Hotstar is the most popular Indian streaming service, and it’s not even close. Their library is rich with quality content catered to every demographic out there. Which is the main reason behind it’s huge success over the past few years, surging to the top of Indian OTT platforms with over 300 million active users. Yes, you read that right 300 million subscribers as of November 2020 as reported by TechCrunch.
The service offers a wide variety of programs for viewers of all ages. From successful national shows like Aarya and Mirzapur to live cricket, football and more. In addition to Indian movies, shows, and programs you have an excellent selection of international titles at your fingertips as well. Simply put, you can certainly find something entertaining to watch on Hotstar.
However, to the dismay of millions of Indian expats and Indian TV fans around the world, the service is only available in India. Hotstar uses IP based geo-blocks to restrict access to it’s content because of regional copyright issues. You’re not completely out of luck though, there is an easy workaround where you can unblock Hotstar outside India, Just get a VPN!
Unfortunately, due to issues over copyrights and licensing, you won’t be able to view Hotstar’s magnificent library if you’re currently living anywhere outside India. If you attempt to access their website from a restricted region, you will get hit with the dreaded error message:
“Content Unavailable. The content is currently unavailable in your region”.
That is certainly a bummer for all of the people outside India who would still like to watch these shows, live programs and sports leagues. However, you can get around this nuisance with a VPN solution.
Does Hotstar Ban VPN IPs?
Much like other major streaming services, Hotstar launched a campaign to permanently block known VPN IPs from their service. The campaign came as an effort to address copyright issues that had piled up since the service started.
The campaign is on-going and they don’t plan on reversing course at all. Which is why you need to be extra careful when choosing a VPN, not all of them are going to work with Hotstar.
What Is A VPN?
A virtual private network (VPN) is essentially a network security and encryption tool. It provides a secure and private tunnel through which your traffic is passed, preventing interested third parties from finding any data related to you, including your IP address.
Hiding your IP address from ISPs and third parties allows you to bypass geo-blocks like that of Hotstar’s. In addition to it’s unblocking ability, VPNs are used for their advanced security and privacy features.
A VPN server network is usually spread out over hundreds or thousands of locations around the world to provide users as much selection options as possible. For example, if you’re looking to unblock a streaming service or website in Australia, you will surely find several options in your VPN provider’s app that are located there.
Best VPN For Hotstar
I have tested Hotstar with multiple VPN providers, some worked flawlessly, some had intermittent issues with blocks, and some were just flat out horrible with constant buffering and blocks.
However, I experienced no such issues while testing the VPNs on my list below. In fact I was able to stream in HD quality with no interruptions.
Almost all VPN providers advertise their products as a solution to unblock streaming services anywhere in the world. However, what they fail to mention is that most VPNs get regularly blocked and banned by major streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max, Hotstar and others.
That said, a premium provider would have no issues unblocking major services. I’ve tested many VPNs and determined that the 4 below are the best performing ones when it comes to unblocking Hotstar outside India.
With NordVPN you get to unblock all streaming services and watch on any device in Ultra HD. Furthermore, the company has tremendous confidence in their product offering a completely risk free subscription with their 30-day money-back guarantee.
NordVPN uses AES-256 bit encryption to guard your data and personal information whenever you’re connected to one of their VPN servers. Additionally you can benefit from advanced features and browser extensions.
In case you face any technical or billing issues, you can contact their support team 24/7 via live chat.
Surfshark is mainly a security and encryption specialist VPN. However it does allow you to unblock major streaming services including Hotstar. You can also play multiplayer games with low lag and ping times.
Surfshark’s servers are optimized for P2P applications so you can download your torrents with full anonymity.
CyberGhost can unblock many streaming services and is currently successful in unblocking Hotstar outside India. The company offers a stable and high quality service for a relatively cheap price.
Additionally you get a 45-Day Money-Back Guarantee just in case you change your mind.
ExpressVPN is a good second choice if you’re willing to spend a little more. The service offers 3000+ high speed servers to unblock streaming services, play online games, download torrents, and safely surf the internet.
