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The best VPNs for Linux in 2018 (and the worst)

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 10:02 AM PDT

ubuntu

Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE, and Mint users often get the short end of the stick when it comes to software, and VPN services are no different. Let’s be honest: Linux users are low on the priority list for most companies and developers. That’s why we set out to find the best VPN providers who have taken the time to give Linux fans some attention.

To connect to a VPN server on Linux, OpenVPN, OpenConnect, AnyConnect, and Network Manager are all popular VPN clients. But even better is a provider that makes a plug-and-play native VPN client. They require far less configuration and tend to come with more features and perks than their generic peers. That’s why every Linux VPN we recommend in this list offers a slick app just for you.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Linux

ExpressVPN released its official Linux app in April 2016. It runs using a command-line interface rather than the desktop GUI available on Windows and Mac, but it’s still far easier than downloading and managing config files for each server. The server list is always kept up to date, and users can easily switch between UDP and TCP over the OpenVPN protocol. ExpressVPN costs a little more than some rivals, but it does offer a 30-day money back guarantee and clocked much faster speeds in our testing. ExpressVPN works on Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS.

ExpressVPN tops our list as it scores well in all key areas including privacy, speed and customer support. It is also the only VPN on this list that has consistently worked to unblock all content we have tested, including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and HBO.

Update: ExpressVPN have made some notable improvements by allowing up to 3 simultaneous devices and introducing a kill switch.

READER DEAL: Save 49% on ExpressVPN here. This includes 3 months extra free and a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.

Read our full review of ExpressVPN.

2. Private Internet Access

PIA deal

Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of our best reviewed VPNs to date but does lose some points for not unblocking content such as Netflix and other geo-restricted content. It’s not pretty, but it’s remarkably affordable, lets you connect five simultaneous devices, offers acceptable (if not great) speeds, and is as secure as they come. PIA is one of the most popular premium VPNs among Linux users, and deservedly so. OpenVPN encrypted with 256-bit AES is the default protocol, but this can be tweaked to your heart’s content. PIA will work on both Debian and Fedora distros, but Fedora and OpenSUSE users will find the process a bit more complicated.

READER DEAL: At the time of writing PIA is available for as little a $3.33 per month.

Read our full review of Private Internet Access.

3. AirVPN
airvpn_logo

AirVPN offers native Linux apps for Debian/Ubuntu and openSUSE/Fedora. These can be used through either the command line or a GUI. You won’t find more comprehensive security settings on a VPN client. AirVPN lets users activate a kill switch, connect using OpenVPN over SSH and SSL, and forward traffic through a number of alternative ports. Prices are mid-range.

Stay tuned for our full review of AirVPN.

4. Buffered

buffered logo

Based in Hungary, this relative newcomer offers three simultaneous connections, a no-logging policy, and a 30-day money back guarantee. Like ExpressVPN, it’s a bit on the expensive side. One cool perk is that the client can search for open ports on password-protected networks, allowing you to bypass those annoying login pages at hotels and airports. Servers are limited to 16 countries, but speeds are fast. Buffered works across most Linux distros.

Read our full Buffered review.

5. Mullvad

mullvad logo

Mullvad’s open-source Debian/Ubuntu client comes with an internet kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and IPv6 routing. It keeps no logs–not even connection logs, so it’s airtight when it comes to security. It allows three simultaneous connections. Port forwarding is available for evading firewalls. The server selection is limited, but it’s quite affordable. Mullvad currently only offers a Debian/Ubuntu package.

Stay tuned for our full review of Mullvad.

VPNs that Linux users should avoid

Several tutorials out there will show you how to install OpenVPN. That’s great, because OpenVPN is probably the best VPN protocol on the market. However, OpenVPN is just a protocol and a client. It is not a VPN service in and of itself. You will still require a server or servers to connect to, and this is where many people run into privacy issues.

