Streaming and VOD services have filled the homes of people all over the world. Traditional TV viewing changed drastically since Netflix first launched its streaming service in 2007. Since then, many other services have popped up that provide television content and movies for their customers.
The best streaming services also have their original series, setting them apart from the rest. Netflix, Hulu, and Popcorn Time are the pick of the lot. However, there’s a big debate as to which one of them is the best.
Setting The Ground For Discussion
Netflix started as a DVD renting the place and had an enormous collection of 140,000 DVDs. It was widely popular in the USA. In 2007, Netflix started its video streaming service. It provided movies and TV shows in outstanding picture quality. The collection it offers went down from 140,000 to some 60,000 titles, but that’s impressive nevertheless.
Today, Netflix is considered the best streaming service, owing to its user base that exceeds the 100 million mark. The service is available all over the world, although the content vastly varies between regions due to copyright laws. Netflix USA continues to be the most coveted version.
Netflix offers its service for $7.99 per month. This is not really expensive, but it’s not cheap either. When you consider the fact that you have to wait for a few years (usually up to 5) for Netflix to acquire the rights to the movie and make it available, the price tag seems too much.
However, Netflix more than makes up for it with its line-up of original content. Netflix specials like House of Cards and Stranger Things have huge global fanbases and the stand-up specials that Netflix offers are exemplary as well.
Popcorn Time is a big rival to Netflix. Dubbed the Netflix for Pirates, it offers content for free all over the world. You get access to the movies and TV shows you want, whenever you want. While Netflix users have to wait for 5 years before they can stream the latest movies, Popcorn Time users can do so in less than a months’ time.
Why? Because Popcorn Time is built on the BitTorrent protocol and uses the P2P technology. It is for this reason that Popcorn Time is so popular with users all over the world, and it is for the same reason why copyright holders frown at its mention. It offers copyrighted content for free.
The obvious concern that people have is whether this is legal.
Well, it’s not entirely legal, since the service offered does break copyright laws. However, since it is free to use, the legal repercussions aren’t as severe. There is no hint of Popcorn Time generating profit by selling copyrighted content to users, so it’s kind of a grey area it exploits. If you want to have total peace of mind, always watch Popcorn Time while protected by a VPN connection.
However, many countries ban Popcorn Time because of its nature. That being said, it’s a great service to use to get your favorite latest movies as soon as possible.
Hulu is a streaming service owned by three major television networks in the US. It’s a service that was launched in 2008 and focuses mostly on TV shows rather than movies. The content Hulu offers is on par with Netflix. You can watch all the shows from the networks the day after they air on television on Hulu, which is something that’s not possible with Netflix.
The shows that Hulu has are good. Many of them are shows that Netflix doesn’t offer anymore, much to Hulu’s benefit. While there used to be a free service of Hulu that contained ads, there isn’t such a feature anymore. You have to pay a $5.99 minimum subscription fee to use what was earlier called Hulu Plus.
Hulu’s movie collection isn’t as vast as Netflix or Popcorn Time, but it was never a service that wanted to be a giant in that area. It’s TV that Hulu is more interested in, and it covers that front quite efficiently.
While Netflix has an impressive line-up of originals, Hulu is making a name for itself on that end as well. The only caveat to using, or wanting to use Hulu, is that it is available only in the US and Japan. The Japanese version doesn’t come anywhere near the American version, while everyone else is left wanting.
You can consider a few things to decide which among these three services is the best.
This is a no-brainer, for Popcorn Time is the only free service among the three. Accessing it is not as simple as going to a website and entering your credentials, but that’s not a big concern now that there are plenty of Popcorn Time VPNs in the market.
Netflix charges you $7.99 a month and asks you to wait for 5 years before you can watch movies. Hulu charges you at least $5.99 but there are advertisements in this package. To go ad-free, you have to spend more. While the quality of print in Netflix and Hulu is far superior to in Popcorn Time, it is free, which is a big deciding factor for many movie buffs.
Popcorn Time offers movies and TV shows as soon as possible, but it cannot offer all the TV shows and movies you want. It provides content from other Torrent sites, so if the content is available there, you can get it. That’s not an issue with Netflix and Hulu, each of which have huge databases of their own.
You can watch the content as often as you want, and the picture quality is superior. You can get originals as well with those services, while Popcorn Time can only give it to you if the torrent is available. Netflix offers TV shows and movies in good quantity, while Hulu offers TV shows but not much of movies. So, on the whole, Netflix has the best collection.
