Watch MAx outside the US

Anyone trying to watch Max outside the US won’t be able to access the streaming service, as they’ll see an error message stating “Max is not available in your region.”

Since HBO Max, now known as Max, has licensing agreements and copyright restrictions it needs to protect, it won’t allow anyone outside the US to watch shows on its platform. Even if you’re a subscriber, you’ll still run into this error.

However, there is a simple way to get around this issue. All you need is a reliable VPN to start watching all your favourite shows on Max anywhere in the world.

In this guide, we’ll help you figure out how to watch Max outside the US with one of the best VPNs. If you come across issues, we’ve got you covered in our Max not working with VPN guide.

How to watch Max outside the US: Quick Guide

To watch Max outside the US with ease, simply follow the steps below:

Total Time: 2 minutes

  1. Create a new account with ExpressVPN or NordVPN

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    Register for an account with ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) or NordVPN ($3.79/month). They’re the best VPNs on the market for reliably streaming content.

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN are renowned for their reliable and fast connections, which is crucial for streaming high-quality content without buffering or interruptions. You can get 3 months of an ExpressVPN subscription for free here. And similarly, you can get 3 months of a NordVPN subscription for free here.

    Prefer a different VPN option? Pick another and simply continue following the steps below.

  2. Download and install the new VPN app

    ExpressVPN not working on Firestick

    Once you’ve signed up for a VPN, you can install it on nearly any device.

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN are available on Mac, Linux, Chromebook, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Kindle, Amazon Fire Stick/TV, Chromecast, Nintendo Switch, Android TV and more.

  3. Open your VPN and connect to a US server

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    When you open the app, you’ll need to log in with the credentials you created. Once logged in, select a server located in the US. This will give you a US IP address. This will make it look like you’re connecting to the internet from within the country.

    Since Max checks your IP address to determine your location, you’ll need to have a US IP address.

  4. Go to Max and log in to your Max account

    How to watch MAX on Apple TV outside the US

    Navigate to the Max website or app. If you already have an account, log in with your credentials.

    If not, you’ll need to sign up for a new account. Be warned though this will probably require a US form of payment.

  5. Watch Max outside the US

    Surfshark not working with HBO Max

    Once you’re connected to a US server on your chosen VPN and logged into Max, you will have access to all its content, just as if you were in the US

Why can’t I watch HBO Max outside the US?

HBO Max is only available in the US. You can’t watch HBO Max outside the US due to a combination of licensing agreements, copyright restrictions, and distribution rights.

HBO Max has individual licensing agreements for streaming content in different regions. These agreements determine where and how specific shows and movies can be broadcasted. Outside the US, these rights might be held by other streaming services or broadcasters, preventing HBO Max from offering their full library.

Each piece of content on HBO Max has its own copyright ownership. Distributing that content outside specific regions without proper licensing violates copyright laws. HBO Max needs to comply with these laws to avoid legal repercussions and protect the rights of content creators.

Streaming rights for different regions are negotiated and purchased separately. Broadcasting content in unauthorized territories, even via VPNs, violates these established distribution agreements.

With one of the best VPNs for HBO Max, you can get past these issues.

HBO Max not working message

How does HBO Max block my connection?

HBO Max employs various methods to detect and block connections suspected of originating outside its authorized regions.

HBO Max might leverage geolocation databases to pinpoint your approximate location based on your IP address. If this location contradicts your account’s registered region, it raises red flags.

When you connect to HBO Max, it scans your IP address to figure out where you’re located. 

Once it does this, you’ll only be able to access the shows that HBO Max has the rights to broadcast in your location.

How can I get around HBO Max’s blocks?

To gain full access to HBO Max and all of its shows, you’ll need to be in the US or have a US IP address. To do this, you’ll need a way to change your IP address to a US one. That’s where a reliable VPN comes in.

Once you turn on a VPN and connect to a US server, this will make HBO Max think you’re in the US when you connect to its service.

When you connect to HBO Max with a US IP address, the streaming service will think you’re inside its broadcast zone, and the shows you weren’t able to access will now be available for you. 

To make sure you get that connection, we recommend ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

MAX not working with VPN

Will any VPN work with HBO Max?

Unfortunately, no single VPN is guaranteed to work flawlessly with HBO Max. While some are more successful than others, HBO Max actively combats VPN access, making it a continuous battle of adaptation and countermeasures.

HBO Max employs various techniques to identify and block VPN connections, including:

  • IP Address Tracking: They have databases of VPN server addresses and monitor for suspicious patterns like shared IPs among many users.
  • Geolocation Techniques: They use IP geolocation and other clues like time zones and language settings to pinpoint your location and see if it matches your account region.
  • Traffic Analysis: They analyze network traffic patterns to identify encryption protocols and other markers associated with VPN usage.
  • Collaboration with ISPs: In some cases, they collaborate with ISPs to block VPN traffic at the network level.

