One of the best TV streaming services available today is SlingTV. The service provides its subscribers with a great selection of live TV shows and videos on demand. But because SlingTV is a US-based service, it’s legally compelled to only broadcast content inside the United States.
Even if you have a valid subscription, SlingTV will be inaccessible outside the US. You can get around that limitation while you’re traveling abroad. A lot of people manage to do just that by using a VPN. Not all VPN providers will work with SlingTV, but Hotspot Shield does. It’s all pretty straightforward, but there are a few things you need to check to get things working – we lay them all out for you.
So, if you cannot access SlingTV over Hotspot Shield while on vacation, don’t worry; we will fix that. This post explains how to get SlingTV working with Hotspot Shield.
Why isn’t Hotspot Shield letting me access SlingTV?
SlingTV is a US-based service, so its broadcast rights are limited to the US. In its agreement with the rights holders, SlingTV is legally bound to restrict its availability to the United States (geo-blocking).
But connecting to a Hotspot Shield VPN server located in the United States changes your ISP-assigned IP address to a US IP address. After that, when you query SlingTV’s servers, your request will appear to be coming from the US and allow you to stream Sling TV from wherever you are. But accessing streaming sites over VPN will usually involve some trial and error.
If you’re having issues accessing SlingTV over Hotspot Shield, it’s probably for one of the reasons listed here.
- The Hotspot Shield VPN server to which you’re connected is not located in the United States. Without connecting to a US-based VPN server, you simply will not be able to access SlingTV. You may also need to try several different US servers to get things working. But if the VPN provider explicitly supports streaming, like Hotspot Shield, you’ll find one that works without too much trouble.
- The IP address you’re using is known to belong to a VPN server, and SlingTV has blocked your connection.
- SlingTV could have placed a cookie in your app or browser. These cookies can lead back to your original location. If that’s the case, SlingTV probably got your actual location and blocked your connection.
- It’s also possible you’re leaking DNS and exposing your original (non-US) DNS servers’ IP address(es). By default, ISPs assign their own DNS servers to their customers. If those servers aren’t US-based, SlingTV won’t work.
But these are all things we can easily fix.
How to fix Hotspot Shield not working with SlingTV
Here are a few ways you can fix Hotspot Shield not working with SlingTV:
- The most important step is to connect to a US-based VPN server. If you know for a fact that you’ve connected to a US server, then try a different US-based server. The IP address of the first US server you tried may have already been blocked.
- Clear your browser’s cache and cookies.
- Enable private/incognito mode in your browser, or try another web browser.
- You can also run a DNS leak test to ensure you’re not leaking DNS. Follow the link to learn how to do this – it’s pretty simple.
- Hotspot Shield supports split tunneling on Windows and Android via its Smart VPN feature. Using this feature, you can define which applications or URLs go through the VPN tunnel and which go through your ISP gateway. So if you’re using Windows or Android, you need to make sure the feature is turned off or that you haven’t configured your browser, app, or SlingTV URLs to go through your ISP gateway. You can check this within Hotspot Shield’s app.
- Restart your device.
- Restart and update the Hotspot Shield app.
- You can also try another VPN provider. NordVPN is known to have extensive streaming support.
How to sign into SlingTV with Hotspot Shield
Once you’re connected to a US-based Hotspot Shield VPN server that works with SlingTV, it’s pretty trivial to sign in and use the service.
- If you haven’t already, sign up for a Hotspot Shield subscription. It offers 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 US-based server.
- Go to the SlingTV website – it should work now.
- If it doesn’t, follow the steps above.
WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN FOR SLINGTV RISK FREE?
NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for SlingTV with no restrictions for a month—great if you want to binge your favorite show or are going on a short trip.
There are no hidden terms—just contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you, and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.
Hotspot Shield & SlingTV FAQ
Which are the best VPN providers to stream SlingTV?
As we mentioned, not all VPNs work with streaming sites. Some work with almost every service you throw at them, while others support just a handful. Others still simply don't support streaming at all. So you'll be looking to sign-up for a VPN service that explicitly claims to support streaming sites. Below are some providers we recommend:
- NordVPN: NordVPN is a fantastic choice for SlingTV. It offers top-of-the-line privacy, security, and speeds to its customers. It also boasts some of the industry's most extensive support of streaming services.