Enjoy a risk free subscription with ExpressVPN’s 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee insurance. You can also enjoy your online privacy as the company doesn’t keep any logs.
VPN For Hotstar – Additional Benefits
You can get a lot more value out of a VPN, after all it’s a complex security tool with many beneficial features to offer including:
- Split Tunneling: An awesome feature that allows you to pick and choose which apps on your device to route through the VPN and which apps to route regularly.
- Double Encryption: Two independent layers of encryption secure your data from third parties and malicious actors.
- Browse Anonymously: A shared IP address among users allows you to browse the web without revealing your identity.
- No-Logs Policy: The VPN company does not keep any record of your online activity.
Some elite providers like NordVPN offer an additional SmartDNS service which can also unblock streaming services.
Smart DNS For Hotstar
Another excellent feature of a premium provider like NordVPN, is the availability of Smart DNS. You can use the Smart DNS feature as an alternative to connecting to a VPN server, and it unblocks Hotstar as well.
Smart DNS is similar to a proxy or VPN network in that in hides your IP address and replaces it with a favorable one allowing you to bypass geo-blocks. However, the difference with Smart DNS is that it only routes a specific kind of traffic (DNS queries) and not all.
Routing less traffic through your encrypted tunnel causes less congestion on the network and therefore allowing you to receive higher bandwidth speeds. You can unblock Hotstar from anywhere with NordVPN’s Smart DNS feature. Smart DNS is compatible with more devices than VPNs, including Apple TV.
What to Watch on Hotstar?
There is no shortage of high quality content available on demand and live. You can watch original titles, exclusive sporting events, and the entire HBO library. The cherry on top is that they added Disney+ to their lineup as well.
Hotstar’s association with Star India (a subsidiary for the Walt Disney Company) has led the two to merge Disney Plus and Hotstar into one huge platform. Now you get all titles on Disney+ including the popular Marvel Studios movies.
Aside from the Marvel universe, here’s Some awesome Disney titles you can watch on Hotstar:
- Toy Story 4
- Monsters University
- Artemis Fowl
Hotstar and it’s parent company Star India procured digital rights for all cricket games played in India. The deal amounted to a whopping $944 million, which shows just how important the sport is for both the viewers and the platform.
You can also watch live IPL matches, and with their new “All Sports” subscription you can watch all live sports, including cricket, premier league, formula 1, tennis and many more.
Here’s a list of the most popular Hotstar shows and programs:
- The Wire (HBO)
- Chernobyl (HBO)
- The Leftovers (HBO)
- Big Little Lies (HBO)
- Better Things (FX)
- Twin Peaks (Showtime)
As for original Hotstar titles you have fan favorites like:
- Criminal Justice
- Special Ops
- Out Of Love
- City of Dreams
The app is available on most devices including:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Google Chromecast
- Apple TV
There’s some flexibility with Hotstar’s subscription plans, it depends on your particular preference. Here are the available plans:
|Disney+ Hotstar Premium
|Disney+ Hotstar VIP
|Disney+ Hotstar Premium
VPN For Hotstar – Bottom Line
Hotstar’s popularity is undeniable and still growing with huge Disney+ additions, mergers, and content distribution deals. It certainly seems like the sky is the limit following in the footsteps of streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu.
In order to enjoy Hotstar’s amazing library outside India, you’re going to need a VPN service. The 4 products I’ve listed above are the best VPNs for Hotstar, you can stream in Ultra HD without any buffering and at a fair price.
Similarly you can unblock Hotstar with NordVPN’s Smart DNS feature, which is convenient if you have an Apple TV or any other device that does not support VPNs.
Unblock Hotstar from anywhere with a few simple steps:
- Sign up with a recommended VPN for Hotstar.
- Download the app on your preferred device.
- Log in.
- Connect to an Indian server from the server menu.
- Go over to Hotstar’s website and enjoy streaming.