watch HBO Max abroad

HBO Max is geo-restricted, which means it is only officially available in certain regions. if you try to watch HBO Max outside of the US or Latin America, you’ll get the following error message:

This site is not available in your region.

In this guide, we will explain how to use a VPN to bypass these geo-blocks and watch HBO Max on vacation.

With a VPN for HBO Max, it is easy to conceal your IP address and pretend to be in a different country. By connecting to a VPN server in a country where HBO Max is available – you instantly gain the ability to stream HBO from anywhere in the world.

What’s more, a VPN is useful for more than just streaming. A VPN also encrypts your internet traffic, to prevent your employer, ISPs, government snoops, and public Wi-Fi networks from tracking what you do online. You can even use a VPN to bypass country-wide restrictions in countries with strict online censorship.

Keep reading to find out how to use a VPN, and for our expertly chosen recommendations of the top VPNs for HBO Max.

How to watch HBO Max online from anywhere

With a VPN, it’s very easy to stream geo-blocked content abroad.

Here’s how to watch HBO max online abroad (outside the US):

  1. Sign up for one of the VPNs below. We particularly recommend NordVPN because it is fast and works to access many HBO regions.
  2. Install the VPN app, ensuring to get the right version for your device.
  3. Log in and connect to a server in the relevant location. To unblock HBO Max, you’ll need a US IP address – or a server in another licensed region (we list these later in the article).
  4. Now, visit the HBO Max website to access your account. Note that if you want to take out a new subscription, you’ll need a valid credit or debit card linked to an address in the relevant country.
  5. Finally, try playing a video. It should load right away, but if you still see an error message, clear your cookies and refresh the page.

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If you are in a rush, we have included a list of the top HBO Max VPNs below. For more information, scroll down for in-depth summaries that will help you pick between them.

Best VPNs for HBO Max:

  1. NordVPN: Our #1 choice for unblocking HBO Max. Extremely fast and gives users all the tools they need to stream safely. Keeps no logs, includes several advanced features, and unblocks plenty of region-locked services. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark: The best budget option. This no-logs VPN has powerful security features, no connection limit, and speeds that are fast enough for lag-free streaming.
  3. ExpressVPN: A fast, security-conscious, and extremely versatile service.
  4. CyberGhost: Boasts easy-to-use apps, high speeds, and a wide range of pre-configured security features.
  5. IPVanish: With a high connection limit, zero-logs policy, and fast, reliable connections, this VPN is ideal for those who like to stream on the go.
  6. PrivateVPN: Provides the perfect balance of speed and security. Unblocks HBO Max outside of the US and keeps no logs whatsoever.
  7. Hotspot Shield: Excellent unblocking potential, strong security features, and very high speeds make this service a great choice for streaming HBO Max abroad.

Best VPNs for watching HBO Max outside of the US

With so many different providers, features, and specifications, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to pick a VPN. To help you out, our VPN reviewers used the criteria below to find HBO Max VPNs that have all the features you need:

  • Provides fast enough speeds for HD streaming
  • Unblocks HBO Max and other popular streaming platforms from abroad
  • Logs no personally identifiable information
  • Keeps you safe using effectively uncrackable encryption and plenty of other security features
  • Offers apps for all major operating systems and devices

If you want to know more about how we test and review VPNs, check out our in-depth methodology article. Alternatively, keep scrolling for detailed mini-reviews about each recommended VPN for HBO Max:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Jan 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is our first choice for an HBO Max VPN. It pegs amazing speeds and has one of the largest networks around, with more than 5,000 servers in 60 countries. This service is known for its accessibility lets you securely access not just HBO Max, but also Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. Equally important, it offers unlimited bandwidth and consistently high speeds, as well as a six-connection limit.

This VPN keeps your activities private at all times using DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leak protection, a customizable kill switch, and 256-bit AES encryption. That’s not all, though: there’s also automatic ad-blocking and malware-scanning, plus special privacy-optimized servers. NordVPN follows a strict no-logging policy which means it cannot reveal details of your activities even if asked to. If you’d prefer, there’s always the option to pay with Bitcoin. Support is on-hand over live chat and email, 24/7.

