HBO subscribers can’t usually watch all their favorite movies and original television series, such as Game of Thrones, while away from home. Even with a premium cable TV subscription package that includes HBO, most services that let you watch HBO online aren’t available outside the US. Fortunately, a workaround exists to access HBO outside the US from any overseas destination.
Using a VPN, you can get an American IP address that will make geo-blocked services believe you are in the US. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a remote server in your chosen location. By connecting to a VPN server location in the US, you can easily unblock HBO and watch your favorite HBO shows from anywhere in the world.
We get into some detail about each of the VPNs that made this list, but if you’ve not got time to read through the rest of this article, here are the best VPNs for watching HBO:
- NordVPN: Our #1 choice VPN for HBO. Highly reliable provider with plenty of streaming servers in the US. Strong unblocking of popular streaming platforms. Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly for HBO.
- Surfshark: Budget-friendly VPN that’s adept at unblocking and includes a ton of security features. Intuitive interface for beginners.
- ExpressVPN: Large number of fast US servers, reliably unblocks HBO and other popular streaming sites. Unmatched privacy and security.
- IPVanish: Works with HBO as well as Netflix US. Good server representation in the US. Easy-to-use apps. Unlimited simultaneous connections.
- Private Internet Access: Thousands of servers available globally. Includes WireGuard and unlimited bandwidth for ultra-fast streaming.
- PrivateVPN: Smaller VPN provider with powerful unblocking and respectable speeds. Easy to use and offers quality customer support.
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The Best VPNs for HBO
We ranked our list of the best VPNs for HBO based on the following criteria:
- Streaming server locations in the United States
- Can help you stream HBO on services like YouTube TV and HBO Max
- Fast, reliable performance for buffer-free streaming
- Apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and FireTV
- Quick and competent customer support
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN works with most streaming platforms, including HBO Max, YouTube TV, and Hulu. Not only that, but it operates nearly 2,000 servers in the United States alone. It’s also one of the fastest VPNs you can use for streaming. With NordVPN’s proprietary NordLynx protocol and offer of unlimited bandwidth, you can expect streaming that’s free of lag and buffering.
NordVPN touts a true zero logs policy and uses 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, plus a customizable kill switch. You can connect up to six devices at the same time. If the aforementioned security still isn’t enough, you can always connect to one of NordVPN’s specialty Double VPN servers for an extra layer of encryption. Need help? Live chat and email support is available around the clock.
You can find NordVPN apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Amazon Fire TV. It also provides browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. However, to use it with a wifi router, you’ll need to manually configure the connection.
- Great choice for high-quality content streaming
- Some 2,000 servers in the US can unblock just about anything
- Fast enough speeds to stream HD content without interruptions
- Offers secure, encrypted connections at all times
- 24/7 support via live chat and email
- Desktop app can take some getting used to
BEST VPN FOR HBO:NordVPN is our top choice. A secure VPN service that works reliably with HBO Max and most popular streaming sites. Up to six simultaneous connections. Comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a strong choice for anyone looking to stream geo-blocked video content abroad. It has over 3,000 servers in 100 countries and provides high enough speeds for HD streaming. In addition to unblocking HBO Max, it lets you use major services like YouTube TV and Hulu. What’s more, Surfshark permits an unlimited number of simultaneous connections, so it’s a great choice for sharing with family.
Luckily, this VPN is as secure as it is versatile. It keeps your activities hidden from prying eyes using 256-bit strong encryption, protection against IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks, and a kill switch. Surfshark doesn’t log any personally identifiable information, although if you’re concerned about privacy, you can register anonymously (by paying in crypto and using a throwaway email address). Live chat-based support is available 24/7.
Surfshark provides Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV apps. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available. Surfshark can be manually installed on supported network routers.
- Servers in 100 countries globally
- Protect all of your devices at once
- Very good server speeds
- Impressive unblocking abilities
- Strong on security and privacy
- Several of its features cost extra
Read our full Surfshark review.
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark easily evades blocks and comes with digital security add-ons such as split tunneling and automatic wifi protection. Nice and affordable, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN operates servers in well over a dozen locations in the US alone, and in 94 countries worldwide. Not only can ExpressVPN unblock HBO Max, but it also works with YouTube TV, Hulu, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video. Speed are particularly impressive thanks to ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol and its offer of unlimited bandwidth. As such, you should be able to stream lag-free.
With ExpressVPN, you can be confident that there are no logs of your activity or IP address. Live customer support is available all day every day, so if HBO has blocked a server, just ask the staff which one to connect to. ExpressVPN’s security is made up of 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, as well as protection from DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. You’ll be able to connect up to eight devices at the same time.
