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Yes, you can watch Hulu live TV away from home but there are a few things you need to be aware of, including Hulu’s home network policy and how it relates to different devices.
In this guide we’ll explain exactly what Hulu’s away from home restrictions are, as well as its home network guidelines in general.
Hulu does not prohibit subscribers from watching either its on-demand or live TV service when away from home. However, the rules are different depending on the device you are accessing the service with.
Regardless of the device, nearly all of the restrictions come down to Hulu’s home network definition.
Understanding Hulu’s home network policy
Instead, Hulu requires new subscribers to assign a live TV subscription to a home network within 30 days of signing up. Once set, the subscription is then permanently tied to that Wi-Fi network as the “home” network.
The knock-on effects of this rule mainly apply to what Hulu refers to as “living room” devices. Any device that falls into this category cannot access Hulu + Live TV when away from the home network.
Devices you cannot watch Hulu live on when away from home:
- Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- LG TV
- Roku and Roku Stick
- Samsung TV
- VIZIO SmartCast TVs
- Xbox 360
- Xbox One
The single-home policy does not affect mobile devices, considering they are designed for use on the go. Therefore, subscribers are able to access Hulu + Live TV when away from home on pretty much any mobile device.
Devices you can watch Hulu live on when away from home:
- Android smartphones
- Android tablets
- iOS smartphones
Again, there are some points even mobile users will need to be aware of to ensure uninterrupted viewing. The main one is that mobile devices are required to ‘check in’ every 30 days with the designated home network.
This does mean that anyone who is away from home for longer than 30 days will likely be unable to continue accessing Hulu + Live TV on mobile devices.
Checking in is fairly simple to do as it just requires the subscriber to open the app on a mobile device when connected to the home network. At which point, the 30-day limit starts again.
Another, but expected restriction, is that mobile devices can only access live TV while connected within the United States.
Using Hulu with a VPN
Due to the reliance on a connection to a designated home network, subscribers also cannot access Hulu + Live TV on a living room device when using a VPN.
Anytime the Wi-Fi network deviates from the designated home network, the Hulu app will display a warning explaining that the service cannot be used until the device has reconnected to the home network.
This does not affect the use of a VPN on a mobile devices as mobile devices are permitted to connect to Hulu in locations outside the home. Although, subscribers may run into issues if they try to access the mobile app while having been continuously connected to a VPN for longer than 30 days.
Moving home with Hulu + Live TV
If you’re moving home then you will need to access live TV from a different network. To overcome this, Hulu does allow subscribers to change their designated home network to a new one. By changing the designated network, the previous one loses its compatibility with living room devices.
To avoid subscribers abusing this feature, Hulu technically only allows subscribers to change the designated home network four times within a 12-month period. However, this is not an absolute limit as the company does say those who run out of available home network changes can reach out to Hulu and they may be able to help. Needless to say, additional changes will then be at the mercy of Hulu and evaluated on an individual basis.
Subscribers can change their Home network to a new one by opening the app on a living room device after connecting to the new network and selecting the “Yes, make this location my home” option when the warning is shown.
Alternatively, subscribers can also change their home network by heading to the “Manage Your Account” section via a web browser and choosing the “Set or Change Home” option under “Privacy and “Settings.”
Hulu live away from home summary
To recap, you can access Hulu live when away from home although it depends on the device.
Here’s a reminder of the devices you can and cannot stream through when away from the home network:
|Amazon Fire TV|
Fire TV Stick
|Android TV||Android tablets|
|Apple TV||iOS smartphones|
|Roku TV |
|VIZIO SmartCast TVs|
Mobile devices require a manual check-in with the home network every 30 days to retain access, and can only access live TV from within the U.S.