It might have started as only a platform to view cricket matches, but Hotstar has expanded its offerings over the years. The Indian streaming service owned by Disney now has more than 100,000 hours of various content in nine different languages.
Viewers can now enjoy Indian sports streams, such as those from the Indian Premier League, TV shows, and movies- that is, when they can access it. Unfortunately, those who do not live in India do not get to enjoy much of the content.
Where Can I Watch Hotstar?
It is geo-restricted, meaning that a lot of Hotstar’s content- often considered the best content- can only be streamed by those located in the country. This leaves millions around the world missing out on amazing streams.
At one time, Hotstar streaming access was more widely available. However, Hotstar has faced many changes over the years that have impacted this access. While you can watch Hotstar’s content in many places, the amount of content you can access is limited.
Common Problems With Accessing Hotstar
Hotstar is geo-blocked. It is like trying to access Netflix in a different location- you can only access content from your country’s library. Though you can watch Hotstar in several countries, most of its content is available only to those with an Indian IP address.
When you log onto Hotstar and try to access Indian content from anywhere else in the world, you will likely receive a message telling you that the video will not load or that the content is not available in your region. Without the right tools, you will only be able to access Hotstar’s content from your home country.
Is There a Way to Access Hotstar’s Indian Content From Outside of India?
In short, the answer is yes- you just need to appear to be in India. No worries, though. You do not have to try teleportation or take a long flight. There is a much simpler way to do this: Get a VPN for Hotstar.
A VPN means a virtual private network. Having one provides you with a private online connection through which you can stream, browse, pay bills, and more without worrying that someone is accessing your information. However, they also provide an entirely different benefit when it comes to streaming: It can make you appear to be anywhere in the world.
When you log onto the internet, your search results and the content you can access are determined by your IP address. An IP address is something like your home address but for your computer. It shows your location so that you get relevant results.
This process works wonderfully for some things, such as when you are searching for “pizza near me.” On the other hand, it is not so great when you want to access content that is restricted to other locations. And this is where a VPN shines.
VPN services have servers in different countries, and those countries vary depending on the particular service you choose. A VPN provides the user with a temporary IP address from a location that the user chooses, making it look as though that person is in this other location.
At that time, the user can access any content that is restricted to that area. For instance, if you are in Europe but wish to watch American content, you can connect to an American server through your VPN.
Your VPN will then provide you with an American IP address for that online session. Anything you choose to browse or the stream will think that you are in America and will give you full access to that content.
4 Simple Steps to Watch Hotstar From Anywhere
Being able to access Hotstar and watch it anywhere is actually really simple. It only takes a few simple steps.
- Choose a VPN and download it to your device. There are tips below for choosing the best VPN for your needs.
- Log into your VPN and connect to an Indian server.
- Go to the Hotstar website. Either log into your account or create one if you have not already.
- Pick content to play.
If you have followed these steps and seem to have trouble accessing the content, clear your cookies and then refresh the page. This should take care of any issues.
Choosing the Best VPN
There are many VPNs to choose from to protect your privacy and get around geo-restrictions, among other things. However, they are not all good options. In order to choose the best option, look for the following:
Your VPN must have at least one server in India. The more the VPN has in the country, the better so you have options. However, you need at least one.
While you are checking for servers, be sure that the VPN has some in any other country whose content you wish to access.
It should have a no-logging policy. One benefit of having a VPN is privacy. Knowing others can monitor your online content to use for their gain is unsettling, to say the least. A VPN is intended to block such monitoring, so if it does not follow strict anti-logging policies, it is not worth the effort.
It is also important to understand here that while many say they do not log your activity, they may be located in a country that requires that they log at least some of it. This is one reason it is vital that you ensure the VPN service is based in a country that does not have any logging requirements.
Another important factor to consider is the number of device connections you need. If you are the only one in your home that will be streaming Hotstar, then you have several options. However, if you have multiple devices that you need to connect to, you will want to find one with unlimited device connections to make sure you are covered.
You most certainly want a VPN that provides a kill switch. This means that if your VPN connection drops for any reason, it disconnects your Internet connection as well. This ensures that your activity and data stay protected, and it can help prevent issues with streaming.
Pesky ads can quickly ruin a pleasant online experience, but they seem nearly unavoidable. Fortunately, there are VPNs that block those ads, so they do not interfere with your browsing or streaming session.
Free VS Paid VPNs for Streaming Hotstar
There are many free options in the VPN department, and it can be confusing why one would pay for something they could get for free. The truth is that free service does not typically provide the same level of quality as a premium one.
One very important factor is the security they offer. Usually, a free VPN has no more than 128-bit data encryption. Many premium options, like Surfshark, provide 256-bit encryption.
Another factor in choosing between the two is the logging policy. Since premium services make their money directly from subscriptions, they have no need to make it through dishonest means.
Free versions also need money to operate. Since they are not receiving that money through subscriptions, they make it through other means. This usually means selling data and internet activity to others that use it for marketing and- at times- more nefarious purposes.
Additionally, using a free VPN to access geo-blocked content is likely not going to help you. With some, it’s because the free VPN services do not offer as many servers. Other times, it is more directly related to the quality of the service- it may not be strong enough to get around blocks.
As they do not have as many resources as premium services, they also cannot respond as quickly when streaming services and Internet service providers introduce new ways to detect an IP address. And, as free services have so many users, you can expect much longer buffering times than with premium services.
Lastly, as free VPNs typically do not have a lot of resources, that means they do not have good customer service. If you have any issues, you might find yourself having a lot of trouble getting in touch with anyone.
There are definitely more benefits with a premium VPN than a free VPN. The great part, though, is that though premium VPNs do cost money, they are really affordable. You can get a high-quality VPN for less than $3 per month. Even added on top of your Hotstar subscription, it is barely a drop in the bucket considering all of the incredible value you receive.
If you enjoy accessing content from other countries, you are in luck. VPNs make it easy to do so. You can enjoy content from around the world from anywhere- be it your living room couch on date night or a business trip across seas. The best VPNs provide an incredible amount of protection, the ability to stream, and much more for their users. Learn more about how a VPN can improve your online experience.