Best VPN Hotstar

Hotstar is perhaps best known for its live cricket broadcasts. That said, it has rapidly grown its roster of content in recent years, and now offers a wide selection of movies, television shows, sports, and music. If you’r

Unfortunately, the service is geo-restricted with a varying library of content depending on your country. The largest library is reserved for those with an Indian IP address. If you’re traveling abroad and want to access the Hotstar service in the United States, Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, or elsewhere, your best bet is to sign up for a Virtual Private Network (VPN) first.

However, not all VPNs will work with Hotstar.

We’ll explain how we chose the best VPN software for Hotstar further down, but if you’re short on time, here’s our summary list of the 7 best VPNs for Hotstar:

  1. NordVPN Our top choice for Hotstar. A security-first VPN with impressive unblocking ability, a no-logs policy, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark Best budget option. Plenty of speedy servers to choose from. No connection limit. Top-notch security and privacy features.
  3. ExpressVPN ExpressVPN is a veteran provider that excels at unblocking services like Hotstar. Solid speeds and a great range of security features.
  4. CyberGhost Another budget-friendly option with fast servers in India so you can easily unblock Hotstar from abroad.
  5. IPVanish Fast enough to stream Hotstar from abroad in high quality, plus strong security and a no-logs policy.
  6. Hotspot Shield Servers in 80 countries, India included. Works with Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video. 24/7 support and lots of security features.
  7. PrivateVPN Small VPN provider with a few servers in India that can access Hotstar from anywhere.

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How to watch Hotstar abroad with a VPN

Setting up VPN software might sound complicated, but it’s actually very easy to do. Just follow the instructions below and you’ll be able to stream Hotstar abroad in no time.

Here’s how to watch Hotstar online outside India:

  1. Download and install a VPN that works with Hotstar. NordVPN is the most reliable option.
  2. Open your VPN and pick a server in India.
  3. Clear your browser cache and cookies to remove location information from previous sessions.
  4. Open Hotstar and stream your favorite content from any country in the world.

A VPN functions by routing all the internet traffic flowing to and from your device via an encrypted tunnel. Most paid VPN providers offer a wide variety of server locations to choose from; it’s up to you to decide which server the traffic will be routed through. If you select a server in India, the Hotstar website and mobile app will assume you’re geographically located there and grant you access to premium content. Using a VPN also makes it very difficult for your internet service provider (ISP), hackers, government surveillance agencies, and others to monitor your digital footprint.

See also: Best VPN for India

The best VPNs for Hotstar

Based on these criteria, here is our list of the best VPNs for Hotstar:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Jan 2022 Unblocks HotstarTested Jan 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is a veteran in the VPN business as it’s been around for well over a decade. The servicehas around 5,000 servers spread across 60+ countries, including more than 30 in India. Best of all, this is one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested, meaning you won’t have to worry about lag or buffering while watching Hotstar abroad.

NordVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption by default, coupled with DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leak protection, plus a customizable kill switch. The service adheres to a zero-logs policy and provides 24/7 assistance over live chat.

Apps are available for both Android and iOS and there are desktop clients for Windows, Linux, and MacOS. A single paid account allows for six simultaneous connections which is more than the industry standard of five.

NordVPN speed test data

No valueNordVPN
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)460 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)349 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)299 Mbps

Pros:

  • Operates 30+ servers in India that are great for streaming Hotstar abroad
  • Faster than any of its rivals
  • Top-notch security and privacy protection
  • Works with Netflix, Hulu BBC iPlayer and more
  • Connect 6 devices concurrently

Cons:

  • Desktop apps don’t let you disconnect in one click

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR HOTSTAR:NordVPN is our #1 choice. A good all-rounder that also works well with Hotstar. Strong security features and accommodates up to 6 devices. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning you can try it completely risk-free.

Here’s our full review of NordVPN.

