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You Can Watch Hulu Live Away from Home (But Not on All Your Devices)

Watching Hulu live TV away from home is not an issue, but the devices used to stream the service outside the home network can be.

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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 and multiple homes.

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Hulu Live TV does not prohibit subscribers from watching either on demand or live TV content when away from home. However, the rules are different depending on the device used to access the service. Regardless of the device, nearly all of the restrictions come down to Hulu’s home network definition. This guide explains exactly what Hulu Live TV’s away from home restrictions are, as well as its home network guidelines in general.

Understanding Hulu’s home network policy

Hulu classifies its live TV subscription service as a single-home service. Due to this, Hulu does not allow one Hulu Live TV subscription to be accessed in two different homes.

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Hulu Live TV 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 and defined as the “home” network.

Hulu live multiple homes
Hulu live is a single-home service

The knock-on effects of this rule mainly applies to what is commonly referred to as “living room” devices. For example, any device that falls into this category won’t be able to access live TV or on demand content 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
  • Chromecast
  • LG TVs
  • PlayStation 4/5
  • Roku TVs and Roku players
  • Samsung TVs
  • VIZIO SmartCast TVs
  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox One

The single-home policy does not affect mobile devices, as these are designed for use when on the go. Therefore, subscribers are able to access Hulu Live TV when away from home on just about any mobile device.

Devices you can watch Hulu live on when away from home:

  • Android smartphones
  • Android tablets
  • Fire Tablets
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Mac
  • PC/laptops

However, there are some caveats that 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.

Hulu Home Network WiFi Check-In
Hulu live requires mobile devices to check in every 30 days

In other words, anyone 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 to be expected restriction, is that mobile devices can only access live TV while connected within the United States. This is not an unusual limitation, with most live TV providers only allowing access while the user is located in the U.S.

Read more: You Can Watch YouTube TV Away from Home (With Caveats)

Using Hulu with a VPN

Due to the need to be connected to a designated home network, subscribers also cannot access Hulu Live TV on a living room device when using a virtual private network (VPN).

Hulu away from home VPN
Hulu live works with a VPN, but not living room devices

Each time Hulu Live TV registers a living room device as connected to a Wi-Fi network (other than the designated home network), the Hulu app will display a warning explaining that the service cannot be accessed until the device reconnects to the previously assigned network.

Again, this VPN restriction does not affect mobile devices as they are generally permitted to connect to Hulu Live TV in locations that are outside the home area. However, 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 moving home, then you will need to access live TV from a different network. To overcome this, Hulu allows subscribers to change their designated home network to a new one. However, by changing the designated network, the previous one loses its compatibility with living room devices.

Hulu Live TV moving home
Moving home requires a home network change

To avoid subscribers abusing this feature, Hulu Live TV only allows subscribers to change their designated home network four times within a 12-month period. This is not an absolute limit as the company does state that, when a subscriber runs out of available home network changes, they can reach out to Hulu for help with any further changes. Therefore, additional changes are at the mercy of Hulu and evaluated on an individual basis.

To change a Home network to a new one, subscribers simply need to open the Hulu app on a living room device after connecting to the new network. At which point, a prompt (shown in the image at the top of the article) will be visible. Simply selecting the “Yes, make this location my home” option when the warning is shown will complete the home area network change.

Alternatively, subscribers can also change their home network by heading to the “Manage Your Account” section in a web browser and choosing the “Set or Change Home” option under “Privacy and “Settings.” Again, changing the home network using this method will depend on the device, as Hulu does not allow home network changes to be performed while connected to a mobile network. This includes non-mobile devices using a mobile hotspot to connect to the internet.

Hulu Live TV away from home summary

Subscribers can access Hulu Live TV when away from home, although it depends on the device. While mobile devices are generally permitted to access content outside the home area, living room devices are not. However, mobile devices are still required to manually check-in with the home network every 30 days to retain access, and can only access live TV from within the U.S.

Below is a final reminder of the devices you can and cannot stream Hulu Live TV on when away from the home network:

Can AccessCan’t Access
Android smartphonesFire TV/Stick
Android tabletsAndroid TV
Fire TabletsApple TV
iPhoneChromecast
iPadLG TV
MacPlayStation 4/5
PC/laptopsRoku TV/Stick
Samsung TV
Vizio SmartCast TVs
Xbox 360/Xbox One

Read more: Hulu Live TV: Network Apps & Websites Subscribers Can Access

John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Clarity to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

39 replies on “You Can Watch Hulu Live Away from Home (But Not on All Your Devices)”

John, Thank you for being so clear. I didn’t ask the right questions when I subscribed to Hulu with Live TV. The restrictions apply strongly to us, but now at least I understand.

