How to Watch HBO Max in Australia in 2 Minutes [January 2021]

Last updated: January 22, 2021

Wondering how to watch HBO Max in Australia? You can watch HBO Max in Australia using a VPN that provides a US IP address and hides your online location by routing your traffic through obfuscated servers.  ExpressVPN is the best tested HBO Max VPN for Australia. It offers stable and fast servers, clocking an average streaming speed of 53.6 Mbps on a 65 Mbps connection. You get top-level privacy and five multi-login support, all at a modest price of $6.67 per month. Keep reading to find out more.

How to watch HBO Max in Australia in just 2 minutes

To watch HBO Max in Australia, follow these four easy steps. They only take 2 minutes:

  1. Download and subscribe to one of our recommended VPN services (ExpressVPN is our preferred choice).
  2. Open the VPN app on your device.
  3. Connect to a USA server from the server list.
  4. Sign in to play.hbomax.com (or HBO Max app), and start watching your favourite HBO shows, movies, and documentaries from Australia.

The long-awaited HBO Max is finally here, and it’s better than we had ever anticipated. To start with, there is over 10,000 hours of Warner Bros. content to binge on, including 1300+ movies. There are several dozen originals like Love Life and On the Record, with more set for release. Then you have shows and programmes from the BBC, CNN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and others to keep your couch nice and warm, year-round. And if these are not enough, HBO Max is also exclusively hosting Friends on its platform

This is what you call true BOX OFFICE entertainment! 

Unfortunately, HBO Max is available for the US audience only, with region blocks gate-keeping its content. Thankfully, a VPN can help you find a way around these geo-blocks by changing your Australian IP address with an American IP address. That way, HBO Max servers think you are based in the US, and they let you in without any trouble.

HBO Max is not available in Australia

HBO Max is not officially available in Australia

Bear in mind, however, not all VPNs can unblock HBO Max. Therefore, it’s important you choose the right VPN service when accessing HBO Max from Australia

Now, what if we make that part easy and give you a list of tested VPNs that work with HBO Max, all the way from Australia? Sounds convenient, right?

Then let’s dive straight in.


Best VPNs to Watch HBO Max in Australia (Tested January 2021)

We are big fans of HBO Max content and always trying out different VPN services to find the best ones that work with the streaming service. Based on our evaluation of over 70 VPNs and more than 200 test results, we’ve compiled a list of top 5 VPN services that work consistently and reliably with HBO Max from Australia.

1) ExpressVPN (Top-rated VPN to watch HBO Max in Australia)

ExpressVPN homepage

ExpressVPN is the absolute best VPN to stream HBO Max in Australia. It hails from the British Virgin Islands and has more than 3000 live servers in 94 countries worldwide. It’s a 100% no-log service, meaning it does not keep any record of your online activities, thus respecting your privacy.

ExpressVPN uses several advanced protocols like Lightway, IPsec, IKEv2, and OpenVPN to keep your web traffic safe and secure. It comes with numerous useful features such as unlimited bandwidth support and the option to connect up to five devices simultaneously. These devices can be Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, or iOS based. 

You can get ExpressVPN on a 1-year plan for USD 6.67 per month. Use the money-back guarantee to unlock the 30-day free trial and try the service risk-free.

Total number of ExpressVPN servers available to watch HBO Max in Australia   

ExpressVPN offers 23 server locations and 300 servers in the U.S. Of these, nineteen server locations have been well optimized to work with HBO Max. The other four locations (San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, and LA-2) lack consistency.

All in all, that’s quite impressive and the reason why ExpressVPN is our favourite VPN service to watch HBO Max in Australia.

ExpressVPN server locations to avoid for HBO Max: San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles – 2.

Available ExpressVPN servers to get HBO Max in Australia

Available ExpressVPN servers to get HBO Max in Australia

Does ExpressVPN leak your IP address or DNS requests?

Choosing a leak-proof VPN service is essential to maintaining your anonymity when streaming online. We tested ExpressVPN on ipleak.net and browserleaks.com and found no potential leaks against its tested servers

ExpressVPN’s ipleak.net report

ExpressVPN’s ipleak.net report

ExpressVPN’s browserleak.com report

ExpressVPN’s browserleak.com report

Best-performing ExpressVPN servers to watch HBO Max from Australia

Based on our experience of using ExpressVPN, these are the best-performing server locations for watching HBO Max from Australia:

  • New York
  • Washington DC
  • Los Angeles
  • Santa Monica

Watching HBO Max on ExpressVPN from Australia

Watching HBO Max on ExpressVPN from Australia


2) Surfshark (Runner-up VPN to watch HBO Max in Australia)

Surfshark homepage

Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark also operates from the British Virgin Islands and has more than 3200 servers worldwide. The company maintains a strict no-log policy, allowing you to surf the web care-free. 

