Launched May 2020, HBO Max is one of the freshest streaming services on the scene, effectively replacing the network's previous HBO Go and HBO Now offerings. However, working out how to watch HBO Max can be a little tricky – especially if you're not in the USA right now.
Boasting The Flight Attendant, The West Wing, Westworld, and Game of Thrones, as well as exclusive releases of blockbusters like Wonder Woman 1984 and the upcoming eye-popper Godzilla vs Kong, HBO Max is the place to go for both classic and brand new entertainment. Plus, much to the chagrin of the cinemas, WarnerMedia is releasing all of its upcoming 2021 films simultaneously on HBO Max and the big screen.
The problem is, if you're not in the US and want to use your HBO Max subscription, you'll find the site blocked – even though you're paying for it. Here, we'll explain exactly how to watch HBO Max anywhere in the world.
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How to watch HBO Max in the US
This is the easy part. If you're in the US, all you need to do is sign up to HBO Max online.
While it's a little more expensive than Disney Plus, HBO Max charges a similar price to Netflix's middle plan, which is the option we'd recommend going for. And, truth be told, we'd put a little more faith in HBO's original programming than Netflix's.
Once you've signed up, all you need to do is log in and enjoy ad-free entertainment wherever you are in the US.
How to watch HBO Max abroad
Things are a little different when you're outside the US.
If you already pay for an HBO Max subscription, there's a very simple process you can go through to access the content you pay for worldwide.
If you sign up for the best VPN, you'll be able to both change your location back to the States and secure your browsing at the same time.
Our top recommendation is ExpressVPN, thanks to its super simple yet powerful apps, excellent unblocking power, and a great number of server locations worldwide.
If, for example, you're in Canada visiting family or for work, you won't be able to watch HBO Max even though you've paid for it. If you use ExpressVPN, though, you can select a server in the USA and virtually relocate.
Once you've done that you can access everything HBO Max has to offer, even though you're physically located somewhere that the service doesn't cover.
How to sign up to HBO Max
First, head on over to the HBO Max website. Press 'sign up now', and you'll be shown your options. HBO often offers pre-pay discounts which are great value if you know you'll want to stay with the service for a while.
Whichever option you pick, you'll then be asked to sign up and create an account. Once you've done that, all you need to do is input your payment details. After the payment goes through, you'll have access to all the content on HBO Max ad-free.
Be aware that HBO Max auto-renews, so make sure to set a reminder before your paid period is up so you can review if you want to carry on with the service or not – you can cancel at any time.
Is there an HBO Max free trial?
Unfortunately there's currently no HBO Max free trial available, even for new users.
The FAQ states that if you sign up directly through WarnerMedia there are also no refunds, although if you pay though another provider you may get in touch with them to discuss refund options.
However, HBO Max is reasonably priced and you can cancel your subscription any time, so if you're unsure if you'll want to stick with the service for the long term, we recommend paying monthly and canceling whenever you want.
Can you sign up to HBO Max outside the US?
If you're a US resident (or at least have a US credit card), you can sign up to HBO Max abroad.
All you need to do is sign up to ExpressVPN, change your location to the US, and head over to the HBO Max website as usual. Then input your US credit card details and get watching!
However, if you don't have a US credit card, unfortunately you won't be able to sign up to HBO Max, even if you use a VPN to change your location.
Can you watch HBO Max on Roku?
After a lengthy spell of unavailability on the popular streaming device, you can now watch HBO Max on your Roku box – say goodbye to that laptop/HDMI cable combo.
All you need to do is find the HBO Max channel on your Roku and add it to your device. Then log in with your HBO Max credentials, and get watching.
However, if you want to use a VPN to watch HBO Max on your Roku outside the US, you'll have to install a router VPN. This is because Roku devices don't support VPNs themselves. It's a little more complicated than on a desktop or smartphone, but our top choice ExpressVPN makes it super easy with a dedicated router app and clear walkthroughs.
Can you watch HBO Max on Firestick?
Yes, HBO Max is available on the Amazon Appstore, and all you need to do is download the app and sign in.
Plus, because the Fire Stick is Android based, it supports VPNs. If you want to watch HBO Max on Fire Stick outside the US, check out our guide to the best Fire Stick VPN services available.
What devices can I watch HBO Max on?
Since its launch, HBO Max has gradually expanded which devices you can use the service on. At the time of writing, that includes:
- Amazon Fire TV device
- Amazon Fire tablets
- Android-based devices
- Android TV (2015+)
- All iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)
- Apple TV (4th Gen+)
- Samsung TV (2016+)
- Windows PC
- Xbox One
- Xbox Series X
Why should you use an HBO Max VPN?
The first and most important reason to use a VPN with HBO Max is to get access to the content you pay for anywhere in the world. So, if you're in Canada, the UK, or anywhere else, you can connect to a US server and log in to HBO Max as if you were in your living room.
There's more to it than that, though. If you have a good Internet connection but still find that videos on HBO Max are buffering or playing at a low quality, it could be because you're being subjected to network throttling.
This happens when your ISP detects high-bandwidth usage of your connection and intentionally slows you down to make sure everyone gets a similar speed. High-bandwidth uses include torrenting, gaming, and, of course, streaming HD content.
A VPN anonymizes what you're using your connection for, which means your provider can't tell you're streaming. Subsequently, it can't choose to slow down your connection.
Plus, a VPN gives unrivalled privacy and security for any kind of browsing, so if you want to watch HBO Max abroad as well as keep your personal info safe, a secure VPN is the perfect solution.
What is the best HBO Max VPN?
If you're looking to stream HBO Max outside the US, a VPN is essential – and our #1 choice is ExpressVPN. With searing speeds and easy-to-use apps that work on tons of devices like Roku, Fire Stick, and Apple TV, as well as desktop and mobile, it's the perfect solution for accessing blocked content. Plus, you'll have 30 days to test the service before you commit.