How To Watch Hulu In Canada

Written By: 
Tom Qiao
Last Updated: 
April 23, 2021

In this tutorial, I'll show you exactly how to watch Hulu in Canada (in 3 simple steps πŸ‘), the best VPNs that actually unblock Hulu (after 20+ hours of research & testing πŸ”¬), and how to stream Hulu in full 1080p (hint: 99% of us are doing it wrong πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ).

Have you reached the end of Netflix? Cancelled Disney+ after Mulan (2020)?

If so, you're in the right place! (binge watchers anonymous, that is πŸ˜‚)

As Canadians, we only get a fraction of the content on Netflix, Disney+, and Prime Video that our American neighbours do.

It's like sitting beside the guy with a jumbo popcorn and drink, while you munch on M&Ms.

(You can see it, but you can't have it πŸ˜ͺ. Except, in this case, you literally can't see it. πŸ˜†)

Hulu - the world's 4th largest streaming service - isn't even available in #WeTheNorth!

Fortunately, you can still access Hulu's massive content library, including Hulu originals like The Handmaid's Tale, Castle Rock, and Ramy, by following just 3 simple steps.

Grab the popcorn and let's get started! 🍿

How to Watch Hulu in Canada (in 5 Minutes)
  1. Pick a VPN that actually unblocks Hulu: Hotspot Shield πŸ† blew away the competition with ultra fast download speeds and 24 US server locations, while at the same time, offering the lowest monthly price ($9.99) and longest money-back guarantee (45 days)
  2. Sign up for Hulu: activate your VPN, choose a base plan (plus any premium add-ons), and pay for your new Hulu subscription with a US credit card, PayPal, or Hulu gift card
  3. Butter your popcorn and start streaming! (plus how to watch Hulu in 1080p πŸ˜‰)

That's it! No batteries required... (well, except for your TV remote)

For most Canadians, the tricky part is paying for Hulu (they don't like our monopoly money).

If you don't have a US credit card, the easiest way is to use a prepaid credit card service like StatesCard (note: additional fees apply) or buy Hulu gift cards from a reputable reseller.

However, I'd still recommend applying for a US credit card from your Canadian bank as it's much cheaper than using StatesCard and more convenient than reloading gift cards.

(Personally, I use RBC Bank VISA Signature Black with $0 annual fee πŸ€—)

Need a step-by-step guide for the whole process?

Keep reading for my full instructions, including my list of VPNs that actually unblock Hulu based on 20+ hours of research and testing. πŸ§ͺ (note: over 50% of popular VPNs failed)

Step 1: Pick A VPN That Actually Unblocks Hulu

D'you know what's worse than not having Hulu in Canada?

Picking the wrong VPN, signing up for Hulu, only to get the gray screen of death:

Hulu Anonymous Proxy Error

That's right: Hulu is fine taking your money, even if you can't actually watch anything...

Gotta love #capitalism.

Remember, any virtual private network (VPN) can change your IP address (even free VPNs).

BUT... only the best VPNs will get past Hulu's sophisticated geo-detection system.

In fact, over 50% of VPN providers FAILED to unblock Hulu in my tests. πŸ€”

(in other words, you just paid them for 100% hot air)

So... you wanna know which VPNs actually unblock Hulu?

Well, I could bore you to death with my spreadsheet (from 20+ hours of running speed tests, most of which were spent clicking reCAPTCHA images, thanks Google).

But then, Drake called me and said he had a better idea:

Drake Explains The Best VPNs for Watching Hulu in Canada

Alright, enough said. Thanks, Drake. πŸ™

If you'd like to check out the best VPNs for Hulu, here ya go:

  1. Hotspot Shield πŸ† (blew away the competition!)
  2. NordVPN πŸš€ (very fast speeds)
  3. Surfshark
  4. ExpressVPN

Now, if you're a speed freak like me 😎 and want to know exactly how fast these VPNs are, keep reading for my full review of each one!

Otherwise, feel free to fast forward to Step 2: Sign Up For Hulu.