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2. Surfshark

Surfshark Unblocks HotstarTested Jan 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark is an excellent choice for anyone looking to watch Hotstar abroad. It has servers in 60+ countries including the US, UK, and India, so you can access your usual content library from anywhere. Better still, this service is fast enough for you to stream live video without any noticeable lag or buffering. Unlike most of its rivals, Surfshark allows you to connect as many desktop and mobile devices as you like.

Security is one of Surfshark’s biggest strengths. It uses AES 256-bit encryption, protection against WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS leaks, and a kill switch (which stops all traffic if your VPN connection drops suddenly) to keep your activities private at all times. You can sign up anonymously with cryptocurrency and a disposable email address but as Surfshark doesn’t keep any logs, you can’t be traced either way.

Surfshark has apps for Windows, Android, iOS, MacOS, and Linux. It can also be manually configured to work with supported internet routers.

Surfshark speed test data

No valueSurfshark
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)317 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)253 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)400 Mbps

Pros:

  • No connection limit
  • Unblocks Hotstar and similar services abroad
  • Strong security features and a no-logs policy
  • Accepts three different cryptocurrencies

Cons:

  • Settings menu could be better organized

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET OPTION:Surfshark is a low-cost VPN with plenty to offer. It has excellent unblocking capabilities, no connection limit, and solid speeds, not to mention a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of Surfshark here.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Unblocks HotstarTested Jan 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN ranks highly because of its choice of military-grade encryption standards and ability to stream a huge range of content. The service is speedy, reliable, and has minimal downtime. The company operates more than 3,000 servers spread across 94 countries. There are three locations in India so users shouldn’t face any problems when trying to unblock Hotstar.

ExpressVPN has a privacy policy of not storing any detailed traffic logs and the maintenance of your privacy online is of utmost importance to the company. Some metadata is retained and used to improve service quality levels, specifically the date (not time) of connection, choice of VPN server location, and total bandwidth used. Your real IP address won’t be recorded.

This service uses 256-bit AES encryption, along with perfect forward secrecy and a no-logs policy. It’s fair to say that its security standards are ironclad. An internet kill switch is included, which the company refers to as a ‘network lock.’ This feature will temporarily halt all web traffic if the connection drops.

ExpressVPN offers apps for both Android and iOS, as well as a desktop client for Windows and MacOS. Also has its own custom router firmware. Each account allows for five simultaneous connections.

ExpressVPN speed test data

No valueExpressVPN
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)136 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)134 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)136 Mbps

Pros:

  • Operates reliable servers in India
  • Fast speeds for streaming Hotstar in HD
  • Comprehensive security and privacy features
  • A wide range of apps available – Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and certain Wi-Fi routers

Cons:

  • Slightly higher cost than others

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

SECURE AND PRIVATE:ExpressVPN is a solid choice thanks to its high-speed connections, great unblocking ability, and strong security. Also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our review of ExpressVPN.

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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost Unblocks HotstarTested Jan 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost ships with a variety of nifty features including anti-tracking and ad-blocking. It’s also relatively inexpensive and won’t break the bank, making it a great choice for users on a budget. The service is fast and incorporates military-grade encryption parameters.

At the moment CyberGhost offers 7,000+ servers across 91 countries. India is included in the list with 30+ servers. We’ve seen the range of servers and countries expand considerably in recent times with no signs of slowing down.

CyberGhost uses 256-bit AES encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default, but newer versions of the app also include WireGuard support. An internet kill switch is included too, which will keep your connection secure even if the link to a server drops for some reason. Another reassuring factor is that CyberGhost adheres to an internal privacy policy of not storing any user logs.

Apps are available for both Android and iOS and there are desktop clients for Windows, MacOS and Linux. A subscription grants access to seven devices on a single plan.

CyberGhost speed test data

No valueCyberGhost
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)853 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)480 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)312 Mbps

Pros:

  • Operates 30+ servers throughout India and unblocks Hotstar with no issues
  • Streaming-optimized servers
  • Budget VPN provider that doesn’t compromise on security and privacy
  • Apps are easy to use, secure and offer good privacy protections

Cons:

  • Not suitable for those that need control of advanced features
  • Doesn’t work in China or the UAE

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

Beginner friendly:CyberGhost has a simple set up. Works well with Hotstar. Good option if you are looking for a fast, reliable connection and an easy-to-use interface. 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of CyberGhost.