All of the above paid services we’ve listed above have zero-log policies, meaning they don’t monitor or record how you use the VPN. This means a hacker can’t breach the provider’s servers and find dirt on you, the company can’t sell your info to third parties, and law enforcement can’t coerce the company into giving up private info about customers.

With free VPNs, the reality is often very different. A company isn’t going to waste money hosting and maintaining a VPN server without expecting something in return. That’s why it’s very important to read up on a company’s privacy and logging policies before you connect.

Furthermore, stay away from VPN services that only offer a PPTP connection. PPTP is fast and simple to set up, but it contains several security vulnerabilities.

itshidden

This free VPN service only uses PPTP connections, so it’s clearly not secure. The privacy policy is one sentence long and even that has typos in it. Granted, the one sentence claims the service doesn’t keep any traffic logs, but we’d hardly call that a policy.

SecurityKISS

Searching for a free VPN for Linux on Google might lead you to SecurityKISS. The company stores connection logs and IP addresses of users, a practice which privacy advocates frown upon. In the free version, your usage is capped at 300MB per day. In the paid version … well it doesn’t really matter because there are at least a half dozen better options.

USAIP

Another mediocre VPN service that somehow weaseled its way into search results, USAIP’s latest Linux client only uses PPTP. It also doesn’t provide its own DNS servers or default to Google’s, which means your ISP can still monitor your activity. On top of that, it doesn’t disclose its logging policy.

What makes a good Linux VPN?

Our list of the best VPNs for Linux is based on the following criteria:

  • A Linux app is available, so little or no manual configuration is required
  • Fast speeds
  • Strong security
  • No activity logs or IP address logs
  • Can unblock geo-locked websites, apps, and streaming services

Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN encrypts all of a device’s internet traffic and routes it through an intermediary server in a location of the user’s choosing. This has a myriad of benefits ranging from improved online privacy, better security when connected to public wi-fi, and the ability to unblock geo-locked sites, apps, and services.

Securing Linux

A VPN is a great step toward securing your Linux system, but you’ll need more than that for full protection. Like all operating systems, Linux has its vulnerabilities and hackers who want to exploit them. Here are a few more tools we recommend for Linux users:

  • Antivirus software
  • Anti-rootkit software
  • Tripwire
  • Firewall
  • Security-focused browser extensions

You can learn about all of these tools, which ones to use, and how to install them in our Linux Security Guide. There you’ll also find tons of other tips and advice for securing Linux.

Why should I use a VPN for Linux?

A VPN has multiple uses and can be applied in a number of different scenarios.

Privacy

At its core, a VPN is a tool designed for privacy. If you’re worried about someone monitoring what you do online, such as an internet service provider, hacker, or government agency, a VPN can help. A VPN achieves privacy in two key ways.

First, all of the data you send and receive over the internet is encrypted before it even leaves your device. So long as the encryption is strong–128-bit and 256-bit AES are both sufficient and common with modern VPNs–no one will be able to crack it. If, for example, your ISP wanted to record your browsing history, it would instead only see indecipherable text.

Second, using the same example, the ISP cannot see where a VPN user’s internet traffic is going to or coming from. It can only see that data is travelling between your computer and the VPN server. It cannot see the destination of your internet traffic and can therefore not monitor what websites, apps, and services you use. Websites that you visit won’t be able to track you so easily, as your IP address is hidden behind that of the VPN server, and IP addresses play a huge role in how advertising companies and other data gathering entities create user profiles.

An important distinction to make here is the difference between VPN logging policies. All of the VPN providers we recommend in our list of the best VPNs for Linux do not keep traffic logs, meaning they do not monitor your activity while connected to the VPN. Many other VPNs log your activity in different ways and should generally be avoided; being tracked by your VPN is hardly better than not having a VPN at all.

Related: Best logless VPNs

Security

Security and privacy often go hand in hand. A VPN can help secure your device by protecting it from online threats. Public wifi, for example, is a minefield for unprotected devices. Hackers can hijack unsecured wifi routers or create their own fake hotspots and wreak all sorts of havoc on any device that connects to them. An attacker could steal or modify any data sent over an unsecured network.