How I Test VPNs (and Why I HATE reCAPTCHAs)

Hotspot Shield Speed Test - Ookla - Chicago

Real quick, I'm gonna explain how I test VPN services to make sure:

  • You're getting a VPN that'll unblock Hulu. Every. Single. Time.
  • You're getting lightning fast download speeds (who's got time for slow internet?!)
  • You're getting the best value for your money (because every loonie counts)

And... unlike the bigger websites like TechRadar, CNET, or PCMAG, my tests are 100% focused on finding the best VPNs for Canadians.

For example, Canadians don't need 3,000+ servers in 94 countries (ahem, ExpressVPN).

What you really need is a dozen US servers as close as possible to the Canadian border.

That's because you want to minimize the travel distance between your device and the VPN to maximize your connection speed (it's kinda like cross-border shopping πŸ›’).

In terms of my actual process, I first tested if a VPN could successfully unblock Hulu:

  1. Login to Hulu (in Incognito Mode): by using a new incognito window every time, Hulu won't recognize my computer based on my previous browser history (stored in cookies). This means each login attempt is unique, making it a more fair and accurate test.
  2. Play a Video (with No Errors): after getting past the login screen, Hulu can still stop you from watching any videos with its gray screen of death (anonymous proxy or VPN error). Over 50% of VPNs couldn't play a single video. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ
  3. Rinse & Repeat 4 Times: but that's not enough! To make sure it wasn't just a fluke, I repeated this process for at least 4 different VPN servers.

Only the VPNs that unblocked Hulu 100% of the time made it to the next level. πŸ’―

Next, I ran the VPN services through a series of speed tests:

  1. M-Lab: recommended by Google
  2. Ookla: the industry standard
  3. Speedof.Me: recommended by Hulu

(and clicked on enough reCAPTCHA images to last a lifetime πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‘)

Hotspot Shield Speed Test - Google - Chicago

Lastly, I compared the plans & prices to determine the best VPNs for your money. πŸ’²

The Best VPNs for Watching Hulu in Canada

And the Oscar goes to... (drumroll, please)

Hotspot Shield! πŸ†πŸ₯‚πŸŽ‰

Seriously, though, hats off to Hotspot Shield and the team at Aura. πŸ‘

This VPN blew away the competition in my final speed tests:

Finding the Best VPNs for Hulu in Canada with 3 Speed Tests

(speed test results are based on a 100 Mbps internet plan)

In case you're wondering, the yellow lines at the bottom are Hulu's recommended speeds for streaming in HD 1080p and Ultra 4K (6 Mbps and 16 Mbps, respectively).

So no matter which VPN you choose, you'll have NO PROBLEM watching in high definition!

(assuming you have a decent Internet plan with 25+ Mbps download speeds)

Overall, the fastest VPN was Hotspot Shield πŸ† (90+ Mbps download speeds!!!), followed by NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN.

(note: Surfshark and NordVPN's download speeds were lower for Speedof.Me due to a technical problem with the Buffalo, NY test as the closest test server was in New York City, which significantly increased the connection distance compared to, for example, a Canadian like myself connecting from the Greater Toronto Area)

1. Hotspot Shield: The Usain Bolt of VPNs πŸ†

Hotspot Shield is the Usain Bolt of VPNs

You might not have heard of Hotspot Shield before.

But the company's been around for over a decade (since 2008), creating free and paid VPNs to help users access geo-restricted content and bypass government censorship.

I call Hotspot Shield the Usain Bolt of VPNs ⚑, and for good reason...


  • Fastest VPN πŸ† for watching Hulu in Canada: 90+ Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection!
  • 24 US server locations: wide variety of options for both Western and Eastern Canada
  • Excellent user interface: built-in speed test, data usage tracker, and quick access menu
  • Supports up to 5 devices: if you need more, the Family Plan supports 25 devices
  • Lowest monthly price: only $9.99 per month (compared to NordVPN at $11.95, Surfshark at $12.95, and ExpressVPN at $12.95)
  • Longest money-back guarantee: 45 days (that's 50% longer than the usual 30 days πŸ‘)

Overall, Hotspot Shield is a superhuman VPN! πŸ¦Έβ€β™‚οΈ I particularly like its sleek user interface that lets you easily pick a VPN location, monitor your data usage, or run a quick speed test.

