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

The question should not be whether you can watch Hulu live TV away from home, but what devices can you watch on?

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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

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.

Hulu two homes
Hulu live is a single-home service

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
  • Chromecast
  • 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
  • iPad
  • Laptops

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.

Hulu home check in
Hulu live requires mobile devices to check in every 30 days

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.

Hulu VPN mobile
Hulu live works fine with mobiles using a VPN, but not living room devices

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:

X
Amazon Fire TV
Fire TV Stick
Android smartphones
Android TV Android tablets
Apple TV iOS smartphones
Chromecast iPad
LG TV Laptops
Roku TV
Roku Stick
Samsung TV
VIZIO SmartCast TVs
Xbox 360
Xbox One

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.

John Finn

By John Finn

John is the founder of Streaming Clarity and has been writing about smartphones and TV-related services and devices since 2014. John streams everything and genuinely believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between streaming services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

8 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.

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.

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