ExpressVPN has desktop (Window, Mac, and Linux) and mobile (Android and iOS) apps. There’s also an Amazon Fire TV app as well as Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browser extensions. You can even find custom firmware for routers.
- Servers in lots of US cities
- Lightning-fast speeds for streaming and downloading
- High-grade security features and strict no logs policy protects your privacy
- Unblocks many major streaming streaming services, like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and more
- Slightly more expensive than other providers
GREAT FOR STREAMING:ExpressVPN is quick and secure. Reliably unblocks HBO Max as well as many other online streaming services. Exceptional connection speeds for buffer-free HD viewing along with total security and privacy. Has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish owns, rather than rents, its huge global network of servers. That includes several locations in the United States that you can connect to when you want to stream HBO. You can view a server’s current load and capacity right in the app. This is one of the fastest VPNs for streaming and there’s no limit to the number of devices you can connect simultaneously.
IPVanish has a strict no logs policy, meaning it doesn’t record any of its users’ activity or connection logs. 256-bit AES encryption will keep all of your traffic in a secure tunnel. You can also expect a kill switch in all of its apps, as well as protection from DNS leaks. There’s 24-hour live chat-based support, but for more technical queries, customer service usually replies within hours of submitting a ticket.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Fire TV. It’s also possible to manually configure a connection with select wireless routers.
- Around 1,400 US servers to choose from
- Speeds are great for HD streaming on most servers
- All the security and privacy features you need for most situations
- Unlimited simultaneous connections per account
- Operates out of the US which is a Five Eyes member
- No anonymous payment options
NO CONNECTION LIMITS:IPVanish has a large network of servers. More than fast enough for watching HBO online. Adheres to the highest standard of privacy. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Private Internet Access has thousands of servers globally, spanning more than 80 countries, including the United States. PIA unblocks HBO, Hulu, and other streaming platforms easily, and thanks to its use of Wireguard, your streams will be in HD or 4K What’s more, PIA allows you to secure all of your devices at the same time which is perfect if you have a lot of devices or plan to share with family.
When you connect to a PIA server, you’ll benefit from military-grade encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch feature. As such, it’s a highly secure service and we also appreciate its true no-logs policy. Unlike many rival VPNs, PIA doesn’t even keep connection logs. The PIA apps are easy enough to use but, should you need help, 24/7 live chat and email support is at hand.
To use PIA, download and install an app for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, or Fire TV. Alternatively, you can use a browser extension for Chrome or Firefox. Manual setup is required to use it with compatible routers however.
- Strong encryption ensures your connection remains secure and private
- 24/7 live chat support available
- Allows unlimited simultaneous connections
- Struggles with some streaming services
- Streaming speeds can be inconsistent
LIGHTNING-FAST STREAMING:Private Internet Access includes an unlimited simultaneous device limit, customizable encryption levels, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Private internet Access review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN has proven to be more than capable when it comes to securely accessing popular streaming services like HBO Max, YouTube TV, Hulu and Netflix. Like all of the best VPNs for streaming, it doesn’t throttle your bandwidth. Furthermore, you can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously so everyone in the house can watch at the same time.
This is one of the most beginner-friendly VPNs we’ve tested. Not only does it provide very quick and helpful live chat and email support, there’s even free remote help and installation. PrivateVPN is a secure service thanks to military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. It’s also worth knowing that PrivateVPN operates a very comprehensive no-logs policy — it doesn’t even keep any connection logs.
PrivateVPN’s apps can be found for Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV. It can also be manually configured to work with compatible home wifi routers.
- Operates servers out of 12 major US city locations
- Strong security and privacy features and decent streaming speeds
- Can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously
- Small number of servers
- May need support assistance in locating the best server to choose
GREAT SPEED:PrivateVPN is a good family choice. Unblocks HBO shows and allows up to 10 devices on the same account. Small network of servers but fast connections. 30-day money back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
How to watch HBO outside the US
Even if you’ve never used a VPN before, getting started is simple. Just follow our step-by-step guide below to start watching HBO abroad.
Here’s how to watch HBO online from anywhere with a VPN:
- Sign up with one of the VPNs recommended in this post. We particularly recommend NordVPN for HBO.
- Download and install the VPN app from your provider’s website. This shouldn’t take more than a minute or two.
- Select a VPN server in the US to get a US IP address. If you are unsure which one, ask your VPN’s customer service.