Hotspot Shield (Chicago)

If you're in a hurry or you don't want to manually pick a location, there's a quick access menu that'll connect you to the Best Server for Streaming (US/UK) or Best Server for Gaming.

Hotspot Shield Windows App - Quick Access

Now, the only downside of Hotspot Shield is...


  • Value: if you're willing to pay in advance, NordVPN and Surfshark have better value plans for 12-month and 24-months, respectively

Overall, if you want the fastest manVPN on Earth, check out Hotspot Shield!

Get Hotspot Shield (45 Days Risk Free)

Recommended Servers for Western Canada

  • Seattle (Great for British Columbia and Alberta)
  • Portland
  • San Francisco
  • Denver (Great for Saskatchewan)
  • Kansas City (Great for Manitoba)

Recommended Servers for Eastern Canada (All Excellent for Ontario)

  • Chicago
  • Columbus
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Boston (Great for Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces)

2. NordVPN: Extremely Fast πŸš€ with Best 12-Month Plan

NordVPN Plans

Rocketing into second place, NordVPN had impressive download speeds of 85-90+ Mbps.

This popular VPN performed slightly lower on Google's speed test (87.4 average) but higher on Speedof.Me (94.7 average, excluding the Buffalo, NY test due to a technical issue).

Regardless, you'll have no problem streaming Hulu in 1080p or ultra 4K at these speeds.

Now, here's why you should consider NordVPN...


  • Rocket-fast πŸš€ connection speeds: consistently 85-90+ Mbps
  • 15 US server locations: plenty of options for all Canadians
  • Supports up to 6 devices: that's 1 more than the standard 5 devices
  • Best 12-month plan: only $4.92 per month (58% discount)
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Overall, NordVPN is super affordable if you're considering a long-term VPN service.

I'm also a huge fan of the Buffalo, NY server as it's right across the lake from Toronto, which means supercharged connection speeds for anyone living in the GTA.

On the other hand, I do have a couple complaints about NordVPN...


  • Doesn't accept PayPal: I absolutely hate entering my credit card information (for both convenience and security reasons) so I was surprised that NordVPN didn't take PayPal
  • Outdated user interface: NordVPN's app needs a serious redesign, it's difficult to navigate and requires several steps to change the VPN location (see screenshot below)
NordVPN Windows App - US Servers

Overall, NordVPN provides rocket-fast download speeds at super affordable prices.

Get NordVPN (30 Days Risk Free)

Recommended Servers for Western Canada

  • Seattle (Great for British Columbia and Alberta)
  • San Francisco
  • Salt Lake City
  • Denver (Great for Saskatchewan and Manitoba)

Recommended Servers for Eastern Canada

  • Buffalo (Great for Ontario)
  • Chicago
  • New York
  • Manassas (near Washington, DC)

3. Surfshark: Fast ⚑ with Best 24-Month Plan

Surfshark Free Trial

Speeding into third place, Surfshark did pretty well for itself: unblocking Hulu 100% of the time and streaming videos at 85-90 Mbps.

Overall download speeds were comparable to NordVPN, although some servers were a bit slower like Manassas, VA and Buffalo, NY.

However, Surfshark stands out as the best value VPN with the cheapest 24-month plan at only $2.49 per month that allows you to connect unlimited devices 😍.

So if you need 24/7/365 VPN coverage on all your devices, start surfing with Surfshark! 🌊


  • Fast connection speeds: 85-90 Mbps
  • 24 US server locations: plenty of options for all Canadians
  • Unlimited devices: only Surfshark provides unlimited simultaneous connections!
  • Best 12-month plan: only $2.49 per month (81% discount)
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Overall, I really like Surfshark's simple user interface and its all-you-can-eat VPN package at such an extremely low monthly price.

On the other hand, here's what I didn't like:


  • Slow payment process: Surfshark's payment processor was painfully slow and failed to process my PayPal account, forcing me to use my US credit card, and then took over an hour to finish the transaction (I could have watched an entire movie on Hulu)
  • Inconsistent speeds: I noticed that download speeds were inconsistent, sometimes dropping to 60-70 Mbps, while other times cruising up to 90+ Mbps

Overall, Surfshark is the best value VPN for streaming Hulu on unlimited devices.