Surfshark has been one of the biggest advocates of WireGuard tunneling protocol in the VPN industry and uses it to protect your data from hackers online. Other protocols used by the company include OpenVPN, IPsec, IKEv2, and Shadowshocks

You can run Surfshark on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, smart TV devices, etc. It supports unlimited simultaneous connections, a great option to have, especially if you like to share your VPN subscription with your family and friends.

You can get Surfshark for just USD 2.49 per month on a 2-year plan, making it the cheapest VPN around.

Total number of Surfshark servers available to watch HBO Max in Australia    

Surfshark offers 24 server locations and 500 servers in the US. Of these, nineteen server locations unblock HBO Max in Australia without any problems. The other five locations struggle to connect to the streaming service.

Surfshark server locations to avoid for HBO Max: Bend, Manassas, Detroit, Chicago, and Tampa.

Available Surfshark servers to get HBO Max in Australia

Available Surfshark servers to get HBO Max in Australia

Does Surfshark leak your IP address or DNS requests?

We ran Surfshark through a couple of tests to see if it was leaking our IP address or DNS requests to the outside world. Unsurprisingly, it cleared both the tests.

Surfshark’s ipleak.net report

Surfshark’s ipleak.net report

Surfshark’s browserleak.com report

Surfshark’s browserleak.com report

Best-performing Surfshark servers to watch HBO Max from Australia 

We found the following Surfshark servers to be most consistent when accessing HBO Max from Australia:

  • Seattle
  • Kansas City
  • Latham
  • Boston

Watching HBO Max on Surfshark from Australia

Watching HBO Max on Surfshark from Australia


3) PureVPN (Easy to use VPN to watch HBO Max in Australia)

PureVPN homepage

Pure VPN is headquartered in Hong Kong and has more than 6500 servers in 140 countries. Located away from Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes alliances, the company offers an uncompromising zero-log policy.

PureVPN employs a wide range of tunneling protocols to maintain your online privacy. These protocols include PPTP, SSTP, IPSec, IKEv2, and OpenVPN. In addition, you get premium features like an automatic kill switch, dedicated streaming mode, and ten multi-logins. The VPN has a user-friendly interface, which makes it easy to use even for tech-noobs. 

PureVPN makes clients for a wide variety of operating platforms, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux. Its 2-year plan is available for USD 3.33 per month only. 

Total number of PureVPN servers available to watch HBO Max in Australia

The desktop version of the PureVPN app offers 14 server locations in the US. In contrast, its Android and iOS apps offer 11 server locations. The missing locations include Houston, Phoenix, and Washington DC.

Of the available fourteen server locations, twelve unblock HBO Max in Australia with ease. The other two, Atlanta and San Francisco, struggle to connect to the streaming service.

Although PureVPN lacks the stability of Surfshark and ExpressVPN, it’s still a decent VPN to have if you want to watch HBO Max in Australia.   

PureVPN server locations to avoid for HBO Max: Atlanta, San Francisco, and Ashburn.

Available PureVPN servers to get HBO Max in Australia

Available PureVPN servers to get HBO Max in Australia

Does PureVPN leak your IP address or DNS requests?

PureVPN does not leak your IP or DNS details as shown by the test results below:

PureVPN’s ipleak.net report

PureVPN’s ipleak.net report

PureVPN’s browserleaks.com report

PureVPN’s browserleaks.com report

Best-performing PureVPN servers to watch HBO Max from Australia

If you’re using PureVPN to access HBO Max from Australia, we’d recommend the following servers for best streaming experience:

  • Columbus 
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Washington DC

Streaming HBO Max on PureVPN from Australia

Streaming HBO Max on PureVPN from Australia


4) NordVPN (The VPN with the highest number of HBO Max servers)

NordVPN homepage

NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN service, having more than 5000 servers worldwide. It maintains a zero-log policy, keeping your online privacy intact.

NordVPN uses some of the most robust tunneling protocols like NordLynx, OpenVPN, IPsec, and IKEv2 to protect and encrypt your web data. It offers numerous premium features to users, such as unlimited bandwidth support, IP leak protection, six multi-logins, and a built-in ad blocker. That’s pretty impressive. It has one small flaw though; it’s not the best VPN for NVIDIA Shield TV and Amazon Fire TV. 

You can get NordVPN for USD 3.71 per month on a 2-year plan. NordVPN also offers a 30-day risk-free trial, giving you one full month to test if the service is right for you.

Total number of NordVPN servers available to watch HBO Max in Australia

NordVPN offers 15 server locations and 1700+ servers in the U.S. Of these, twelve server locations work well with HBO Max, producing fast and reliable connections. The other three locations (Chicago, Atlanta, and Saint Louis) can have connection issues at times.

