HBO GO is a great way for HBO subscribers to watch all of their favorite movies and original television series such as Game of Thrones while away from home. That is, unless, you’re traveling outside the United States. Even with a premium cable TV subscription package that includes HBO, the HBO GO streaming service cannot be accessed from any country other than the US. Attempting to do so will result in an error message: “Not in Service Area” or “To access HBO GO, you must reside within the fifty states of the United States of America.”
If you reside in this area and are still experiencing difficulties, please contact your television provider.
But there is a workaround to access HBO Go outside America from any overseas destination. By using a VPN, you can get an American IP address that will make HBO GO believe you are located within the US. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a remote server in a location of your choosing. By connecting to a VPN server location in the US, you can easily unblock HBO GO and watch your favorite HBO shows from anywhere in the world.
Note that not all VPNs work with HBO Go as it actively blocks many VPNs.
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 for HBO Go. Highly reliable provider with plenty of streaming servers in the US. Unblocks HBO GO and other popular video streaming services. Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 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 GO and other popular streaming sites. Apps for all platforms, easy to set up and use. Unmatched privacy and security. 30-day money-back guarantee is included.
- IPVanish Works with HBO GO. Good server representation in the US. Apps are easy to use.
- VyprVPN Reliable at unblocking popular video streaming services. Fast network but not the cheapest on this list.
- PrivateVPN Smaller up-and-coming network manages good speeds and is fine for unblocking HBO GO from abroad.
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The Best VPNs for HBO GO
We ranked our list of the best VPNs for HBO GO based on the following criteria:
- Streaming server locations in the United States
- Can reliably unblock HBO GO
- 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
If you want to be sure to catch the latest episode of Westworld before it gets spoiled on Facebook or Twitter, NordVPN has your back. You can live chat support or just check the knowledge base on the company website to find out which servers work best for a particular streaming content service.
It operates over 1,700 servers in the United States alone. It’s also capable of unblocking Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer among others. NordVPN touts a true zero logs policy and uses military-grade encryption on all OpenVPN connections. You can connect up to six devices at the same time on a basic subscription.
Apps are available for all major platforms including Linux, Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
NordVPN speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||111.7 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||122.3 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||112.0 Mbps|
- Great choice for high-quality content streaming
- Over 1,700 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
- Offers 24/7 live chat
- Desktop app can take some getting used to
BEST VPN FOR HBO GO:NordVPN is our top choice. A secure VPN service that works reliably with HBO GO and most popular streaming sites. Connects up to 6 devices simultaneously. Comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a strong choice for anyone looking to stream geo-blocked video content abroad. It has over 1700 servers in 63+ countries, provides high enough speeds for HD streaming, and in addition to unblocking HBO Go, it also lets you use major services like Netflix US and Hulu. What’s more, Surfshark permits an unlimited number of simultaneous connections, so you’ll be able to stream whatever you want, wherever you are, on whichever device you prefer.
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 (which automatically stops all traffic should your connection drop suddenly). 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 MacOS, Android, Windows, iOS, and Linux apps. It can be manually installed on supported network routers.
Surfshark speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||170 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||230 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||220 Mbps|
- Protect all of your devices at once
- Decent speeds
- Impressive unblocking abilities
- Strong on security and privacy
- Covers fewer locations than some of its rivals
- Some server locations are slower than others
Read our full review of Surfshark here.
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. You really can’t go wrong here. Speeds are fast. Security is cutting edge.
The company keeps 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.
Not only can ExpressVPN unblock HBO GO, but it also works with US Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video.
Apps for all major platforms, including Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and even Linux, are easy to use so you can start streaming the first episode of your favorite show as soon as it is broadcast.
ExpressVPN speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||135.7 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||134 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||136 Mbps|
- Servers in 18 US cities can unblock geo-restricted content from almost anywhere
- Superfast server network is great for streaming and downloading
- High-grade security features and strict no logs policy protects your privacy
- Unblocks most major content streaming sites, like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and more
- Can only simultaneously connect 5 devices
- Slightly more expensive than other providers
GREAT FOR STREAMING:ExpressVPN is quick and secure. Reliably unblocks HBO GO 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 eight locations in the United States that you can connect to when you want to stream an episode of High Times. You can view a server’s current load and capacity right in the app.
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. Customer service usually replies within four hours of submitting a ticket. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
IPVanish speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||72 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||31.3 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||52.3 Mbps|
- Over 650 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
- Handles multiple simultaneous connections well
- Some servers don’t perform well with Netflix or Hulu
- No anonymous payment options
NO CONNECTION LIMITS:IPVanish has a large network of servers. Generally solid for watching HBO GO. Adhere to the highest standard of privacy but can struggle with unblocking some popular media streaming platforms. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
VyprVPN is another top choice for Americans living abroad. Even if you’re in China, this VPN service can unblock HBO GO in addition to Netflix and Hulu. For an added fee, you can avail of the proprietary Chameleon protocol to further obfuscate your connection to ensure that your Internet Service Provider can’t detect whether or not you’re using a VPN.
Only the best encryption standards are used, although VyprVPN does record the user’s source IP address when they connect. Other than that, privacy and internet security are airtight. Live chat support is available on the website if you run into any issues when trying to stream Season 2 of Insecure.
