How to Watch HBO and HBO Max in Australia [June 2021]
You can watch HBO in Australia by buying a bundle on Foxtel TV or subscribing to a Foxtel NOW streaming pack. If you are not into bundles, Binge is a great alternative. Stan runs HBO content too. However, its HBO library is quite small. If you want to watch and enjoy the full line-up of HBO shows, movies, and documentaries from Australia, HBO (HBO Now has been rebranded as HBO since July 20, 2020) and HBO Max are your best options. But you’ll need a premium VPN like ExpressVPN to access them.
Important Update: Friends Reunion is coming to HBO Max on Thursday, May 27, 2021. If you are a fan of one of the most popular shows of all time, get ready to witness all your favorite stars on your screens on May 27, 2021, at 5:02 pm (AEST). However, you need to use a VPN to unblock HBO Max in Australia. To know more about it, read our Watch Friends: The Reunion in Australia article.
Australians often have their fair share of arguments. We may not always agree on the most pressing economic concerns. Our loyalties may seem divided on matchdays in support of our favourite NRL teams. However, there’s one thing that brings and binds us together in a special bond of entertainment-hood – our love for HBO shows and movies.
We simply can’t agree to miss our daily dose of HBO. We always have a cheat-sheet to find time for the next episode of our favourite HBO drama, thriller, or suspense show, no matter how busy we might be.
Fortunately, we have got loads of options to watch HBO in Australia too. These include the cable TV-based Foxtel IQ, Foxtel Now streaming service, Binge, Stan, and VPN-supported HBO and HBO Max. Talk about being spoilt for choices.
So let’s discuss each of these options in detail and find out which one is the best.
How to watch HBO in Australia on Foxtel IQ
Have a Foxtel IQ subscription and wondering whether HBO is on Foxtel?
Foxtel is a leading Australian media company that houses exclusive rights to show HBO first runs and on-demand HBO content in Australia. It offers a premium cable/satellite TV service, Foxtel IQ, which you can easily subscribe to and get access to almost all HBO titles—including Westworld, Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, and more—starting from $49 per month. It’s the simplest and easiest way to watch HBO content in Australia.
The set-up for Foxtel IQ involves the installation of a set-top box at your home. This set-top box functions as a receiver as well as a digital video recorder. That means you can download your favourite HBO shows and movies on your set-top box hard drive and watch them later without worrying about buffering issues.
Foxtel IQ bundles to watch HBO in Australia
To get Foxtel IQ on your TV, you need to buy one of Foxtel IQ’s bundles. These bundles can be purchased on either 12-month or no lock-in payment plans.
- Foxtel Plus bundle: It is the most basic Foxtel IQ bundle on offer if you want to watch HBO on TV in Australia. It features 50+ channels, 130 complete drama series, and various lifestyle, reality, and music programs. It does not include support for HD broadcasts though and costs $49 per month, whichever payment plan you may choose.
- Foxtel Plus with HD bundle (only 12-month plan available): It is the HD-support version of Foxtel Plus. It costs $59 per month and offers all the same features as the Foxtel Plus bundle.
- Movies HD & Kids bundle: It is the upgraded version of Foxtel Plus, containing 50+ channels, Kids pack, and a huge library of HD movies. Its 12-month payment plan costs $55 per month, while its no lock-in payment plan costs $74 per month.
- Sports HD bundle: It is the sports-packaged version of Foxtel Plus and features an additional 12 live HD sports channels and a Kids pack. You can get its 12-month plan for $55 per month and no lock-in plan for $74 per month.
- Sports HD & Netflix bundle: It includes the Australian Netflix standard plan in addition to Foxtel Plus and Sports HD packs. Its 12-month plan costs $59 per month, while its no lock-in plan costs $86 per month.
- Movies HD, Kids & Netflix bundle: It includes the Australian Netflix standard plan in addition to Foxtel Plus, Movies HD, and Kids pack. You can get its 12-month plan for $59 per month and no lock-in plan for $86 per month.
- Foxtel Plus & Netflix bundle: It is the Netflix-packaged version of Foxtel Plus and costs $61 per month, whichever payment plan you may choose.
- Premium bundle: It includes Foxtel Plus, Sports HD, and Movies HD & Kids pack. Its 12-month plan costs $79 per month, while its no lock-in plan costs $99 per month.
- Premium & Netflix bundle: It combines all Premium bundle offerings (except for Sports HD) with the Australian Netflix standard plan. You can get its 12-month plan for $84 per month and no lock-in plan for $111 per month.
