HBO Go and HBO Now has been game changers throughout the years. Catching new seasons and favorite movies have become a breeze. But if you’re abroad, you might run into some trouble accessing that content and need a way to get around it.
Short for Home Box Office, HBO has been a part of our entertainment for over 40 years and they enjoy the prospect of being considered ‘the original’ for innovative programming. Starting from humble beginnings as a nine-hour television slot, HBO grew into the mega channel we all know today and home to our favorite series like Emmy Award-winning Game of Thrones, Entourage, and comedy series Silicon Valley. Currently, HBO has over 49 million subscribers in the United States and 130 million users worldwide.
HBO was the first American network to provide programming via satellite, making them the first national cable channel. HBO gained the advantage over other cable channels by paying high fees for movie broadcast rights. In the 1990s, HBO started developing their own original series, including Arliss, Oz, and critically acclaimed The Sopranos. By the 2000s, HBO became the go-to channel for cable original programming, including Deadwood, True Blood, and Sex and the City.
HBO Go and HBO Now – What is the Difference?
HBO Go is a free streaming service for current HBO subscribers – if your cable subscription package includes HBO, then you have access to HBO Go. Because of the increase in mobile viewing and computer streaming, HBO created an app for their subscribers to enjoy the same HBO experience, even if they are not in front of their television. All subscribers need is their username and password.
HBO Now, on the other hand, is a stand-alone service for people who aren’t subscribed to HBO via their cable provider, but still want access to the television shows and movies the HBO network has to offer. You can purchase HBO now via a monthly subscription fee. It is the perfect option for the increasing population of cord-cutters who do not want to pay cable providers.
Both services are compatible across several devices and platforms, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox and PlayStation, as well as Android and iOS devices.
HBO Streaming Not Accessible Outside the US
Due to location-specific restrictions from the production companies creating original HBO content as well as licensing agreements with whoever owns film rights, not every show and movie is accessible from outside of the US. While HBO does have content available in many countries, including South Asia, Latin America, and Central Europe, it is not the same. If you find HBO content is blocked because of your geographic location, you may need some help getting around those restrictions.
In the past, people have trusted anonymous browsing help from a service like Tor or proxies, but there are problems regarding reliability and security. For example, because Tor goes through numerous ‘layers’ to make your activities private, streaming is often compromised due to slow speeds. If you want to make sure you are completely secure and not have to watch your video buffering forever while accessing geo-restricted content, a VPN is your best option.
Get a VPN to Stream HBO Abroad
A VPN, or virtual private network, can help you create a secure tunnel from your computer to HBO content without having to worry about your local ISP sniffing your information out. The way it works is that the VPN allows its users to access a private network and share data remotely through public networks. Like a wall of protection for your data, a VPN can also work to spoof your location and have you appear to be located anywhere in the world.
So, if you are outside the US, using an HBO Go VPN or an HBO Now VPN will get you access to that Game of Thrones season premiere you’ve been dying to catch.
Expats and folks who travel a lot are familiar with a VPN as they want protection just in case they break any internet laws put in place by the country. Not every country follows the same internet censorship laws so therefore it’s best to be extremely careful while traveling, that no regulations are broken.
If you work smart and add a VPN, you can get that protection to travel safe – and entertained.
How We Determine the Best VPN for HBO
Selecting the perfect VPN is easy when you know what to look for. We’ve tested the top VPN brands to get you access to online streaming content based on a series of important criteria.
- Bandwidth – You don’t want a VPN that will put a cap on your bandwidth, it will make binging the latest season of Ballers next to impossible. Look for a VPN that doesn’t restrict the amount of bandwidth you use per month.
- Compatibility – Not every VPN service is compatible with every device. Make sure that your VPN has apps for all the devices you regularly use, so you are never left in a lurch.
- Speed – There is nothing more frustrating than waiting forever for your program to load. You want a VPN that has fast speeds, to ensure you are never left watching the buffer screen.
- Multiple Servers – make sure the VPN you want has servers in all the countries you need, and multiple servers at that. The last thing you want is to get a VPN and not be able to access content from the country you are trying to connect to.
- No Logs Policy – No one wants a VPN that keeps track of what you are doing and when you are doing it. Choose a VPN that does not keep user activity logs.
Based on these important factors, we’ve gathered up some of our recommendations for the best VPN for HBO.
