Want to access Hulu via VPN? Tough luck!

Access denied

The regionalization of the internet can be infuriating. Anyone living outside the UK is prevented from accessing the likes of BBC iPlayer, while those outside the US can’t listen to Pandora or use other country-specific streaming services. At least that's the theory -- there's always a work around, isn't there? There are countless anonymizing services that can be used to make it appear that you are somewhere other than where you truly reside, or even appear that you are nowhere at all.

These tools and VPN services can be used to trick websites into thinking you're a legitimate user who should be allowed to get your streaming fix from anywhere in the world. But no more! At least if Hulu gets its way. The TV streaming behemoth has had enough of non-US streamers making use of its servers and it is clamping down on the use of VPNs. A report by TorrentFreak reveals that Hulu is blocking IP addresses associated with VPN services in a bid to prevent unwanted tagging on.

Should a rogue IP address be detected, a message is displayed:

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.

Read that again and you'll notice something. Even Hulu's own message acknowledges the fact that this new clamp-down is going to make life more difficult not only for those outside the US, but also those within the borders -- if they are using anonymizing software, that is. It is possible to contact Hulu if the message appears "in error", but it is hugely inconvenient for those with a subscription who want to protect their privacy online.

Will Hulu's tactics work? Well, it's likely to dissuade the more casual user, but where there's a will there's a way...

Photo Credit: Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock

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