How to fill a rainy weekend, spend an evening when there is nothing on television, or entertain children when they pretend to be bored? Streaming services to the rescue! But it's hard to know which contains the content you're looking for before subscribing, and you don't want to waste money on a service that doesn't have what you want.
If you only want to pay for one streaming service, you have a big question before you: Are you going with Hulu or Netflix?
Don't panic – I've done the heavy lifting so you don't have to. I looked at the price, the features, the content, the extras, etc. to help you choose between Hulu or Netflix as your perfect match.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the two streaming giants. I will also show you how to unlock all available libraries from Netflix and Hulu so you can get the most out of your subscription.
Short on time? A quick comparison of Hulu vs Netflix
Looking to make a quick decision to get streaming as soon as possible? Check out the table below, which takes a look at the main points of comparison of the two streaming services.
|Free try||30 days||30 days|
|Monthly price (in April 2020)||Supported by advertising – $ 5.99||Standard definition – $ 8.99|
|No ads – $ 11.99||High Definition – $ 12.99 to $ 15.99|
|Number of screens||Two (or unlimited with the $ 9.99 screen add-on)||One to four depending on the plan|
|Availability||Only U.S||190+ countries (content varies)|
|Original content||Yes, mainly TV shows||Yes, movies and TV shows|
|Additional modules||Four additional channels available||No|
|Downloads||Yes, only with an ad-free plan. Limited to 25 episodes / movies||Yes, downloads are available on a wide selection of content|
In-depth analysis: Hulu vs Netflix
Need more information? No problem. Let's take a closer look at some key categories so you can decide if Hulu or Netflix is the streaming platform for you.
Plans, prices and free trial
Hulu and Netflix offer 30-day free trials on all fronts, after which the monthly fee will take effect.
Hulu's basic plan costs $ 5.99 / month. In exchange for the low cost, you will have to endure certain advertisements throughout TV shows and movies.
If you prefer no commercial interruption during the broadcast, Hulu ad-free plan costs $ 11.99 / month. With both plans, you can broadcast SD, HD and 4K ultra HD on up to two screens at the same time.
With Netflix, only one stream in standard definition will cost you $ 8.99 / month. It costs $ 12.99 / month to switch to high definition streaming and two screens.
But if HD isn't enough for you, Netflix also has a ultra HD plan with four simultaneous streams at $ 15.99 / month. Unlike Hulu, all Netflix plans have the bonus of being ad-free.
Availability of each service
Hulu is only available to viewers in the U.S. and Japan, which means that to access the site, you must use an IP address from one of these countries. There is a way to get around these restrictions with a premium VPN– we will discuss this in more detail below. But it's important to know that you need a separate account for the two versions – a Hulu US account cannot access Hulu Japan.
When it comes to availability, Netflix beat all other streaming services. Netflix is available in more than 190 countries around the world. However, the content varies by country.
For example, Netflix US has over 1,300+ TV shows and over 4,000 movies, compared to Netflix UK, which has about 550 TV shows and 2,500 movies. Again, a VPN can help you access Netflix content not available in your area. A bonus? You only need one Netflix account to access all of its libraries.
Which service has more titles?
|Number of titles||Number of originals|
Hulu doesn't have the vast selection of content from Netflix. But it has great titles worthy of frenzy, such as Atlanta, Key & Peele, Broad City, Full Metal Alchemist, Vikings and much more.
This too didn't nearly the volume of the originals like Netflix, but it has a few gems, including Castle Rock, Into the Dark, Light as a Feather and the brilliant The Handmaid’s Tale.
Netflix is hard to beat when it comes to the size of its library. With whole seasons falling at the same time, it's the dream of a binge-watcher, with dozens of titles in all genres. Netflix also offers a wide selection of original movies, TV shows and limited series, including the trendy Tiger King, BoJack Horseman, Sex Education and 13 Reasons Why.
Although neither has ever said exactly how many titles they have in their libraries, and the numbers change as shows are added and removed. Below is an estimate of the number of titles for each service, including the number of originals.
Additional modules available
The most important Hulu add-on is Hulu + Live TV package. It is quite expensive to $ 54.99 / month (with a 7-day free trial). But, for the money, you can look Live and on-demand TV from over 65 TV channels, as well as regular Hulu content. You also get 50 hours of storage in the cloud DVR.
Hulu also offers additional TV channel modules for its streaming plans:
- STARZ for an additional $ 8.99 / month
- SHOWTIME for an additional $ 10.99 / month
- HBO for an additional $ 14.99 / month
- CINEMAX for an additional $ 9.99 / month
Hulu has another useful add-on if you have a house full of streamers: the Unlimited Screens add-on. For $ 9.99 / month, you can broadcast Hulu on an unlimited number of devices connected to your home network.