- Platinum Plus bundle: It has got everything Foxtel IQ has to offer, including Foxtel Plus, Sports HD, Australian Netflix, and Movies HD & Kids pack. Its 12-month plan costs $99 per month, while its no lock-in plan costs $139 per month.
Foxtel IQ bundles
Do I need to pay for the satellite dish or set-top box when subscribing to a Foxtel IQ bundle?
If you opt for a 12-month payment plan, you don’t need to pay anything for the installation of the satellite dish or set-top box. In case of no lock-in contracts, however, Foxtel does require you to pay $225 in installation charges.
What Foxtel channel is HBO on in Australia?
Most of the HBO content is screened on Foxtel’s Fox Showcase channel in Australia. At the same time, a couple of popular comedy shows like Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Silicon Valley can be found over on the Comedy Channel. Both these channels are available under the Foxtel Plus bundle.
Foxtel IQ compatible devices
- PC and Mac
- iOS mobile devices (iOS 9.3.5 or above)
- Android mobile devices (Android 5 and above)
- Google Chromecast (via casting)
- Smart TVs (via casting)
- Apple TV (via AirPlay)
Foxtel GO app for Foxtel IQ customers
Foxtel provides a free streaming app, Foxtel GO, for its TV customers to watch HBO content on the go, from anywhere in Australia. The app is compatible with PC, Mac, and Android, and iOS mobile devices.
Foxtel IQ positive(s) for watching HBO in Australia
- Easy access to HBO content
- Trouble-free viewing experience
- A convenient option since you can bundle multiple TV packs together, as well as your current phone (or internet) plan, if you’ve subscribed to the service through Telstra
Foxtel IQ negative(s) for watching HBO in Australia
- You may have to switch your existing TV service provider
- Some HBO titles, especially those released for HBO Max, are not available on Foxtel IQ
- No support for Apple TV without AirPlay
- Can be expensive
- No trial period
- Installation can be a hassle
How to subscribe to Foxtel IQ
You can subscribe to Foxtel IQ TV service by visiting Foxtel’s online shopping page. Alternatively, you can call their customer service at 1300 130 799, any day of the week, between 8 am and 8 pm.
How to watch HBO in Australia on Foxtel Now
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of installing a new TV connection just to get access to HBO content in Australia, you may want to consider Foxtel Now.
Foxtel Now is the stand-alone streaming service offered by Foxtel. It houses all the HBO titles as Foxtel IQ – and that too in HD.
With Foxtel Now, you can live stream HBO shows as they get aired, request for content on-demand, or simply watch what’s already out there in the library.
Foxtel Now bundles to watch HBO in Australia
- Essentials pack: It is the base pack and includes Fox Showcase and the Comedy Channel, along with 25+ other channels in lifestyle, drama, news, entertainment, reality, and music categories. It costs $25 per month.
- Essentials + Drama extra pack: It is an upgraded version of the Essentials pack and includes additional channels like Universal, BBC, FOX One, FOX Sleuth, FOX Crime, FOX Sci-fi, and more. It costs $35 per month.
- Essentials + Movies pack: It includes all the regular Essentials pack channels, plus 30 more channels for watching the latest movies, kids shows, and premium drama and documentaries. It costs $45 per month.
- Essentials + Sports Pack: It is the sports-packaged version of the Essentials pack and allows live streaming of AFL, NRL, Formula 1, NBA, baseball, and V8 Supercars, in addition to access to HBO content. It costs $54 per month.
- Essentials + Movies + Sports Pack: It combines Essential, Movies, and Sports packs all into one and costs $74 per month.
- All Packs: It is the ultimate Foxtel Now bundle, featuring Essential, Drama, Movies, and Sports packs. It costs $104 per month.
Foxtel Now bundles
Foxtel Now compatible devices
- PC and Mac
- Google Chromecast
- Apple TV (via Airplay)
- Xbox One and Xbox 360
- PS4 and PS3
- LG, Samsung, and Sony smart TVs
How do I set-up Foxtel Now on my standard TV to watch HBO in Australia?
You can enjoy HBO shows and movies on your big TV screen through Foxtel Now by using a set-top streaming box or a compatible gaming console. If you’re planning to use a set-top box, make sure to buy one from Foxtel Now’s website as these are custom-built for stream support. The box is available for $99.
