MAX not working with VPN

Are you trying to watch MAX outside the US? And it’s not working? If you’re coming across MAX not working with VPN issues, the streaming service has managed to identify the IP address your VPN has given you and has blocked it.

This can be annoying, especially if your VPN was working with MAX and now it’s not.

Fortunately, there are a few fixes you can try to resolve MAX not working with VPN. We’ll explain how you can fix the issue in this article so you can get back to watching your favourite MAX content again in no time!

The best VPNs for MAX

Our Pick 🥇

VPN Logos Small 0003 ExpressVPN logo
  • Best-in-class performance
  • Super-fast dedicated servers worldwide
  • Specialised Lightway protocol

Buy now for $6.67/month


Private Internet Access
VPN Logos Small 0000 PIA Logo
  • Install on an unlimited amount of devices
  • Independently audited no-logs policy
  • A bundle of features for an affordable price

Buy now for $2.03/month

Highly Recommended

VPN Logos Small 0001 NordVPN Logo
  • Incredibly reliable servers
  • Proprietary NordLynx protocol
  • Available on most devices

Buy now for $3.99/month

Budget Option

VPN Logos Small 0002 Ivacy Logo
  • One of the most affordable VPNs
  • Advanced features like port forwarding
  • Option for a personal dedicated IP address

Buy now for $1.00/month

Budget Option

VPN Logos Small 0004 CyberGhost logo
  • Reliable NoSpy servers
  • Servers in over 90 countries worldwide
  • Kill Switch and Split Tunneling support

Buy now for $2.19/month

HBO Max not working with VPN: Fixes

If you just want a quick fix, and don’t want to learn why HBO Max might not be working with your VPN, follow these steps.

Total Time: 3 minutes

  1. Connect to a different server (in the USA)

    MAX not working with VPN issues are most likely happening because MAX has managed to block the IP address your VPN has given you.

    The good news is MAX blocks IP addresses, not VPNs.

    Connecting to a different server in the US, will give you a new IP address. And if that one hasn’t been blocked, you’ll be able to watch MAX with your VPN again.

  2. Use a VPN that works reliably with MAX

    If changing to a different US server doesn’t fix the MAX not working with VPN issues you’re encountering, the streaming service has managed to identify and block all the IP addresses your VPN can provide.

    The good news is there are VPNs out there that work consistently with MAX. We’ve tested many VPNs, and we recommend ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) as we’ve been using it to watch MAX outside the US reliably since it was called HBO Max. 

    ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) is one of the fastest VPNs on the market. It’s incredibly secure and has measures in place to ensure it works reliably with MAX.

    Even the best VPNs for MAX will have their IP addresses blocked on occasion. ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) knows this, and to ensure you can watch MAX reliably, it adopted a simple measure to ensure it stays one step ahead of MAX’s VPN blocks. 

    If an IP address provided by ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) gets blocked by MAX, ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) will close that IP address and open a new unblocked one. 

    This will allow you to watch MAX reliably anywhere in the world and prevent you from running into the same MAX not working with VPN issues you’re encountering with your current VPN.

See also: BBC iPlayer not working with VPN? Here’s how to fix that!

Why is MAX not working with VPN?

If you’re coming across MAX not working with VPN issues, it means that the streaming service has blacklisted the VPN server and IP address you normally use.

This has happened because the VPN you’re using doesn’t have measures in place to ensure it can stay one step ahead of MAX’s blocks. And subsequently, the streaming service has identified and blocked all of its IP addresses.

The easiest (and best) workaround you can try is switching servers and connecting via another one. If that doesn’t work, you’ll either have to wait for your VPN to fix the issue – which it might never do – or you can use a VPN that works reliably with MAX.

The best VPNs for MAX that we’ve tested are ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) and Private Internet Access ($2.03/month).

How does MAX block my VPN?

HBO Max uses three main techniques to block VPNS:

  1. The most common technique is all to do with the IP addresses ExpressVPN can provide. ExpressVPN has more customers than IP addresses, and this results in customers having to share IPs. HBO Max monitors for an abnormal amount (more than a standard household) of connections coming from the same IP address. When it sees hundreds or thousands of connections coming from the same IP, it knows that this is an ExpressVPN IP address, and it blocks it. 
  2. HBO Max monitors for IP, DNS and WebRTC leaks that can tip the service off you are using a VPN.
  3. HBO Max teams up with GeoIP databases like Maxmind to identify IP addresses. If the IP address your VPN provides is on one of these databases, HBO Max will be able to find out where in the world you are connecting to the internet from and it will block you.
MAX not working with VPN

Does MAX work with a VPN?

Yes, MAX works with a VPN. However, you need to use one that can win the battle with MAX’s VPN-blocking techniques.

You need a VPN that’s fast, fully secure, has a large number of US-based IP addresses, and, most notably, has measures in place to ensure it stays one step ahead of MAX.

The best VPNs for MAX meet all of these requirements.

From our tests, the VPNs that work most reliably with MAX are ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) and Private Internet Access ($2.03/month). We’ve been using them to reliably watch MAX outside the US in New Zealand without issues.

Can I use a free VPN to watch MAX?