- Connect to the VPN. Once the connection is established, open your preferred streaming platform (currently, YouTube TV, Hulu, and HBO Max all offer HBO content) and start a video.
- If you are still having problems connecting try Clearing your cookies and your browser cache.
Methodology: How we chose the best VPNs for watching HBO online
Although HBO Max is slowly starting to expand internationally, many of the other services that let you watch HBO online are still only available in one or two countries. This makes finding a suitable VPN particularly tricky. Below, you’ll find the key things we focused on when finding the best VPNs for watching HBO abroad:
- Server choice: We primarily focused on VPNs with a large US server presence. Ideally, services would offer servers spread across other regions where it’s possible to stream HBO online (such as Europe and South America) since this hypothetically allows you to access your usual content library.
- Speed: We regularly run speed tests to ensure that the services we recommend are fast enough for flawless HD streaming. We also take their consistency into account so that you don’t have to put up with long buffering times or random quality changes.
- Versatility: Several services let you watch HBO content, so we looked for VPNs that worked with as many streaming platforms as possible. This involved testing candidates with services like YouTube TV, Hulu, Now TV, HBO Max, and more.
- Security and privacy: To make sure you’re able to stream securely, our top VPNs all utilize 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch. Further, none of them keep any logs that could be used to identify you.
- Ease of use: The easier a VPN is, the better. The best VPNs for HBO all offer live chat-based support and apps for a wide range of platforms. Some even come with specific servers for streaming and the option to have multiple simultaneous connections.
Looking to learn more about our VPN testing process? Check out our full methodology post.
Best VPNs for HBO: FAQs
How many subscribers does HBO Max have?
AT&T, which owns Warner Media and therefore HBO, has said that the service has amassed 73.8 million users as of January 2022. Further, it expects to get between 120 million and 150 million users worldwide by the end of 2025.
Are HBO GO and HBO Now still available?
HBO Go and HBO Now are both deprecated, having been replaced by HBO Max.
Can I watch HBO with a free VPN?
Free VPNs abound, but HBO users should probably avoid them. HBO takes an aggressive stance towards VPNs and frequently blocks them. Even if you manage to find a free VPN server that works, it probably won’t last.
Free VPNs typically cap data and limit bandwidth, meaning you’ll either get cut-off mid-viewing or be forced to endure low quality video and long buffer times.
Many free VPNs are out to collect your personal data and sell it to advertising companies. Some even inject tracking cookies and advertisements into your browser. This is a huge violation of privacy and defeats the purpose of using a VPN.
Is my ISP throttling HBO Max?
Internet service providers sometimes throttle, or intentionally slow down, the internet speeds of their customer. An ISP might do this to enforce data caps, reduce network congestion, or to dissuade customers from a certain online activity or destination.
If you find that HBO Max plays in low quality and/or frequently stops to buffer, but all other streaming services appear to work fine, then your ISP could be throttling HBO Max. If that’s the case, then you can use a VPN to hide your online activity from your ISP. If your ISP doesn’t know you’re watching HBO, then it can’t discriminate against HBO streams.
Note that a VPN will only work in situations where your ISP is throttling specific activities or content. If you’ve surpassed your data cap, for example, a VPN won’t help.
Is it illegal to use a VPN with HBO?
No. Using a VPN to access your streaming accounts from abroad is not against the law. You are a paying subscriber and have the right to watch your account. As a result, nobody has ever been prosecuted for watching HBO Max, Netflix, or any other streaming service on vacation.
That said, using a VPN to bypass HBO’s regional locks is technically in breach of its Terms of Service. This means that HBO could theoretically cancel your subscription if you break the rules.
The good news is that, in reality, HBO does not penalize users for streaming with a VPN. This is because it does not want to lose paying subscribers. Instead, streaming providers like HBO spend time blocking the IP addresses associated with VPNs.
These blocks make it hard to find a VPN that works to watch HBO abroad. Thankfully, the VPNs in this guide have figured out how to stay one step ahead of HBO’s VPN blocks. This means you can use any of our recommendations to legally stream your account while traveling.
Does HBO offer a Prime Video add-on?
Yes, HBO offers a Prime Video add-on for subscribers. With the HBO Max trial on Prime Video Channels, you can watch the latest from HBO Max without any apps or cable required. To sign up for HBO Max through Prime Video Channels, you can either sign in through Prime Video Channels or download the HBO Max app and open it. Once you have signed in, you can access an expansive library of HBO content on the Prime Video app. This includes a robust selection of on-demand movies and shows. But, again, this is only available in the US, so you’ll require a VPN to watch abroad.