How to Access HBO Outside of the US
HBO has become world-famous for bringing us some of the most iconic shows of the 20th and 21st Century from Game of Thrones to The Sopranos, The Wire, and Sex in the City.
They have consistently released fantastic long-time series. But what if you want to watch the latest episode while you travel outside the US?
Currently, users are restricted to only being able to use the HBO Now streaming application when they are based in the US. Otherwise, HBO is blocked.
In this guide, we give a brief history of HBO and explain why you can’t watch HBO outside of the US. We will give you 4 ways to watch HBO Now as you travel outside the States. Plus our round-up of the 3 best VPNs to never miss out on your favorite episode on HBO.
A Brief History of HBO
Home Box Office (HBO) first started in 1972 and is the longest-running pay television service in the US.
Since April 2015, customers have been able to access HBO à la carte using their HBO Now application which has over 5 million US. HBO Go is the streaming version of the service for customers who subscribe to HBO through their cable company.
HBO delivers content to over 150 countries and has 140 million subscribers worldwide. Making it one of the largest channels globally. It’s the second most subscribed channel in the US.
Why Can’t I Access HBO Now Outside of the US?
HBO Now is a web application to stream HBO on the go, so you can watch it anywhere.
Unfortunately, due to licensing HBO Now won’t work in any country apart from the US. The application will check the originating country of your IP address when you try to access the content. If your IP is shown as originating from outside the US, it will block the content.
This is known as region-restricted content which is Geo-IP locked. Much like you can’t watch US Netflix from another country without a VPN.
Another big problem is to get an HBO account you need to have a US Bank account, to begin with. So, for non-US residents, the only way to access HBO may be through a reseller in your country rather than from HBO directly
ReviewVPN cannot attest to the legality, security and privacy of the applications discussed on this site. It is highly recommended that you use a VPN service while streaming or using Kodi. Currently, your IP 220.127.116.11 is visible to everyone and your Browser is being tracked by Advertisers & ISP Provider. Here are the main reasons why you must use a VPN: A VPN works be replacing your ISP-assigned IP address and creating an encrypted tunnel. We recommend the no log service offered by IPVanish. It works well on a Firestick and offers the fastest possible speeds.
YOUR INTERNET ACTIVITY IS BEING WATCHED
ReviewVPN cannot attest to the legality, security and privacy of the applications discussed on this site. It is highly recommended that you use a VPN service while streaming or using Kodi.
Currently, your IP 18.104.22.168 is visible to everyone and your Browser is being tracked by Advertisers & ISP Provider.
Here are the main reasons why you must use a VPN:
A VPN works be replacing your ISP-assigned IP address and creating an encrypted tunnel. We recommend the no log service offered by IPVanish. It works well on a Firestick and offers the fastest possible speeds.
4 Ways to Watch HBO Outside of the US
There are quite a few ways to watch HBO outside of the US though they are declining. HBO blacklisted its service on Sling TV in 2018. Amazon Prime users in the US have to pay $14.99 per month in addition to their Prime subscription.
Using a Gift Card + Fake US Address + VPN (Preferred Method)
HBO Now gift cards are sold all over the Internet. When you use a gift card, you can make up a fake US address and the system will accept it. This allows you to purchase the account from anywhere in the world.
If you need a gift card, first check Ebay for the best price. Egifter and MyGiftCardSupply are two other options although we don’t like that MyGiftCardSupply jacks up the price above retail to sell it.
You will still need a VPN, like Surfsharkto access the content, but it is pretty straightforward. To access HBO Now with the VPN, pick the fastest server in the United States. HBO hasn’t traditionally been as strict as Netflix when it comes to VPN usage. You will still want to access the service through a browser as opposed to the app. The app can force their DNS and allow HBO to know where you are actually located. Using the browser to access the content circumvents this problem.
Concerns – HBO has sent users in the past notices saying they know they are using a proxy service and to call an 1800 number to explain themselves or their accounts will be canceled. Fortunately, most of these are several years old at this point. It really is a bonehead way for HBO to handle things since there are numerous ways to access their content for free if they want to play that way.
If you are in the UK, then Sky Atlantic is the only channel that can air HBO shows in the UK. You can also gain access to HBO box sets and catch-up TV, which is ideal if you want to get a Sky TV bundle. Sky Atlantic comes with all the packages.
The big drawback is the cost. Even for a basic Sky package, you would pay £31 per month, which is steep if you just want to get access to HBO
You can also access it on the move as you travel with Sky Go.
This is a good choice if you don’t plan on visiting or spending enough time in the UK to warrant a 12-month fixed subscription to Sky.
Now TV is Sky’s digital streaming offering and can be had for as little as £7.99 a month, you gain access to a wide range of channels including in the Entertainment Package as well as box sets and movies.
Fair warning, the Entertainment Package doesn’t contain everything you would get on Sky Atlantic. There are numerous programs that are only eligible to Sky subscription users who pay more money for the full TV package.
You do get a lot of great other content and a good mix of TV Shows, Movies, and box sets from across the Sky channel range.
Not to be confused with Sky Go.
The popular American streaming application Hulu is one of the few providers of HBO. You can get a subscription for as little as $5.99 per month and get HBO free for a week. Afterward, just like Amazon Prime users, you will need to pay $14.99 per month.
Of course, the drawback with Hulu is that it’s also region-restricted so you can’t access it outside the US without using a VPN.
Using a VPN to Access HBO Anywhere
Even with the services mentioned above, you’ll likely need a VPN if you are on the go since they still only allow you to watch HBO.