Foxtel Now positive(s) for watching HBO in Australia
- Convenient set-up
- Less expensive than Foxtel IQ
- HD support included in all Foxtel Now bundles (free of charge)
- 10-day free trial period
- No lengthy contracts to serve
Foxtel Now negative(s) for watching HBO in Australia
- Can’t run on Apple TV without AirPlay
- Missing HBO titles, especially those released for HBO Max
How to subscribe to Foxtel Now
You can subscribe to Foxtel Now by going to its website and signing up for your package of choice.
How to Stream HBO in Australia on Binge
Binge is a newly launched local streaming service owned by none other than Foxtel group. It is the cheapest way to watch HBO shows and movies in Australia. You don’t have to navigate through complex bundles to subscribe to the service either.
There is plenty of HBO content available on Binge, with new titles added daily. You can find some pretty cool HBO Max exclusives too in its library. Additionally, there are shows from the BBC, Sony Pictures Television, Paramount, Discovery, NBCU, FX, and more.
Available Binge plans
Binge offers three subscription plans to viewers:
- Basic subscription: It supports SD stream and single-screen viewing and costs only $10 per month.
- Standard subscription: It supports HD stream and double-screen viewing and costs $14 per month.
- Premium subscription: It features HD stream and allows the option to watch the stream on four screens at once. You can get it for $18 per month.
Binge compatible devices
- PC and Mac
- Google Chromecast
- Smart TVs (including Apple, Android, and Telstra TV)
Binge positive(s) for watching HBO in Australia
- The cheapest option to stream HBO in Australia
- Access to exclusive HBO Max titles
- Easy to set-up
- 14-day free trial period
- No contract lock-ins
Binge negative(s) for watching HBO in Australia
- Limited content library compared to Foxtel IQ, Foxtel Now, HBO and HBO Max
- Limited device support
How to subscribe to Binge
You can subscribe to Binge by visiting binge.com.au and choosing a plan of your choice.
How to get HBO in Australia on Stan
Stan is another home-grown streaming service that has become increasingly popular among Australian audiences in the last few years. It is owned by Nine Network and is a direct competitor to Foxtel’s SVOD services, Foxtel Now and Binge.
Stan houses a healthy amount of Australian content as well as international content, including shows and movies from MGM, Showtime, BBC, CBS, Lionsgate – and, of course, HBO. Its HBO library is infinitely small, though, with Deadwood as the only major HBO series currently available on the streaming platform.
However, recently, Stan was able to snap up deals for two HBO Max originals, Station Eleven and Made for Love, and will be exclusively airing them in Australia once the two shows go live.
Available Stan plans
Like Binge, Stan offers three subscription plans to viewers:
- Basic subscription: It offers SD stream and single-screen viewing for just $10 per month
- Standard subscription: It offers HD stream and three simultaneous screen views for just $14 per month
- Premium subscription: It offers HD (and 4K) streams and up to four simultaneous screen views for just $17 per month
Stan subscription plans
Stan compatible devices
- PC and Mac
- Google Chromecast
- Xbox One and Xbox 360
- PS4 and PS3
- Apple TV
- Smart TVs
Stan positive(s) for watching HBO in Australia
- Easy to set-up
- 30-day free trial period
- No contracts
Stan negative(s) for watching HBO in Australia
- Only a handful of HBO titles available for viewing
How to subscribe to Stan
You can subscribe to Stan by visiting stan.com.au and choosing a plan of your choice.
How to watch HBO content in Australia on HBO or HBO Max (using a VPN)
So far, we have discussed options that involved using a local TV or streaming service to watch HBO in Australia.
But, what if you could get HBO shows and movies in Australia directly from HBO without having to rely on third-party service providers?
Let’s take a look at how we can do that.
HBO and HBO Max
HBO offers tow on-demand video services, allowing fans to binge-watch their favorite shows, movies, and documentaries directly on HBO. These streaming services are HBO and HBO Max.
HBO and HBO Max are stand-alone services that anyone can subscribe to, regardless of whether they have an HBO TV plan or not. Unfortunately, all three streaming services are for the US audience only and cannot be accessed from outside the USA.
How to get HBO (or Max) in Australia, then?
To get HBO or HBO Max in Australia, you’ll need to use a premium VPN service like ExpressVPN, Surfshark, NordVPN, or PureVPN. A VPN will mask your physical location and re-route your internet traffic through a remote server based in the US. This will give you access to HBO (or HBO Max) in Australia.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is a piece of software that helps you browse the internet anonymously by hiding your IP address. Furthermore, it keeps your online data safe from hackers, while you surf the internet, by channeling your web traffic through an encrypted tunnel.
