How to Watch HBO in Australia (October 2020 Updated)

Last updated: October 19, 2020

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 deserves a worthy mention too. However, if you want to watch and enjoy full HBO content in Australia, HBO Now and HBO Max are your best options. But you’ll need a VPN to access them.

How to Watch HBO in Australia (4 Easy Steps)

To watch HBO in Australia in October 2020, just follow these four easy steps:

  1. Download and subscribe to a VPN service (NordVPN is our #1 recommended VPN to get HBO in Australia)
  2. Launch the VPN app and connect to a US server
  3. Create an account on HBO Now or HBO Max
  4. Sign in to your specific HBO service and start watching your favourite HBO shows and movies from Australia

*P.S: Find out what makes NordVPN the best VPN to watch HBO in Australia here (also includes other top VPN recommendations).

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 on 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.  

HBO shows and movies are quite popular in Australia

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 Now 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

Watch HBO in Australia on Foxtel TV

This is the simplest way to get access to HBO content in Australia.

Foxtel is one of the leading local media companies, housing 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, both new and old, at the press of a button.

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 programmes. 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 Kids pack. You can get its 12-month plan for $55 per month and no lock-in plan for $74 month.
  • Sports HD & Netflix bundle: It includes 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 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 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 to watch HBO in Australia

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 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 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’re 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

Get 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 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 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 bundles

Foxtel Now compatible devices

  • PC and Mac
  • iOS
  • Android
  • 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 to your package of choice.


How to watch HBO in Australia on Binge

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:

    1. Basic subscription: It supports SD stream and single-screen viewing and costs only $10 per month.
    2. Standard subscription: It supports HD stream and double-screen viewing and costs $14 per month.
    3. 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 plans

Binge plans

Binge compatible devices

  • PC and Mac
  • iOS
  • Android
  • 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 Now 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 watch HBO in Australia on Stan

Enjoy 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:

  1. Basic subscription: It offers SD stream and single-screen viewing for just $10 per month 
  2. Standard subscription: It offers HD stream and three simultaneous screen views for just $14 per month
  3. Premium subscription: It offers HD (and 4K) streams and up to four simultaneous screen views for just $17 per month 

Stan subscription plans

Stan subscription plans

Stan compatible devices

  • PC and Mac
  • iOS
  • Android
  • 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
  • Pocket-friendly
  • 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 in Australia on HBO Now or 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 content libraries?

Let’s take a look at how we can do that.

HBO Go, HBO Now and HBO Max

HBO offers three on-demand video services, allowing HBO fans to binge-watch their favourite shows, movies, and documentaries on the go. These streaming services are HBO Go, HBO Now, and HBO Max. HBO offers three streaming services HBO Go, HBO Now, and HBO Max to watch HBO content on the go

HBO Go is a free streaming app, like Foxtel Go, and is available only for paid HBO TV customers. On the other hand, HBO Now 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. They cannot be accessed from outside the USA and are geo-restricted. However, if you have a reliable VPN, you can find a way around the in-place region blocks and access these services from anywhere in the world, including Australia.   

Important update: HBO decommissioned HBO Go on July 31, 2020, and the service is no longer available for streaming.
  

Since HBO Go has been discontinued, we would keep our discussion to HBO Now and HBO Max in the remainder of this article.

Difference between HBO Now and HBO Max

First things first, let’s quickly the understand difference between HBO Now and HBO Max. 

Both HBO Now and HBO Max are stand-alone streaming services offered by HBO. However, HBO Max has more originals and licensed content compared to HBO Now, which makes it more complete. It offers all of HBO Now’s 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):

  • Legendary
  • Craftopia
  • Looney Tunes Cartoons
  • On the Record
  • Close Enough
  • The Dog House
  • Karma
  • Search Party – Season 3
  • Doom Patrol – Season 2
  • The House of Ho
  • Frayed – Season 1

What is a VPN?

VPN is an online privacy tool that helps you browse the internet anonymously by masking your real IP address. Furthermore, it also keeps your online data safe from hackers, while you surf the internet, by channelling your web traffic through an encrypted tunnel.

How does a VPN unblock HBO Now and HBO Max in Australia?

Streaming sites like HBO Now 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, like Australia will have its range of IP addresses, while the US will have its own.

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 Now 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.