Both Netflix and Hulu are streaming services which you can use on a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, etc. Popcorn Time is limited to Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android TVs. There is no iOS or Smart TV support, and there’s no indication if it’s just around the corner. In this regard, Netflix and Hulu are comparable, but they’re way ahead of Popcorn Time.
These three factors show a clearer picture, but there is no way to give one final verdict. It really depends on your requirements. If you want a place to get the best movies and TV shows as well as originals like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, it’s got to be Netflix. If you want TV content and you want it as soon as possible, then it has to be Hulu. If you don’t want to pay money and want to watch TV shows and movies, then Popcorn Time is the place to be.
Accessing Netflix, Hulu, and Popcorn Time from Anywhere
We mentioned that Netflix USA is the best version of Netflix, Hulu is available only in USA and Japan, and Popcorn Time might be banned and using it illegal based on your location. However, you can access Netflix USA, Hulu, and Popcorn Time with a VPN.
VPNs encrypt your connection and mask your IP address with that of the server you are connected to. This way, nobody can see what you are doing on the internet, and nobody can know where you are. What’s more, you can pretend to be in a particular location by using a server from that place.
This is useful if you want to access Netflix USA or Hulu. A Popcorn Time VPN helps hide the fact that you are using Popcorn Time. This saves you from getting a DMCA or similar notice and prevents you from ISP throttling as well since no one knows what you are doing on the internet.
When looking for a Popcorn Time, Netflix, or Hulu VPN, look for a few things:
- The connection speed the VPN offers
- The number of servers under its name and locations covered
- The encryption offered
- Customer support service
- Devices supported
While Popcorn Time and Hulu require VPNs are plenty, Netflix VPNs are fewer in number, because Netflix now blocks VPNs to a great extent.
Best VPN for Netflix, Hulu, or Popcorn Time
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN services on the planet. It covers all areas of a VPN service to provide its customers with a wholesome experience.
ExpressVPN offers OpenVPN AES 256-bit encryption, so you never have to worry about someone spying on your streaming activity. It has more than 500 servers in over 94 countries of the world, so you have plenty of options to choose from if you want Popcorn Time access. There are many servers in the US, and it helps you access Netflix, so it is a great Netflix VPN and Hulu VPN.
The connection speeds it offers are among the best in the industry, and it supports all operating systems and devices and allows 5 simultaneous connections. With a zero-logs policy and a 30-day money back guarantee, ExpressVPN is among the top names you’ll see to access these streaming services.
30-Day Money Back Guarantee
Wherever there’s mention of a VPN requirement, you’re bound to found IPVanish’s name in the list. It’s a VPN service that has been around for years, and it is one of the best services for whatever you need a VPN.
IPvanish offers the same encryption as ExpressVPN, which is also used by the US military. It has more than 850 servers in over 60 countries of the world, a good number of which is in the US. As for connection speeds, IPVanish brands itself as the fastest VPN on the planet, and it’s not being too pompous. It can even top ExpressVPN in this regard.
IPVanish maintains a strict no-logs policy and offers security features like OpenVPN obfuscation and IP cycle. This makes it the VPN to use in countries like China, where VPN users can get a rough time if caught. Streaming through IPVanish is the best combination you will find. However, you can’t access Netflix using IPVanish.
7-Day Hassle-Free Money Back Guarantee
HMA Pro has one of the largest customer cases in the world and has been around for some time. It is a service that hardly leaves a user wanting.
HMA offers strong encryption and offers good connection speeds as well. But it has more servers and covers more locations than any other VPN. It has more than 1000 servers in over 140 countries of the world, which is quite impressive. The customer support service by HMA is good, and there is a no-logs policy.
Some people have questioned this in the past due to some instances, but the service continues to receive widespread popularity, which doesn’t usually happen if the VPN is known for selling user data. HMA offers a 30-day money back guarantee and is priced a little cheaper than ExpressVPN and IPVanish. Alas, it cannot get you access to Netflix either.
30-day Money Back Guarantee
You can decide which one among Popcorn Time, Netflix, and Hulu is the best according to your requirements. Netflix continues to be the largest and most popular streaming service, although that’s only the case now. To access Netflix USA from anywhere, ExpressVPN is the best, since IPVanish and HMA can’t get past Netflix’s VPN barrier.
But to access Netflix and Hulu, you will need an account. Netflix has service all over the world while getting a Hulu subscription requires a little extra work since you need a US address. Using a VPN, you can use Popcorn Time from anywhere in the world, and it’s a service worth using if you don’t wish to pay a penny and want to watch movies and TV shows wherever you are.