Update 7/28/09: New solution found: Combining Hotspot Shield and Ultrasurf. Ultrsurf 9.0 provides a lesser-known IP address while HSS offers it at a higher speed than normal (theoretically). Two readers have confirmed that this solution works.
Update 6/27/09: A new solution has been found here. Hulu is currently blocking all HSS-leased IP addresses from Abovenet Communications in White Plains, NY. IP Hider as next best solution until further notice. The service is paid, but subscribe to the newsletter at how-to-hide-ip to receive a 3-month trial free. (Edit: Here's a list of hotspot shield alternatives that theoretically should work with Hulu: Link 1, Link 2)
Update 6/26/09: As of two days ago, Hulu has begun cracking down on the "delete browser cache" solution posted here. Unfortunately, this means that despite deleting and blocking the revsci.net cookie, which is most likely responsible for the geo-location checksum, non-US users will continue to be blocked from video play access. There has been some hope with Hulu Desktop, the software version of Hulu.com. A second solution should arise soon, but until then, perhaps consider watching your favorite programs on surfthechannel or (if you're in Canada) these options.
Mac Users (Update 6/15/09): Unfortunately this hack DOESN'T WORK with macs. The Mac HSS version still broadcasts the proxy status (thanks to Dan, Matt, Kay and Toby for the info!). Toby figured out a way around this however by using the PC HSS version on the Mac (by way to XP Parallels/Virtual Machine).
On How To Watch Hulu in Canada, a commenter writes that:
"I've used hotspot shield for about 3 months.. now Hulu doesn't allow me to use anonymous proxy to view. The message says:
"Based on your IP address, we recognize that you are trying to access HULU through an anonymous proxy tool. Hulu is not currently available outside the US. If you're in the U.S., you'll need to disable your anonymizer to access videos on Hulu."
I'm getting this message now, I never got this message before and used HULU with Hotspot Shield with no problems."
Reddit users and forum members at Hide-My-IP confirm the the anonymous commenter's plight as well.
Why Is This Happening?
HSS hasn't been working on my older pc for a while now. It's popularity may be to blame. Also, I feel that Hulu has caught on to this vpn technology and is slowly removing any proxy network connections as those are fairly easy to detect. Often on my older pc, Hotspot Shield disconnected or Hulu didn't load the video.
However, it worked today on my laptop (running Vista).Well, I've logged into Hulu at the time of this post via Hotspot Shield. It worked! It hasn't always been this way.
How Did You Get It To Work?
I'm guessing I was able to watch Hulu videos because the Hotspot Shield proxy server is now showing an IP address for White Plains, NY instead of the traditional Englewood, Colorado:
Normally, the servers show up in Englewood Colorado which require user to switch their computer's clock for Mountain Time when viewing nbc.com videos. Perhaps Anchor Free (the parent company of Hotspot Shield) purchased a secondary set of servers to handle the overflow of new Hotspot Shield users?
Also, remember that if your browser enables cookies, it helps in detecting proxy server connections as specified on freeproxy.ru:
"How can a cookie help to detect a proxy? You cannot detect IP with the help of cookies. However, when you first visit a web site, the IP (i.e. your proxy server s IP) is detected by the web server and then stored in the cookies. When you re-visit this site, the web server detects your IP again and checks it with the one stored in the cookies. If the IPs are not the same, the web server can make certain conclusions. And if you don't disable cookies in your browser, no proxy will help you (anonymizers can disable cookies and stop relaying them to your machine)."
How Can I Fix This?
1. Delete all cookies, cache in applicable browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, etc.) before attempting a connection to Hulu or firing up Hotspot Shield.
2. After starting Hotspot Shield, got to IP2location.com to check that the IP is set for White Plains, NY (or some other place) and not Englewood, Colorado.
3. If all else fails try these last resorts:
Hotspot Shield Troubleshooting
Free Alternatives to Hotspot Shield
Alternatives to Hulu
Did it work for you? Comment below (or email) and I'll respond promptly.