Advanced Television

Hulu moves to block VPN users

April 28, 2014

By Colin Mann

Streaming video service Hulu has taken steps to clamp down on users accessing the site through VPNs in an effort to block international users from seeing videos available only in the US.

VPN users, including Americans trying to access the Web legitimately, will receive an error message, which reads: “Based on your IP-address, we noticed that you are trying to access Hulu through an anonymous proxy tool. Hulu is not currently available outside the U.S. If you’re in the U.S. you’ll need to disable your anonymizer to access videos on Hulu.”

Australian company Getflix mid-February launched a service offering residents there, in New Zealand and South-East Asia the ability to access entertainment streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus using virtual private network technology to ‘trick’ the geo-blocked services into thinking the user is streaming from the US.

Getflix powers the operation with its own DNS servers, explaining on its website that only a small number of connections to Netflix and Hulu Plus get re-routed via its servers. “The actual video is streamed from Netflix or Hulu Plus directly to you so Getflix is much faster and more reliable than an alternative VPN or tunnel solution,” it says.

The legality of the service is questionable, with the practice of using VPNs to circumvent geo-blocking subscription restrictions being frowned upon.


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