Sorry to hear that. Not sure if the channel lineup is as suitable for you, but YouTube TV might be a better option if Hulu Live’s restrictions are too much.

YouTube TV’s restrictions are worse. You can only change home location 2 times in a 12 month period.

The Home area restriction might be worse, but you should need to use it less often than with Hulu, due to YouTube TV’s ‘check in’ policy. No similar option with Hulu which forces users to have to change Home Network each time.

I can’t access any of my premium channels on other TV’s. I added the Hulu Live just so I could get the unlimited screens and still nothing. This is very frustrating and became very expensive for nothing

Are these TVs located in another house? If so, it is probably Hulu’s home network policy kicking in. However, there might be a way around it with premium networks. For example, you should be able to access HBO, Showtime or Starz through the actual apps if you download them on your additional TVs by logging in with your Hulu Live credentials.

I understand it’s not the same, but if it gets you the access, it could be worth it.

I have a Hulu account at my beach house. I want to watch a show that is only shown on Hulu. I am now back in our regular home and I’m trying to access Hulu. It will not let me sign on with my user ID and password. How can I do so.

So Hulu is not the service I should use. I have two house about 250 miles apart and when we are one of the two houses we want to use hulu but cannot because of their requirement. No way to get around this issue?

Not with living room TVs. You should be able to connect a laptop to the TV in the second home and use Hulu that way.

You can also change the network up to 4 times each year, so that might be an option, depending on how often going between the two homes.

Thank you! This is a very clear explanation of the policy and which devices can and cannot be used while traveling. It is exactly what I was looking for and then some.

Would I be able to use a Hulu live account to log into the Marquee Network app and then watch on a smart tv outside of my Hulu Live home network?

Hi Rich,

Normally, using a third-party app would probably allow Hulu Live subscribers to get around the home network restriction. However, I don’t think the Marquee Sports Network app currently lets Hulu Live subscribers log in through the app. Although could be wrong about that. If you can and it works, let us know.

I found a relatively simple ‘work around’. What I’ve done, and it works pretty well, is I connect to Hulu on my laptop (Surface or other device). I have a TV in my office with a firestick on it. I set the fire stick to ‘mirroring’, then connect my W10 laptop to the firestick mirror and voila. It works perfect.

this really sucks for kids with divorced parents. now I can’t watch Hulu at my dad’s house. he doesn’t use streaming services himself normally so it doesn’t make sense for him to get them just for the time when we’re around. I go off to college so now I’m just not able to access my mom’s Hulu while at college. this really sucks

I think it is ridiculous that kids go off to college and can’t access Hulu. They’re college students so they can’t afford to pay for it themselves!

Mr. Finn… I appreciated the information on this page. I live in one state and work in another, so I am weekly commuting between the two and as I work as a pilot I like to take my Roku stick with me on the road.
So it appears that Hulu Plus is never going to be a replacement for DirecTV as I had hoped initially.

Tell me are there any streaming services where I can get access to the news, Sci-Fi channel, and at least the Hallmark Channel (for my wife), so that I can watch what I am paying while i travel??

Thank you

Hi Steve, thanks for the comment and great question.

If you wanted to switch services then fuboTV has you covered with news, the Sci-Fi channel and three Hallmark channels. However, it is $10 more expensive than Hulu.

One option that you might want to consider is using network apps. For example, you could load your Roku Stick with the main apps you want (news, Sci-Fi channel, etc) and use them instead of directly going through Hulu’s app when away. While this won’t work for all the networks, I think it covers the main ones you asked about. Here’s more info on how that works – https://streamingclarity.com/hulu-live-tv-everywhere-network-apps-websites-list/

I understand I would have to check in every 30 days but is my laptop or other mobile devices cosidered a 3th tv on the hulu live subscription. Question would be can my wife and i watch tv (2different tvs) while my son used the mobile device

Hi Willis,

The laptop or mobile device won’t be an issue, but the number of streams will be. A standard Hulu live subscription only allows 2 devices to stream at the same time. So in this case, the third stream is not possible, regardless of the device.