Get Surfshark (30 Days Risk Free)

Recommended Servers for Western Canada

  • Seattle (Great for British Columbia and Alberta)
  • San Francisco
  • Salt Lake City
  • Denver (Great for Saskatchewan and Manitoba)

Recommended Servers for Eastern Canada

  • Buffalo (Great for Ontario)
  • Detroit (Great for Ontario)
  • Manassas
  • Latham
  • Boston (Great for Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces)

4. ExpressVPN: A Popular VPN (But Underwhelming Speeds)

ExpressVPN Homepage

First, this show is sponsored by ExpressVPN...

Sound familiar? 🀣

Thanks to its many YouTube partners, ExpressVPN has quickly become a household name.

However, I found that this popular VPN didn't really live up to the hype. (*mic drop*)

Allow me to explain.

Although ExpressVPN unblocked Hulu 100% of the time, its download speeds were much slower than everyone else on this list (around 79-83 Mbps).

I was even extra generous by testing 7 servers (instead of 4) to make sure I had a good sample (Washington, New York 1, 2, New Jersey 1, 2, 3, and Chicago).

While I enjoy ExpressVPN's beautiful user interface, its price-to-performance ratio is very low, considering that it's slower than everyone else but still charges a premium price (monthly plans cost $12.95/month while annual plans cost $8.32/month).

Anyways, you know the drill. Here's why you should consider ExpressVPN...


  • Beautiful user interface: extremely easy to use on desktop and mobile devices
  • 14 US server locations: good mix of cities, but most are pretty far from Canadian border
  • Supports up to 5 devices
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days


  • Average connection speeds: ~80 Mbps (New York 2 and Chicago were only 70 Mbps)
  • More expensive: ExpressVPN is not the cheapest for monthly, semiannual, or annual plans (better options would be Hotspot Shield, Surfshark, and NordVPN, respectively)

Overall, ExpressVPN has an excellent user interface but underwhelming speeds.

Get ExpressVPN (30 Days Risk Free)

Recommended Servers for Western Canada

  • Seattle
  • San Francisco
  • Salt Lake City
  • Denver

Recommended Servers for Eastern Canada

  • New York 1
  • New Jersey 1, 2, 3
  • Washington, DC

5. (BONUS ROUND) VPNs To Avoid At All Costs! ⚠️

Finally, don't waste your time or money on the following VPNs as they couldn't unblock Hulu (and most of them had terrible download speeds).

Here's a friendly reminder from Drake:

Drake Explains The Best VPNs for Watching Hulu in Canada
  • PrivateInternetAccess (PIA): it's so bad that you can't even visit the Hulu homepage
  • IPVanish: couldn't play any videos
  • Namecheap: only worked 1/4 times
  • HideMyAss: more like <HideYourMoney>
  • Cyberghost: I found this hilarious - they have a Hulu-optimized server that can't even access the Hulu homepage 🀣🀣🀣
  • Tunnelbear: couldn't play any videos
  • ProtonVPN: only worked 3/4 times

Step 2: Sign Up For Hulu

Hulu - All The TV You Love

Now that you've chosen a VPN (see Step 1 if you haven't), let's jump to the tricky part:

Signing up for Hulu from outside the United States.

For this step, you're going to use the VPN to change your Canadian IP address to a US IP address in order to bypass Hulu's geo-detection system.

1. Activate Your VPN

First, download and install your VPN, if you haven't already.

Now, choose any US server and activate the VPN on your device.

Once your VPN is active, your IP address will be changed to a US-based IP address.

If you're not sure, google <what's my ip address> or visit

2. Choose Your Hulu Base Plan

Now, let's visit and click on <Start Your Free Trial>.