How does a VPN unblock HBO and HBO Max in Australia?
Streaming sites like HBO and HBO Max use IP addresses to identify and track the sign-in location of users. Each country has a different set of IPs exclusive to it. So, for example, Australia has a specific range of IP addresses, while the US is assigned a different set of IPs.
When you connect to a VPN, you basically connect to a remote server located in a country of your choice. In this case, our country of choice is the USA. All your traffic must now pass through the remote USA server that you are connected to. In the process, your Australian IP address is replaced with the IP address of the remote USA server.
Now that you have an American IP address on you, HBO and HBO Max servers are tricked into thinking that you’re trying to connect to the service from within the US. As a result, they let you in without any restrictions.
Difference between HBO and HBO Max
Both HBO and HBO Max are stand-alone streaming services offered by HBO. However, HBO Max has more originals and licensed content compared to HBO, which makes it more complete. It offers all of HBO shows, plus a ton of titles from other producers as well, including CNN, TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, truTV, Cartoon Network, and more.
Just in case if you’re interested in learning more about Max exclusives, here is a list of a few of them (Note: Some shows in this list have been released, while some are yet to be released):
- Looney Tunes Cartoons
- On the Record
- Close Enough
- The Dog House
- Search Party – Season 3
- Doom Patrol – Season 2
- The House of Ho
- Frayed – Season 1
4 Best VPNs to Watch HBO in Australia (June 2021 Tested)
It’s worth mentioning here that not all VPNs unblock HBO or HBO Max from Australia. For instance, Free Australian VPNs along with some premium VPN services don’t unblock HBO/HBO Max in Australia. Therefore, you need to make sure that you’re using the right VPN service for the purpose.
To help you out, we have compiled a list of the best VPNs that consistently connect to HBO in Australia. These VPNs have been thoroughly tested, with their best-performing servers highlighted for your reference. Oh, and they all come with money-back guarantees and free trials.
1) ExpressVPN (#1 VPN to watch HBO in Australia)
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands and has more than 3000 servers in 94 countries. Like NordVPN, it uses a number of advanced tunneling protocols to keep your online privacy intact. These include Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and IPsec.
ExpressVPN maintains a strict no-log policy and offers fast speed, IP and DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch. You can get ExpressVPN for USD 6.67 per month on a 1-year + 3 free months plan, with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Test the service for one full month, and if you don’t like it, get a quick refund.
2) Surfshark (Runner-up VPN to watch HBO in Australia)
Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark is also based in the British Virgin Islands and has more than 3200 servers in 64 countries. It uses the latest tunneling protocols such as WireGuard, Shadowshocks, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and IPSec to protect your online communications.
Surfshark observes an uncompromising zero-log policy and offers nifty features like unlimited simultaneous connections, Cleanweb, Whitelister, and an internet kill switch. You can get its 2-year plan for USD 2.49 per month. That’s one of the cheapest VPN plans on the market.
3) NordVPN (Reliable VPN with the highest number of servers for streaming HBO)
NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN service. It operates more than 5000 servers in 59 countries, including over 1200 servers for HBO alone. Furthermore, it employs advanced tunneling protocols such as NordLynx, IKEv2, OpenVPN, and IPsec to ensure your online privacy and anonymity always remain intact.
NordVPN is a 100% no-log VPN service, meaning it does keep any record of your online activities. It offers unlimited bandwidth support, robust security features, and full-proof IP leak protection. You can get NordVPN on a 2-year plan for just USD 4.13 per month. All NordVPN purchases are secured by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
4) PureVPN (User-friendly VPN to get HBO in Australia)
PureVPN hails from Hong Kong and has more than 6500 servers in 140 countries. It offers a whole host of tunneling protocols to choose from, including PPTP, IPsec, SSTP, IKEv2, and OpenVPN.
Located away from 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes countries, PureVPN practices a zero-log policy. It provides several robust security features, including an automatic kill switch, 256-bit encryption, IP leak protection, and more. It also features a dedicated streaming mode that allows users to unblock HBO content at just a click of a button. You can subscribe to PureVPN’s 2-year plan for just USD 3.33 per month.
What do you need to do after you connect to HBO or Max?
After you connect to HBO (previously known as HBO Now) or HBO Max from Australia using a VPN, you simply need to sign in to your HBO account and start watching your favorite HBO shows, movies, and documentaries.
