulu outside the US.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $3.59/mth
      65% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.99/mth
      51% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.99/mth
    • Free trial: $0/mth
  • Pros

    • Impressive free plan
    • Servers in the US
    • 2,800+ global servers in 68+ countries
    • Easy to use
    • “VPN Accelerator” tool
  • Cons

    • Doesn’t work with Netflix
    • Lacks advanced features
    • Expensive paid plan
    • Limited customer support
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Proton VPN’s free plan is ad-free, doesn’t limit your bandwidth, and offers robust security and privacy – making it easily one of the best free VPN plans. It has one server location in the US, but this could be too slow for Hulu (especially if you want to stream in HD). 


The paid version is better. It has many more servers in the US, and 2,800+ servers in 68+ countries altogether. It also uses a patented “VPN accelerator” protocol to speed up your connection over long distances, making it reliable for streaming Hulu from very far away.


In our tests, the paid version of Proton VPN accessed Hulu from numerous locations, including Europe, Asia, and Africa. However, finding a server that worked often took a few attempts. 


Proton VPN’s paid plan is also surprisingly expensive – especially considering it lacks some advanced features you get from more budget-friendly VPNs like Surfshark and NordVPN.


Try ProtonVPN’s free plan or use the paid plan’s 30-day money-back guarantee to see how it compares to top Hulu VPNs.

Do free VPNs work with Hulu?

Most free VPNs don’t work with Hulu because they’re not advanced enough to bypass its detection tools, their server networks are too small, and they’re too slow for streaming. 

However, these are just the technical reasons to avoid free VPNs if you’re trying to access Hulu. There are also safety and privacy concerns. 

Because free VPNs don’t generate revenue from subscriptions, they often resort to much shadier ways of making money from you. We’ve witnessed free VPNs: 

  1. Selling user data to advertisers and data brokers.
  2. Bombarding users with ads promoting their paid plans or other random products.
  3. Hosting malware and hackers on their networks for a fee. 

Plenty of excellent cheap VPNs are compatible with Hulu (and every other streamer), only charge you a couple of dollars a month, and don’t bombard you with ads or risk your safety by exploiting your data and exposing you to malware.

If you want to stream with peace of mind, enjoying your favorite shows buffer-free and without the risk of data leaks or online attacks, skip most free VPNs. 

How we tested Surfshark and others with Hulu

We’ve tested hundreds of VPNs over the last few years and developed a set of criteria each one must pass before we recommend them. 

When it comes to Hulu, we looked for premium VPNs that deliver fast, reliable connections, enhanced privacy, and compatibility with the top streaming sites. 

You can use our ranking factors to find the right VPN for you, which include:

  • Server network: The best VPNs have thousands of servers across the globe, including many locations in the US. 
  • Connection speeds: Every VPN on this list should be fast enough to stream Hulu in HD regardless of your location. 
  • Access to content: We test every VPN to ensure it's compatible with Hulu and other popular streamers, including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and BBC iPlayer. 
  • Security: Look for VPNs that use the latest cybersecurity to shield your data and device, including 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and automatic kill-switches.
  • Privacy: Most top VPNs include extra privacy tools like IP address masking, anti-tracking tools, ad blockers, and similar software that hide your location and identity. 
  • Value: The best VPNs offer affordable, fixed subscription plans and generous money-back guarantees. 
  • Ease of use: VPNs are a complicated technology, but they don’t have to be difficult to use. Our favorite VPNs are all very beginner-friendly. 
  • Customer support: Look for VPNs that offer 24/7 live chat support, comprehensive video tutorials and troubleshooting guides, and active user communities. 

Our complete VPN review process goes into even more detail, in case you want to know every aspect of how a VPN works, and which one to choose for Hulu (or any other purpose). 

FAQs

Conclusion

Surfshark is one of the best VPNs for Hulu, but occasionally it runs into problems accessing the streaming site. 

Follow the steps in the article to ensure it's not a technical glitch in your Surfshark app. And if that doesn’t work, consider an alternative amongst the best streaming VPNs. 

Written by: Conor Walsh

Conor is a tech writer with professional paranoia. He's passionate about privacy, and when not writing about it, can be found trying to get far away from his phone and any other technology, enjoying some live music, outdoorsy stuff, or a good (physical) book.

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