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The best VPNs for streaming HBO Max in Australia
Expand your streaming library by using a VPN to access HBO Max from Australia.
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Keen to stream HBO Max content in Australia? You could take the easy route and do it via Binge or Foxtel Now subscription for most HBO content. But if you’d rather go straight to the source and get everything, you’re going to need a virtual private network (VPN) subscription because HBO Max isn’t officially available in Australia.
The first step you need to take to watch HBO Max in Australia is to find a way to pay for the service. After that, it’s all about choosing the right VPN to pair it with so you can bypass HBO Max’s geoblock restrictions for Australia. And that’s exactly what this page is all about.
- : ExpressVPN
- : Atlas VPN
- : PureVPN
- : NordVPN
- : Windscribe VPN
Compare the best VPNs for HBO Max in Australia
US download change
Fast US streaming
Cheapest upfront price
|Best HBO Max VPN overall||5||16%||HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Peacock||US$12.95/mth||View plans|
|Best cheap HBO Max VPN||Unlimited||20%||HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Peacock||US$11.99/mth||View plans|
|Best HBO Max VPN for speed||10||8%||HBO, Hulu, Peacock||US$12.45/mth||View plans|
|Best VPN for US streaming||6||13%||HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Peacock||US$12.99/mth||View plans|
|Best VPN for global streaming||Unlimited||50%||HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Peacock||US$9/mth||View plans|
Best HBO Max VPN overall
ExpressVPN isn’t just one of the best VPNs for streaming HBO Max. It’s not just one of the best VPNs for streaming. It’s one of the best VPNs, full stop. For starters, ExpressVPN is incredibly easy to use, which makes it a great pick for VPN newbies. We’re big fans of how the ExpressVPN website has a wealth of video and straightforward written guides for getting the most out of the VPN, including a guide for streaming HBO Max. ExpressVPN has a manageable dent to download speed for US servers, and it’s great at quickly loading the HBO Max library and streaming content.
Alternatively, consider any of the other VPN providers listed on this page alongside VPN Unlimited.
We advise using at least an NBN 50 internet connection (or equivalent) for streaming HBO Max content. HBO Max recommends download speeds of at least 25Mbps to stream. Whenever you connect to a VPN server in the USA from Australia, you can expect your overall download speed to take a hit. Given HBO Max allows for simultaneous streams on up to three devices, it’s worth considering an NBN 100 plan (or equivalent) for homes that want to stream on up to three screens.
Best cheap HBO Max VPN
Of the 17 VPNs we’ve reviewed, 10 of them offer fast streaming for HBO Max. And of those 10, you won’t find better overall averaged pricing than from Atlas VPN. While it’s not the cheapest for monthly, annual or multi-year pricing, it ranks in the top five for all of those categories, with a silver medal for multi-year pricing and bronze for annual. There’s even a free version of Atlas VPN with a US server if you’d like to try before you buy. Atlas VPN is great at handling HBO Max, but we also like that it’s a good all-round VPN streamer, with speedy buffering for services in the US, UK and Australia (except for the notoriously tricky-to-bypass Kayo Sports).
Alternatively, consider PrivadoVPN if you’re after a cheap monthly VPN that works well with HBO Max, PureVPN for annual or VPN Unlimited for a lifetime subscription.
There’s a bit of a grey area when it comes to using VPNs for sidestepping the geoblocking measures of streaming services. On one hand, it’s not illegal to use a VPN. On the other, it’s very likely a violation of the user agreement for whatever streaming service you’re using a VPN to access. It’s ultimately up to you to determine how comfortable you are violating user agreements, as your account may be cancelled.
Best HBO Max VPN for speed
Speed is an important consideration for an HBO Max-friendly VPN. The faster a VPN is when connecting from Australia to the US, the more feasible it is to stream at up to 4K quality (with HDR) and on up to three screens simultaneously. That’s why you want a VPN that has as little an impact to download speeds as possible. Cue the entry of PureVPN. Of the VPNs we’ve tested, it’s one of only two to crack a single-digit percentage change (8%), which is very minimal. Faster download speeds mean US streaming services like HBO Max should load and stream faster, plus you’ll have the versatility to do more with your internet connection.
