How to watch the Friends Reunion in NZ 2

The Friends Reunion has just been announced for a 27th of May release on HBO Max. If you’re in NZ, you probably know that HBO Max isn’t available here. Don’t worry! There’s a simple way to get HBO Max in NZ, so you can watch the Friends Reunion the day it’s released.

To get HBO Max in NZ, all you need is a reliable VPN.

In this article, I’ll show you how you can use a VPN to get HBO Max and be ready to stream the Friends Reunion on the 27th of May.

See also:

How to watch the Friends Reunion in NZ: Quick Guide

To watch the Friends Reunion, you’ll need to create an HBO Max account. HBO Max is only available in the US. To gain access to HBO Max in NZ, you need to fool it into thinking you’re accessing the service from inside the US. A reliable VPN will allow you to do this.

To gain access to HBO Max in NZ, follow these simple steps:

Total Time: 2 minutes

  1. Create a new account with NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month)

  2. Download and install the new VPN app

  3. Open your new app and connect to a server in the US

  4. Go to HBO Max

  5. Create an HBO Max account (see more below)

  6. Watch HBO Max in NZ

How to make an HBO Max account in NZ

If you try and access HBO Max without a VPN, you’ll run into an error saying, “HBO Max is not available in your region.” 

After you’ve made an account with NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month) and connected to a US server, you’ll no longer come across that error. However, you’ll still need to make an HBO Max account.

HBO Max only allows accounts to be made using a US form of payment. There are a few ways you can get around this:

  1. You can ask a friend or family member in the US to create an HBO Max account for you
  2. You can use an American Express card
  3. You can purchase an HBO Max gift card from mygiftcardsupply.com and create an account from anywhere in the world. (Mygiftcardsupply is a trusted and reliable website where you can purchase a variety of gift cards from anywhere in the world.)

Many people don’t have a friend in the US or an American Express card, so the best way to create an HBO account is with gift cards. Follow these steps to create an HBO Max account using gift cards:

  1. Go to mygiftcardsupply.com
  2. Search for HBO Max cards
  3. Choose between a USD$25, USD$30, USD$50 gift card (note that standard HBO Max costs USD$14.99/month)
  4. Select if you want to make a one-off purchase or a repeat purchase every few months
  5. Proceed to checkout and confirm your purchase with your email address
  6. You’ll receive an email with a link. Click on that link, and that will give you access to your HBO Max gift card
  7. Connect to a US server on NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month)
  8. Create an account at www.hbomax.com
  9. Go to HBONOW.com/gift and enter the 10 or 12 digit code from the back of your gift card.
  10. Choose your State or Territory, enter your ZIP Code (you can do this by googling) and then choose Continue.
  11. Click I have an account: Choose the Sign in link. Enter your account email and password. Then, choose Sign In and Redeem
  12. Return to www.hbomax.com
  13. Enjoy watching HBO Max in New Zealand
How to watch the Friends Reunion in NZ 3

Why do you need a VPN to watch HBO Max in NZ?

HBO Max isn’t available in NZ. This is because it only has the rights to broadcast its content in the US.

HBO blocks anyone outside the US from accessing its service to protect itself from potential copyright and licensing issues. These blocks are why you’re running into the “HBO Max is not available in your region” error.

To get around this, you need to make HBO Max think you’re accessing its content from within the US. To do that you need a US IP address. 

Reliable VPNs like NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month) are very good at this. They work very well with HBO Max and have reliable US servers that will provide you with a US IP address. This will unblock HBO Max and will allow you to watch the Friends Reunion when it’s released.

How does a VPN unblock HBO Max?

The way HBO Max blocks your connection is all to do with your IP address. Whenever you go online, you’re allocated a unique IP address. This IP is like an area code on a landline phone number. It contains information disclosing your location.

When you connect to HBO Max, it scans your IP address to determine whether or not you’re within its US broadcast zone. If you aren’t, HBO Max will block your connection.

When you use a VPN, all of your internet data will be encrypted. This will give you an anonymous internet connection so your location cannot be tracked. This encrypted data will then be sent to one of the VPNs servers (that you can choose), where it will be decrypted and sent to a local internet service provider. 

This process not only makes it impossible to track your location when going online, but it also provides you with a spoof IP address from the country where the server is located. 

Basically, once you’ve downloaded NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month) all you need to do is connect to a US server, and HBO Max will be unblocked.

How to watch the Friends Reunion in NZ 1

Will any VPN work?

No, not all VPNs will work with HBO Max.

VPNs have been around for a while, and it’s well known that they allow customers to watch streaming services outside their broadcast zones. HBO Max knows this and, to protect itself from potential copyright issues, it tries to block VPNs from accessing its service.

For lesser VPNs, especially free VPNs, these blocks can be hard to get around. To watch HBO Max reliably in NZ, you need a good VPN with measures to get around HBO’s VPN blocks. You need a VPN like NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month).

HBO Max blocks VPNs by monitoring for an abnormal amount (more than an average household) of connections coming from the same IP. Lesser VPNs have more customers than IP addresses, and this results in customers having to share IPs. When HBO Max sees hundreds of connections coming from the same IP address, it knows this is a VPN, and it blocks it.

This simple method can be an issue for a lesser VPN because IP addresses are expensive, and lesser VPNs don’t have many of them. Over time, HBO Max is able to block all of the lesser VPNs IP addresses, and it will no longer work with the streaming service. This means you won’t be able to watch the Friends Reunion, and even worse, you could waste money on a subscription for a VPN that doesn’t work. 

The VPNs that work with HBO Max are the ones that have measures in place to get around these blocks. NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month) play a game of cat and mouse with HBO Max. When the streaming service identifies and blocks an IP address provided by these VPNs, NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month) will close that IP and open a new one. This allows them to stay one step ahead of HBO Max’s blocks, and it will enable you to watch HBO Max anywhere in the world reliably.

The best VPNs to watch HBO Max in NZ 

1. NordVPN

The BEST VPN of 2021

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
  • Netflix icon
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  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • TVNZ icon
  • beIN SPORTS icon
  • ESPN icon
  • NowTV icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • CBC Gem icon
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
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • TVNZ icon
  • 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

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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
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • Spark Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon
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
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • NowTV icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • 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
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • 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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