Even when you’re not on public wifi, a VPN can protect your device from several threats. By masking your IP address–a common a VPN removes a common attack vector used by hackers to target a specific person. Many VPNs also come with built-in malware filtering.

Unblocking geo-locked content

Many websites, apps, and online services are restricted to residents of certain countries or regions. A popular use case for VPNs is unblocking geographically restricted, or “geo-locked,” content. This includes streaming video sites like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. It also applies to online banking and shopping sites by “spoofing” your location. The website in question only sees the location of the VPN server you chose to connect to and not your real location. You can even avoid blackout restrictions on live streaming sporting events.

Bear in mind that many streaming video providers are adverse to VPN use because of content licensing agreements that force them to only offer content within certain countries. As such, they often block connections from known VPN servers. A handful of VPNs can bypass these restrictions; just use the search bar on this site to find a list of the best VPNs for your favorite streaming site, be it Netflix, Hulu, or something else. From the list above, ExpressVPN is the most capable unblocker.

Bypassing censorship

Censorship stinks, whether you’re in an authoritarian country like China or an office building with an overzealous firewall. By routing your internet traffic around the firewall through a VPN server, you can evade such restrictions and freely access the open internet. In all but a very small fraction of countries, using a VPN is perfectly legal.

Be warned, however, that some countries block known VPN servers, so not all providers can bypass censorship measures. Be sure to check with the individual provider and ask if it can unblock censored sites from your country.

Torrenting

ISPs often frown upon torrenting, whether you’re downloading legally or illegally. An ISP might penalize your account by restricting bandwidth, for example. Furthermore, the BitTorrent network is rife with copyright trolls looking to make a quick buck by collecting IP addresses of downloaders and sending them threatening settlement letters through their ISP.

A VPN is an essential tool for torrenting. When connected to a VPN, your ISP cannot distinguish between different types of traffic, torrenting or otherwise. And because your IP address is masked by the VPN server’s IP address, copyright trolls cannot track you down. Just make sure to choose a VPN provider that doesn’t log your real IP address. You can cross reference the list above with our list of the best VPNs for torrenting to find the best fit for you.

A note on OpenVPN

Even if a VPN provider doesn’t make a dedicated native client for your Linux distro, almost all of them will provide configuration files that work with OpenVPN. All you need to do is download a config file for each server you want to connect to. This can get tedious if you like to have a lot of options, but it’s perfectly feasible.

OpenVPN is great, but the generic client isn’t as packed with features like DNS leak prevention and internet kill switches. Again, you can find scripts and packages that will take care of these for you, but we prefer the convenience of clients with all this stuff built in.

How to install and connect to OpenVPN on Linux

Here we’ll show you how to install the OpenVPN client on Ubuntu. Other distros, such as Mint and CentOS, should work similarly, but the commands might vary slightly.

  1. Open a terminal
  2. Type sudo apt-get install -y openvpn and hit Enter (depending on your distro, this might be sudo yum install openvpn)
  3. Type your admin password and hit Enter
  4. Type y and hit Enter to accept all dependencies and complete the installation.
  5. If you’re using Ubuntu 14.04 or earlier, type sudo apt-get install network-manager network-manager-openvpn network-manager-openvpn-gnome and hit Enter
  6. If you’re using Ubuntu 14.04 or earlier, type sudo apt-get install openvpn easy-rsa

Once OpenVPN is installed, you need config files. Usually you can download .ovpn config files from your VPN provider’s website. Each config file is associated with a particular server and location so grab a few of them for each location you want to connect to. Make sure to have backups in case a server goes down.

To connect via command line, which should work across most distros:

  1. With OpenVPN installed, type sudo openvpn –config in the terminal and hit Enter
  2. Drag and drop the .ovpn config file for the server you want to connect to into the terminal. The correct path will be automatically captured.
  3. Hit Enter and wait for the “Initialization Sequence Completed” message. You are now connected to the VPN. You can minimize the terminal window, but closing it will disconnect you from the VPN.

