I love to binge watch HBO content, and NordVPN is the best at unblocking HBO Max since I live outside of the US.
But, my best VPN may not be yours. So I tested dozens of them and found four other VPNs worth your attention. Each test was based on five key areas:
- The ability to bypass geo-restrictions undetected.
- The reliability of connection speeds to support HD and 4K streaming.
- Compatibility with all devices for flexibility purposes.
- The number of US servers for evenly distributing traffic.
- Security and privacy.
So, if you want some HBO Max action but don’t know which VPN to use, read on for a proper look at the best options.
Top 3 VPNs for HBO Max
Surfshark is the best value for your money, as it packs high-end features at very affordable prices. You get unlimited device connections, and it unblocks HBO Max libraries worldwide. Connection speeds are good enough to support HD/4K streaming without any buffering.
NordVPN has the highest number of US servers. Finading one that’s not crowded isn’t hard. It also unblocks HBO Max outside the US with ease. The pricing is also fair, and the connection speeds are good enough to stream HD content without any buffering issues.
ExpressVPN posted impressive results in the speed tests, making it the best for streaming HD+4K content all day without buffering. It also works well with other streaming platforms and can unblock HBO MAX anywhere. The security protocols are also among the best on this list.
Next, I’ll dive into a detailed review of the five best VPNs for HBO Max, with a focus on speed, support for multiple devices, security, ease of use, and a few other relevant features aimed at making streaming easy and fast.
So strap in and roll with me to the end!
Here Are the 5 Best VPNs for Watching HBO Max
For those in a rush, the following list is a quick preview of the five best VPNs that made the cut:
- NordVPN – Highest Number of US Servers + Great Security
- Surfshark – Unlimited Device Connections + Affordable Prices
- ExpressVPN – Great Speeds + Support for Other Streaming Services
- CyberGhost – Servers Dedicated for Streaming + Multiple Device Compatibility
- PureVPN – Reliable Unblocking Ability + Beginner-Friendly Features
Note that for the speed tests, I used a base internet speed of 5Mbps.
It doesn’t sound like much, but it could handle streaming without issues.
The Best VPNs for HBO Max
NordVPN - Highest Number of US Servers + Great Security
First on the board is NordVPN, one of the most widely used VPNs worldwide. When it comes to streaming HBO Max content, NordVPN excelled in the tests below.
I could log in to HBO Max immediately once NordVPN was active on my computer. This was not the case when I used Cyberghost, where I had to refresh my browser twice before it registered my new virtual IP address.
I also liked NordVPN’s auto-connect feature that allows users to set a country they can automatically connect to every time NordVPN is active.
This saves time and will enable you to pick up from where you left on HBO Max without searching and connecting to a new US server every time.
Now, for those who hate shared IP addresses, NordVPN has a Dedicated IP Address add-on that further reduces the chances of getting blocked from HBO Max.
The only drawback to this amazing feature is the cost.
You’ll have to part with another $70 on top of what you already paid for the VPN subscription.
Still, using a Shared IP won’t stop you from bypassing geo-restrictions around HBO Max. Though, you might get blacklisted due to the “bad neighborhood effect” since you can’t control what other people on the same IP address are doing.
So, if you want to skip the captchas and avoid getting blacklisted by association, then $70 shouldn’t be a problem.
NordVPN may not be as fast as ExpressVPN or Surfshark, but I comfortably watched HD content without buffering, even with my base speeds of 5Mbps. The speeds displayed above are what I got when streaming with NordVPN. There was no change with my usual internet speeds.
The same was replicated on my Android phone and Windows PC.
The quality was crisp, and not once did the connection drop.
If this can work with 5Mbps, I can only imagine the possibilities with higher bandwidth.
People don’t always watch HBO Max content on one device.
If you’re the type to continue your show from the bed where using a laptop is cumbersome, NordVPN has you covered.
You can set it up on your Mac, Windows PC, Android, iOS, and Linux devices. This stretches the convenience to another level, as you aren’t limited to one device and can even stream content while on the move.
But that’s not the end of it. Thanks to the reliable SmartDNS feature, you can stream your movies and shows straight from your game console and Smart TV if you love using the big screen.
