With some of the most popular American TV series available, HBO has worldwide fame. It’s most successful programme with a global fan base is Game of Thrones, but it also has its originals. Shows like Silicon Valley, True Detective and The Wire have got an acceptance among the masses and have a fan following.
Watching HBO online
HBO has a free streaming service, HBO Go, for its existing TV subscribers. You put in your TV provider’s ID there and get all the content of HBO online.
Not only are the TV series there at HBO Go, HBO owned movies are also available on demand. And then, you can also catch up the previous episodes of Game of Thrones season and others.
And, for those who don’t have a cable TV subscription, they have to subscribe to HBO Now. Well, how does HBO Now work?
HBO Now is a paid standalone service to get access to HBO. It’s available at USD 15 per month. And with this payment, you can unlock all HBO Now shows. The online service has the programmes live right with the episode airing time on the TV channel. No discrimination there.
Along with the originals, you get unlimited access to sports, documentaries, comedy specials and of course, the movies. FYI, HBO has movie rights of its production partners – Warner Bros, Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox.
That’s pretty much the whole Hollywood Box Office, true to its name. So, without wasting any further time, let’s get the HBO streaming Australia.
But both HBO Go Australia and HBO Now Australia is locked. Because of the content licensing terms, HBO doesn’t allow viewers outside of the US to watch what it offers. With the help of your IP address, they employ the geo-restriction, and the service is accessible only to American IP addresses.
So, how to get HBO Now or Go then? There are reliable ways like Smart DNS services and VPNs to bypass the restriction, but let’s first, check the official way to watch HBO Australia.
How to watch HBO in Australia?
For HBO fans in Australia, you can get watching Game of Thrones and others with Foxtel. Foxtel is Home of HBO for the Australian viewers. The agreement between the two content providers allows Foxtel, the already available exclusive premiere rights of HBO first runs. And now, Foxtel also has the on-demand rights to HBO content.
That means you can get the full library of HBO including the documentaries, talk shows and everything else, even if you can’t get to the HBO Now login page. It is available through Foxtel’s streaming service, Foxtel Anytime. You get the free Foxtel Go service if you have a Foxtel subscription.
Thus, you can watch HBO online for free. But if you don’t have a subscription, get the paid Foxtel Now packs. The $15 per month Drama Pack has channels like HBO, Showcase and BBC First. Then there is the Pop Pack (again $15). It includes channels like MTV, Arena, Showcase, The Comedy Central and HBO (of course). Subscribe to both, and you get a discount of $5 on the total.
Now, you have access to all the on-demand episodes of Entourage, Westworld and Game of Thrones among others.
Apart from the PC and Mac browsers, Foxtel Now is available on Android and iOS mobiles, gaming consoles and smart TVs. You can watch on two devices at a time and the first two weeks are available as a free trial.
Can you watch HBO Go on Apple TV?
As Foxtel Now isn’t available for Apple TV boxes, you won’t get the Foxtel services with it. But luckily, there is an app for HBO Now, Apple TV boxes have. But to watch the streaming on HBO Now, you have to get past the geo-restriction. Not to worry, it’s an easy job for the best VPN service in Australia.
More on it later, let’s first download HBO Now on Apple TV. It’s time to get your Mac (or PC) ready. Open the iTunes store app and sign out of your account.
Next, you have to change your region to “United States”. There is a flag at the bottom right-hand side, turn it to the US flag, and your store will now show American content.
Wait, don’t sign in. You have to create a new iTunes account. Put in an email address, password and the security information.
Now comes the Payment Information page where you need to use an American credit card details. If you don’t have one, select “None”. Next, enter a valid US address, and it will ask to complete the email verification then.
Open your email ID and click the link you received from Apple. You are now ready to download any content from the American iTunes store including the HBO app. Go, sign into the new account in your Apple TV and install HBO Now.
The hard part is over; now you have to let HBO servers watch the videos. And to do that, you have to know how they put the block in place.
The secret behind Geo-blocking
Every device connected to the World Wide Web – the Internet – has an identification number unique to it. You call this the IP address. When you open a website, your device requests the content provider for the resources.
Along with the request, the device sends your IP address for the identification purpose, and to let the content providers like HBO know where to deliver its service requested.
And this IP address you get is allocated from the set of IP addresses your Internet Service Provider (ISP) has. IP addresses in Australia belong to the same set which is different than those in the US.
Moreover, every ISP in Melbourne will provide similar IP addresses to its users. And you guessed right; this set is different from the ones in Sydney.
So, when you request an episode from the servers at HBO, they check your address against the IP address database and know instantly that you are not allowed to watch their licensed content. The dreadful error says that you must reside within the fifty states of the United States of America to get its services. And how do services like VPN or Smart DNS help?