This is just one way to connect. You can also try the Ubuntu Network Manager or the OpenVPN GUI. These may require CA certificates and/or private keys from your VPN, so make sure those are available from the provider’s website.

How to make a VPN kill switch in Linux

In the event that the VPN connection unexpectedly drops, the computer will continue to send and receive traffic sent over your ISP’s unprotected network, possibly without you even noticing. To prevent this behavior, you can make yourself a simple kill switch that halts all internet traffic until the VPN connection is restored. We'll show you how to write some easy rules using iptables and the Ubuntu Ultimate Firewall (UFW) application.

First, create a startvpn.sh script that puts firewall rules in place. These firewall rules only allow traffic over the VPN's tun0 network interface, and they only allow traffic over that interface to go to your VPN's server.

$ cat startvpn.sh  sudo ufw default deny outgoing  sudo ufw default deny incoming  sudo ufw allow out on tun0 from any to any  sudo ufw allow out from any to 54.186.178.243 # <-- note this is the IP from the "remote" field of your configuration file  sudo ufw enable  sudo ufw status  sudo openvpn client.conf &

Network traffic cannot pass over any other network interface with these firewall rules in place. When your VPN drops, it removes the tun0 interface from your system so there is no allowed interface left for traffic to pass, and the internet connection dies.

When the VPN session ends, we need to remove the rules to allow normal network traffic over our actual network interfaces. The simplest method is to disable UFW altogether. If you have existing UFW rules running normally, then you'll want to craft a more elegant tear down script instead. This one removes the firewall rules and then kills openvpn with a script called stopvpn.sh

$ cat stopvpn.sh  sudo ufw disable  sudo ufw status  sudo kill `ps -ef | grep openvpn | awk '{print $2}'`

If you use some other means to connect to your VPN, you can eliminate the last two lines of each script. In such a configuration, you will have to remember to manually run the startvpn.sh script prior to starting your VPN using some other method. Once your VPN session ends, remembering to run the stopvpn.sh script isn’t hard; you'll probably notice the lack of internet connectivity until you run it.

Which Linux distro is best for privacy?

If you’re concerned about privacy, switching from MacOS or Windows to any open-source Linux distro is already a step in the right direction. Apple and Microsoft both collect personal data from users on their respective operating systems. Both companies are known to cooperate with law enforcement and intelligence agencies like the NSA. Microsoft uses customers’ data to sell ads. Both OSes are closed source, meaning the public cannot peak at the source code to see where vulnerabilities or backdoors lie.

Linux, on the other hand, is open source and frequently audited by the security community. While Ubuntu once flirted with Amazon to monetize users, it and other distros are generally not out to make a buck by selling your data to third parties.

Not all Linux distros are created equally, however, and some are more secure than others. If you’re looking for a distro that functions as a day-to-day desktop replacement but is also built with privacy and security in mind, we recommend Ubuntu Privacy Remix. UPR is a Debian-based Ubuntu build that stores all user data on encrypted removable media, such as an external hard drive. The “non-manipulatable” OS is supposedly immune to malware infection.

You’ll still need a VPN to encrypt your internet connection. Most of the apps from the VPN providers above should work fine on UPR.

If UPR isn’t enough and you want to use your computer with complete anonymity, we recommend TAILS. Short for The Amnesiac Incognito Live System, TAILS is a Linux distro built by the same people who created the Tor network. TAILS is a live OS designed to be installed on and run from a USB drive or CD. It’s a hardened version of Linux that routes all internet traffic through the Tor network. It leaves no trace of ever being used after removing it from the device.