Number of US Servers
Since HBO Max is only available in the United States, the number of US servers is very important. The main reason is to avoid overcrowding, which can negatively impact your streaming speeds if everyone from around the globe flocks to the same server.
NordVPN has 1,728 servers in the US, and they’re well–spread in different states. You can either choose a server by region, which is faster, or you can scroll through the server list where they’re assigned random numbers.
Security and Privacy
HBO Max blacklists many VPNs, so the last thing you want is to be caught using a VPN due to unreliable security protocols and weak IP masking.
Fortunately, that’s an area where NordVPN excels more than some alternatives on this list.
Your privacy is secured no matter the device you’re using to watch your HBO shows and movies. This is made possible by AES 256 bit encryption that will cover your tracks, making it hard for anyone to figure out your activities.
NordVPN isn’t the most expensive option on this list, but neither is it the cheapest. It costs less than ExpressVPN but slightly more than CyberGhost, Surfshark, and PureVPN.
However, considering the many features that make streaming HBO Max smooth, it’s a small price to pay. You can still use it to access other streaming platforms like Disney Plus, Netflix, or Hulu without adding another dime.
You can also get your hands on fantastic discounts right here!
Surfshark - Unlimited Device Connections + Affordable Prices
Next is Surfshark, an HBO Max VPN with high connection speeds, support for multiple devices, and surprisingly affordable prices.
Surfshark performed well enough in the test to book a slot on this list.
The following is a breakdown of how it performed in each of the key areas.
Like the other VPNs on my list, Surfshark was very adept at unblocking HBO Max. It didn’t take long to switch to the virtual VPN, either.
I was scrolling through the list of TV shows and movies with a single browser refresh.
Unlike NordVPN, which has a Dedicated IP add-on, Surfshark has free Static IP servers.
It doesn’t allocate you a dedicated IP; you still share the IP address with others.
But you get to keep using that IP every time you connect to the internet through Surfshark.
This is better than having to play guesswork with each new IP address every time you log in to stream content on HBO Max.
Surfshark was fast. It managed to edge out NordVPN, though it was still slower than ExpressVPN.
There was no buffering of any kind as I streamed Peacemaker on HBO Max. There was no significant change between my base internet speeds and what Surfshark posted.
It could handle both HD and 4K content without any issue from my end.
This is one area where Surfshark blows the rest out of the water.
On top of being compatible with almost every streaming device you can think of, Surfshark allows for multiple device connections using the same account.
In a nutshell, you can set up as many simultaneous connections across multiple devices as you want. This is handy when you want to share HBO Max logins with other people, as they can use the same VPN connection for streaming.
This places it above NordVPN (6 devices), ExpressVPN (5 devices), CyberGhost (7 devices), and PureVPN (10 devices).
At the same time, Surfshark is compatible with macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Smart TV, game consoles, among many others.
You can activate the Smart DNS feature for those who wish to watch HBO Max via their Smart TVs.
Number of US Servers
Surfshark has over 600 servers spread across 23 cities in the United States.
This may be way below what NordVPN packs, but it’s more than enough to take care of your needs. Finding a server that’s not crowded shouldn’t be hard.
Once you locate the server that works best for you, you can favorite it for quick access.
Security and Privacy
Surshark doesn’t hold back on the security and the privacy front.
It’s equipped with robust AES 256-bit encryption that will keep you protected when you gallivant around HBO Max.
Surfshark is the 2nd cheapest option in this article, and that should give you reason enough to go for it.
But what makes it a good bargain is the number of features users get. There’s not much separating it from ExpressVPN, despite the latter costing almost 4 times more.
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ExpressVPN - Fastest VPN + Works Well With Other Streaming Platforms
ExpressVPN would be sitting at the top if this review was all about speed.
Not that the gap between ExpressVPN and the rest was that huge, but it posted the best connection speeds in the tests. But that’s not the only thing earning it third.
The following are things that make ExpressVPN a good fit for streaming HBO Max content.
I experienced no problem unblocking HBO Max with ExpressVPN.
It was up and running within seconds of choosing a server, and that’s the little thing that makes ExpressVPN stand out from many others.
Unlike NordVPN (Dedicated IP) and Surfshark (Static IP), ExpressVPN doesn’t have either.
Based on one of the FAQs on its site, the explanation for this is that ExpressVPN regularly rotates its IP addresses, connecting you to the best one available when you log in.
