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Hulu attempts to block international viewers who use VPNs

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
April 26, 2014
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It's no secret that many use virtual private networks (VPN) to dodge Hulu's ban on TV streaming outside of the US, and the company is now clamping down on these surreptitious international viewers. TorrentFreak reports that Hulu has started blocking anyone trying to access its service from commonly used VPN services, whether or not they're stateside. If you're from the US, you're told to "disable your anonymizer." We've reached out to Hulu for its official response, but there's no doubt that it's giving foreigners the boot.

The blockade isn't absolute. Hulu is currently checking only for specific internet addresses and not the actual presence of a VPN; if you're on a dedicated VPN address or use a smaller provider, there's a possibility that you'll get around the new limitation. However, that still leaves you in a bind if you're an American relying on a VPN to protect your privacy. If you want to keep watching, you'll likely have to shell out for that dedicated address or else expose your internet traffic every time you catch up on Parks & Recreation. VPN companies like Private Internet Access are talking to Hulu about a solution, but we wouldn't count on one. Shared VPNs by their nature make it hard to identify where someone lives, so Hulu may have to give up some legitimate US customers if it wants to restrict outsiders.

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