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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.

Best HBO Max VPN overall
ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
From
US$12.95/mth
Simultaneous connections
5
US download change
16%
Fast US streaming
HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Peacock
Best cheap HBO Max VPN
atlasvpn
Atlas VPN
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
From
US$11.99/mth
Simultaneous connections
Unlimited
US download change
20%
Fast US streaming
HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Peacock
Best HBO Max VPN for speed
PureVPN
PureVPN
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
From
US$12.45/mth
Simultaneous connections
10
US download change
8%
Fast US streaming
HBO, Hulu, Peacock
Best VPN for US streaming
Nord VPN
NordVPN
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.75
From
US$12.99
Simultaneous connections
10
US download change
13%
Fast US streaming
HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Peacock
Best VPN for global streaming
Windscribe
Windscribe VPN
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
US$9/mth
Simultaneous connections
Unlimited
US download change
50%
Fast US streaming
HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Peacock
Nathan Lawrence
May 11, 2023
Icon Time To Read6 min read

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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.

Compare the best VPNs for HBO Max in Australia

Best for
VPN
Simultaneous connections
US download change
Fast US streaming
Cheapest upfront price
View plans
Best HBO Max VPN overall516%HBO, Netflix, Hulu, PeacockUS$12.95/mth
Best cheap HBO Max VPNUnlimited20%HBO, Netflix, Hulu, PeacockUS$11.99/mth
Best HBO Max VPN for speed108%HBO, Hulu, PeacockUS$12.45/mth
Best VPN for US streaming1013%HBO, Netflix, Hulu, PeacockUS$12.99/mth
Best VPN for global streamingUnlimited50%HBO, Netflix, Hulu, PeacockUS$9/mth

ExpressVPN

Best HBO Max VPN overall

Simultaneous connections
5
US download change
16%
Fast US streaming
HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Peacock
Starts at
US$12.95/mth
pro
Pros
pro Fast US streaming
pro Great user guides
pro Stacks of global locations
con
Cons
con Only five simultaneous connections
con Comparatively expensive
con Not so many features for the price

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.

Light Bulb
What internet do I need for streaming HBO Max?

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.

Atlas VPN

Best cheap HBO Max VPN

Simultaneous connections
Unlimited
US download change
20%
Fast US streaming
HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Peacock
Starts at
US$11.99/mth
pro
Pros
pro Very competitive pricing
pro Speedy US streaming
pro Viable free version
con
Cons
con Light on servers
con Windows app issues
con Not many features

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.

Light Bulb
Should I use a VPN for HBO Max?

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.

PureVPN

Best HBO Max VPN for speed

Simultaneous connections
10
US download change
8%
Fast US streaming
HBO, Hulu, Peacock
Starts at
US$12.45/mth
pro
Pros
pro Fast US downloads
pro Works well with most US streamers
pro 10 simultaneous connections
con
Cons
con Not great for Netflix US
con Windows software bugs
con Manual server switching on PC only

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.

NordVPN

Best VPN for US streaming

Simultaneous connections
10
US download change
13%
Fast US streaming
HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Peacock
Starts at
US$12.99
pro
Pros
pro Fast US downloads and streaming
pro Fully featured VPN
pro Easy to use
con
Cons
con Only six simultaneous connections
con Doesn’t compete on price
con Windows app quirks

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.

Windscribe VPN

Best VPN for global streaming

Simultaneous connections
Unlimited
US download change
50%
Fast US streaming
HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Peacock
Starts at
US$9/mth
pro
Pros
pro Best VPN for global streaming
pro Easy to use
pro Solid free version
con
Cons
con Slow US download speeds
con Expensive annual pricing
con Data-sharing headquarters

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:

  • Windscribe
  • ExpressVPN
  • PureVPN
  • NordVPN
  • Atlas VPN
  • Hotspot Shield VPN
  • Proton VPN
  • PrivadoVPN
  • 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).

HBO Max FAQs

No, the HBO Max isn’t available normally in Australia. A lot of HBO content is accessible via Binge or Foxtel services, but you can also use a VPN like ExpressVPN, Atlas VPN, PureVPN, NordVPN or Windscribe VPN to stream HBO Max content in Australia.
It’s becoming increasingly trickier to get HBO Max in Australia. You either need an HBO Max gift card, virtual credit card with US currency or a subscription via Google Play to pay for HBO Max in Australia. After that, use a VPN to sign up for and access HBO Max.
HBO Max costs US$9.99 a month (or US$99.99 annually) for the ad-supported subscription or US$15.99 a month (or $US$149.99 annually) for an ad-free subscription.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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