At the same time, you can set the VPN to automatically connect to the last server, thus saving you time and allowing you to quickly pick up a TV show you were previously watching.
ExpressVPN had the best speeds, and streaming HBO Max was smooth without buffering or stuttering.
It didn’t matter whether it was HD or 4K; the shows and movies simply picked up from where I left and continued streaming like a breeze.
The amazing speeds weren’t limited to one device, either.
Every platform I used, be it my usual MacBook, Android phone, or the smart TV, experienced zero buffering, no matter how hard I pushed them.
I expect the experience to be even better for users with faster base internet speeds.
Besides the steller connection speeds, ExpressVPN also stands out for its compatibility with almost every media player you can think of.
It actually supports the highest number of apps and devices, and this further makes it ideal for use with other streaming services like Disney Plus, Netflix, BBC, Hulu, and more.
For those who want access to all the streaming platforms and require one VPN to rule them all, ExpressVPN is your precious and most valuable companion.
You don’t have to worry about missing your favorite shows when you spend some nights away from your house.
Simply carry your tablet or phone, install the corresponding ExpressVPN app, grab some popcorn, and enjoy whatever you want. Just make sure the internet connection you’re using is stable, and the rest will take care of itself.
Number of US Servers
ExpressVPN has a dismal number of servers in the United States, just a little north of 20. This is why ExpressVPN didn’t take the top spot despite its blazing speeds.
This is a drop in the ocean compared to what NordVPN and Surfshark have, with both costing way less.
However, this did not impact the streaming speeds in any significant way.
I chose servers at random, and not once did the connection speeds drop.
I also didn’t experience any buffering.
Either server crowding isn’t that widespread for ExpressVPN users, or the speeds are fast enough to override that.
Security and Privacy
ExpressVPN doesn’t lack on the security and privacy front.
For starters, it has a robust encryption setup that encrypts your online traffic between the servers you’re connecting to and the device you’re using.
The kind of peace you need to watch your shows without worrying about privacy.
ExpressVPN’s biggest Achilles heel is its pricing plans.
It’s by far the priciest, and this can be a little discouraging for people looking for something affordable to grant them access to HBO Max content.
It’s almost 4 times costlier than Surfshark and twice costlier than NordVPN, all of which offer more or a little less the same features needed to exploit HBO Max fully.
You can take advantage of incredible discounts right here if ExpressVPN meets your HBO Max needs.
CyberGhost - Servers Dedicated for Streaming + Multiple Device Compatibility
Most, if not all, VPNs can be used to stream content on platforms like HBO Max.
But Cyberghost goes a step further by having servers dedicated to streaming media.
Combine that with decent connection speeds, excellent security features, and the fact it’s one of the most lightweight VPNs around, and you have the perfect tool for enjoying shows and movies on HBO Max.
But how does it hold up in all the main key areas?
CyberGhost was able to work around the IP bans by HBO Max without any hitch or glitch. It’s a lightweight VPN that immediately connected to a US server within seconds of launching it.
But that’s not even the most fantastic part.
CyberGhost doesn’t just have servers dedicated to streaming media from various platforms. It has a server dedicated to HBO Max itself.
This feature alone makes it a good option for new users who have never used a VPN to stream blocked services.
All they need to do is tap the server, and they’re in.
The connection speeds were not as incredible as ExpressVPN and NordVPN, but they were more than enough to stream HD HBO movies and shows without buffering of any kind.
Considering the dedicated streaming feature, I expected it to be faster, but I can’t say it underperformed.
CyberGhost is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and other devices like Amazon Fire, Routers, Game consoles, and more.
You can comfortably stream your favorite HBO Max shows even when you’re on the move; you just have to ensure that the internet connection is stable.
At the same time, it has a Smart DNS feature that allows you to stream content on any Smart TV.
Switching up from watching movies and shows on your mobile phone or laptop to a large screen is a convenience anyone would want.
Number of US Servers
CyberGhost has 1,367 servers in the United States.
That puts it third on this list after NordVPN and PureVPN and ahead of Surfshark.
It edges out ExpressVPN many times over, meaning the chances of finding a server that doesn’t have a lot of traffic is a lot easier.
And considering how dismal the speeds are, using a server with fewer people could improve the overall experience.