4 Best VPNs to Watch HBO in Australia (October 2020 Tested)

It’s worth mentioning here that not all VPNs unblock HBO Now or HBO Max from 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 best VPNs that consistently connect to HBO in Australia. These VPNs have been thoroughly tested, with their best-performing servers highlighted for your reference.


1) Nord VPN (#1 VPN to Watch HBO in Australia)

NordVPN homepage

NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN service. It operates more than 5000 servers in 59 countries, including over 1200 servers for HBO alone. That’s the highest of any VPN service. 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 3.71 per month.

Best performing NordVPN servers to stream HBO in Australia: New York, Buffalo, Charlotte, and Salt Lake City.


2) ExpressVPN (Runner-up VPN to Stream HBO in Australia)

ExpressVPN homepage

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 automatic kill switch. You can get ExpressVPN for USD 8.32 per month on 1-year plan.

Best performing ExpressVPN servers to stream HBO in Australia: New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica.


3) PureVPN (User-friendly VPN to watch HBO in Australia)

PureVPN homepage

PureVPN hails from Hong Kong and has more than 2000 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 believes in practicing zero-log policy. It provides several robust security features, including 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 seamlessly. You can subscribe to PureVPN’s 1-year plan for just USD 6.49 per month.

Best performing PureVPN servers to stream HBO from Australia: Columbus, Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington DC. 


4) Surfshark (Cheapest VPN to watch HBO in Australia)

Surfshark homepage

Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark is also based in the British Virgin Islands and has more than 1000 servers in 60+ countries. It utilizes the latest tunneling protocols, including WireGuard, Shadowshocks, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and IPSec for maintaining your privacy online.

Surfshark observes an uncompromising zero-log policy and offers nifty features like unlimited simultaneous connections, Cleanweb, Whitelister, and internet kill switch. You can get its 2-year plan for USD 2.49 per month only.

Best performing Surfshark servers to stream HBO from Australia: Seattle, Latham, Kansas City, and Boston.


What do you need to do after you connect to HBO Now or Max?

After you connect to HBO Now or HBO Max from Australia using a VPN, you simply need to sign in to your HBO account and start watching your favourite HBO shows, movies, and documentaries.

How much does it cost to watch HBO in Australia on HBO Now or Max?

To watch HBO in Australia on HBO Now or Max, you need to sign-up to HBO Now or Max service and buy a VPN plan. Both HBO Now and HBO Max cost USD 14.99 per month, while the price of a VPN service can vary from USD 2.49 to USD 8.32 per month.

So, if you are talking about the cheapest set-up, it will cost you USD 16.98 per month. On the other hand, the most expensive set-up will cost you around USD 23.31 per month.

HBO Now and HBO Max compatible devices

  • PC and Mac
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Samsung TV (2015 and older models)
  • Smart TVs
  • Apple TV
  • Roku device
  • Xbox One
  • PS4 and PS3

HBO Now and Max positive(s) for watching HBO in Australia

  • Access to full HBO content library
  • Budget friendly access
  • No contracts
  • 1 week free trial period

HBO Now 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 Now or HBO Max

To subscribe to HBO Now or HBO max, head over to play.hbonow.com or www.hbomax.com, depending on whichever HBO streaming service you want to subscribe to. Once there, create an HBO account and enjoy the stream.

If you’re facing issues with creating an HBO account, check out this guide where we have discussed multiple ways to sign-up to HBO Now from Australia. The process works the same for HBO Max; you only need to change the respective URLs.

Which is the best option to get HBO in Australia?

We have discussed five options to watch HBO in Australia. These include:

  1. How to watch HBO in Australia on Foxtel IQ
  2. How to stream HBO in Australia on Foxtel Now
  3. How to get HBO in Australia on Binge
  4. How to stream HBO in Australia on Stan
  5. How to watch HBO in Australia on HBO Now 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:

PriceInstallationHBO ContentViewing Experience
Foxtel IQHighDifficultAlmost all titlesSmoothest
Foxtel NowMediumEasyAlmost all titlesSmooth
BingeCheapEasyLimited librarySmooth
StanCheapEasyVery few titlesSmooth
HBO Now or Max (with a VPN)ReasonableEasyFull librarySmooth (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. Therefore, it won’t be wrong to say that if you want to watch HBO shows and movies in Australia, HBO Now and Max are your best options. Still, everyone has their preferences, so you can choose whichever option suits you best.

Ta-da…

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?  

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