Due to a licensing renegotiation, Friends left the American version of Netflix in 2020. Instead, HBO picked it up in the hopes of drawing users to its new streaming service, HBO Max. According to industry insiders, the 425 million dollar deal was a success – working to attract users to the HBO Max platform.

If you’re in the mood to stream Friends online, but you don’t have a HBO Max account, you will be happy to find out that there are other options. In fact, even Netflix subscribers can get a reliable workaround to stream Friends by using a VPN.

In this guide, we’ll let you know how to access your HBO Max account from outside of the US: perfect for streaming Friends on vacation. We will also explain how to use official sources around the world to watch every season of Friends from abroad using a VPN.

Despite being removed from the US Netflix catalog, Friends remains one of Netflix’s most-watched shows, and thanks to a VPN any Netflix subscriber located anywhere in the world can regain access to the show if they happen to travel to the US for work or on vacation.

It is true that you may be able to find illegal streams of Friends, however, we do not recommend using them. The video quality tends to be very poor, and they are frequently taken offline for copyright violation. The reality is that there are plenty of legitimate ways to watch Friends online, so you are better off using a VPN to access a stream instead.

This show is only available on geo-restricted streaming services. As such, if you’re traveling abroad and there’s no official broadcaster in your country, you’ll have to use a VPN to watch Friends online. In this article, we’ll explain how to do that and list the best VPNs for the job.

How to watch Friends online from anywhere with a VPN

What is a VPN, and how can it help me stream Friends? A VPN is a privacy service that lets you connect to servers all over the world. When you connect to a VPN server in the UK for example, you get a valid IP address there. This means you can log in to your Netflix account to stream Friends from elsewhere in the world.

Alternatively, you can connect to a VPN server back home in the US, to access your HBO Max account and stream Friends on vacation.

Region-locked streaming services use your IP address to figure out whether you can stream content. The VPN gives you the power to change your location at will, giving you access to any of your accounts in remote locations. This makes it a cinch to stream geographically restricted content.

If you are new to VPNs are aren’t sure how to stream Friends we have explained the entire process below.

Here’s how to watch Friends (All seasons) online from anywhere with a VPN:

  1. Start by signing up for a reputable VPN service. We recommend NordVPN, but ExpressVPN, and CyberGhost are two solid alternatives.
  2. Download the appropriate version of the app for your device, then log in.
  3. Decide which streaming service you’d like to securely access.
  4. Connect to a VPN server in the required location. For example, you’d have to use an American server to securely access HBO or a British server for Netflix UK.
  5. Visit your chosen site and create an account (if required). Note that you may need a payment method linked to an address in a specific country.
  6. Finally, try playing a video. It should begin immediately, but if it doesn’t, you can fix most problems by clearing your cookies and reloading the page.


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How to stream Friends on US TV

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HBO Max has every episode of Friends and costs $14.99 USD per month. Other options for streaming Friends online are to either buy individual seasons on Amazon Prime Video for $19.99 each (single episodes cost $1.99) or watch whichever episodes are airing on TBS. The latter is the better choice for most people, not only because TBS shows around 50 episodes a week but because the service is completely free.

All of the services above are region-locked, and Amazon’s content changes from one location to another. This means that if you’re traveling outside of the US, you’ll need a VPN to use these platforms. Don’t have one yet? NordVPN offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to claim a full refund if you’re unimpressed.

Where else can I watch Friends online once it leaves Netflix?

Friends might be based in New York, but it has a huge international following and, accordingly, is available for streaming in several different countries. Read on to find out which networks are broadcasting Friends where you live:


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Relax — Friends is still available on Netflix UK. That means you can connect to a VPN server in England to watch Friends on Netflix from anywhere in the world. This includes watching Friends on Netflix while in the US – perfect if you must travel to the US on vacation or for work.

This service costs £7.99 per month, but there’s a one-month free trial. This might not be enough time to watch every episode, but you should be able to clear a decent portion before the trial period ends.

Channel 5 shows back-to-back episodes of Friends most mornings, but unlike the majority of this platform’s content, you can’t watch these on demand. Plus, there’s no live stream on the My5 website. You can, however, watch Channel 5 live and free of charge on

Netflix UK, My5, and TVPlayer are all region-locked. If you’re on vacation and looking to use these services from abroad, you’ll have to connect to a British VPN server first.


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Things are nice and simple for Canadian fans: every season of Friends is available on Crave and CTV. You could also purchase each season individually on platforms like Amazon Prime Video or iTunes, but there’s really no reason to when anybody can stream CTV for free! Remember, though: you’ll have to either be in Canada or connected to a Canadian VPN server to watch.


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Stan currently offers every single episode of Friends. Plans start at $10 AUD per month, although there’s a 30-day free trial, meaning you can watch quite a few episodes before being charged.

If you’re an existing Foxtel TV customer, you can sign in to the Foxtel Go app and watch Friends live every day on Fox Hits. Want to stream Friends live online without cable? Just create a Foxtel Now account instead: these start at $25 and include a 10-day free trial.

Stan, Foxtel Go, and Foxtel Now all require you to be in Australia before you can watch. Despite this, you can access these services from abroad by connecting to one of your VPN’s Australian servers.

Rest in Peace: Matthew Perry

On the 28th of October 2023, Matthew Perry was found dead in his hot tub of an apparent drowning. The infamous star, who many feel was the funniest character in Friends and a lynchpin in the show, had suffered from lifelong addiction and alcoholism.

Tributes have poured out to the star from fellow cast members and countless other people whose lives were moved by the tormented actor.

His cause of death is still unknown. However, Perry had been actively involved in helping people to quit addictions and it was thought that the star had been in recovery. As a result, his untimely death is heartbreaking for Friends fans in all corners of the world.

Watching Friends online: FAQs

Can I use a free VPN to watch Friends online?

We don’t recommend you use a free VPN to watch Friends online, and it’s unlikely it would work anyway. Free VPNs only have a small number of IP addresses available. With so many users attempting to access streaming services with them, the IP addresses quickly become blacklisted. Aside from struggling to unblock Friends streams, you’ll also find that the slow speeds make streaming all the more difficult. Low resolution and lag-filled streams are expected.

Can I watch Friends for free with a VPN?

Yes. Friends is currently available to stream for free on the Canadian broadcaster CTV’s website. You can stream Friends on CTV as long as you are in Canada, or are connected to a VPN server in Canada.