NordVPN boasts excellent multi-platform support, with apps for Android, iOS, MacOS, Windows, and Linux. You can even manually install it on select network routers.

Pros:

  • Offers a vast array of security options
  • Incredible speeds
  • Works with a wide range of geo-locked sites
  • Huge range of servers to choose from, including servers optimized for specific purposes
  • Great support

Cons:

  • The desktop app takes multiple clicks to disconnect

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR HBO MAX:NordVPN is our top pick. It not only lets you use HBO Max abroad, but it also allows you to do so safely using all manner of customizable security and privacy features. A 30-day money-back guarantee is included making this a risk-free option.

Take a look at our in-depth review of NordVPN.

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2. Surfshark

Surfshark

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark provides access to over 3,200 servers in 65 countries. This service excels at streaming and has no problems with HBO Max, or BBC iPlayer, among others. It also works to securely access regional Netflix libraries for those on vacation. Better still, its speeds are generally fast enough to stream live HD video without any lag (although there are a handful of slower servers). While most VPNs restrict you to six simultaneous connections at most, Surfshark lets you protect every device you own at once.

This VPN is particularly security-conscious and includes numerous advanced features. There’s 256-bit encryption, for instance, as well as a kill switch (in every version), protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks, and a NoBorders feature that lets you bypass country-wide internet restrictions. Most importantly, Surfshark doesn’t log any data that could be used to identify you; you can even sign up using Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple for another layer of privacy. Surfshark’s customer support team can be reached 24/7 over live chat.

Surfshark has apps for Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. It can also be manually installed on select internet routers.

Pros:

  • Connect as many devices as you like
  • Strong commitment to your security
  • Fast enough for streaming live TV
  • Solid support

Cons:

  • Some servers are slower than others

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is a security-first VPN that, unlike most, has no connection limit. With decent speeds, strong unblocking ability, and a 30-day money-back guarantee, it’s ideal for anyone looking to use HBO Max outside of the US.

Find out more in our comprehensive Surfshark review.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN operates more than 3,000 servers across 90+ countries, so it’s already an excellent choice for anyone looking to securely access regional platforms like HBO Max or Netflix US. Further, it’s fast enough that you won’t have to worry about being interrupted by lag or buffering, even when watching in 4K. With up to five simultaneous connections permitted, you can protect most, if not all, of your devices from one account.

This VPN comes with plenty of security features including 256-bit AES encryption, protection against WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS leaks, and a kill switch (that ensures you never browse unprotected, even for a second). You can even let certain applications bypass the VPN entirely (for instance, if you wanted to use services from two regions at once). You can pay with bitcoin if you’d like, but this is an optional step since ExpressVPN doesn’t keep any logs that could identify you. If you run into any problems, you can reach support 24/7 over live chat.

ExpressVPN has apps for Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, and iOS. It even offers custom router firmware to make it as easy as possible to secure all of your devices simultaneously.

Pros:

  • High speeds for downloading and video streaming
  • Top-class security and privacy protection features
  • Unblocks HBO Max and similar services abroad
  • Pay anonymously with Bitcoin

Cons:

  • Doesn’t allow as much customization as some rivals

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

GREAT UNBLOCKER:ExpressVPN is another good choice. It’s fast, security-focused, and able to unblock major platforms like HBO Max without any problems. This service comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full ExpressVPN review.

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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost has over 7,000 servers in around 90 countries and is fast enough to stream live HD video without any noticeable lag or buffering. Better still, this service is able to securely access major streaming platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, so HBO Max doesn’t pose much of a problem. It has a generous connection limit, too, allowing you to connect up to seven devices at once.

This might be a novice-friendly service but it actually includes several powerful security features. For instance, there’s 256-bit AES encryption, an always-on kill switch, protection against IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks, automatic malware-scanning, and an ad-blocker. CyberGhost doesn’t log any data that could identify you, so once connected, you’re effectively untraceable. That said, it’s possible to pay with Bitcoin for even greater anonymity. 24/7 customer support is available over live chat and email.