Next, choose a base plan for your Hulu subscription from the following options:

  • Hulu (Ads): $5.99 per month (30-day free trial)
  • Hulu (No Ads): $11.99 per month (30-day free trial)
  • Hulu (Ads) + LiveTV: $64.99 per month (1-week free trial)
  • Hulu (Ads) + Disney Plus + ESPN Plus: $13.99 per month (no free trial πŸ˜₯)
Hulu Base Plans

A basic Hulu subscription costs $5.99 (ads) or $11.99 (no ads) and includes all movies and shows in Hulu's content library, including Hulu originals like The Handmaid's Tale.

If you want to watch US live TV as well, the Hulu + LiveTV package adds 65+ channels like ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, and NBC, as well as ESPN, Cartoon Network, HGTV, and more. πŸ‘

Last but not least, you can get Hulu (ads), Disney+, and ESPN+ together for only $13.99, which lets you watch classic movies like Star Wars, stream new shows like The Mandalorian, rewatch all the MCU movies, or catch live sports from NHL, MLB, and MLS! πŸ’

Keep in mind that this package is Hulu with ads (without ads is $19.99 per month).

3. Choose Your Hulu Premium Add-Ons (Optional)

Next, you can choose to add premium add-ons to your Hulu subscription:

  • Showtime
Hulu Premium Add-Ons

Each premium add-on adds an additional library of content (like Game of Thrones from HBO) that you can watch directly in your Hulu account.

This step is entirely optional, but since you get a free trial, it's not a bad idea to try 'em out.

4. Pay for Hulu in Canada (using a US payment method)

Now, the tricky part is paying for Hulu with a US payment method.

Even though you've changed your IP address already, Hulu will still check your credit card to verify that you're a US customer (that means no Canadian credit cards).

Hulu Payment Screen

If you don't have a US credit card, here are your options:

  • Use a prepaid credit card like StatesCard: designed for non-US residents, StatesCard lets you load up a prepaid US credit card that can be used for all your US purchases. However, there's a one-time fee of $14.95 plus a monthly fee of $3.95.
  • Buy Hulu gift cards (from a reputable reseller): gift card vendors like mygiftcardsupply are very popular for buying digital products like Netflix and Hulu from outside the US. However, this method is expensive as you pay more than the face value of the gift card (for example, a $25 Hulu gift card currently costs $29.96).

Another option (proposed on various forums) is to use a US PayPal account, but this assumes you already have a US debit card or credit card, which kinda defeats the point here.

The best option, by far, is to check if your Canadian bank offers a US credit card (most do):

Even though most of these cards have annual fees, it's still cheaper than using StatesCard ($14.95 one-time plus $47.40 a year) and more convenient than using gift cards.

The main advantage of applying with a Canadian bank is that they will use your Canadian credit history to determine your eligibility.

RBC Bank VISA Signature Black and Direct Chequing Account

Personally, I use RBC Bank VISA Signature Black as it's $0 annual fee (plus 1% cashback with RBC Rewards) and I pair it with their Direct Chequing Account (annual fee of $42.50).

This lets me make US purchase like Hulu, Netflix, or, with minimal fees. It's also very convenient as I can instantly transfer USD funds across the border between my RBC accounts.

RBC Bank usually has a promotion for a 1-year free banking bundle when you sign up for both the VISA Signature Black and Direct Chequing Bank (they've waive the $42.50 fee for one year).

5. Enter A US Zip Code

Now that you've gotten a US payment method, the next step is to pay for Hulu, right?

Actually, there's a small step that I see people get confused by, and that's the zip code.

In my experience, entering 00000 will usually work or you can take the 3 numbers from your postal code and add 00 to the end to create your personal zip code.

If that still doesn't work, just go to Google Maps, pick a nearby US city, and use a local zip code.

Now, go ahead and subscribe! Huzzah, you've gotten yourself a Hulu subscription! 😁

Step 3: Butter Your Popcorn and Start Streaming! (Plus How to Watch Hulu in 1080p)

Hulu Originals

Booyah! You can now start watching Hulu in Canada on all your devices.

But wait, did you know that most of us are not getting a full 1080p experience?

If you're like me, you spend 90% of your time watching videos on your computer/phone.

The problem is, you're only getting 720p quality if you use the most popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox.

Seriously. I didn't realize this for years until I read this article on Forbes.