Netflix does not currently offer any add-ons, but many will say that it does not need it. It has more than 160 million paying subscribers worldwide, so the lack of add-ons doesn't keep customers at bay.
Both streaming services allow you to download content to watch offline. With Hulu, you can only download from ad-free plans and you are limited to 25 episodes or movies. Your downloads can be spread across five supported devices, and you have 30 days to watch them, or 48 hours after you start reading.
You can download a lot more content with Netflix, with each plan allowed to download 100 titles. With the basic plan, you can download on one device at a time. The HD plan allows you to download on two devices at the same time, and the Ultra HD plan allows four.
Hulu and Netflix are compatible with a large number of devices on a number of operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, browsers, and most smart TVs.
In addition, the latest Hulu app is available for Chromecast, Echo Show, Fire Tablets, Fire TV and Fire TV Sticks. Apps are also available for select LG and Samsung TVs, VIZIO SmartCast TVs, and many game consoles such as Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.
The classic Hulu app is also available for many older smart TVs, streaming sticks, Blu-ray players, and Tivo cases.
Netflix is available on Chromecast, FireTV, Nvidia Shield, Roku, LG, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Vizio, Hisense, Panasonic, Sanyo and Sony smart TVs as well as Roku TVs. It offers applications for Nintendo 3DS, PSVista, PlayStation 3 and 4, WiiU, Xbox One and Xbox 360. It is also available for a wide range of Blu-ray players and set-top boxes.
And the winner is…
Both streaming services will provide thousands of hours of entertainment. But there can only be one winner, and that's Netflix. The streaming juggernaut has been ahead of its competitors for years and continues to be the favorite.
Regarding availability, features and content, Netflix offers more value for your monthly subscription fees. You stream the great original content from the service across multiple screens at once, and you can also access a different Netflix library from almost anywhere in the world.
Better yet, you can unlock as many regional Netflix libraries as you want using a premium VPN. Read on to find out how.
How to access Hulu and Netflix from anywhere using a VPN
Whichever streaming service you choose, you may need to bypass certain geographic restrictions to access the content you want to see.
A VPN will help you access Hulu from outside the U.S. or unlock the many exclusive Netflix titles outside of your region.
The best of all? It's simple and quick to install.
How to unlock Hulu
Due to license restrictions, Hulu is only accessible to viewers in the United States. This means that you need a US IP address to broadcast from the site. You can unblock Hulu from anywhere when using a VPN.
Here's how to access Hulu from outside the United States:
- Choose a premium VPN. I suggest ExpressVPN because it is excellent for streaming and has a large network of American servers.
- Download and install your VPN software. Then connect to one of its American servers.
- Go to the Hulu website and register / login. You will need a US payment method or a Hulu gift card to register.
- Enjoy great on-demand shows like ABC, FOX and NBC, as well as great original content.
Broadcast Hulu from anywhere now!
How to unblock Netflix
Netflix has hundreds of different libraries around the world, and each region has exclusive titles that aren't available anywhere else.
Normally, you can only access the Netflix library that matches your IP address. For example, with a UK IP address, you can only access the UK Netflix catalog. But, using a VPN, you can access the Netflix catalog of your choice.
Here's how to unlock other Netflix libraries:
- Select a premium VPN. I recommend NordVPN because it has an extensive global server network and excellent streaming features.
- Download and install the VPN software. Connect to a server in the country of the Netflix library you want to access.
- Sign up or log in to Netflix.
- Sit back and watch too much of what you can't wait to see.
Stream Netflix from anywhere now!
Which VPN should I use?
ExpressVPN and NordVPN are my main recommendations for Hulu and Netflix, but they're not the only VPNs that can successfully bypass their geographic restrictions. The other high quality VPNs I recommend are:
For more options, check out our articles on the Top 10 VPNs for Netflix and the Top 9 VPNs for Hulu.
The Bottom Line
If you're looking to subscribe to a single streaming service, it can be difficult to choose between Hulu and Netflix. My first choice would be Netflix, simply because he has in terms of content, downloads and availability.
With a premium VPN, like ExpressVPN—You can bypass geoblocks to access Hulu from outside the United States and to connect to your favorite regional Netflix library.
If you're looking for more information on using a VPN to access these streaming sites, check out our articles on the best VPNs for Hulu and the best VPNs for Netflix.