VPN software and apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
VyprVPN speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||41 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||44.3 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||47.3 Mbps|
- Operates multiple servers in 8 major US cities
- Speeds are fast and stable and suitable for high-quality streaming
- Excellent security and privacy features
- Slightly more expensive than some VPNs
- Could have more options for advanced configuration
SOLID PERFORMER:VyprVPN is user friendly. Works well with HBO GO and a few other popular media streaming services. Good privacy and security but a bit pricey. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of VyprVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN, not to be confused with Private Internet Access, is a relative newcomer in the VPN space. Despite that, it’s proven itself to be a competent unblocker of major media streaming services like HBO GO, Hulu and Netflix.
Live chat is available during business hours. PrivateVPN has a smaller network of servers than others on this list, but don’t let that dissuade you–it ranked near the top in our speed tests.
A single account lets you connect up to six devices simultaneously so everyone in the house can watch Veep at the same time. The service keeps no logs.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
PrivateVPN speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||94 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||56.7 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||61.7 Mbps|
- Operates servers out of 9 major US city locations
- Strong security and privacy features and decent streaming speeds
- Can connect up to six devices simultaneously
- Small number of servers
- Needs manual tweaking to work in China
- May need support assistance in locating the best server to choose
GREAT SPEED:PrivateVPN is a good family choice. Unblocks HBO GO shows and allows up to 6 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 Go 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 Go Abroad.
Here’s how to watch HBO Go online from anywhere with a VPN:
- Download and install the VPN app from your provider’s website. We recommend NordVPN for HBO.
- Select a VPN server in the US. If you are unsure which one, ask your VPN’s customer service.
- Connect to the VPN. Once the connection is established, open HBO Go and start streaming Game of Thrones or whatever you want to watch.
- If you are still having problems connecting try Clearing your cookies and your browser cache.
Avoid free VPNs
Free VPNs abound, but HBO GO 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.
Which VPNs to avoid
One of the core purposes of using a VPN, other than unblocking streaming services, is to improve privacy. Unfortunately, some big names in the VPN space have done just the opposite.
Hola is a peer-to-peer proxy service posing as a VPN. Instead of using centralized servers like everything else on this list, it uses the idle bandwidth of its users’ computers. This can run up your data usage, make you responsible for other people’s activity, and sacrifice your online privacy. At one point, the company infamously turned all of its users computers into a giant botnet used to carry out massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on websites.
HBO GO vs HBO Now
Note that HBO GO is a separate service from HBO Now. HBO GO requires a premium cable TV subscription package that includes HBO. HBO Now is a standalone streaming service that doesn’t require cable. If you have an HBO Now subscription and are traveling abroad, these VPNs should work for you as well, or you can check out our list of the best VPNs for HBO Now.
HBO GO VPN for Roku, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV
The apps from the VPN providers in our list will work on a web browser like Google Chrome or Firefox, but you may run into issues when using the HBO GO app on a smart TV, set-top media streaming box, or the mobile app on Android and iPhone. HBO GO can force its app to use different DNS servers than what the VPN uses, which gives away the device’s real location.
If you’re having difficulties, we recommend watching on a web browser instead of the app. Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and other set-top boxes don’t have web browsers, so you need to set up the VPN on a router. You can either do this on your home wifi router if it supports VPNs, or configure a virtual router on your laptop. We’ve got tutorials on how to configure a VPN-enabled virtual wifi router using Windows and MacOS.
ISP throttling and 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.
HBO GO VPN Access FAQ
Is it legal to access HBO GO from outside America?
It is not illegal to access HBO Go from outside the USA, but it is against HBO's terms of service, and could result in account termination.
How can I sign up to a HBO GO account?
In order to sign up for HBO Go, you need a cable subscription that already includes HBO. If not, opt for HBO Now or HBO Max, which offer standalone streaming subscriptions.
If you have HBO on cable...
- Open the HBO Go website or app
- Select your cable provider
- Enter your cable provider account username and password. You might need to contact your cable company to ask for these if you don't already have them.
Does HBO GO stream in 4K with a VPN?
Not all VPN providers can ensure enough stable bandwidth to stream HBO Go. This will largely depend on your location and choice of VPN. NordVPN is the fastest VPN in this list as of time of writing, so it has the best chance of being able to stream 4K UHD video.
How do I pay for HBO Max outside of the US?
HBO Max requires a US-based payment method in order to subscribe. If you live outside of the USA and don’t have an American credit card, this can pose an obstacle. We’ll give you a few options that reportedly work from outside the USA, but take note that we did not test these ourselves:
- A prepaid US debit card costs about $20 plus however much credit you want to put on your HBO Max account.
- Set up a prepaid virtual credit card that includes a CVV number. A few options include MyPCS, and Advcash. If you cannot use a virtual credit card to make a payment directly to HBO, you could instead use it to set up a US-based PayPal account. The PayPal account can then be used to make payments on HBO Max.
StatesPay is another virtual credit card provider that costs $3.95 per month. It specializes in streaming services.
How many subscribers does HBO Now have?
AT&T, which owns Warner Media and therefore HBO, has projected HBO Max will reach up to 70 million subscribers by the end of 2021, and up to 150 million by the end of 2025. This includes subscribers who transitioned from HBO Go and HBO Now.
What happened to HBO Go and HBO Now?
All of HBO’s streaming services have been combined and rebranded as HBO Now. You can purchase HBO Now as a standalone streaming service or, if your cable subscription includes HBO, you can use it at no extra cost. It has all of the same content as HBO Go and HBO Now, plus many non-HBO TV shows and movies.
HBO Go no longer exists. It was an online streaming service specifically for HBO cable subscribers.
HBO Now no longer exists. It was a standalone streaming service that only hosted HBO content.