It is difficult to watch Hotstar outside of India–unless you use a VPN. Today, we’ll cover everything you need to know about unblocking Hotstar anywhere in the world, plus how to choose and use the right VPN to get started in just a matter of minutes.
Hotstar is a streaming service that could be called India’s answer to Netflix. Offering high quality video streams of TV shows and movies, the format will be familiar to anyone who has used Netflix, Hulu, or other similar services.
But Hotstar actually has even more to offer, with sections for watching sports like cricket, football, badminton, hockey, athletics, and more, as well as an option for watching the latest news. It has a lot of Indian content in a big variety of languages, including local and national Indian TV shows and movies, but it also has English-language Western content like big name TV shows and Hollywood movies. All of this means that Hotstar can really be your one stop location for streaming.
One of the best things about Hotstar is that is has both a free and a premium service. If you want to watch the newest Hollywood films and the big Western TV shows then you’ll need a premium subscription. But if you don’t mind waiting a little bit longer to watch this content after it originally airs, or if you want to watch more Indian content, then you can watch all of this on Hotstar for free.
Make sure you always have access to Hotstar outside of India with these VPNs:
- NordVPN – Best for Hotstar – NordVPN is our top recommendation for bypassing geoblocks. No matter where you are in the world, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite Hotstar streams in complete anonymity.
- Surfshark – A truly robust VPN offering that doesn’t cost much at all. Unlimited simultaneous connections.
- ExpressVPN – One of the fastest VPNs on the market. Extremely capable of unblocking HD Bollywood streams.
- IPVanish – The classic choice for heavy streamers and torrenters. Excellent pairing with Firestick.
There’s only one problem: Hotstar only works when you access the website from within India. Fortunately, there is a way around this so that you can watch Hotstar even if you’re travelling or living somewhere else in the world. Today we’re going to show you how to unblock Hotstar to watch from outside of India.
How To Use A VPN To Bypass Geoblocks
If you head to the Hotstar site (https://www.hotstar.com/) while you’re browsing from within India then you can simply pick a video and start watching. However, if you try to access the site when you’re located outside of India then you’ll see a notice that “Hotstar is currently not available in your region” and you won’t be able to watch any of the videos. This is because of a process called region locking, in which the website reads your IP address to find out which country you are browsing from, and serves you different content accordingly. In this case, if you have an Indian IP address then the site lets you watch videos, and if you have an IP address from elsewhere in the world, then it doesn’t.
An IP address is assigned to you by your ISP whenever you connect to a network. It is a unique string of numbers that represents your specific device, so that when you send a request over the internet then the answering data can be sent to your device in particular, like a postal address. It is possible to tell which country an IP address originates from because particular ranges of IP address numbers are pre-assigned to particular countries.
Fortunately for users who want to watch Hotstar outside of India, it is possible to get an Indian IP address from elsewhere in the world. You just need to use a VPN, which is a piece of security software which you install onto your device and which encrypts all of the data that device sends over the internet. The encrypted data is sent to a server located in a country of your choosing, and at the server the data is decrypted and sent on to its original destination.
The key aspect to using a VPN to watch Hotstar is that you can choose to connect to a server in India. When you do this, you web traffic is sent to any website you visit via the server in India, so you have an Indian IP address and it appears as if you are browsing from within India, even if you are actually located elsewhere in the world. All you have to do is open up your VPN software, connect to a server in India, then you can go to the Hotstar website and it will be unblocked thanks to your virtual IP address, and you can watch to your heart’s content.
You can also use this same technique to unblock other websites by connecting to servers in other countries, so you can browse the internet and watch videos as if you were actually located in that country. This makes it really easy to watch content from all over the world, no matter where you live.
Best VPN To Unblock Hotstar Outside Of India
If you’re looking for a particular VPN that you can use to unblock Hotstar as well as other websites, then we have three top recommendations for you:
If you are someone who is looking for a VPN with extremely good security as well as the ability to unblock content on sites like Hotstar, then you should try NordVPN. It has the essential 256-bit encryption and no logging policy to keep your data safe and private.