Although free VPNs are an attractive proposition when trying to watch MAX outside the US, from our tests, they often don’t work with the streaming service.

This is because of the measures MAX uses to block VPNs. It’s significantly easier for MAX to identify and block an IP address provided by a free VPN.

Also, free VPNs aren’t reliable. They often aren’t secure; they’ve been found to collect and log user data, and they put limitations on their service. You may find a free VPN has limited US servers; you can only use it for a small amount of time or it doesn’t provide a secure connection.

If you want to fix MAX not working with VPN and watch MAX reliably outside the US, we recommend one of the best VPNs for MAX below.

MAX not working with VPN

The best VPN services (September 2023)

1. ExpressVPN 🥇 $6.66/month

The fastest and most reliable streaming VPN of 2023

  • 160+ IP addresses in 94+ countries
  • 5 simultaneous devices
  • Live chat support
  • Over 3,000 servers
  • >80% connection speed
  • Unlimited bandwidth
ExpressVPN review

ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) is still the best VPN. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video, etc.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

2. Private Internet Access $2.03/month

An affordable, reliable VPN

  • 35,000 servers worldwide
  • Unlimited simultaneous devices
  • 24/7 chat support
  • Servers in over 80 countries
  • MACE ad blocker included
  • Supports multiple protocols
Best VPN list - PIA

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, MAX, Disney+ Amazon Prime, and many more.

Even better, it allows for an unlimited number of simultaneous devices to be connected to its servers at the same time. So you can share the account with all of your friends.

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

3. NordVPN $3.79/month

An incredibly fast and trustworthy VPN

  • Over 5,000 servers worldwide
  • 6 simultaneous devices
  • Reliable customer service
  • Fast NordLynx protocol
  • Cybersec ad and tracker blocker
  • Easy to use interface
NordVPN Best VPN image

NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And it’s 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 a 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.

Read our full NordVPN review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

4. Ivacy $1.00/month

A trustworthy and affordable VPN

  • 5700+ servers worldwide
  • 10 simultaneous devices
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Dedicated IP address option
  • Available on all major platforms
  • Great price
Ivacy Best VPN image

If you’re looking for an excellent VPN, with an even better price tag, Ivacy ($1.00/month) is a great option.

While it doesn’t do much more than the other VPNs on this list, the main attraction is the price. This is an affordable VPN that will allow you to stream BBC iPlayer, in HD, from any country in the world on Mac, PC, Android, iOS and FireStick. You’ll also be able to unlock other services like US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, MAX, Amazon Prime, etc. with ease.

Read our full Ivacy review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

5. CyberGhost $2.19/month

A solid VPN package

  • Deloitte verified no logs policy
  • Servers in 91 countries
  • 7 simulatenous devices
  • Proprietary NoSpy servers
  • Multiple protocol options
  • Split tunneling support
CyberGhost Best VPN image

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.

It also offers NoSpy servers which are specially designed to provide an extra layer of security and privacy for users.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

MAX not working with VPN: Additional Fixes

If you’re still having issues with MAX not working with VPN, you can try these additional fixes:

  1. Delete Cookies: Cookies are small files that streamline your online experience. The problem with them is on occasion they can tip off MAX that you’re using a VPN. To ensure this isn’t the case, try deleting your Cookies.
  2. Change to a different protocol: Check to see if your VPN supports multiple protocols. Protocols are essentially the rules that define how your VPN reroutes your data and gives you an anonymous internet connection. You may be coming across MAX not working with VPN issues, because the protocol you’re using is no longer compatible with MAX. Try changing to a different protocol to fix this.
  3. Reinstall your VPN: Over time you may have picked up bugs and errors with your VPN. To get rid of those and get a fresh installation along with any fixes your VPN may have released, reinstall your VPN.

Is using a VPN to watch MAX legal?

In most countries, using a VPN is legal. There are only a handful of countries (spot the authoritarianism link) where using a VPN is illegal; these are: China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, North Korea, Iraq, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Egypt, Eritrea, Seychelles, Suriname, Namibia, Slovenia, Nicaragua and Tajikistan.

If you’re outside these countries and are using a VPN, you’re legally allowed to do so. However, it’s important to know that using a VPN with some streaming services may breach that service’s terms of use.

The HBO Max terms of use state, “to subscribe to the Platform: (a) reside within one of the fifty (50) states of the United States of America (“U.S.”), the District of Columbia or certain U.S. territories” and “You may only access the Content on the Platform in your Service Area. Restrictions may be enforced according to the location from which you are accessing the Platform.”

This means, HBO Max can stop your subscription and ban you from the streaming service if you try to access its content with a VPN turned on.

However, given the wide-spread use of VPNs, plus the many legitimate and legal use cases for VPNs, it’s fair to suggest that banning customers for using a VPN would be a heavy-handed and financially costly policy for HBO Max (and other streaming services) to enforce.

If you’re trying to watch HBO Max outside the US, you risk having your account banned. In theory. However, the best VPNs use military-grade encryption it is impossible for streaming services to trace where you’re physically accessing its content from.

There’s one final thing to note on the subject: HBO Max has never banned anyone for using a VPN to access its service.