For free VPNs, these methods are even more challenging to get around.

However, VPN providers such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN have effective ways to counter these VPN blocking techniques. For example, they will close a blocked IP address and open a new one. This keeps them one step ahead of HBO Max, and most importantly, it allows you to watch HBO Max anywhere in the world reliably. 

Best VPNs to watch HBO Max outside the US 

1. ExpressVPN

The fastest and most reliable VPN of 2024

  • Physical servers in 104 countries
  • Brilliant for unblocking streaming services
  • Very high-speed Lightway protocol
  • Available on almost any device
  • Very secure
  • Pricey
  • Only 8 simultaneous devices
  • No addons
ExpressVPN

Streaming: ExpressVPN stands out for its ability to bypass geographic restrictions, seamlessly integrating with streaming platforms, even in regions where VPN usage is prohibited. It consistently demonstrates strong performance across various tests conducted with HBO Max and other streaming services like Netflix.

Servers: ExpressVPN boasts a resilient network spanning 104 countries, which is effective at bypassing HBO Max and more. With less than 3% of its servers being virtual, it guarantees a dependable and swift physical infrastructure.

Privacy: ExpressVPN’s privacy measures include passing independent audits by cybersecurity firms like Cure53 and F-Secure, ensuring a strong level of security and no significant weaknesses in its macOS, Linux, and Windows apps. More details can be found in the audit reports available online.

Price: ExpressVPN offers three payment plans: a 1-month option at $12.95/month, a 6-month option at $9.99/month, and a 12-month option at $6.67/month. Payment methods include major credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other systems, accommodating a wide range of users.

Speeds: ExpressVPN maintains high download speeds with minimal drop-off, ensuring efficient performance. Tests showed a slight decrease in upload speeds, but download speeds remained fast across various server locations, including the US, UK, and Vietnam.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
VPN off937.07520.93
ExpressVPN US server824.626.96
ExpressVPN UK server794.953.70
ExpressVPN Vietnam server761.903.81

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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2. NordVPN

An excellent, affordable, and fast VPN option for 2024

  • Affordable pricing
  • Effective streaming access
  • Diverse server types
  • Solid speeds
  • Useful add-ons
  • Strong security
  • Limited server locations
  • No virtual servers
NordVPN

Streaming: NordVPN proves highly proficient in circumventing geo-restrictions on popular streaming platforms, including HBO Max. Its track record demonstrates reliable success in establishing connections to diverse streaming services, devoid of discernible complications.

Servers: NordVPN operates servers in 60 countries, slightly under the average of 71 countries among the leading 20 VPNs. Nevertheless, its dedication to physical servers guarantees access to HBO Max.

Privacy: NordVPN’s secure connection and no-logs policy have been verified via three independent audits, including one by Deloitte. The audits have confirmed NordVPN’s adherence to its no-logs policy, ensuring user privacy.

Price: NordVPN offers three pricing plans: Complete, Plus, and Standard. The 2-year plan for the Standard package is priced at $3.19/month, the 1-year plan at $4.99/month, and the monthly plan at $12.99/month. It accepts major credit cards and various payment systems.

Speeds: Below is a table showing the speeds tested for NordVPN. From our tests in New Zealand, NordVPN displayed very good speeds, although slightly behind ExpressVPN, but significantly faster than many other VPNs on the market.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)937.07520.93
NordVPN US server710.906.98
NordVPN UK server531.123.73

Read our full NordVPN review.

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3. Private Internet Access

Affordable and secure VPN with wide device compatibility

  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Unlimited simultaneous devices
  • Extra features like ad blocker and email protection
  • Verified no-log policy
  • Compatible with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu
  • High use of virtual servers
  • Not as fast as top-tier VPNs
  • Lacks proprietary protocol options
PIA

Streaming: Private Internet Access seamlessly works with streaming platforms like HBO Max. Although it encountered initial challenges with BBC iPlayer, these issues were successfully resolved through fixes.

Servers: PIA has over 35,000 servers in 84 countries, which is above the average of 71 countries. That’s more than enough to access HBO Max. However, 50% of these servers are virtual, impacting reliability compared to VPNs with more physical servers.

Privacy: PIA’s app is open-source, inviting third-party scrutiny and verification. It has also passed an independent no-log policy audit conducted by Deloitte, affirming its commitment to privacy.

Price: PIA offers three subscription options: 1-month at $11.95/month, 1-year at $3.33/month (upfront cost $39.95), and 3-year at $2.03/month (upfront fee $79). Payment methods include credit cards, PayPal, cryptocurrencies, and Amazon payments.

Speeds: Speed tests for PIA showed significant drops in download speeds across various servers. While using WireGuard protocol, speeds were faster than OpenVPN but still slower compared to top-tier VPNs like ExpressVPN.