But that’s not all – in addition, there is an option available for double encryption. This means that your data is encrypted on your device and sent to a server elsewhere in the world, and then at this first server your data is encrypted once again and sent to a second server. At the second server, the data is decrypted and sent on its way. This process means that data travelling over the NordVPN network is given an exceptionally high level of encryption that is, for all practical purposes, impossible to crack.
The connection speeds are fast enough for streaming video, and the server network has more than 5,600 servers in 60 different countries including India. So you can easily use this service to unblock Hotstar and other websites too. The software supports many platforms including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS, Android, and Windows Phone.
Read our full NordVPN review.
- Unblocks American Netflix
- Mind-boggling number of servers
- Tor over VPN, double VPN
- Strict zero logs policy on both traffic and metadata
- 24/7 Customer Service.
- Some servers can be slow and unreliable
- They can take 30 days to process refunds.
Surfshark has made quite a name for itself since its launch in 2019, and that is primarily due to its superb ability to unblock streaming sites like Hotstar anywhere in the world. As with most top-shelf VPN, there’s a robust server network on offer, this time covering 800+ servers in 50 countries.
India is of course well-represented, with locations in Mumbai, Chennai, and Indore; there’s even a multi-hop connection that allows you to get a doubly-encrypted Indian virtual IP. Any of these servers will work to unblock Hotstar, though–even in the face of incredible censorship thanks to blanket obfuscation across the entire network.
Moreover, your activity is completely private, thanks to the cutting-edge 256-AES-GCM encryption cipher (the same used by the NSA). Surfshark is also based in the BVI, and thus are free to offer a truly transparent no-logging policy.
- Bypass government censorship with NoBorders mode
- Torrent safely on any server, no guesswork required
- IP, DNS and WebRTC leak protection plus kill switch
- Logging policy independently audited and verified
- Responsive customer support available 24/7.
- Growing network doesn’t have same coverage as more mature VPNs
- Relatively young VPN still has to prove itself trustworthy over the long haul.
Read our full Surfshark review.
When you want fast speeds, a high level of security, and the ability to view content from all over the world, then you need ExpressVPN. It is one of the most popular VPN services available thanks to its extremely fast connections which are perfect for streaming TV shows or movies from sites like Hotstar. It also has good security, with strong 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy.
The network of servers covers over 3,000 servers in 145 locations in 94 different countries, including India, so you can use this service to unblock Hotstar, Netflix, Hulu, and many more sites. The software has useful features like a kill switch and a speed test, and you can install it on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android devices, plus others like Smart TVs and games consoles.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
- Unblocks American Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu
- Super fast, reliable connection
- Secure encryption & VPN protocols
- Strict no-logging policy
- Great customer service via chat.
- Month-to-month plan has high cost.
For Kodi users in need of a VPN, we recommend IPVanish due to its super fast connection speeds that are perfect for streaming high definition video and letting you use add-ons like Hotstar. This VPN also has excellent security, with 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy to keep your data safe and protected. The server network consists of over 1,300 servers in more than 60 countries, including India, so you’ll be able to watch content from all around the world including Hotstar. The software has helpful advanced features like DNS leak protection, periodic IP address change, and DNS configuration, and it can be installed on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android devices.
Once you have IPVanish installed to protect you when you are streaming, you can move on to installing the Hotstar Kodi add-on.
Read our full IPVanish review.
Or Watch Hotstar Using Add-Ons For Kodi
An alternative way to watch Hotstar is through Kodi, a piece of open source media centre software that we love. Kodi is free to use and was originally designed to organise and display your digital media files, but by installing extra add-ons you can give the software all sorts of new functionalities. One of these add-ons let you watch Hotstar through Kodi, which is an easy and convenient way to browse through all the content and to find something to watch.
A particular advantage of using the Hotstar add-on for Kodi is that it has an option to enable an Indian IP address within the add-on. This means that even if you are outside of India and you don’t have a VPN, you can still enable this option and use the Hotstar add-on to watch content. This option requires you to find an Indian IP address from a list, which we’ll show you later – it’s not the most reliable option but it is free and it does work some of the time. If you’re looking for the most reliable way to watch through the Hotstar add-on, then use a VPN to connect to a server in India before opening up Kodi and you’ll be able to use the add-on with no issues.