How much does it cost to watch HBO in Australia on HBO or Max?
To watch HBO in Australia on HBO or Max, you need to sign-up for HBO or Max service and buy a VPN plan. Both HBO and HBO Max cost USD 14.99 per month, while the price of a VPN service can vary from USD 2.49 to USD 6.67 per month.
So, if you are talking about the cheapest setup, it will cost you USD 16.98 per month. On the other hand, the most expensive set-up will cost you around USD 21.66 per month.
HBO and HBO Max compatible devices
- PC and Mac
- Amazon Fire TV
- Samsung TV (2015 and older models)
- Smart TVs
- Apple TV
- Roku device
- Xbox One
- PS4 and PS3
HBO and Max positive(s) for watching HBO in Australia
- Access to full HBO content library
- Budget-friendly access
- No contracts
HBO and Max negative(s) for watching HBO in Australia
- Possible buffering issues, especially when low-tier VPNs are used to connect to the service
How to subscribe to HBO or HBO Max
To subscribe to HBO or HBO max, head over to play.hbonow.com or play.hbomax.com, depending on whichever HBO streaming service you want to subscribe to. Once there, create an HBO account and enjoy the stream.
Which is the best option to get HBO in Australia?
We have discussed five options to watch HBO in Australia. These include:
- How to watch HBO in Australia on Foxtel IQ
- How to stream HBO in Australia on Foxtel Now
- How to get HBO in Australia on Binge
- How to stream HBO in Australia on Stan
- How to watch HBO in Australia on HBO or Max using a VPN
Which is the best option out of these five?
An ideal option would be the one that would be cheap, easy to set-up, smooth in performance, and one that would give access to full HBO content. So evaluating the given options, here are our summarized findings:
|Price||Installation||HBO Content||Viewing Experience|
|Foxtel IQ||High||Difficult||Almost all titles||Smoothest|
|Foxtel Now||Medium||Easy||Almost all titles||Smooth|
|Stan||Cheap||Easy||Very few titles||Smooth|
|HBO or Max (with a VPN)||Reasonable||Easy||Full library||Smooth (using our recommended VPN)|
As you can see in the above chart, no single option checks all the boxes. The fifth option, however, is better compared to others when it comes to streaming HBO in Australia. Therefore, it won’t be wrong to say that if you want to watch HBO shows and movies in Australia, HBO (formerly known as HBO Now) and Max are your best options. Still, everyone has their preferences, so you can choose whichever option suits you best.
What happened to HBO launching in Australia?
However, all hopes of HBO entering the Australian streaming market were dashed when Foxtel announced a new multi-year deal with the company in early May. The deal extended Foxtel’s rights to continue to show HBO in Australia. In addition, the company got the privileges to air HBO Max content on all its platforms, including Foxtel IQ, Foxtel Now, and Binge.
Does HBO include DC Universe too?
How much does HBO cost in Australia?
Likewise, you can subscribe to Binge basic plan by paying $10/month to access HBO content. Moreover, you can avail Stan’s basic package after paying the same amount i.e. $10/month to watch HBO.
Lastly, you can use a VPN, which is our recommended choice. You can subscribe to HBO Max with the help of a VPN in Australia under your budget. HBO Max is available at the cost of $14.99/month. Furthermore, ExpressVPN 1-year plan is available at the price of $6.67/month.
It means you will have to pay $15.66 in total to access the full content library of HBO unlike Stan and Binge that only offer limited titles for streaming to their users.
Will HBO Stream in 4K?
Can I stream HBO Max content with Chromecast?
Can HBO be used on multiple devices?
Can I cancel HBO after the free trial?
Is HBO on Netflix Australia?
How can I get HBO for free?
Can you watch HBO on Apple TV?
How much is HBO with Hulu?
How much is HBO on Roku?
Is HBO free on firestick?
How do I get HBO on my TV?
Is HBO bigger than Netflix?
Can I get HBO on jailbroken firestick?
This finally brings us to the end of our guide. We hope you found the information helpful. Let’s gather over this weekend and discuss which HBO show or movie you watched during the week. What’s say?
If you like reading articles on different streaming services, you might find these interesting as well:
- US Netflix in Australia
- How to Watch Hulu in Australia
- Watch BBC iPlayer in Australia
- Access Channel 4 in Australia
- How to Get YouTube TV in Australia
- Australian Disney Plus
- Australian Amazon Prime Video