Launched in 2015 and a part of the Disney+ streaming brand since 2020, Hotstar is an on-demand streaming service created for the Indian market and people of Indian origin who live outside of the country. It features a massive selection of content ranging from sports and original programming to third-party content from networks like HBO and Showtime.
But, Hotstar employs region-locking to restrict access to its services. It’s only available in India, Indonesia, Singapore, Canada, the UK, and the US. Even so, the complete service is only limited to the Indian market. With that said, what can online users from other regions do to unblock Hotstar outside India?
The only way to watch Hotstar from anywhere in the world is to use a VPN. By connecting to a remote VPN server, you can switch up your IP address to trick Hotstar’s geo-blocking system that you’re requesting access from India. This will allow you to enjoy the full content library available to users from that market.
Looking for quick answers? Here are our top five Hotstar VPN picks:
Why You Need a VPN to Unblock Hotstar
Similar to other major streaming platforms, Hotstar must adhere to strict copyright and broadcasting restrictions. It can’t offer content in any area it doesn’t have a license for. To make sure it keeps in line with these rules and restrictions. So, to avoid any fines, Hotstar applies regional limits.
There’s no way to go around these geo-blocks without using any tools, the best of which is a VPN. A VPN is a necessity if you want to access and stream on Hotstar. Plus, with a VPN by your side, you won’t only be able to access Hotstar’s India content library but all other online streaming services, including Netflix, the BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and many more others.
How to Choose a VPN for Hotstar
The VPN market is saturated with hundreds of services, but not all of them are worth your time and money. Not all VPNs can provide the same quality of service, and you need to consider a variety of factors when choosing a VPN for Hotstar. The essential features you should look for in a VPN for Hotstar are:
- Number of Servers – A VPN for Hotstar should have a well spread-out server network with servers in key locations to access the site. Most importantly, this includes server locations based in India.
- Fast and Stable Speeds – Network speed and reliability are key for a Hotstar VPN. Ideally, you should look for a VPN that can support 4K streaming with no buffering or lag.
- Reliable Customer Support – The last thing you want to happen is for your connection to drop when streaming. But, if this occurs, you should be able to rely on the VPN’s support service to promptly and efficiently resolve any issue.
- Advanced Security Features – Some VPNs, like NordVPN, come with advanced features such as obfuscated servers, SmartPlay, and dedicated IP addresses. Look for these, and similar features to ensure the best VPN service with a minimal chance of Hotstar detecting your service.
How to Watch Hotstar With a VPN from Anywhere
If you’ve never used a VPN before, setting it up and using it to unblock online streaming sites might sound too complex and technically-demanding. The reality is that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Setting up and using a VPN for Hotstar is very simple and straightforward. Plus, with these additional tips, you’ll be able to enjoy streaming on Hotstar with a VPN without any effort. Here’s a step by step guide on how to use Hotstar with a VPN:
- Choose one of our recommended VPN services and download the appropriate app for your device.
- Complete the installation process and open up your app
- Connect to a server in one of Hotstar’s supported countries (It’s best to choose a server in India for full content access).
- Load up Hotstar and enjoy streaming from anywhere in the world.
Best VPNs for Hotstar
NordVPN offers more than 5400 servers worldwide. From the context of Hotstar-related servers, if you go with this VPN, you’ll be able to rely on over 30 servers based in India, spread across Chennai and Mumbai.
The service offers above-average streaming speeds. More importantly, their network speeds are stable and consistent, ensuring a smooth streaming experience free from annoying buffering.
Plus, their apps have a SmartPlay feature, which allows you to automatically find the most suitable server for Hotstar and provides a more intuitive streaming experience. You can also rely on security features such as CyberSec, Double-VPN, kill switch, split tunneling, among many others.
NordVPN stands for one of the best value-for-money VPN services in the market. This is because their extensive network and abundant security features are available at very affordable monthly rates, especially if you opt for one of their long-term plans.
Surfshark numbers over 3200 servers in more than 65 countries. More specifically, they support an excellent server network in all of Hotstar’s featured markets. This includes India as the most sought-after Hotstar market.
Besides the excellent server network, Surfshark’s service is marked by great server features. Taking their India servers as an example, you can rely on private DNS on every server. You can also use the servers to safely and private torrent content.
It’s also worth mentioning that Surfshark is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, as speed is one of the essential aspects of a reliable streaming VPN. The service offers strong encryption features, ad-blocking, a kill switch, and many other additional security settings.