With a decent ratio of functional servers under its belt, Nord VPN ranks fourth on our list of best VPNs to watch HBO Max in Australia.

NordVPN server location(s) to avoid for HBO Max: Chicago, Atlanta, and Saint Louis.

Available NordVPN servers to get HBO Max in Australia

Available NordVPN servers to get HBO Max in Australia

Does NordVPN leak your IP address or DNS requests?

We put NordVPN to test to see if it really offered full-proof IP and DNS leak protection as it claims and found the results to be in its favour. You can view the test reports here:

NordVPN’s ipleak.net report

NordVPN’s ipleak.net report

NordVPN’s browserleak.com report

NordVPN’s browserleak.com report

Best-performing NordVPN servers to watch HBO Max from Australia

In our experience, these NordVPN server locations provide the best streaming quality when watching HBO Max from Australia:

  • New York
  • Buffalo
  • Salt Lake City
  • Charlotte

Streaming HBO Max on NordVPN from Australia

Streaming HBO Max on NordVPN from Australia


What if I don’t have an HBO Max account?

To stream HBO Max, you need to have an HBO Max account. This section covers how you can create an HBO Max account from Australia in detail.

Basically, you have two main options to create an HBO Max account:

  1. Signing up on HBO Max using your friend’s credit card
  2. Subscribing to HBO Max using a gift card

Signing up on HBO Max using your friend’s credit card

If you have a friend (or a relative) living in the states, you can create an HBO Max account using their credit card. 

    i) Login to your VPN and connect to a US server. 

Logged into ExpressVPN

ii) Next, head over to HBO Max website and click “START YOUR FREE TRIAL”.

HBO Max homepage

    iii) On the Sign In page, click “Sign Up”.

HBO Max sign-in page

    iv) Enter your first name, last name, and the email address you want to sign up with.

HBO Max create your account page

    v) Add your friend’s credit card details. Make sure to use a matching zip code with the state you choose. You can  Google US zip codes for help.

HBO Max add a payment method page

    vi) Voila! Your HBO Max account is ready to go.

Important pointer: Don’t use the same credit card for more than two HBO Max accounts. This is because over-usage of credit cards can potentially raise a red flag to the HBO Max system, and it may terminate all the linked accounts.

Subscribing to HBO Max using a gift card

Alternatively, you can access HBO Max using HBO Now gift cards.

i) Head over to Mygiftcardsupply.com to purchase an HBO Now (or HBO) gift card. You can use a different website if you want.

Buying HBO Now gift card from Mygiftcardsupply.com

ii) Once you have purchased the gift card, go to subscribe.hbonow.com/gift. Redeem your HBO Now gift card by entering the gift card code and a US zip code.

HBO gift card redeem now page

iii) Enter your email address you want to sign up with, and your first and last name.

Signing up on HBO using gift card

iv) Next, visit play.hbomax.com and sign in to HBO Max with the email address you provided in the previous step.

Redeem your HBO Now gift card for HBO Max

v) Enjoy the world of HBO Max.

Important pointer: To renew your HBO Max subscription after your gift card has expired, repeat steps (i) and (ii), and instead of signing up to a new account in step (iii), simply click on “Sign In”. Proceed as is. 


The use of VPNs is completely legal under the Australian Copyright Act. You can use a VPN to watch HBO Max or any other streaming service from Australia, without any legal ramifications. Internet freedom is your right, and the government fully acknowledges that. To quote former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the subject:

The Copyright Act does not make it illegal to use a VPN to access overseas content. While content providers often have in place international commercial arrangements to protect copyright in different countries or regions, which can result in ‘geo-blocking’, circumventing this is not illegal under the Copyright Act.


What is a VPN anyway, and how does it unblock HBO Max?

VPN is an online privacy tool. It masks your actual IP address and secures your online communications by establishing an end-to-end encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet.

How this helps to unblock HBO Max

HBO Max uses user’s IP address to identify where they’re trying to sign-in from before allowing them through. Since IP addresses are country-dependent, it is easy for Max servers to determine whether the sign-in request has been made from within the US or outside it. In case, if someone tries to access the service from outside the US, HBO Max blocks them from streaming the content.

When you connect to HBO Max through a VPN, the VPN app replaces your Australian IP address with the IP address of the US server you’re connected with. This tricks the Max servers, and they remove the geo-blocks, allowing you through.

If you want to learn more about the science of VPNs, read our guide here.

Do free VPNs work with HBO Max?

Free VPNs don’t work with HBO Max as they lack the technology to beat the geo-trackers used by the streaming service.

Besides, free VPNs are known to keep a log of your online activities, so you should avoid using them anyway.

If you want to save money on your VPN purchase, you can try one of our recommended free VPN trials. They’ll give you limited-time access to HBO Max, absolutely free of cost.