The servers are well grouped to make it easier for users to find what they want.
You have a button for All Servers, For Downloading, and For Streaming.
Moreover, you can type in the name of a country in the search bar to find any service you need.
Security and Privacy
CyberGhost boasts excellent security features that range from military-grade encryption, IP masking, a kill switch to a Block DNS feature that deals with ads, malware and trackers.
And like NordVPN, CyberGhost has a Dedicated IP address add-on for those who don’t fancy sharing virtual addresses.
However, it will cost you an additional $5/month, which is still slightly cheaper than what NordVPN offers.
A shared IP still works alright as far as the basic needs of streaming shows and movies on HBO Max go.
But if you really value your privacy and would rather not leave anything to chance, this is a small price to pay.
Cyberghost has amazing price plans within the affordable range of anyone looking for a budget VPN and has a 45-day money-back guarantee.
The only issues with CyberGhost are the speeds and the additional cost for a dedicated IP address.
Make sure you check out great discount deals here.
PureVPN - Reliable Unblocking Ability + Beginner-Friendly Features
Last on the list is PureVPN. It isn’t heavy in terms of connection speeds or the number of US-based servers, but as far as streaming HBO Max goes, PureVPN handled itself very well.
The following is an analysis of how it performed across the key areas.
Like the other alternatives on this list, PureVPN easily got around the HBO Max IP restrictions on my first attempt. The VPN has a clean user interface with all the commands displayed in order.
So navigation shouldn’t be a problem, even for new users.
In terms of simplicity, PureVPN is much closer to CyberGhost, as it is lightweight with very minimal delays when selecting options during navigation.
PureVPN allows users to set up Auto-connection, where you can set the best server, which the service selects every time you power on your computer, phone, or any other device you may be using to access HBO Max content.
This makes things easier and saves time.
Pure VPN performed well in terms of speed but was still lagging behind my top three options.
However, not once did I experience any buffering when watching different shows during the test.
When combined with the right server and higher internet bandwidth, I have no doubt you could push the speeds a lot higher than this.
PureVPN has support for every device you can use for streaming content on HBOMax.
This includes macOS, Windows PC, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, Firestick TV, Kodi, DDWRT applet, Playstation, Raspberry Pi, and many others.
Furthermore, PureVPN has extensive support for a host of streaming platforms besides HBO Max.
These include Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and even live coverage channels like ESPN and Sky Sports, to mention a few.
At the same time, PureVPN can support up to 10 device connections, the second-highest on this list after Surfshark.
This allows you to set up different devices to stream different things using the same account.
Convenient for those who love sharing their HBO Max logins with their friends and families.
Number of US Servers
PureVPN has about 1424 servers in the US, spread out in 13 states.
That’s the second-highest after NordVPN and slightly higher than CyberGhost.
Although it lacks servers dedicated to streaming like CyberGhost, finding a reliable server that’s not too crowded isn’t hard.
I tried random servers, and there was no connectivity issue, and neither did I deal with any buffering.
The locations can be sorted by ping values, which can give you a clear idea of which servers are more reliable for streaming HBO Max. You only need to sort them in any order to narrow down your search and save yourself searching time.
Security and Privacy
PureVPN is serious about protecting users. It’s equipped with 256-bit encryption that protects your data as you stream HBO Max.
It also comes with a kill switch that disables everything the moment your VPN connection drops. You also get DNS leak protection that works for all the devices you choose to connect.
There are other paid add-ons you can purchase to further enhance your security. This includes a Dedicated IP address, Port Forwarding, and DDoS Protection. Each of these is bought separately from the regular subscription.
PureVPN is among the cheapest options on this list, with very affordable price plans. You can further take advantage of the amazing discounts offered here.
The only areas I felt needed improvements were the connection speeds and the added costs of add-ons.
Factors To Consider When Choosing the Best VPN for HBO Max
To help you make a better buying decision of the 5 best VPNs for HBO Max reviewed above, here is a quick buying guide that you can use as a reference when making the final decision:
- Connection Speeds – You need high speeds to stream HD and 4K content on HBO Max and avoid constant buffering or interruptions. ExpressVPN is the fastest option but if the price tag is too much for you, look at NordVPN and Surfshark. Both have capable speeds that can take care of your HBO Max streaming needs.