Making your own VPN

If you don’t trust commercial VPN providers or you just prefer a DIY solution, you could always roll your own VPN. You’ll need to set up your own server. Common options are virtual private cloud services like Amazon Web Services and Digital Ocean. A variety of tools at your disposal that will assist you in getting a homegrown VPN up and running:

  • OpenVPN
  • Streisand
  • Algo
  • SoftEther VPN
  • StrongSwan

Each has its own pros and cons in terms of protocol, security, features, and ease of use. We’ve got a great tutorial on how to set up OpenVPN with a Linux client and Amazon EC2 Linux instance.

But even though rolling your VPN gives you full control over almost every aspect of how the VPN operates, there are some drawbacks. First, it’s much more difficult than using pre-existing servers and pre-configured apps. Secondly, if you’re using a cloud service like AWS or Digital Ocean, your data still passes through the hands of a third party. Third, you only get a single server and location to connect to.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, rolling your own VPN likely means that only you and perhaps a handful of acquaintances will be using it. That makes it much easier to trace activity back to a specific person. The best VPNs for Linux that we recommend, on the other hand, typically assign users shared IP addresses. Dozens and even hundreds of users can be pooled together under a single IP, effectively anonymizing traffic as it leaves the VPN server.

The post The best VPNs for Linux in 2018 (and the worst) appeared first on Comparitech.

Hulu VPN blocked? 5 Best VPNs that work with Hulu

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 10:01 AM PDT

Hulu VPN

After Netflix, Hulu is one of the most popular streaming video services available. Three major US television networks–Fox, ABC, and NBC–joined forces to create Hulu. It includes a wealth of content from other networks including Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, FX, SyFy, PBS, Style, and Cartoon Network. Most TV episodes appear on Hulu the day after they air, much faster than Netflix.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that Hulu looks the other way on proxy users just because it’s not as popular as Netflix. All of the content is strictly limited to residents of the US and Japan. If you try to access video on Hulu from outside those two countries, the site will prevent you from watching.

Hulu’s VPN ban is even more advanced than Netflix’s firewall. A VPN, or virtual private network, encrypts all the internet traffic heading to and from your computer and routes it through a server in a location of your choosing. This can make it appear to Hulu as though you are located in the United States, which gives you access to all the shows.

But Hulu, along with many other online streaming services, now blocks connections from known VPN servers. IP addresses on these servers are shared by dozens and even hundreds of users at once. This adds a layer of anonymity but makes it pretty obvious to Hulu what’s going on. Trying to watch Hulu with a normal VPN results in this message:

“Based on your IP address, we noticed you are trying to access Hulu through an anonymous proxy tool. Hulu is not currently available in the US. If you’re in the US,  you’ll need to disable your anonymizer to access videos on Hulu.”

For this reason, not just any VPN service will do. Most VPN providers cannot bypass Hulu’s strict firewall rules. The best VPNs for Hulu typically have a few servers each that can bypass the proxy ban. Just contact customer support to ask which servers can access Hulu.

Below we’ve curated the top five best VPN for Hulu based on the following criteria:

  • Not blocked by Hulu
  • Fast enough to stream HD video
  • Plenty of locations in the United States
  • Fast customer support

Best VPNs for Hulu:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN pricing

ExpressVPN, which offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee, always has a few servers that work with Hulu. To find out which, just go to their website and ask a customer support representative on the live chat. Live support is available 24/7, every day of the year. ExpressVPN connections are extremely stable and bandwidth is more than enough to stream Hulu shows in top quality. Several server locations are available across the United States. Note that we did have to disable IPv6 in order for it to work. Find instructions on how to do that below.

All ExpressVPN subscriptions come with MediaStreamer, a smart DNS proxy service that’s used by default whenever you connect to a VPN server, but can also be used separately to unblock Hulu and other streaming services.

ExpressVPN works to unblock just about every other streaming service we have tested including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Now, SlingTV, Amazon Prime and plenty more.

BEST FOR HULU: Get 3 months free and a 49% discount. This includes a 30 day money-back guarantee so you can try the service risk free.