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5. IPVanish

IPVanish Unblocks HotstarTested Jan 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish is a favorite for users who want blazing connection speeds coupled with stringent privacy measures and strong encryption. In our testing, the service performed admirably when subjected to HD video quality streaming. Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising given IPVanish has more than 1,900 servers spread across 60+ countries. Several servers are located in India and there are many other options within Asia.

Encryption standards are robust. IPVanish deploys AES 256-bit encryption, perfect forward secrecy, a kill switch, and WireGuard support. IPVanish is a completely logless service — there’s no storage of metadata related to timestamps, server preferences, or other user behavior.

Many users find IPVanish an excellent option for Kodi because it enables them to download the Android APK directly to their device. The interface is remote control-friendly for Kodi devices that lack a keyboard and mouse.

Apps are available for both iOS and Android and there are desktop clients for Windows and MacOS. One paid account allows for unlimited simultaneous connections.

IPVanish speed test data

No valueIPVanish
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)685 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)314 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)466 Mbps

Pros:

  • Operates servers in New Delhi that unblock Hotstar at good speeds
  • Preferred by Kodi and Firestick TV for its remote-friendly apps
  • Strong encryption makes apps secure

Cons:

  • Customer support is a little slow
  • Apps don’t work in China

Our score:

4 out of 5

UNLIMITED DEVICES:IPVanish is great for families and multiple connections. Easy to use with Hotstar and preferred by users who need high standards of user privacy and security. Doesn’t work with as many other streaming services as some of its rivals. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of IPVanish.

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6. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield Unblocks HotstarTested Jan 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Hotspotshield.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.

Hotspot Shield works well with Hotstar thanks to its servers in India. This VPN has some 1,800 servers globally which can be found in as many as 80 countries. As such, you can not only use it to watch Hotstar outside India but also Amazon Prime Video outside the US. Our speed tests showed Hotspot Shield to have an average download speed of 63 Mbps — more than fast enough for HD streaming.

A Hotspot Shield VPN subscription includes access to 24-hour support via live chat and email. Aside from 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch, there’s a whole host of extra security features. This includes access to a password manager and even a spam call blocker. Hotspot Shield states that it doesn’t keep any identifying logs of its users. As such, you can use it to browse and stream anonymously.

Connect up to five devices simultaneously via Hotspot Shield’s desktop (Windows, Mac, and Linux) and mobile (Android and iOS) apps. You’ll also find apps for Amazon Fire TV and Android TV as well as a Chrome browser extension. Use with routers requires manual configuration.

Pros:

  • Servers in 80 countries, India included
  • Good, unthrottled speeds for streaming Hotstar without lag
  • Live chat and email support 24 hours a day
  • Extras including a password manages

Cons:

  • No option to pay anonymously in Bitcoin/cryptocurrency
  • Doesn’t yet offer a Firefox browser extension

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

PACKED WITH FEATURES:Hotspot Shield offers respectable speeds as well as servers in 80 countries. User-friendly apps with 24/7 support. Secure with high-end encryption and automatic wifi protection. 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Hotspot Shield review.

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7. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN Unblocks HotstarTested Jan 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN has a smaller network of servers than others on this list, but it compensates for this relative disadvantage by delivering incredible speeds. Servers in India are included so users looking to access Hotstar won’t be disappointed.

In our user review, PrivateVPN streamed 1080p video flawlessly when tested across three different server locations. Online games were similarly quick so it’s clear the service checks all the boxes when it comes to a seamless experience.

PrivateVPN uses either 128-bit or 256-bit encryption, a customizable kill switch, and perfect forward secrecy to help keep your activities private.  An automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection are included too. Best of all, PrivateVPN keeps no logs whatsoever.