A Virtual Private Network sets up an encrypted tunnel between your device and the VPN’s DNS. This basically means that you can remain anonymous online as all your data is encrypted with 256-bit AES encryption. Giving you the same security used by the US military.
We suggest you use Tier 1 VPN which owns all its own infrastructure like Surfshark. This will give you access to thousands of servers and IP addresses across the world including in the US. Meaning that wherever you are in the world all you need to do is set your VPN to connect to a US Server. Then open your HBO Now application which will register a US IP address and connect you automatically.
In addition, you can also use your VPN to access other content in the US like Netflix, and anything else which is region restricted.
As well as keeping your identity safe online, staying anonymous, avoiding censorship by local Internet Service Providers and protecting your device when it’s connected to unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Last but by no means least is the upcoming of 2019. Surfshark. With an industry-low price of $1.99 per month for a 2-year subscription, it is growing rapidly. They have a smaller server park than any of the big competitors, with less than 1000 servers across 50+ countries, but we expect this to expand quickly.
They offer a host of additional services including Clean Web which acts as an ad and Malware Blocker. Multi-Hop allows you to route your VPN connection through 2 servers.
They also have extra security features in the form of Camouflage Mode which scrambles your metadata and No Borders Mode which works well in China, where network sensors are extra sensitive.
What’s more with the subscription you can connect an unlimited number of devices and get a 30-day cooling-off period.
How to Install Surfshark VPN on Firestick
If your Firestick still has the older interface, read this article to learn how to update it: Update Firestick Interface.
Follow our screenshots below to install the SurfShark VPN app on your Fire TV stick.
1. Go to the Home screen of your Firestick.
2. Navigate towards the Find tab. Press the Search button from the resulting dropdown.
3. Type in the keyword of SurfShark and select from the suggestions that will appear.
4. Click the official SurfShark icon from your search results.
5. Press the Download (You own it) button.
6. The SurfShark VPN installer will download on your device.
7. SurfShark VPN’s app will automatically install itself on your Fire TV stick.
8. Press the Open button after completing SurfShark VPN’s installation process.
9. Please wait for the SurfShark VPN to load its user interface.
10. You can now log in with your SurfShark VPN account credentials.
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NordVPN is probably the most recognized name in the VPN industry. They are consistently are on the cutting edge of innovation. Like their recent release of Nord Lynx which gives its users access to the super-fast Wire guard VPN protocol. Wire guard is still in the testing phase but offers much faster connection speeds and latency than the current OpenVPN industry standard.
They have the most servers of any VPN provider in the world, almost 6,000 servers across 60+ countries. And they regularly come almost top for the speed of their connections and low latency. Meaning HBO is always going to stream well through Nord VPN.
What sets them apart is the sheer range of additional services that they offer alongside their VPN. You can route your connection through 2 VPN servers using DoubleVPN which makes your connection almost untraceable. For those who like to surf the dark web or are particularly concerned about privacy, you can use their Tor over Onion feature to use the VPN to connect to the Onion Router.
In addition, you also get a nice Ad and Malware blocker in the form of Cybersec.
Like Cyberghost you can also access well over a thousand super-fast P2P servers for watching media and torrenting. Also, the company is based in Panama and has been audited by PwC to guarantee to its users that they are safe using their service.
With the most servers of any VPN provider globally, NordVPN is a monster of service with 5,500+ servers across 60+ Countries. More servers mean a better choice for the user, and generally faster speeds and greater coverage.
You can get multiple-year subscriptions from as little as $2.99 per month. A subscription covers 6 devices, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.
IPVanish is also one of our recommended VPN services. For those who like to trust a homegrown company then IPVanish would be the one for you. Renowned for their American style of customer service and high ratings from their customers. IPVanish is based in the US and one of a handful of companies counted as a Tier 1 provider. They own all their own infrastructure and manage every part of their VPN. This gives reassurances over third-party servers which may sell on your data unknown to you.
You can choose from 40,000 IP addresses based across 2,000 servers in over 70 countries, which means you are never far away from a super-fast connection. IP Vanish uses IP Pooling which means your IP address may be used by hundreds of other users, meaning traffic can never be traced to any one user.
The wide range of countries gives you a big selection to connect to and means there is too much distance for your data to travel. The greater the distance the slower it gets.
Their customer service is on offer 24/7 through chat, ticket, and a rarity of having a toll-free US number which you can call anytime.
Annual subscriptions start from as little as $6.49 per month, allowing you to connect all your family’s devices up to a maximum of 10, and you get 30 days to get a refund if you change your mind.
Cyberghost boasts well over 30 million users and has been a big player in the VPN industry for some time. For those who are a bit suspicious of the US’s data retention laws, you can rest safe in the knowledge that this Romanian-based company keeps zero logs, nor does it have any legal obligation to do so based upon its country of origin.
The team is also highly transparent with an 80 strong development team and is one of the only companies where you can see the names and faces of the people behind the company.
With over 3,500+ servers, they also have 1,000 of those servers specially configured to deliver a high-speed Peer 2 Peer connection which is specially formulated to give you a quick connection for the transfer of data. Very useful for watching HBO outside of the US.
So, you can be sure wherever you are that your connection will be fast from the server they have in 65+ countries. They also have a wide range of additional services including a sophisticated ad and malware blocker, as well as an easy-to-use mobile application that has clear icons to access big streaming services like Netflix.
Cyberghost is also well known for its seriously low prices. Due to their size, they can offer multi-year subscriptions for as little as $2.10 per month, allowing you to connect to 7 devices at a time.
They are also one of the few companies to offer an extra-long 45-day money-back guarantee period.