Read our full review of ExpressVPN 

2. NordVPN

NordVPN 3 year plan

NordVPN comes with its trademark SmartPlay DNS baked into the VPN that allows it to unblock a huge range of content providers, including Hulu. You can find out which servers to connect to by consulting the official NordVPN knowledge base or by asking the live chat support. NordVPN also unblocks Netflix in several countries including the US, along with other streaming services like BBC iPlayer and HBO.

Security is airtight thanks to strong encryption and a true zero logs policy. The company also has specialized servers for certain use cases, including anti-DDoS, ultra-fast streaming, double VPN, and Tor over VPN. A single subscription allows you to connect up to six devices at the same time.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

SAVE 77%: Great deal with a huge 77% reduction on their 3 year plan.

Read our full review of NordVPN.

3. VyprVPN

vyprvpn website

VyprVPN took a brief hiatus from being able to unblock Hulu and other streaming channels, but we’re happy to say it’s now back in action. We didn’t have any issues finding a server that works with Hulu, but customers can also ask VyprVPN’s live chat support which servers to use. VyprVPN can also unblock US Netflix, HBO Now, HBO Go, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.

The company owns and operates its own network of servers, ensuring users have the bandwidth they need to stream in HD without buffering. The company uses some of the strongest encryption out there, although it does log users’ real IP addresses. For this reason, torrenters and other users who want to maximize privacy might want to look elsewhere.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE: VyprVPN is offering  a 30 day money back guarantee to Comparitech readers.

Read our full VyprVPN review.

4. CyberGhost

cyberghost banner

CyberGhost Pro has been ramping up its unblocking efforts lately. It is now able to unblock a wide range of streaming channels, including Hulu. The desktop app even allows you to choose a server based on what streaming services it can unblock rather than based on location alone. Hulu isn’t actually listed among those services, but we were able to unblock it using the NetflixLive chat support that is available during business hours. CyberGhost has both free and paid versions, and you’ll need the paid version to access the streaming servers. You’ll also get top-notch encryption, a no-logs policy, and extremely fast download speeds.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

PRICE CUT: Save over 70% on CyberGhost’s 2-year subscription.

Read our full CyberGhost Pro review.

5. PrivateVPN

privatevpn banner

PrivateVPN is an up-and-coming provider with a lot to offer to those who don’t mind a smaller number of servers. When it comes to unblocking streaming sites, it stands right alongside the more established players. We were able to unblock Hulu on a couple servers after sending a quick query to the support team. Even though PrivateVPN doesn’t operate as many servers as others on this list, the servers it does have are extremely quick and won’t leave you staring at a buffering icon. We’ve also been able to unblock Netflix in every country we’ve tested it in so far, including the US.

PrivateVPN doesn’t compromise on privacy or security. The company stores no logs of user activity nor IP address on its servers. It uses the same strong encryption that you’ll get with the veteran providers.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Get a 67% discount plus 5 months extra free with PrivateVPN’s annual plan.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

Can I use a free VPN to watch Hulu?

While you might get lucky and stumble onto a free VPN service with a VPN server that unblocks Hulu, the only reliable way to unblock it is with a paid VPN from the list above. Free VPN providers don’t have the resources to change their VPN server IP addresses and domains when they get blacklisted by a service like Hulu. So even if you find a magical free VPN, it probably won’t last long.

Furthermore, free VPN providers tend to use slow, congested servers. Expect a lot of buffering and possible disruptions in service. Many free VPN service providers cap the maximum bandwidth or the total amount of data alotted per day or month, meaning you could get cut off in the middle of a show.

Finally, no VPN is truly free. Many free VPNs monitor users’ web traffic and mine the data, inject advertisements, place tracking cookies into your browser, and sell the information they dig up to advertising companies. Some have even been caught redirecting users to the wrong sites in order to make a quick buck. As the adage goes, if you don’t buy the product, you are the product.