A basic plan allows for five simultaneous connections. There are apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

PrivateVPN speed test data

No valuePrivateVPN
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)94 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)57 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)62 Mbps

Pros:

  • Unblocks Hotstar with servers in Bangalore and Chennai
  • Good speeds for streaming
  • Keeps no logs whatsoever
  • Very fast speeds

Cons:

  • Support staff are good, but only operate during European business hours
  • May need support assistance in locating the best server to choose

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

GREAT SPEED:PrivateVPN is a good family choice. Unblocks Hotstar. Also good for secure and private browsing and torrenting. Could do with having more servers and lacks 24/7 support. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our review of PrivateVPN.

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Methodology for assessing VPNs for Hotstar

There are hundreds of VPN services to choose from, but that doesn’t mean all of them offer comparable products. There’s a high degree of variation when you analyze factors like network size, security, speed, reliability, customer support, and more. We research these features and use a range of metrics to rank our recommended VPNs. The following criteria are the key areas we’ve used to evaluate the best VPNs for Hotstar.

  • Streaming ability – To be able to successfully watch Hotstar from abroad a VPN must have strong streaming capabilities. All the VPNs on this list can securely access a wide range of streaming services.
  • Servers in India – Operating servers in India (or offering virtual servers with an India IP address) is a must for any VPN to be able to unblock Hotstar.
  • Security – Strong encryption ensures third parties cannot snoop on the activity of the VPN user. A VPN kill switch and DNS leak protection are must-haves to ensure no identifying data leaves your desktop or mobile device.
  • Logging policy – A secure VPN service must be logless, meaning it does not record and save information about your activity. IP addresses are also not logged. Ideally, the provider collects no information and therefore cannot be hacked or coerced into giving up information about customers. Read more here on each VPN’s logging policy.
  • Bandwidth limit – Some VPNs have data caps or bandwidth limits that throttle or halt downloads up to a certain limit. We have only selected VPNs with unlimited bandwidth so you can stream Hotstar to your heart’s content.
  • Speed – For uninterrupted streaming these VPNs all rank above average in our speed tests.

These tests form part of a wider program of VPN testing and analysis our team performs as part of our product research process.

Should I use a free VPN to access Hotstar?

Free VPN offerings are widely available and the no-cost factor is very tempting. But that’s usually where the allure finishes.

The basic premise of paying for a VPN is to ensure you get access to servers optimized for speed, security, and reliability. Free VPNs skimp on this aspect; they’ll offer you a choice of one or two server locations, and regularly subject you to bandwidth throttling and data caps. Expect poor encryption standards that don’t do much to protect your privacy online. And, in some cases, you run the real risk of having your data pilfered and sold to third-party advertisers.

At Comparitech, we don’t recommend using a free VPN to access Hotstar because you’ll receive a fraction of the experience that a paid VPN service offers.

How to fix Hotstar VPN detected error

If you try to use Disney+ Hotstar from abroad, you’ll see the following error: “This content is currently not available in your region“. Similarly, In the past, Hotstar would display the following error if it realized you were using a VPN: “Uh-oh, we cannot playback due to geographic restrictions. Disable VPN if it’s accidentally turned on.”

Nowadays, the service will simply refuse to show you any content, without specifically telling you why. This can be confusing, especially since the page just appears to be loading endlessly.

Sometimes, VPN providers have specific servers that are optimized for unblocking a particular website. If this is the case, your VPN’s customer support team should be able to tell you which servers work with Hotstar. Unfortunately, failing this, there’s little you can do other than waiting for a workaround or trying a different service.

What else can I do with a VPN?

The use of a VPN opens up a plethora of options and use cases. This article is meant to showcase how you can spoof your location to access Hotstar, but a VPN can also help you securely access NetflixHuluBBC iPlayerESPN, and more.

A VPN can also be used to blog online safelyaccess public wifi, and indulge in torrenting.