- Global Access – HBO Max is very popular in and out of the USA, thanks to high-quality content that’s equally entertaining. To access this, you need a VPN that can be used from all the major parts of the world. Every VPN we discussed has that capability. To make the distinction on how widespread each is, take a look at the number of servers and the countries they’re distributed in. The more the servers, the higher the reliability when it comes to HBO Max.
- Security and Privacy – You need to be protected when streaming HBO Max content. Being online opens you to all kinds of threats like phishing, hacking, malware attacks, among many others. It would help if you had a VPN with robust encryption and reliable IP masking abilities. Furthermore, go for a VPN with emergency kill switches and other added safety features like Dedicated IP addresses and DNS leak protection.
- Support for Other Streaming Platforms: HBO Max isn’t the only streaming platform that may require a VPN. At some point, you may need to add other streaming services to your routine. For this reason, subscribe to a VPN service you can use to access these extra platforms. Most VPNs have annual price plans, and it would serve you better to go for one that’s flexible enough to use with other platforms like Netflix, Disney Plus, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and others.
- Multi-Device Support – Streaming shows and movies shouldn’t be limited to one device. You should be able to watch HBO Max content on your laptop, mobile phone, tablet, and even your smart TV. To make this possible, go for a VPN that can be used on multiple devices. This increases flexibility and allows you to watch your favorite shows when you’re on the move.
How To Create and Pay For an HBO Account Outside the US?
You can’t access the HBO Max page outside of the US without a VPN.
You need a US billing address and credit card. It would be best to have a premium VPN to unblock HBO Max. The following is the complete guide on how to create and pay for an HBO Max account outside of the US:
- Subscribe and Download NordVPN on your preferred device and launch it.
- Choose a server in the US and let the VPN run in the background.
- Open your preferred browser and open the official HBO Max website.
- Register for an HBO Max account by filling out the relevant information using an email address.
- If you’re going through the HBO Max website, you can only pay using your card. If you want to use PayPal, Google Play Credit, or Apple Store Credit, then you’ll have to use the official HBO Max app on your mobile phone or smart TV app.
- Once you’re registered and the payment confirmed, you’re free to enjoy all shows from any device that has an active NordVPN subscription. Always remember to launch NordVPN first before opening HBO Max.
You can create a US billing address with Shipito and use that for all your online transactions, like buying an HBO Max subscription.
- Start by opening a Shipito account to set up a valid US address.
- Launch NordVPN and choose any server.
- Go to HBO Max and set up an account using a ZipCode that Shipito generated for you in the signup process earlier.
- Now go to your PayPal (or set up one if you don’t have an account yet).
- Install TextMe and set up an account using the same details from the Shipito account. This includes the same state, number, and ZipCode. You will be charged about $2 for this.
- Key in the TextMe number into PayPal for verification. In the registration form that appears, enter the PayPal email address and the Shipito address.
- Ensure you have some funds in your PayPal account, a minimum of $20. Once you’re done with this process, you’re ready to subscribe to any US-only services like HBO Max without any problem.
You can use any reliable VPN to access HBO Max and HBO Max free trial in Australia. You’ll need a VPN with sufficient US servers, high connectivity speeds, great security and privacy features, and support for multiple devices to get the most out of your HBO Max subscription.
Free VPNs are not good for HBO Max. They’re not only insecure but also extremely slow. Furthermore, there are no essential features like IP masking, and the chances of your account getting blocked or permanently banned are high.
Consider using a reliable VPN like Surfshark with very affordable price plans that fit your budget.
ISPs have a tendency to throttle speeds when you stream high-quality content for too long. However, with a VPN at play, it becomes harder for ISPs to detect what you’re up to; therefore, they can’t do anything to your speeds.
The streaming quality and speeds won’t be affected when you switch to a reliable VPN. If there’s any change, it’s never that significant to impact your essential HBO Max needs.
There you have it. You’re now better informed when it comes to using VPNs to stream HBO Max content. Each VPN I reviewed here has its strengths and drawbacks, and the ultimate choice rests on your shoulders.
NordVPN remains my number one recommendation despite stiff competition from the other four alternatives.
You can make use of amazing discounts being offered right now to save some more.
Get going before the offer runs out and start watching HBO Max!