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest, most feature-rich VPNs in the industry. It has over 3000 servers in 160 server locations across 94 countries. As far as their India-based servers go, you can choose between three options.
These include routing your network to servers based in Mumbai, Chennai, or through a different Indian server via the UK. All ExpressVPNs Indian servers support OpenVPN (TCP vs. UDP), L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2, and the service’s pioneering Lightway protocol.
ExpressVPN is generally one of the best all-around VPNs, as it’s equally adept for streaming, torrenting, and gaming activities. All of this does come with a slightly higher subscription price, but you can take advantage of a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the service’s offer within the first 30 days of your plan.
CyberGhost has a huge server network that numbers over 6400 unique servers in 90 countries worldwide. This includes 22 servers physically located in Mumbai, India. The service has apps for all major platforms, including Chrome and Firefox browser extensions, so that you can stream Hotstar on any supported device of your choice.
This VPN is an excellent choice for streaming on many other platforms as well, as it comes with many useful features. The most notable ones include DNS and IP leak protection, automatic kill switch, and dedicated IP addresses. All of their paid subscription plans allow you up to seven simultaneous connections with unlimited bandwidth and traffic.
PureVPN has an outstanding server network spanning across more than 140 countries and numbering over 6500 servers. This includes over 40 servers based in Chennai, India. The service allows you to connect up to ten devices simultaneously so you can enjoy streaming with your friends and family members.
PureVPN can unblock any streaming geo-restriction it comes across. So, whether you just want to access Hotstar or want to enjoy different Netflix versions, Disney+, or any other platform, you can rely on PureVPN to get the job done.
We have to note that, while PureVPN is an excellent choice for streaming, it might not be the best VPN if you’re primarily looking for security and privacy. This is because it supports a limited choice of protocols and only offers certain security features at an additional cost.
How Hotstar Detects VPN Servers
Hotstar uses an IP detection mechanism to detect and block all suspicious behavior that indicates that you’re using a VPN or proxy. To put it in simple terms, a VPN prevents you from being detected. It doesn’t prevent itself from being detected. So, while Hotstar won’t learn your real IP address, the VPN itself might not be able to go through the geo-block.
Having this in mind, in some instances, you might experience the “Hotstar VPN detected” error. If this happens, the site will prompt you with a message to turn off any proxy or VPN services and try again. This issue can come up if Hotstar has blacklisted the particular VPN IP address you’re using to gain access to their site.
If you get this message when trying to access the Hotstar platform, you can resolve it by choosing a different server in the same country. That said, the VPNs we’ve featured on this page pay attention to these issues and frequently change up their IP addresses to stay one step ahead of streaming sites.
Because of this, you shouldn’t run into such problems when streaming on Hotstar. If, by some chance, this does happen to you from time to time, purchasing a static IP address in the target area can help you eliminate this issue.
Best VPNs for Hotstar – Main Takeaways
Hotstar is undoubtedly one of the best streaming platforms in the world, as it offers you endless hours of entertaining and quality content. If you’re looking to stream your favorite shows and movies on Hotstar, a VPN is an indispensable tool to have by your side.
Any of the five VPNs on our list can provide you with reliable access to Hotstar anytime you want. That said, our pick for the best VPN for Hotstar goes to NordVPN. You can take advantage of their 30-day money-back guarantee and start streaming your favorite content on Hotstar right away!
VPNs for Hotstar FAQ
Can I use a free VPN for Hotstar?
We don’t recommend using a free VPN for Hotstar, as the tradeoff is not worth it. Free VPN services are generally less safe and secure than the paid versions. Plus, most free VPNs are downright scams set up only to harvest your traffic info and sell your data to the highest third-party bidder. With some of the VPNs that we’ve listed starting as low as just a few dollars per month, using a free VPN is not worth the privacy risk.
Is It Legal to Watch Hotstar with a VPN?
Yes, there’s nothing illegal with using a VPN to access online content. This is if you’re not setting up your VPN to use it for other illegal purposes, such as distributing or selling the content. It is against Hotstar’s ToS to use a VPN, and the platform does manage to block VPN users with relative success. But, you don’t have to worry about any legal implications of streaming content on Hotstar.
Hotstar with VPN isn’t working, what can I do?
In most cases, you can resolve this problem simply by choosing a different server in the same country. Alternatively, if this doesn’t work, it’s best to contact the VPNs support staff, and they’ll recommend you with the best course of action. With all of this in mind, if you pick a reliable top-rated VPN service, such as NordVPN, your chances of running into such problems will be minimal.