Need to know whether you can watch Hulu live TV through the app when using a VPN? The bad news is officially, no you cannot watch Hulu live TV with a VPN. The good news is unofficially, it depends on the device.
The main difference of whether you can officially or unofficially use a VPN with Hulu live TV comes down to the device. If you're accessing Hulu live TV from a mobile device then the VPN is fine to use. If you're accessing Hulu live TV from a smart TV, set-top box or TV dongle, then that's where you're going to run into problems with a VPN.
Knowing how and where you can use a VPN with Hulu live TV will help to make sure you never see an interruption to your live TV streaming experience.
What is Hulu + Live TV?
Hulu + live TV is one of many live TV streaming services now available. This particular service provides access to 69 channels for $44.99 per month. However, the exact number of channels and the selection of channels depends on location.
While there are many live TV streaming services now available, Hulu + Live TV also happens to include the standard Hulu subscription. This is an on-demand subscription service many are automatically paying for and upgrading to Hulu's live TV streaming option means that $5.99 each month can be included in the $44.99 per month price, not on top of it.
Watching Hulu live TV with a VPN on mobile
Hulu Live TV is designed for single-household use only. This is where the VPN issue typically comes in. However, that rule does not necessarily apply to mobile devices, such as smartphones.
Like most video streaming services, Hulu lets its subscribers access content on their smartphone. This includes live TV streaming and even when away from home.
When you activate a VPN on a smartphone, the Android mobile Hulu app doesn't care. As the VPN is simply telling the Hulu app you are at a different location, and as the Hulu mobile app permits use in other locations, the VPN is irrelevant.
There are exceptions to this rule, however. For example, if the VPN is set to another country then the Hulu mobile app will not function. Hulu also doesn't allow live TV streaming in U.S. territories and so a VPN set to these locations is also likely to be a problem.
Another point to note is that Hulu prefers mobile devices to 'check in' with a home network at least once every thirty days. Therefore, if you have a VPN active for thirty days continuously, you might find the Hulu mobile app develops a problem and possibly even stops working altogether.
To rectify this, deactivate the VPN and open the app while connected to the home network again.
Watching Hulu live TV with a VPN on a home TV device
When it comes to watching Hulu live TV at home, VPNs are a completely different story. It's not so much that Hulu doesn't want you using a VPN when using the Hulu TV app. More simply, it's an extension of the service's single-household policy.
For example, the single-household rule means you cannot access Hulu live TV in two different locations at the same time. This does not mean literally watching content in two places at the same time as you can do that. What it means is you cannot have an account connected to the Hulu TV app on different devices in different locations, at the same time. Trying to sign in from another location will result in a warning and the app failing to open.
This also means you cannot simply move a TV, a set-top box or an Android TV device and connect it a different home network and access the app you're already signed in to. This is where the VPN issue arises.
Due to the VPN telling the Hulu TV app you are in another location, and connected to a different network, the app automatically stops working. This is unlikely to change unless Hulu changes its single-household policy.
Are there any workarounds?
As with most things, there are workarounds. For example, it is likely some VPNs will be able to bypass Hulu's restrictions. Although this will depend on the VPN and possibly also on using some of the VPN's more advanced features.
Another workaround that might prove more reliable is the home network connection in the first place. If you are using a VPN simply to spoof your current location and not continuously bouncing from location to location over a period of time, then telling the Hulu TV app that the spoofed location is your home location may allow the app to function normally with the VPN in use.
Again, this is likely to depend on the VPN service in question and there are some issues surrounding this method. For one thing, you need to ensure you are always connected to the same spoofed location.
In addition, Hulu live TV service only lets you change your location four times in a 12-month period. So it is not advisable to continually change home locations each time you turn the VPN service on and off.
There's also the issue of busy family households. If the Hulu TV app understands a spoofed location is the home location, then every other device (including those owned by other family members) that wants to access Hulu will need to be set to the same spoofed location.
All in all, if you want a reliable and uninterrupted viewing experience then it's probably just easier to avoid the VPN route while the Hulu TV app is active. Hulu has a single-household policy for a reason and the service is keen to make sure people abide by it.