Alternatively, Hotspot Shield VPN has even faster US download speeds (albeit worse overall streaming than PureVPN). Otherwise, NordVPN, VPN Unlimited and ExpressVPN have manageable impacts to overall download speed for US servers.
Best VPN for US streaming
Full disclosure: there are multiple VPNs mentioned on this page that handle HBO Max, American Netflix, Hulu and Peacock TV streaming with speedy results. But of those VPNs, none of them rank as highly as NordVPN overall. While it unfortunately doesn’t compete on price, NordVPN is a fully featured service that helps to justify the cost. You’ll get great streaming and fast connection speeds for starters. NordVPN is also incredibly easy to use with top-tier security and a great emphasis on user anonymity. If that’s not enough, NordVPN includes a Smart DNS service, anti-malware and ad-blocker features.
Alternatively, Windscribe VPN, ExpressVPN, Atlas VPN and Proton VPN all offer speedy streaming for US Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu and Peacock.
Best VPN for global streaming
If you want the best VPN for streaming, then you want Windscribe VPN. This was true of Windscribe when we first tested it in 2020 and it’s still true three years later. As part of our VPN testing process, we use seven streaming services from the US, Australia and the UK for testing. Windscribe is the only one that had fast streaming results across the board. We’re also big fans of the lack of simultaneous connection limits, meaning you can feasibly install and use Windscribe on an unlimited number of compatible platforms. There’s a great free version of Windscribe, too, which works with certain streaming services, plus it’s easy to use. We just wish it didn’t have as much of a hit to US download speeds (50%).
For global-streaming alternatives, have a look at either ExpressVPN or PureVPN.
What to look for in an HBO Max VPN
The first step when choosing a VPN to stream HBO Max is to ensure it works with HBO Max. A good indication of compatibility is generally a VPN blog or help page dedicated to HBO Max. Of the VPNs we’ve reviewed, here are the ones that offered fast streaming for HBO Max:
- Atlas VPN
- Hotspot Shield VPN
- Proton VPN
- VPN Unlimited
- TunnelBear VPN
Norton Secure VPN, Surfshark VPN and CyberGhost VPN also worked, but they had moderate to extremely slow buffering speeds. Speaking of speeds, the best VPNs for streaming HBO Max are the ones that ideally have the lowest impact on download speeds when connecting to US servers, unless your internet connection is fast enough to mitigate a hefty hit to speeds. Start comparisons with Hotspot Shield, PureVPN, NordVPN, VPN Unlimited and ExpressVPN for speedy US downloads.
Everything else is nice to have. With so many compatible VPNs, you might as well consider price, noting that the best value typically comes from annual or multi-year subscriptions (all paid upfront). Also consider VPNs that are easy to use and those that come with features outside of streaming.
How we choose the best VPNs for HBO Max in Australia
We’ve reviewed 17 VPNs at the time of writing this guide, and our first step was to create a shortlist of contenders that all offered fast streaming results. Here “fast” means that streaming content on HBO Max started within five seconds of pressing play.
The next step was to separate the contenders into appropriate categories. Best overall went to ExpressVPN because it’s incredibly easy to use, highly rated and offers a great HBO Max guide. The cheapest winner was the VPN with the cheapest averaged pricing across monthly, annual and multi-year subscriptions.
For the best US streaming, we considered all VPNs that had fast streaming results for HBO Max, US Netflix, Hulu and Peacock TV, opting for the highest-rated VPN for the top spot. Finally, global streaming went to the only VPN we’ve tested that consistently bypasses all seven test services: US Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock, BBC iPlayer, Kayo Sports and Stan (including Stan Sports).