I have been using Netflix for about a year. Recently I decided to check out Hulu-Plus. This is what I did to get it happening.
- Make your Internet connection look like it is in the USA
- Get a device to stream Hulu-plus to your TV – I bought a Roku box.
- Get a USA credit card
- Use your new credit card to create a Hulu-plus account.
- When your Roku arrives, create a Roku account
- Away you go.
Make your Internet connection look like it is in the USA
First of all, you need to be able to access the USA websites and make it look like you are physically in the USA. There are a few ways to do this, either using a VPN service like StrongVPN, or using a DNS cloaking service like blockless.com or Unblock-us.com. I have tried both VPN and DNS cloaking, and I recommend the later – either blockless.com or unblock-us.com. These is a much better option for a few reasons.
- VPN is a technology that makes your PC behave if it is in the destination location. The technology that does this has some “overhead” on your Internet connection, meaning the speed wont be as good as it would be if you were not using internet.
- Setting up a router to use VPN is complex if you don’t know what you are doing.
- I found VPN to be frustrating due to constant data throughput issues (even with a quality paid service like Strong VPN).
- Unblock-us.com uses a different technology all together. It provides you with a US based DNS server, which basically means that when your device requests access to the service (ie Hulu-plus, Netflix), the request actually comes from the USA. Once the request has been authorised, the actual data is sent direct you, not via VPN, so it is a much smoother streaming service.
- Unblock-us.com also gives you access to streaming services in the UK. If you want this with a VPN, you need to register for another VPN service.
You can get a 7 day trial account at blockless.com. Follow the instructions to configure your devices. If you plan on buying a Roku box (see below), then you will need to configure your router by following the instructions at unblock-us.com. It is easy to do, so don’t panic. As far as I can tell, doing this has no negative effects on general browsing the internet for other services in Australia.
Get a device to stream Hulu-plus to your TV – I bought a Roku box.
Then I purchased a Roku box from Amazon in the USA. I purchased the top of the range Roku 2 XS for $96, however you could get the entry level for $60 if you want to save some money. My box shipped with video cables for an SD TV. If you want HDMI, you have to buy an extra cable. May as well buy it from Amazon if you need it.
Edit [July 2012]: Well Apple has now released Hulu-Plus on the Apple TV. I will be selling my Roku box and buying another ATV for my second TV so that I keep compatability with the rest of my devices.
Get a USA credit card
Then I purchased a pre-paid US Credit Card/Gift Card from buyfrompowerseller.com. The $25 credit card cost me $39. It is a single use card that will get you 3 months of Hulu-plus (provided you use the instructions provided by the vendor).
I actually decided to immediately purchase a Hulu-plus subscription top up card. You can apply these subscription cards to your Hulu-plus account, and Hulu will use those before it debits your credit card. My intention is to always keep some credit spare on my credit card. This means I can re-use the credit card for other similar US based subscriptions in the future.
Use your new credit card to create a Hulu-plus account
When you get your credit card details from the credit card vendor, it will come with full instructions on how to register your card (you have to register a US based address) and then how to use it to create your Hulu-Plus account. Just follow the instructions and you wont have any issues. Now you are away, you can start watching Hulu-Plus on your PC/Mac immediately until your Roku box arrives. You can also watch Hulu-plus on an iPad, iPhone etc but you need a USA based iTunes Account to download the App.
When your Roku arrives, create a Roku account
You have to go to the roku.com website to create your Roku account. Use the same address as you used for your credit card above.
Away you go
That’s it, it is all you have to do. You should also look into getting a netflix account. Hulu and Netflix have some common content but a lot of it is different – so both are good.