See also: How to watch Indian TV abroad

How to watch Hotstar abroad VPN FAQ

Where is Hotstar available?

Hotstar is currently available in four countries: India, the US, the UK, and Canada. 

What can I watch on Hotstar?

Hotstar has a huge library of sports, movies, and TV shows. Better still, its content is available in eight different languages (English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, Marathi, and Kannada).

Here are a few of Hotstar's most popular TV shows and movies:

  • Aarya
  • Chhappad Phaad Ke
  • Kanpuriye
  • City of Dreams
  • Taare Zameen Par
  • Geetha Govindam
  • Superstars
  • Bahut Hua Sammaan

Why doesn't my VPN work with Hotstar?

Sometimes, streaming services upgrade their VPN-detection features. This can lead to brief periods of time where a previously-working VPN will not be able to access them. However, usually, such issues are resolved in a matter of hours. If problems persist, it's best to contact your VPN provider directly and let them know about the issue. 

Can I use an Indian proxy server to access Hotstar?

Hotstar has pretty advanced VPN-detection measures built-in and many paid VPNs don’t work with it. For this reason, it’s highly unlikely that a proxy server (especially a free one) would work. Further, these services do nothing for your digital privacy. There’s also no telling what they do with your browsing data; they could even be selling it without your knowledge. 

Can Hotstar ban me if I use a VPN?

Hypothetically, you could be banned for using a VPN. Realistically, though, this is extremely unlikely. First and foremost, VPNs are privacy tools, used by millions of people all around the world; if Hotstar banned every user who left their VPN on while streaming, it’d never turn a profit. The most likely worst-case scenario is that you are unable to watch unless you turn the VPN off. 

Is it legal to watch Hotstar in Europe with a VPN?

VPNs are legal in almost every country in the world. In other words, unless you’re using one for nefarious purposes, there’s really no reason you’d get into any trouble. Additionally, while it may be against a streaming service’s terms of use, it’s not illegal to access geo-restricted content using a VPN. This means that you can stream Hotstar in Europe or anywhere else without fear of legal problems. 

What is the streaming speed of Hotstar?

Although Hotstar doesn’t specifically list a minimum internet speed on its website, we can estimate based on what other streaming services say. For instance, Netflix recommends having at least a 5 Mbps connection to watch HD content. This is echoed by BBC iPlayer and NBC, so we can safely assume that this will be enough. Of course, reducing the video quality can bring your required speed down as low as 1.5 Mbps, so if you’re having trouble, it may be worth trying out standard definition playback.

Why does Hotstar buffer so much?

If you’re having issues with Hotstar buffering, you’re definitely not alone. Usually, excessive buffering is caused by slow or unstable internet speeds, but Hotstar users often find themselves waiting on a show to load even when their internet connection is perfectly fine. To make matters worse, Hotstar’s FAQ simply suggests a handful of basic fixes such as rebooting your router, despite the problem being on its end.

While we don’t have any clear reason as to why Hotstar buffers so often, there is a glimmer of hope. The service was acquired by Disney in 2019, and as such, will likely see an overhaul in the coming years, bringing it technologically in line with other Disney-owned platforms like Disney+ and ESPN+.

Does NordVPN come with a subscription to Hotstar?

No, NordVPN does not come with a subscription to Disney+ Hotstar. NordVPN is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that allows you to unblock Hotstar from anywhere in the world. It has over 30 servers in India so you can stream Hotstar while traveling abroad. What’s more, NordVPN even includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means you can try it out with Hotstar risk-free and, if unsatisfied, request a full refund for your money back.

Will using a VPN stop my ISP from throttling Hotstar?

Using a VPN ensures your internet traffic is encrypted and routed through the VPN’s servers, hiding your online activities. This means that your ISP can’t see what you’re doing online and won’t throttle your connection as a result. The advantage of this is that you’ll enjoy faster speeds. The fastest VPNs also have unlimited bandwidth so you won’t experience much lag or buffering while streaming Hotstar.