How To Install The Hotstar Add-on For Kodi
In this section we’ll show you how to install and configure the Hotstar add-on for Kodi. Normally, when you install an add-on for Kodi you would first enter the URL of the repository where the add-on could be found, then install using the Install from Repository option. However, the Hotstar add-on is not easily available in a repository so we cannot use this method. Instead, we’ll be downloading the zip file of the add-on directly from the developer’s Github page. Then we can save the zip file to our device, and install from there. Just follow these instructions to install and then configure the add-on:
- First, go this URL in your web browser and download the zip file: https://github.com/YoColdRain/Hotstar-Rain/raw/master/plugin.video.hotstar-rain-1.0.14.zip
- Now save the zip file to your desktop or other easy to access location
- Go to your Kodi home screen
- Click on Add-ons
- Click on the icon that looks like an open box
- Click on Install from zip
- Click on where it says Browse and navigate through your device’s folders to find the zip file you just saved. Click on plugin.video.hotstar-rain-1.0.14.zip
- Wait until you see a notification that the add-on has been installed
- Now go back to your Kodi home screen
- Go to Add-ons
- Go to Video add-ons
- Find Hotstar and right click on it
- Click Settings
- Now go to Options in the left hand menu
- Switch the toggle that says Enable Indian IP address? to the on position
- Open up a browser and go to the URL https://bit.ly/1LhsHMX
- This brings up a list of Indian IP addresses. You should pick an IP address from the list – for example, we’ll use 220.127.116.11
- Now go back to Kodi and click on any Indian IP address. This brings up a number pad
- Enter the IP address you chose, e.g. 18.104.22.168, and then press Done
- Now click OK to complete the setup
How To Use The Hotstar Add-on For Kodi
Once the Hotstar add-on has been installed and configured in your Kodi system, here’s how to use it to watch movies, TV shows, sports, and news:
- Start on your Kodi home screen
- Go to Add-ons
- Go to Video add-ons
- Click on Hotstar
- You’ll see a bunch of categories like Featured (on main page), Movies, TV Shows, Sports, TV Channels, Search, Live TV, and Live Sports
- If you want to watch a movie, click on Movies to bring up a list of available movies for streaming
- Now click the title of any movie to start the stream
- Alternatively, you can browse through the Featured section to see what is currently on the Hotstar main page, or use the Search to find a particular show or movie that you want to see. The TV Channels option is also useful as it lets you watch a lot of popular shows from channels like HBO Originals, ABC Studios, and Maa Gold
- Finally, the Live TV option has things like the latest news and business broadcasts that you can watch to stay up to date on what’s going on, and the Live Sports option has a few streams for big matches that are happening right now, including football and other sports
Alternatives to Hotstar
While Hotstar’s library is expansive, some folks have an insatiable love for Bollywood and Indian TV. If this sounds like you, we’ve got you covered. Check out our piece on the best Bollywood Kodi Add-ons, as well as on how to watch Indian TV Abroad.
Hotstar is a great service for watching TV and movies, both Indian and Western. With a massive range of content to watch, it’s India’s answer to Netflix – but in some ways it’s even better, like having live sports matches and news updates on the platform as well as TV shows and movies. It has a bunch of new Hollywood blockbusters and big Western shows like Game of Thrones available to stream in the premium section, but there is also a ton of Indian content that can be watched for free by anyone in India with an internet connection.
The only problem is that Hotstar is not available outside of India. If you’re travelling outside of the country, or if you’re living elsewhere, you won’t be able to use the Hotstar service in your browser. Unless, that is, you use a VPN to connect to a server in India, in which case you can watch Hotstar from anywhere in the world, so you can keep up with your shows and your movies.
An alternative option is to use the Hotstar add-on for Kodi. As well as letting you watch all of the Hotstar content conveniently through your Kodi system, there is also a built-in option for this add-on to use an Indian IP address. If you enable this option using the instructions we gave you above, you’ll be able to watch Hotstar for free from anywhere in the world.
Are you a regular Hotstar viewer? Which method do you use to watch from outside of India? Let us know in the comments below!