Amazon Prime Video blocks VPN connections to thwart attempts at bypassing its geo-restrictions. Also, only a few VPNs support streaming. So you need to choose your VPN provider carefully.
In our tests, Hotspot Shield worked with Amazon Prime Video. You need to check a few things to get things working, but nothing too complicated. We’ll guide you through the entire process.
If you’re having trouble streaming Amazon Prime Video while using Hotspot Shield, we’re going to fix that. Keep reading to find the most common problems, and how to overcome them.
Why isn’t Hotspot Shield letting me access Amazon Prime Video?
Most streaming services today impose geo-restrictions on the content they broadcast. This applies to Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, etc. In order to obtain broadcast rights, streaming services are compelled to enforce agreed-upon geo-restrictions.
The key to getting Amazon Prime Video working over VPN is to connect to a VPN server located in the country where your desired content is available. That’s because once you’ve connected to a Hotspot Shield server in the proper region, your actual IP address (assigned by your ISP) is changed to the server’s IP address.
If you can’t access Amazon Prime Video with Hotspot Shield, there’s a really good chance it’s for one of the reasons below:
- You didn’t connect to a Hotspot Shield server in the appropriate country. You have to connect to a VPN server located in the region where the content you’re after is available.
- It could be that Amazon Prime Video already knows your IP address comes from a VPN provider, and it blocked your connection.
- Amazon Prime Video may have placed a cookie in your app or browser. Cookies are rich in personal information and can reveal your original location. If one of these cookies is present on your device, there’s a chance Amazon Prime Video blocked your connection based on the information it got from your cookies.
- You could be leaking DNS and exposing your original DNS servers. Your default DNS servers are usually assigned by your ISP. Since those DNS IP addresses will reveal your actual location and could trigger a block. Your DNS servers must be native to the region where your content is available.
The good news is that these issues can be fixed.
How to fix Hotspot Shield not working with Amazon Prime Video
Here’s how to get Hotspot Shield working with Amazon Prime Video:
- Again, ensure that the Hotspot Shield server you’re connected to is located in the proper region. There’s a good chance the IP address of the first server you tried was known by Amazon Prime Video to belong to a VPN provider and blocked it. This means you might need to connect to a few before you find a winner.
- Clear your browser’s cache and cookies.
- Enable private/incognito mode in your browser. You can also try a different web browser.
- Try running a DNS leak test to make sure you’re not suffering from a DNS leak. You can follow the link to learn how to do this – it’s easy.
- Hotspot Shield supports split tunneling in Windows and Android with its Smart VPN feature. With HSS’s Smart VPN, you can choose which applications or URLs go through the VPN tunnel and which go through your ISP gateway.
- Restart your device.
- Restart the Hotspot Shield app.
- You can also try a different VPN for Amazon Prime Video, such as NordVPN, which we highly recommend.
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How to sign into Amazon Prime Video with Hotspot Shield
Once you’ve connected to a Hotspot Shield VPN server in the proper region that works, it’s pretty easy to sign into your account and start using Amazon Prime Video.
- Sign up for a Hotspot Shield account if it isn’t already done. HSS provides a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk.
- Download and install the Hotspot Shield app for your device.
- Sign in to the Hotspot Shield app and connect to a VPN server in the appropriate region.
- Launch a browser and navigate to the Amazon Prime Video website or open the app – it should now work.
- If it doesn’t work, follow the steps above.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any free VPN services that work with Amazon Prime Video?
There will likely be a few free VPNs that do work with Amazon Prime Video. But, as they say: be careful what you wish for…
First, these VPN providers tend to have very small VPN networks. A significant amount of users all end up on the same VPN server. When streaming services see large amounts of traffic to their service coming from the same IP address, they will assume that a VPN or proxy server is being used and will block that connection. Using free VPNs actually raises your chances of having your connection blocked.
Also, most free VPNs have slow speeds and undesirable security practices, so we don't usually recommend them.
How does Amazon Prime Video know I'm using a VPN?
Amazon Prime Video can know you're using a VPN by looking at your IP address. When you connect to the internet, VPN or not, your device is assigned an IP address. That IP address can reveal the fact you're using a VPN. VPN server IPs are public by necessity.
Additionally, you can easily find VPN server IP address lists online. I would bet on streaming services using these lists to identify and block VPN connections. They have to in order to respect the geo-blocking clauses in their licensing agreement.
Will using a VPN slow down my connection?
It will. Any intermediary server between you and the internet will inevitably slow you down. The VPN server represents an extra hop between your device and its final destination. The more hops, the more time your traffic takes to reach its destination. That translates to slower speeds.
But you also need to take encryption into account. When using a VPN, your traffic needs to be encrypted and decrypted, further slowing down your connection. I'd recommend choosing a well-established and reputable VPN provider to minimize the slowdown as much as possible.
Can I install Hotspot Shield on my router instead of using the app?
Router support doesn't come with every VPN provider, but this isn't an issue with Hotspot Shield. HSS allows its users to configure a VPN connection to its network on their router. HSS provides instructions on how to configure them on its website. And it also provides the option of purchasing a pre-configured Hotspot Shield VPN router.
By configuring a VPN connection on your router, you gain two significant benefits:
- You'll be able to connect to the VPN without using a client app. You just need to connect to the router, and all your traffic will be routed through the VPN.
- You'll also be able to bypass the limit on simultaneous connections your VPN provider enforces (five with Hotspot Shield). With a VPN connection configured on your router, you can connect as many devices as you like to the router, and, as far as your VPN provider is concerned, it will only count as one connection.
You can look at our guide on VPN routers if you'd like more information on the subject.
Is it legal to use a VPN to watch Amazon Prime Video?
It's absolutely legal to connect to a VPN and browse the internet. But being legal is one thing; working with streaming sites is another. As you now know, Amazon Prime Video's license agreements legally compel it to enforce geo-restrictions on its broadcast content and can only provide content to the countries for which that content was licensed.
You won't get banned for trying to connect over VPN, but Amazon will attempt to block your connection.
Does Hotspot Shield keep any logs?
- Session durations
- Domains accessed by users (claimed to be anonymized data)
- Device hashes
- User IP addresses
The second item on the list is particularly worrying. HSS should rethink some of its data collection. Let's hope it becomes a bit leaner moving forward, as HSS collects more than most well-established VPN providers.
Have a look at our complete Hotspot Shield review for more details.
Will my ISP know if I'm using a VPN?
Because everything you do online happens over your ISP's network, it will know that you're using a VPN. There isn't much you can do to avoid that. Your ISP will know the following concerning your VPN use:
- Your VPN provider
- The port and VPN protocol you're using
- Your connection times
- Your consumed bandwidth
While it may seem like you're giving a lot of information away, you're still making privacy gains by using a VPN. Your ISP won't be able to see the following:
- The websites you visit
- The videos you stream
- The files you download
- Your DNS requests (unless you're leaking DNS).