How to Bypass the Hulu Proxy Error (7 Tips)
Well, until you get the dreaded Hulu proxy error message. Then you’re pretty much out of luck, right?
Not really. We’ll show you what you can do to fix the error in this article + other useful stuff.
What Is Hulu Error Code BYA-403-011?
It’s an error message you’ll see if Hulu catches you using a proxy or a VPN to watch content on its platform. The message might look like this:
“Based on your IP-address, we noticed 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.”
“You appear to be using an anonymous proxy tool. You’ll need to disable it to access Hulu. If you think you’re receiving this message in error, please contact our customer support…”
You might also see this message if you use an unsupported third-party app (so not the official Hulu app), or using a VPS (Virtual Private Server) to access the site.
How Does Hulu Know You’re Using a Proxy or a VPN?
It’s all due to the server’s IP address. Sure, it doesn’t outright scream “I BELONG TO A VPN/PROXY,” but anyone at Hulu can easily tell it’s a VPN/proxy IP address.
By looking it up with a tool like this one, and seeing it belongs to a data center, not a residential ISP. For example, if you use our Chicago VPN server with that tool, you’ll see the address belongs to Nexeon Technologies. A simple Google search will immediately tell you that’s a data center.
Besides that, there are other ways Hulu can find out the IP address belongs to a proxy or VPN:
- They could work with a company like MaxMind that provides valuable data about IP addresses – the country and city they are from, if they’re residential or commercial addresses, and if they’re proxy addresses.
- The site might notice multiple sign-ins from the same IP address, which could trigger the Hulu proxy error message.
- Hulu might check if your browser has tracking cookies from multiple geographic regions. That’s usually an indicator you’ve been browsing the web using VPN servers from different countries.
- The site could also use automated scripts (like this one) to detect IP addresses associated with data centers.
Why Does Hulu Block Proxies and VPNs?
They don’t really have a choice. They have to do it. Otherwise, they might breach the agreements they have with copyright holders.
Here’s the thing – Hulu doesn’t own all the content on its platform. A lot of it is owned by other parties. And those parties probably sold the distribution rights to their shows in other countries to other platforms or local TV networks.
So if Hulu offers a show it doesn’t own in the US, and the show’s copyright holder sold the distribution rights for the show in Germany to a local TV network, Hulu can’t broadcast it there. If it does, it breaches the copyright agreement the company signed, which could result in Hulu getting sued.
So they have no choice but to detect and block proxy and VPN IP addresses.
What About Hulu Originals?
Hulu owns the copyright in that case, so they should have no problem making those shows available worldwide?
That’s true, and it’s really hard to say why Hulu doesn’t offer that content worldwide. We looked everywhere online and couldn’t find a reason. If you check Hulu’s FAQs, they just say that “A Hulu subscription is intended for use by members of a single U.S. household.”
We do have one thought – maybe Hulu is more interested in selling the distribution rights for their shows in other countries instead of streaming the content themselves.
Take Handmaid’s Tale for example. Even though Hulu owns it, you have to watch it through different platforms in other countries:
That means Hulu sold the distribution rights to those networks. And they’re probably considering doing that in other countries too.
Because charging other networks to air Hulu Originals might be more profitable for them than launching their platform in all countries. After all, there’s no guarantee they’ll get enough subscriptions in every country to make more money than selling the rights to their shows.
tl;dr: It all boils down to profit. They block proxies and VPNs to uphold their agreements with third-party networks because they probably make more money that way.
How to Fix the Hulu Proxy Error
Based on what other proxy and VPN users have said, and our own tests, this is what you should do:
1. Restart the App or the Connection
Let’s start with the easiest solution. Just disconnect from the VPN/proxy, and reconnect after a few seconds.
If that doesn’t work, try disconnecting and shutting down the app. Wait a few seconds, run it, and connect to the server.
2. Make Sure the App Is Up-to-Date
Postponing updates might not seem like a big deal, but it actually is. An outdated app can cause IP leaks or fail to refresh IP addresses. If that happens, you’ll definitely get the Hulu proxy error.
So if there are updates in the app’s backlog, go ahead and run them right now. And if your provider launched a new version of the app, you obviously need to download, install, and use it instead of the old version.
3. Try a Different Server
There’s a chance the server you’re currently using has been targeted and blacklisted by Hulu. Use a different one to see if it solves the problem.
Just remember to connect to a US server. Hulu content is only available in that country.
4. Clear Your Cookies or Use Incognito Mode
Sometimes, your browser can leak your geo-location to Hulu due to the cookies and geo-data it stores. Basically, your IP address might tell Hulu you’re from the US, but your browser will tell it you’re actually from Italy, for instance.
So make sure you clear your browser’s cookies before accessing Hulu.
Alternatively, just use incognito mode together with the VPN or proxy. Normally, it doesn’t store any cookies or cache geo-location data.
5. Turn on the Kill Switch
VPN and proxy connections can sometimes drop, causing traffic leaks. Unfortunately, even if it’s only for a few seconds, that leak could expose your IP address to Hulu. Normally, when that happens you’ll just get the geo-location error.
However, if it happens a lot in a short period (like three or four times in an hour) there’s a chance Hulu could consider the sudden IP address and geo-location changes suspicious proxy or VPN behavior. So the site might hit you with the Hulu proxy error message.