How much does it cost to watch HBO Max on a VPN from Australia?

The total cost to watch HBO Max from Australia includes HBO Max subscription fees and VPN charges. HBO Max subscription costs $14.99 per month. The VPN charges vary from service to service. However, you can expect to pay in the range of $2.49 to $6.67 per month. That means you can get HBO Max in Australia for $21.66 per month max.


Whatever happened to HBO Max launching in Australia?

At the start of 2020, HBO secured a trademark for Max in Australia. It was the clearest indication yet that the entertainment giant was finally pondering a move to enter the Australian market.

Foxtel is the home of HBO in Australia

However, all those hopes were dashed when Foxtel, one of Australia’s leading media groups and the age-old distribution partner of HBO in the region, 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.

As it stands, Foxtel is the official home of HBO Max in Australia. You can watch almost all HBO Max shows and movies—both new and old—through the Plus bundle on Foxtel IQ or Foxtel Now’s Essentials pack. They cost $49 and $25 per month, respectively. Alternatively, you can get Binge, and watch HBO Max content for as low as $10/month from Australia.  

Binnge basic plan costs $10 per month

Foxtel doesn’t have all HBO Max content

It must be mentioned here that even though Foxtel features a large HBO Max library, it doesn’t air all HBO Max shows and movies. This is because content producers at HBO Max have signed distribution agreements with media companies other than Foxtel to stop the latter from establishing a monopoly in the Australian market. 

For example, Stan in Australia has exclusive rights for HBO Max originals Love Life and Station Eleven as part of its deal with Lionsgate and Paramount. These shows are not available on any of Foxtel’s services. 

So, if you are like us, who prefer to have their HBO shows all in one place, the scattered arrangement may not impress you much.

That’s why streaming HBO Max directly with a VPN is your best option to get HBO Max content in Australia. You can access all the titles under one roof at just a click of a button. Yes, watching HBO Max with a VPN may not be as cheap as signing up on Binge, but it provides a greater value for money, especially compared to Foxtel IQ and Foxtel Now. Here is a table for better comparison:

Watch HBO in Australia methodHBO Max libraryMinimum price
Foxtel IQlimited access$49 per month with no HD support
Foxtel Nowlimited access$25 per month with HD support
Bingevery limited access$10 per month no HD support
VPNfull accessUSD 14.99 (+ VPN fee) per month with HD support

 


How is HBO Max different from HBO Now and HBO Go?

HBO Max is just one of the streaming services offered by HBO. It also has two more streaming services, HBO Go and HBO Now.

HBO offers three streaming services, HBO GO, HBO Now, and HBO Max

HBO Go is the free pocket-version of HBO TV service, available only to HBO TV customers. HBO Now, like HBO Max, is a stand-alone streaming service that anyone can subscribe to.

After announcing the release of HBO Max, HBO announced that it would be discontinuing HBO Go services from 31 July. This leaves us with HBO Max and HBO Now (which has recently been re-branded to simply HBO).

HBO Max is far superior to HBO Now and has been launched as a direct competitor to the likes of Disney+ and Netflix. It has all the HBO Now content plus a ton of additional stuff and loads of amazing originals. 

You can watch Friends, Doctor Who, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Ricky and Morty, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Conan, Looney Tunes cartoons, Lord of the Rings trilogy, Sesame Street, The Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones, True Detective, and many more amazing shows and movies on it.

A short list of HBO Max original scripted and unscripted shows:

  • Beth & Sam
  • Circe
  • Americanah
  • 10-Year-Old-Tom
  • Close Enough
  • The Boondocks
  • College Girls
  • Karma
  • The Dog House
  • EQUAL
  • Brad & Gary Go To
  • Birth, Wedding, Funeral
  • First Dates Hotel   
  • Generation Hustle

Does HBO Max include DC Universe, too?

WarnerMedia has been quite clear about its plans to include DC movies and TV shows on HBO Max. The service currently has a few classics such as Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Joker, Shazam, The Dark Knight Parts 1 and 2, and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice to keep you busy on the weekends. More DC content is expected to be added in the near future.

What devices can you watch HBO Max on a VPN from Australia?

You can watch HBO Max in Australia on a VPN on the following devices:

  • PC and Mac (via web browser)
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Google Chromecast
  • PS4
  • Xbox One
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Samsung smart TVs (2016 and later models)

Can I watch HBO Max on Roku or Amazon Fire TV?

Currently, HBO Max does not offer support for either Roku or Fire TV products. However, the streaming service is expected to be available on both platforms soon, especially with the corresponding apps already developed and ready to go.

Ta-da… 

This brings us to the end of our guide: How to watch HBO Max in Australia using a VPN. We hope you found the information helpful. 

If you like reading articles on different streaming services, you might find these interesting as well: 

Until next time, happy HBO Max streaming!

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