Watch HBO with VPN
A Virtual Private Network – popular with its short name, VPN – masks your IP address and gives you a new (virtual) IP address. VPN service providers like ExpressVPN and NordVPN has hundreds of servers around the world and quite many in various cities of the US. Also, unlike the free VPN services, the providers mentioned above have a secure encryption system.
This feature of encryption ensures that all your online activity stays hidden from the outer world. Any data transfer happening passes through the secure VPN servers which encrypt the packets. Thus, when you connect to a VPN server in the US, your network is encrypted, and you get a US IP address.
Now when you open HBO Now, HBO servers recognise you as one of the US residents. You can watch as many videos of The Sopranos or The Wire as you want. There is no one stopping you, not even your ISP. As I said, no one can see what you did while on the VPN connection.
Also, they can’t force the VPN providers to get your data. ExpressVPN has its headquarters in the British Virgin Islands and NordVPN in Panama. Moreover, these VPN service providers don’t keep records of browsing history. Complete
Watch HBO with SmartDNS
While using a VPN is the best you can do to watch HBO online, another method many prefer is the Smart DNS services like Unlocator. The main reason behind this preference is the network speed they offer.
Because of the encryption data and redirection of entire data through a distant server, VPNs tend to slow down your network speed.
But with the SmartDNS system, only the location related data gets re-routed through its servers. Thus, the SmartDNS servers provide better speed for your online streaming needs.
But do keep in mind, the servers don’t encrypt your network. And thus, I prefer the VPN way. Now when you have set up your VPN software on your device, and you have the much-needed access to HBO, let’s get you registered.
Sign up with HBO
The registration process is straightforward, launch the downloaded HBO Now app in your Apple TV box and get going. The subscription costs USD 15 a month, but you get a 30-day free trial upon registration. You will get all the HBO content now on your Apple TV.
Enjoy hours of programming available on the site. Your card will be charged only when your free month is up.
By the way, there is no locked-in period, and you can exit before the auto-renewal takes place. But I bet you won’t. You get all the live episodes as soon as they air and if you have missed any, pull out the episodes from the archives and watch, and watch it again.
But, wait! There is more. With your VPN client running, you can unlock many more ways to watch HBO. Let’s shuffle through them.
Choose the one which suits you or you may just prefer one’s interface over the other. And if you wonder if this VPN thing is legal or not, I would like to assure you, VPN services aren’t illegal. OK? Should we proceed?
Watch HBO – the American ways
When you have your account set up for HBO Now, you can use it on many other devices apart from Apple TV. HBO Now is available on other Apple devices, Android mobiles and tablets, Amazon Fire TV, Roku set-top boxes and gaming consoles. These were the methods you can use to get the direct streaming of HBO Now to your streaming machines.
But there also are cord cutting ways like Foxtel Now. Let’s see the prominent ways.
- Android Prime – You do have a subscription to Prime, right? If not, you can sign up for its service and pay USD15 for HBO. You don’t need to re-register to get HBO online. With a single Prime subscription, you get all the other channels available and the content exclusive to Amazon.
You can now watch the on-demand videos of HBO and any new releases as they air. You can binge watch all the episodes of The Wire or Big Little Lies, refresh the Silicon Valley and Westworld’s timeline while they come up with the new season. And all this is available on the devices Amazon Prime supports – gaming consoles, mobile devices and of course the Fire TV boxes and sticks.
- Sling TV or DirecTV – Like Foxtel Now, both Sling TV and DirecTV offer live TV services in the US, based on the packages you opt for. You can buy one of the packages providing HBO and be prepared for the last season of GOT, airing not before 2019. Along with packages, you can purchase add-on channels, to be dropped when required no more.
Although you won’t get the on-demand content of HBO, Sling offers a cloud DVR to record the episodes, and DirecTV’s cloud DVR is in the testing phase.
- Hulu and Netflix US – I know these streaming services don’t stream the channel, but they do offer many of the popular HBO shows. With a single subscription, you will get all the hot shows and movies around the world, on-demand and not only those of HBO. They have apps for lots of supported devices, and you can enjoy your daily dose of HBO right at your home.
Those were all the different ways to stream HBO to your screens, so what are you waiting for?
And in case you wonder, ExpressVPN has easy to set up software for many devices. You can use ExpressVPN on three devices at a time and if you need more, install it on your home’s router. It will encrypt any data passing through the devices connected to the router.
NordVPN has similar features, but the number of device support is less. So, you can install it on your router and watch your favourite HBO shows be it Last Week Tonight or Big Little Lies.
And for added privacy, Nord offers a Double VPN, routing your data through two servers at a time. But you may notice a significant decrease in your network speed.