CyberGhost offers MacOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android apps, and it can be manually installed on supported routers.

Pros:

  • User-friendly yet versatile
  • Thousands of fast servers around the world
  • Solid privacy and security features enabled by default
  • Strong unblocking capabilities
  • Superb option for beginners

Cons:

  • Less suitable for power users

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

GREAT FOR BEGINNERS:CyberGhost is a low-cost service that nonetheless offers high speeds, a wide range of security features, and excellent unblocking ability. There’s even a 45-day money-back guarantee.

For more information, check out our in-depth CyberGhost review.

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5. IPVanish

IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish has around 1,900 high-speed servers spread across 60+ countries. As such, it’s a natural choice for anyone who streams regularly. In fact, IPVanish is even capable of securely accessing platforms like Netflix US and ITV Hub, as well as HBO Max. This, coupled with the service’s unlimited simultaneous connections, means you can use the VPN on all your devices or share your account with your family.

This VPN places particular emphasis on user security. There’s 256-bit encryption, a kill switch (in desktop versions), and protection against IPv6 and DNS leaks. It’s possible to start IPVanish whenever your device boots, or scramble your OpenVPN traffic to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. IPVanish keeps no logs whatsoever so there’s no need to worry about having your activities traced back to you. Its apps are fairly straightforward to use but if you need help, live chat-based support is available 24/7.

IPVanish provides apps for MacOS, iOS, Android, and Windows. This service can be manually configured for use on Linux systems and supported wireless routers.

Pros:

  • Unlimited connections allowed
  • Consistently high speeds
  • Strong encryption and privacy protections
  • Works with Netflix US
  • 30-day money back guarantee

Cons:

  • Struggles to unblock some major streaming services

Our score:

4 out of 5

FAST AND RELIABLE:IPVanish provides high speeds, powerful security features, and access to thousands of servers, making it ideal for streaming HBO Max abroad. This no-logs VPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Interested? Check out the complete IPVanish review.

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6. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN may not have as many servers as some other providers in this list (there are around 200 servers in 63 countries) but it helps make up for it by providing higher speeds than most. It also has exceptional accessibility, which means you’ll be able to use not just HBO Max from abroad, but also services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. Up to 10 devices can be connected simultaneously.

This service protects your traffic from prying eyes using 256-bit encryption, protection against WebRTC, DNS, and IPv6 leaks, a kill switch, and a stealth mode that lets you bypass VPN blocking. Users can even choose to terminate specific apps whenever their connection to the VPN drops. PrivateVPN is a zero-logs provider and allows users to register almost completely anonymously by paying in Bitcoin. If you run into any problems, support is available via live chat 22 hours per day.

PrivateVPN offers Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android apps. If you’d prefer, you can manually configure it to work on your home router.

Pros:

  • Unblocks almost all geo-restricted streaming content that we’ve tested
  • Very fast speeds
  • Superb value for money
  • Strong encryption and a no-logs policy

Cons:

  • Live chat goes offline for two hours per day
  • Few servers to choose from

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

ZERO LOGS:PrivateVPN might be fast and excellent at unblocking streaming services, but it’s also particularly security-focused. In fact, this VPN keeps no logs at all and allows you to pay with Bitcoin. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full PrivateVPN review for more info.

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7. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Hotspotshield.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.

Hotspot Shield has 1,800+ servers in over 80 countries. As well as helping you stream HBO Max from outside of the US, this service can securely access services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Best of all, this is one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested, so you shouldn’t have any problems with lag (assuming your base connection is fast enough). This VPN lets you connect up to five devices simultaneously.

This service uses 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks to keep your activities private. It can be configured to connect automatically whenever you use an unsecured network, and you can even let certain websites bypass the VPN entirely. Hotspot Shield doesn’t keep any personally identifiable data about what you do while connected. However, it does keep some connection logs, which may put you off if you want high levels of privacy.  If you’re having problems, customer support is on-hand 24/7 via live chat.

Hotspot Shield apps are available for iOS, Android, Linux, Windows, and MacOS devices.

