Watch Hulu in The UK
Though there are distinctly British alternatives available, watching American TV in the UK has its challenges. Many popular American TV series are available, this is true, but the times, stations, and completeness across several seasons leaves a lot to be desired. The fact is, there is not central hub of US television shows.
This is what Hulu is in the US. Hulu is available only to US netizens, ie people in the USA. They are able to track this from Hulu's website by verifying the IP address of a user that accesses the site. When you log into Hulu from the US, you have a US IP. When you log into Hulu from the UK, you have a UK IP.
Having a UK IP will get you the dreaded “Hulu is currently unavailable in your country” message. This is the same message that's displayed around the world.
Change Your IP
The simple solution of course is to change your IP. For a while it was possible to access Hulu with free IP changing sites, namely proxies. Proxies are popular with kids at school and adults at work for accessing Facebook, YouTube, and other blocked sites.
But they are also easily detectible because of the type of IP address they use, and Hulu blocked these. Hulu has not come out and said that it's against their TOS to access the site from outside the USA, but they do say that IP anonymizers are blocked.
VPNs Still Work
The reasons VPN still work can be speculated on, but the fact is, many of them still do. VPNs are harder to block, and personally, I think that they don't count as an IP anonymizer. Whatever the reason, getting a US IP with a VPN service can grant you access to Hulu in the UK.
How to Use a VPN
These services are easy to use. Sign up for a VPN service of your choice. You'll need to make sure that they have servers in the USA, and that they have a VPN protocol that matches your device. In general, PPTP VPN will work best because it allows for the fastest streaming and will work on all smartphone and computers. Using a VPN on consoles and internet TVs is possible, but a bit more complicated.
Once signed up, download the software and choose “USA” from either a drop down menu or server list. You can watch me do it below.
This leads into my next point. If you want to access Hulu Plus, you will need a credit card from the US. There is a service from which you can by prepaid temporary debit cards. You buy them online, then the company sends you the information to sign up with. This service is specifically for paying for US services from overseas.
→ Get a US Debit Card to Pay for Hulu Plus
If you don't opt for Hulu plus, the free version of Hulu will still be available. You may need to clear you browser cache or cookies, or even switch to a new browser. When I was in China, for some reason Hulu could sometimes could detect my anonymous IP from Firefox. I switched to Chrome, and it wasn't a problem. Then I used Chrome specifically for accessing Hulu and Firefox for browsing.
There were rumors at one time that Hulu was launching in parts of the UK, but that was several years ago, and since then I've heard nothing else. Whether you're outside the US temporarily and want to catch up on your favorite shows or actually live in the UK and just like American TV, using a VPN to watch Hulu in the UK takes some effort to set up, but it's a great way to get LOTS TV and movies from overseas.
Of course, now you need to know which VPN service you should choose. Welcome to Mr. VPN! I'm not a VPN service per se, but I review my favorite services and feature new ones I find. Below are links to my reviews of some great services that I think would be good for people in the UK looking to stream television. I've included a short note for each to get you going in the right direction.
→ PandaPow (Easy to install, great app)
→ IPVanish (Great all around VPN Service)
→ Hide My Ass (Lots of UK VPN servers, 30 day guarantee)