- Surfshark: Surfshark is another VPN provider that provides excellent streaming support. It's also one of the cheapest subscriptions you can find for a high-quality VPN service. Surfshark has low prices, outstanding streaming support, and a large VPN network with many servers to choose from.
- ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN is a VPN provider we highly recommend for streaming and a lot more. It has excellent privacy and security practices while supporting most streaming sites too.
- CyberGhost: CyberGhost is another fantastic choice. It offers top-notch streaming support at a fair price.
- IPVanish: IPVanish may not be as well-known as other VPN providers on our list, but it works very well with many streaming sites and allows for unlimited simultaneous connections.
What can I watch with SlingTV?
SlingTV offers a great selection of live TV shows and on-demand content. Below are some of the available channels:
Are there any free VPN services that work with SlingTV?
There may be some, but there won't be very many. And bear in mind that the bulk of free VPNs typically have very small server networks. Large chunks of their users will end up using the same VPN servers. And that increases the likelihood of their IP address getting blocked by streaming services. When there's a significant amount of traffic coming from the same IP address, that's usually a hint that the traffic is coming from a VPN server. Also, consider that most free VPNs have subpar speeds and questionable security practices, so we don't usually recommend them.
How does SlingTV know I'm using a VPN?
SlingTV or any other streaming service can know you're using a VPN by gleaning your IP address. Whether you use a VPN or not, you're assigned an IP address whenever you're on the internet. IP addresses are linked to your rough location - and while they don't provide very much precision, they can still identify your country. IP addresses in France differ from IP addresses in the United States, which differ from IP addresses in Germany, and so on. So by looking at one's IP address, you can approximate their location. That's also how VPNs can spoof your location - they change your IP address.
It's pretty trivial to identify VPN server IP addresses. VPN IP address lists are readily available online, and you can bet that most streaming services are using them.
Will using a VPN slow down my connection?
While that's a definite "yes" (there's simply no way around that), the slowdown, with a good VPN provider, shouldn't be all that noticeable. Because the VPN server sits between your device and the internet, it adds an extra hop to all your queries and inevitably increases your connection's latency. That increased latency means your connection will slow down. So choose a reputable VPN provider that will limit your speed hit as much as possible.
Can I install Hotspot Shield on my router instead of using the app?
Only a subset of VPN providers supports routers. And Hotspot Shield is one of them.
By setting up a VPN connection directly on your router, you gain two major advantages:
- You can connect to your VPN without the need for a dedicated app. You just need to connect to the router, and your traffic will be tunneled through the VPN.
- You can bypass your VPN provider's limit on simultaneous connections - such as Hotspot Shield's five-connection limit. You can connect as many devices as you like to your router, and they will all go through the VPN.
Take a 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 SlingTV?
Yes, it's completely legal. Connecting to a VPN server to access the internet is neither a crime nor a misdemeanor. But it does go against SlingTV's terms of service, which state that SlingTV should only be accessed from within the United States. When you try to access SlingTV from outside the United States (and without a US-based VPN IP address), your connection will be blocked. I really don't think SlingTV would ban your account for attempting to connect from outside the US. But it will block your connection. Count on it.
Does Hotspot Shield keep any logs?
Well, it's a bit of a mixed bag here. Hotspot Shield states it's a no-logging VPN, but it still collects more data than other reputable VPN providers. So while it doesn't directly touch your internet traffic, it nonetheless collects the following:
- Session durations
- Domains accessed by users (claimed to be anonymized data)
- Device hashes
- User IP addresses
That's not as lean as it could be. And while the service is transparent about its data collection and provides the rationale behind the collection, it's still more than most, and nothing is stopping the service from cutting that down. Let's hope that happens in the near future.
You can look at our complete Hotspot Shield review for more details.
Will my ISP know if I'm using a VPN?
Yes, it will. Your ISP will be aware of the following:
- That you're using a VPN
- The VPN provider
- The port and VPN protocol you're using
- Your consumed bandwidth
- Your connection times
And because you're using its network, there's really nothing you can do about that.
But it won't be able to see the websites you visit, the files you download, or your DNS requests, as long as your DNS isn't leaking.