OpenVPN Download Speeds (Mbps)OpenVPN Upload Speeds (Mbps)WireGuard Download Speeds (Mbps)WireGuard Upload Speeds (Mbps)
VPN off (New Zealand)930516
PIA US server238.527.17300.658.65
PIA UK server2453.77315.787.23
PIA Vietnam server4456.554898.24

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

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4. Ivacy VPN

A straightforward and affordable VPN, ideal for beginners

  • Great price
  • $1/month 5-year deal
  • Subscription includes password manager
  • Streaming service specific IP addresses
  • Secure VPN service
  • Slower speeds
  • No 3rd Party audits
  • Low number of country server locations
  • Not many addons
Ivacy

Streaming: While Ivacy VPN provides dependable access to leading streaming services like HBO Max, it lags behind competitors such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN in terms of speed. Still, it’s more than enough to offer buffer-free streaming.

Servers: Ivacy boasts a worldwide network comprising 6,500 servers, yet it spans only 62 countries, falling short of the top VPNs’ average coverage of 73 countries. Since it has plenty of servers in the US, it still is a great pick for HBO Max users.

Privacy: Ivacy maintains a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that your online activities are not recorded or monitored. However, unlike ExpressVPN, Ivacy’s audits are not readily available to the public, making it less transparent in comparison.

Price: Ivacy has three payment options: a 1-month plan costing $9.95/month, a 12-month plan at $3.99/month, and a 5-year plan at $1.00/month. It accepts all major credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, Coingate, BitPay, and various other payment systems.

Speeds: Ivacy’s speed performance showed a noticeable reduction in download and upload speeds when connected to its servers. From the tests, there was a significant speed drop when using Ivacy’s virtual server for India, impacting streaming and web browsing.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)939.78519.86
Ivacy US server445.205.65
Ivacy UK server693.293.53

Read our full Ivacy VPN review.

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5. CyberGhost

Affordable and secure VPN with extensive server coverage

  • Features NoSpy servers, a Killswitch, and split tunnelling
  • Attractive pricing for long-term subscriptions
  • Over 9,000 servers in 91 countries
  • Independent audit confirms no-logs policy
  • 7-device coverage
  • Not optimal for streaming due to speed issues
  • Majority of servers are virtual
  • Lacks a proprietary protocol
Cyberghost

Streaming: CyberGhost will give you access to major streaming platforms, including HBO Max. Be warned, as its known to have slow speeds, meaning you could face buffering or lower resolution.

Servers: With over 9,000 servers across 91 countries, CyberGhost presents a formidable server network for HBO Max viewers. However, it’s worth noting that 54% of these servers are virtual, which may impact performance and reliability.

Privacy: CyberGhost has a no-logs policy that has been independently audited by Deloitte, ensuring user privacy and security. This audit confirms that CyberGhost does not keep records of users’ online activities while using the VPN.

Price: CyberGhost offers three payment options: a 1-month subscription at $12.99/month, a 6-month subscription at $6.99/month, and a 2-year subscription at $2.19/month, which includes an extra two months for free.

Speeds: Speed tests conducted in New Zealand showed significant drops in both download and upload speeds across various servers when using CyberGhost, indicating a performance issue in terms of speed.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)930516
CyberGhost US server192.292.63
CyberGhost UK server139.191.90
CyberGhost Vietnam server232.244.32

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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How to watch HBO Max outside the US: FAQ

Q: Why isn’t HBO Max working with my VPN?

Answer: HBO Max frequently updates its mechanisms to detect and block VPN services. If many users are accessing HBO Max from the same VPN IP addresses, it flags this activity and can block access.

Q: Can I do anything about my current VPN not working with HBO Max?

Answer: Yes, of course you can. For HBO max, make sure your VPN is connected to a US server. If that’s already the case, try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies. Occasionally, switching the VPN connection protocol can also help. If all else fails, consider contacting your VPN provider or switching to a more reliable one known for bypassing geo-restrictions effectively.

Q: Are there specific VPNs known to work best with HBO Max?

Answer: Yes, some VPNs have been consistently successful with HBO Max, like ExpressVPN and NordVPN. They often have dedicated servers or features designed to bypass geo-blocks.

Q: What should I do if only one of my devices can’t access HBO Max using the VPN?

Answer: If HBO Max works on one device but not another, it likely means there’s a device configuration issue. Check VPN settings on the problematic device, clear its cache, and ensure location services are off.

Q: Why does HBO Max block VPN services in the first place?

Answer: Like many US-based streaming services, HBO Max is available only for US residents due to licensing agreements. HBO Max actively tries to detect and block VPN services that are used to bypass these geographic restrictions.

Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like Stuff.co.nz, thebit.nz, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.

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