ExpressVPN not working with HBO Max

If you’ve been watching HBO Max with ExpressVPN and you suddenly cannot play any content on the streaming service, HBO Max has been able to block all of ExpressVPN’s IP addresses.

This has happened because ExpressVPN is no longer able to get around HBO Max’s VPN blocking techniques.

To fix ExpressVPN not working with HBO Max, go through these simple fixes in order. If one doesn’t work, move on to the next one until you can watch HBO Max with a VPN again.

See also:

ExpressVPN not working with HBO Max: Simple fixes

  1. Delete Cookies
    Cookies 1 1

    Deleting your cookies is a great place to start when trying to fix ExpressVPN not working with HBO Max.

    Cookies are used to make your online experience better. You may have noticed some websites asking you to accept them. Even if you don’t remember explicitly accepting Cookies, they may still be stored on your browser, and the problem with these Cookies is they sometimes contain information about your location.

    If you’re outside of the US, HBO Max can use these cookies to identify your location and block you from accessing its content, even if you’re using ExpressVPN.

  2. Change to a different server on ExpressVPN
    ExpressVPN servers 1

    HBO Max may have stopped working because the IP address ExpressVPN has given you has been identified and blocked by HBO Max.

    HBO Max can’t block ExpressVPN entirely; however, it can block the IP addresses it provides. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s been able to block all of ExpressVPN’s IP addresses.

    Changing to a different server will provide you with a new IP address, and if that IP hasn’t been blocked, HBO Max will work with ExpressVPN again.

  3. Upgrade to a better VPN
    NordVPN

    If neither of the first two fixes works, then HBO Max has managed to block all of the IP addresses ExpressVPN can currently give you.

    You can wait for more IPs to be released. However, there’s no telling how long this will take and also, seeing as you’ve run into this problem already, it’s clear that ExpressVPN doesn’t have measures in place to stay ahead of HBO Max’s blocks, and the new IP addresses will inevitably be blocked as well.

    To fix the issue properly, you need to upgrade to a VPN that has measures in place to stay ahead of HBO Max’s VPN blocks. You need NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month).

Why does HBO Max block ExpressVPN?

HBO Max tries to block all VPNs from accessing its service. 

It does this to protect itself from potential copyright and licensing issues. 

HBO doesn’t have the rights to broadcast all of its content worldwide. Some content can only be broadcast in certain geographic areas. This is because HBO has a content distribution agreement with content creators that stipulates where the content can be broadcast. For example, the US HBO Max library differs from the UK library due to these agreements. 

Because VPNs are a good way to watch HBO Max libraries outside of their broadcast zones, HBO tries to block them. If it didn’t, it could breach its content agreements and face financial punishments. 

This is why ExpressVPN is no longer working with HBO Max.

How does HBO Max block ExpressVPN?

HBO Max blocks ExpressVPN by monitoring for and blocking IP addresses provided by Express connecting to its service.

ExpressVPN is a large VPN, and because of that, it has more customers than IP addresses. It struggles to keep up with the demand of its customer base, and so customers are forced to share IP addresses. 

Usually, only a household of connections will access HBO Max via the same IP address. When HBO Max see an abnormal amount (more than an average household) of connections coming from the same IP address, it knows it’s an IP address provided by ExpressVPN, and it blocks it. 

ExpressVPN not working with HBO Max

Does HBO Max still work with VPNs?

Yes, HBO Max will still work with a VPN, but you need to use a VPN that has IP addresses that are still compatible with the service. That means you need a VPN that hasn’t had all of its IP addresses blocked by HBO Max and that can stay ahead of HBO Max’s blocks. 

To fix the problem, you need a VPN that plays a game of cat and mouse with HBO Max. You need a VPN like  NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month)

When HBO Max identifies and blocks an IP provided by  NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month), they will close that IP and open a new one. This will allow you to reliably watch HBO Max from anywhere in the world, and it will help to prevent the errors you’ve run into from happening again.

The best VPNs to watch HBO Max

1. NordVPN

The BEST VPN of 2022

NordVPN US screenshot mobile

Pro

  • Fast servers
  • No logs
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 6-simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • No refunds for purchases from iTunes/App store

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Number of servers: 5,000+ | Speeds: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 62 countries | Devices supported: 6 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
  • $3.49/month for 2-years
  • $6.99/month for 1-year
  • $11.95/month for 1 month
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NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And its easy to see why. It’s a polished app that delivers fast connections (more on this later) to a massive network of VPN servers. It’s the most reliable at unblocking popular streaming services too – US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. This is because NordVPN hired full-time technical team (that’s responsible for monitoring its servers connections with popular TV streaming services) and has been aggressively investing in its network of IP addresses in key locations. Another interesting thing to note is that NordVPN is an industry leader in its development of Nordlynx technology. Nordlynx is built using the WireGuard, a new VPN tunnelling protocol designed to outperform current standards (OpenVPN and IPSec). The benefits, according to NordVPN, are dramatically faster transfer speeds while connected to a VPN. My tests – New Zealand to London – confirm that Nordlynx is currently the fastest VPN on the market. However, the difference isn’t dramatic, a few Mbps is all.