The only way around the streams issue with Hulu is the ‘Unlimited Screens’ add-on, but that’s an extra $9.99 per month.

I will be going to a vacation home in TX without cable/satellite for 3.5 weeks. Can I subscribe to Hulu live for one month, and then cancel or transfer the subscription to my home, as if I moved? I don’t currently have hulu now.

Yes, but you will need to set the subscription up at the holiday home as when you sign up for the first time it will ask if your current location is your Home area. This is what will determine how well it will work on other devices. So, best to set up the subscription the day you arrive as it only takes a couple of seconds anyway.

Thank you explaining this, it’s been frustrating. I now understand the situation, but when I am away at my second home why won’t it let me at least login to Hulu to watch non-live shows? Once it sees you’re not on your home network it won’t let you open the app (on an Amazon Firestick).

Would like to use live TV from time to time on my boat on a large screen. If I’m at my boat no one is at my house watching TV

You really are very specific and clear in your answers and recommendations, John, as noted in several comments.

I’m eager to switch from uTubeTV, which provides the good versatility but at increasingly higher prices. We also experience regular focusing issues(only within the APP) and annoying buffering/freezing only on live uTube feed, unconnected to WiFi connectivity or speed.
Any recommendations, other than dropping, which is where it looks like we’re headed?
Thanks for your expertise.

We are unable to access our premium channels on the second device that is in the same home and on the same wifi network. Everything I have seen says we should be able to watch 2 different devices in the same home.

Thanks for this content John.
We have cut the cord with Direct TV and started Hulu LIVE TV until we realized that we cannot access it as we use a hotspot (Netgear Nighthawk) for our internet connection. We do not have fiber where we live and this has proven better than the DSL that is the other option.
Hulu says we need an IP address for the Live TV portion. any ideas?
I thought of making my son’s home (fibre and10 miles away) the primary and mirroring a mobile device onto our smart TV. Is that a work around or do you have another thought?
thank you.

Hi Laurie and thanks for the question.

The workaround might work although the mobile device will still need to ‘check in’ at your son’s home once every thirty days. Otherwise, without a dedicated IP address that Hulu can designate as the home network, you are going to encounter problems when signing up.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way around this unless opting for another service that’s less restrictive on streams away from home.

Thank you for taking the time to write this article up. For those frustrated, I suggest researching OpenVPN. It may be a little trouble to set up, but has fixed my requirement to bring my devices ‘home’ every 30 days to ‘check in’. I’ll bet I could also get my two fire sticks and two TV’s to use an openvpn gateway and have all my devices work from any location. I’m not suggesting anyone try this, just research it.

This solution would also cure the problem of my ISP changing ip address ranges every year or so and causing me to have to ‘rehome’ my devices. Hulu is not ‘cutting the cord’ at all with this behavior, but I understand they have to bow to the content creator wishes who do NOT like this brave new world we live in.

I travel to Colorado for 2 week of each month now and have 2 homes which I live at. I really need to be able to have my hulu at both addresses. If this can’t be done I will have to decide if I want to continue with you. Please advise if anything can be done.

I’m confused because this is the first I am finding out about this after having a +live TV subscription for I think closer to 2 years now and actively use it at both my home and buisness on what are considered a living room tv device. Today is the first time I’ve seen this message

Wrokaround – Use Rokus, and when traveling with them use mobile device (phone, surface, etc.) and project to Roku

If I have to watch commercials, I should be able to watch Hulu in RV when on vacation anytime I want to. This should be illegal!

Question, my Hulu home network is in Indianapolis but I am in Chicago often. When I’m watching live TV in Chicago on my iPad, should I be getting Chicago local programming (news, sports, etc) or Indianapolis? Thanks.

Hey so if I were to be away from home and watch live tv on my iPhone but screen share to google chrome cast would that work or no? The 30 day check in is no issue

I’m still not clear about Hulu’s policy on live streams. My friend and I each have a home in Michigan. Up until March of 2021 we could each watch Hulu at the same time, sharing the same account, in our own home 30 miles apart. We’ve done this for the last two years. We also have a home in Florida that we share. One of might be In Michigan while the other is in Florida. This year for the first time, when that happens only the person whose name is on the account can use the “living room screen.” What has changed? What happened to two live streams?

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