#1 ExpressVPN – Our Top Pick For HBO
No logs, unlimited bandwidth and a speedy connection, ExpressVPN is our number one choice for reaching content behind that geo-restricted wall. Get to watch your HBO shows with their global servers and encrypted protection. Able to work on Android, iPhone, Windows, Linux systems along with game consoles, you’re able to stream HBO on any compatible device from anywhere.
Additional features: ExpressVPN is configured to be consistently easy to use and they offer live chat for support in case you may run into some trouble. The service has a popular yearly plan starting at $12.95 a month, with a 30-day money back guarantee.
For more information on ExpressVPN features, read our extensive ExpressVPN review.
#2 NordVPN – Optimal Speed and Security Mix
NordVPN is popular for unlocking content from streaming websites and apps so there’s no mistake that you’ll be able to unlock HBO with this choice. Fast and reliable, this VPN provider can offer some peace to users looking to browse a secure and trusted connection.
Additional features: Highly rated as a trusted HBO Nordic VPN to watch HBO Nordic abroad they also offer their service with a promise of a 30-day risk-free trial for their two-year plan at $3.29 per month. Connect up to 6 compatible devices and enjoy online freedom with unlimited bandwidth.
For more information on NordVPN features, read our extensive NordVPN review.
#3 IPVanish – Fair Speed for a Fair Price
Bypass those HBO restrictions with our next top choice, IPVanish. ISPs are in the habit of throttling internet speeds when they see users accessing certain websites, but IPVanish won’t allow it as they use encryption to keep you under the radar so your internet speed is fast and reliable. IPVanish is available on just about all available operating systems.
Additional Features: Users also like the easy-to-use interface, making connecting to the right server easy. Priced at a monthly rate of $6.49 for their recommended yearly plan, you’re also in for a 7-day money back guarantee if you need it.
For more information on IPVanish features, read our extensive IPVanish review.
#4 PureVPN – Helpful P2P features
Highly rated PureVPN has a popular two-year plan for $2.48 a month, a 7-day money back guarantee and security that your browsing information will not be logged. Fitting all the criteria for an efficient VPN service, they are the common selections for those looking to watch HBO Go abroad.
Additional features: The service is reliable, easy to use and compatible with Amazon TV, consoles and mobile devices. With no caps on the bandwidth, PureVPN offers global connectivity from servers all around the world.
For more information on PureVPN features, read our extensive PureVPN review.
#5 Windscribe – The Best Free VPN
Popular for unlocking Netflix, Windscribe is a solid solution for unlocking content in HBO. They offer the option of subscribing to a free VPN for HBO with one of their subscription plans, but they also have a yearly plan for only $4.08 a month. Both plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee on unlimited devices.
Additional free features: Known for its browser extensions and compatibility across several devices, Windscribe is an impressive choice if you want to watch HBO Now abroad. The service promises to keep your browsing activity off their logs, so if you wanted to stream content while undetected, you certainly can.
For more information on Windscribe features, read our extensive Windscribe review.
Can I Use a Free VPN for HBO
Yes and no. Essentially you can use a free VPN to access HBO Go or HBO Now content but a free choice isn’t always the best option.
Free VPNs often don’t work on all available operating systems and platforms, and often come with a variety of restrictions – including bandwidth caps and limited server availability. To add to that, your information does not remain private. VPNs sell your information to third parties. (This is how they keep their VPN free.) And on top of that, you will receive numerous ad popups. Nothing is worse than trying to watch Westworld and popups keep interrupting your viewing pleasure.
A paid VPN not only does not sell your information or give you endless ads, but are committed to zero logging AND do not put any caps on what you can do.
We highly suggest that if you are going to be streaming HBO for a long period of time to commit to a paid VPN service. It will be worth the money you pay for it.
Get a VPN and Watch HBO Abroad Today
HBO has long since been a part of our TV lives. We have watched endless shows, shed tears over finales, and looked forward to the arrival of new shows. Now with their online streaming options, HBO has invited the globe to have access to their content.
While HBO Go is a great way to take your cable TV subscription on the go, HBO Now offers users an alternative option if they aren’t subscribed to any cable provider. Both services offer an opportunity to catch up with your favorite games, movies, and shows, so gaining access, even while traveling abroad is an entertainment necessity.
And if you don’t have access to either of these HBO options, get a VPN.
Does HBO Go block the VPN? No.
Would you have access to restricted HBO Now content? Yes.
You will be able to browse freely and securely. Take some time to see which of our recommended services work for you and get to streaming today!