Hotstar is one of the most popular TV stations for sport in India. With the start of the 2017 Indian Premier League season in April, IPL fans across the world are looking for a solution to watch every match.
Unfortunately, due to TV licensing restrictions, it’s not possible to view Hotstar outside of India, for example in the US, UK, Canada, NZ or Australia.
Just as well we’ve written a guide that’s both cheap and easy to setup Hotstar streaming.
Which Features do I look for in a VPN to Watch IPL with Hotstar?
- One of the most important features to look for when choosing a VPN to stream Hotstar is sufficient servers based in the India.
Providers with only a few servers will cause frustration down the track. Hotstar’s technical team have been known to block VPN providers, which is more difficult of they have dozens of India servers.
- Reliable VPN network infrastructure – Cheap VPN providers lower costs by oversubscribing their networks. Overloading causes issues where your programs will freeze, or picture quality looks terrible.
- Easy to use VPN client software, compatible with modern devices. Eg iPhone, Macbook, Android, and Windows
Apart from a VPN, what else do you need to watch Hotstar?
- Install the Hotstar app
- Hotstar account (or you can use the free account with 5-minute delay)
I’d recommend installing the Go app before you leave the India, both Apple and Google block the installation of Hotstar’s app if you’re outside the India. Read our guide below if you need to download the app abroad, but it’s certainly easier while you’re still at home.
Best VPN for Hotstar India
We rate ExpressVPN as our preferred VPN for most video streaming requirements. Although their pricing is higher than some competitors, their network is extremely stable, rarely freezing or causing poor video quality.
Their award winning software is also easy to configure and takes minutes to set up.
If you also use BitTorrent, they have servers in Hong Kong to avoid spying by Western Governments.
PureVPN – An Affordable (stable) Alternative
PureVPN is another VPN that can reliably stream Hotstar from most locations around the globe. In my testing, I found the software easy to setup, and the video stream worked reliably for hours each time.
The only downside of using PureVPN for Indian TV is they only have one data center in New Dehli which handles 254 IP address. The one location causes issues if the New Dehli network is experiencing an outage or maintenance. ExpressVPN, on the other hand, has two data centers in Mumbai and Chennai, which avoids a single point of failure in the network.
Overall PureVPN is one of our favorite picks as the best VPN to watch Hotstar TV.
How do I Install the Android Hotstar App?
The Google Play store restricts downloading the Hotstar app in India only. Here’s the workaround if you’re based overseas.
If you own a Mac or PC:
- Connect to an ExpressVPN India server.
- Open Chrome web browser, log into the same Gmail account that’s used on your mobile device
- Open Google Play and search for Hotstar: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com
- Click ‘Install’ and choose the mobile device that you plan to watch Hotstar
Downloading iPlayer on Your Android Device:
If you don’t have access to a Mac, or PC, you still download via your Mobile device. Following the same steps as above, but you’ll need to clear your Play Store cache after connecting to the India ExpressVPN servers (the cache remembers your last known location).
This can be done using the following steps:
- Go to the Settings app and tap Apps.
- Tap the Google Play Store app listed here and long press on ‘Storage’.
- When you release the ‘Storage’ section, a new screen will appear showing you the ‘Clear Cache’ and ‘Clear Data’ buttons for the Google Play Store app
Best Practices For Streaming Hotstar Outside of India
There are a couple of easy steps that you can take to improve the streaming experience watching Hotstar India. These simple changes can make a big difference to your streaming experience overseas.
Try these updates if watching Hotstar online via VPN isn’t working:
- Test your VPN connection can successfully stream Hotstar before leaving India. Our preferred VPN suppliers include a money back guarantee, so if you’re unable to get the setup working, request a refund and try another provider.
- If you’re using a laptop with a Network (Ethernet) port, and your hotel or home has access to a wired port, always use it! WiFi networks add a slight delay and often overloaded with other users. This additional latency when abroad causes havoc streaming TV.
- If you don’t have access to a wired network, use WiFi rather than your Telco carrier. You probably wouldn’t use a Telco carrier anyway, due to the data roaming charges. Modern 4G connections will handle Hotstar without any issues, but 3G, GSM or CDMA (especially in developing countries) cause a frustrating experience.
We hope that our guide helps you enjoy Hotstar TV!