Long story short, the TL;DR is:

  • Streaming platforms like Netflix use digital rights management (DRM) technology to prevent illegal content piracy
  • Chrome and Firefox both use software-enabled DRM called Widevine (weaker)
  • However, Microsoft Edge and Apple Safari use hardware-enabled DRM (stronger)
  • Consequently, streaming services throttle video quality to 720p on Chrome and Firefox, while allowing full 1080p on Edge and Safari

Hate it or love it, if you want to stream your favourite shows or movies in high definition 1080p, you'll need to use Edge or Safari (note: TVs and TV apps like Firestick are not affected).

Speaking from experience, once you go 1080p, it's impossible to go back to 720p picture without questioning all your life decisions (hmm... too many to count 🀣).

The Best TV Shows on Hulu in Canada

Hulu TV Shows

Now that you're a jetsetting internet pro, breezing through Hulu's airport security system, here's some of Hulu's best TV shows to binge-catch-up-on (yes, that's real word):

  • The Handmaid's Tale
  • Castle Rock
  • RAMY
  • PEN15
  • Bob's Burgers
  • The Great
  • Mrs. America
  • Veronica Mars
  • Letterkenny
  • Solar Opposites

The Best Movies on Hulu in Canada

For movie night, here's a few ideas:

  • Rocketman
  • Bumblebee
  • Apollo 11
  • Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
  • The Cabin in the Woods
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Master and Commander
  • Nomadland

Why Is Hulu Not Available In Canada?

First, it's not that Hulu doesn't like Canadians. After 10+ years, the streaming platform is officially available in only the US and Japan (compared to 190 countries for Netflix).

Second, international expansion is always tricky because content rights holders (i.e. the production studios like Warner Bros, MGM, 20th Century) usually provide licences to content distributors with geographical exclusivity.

In other words, Hulu might own the licence for a movie or TV show in the US, but the corresponding licence in Canada has already been sold to someone like Bell Media or Rogers. This means that even if Hulu launched in Canada, the number of titles would be significantly lower due to their existing content distribution agreements.

Third, Disney owns the majority of Hulu and plans to take full control in 2024, making it even more complicated since Disney+ and Star are higher priority platforms for the company.

Hulu Alternatives for Canadians

Alternatives to Hulu include:

  • Netflix
  • Disney Plus
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Apple TV+

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Hulu?

Hulu is a streaming service that allows you to watch TV shows and movies from networks like ABC, FOX, and NBC. Hulu also has their own original series such as The Handmaid's Tale.

Founded in 2007, Hulu started off as a free streaming service and eventually turned into an ad-supported business model. Along with Netflix and Prime Video, it is one of the oldest streaming platforms, spanning 10+ years of operation.

How Much Is Hulu In Canada?

A basic Hulu subscription costs US $5.99 (with ads) or US $11.99 (no ads) per month.

If you want USA live TV as well, the Hulu + LiveTV bundle is US $54.99 per month.

If you want Disney+ and ESPN+, there's a special package for US $13.99 per month.

The final price in Canadian dollars will depend on the current exchange rate.

Depending on how you choose to pay for Hulu, there may be additional fees involved.

Author Photo for Tom QiaoTom Qiao
Founder & Editor
When he's not typing emojis, Tom can be found backpacking Southeast Asia, perfecting his pad thai recipe, or playing viola.
Best VPNs for Hulu
1. Hotspot Shield
βœ… Ultra Fast Speeds
βœ… 24 US Locations
βœ… 5 Devices
βœ… $9.99 per Month
βœ… 45 Day Guarantee
Hotspot Shield Icon
Unlock Hulu Now
2. NordVPN
βœ… Very Fast Speeds
βœ… 15 US Locations
βœ… 6 Devices
βœ… $11.95 per Month
βœ… 30 Day Guarantee
NordVPN Icon
Unlock Hulu Now
3. Surfshark
βœ… Fast Speeds
βœ… 24 US Locations
βœ… Unlimited Devices
βœ… $12.95 per Month
βœ… 30 Day Guarantee
Surfshark Icon
Unlock Hulu Now
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