VPNs to avoid with Hulu

The following VPNs do not work with Hulu as of time of writing:

  • Zenmate
  • PureVPN
  • Hotspot Shield
  • Hola
  • IPVanish
  • Tunnelbear
  • CactusVPN
  • Private Internet Access (PIA)
  • IronSocket
  • Unotelly
  • CactusVPN
  • Buffered

Does Hulu allow VPNs?

Hulu’s terms of service do not specifically mention VPNs or proxies, but it does state the following that could be construed to cover VPN services:

You may not either directly or through the use of any device, software, internet site, web-based service, or other means remove, alter, bypass, avoid, interfere with, or circumvent any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices marked on the Content or any digital rights management mechanism, device, or other content protection or access control measure associated with the Content including geo-filtering mechanisms.

Hulu goes on to say that if you break this rule, the company will notify you and block access to the service. It does not mention account termination or suspension as far as we can interpret it.

To date, we’ve heard of no such case where a Hulu user was penalized for using a VPN other than the aforementioned error message in the video player. VPNs are 100 percent legal in almost all countries.

How to disable IPv6

Even when using the VPN providers on this list, there’s a chance you’ll still encounter an error message on Hulu instructing you to turn off your “anonymous proxy.” This is because the vast majority of VPN services still don’t protect against IPv6 leaks. While a VPN connection can route all your traffic requests through its own DNS servers and mask your IPv4 address, IPv6 addresses still get sent without being hidden. IPv6 serves the same purpose as IPv4, but contains a far wider range of possible IP addresses for internet-connected devices.

The solution is an imperfect but effective VPN block workaround for Hulu: disable IPv6. We say it’s imperfect because it would be better if everyone switched over to IPv6 because the IPv4 protocol is running out of unique IP addresses. Limiting yourself to IPv4 is bad for the long term health of the internet, but it won’t affect much else.

How to disable IPv6 on a Windows PC (Windows 10):

  1. Disconnect and close the VPN app
  2. Tap Windows Key+R to open the Run prompt
  3. Type ncpa.cpl and hit Enter to open your Network Connections
  4. Find the connection you are using, right click it, and select Properties
  5. On the Networking or General tab, uncheck the box that says “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)”
  6. Click OK to save changes and close the Window
  7. Tap Windows Key+R and select Command Prompt (Admin), then hit Yes when asked if it’s okay for the program to make changes to your computer
  8. In the command prompt (black window), type ipconfig /flushdns and hit Enter.
  9. Reconnect to the VPN, refresh the Hulu page, and enjoy the video!

How to disable IPv6 on Mac OSX:

  1. Disconnect and close the VPN app
  2. Open the Apple menu.
  3. Choose System Preferences > Network > AirPort > Advanced
  4. Click TCP/IP.
  5. Click on the Configure IPv6 pop-up menu and select Off.
  6. Click OK and Apply (to apply the change).
  7. Reconnect to the VPN, refresh the Hulu page, and enjoy the video!

Paying for Hulu from outside the US

Hulu doesn’t just require that your IP address be in the United States. Payment must also come from the US. If you live outside of the country without a domestic credit card or PayPal account, this can be tricky.

There are a couple of solutions that reportedly work, though in the interest of being transparent we didn’t test any of these out.

  • A prepaid card from this website costs about $20 plus however much credit you want to put on your Hulu account. After initially setting up the account, you can just buy Hulu gift cards on Amazon or elsewhere online for subsequent payments. Similar prepaid card options are available on eBay as well.
  • EntroPay allows you to make payments online by setting up a prepaid virtual visa card. Users report that this cannot be used to make a payment directly to Hulu, but it can be used to set up a US-based PayPal account. The PayPal account can then be used to make payments on Hulu.
  • StatesPay is another virtual credit card provider that costs $3.95 per month. In theory you should be able to just pay for the first month to set up the account and then use Hulu gift cards to make subsequent payments. The site is not accepting new sign ups as of the time of writing, however, so you might have to wait awhile before the service is available again.

The post Hulu VPN blocked? 5 Best VPNs that work with Hulu appeared first on Comparitech.