Pros:

  • Some of the fastest speeds we’ve seen
  • Takes user security seriously
  • Unblocks all kinds of services abroad including HBO Max
  • No usage logs

Cons:

  • No anonymous payment options
  • Past privacy issues

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

PERFECT FOR STREAMING:Hotspot Shield offers very high speeds and the ability to unblock all kinds of streaming platforms from abroad. It also includes a wide range of security and privacy protections, as well as a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Check out the full Hotspot Shield review.

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Can I stream HBO Max with a free VPN?

While free VPNs can be an attractive prospect for those looking to access their usual services while on vacation, they rarely live up to the hype. In fact, with so many users and so few servers to share the load, you’ll likely find that most free VPNs simply aren’t fast enough for streaming. Even if you find a lightning-fast service, it’ll almost certainly have a low monthly data limit. Additionally, due to their popularity, free VPNs are usually the first to be blacklisted by streaming platforms, so you still might not be able to watch anything.

It’s also worth noting that, statistically, you’re more likely to compromise your security with a free VPN. In fact, one study found that nearly 40% of tested free VPNs contained malware. Worse, almost 20% used no encryption at all, meaning they were essentially pointless. We’ve even seen a major free VPN provider (Hola) sell user bandwidth for use in botnets, so clearly, well-known free services are just as risky.

To stay as safe as possible online, we recommend using a reputable, security-first VPN with a clear-cut logging policy and a history of standing up for user privacy.

Methodology: How we chose the best VPNs for streaming HBO Max

Not every VPN is a good choice for watching HBO Max. For instance, there are plenty that just can’t access this service abroad, with many more unable to provide the stable, high-speed connection required. To narrow down the list of candidates and make sure we only recommend the very best VPNs for HBO Max, we looked for services that excelled in the following areas:

  • Server choice: HBO Max is quickly becoming an international service, so our top VPNs have to be able to access several regional catalogs. To do this, they’ll need servers in multiple supported countries around the world. As a bonus, this means you should always have a server nearby, which helps reduce your latency.
  • Streaming potential: Sooner or later, you’re going to want to watch something else. We personally test all of our recommendations with services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, fuboTV, Hulu, and Disney+ to see just how good they are for streaming.
  • Speed: The slower your speeds, the worse a time you’re going to have watching TV. You’ll likely notice long periods of buffering and might not even be able to watch in HD. Don’t worry, though: the VPNs above all excelled in our speed testing and are more than capable of handling 4K streams.
  • Security: We look for VPNs with a strong security toolkit. This has to include 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a no-logs policy, but additional features (such as a stealth mode or split tunneling) are very welcome.
  • Pricing: We regularly compare VPNs to similarly-priced rivals. This approach makes it extremely obvious when one is charging more than is really justified. Needless to say, we only recommend fairly-priced VPNs and will always provide info on discounts, trials, or money-back guarantees.

This is just one small part of our testing. To find out more, read our detailed explanation of how we test VPNs at Comparitech.

HBO MAX FAQs

When is HBO Max launching in my country?

The international release schedule for HBO Max is quite vague at the moment but we do have an indication of when the service will arrive.

  • Early 2022: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia
  • Late 2022: Estonia, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Turkey
  • 2025 or later: the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Ireland
  • TBA: France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailan, Vietnam

Often, you find out more about a company’s plans from what it doesn’t say, rather than what it does. For instance, there has been no word of HBO Max coming to Canada or the UK, and HBO recently expanded its partnerships with Bell Media and Sky, hinting that if the service does come to these countries, it won’t be for several years.

What shows are on HBO Max?

HBO already has an impressive lineup of its own titles, but it hopes to lure in subscribers by snapping up some of the most in-demand shows of the last few years. It’s worth mentioning that the content will likely vary from one region to another, but below, we’ve listed a few of the TV shows and movies you can expect to see at launch:

  1. Friends
  2. Game of Thrones
  3. The Sopranos
  4. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
  5. Doctor Who
  6. Sesame Street
  7. The Big Bang Theory
  8. South Park
  9. My Neighbor Totoro
  10. Westworld