To avoid that, turn on your service’s Kill Switch. It’s a feature that shuts off your web connection when your proxy/VPN connection goes down. A bit extreme, yes, but it’s better than losing access to Hulu altogether.
If you’re are using the SmartyDNS app for Windows, you can enable the Kill Switch by heading to the Settings tab and switching Stop Internet traffic if VPN connection is dropped to ON.
Alternatively, you can also use our Apps Killer. It lets you pick which app gets shut down when the connection goes down. So you don’t lose your whole Internet connection.
To use the Apps Killer, head to the Apps Killer tab, hit Add app., and add the browser you use to watch Hulu.
6. Don’t Use Free VPNs or Proxies
If you’re using one, you gotta ditch it. You’re very likely to see the Hulu proxy error message with a free service.
Because Hulu will always have an easier time blocking them. The site can block paid services too, sure, but they can bypass the block eventually.
Free VPNs/proxies however, usually don’t have the financial resources necessary to refresh their IP addresses fast enough to keep up with Hulu’s blocks (they’re free, remember?).
7. Use a Smart DNS Instead
Sometimes, a VPN or proxy just can’t get the job done. Hulu (and other streaming platforms) focus on blocking them a lot, so it can be hard for providers to bypass their blocks.
However, they might not focus so much on blocking Smart DNS services. Unlike VPNs and proxies, they don’t hide your IP address to spoof your geo-location. Instead, these services mask your DNS settings (which also affect your geo-location) and route your traffic through different proxy servers around the world.
In our experience, we had no problem bypassing the Hulu proxy error with a Smart DNS when a proxy or VPN didn’t work.
Plus, you get to enjoy an awesome perk – your online speeds don’t go down at all. With a VPN or proxy, that tends to happen. But a Smart DNS doesn’t encrypt your traffic, so your speeds don’t get overburdened.
If you use SmartyDNS, you probably already know we offer a Smart DNS service alongside our VPN. You can easily turn it on in our app. We’ll show you how to do it in our Windows client, but the process is similar for other platforms too.
Oh, and if you aren’t a SmartyDNS user, here’s what you should do – sign up for our free trial, and download and install the app. You’ll have plenty of time to see if it works well for you. If it doesn, upgrade to our budget-friendly subscriptions.
Now, before you enable the Smart DNS, head to Settings. Scroll down until you reach Smart DNS, and make sure the Website region is set to USA. The DNS Server option should be set to your region (or the region closest to you), so that you get optimal speeds.
Next, click the Smart DNS tab. It’s to the left of the Settings tab.
Hit Enable Smart DNS, and start enjoying all the content you want on Hulu.
Nothing Worked? Time to Contact Support
If none of those tips worked for you, you need to contact the VPN provider’s customer support. The service might be experiencing a technical problem that prevents it from unblocking Hulu.
The support reps should be able to tell you exactly what is going on, what the devs are doing to fix the issue, and how long it will take them to do it.
If you’re a SmartyDNS user and are experiencing a problem with our service, please submit a support ticket from your account on our website (My Account > Support > Submit Support Ticket). We’re available 24/7, and will do our best to get back to you with a solution ASAP.
Can You Fix the Hulu Proxy Error with DNS Codes?
DNS codes are a free alternative to paid Smart DNS services. Essentially, they’re free DNS addresses you find online which you can set up on your device or router.
Do they work?
Sometimes, yes. A lot of the time, no.
It’s the same problem you have with free VPNs and proxies. There’s no business model, so no infrastructure. It’s just a random DNS address that might bypass the Hulu proxy error at first, but stop working soon after because it can’t keep up with the site’s constant blocking.
Besides that, you’ve got two more problems:
- A free DNS code will route your traffic to a DNS server that’s in no way prepared to deal with a lot of traffic. You’re extremely likely to deal with slow speeds and connections that drop often.
- Most sites that promote DNS codes are very shady. The odds of you using a DNS server owned by a hacker are pretty big. If that happens, they could use MITM attacks to reroute your connections to phishing sites.
Can You Get the Hulu Proxy Error without Using a VPN/Proxy?
Actually, you can. According to Hulu’s own website, you might get Hulu error code BYA-403-011 if you’re assigned a previously blacklisted IP address by your ISP.
Basically, that happens if the person who had your current IP address before you was caught using a VPN/proxy by Hulu. The site might have blacklisted their IP address, and you now have to deal with the previous owner’s consequences.
You can normally solve that problem by asking your ISP to assign you a new IP address. Or, you know, just use a VPN server or proxy server in the US, or a Smart DNS.
We also suspect there are other reasons why this might happen:
- There’s a communication error between your device and Hulu’s servers. Try using a different device to see if it works.
- You’re from the US, and your ISP uses DNS servers from a different state than the one you live in (so a DNS server in New York while you live in Pennsylvania). Hulu sees a DNS address from one state, and an IP address from a different state, so the site might think you’re using an unblocker. A VPN with DNS servers in your area can help you solve that problem. Alternatively, try using:
- OpenDNS: 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52.
- Google Public DNS: 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11.
Did You Ever Get the Hulu Proxy Error?
If yes, how did you fix it? Did any of the tips we mentioned in this guide help, or did you use other methods? If you did, please tell us about them.
Also, if you have other info about how Hulu detects VPN and proxy IP addresses, or why they geo-block their Originals, go ahead and let us know in the comments.
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