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2. Ivacy

The BEST low-cost VPN

Ivacy US screenshot mobile

Pros

  • Fast servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • Dedicated streaming servers
  • 5-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Only 5 devices
  • Sometimes runs slow
  • Occasionally blocked by streaming sites

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Number of servers: 1,000+ | Speed: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 275 in 100 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
  • $1.16/month for 5-years
  • $3.50/month for 1-year
  • $9.99/month for 1 month
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  • ABC icon
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  • Sky Sports icon
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  • ESPN icon
  • NowTV icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • CBC Gem icon
If you’re looking for an excellent VPN, with an even better price tag, Ivacy ($1.16/month) is a great option. This VPN has all the features you need to stream BBC iPlayer, in HD, from any country in the world. I’ve been testing the app recently on Mac, PC, Android, iOS and FireStick and the results have been impressive – unlocking BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. with ease. The Ivacy app is a little different in regards to its UX (user experience). Instead of just selecting a UK server, you need to select the specific BBC iPlayer server. Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing – by connecting to a dedicated BBC iPlayer server, it simply means that you’re connecting to an IP address that Ivacy knows works with BBC iPlayer. For an extra $1.99/month (£1.74) you can add-on a dedicated IP. This will buy you sole access to an IP address in a country of your choice, meaning you won’t have to share your IP (and speeds) with any other use. I don’t recommend this though, using the regular Ivacy servers is enough 95 per cent of the time.

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3. ExpressVPN

A very reliable and fast VPN

ExpressVPN UK screenshot

Pros

  • Fast servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 10-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • Expensive

SPECIAL OFFER – 3-MONTHS FREE!

Number of servers: 3,000+ | Speed: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 160 in 94 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
  • $6.66/month for 15 months
  • $9.99/month for 6 months
  • $12.95/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
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ExpressVPN is still one of the best VPNs you can buy. However, we’ve got it ranked in the number three spot for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s the most expensive VPN on the market. This was understandable when it was also the fastest and most reliable VPN too. But now it’s not. NordVPN is. ExpressVPN has recently been struggling to unblock some big streaming sites – BBC iPlayer and BeIN Sports – too. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video etc. ExpressVPN is usually very good at playing Cat and Mouse with online streaming sites (apart from BBC iPlayer). Meaning, whenever one of its servers is blacklisted it creates a new one – giving its users a constant stream of servers that aren’t blocked. Needless to say, this is a valuable attribute if you’re looking for a VPN to unblock streaming sites. Its app is easy-to-use and free to download on pretty much any device you can think of. Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, FireStick, Android TV, Roku, PS4, Xbox, Linux, even Apple TV (with a workaround). It’s got it all covered. The app is another main reason this VPN is so good at unblocking TV streaming sites (that claim they block VPNs) is that its software takes a pragmatic approach to user management. While other VPNs tempt customers by promising them access to hundreds/thousands of servers in multiple countries, ExpressVPN does things differently. With ExpressVPN you only have a handful of server locations to choose from. Once you select your location the app takes care of the rest. Assigning you to the fastest available server that’s not oversubscribed. This simple technique is so important, as it keeps ExpressVPN’s servers operating at lightning-fast speeds and prevent its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.

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4. Private Internet Access

The BEST mid-range VPN for streaming!
Private Internet Access UK screenshot

Pros

  • Fast and reliable servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 10-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Only 48 server locations

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Number of servers: 25,000+ | Speeds: >75% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 70 in 74 countries | Devices supported: 10 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
  • $2.19/month for 3-years
  • $3.33/month for 1-year
  • $11.95/month for 1-month
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  • TVNZ icon
  • ESPN icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon
Private Internet Access is one of the leading no-log VPN services with over 1 million paying customers. This VPN is one of the best in the industry at beating streaming sites’ VPN bans. It provides reliable connections with US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+ Amazon Prime Video, etc. It also allows 10 simultaneous devices to be connected to its servers at the same time, so you can share the account with your close friends. If, for whatever reason, you’re not happy with Private Internet Access, there’s a 24/7 live chat support available to assist you with your problem. PIA also offers the industry-standard 30-days money-back guarantee. From my tests (from New Zealand) I was able to get download speeds of 70 Mbps while connected to a UK server using the Private Internet Access VPN (my non-VPN speed is 100 Mbps).

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5. CyberGhost

CyberGhost UK screenshot

Pros

  • 1-day free trial
  • Reliable servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 7-simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Average speed scores

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Number of servers: 6,000+ | Speeds: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 200 in 90 countries | Devices supported: 7 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
  • $2.75/month for 3 years
  • $3.69/month for 2 years
  • $5.99/month for 6 months
  • $12.99/month for 1 month
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  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • NowTV icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • CBC Gem icon
CyberGhost is one of the more established VPNs on the market. It has a well-established, and well-tested global network of servers that perform well. From my tests over the past several months, CyberGhost has no trouble at unblocking major streaming services – US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max etc. This VPN performed well at maintaining download speeds, well above 65 per cent of my regular (non VPN) ISP speed. That said, there’s nothing really unique about the service. Which forces you to look at its price-point. And there’s nothing special here. Its short-term $12.99/month price tag puts is well above the industry average of $10.10/month. Similarly, its long-term $2.75/month for 3 years deal isn’t much of a “deal” either. Oddly, CyberGhost’s most unique feature is its a 1-day, no obligations, free trial. This is an appealing offer to customers who are new to VPNs. However, it’s important to remember that most reputable VPNs will offer customers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so try not to be too seduced by the offer.

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