How to Watch HBO in NZ

hbo nz

Lovers of great entertainment are often frustrated at the geographical restrictions imposed by service providers like HBO, Netflix and other video streaming sites. 

These platforms limit their content for specific countries, making it annoying for Kiwis that want to watch American series.

So if you want to watch HBO in New Zealand, your best bet is to use a VPN that makes it appear as if you’re located in the US. In this article, we’ll inform you on how to watch HBO in NZ, including:

  • Two options for watching HBO in NZ
  • What are VPNs?
  • How do VPNs work for HBO NZ streaming?
  • How to choose the best VPN to access HBO in NZ
  • The best VPNs to watch HBO in NZ
  • How to download HBO Max in NZ
  • FAQs
hbo nz guide

Two Options for Watching HBO in NZ

HBO offers a streaming service called HBO Max that allows users to access a vast library of HBO TV-shows and movies on demand. HBO Max offers tons of fabulous entertainment and titles include Game of Thrones, Chernobyl, and The Young Pope, among hundreds of other series.

However, this service is only available in the US and cannot be accessed from New Zealand unless you use a VPN. So, the first option you have for watching HBO inside the country is to use a VPN service to unlock HBO Max, but more on that down below.

The other alternative is to subscribe to Sky network since they are the ones who have the rights to HBO content in NZ. While a Sky subscription gives you access to HBO Now NZ TV-shows, as well as Prime, Bravo, and other popular TV-channels, it’s also much pricier than an HBO Max subscription.

At the time of writing, the cheapest monthly subscription is $25.99 for the Sky Starter pack that allows you to watch HBO shows through their Sky Go streaming service. 

Due to the rather hefty price, we don’t recommend this option if you only want to access HBO content. However, if you’re also interested in additional channels such as BBC and ESPN, it might be a good alternative.

Note that watching BBC requires a Sky Entertainment subscription, and for ESPN content, you need the Sky Sports plan, and these plans are pricier than the standard Sky Starter pack.

What are VPNs?

So now that we’ve established that getting a VPN is the best way to watch HBO in NZ, let’s look into what a VPN actually is.

VPNs (virtual private networks) provide internet users safe browsing privacy on a secure internet connection by routing your IP connection through private servers. The software masks your IP address and location and can make it appear as if it’s in a different country to the one you’re in.

High levels of encryption keep your data, files on your devices, and internet browsing activity safe from prying eyes, hackers, trackers, and internet service providers.

The VPN software application allows you to connect to different geographical servers while masking your IP address and location. Watching United States content on HBO Max in NZ, for example, becomes easy as the subscription service you are using will grant you access to content based on the country your VPN is set to use.

Subscription services will identify the IP address based on your VPN settings, allowing you to access your selected country’s content. 

VPNs encrypt all data so users can enjoy a secure link between their device and their chosen server. This means you can browse content in any desired country, all from the same IP address, without restrictions.

To summarize, your VPN software will do the following:

  • Mask your IP address by routing traffic through a private server.
  • Securely and instantly encrypt your browsing activity.
  • Allow access to content with no geographical restrictions.
  • Allow users to stream videos and visit websites from almost any country.
  • Offer secure shopping and device data protection while online.
  • Keep you safe while using public internet cafes and WiFi hotspots.

How Do VPNs Work for HBO NZ Streaming?

Basically, when it comes to watching HBO from New Zealand, VPN allows users to stream HBO Max content without the risk of being geo-blocked, tracked or having their accounts compromised. This is because your IP address appears as it’s in a country of your choice—in this case, the US—instead of your New Zealand IP address.

How To Watch HBO Max Through a VPN

Once you have signed up for your VPN service, follow the simple instructions to install the software, and then login with your chosen client details. You will find a list of servers in different countries to choose from, allowing you to browse the internet or video stream from that country.

Watching HBO MAX in the United States is easy with your VPN by choosing the North American server and then logging into your HBO account. The video streaming platform will pick up your IP address as being a US resident and deliver the content accordingly.

How To Choose the Best VPN To Access HBO Max in NZ

Some important features to look out for in a quality VPN service should include:

  • Fully encrypted private file-sharing protocol.
  • No data logging.
  • Several servers in many countries, the more, the better.
  • Remote access for all your connectivity devices.
  • Affordability to suit your budget.
  • Offers high-speed servers for uninterrupted streaming.

Some cons of using a VPN are that they may slow down internet connectivity and even your HBO streaming. 

A workaround for slow speeds would be to choose a closer server while still giving you the access you need. For example, selecting a server situated in Los Angeles or Phoenix may give better streaming than one based in New York. 

With fibre, high-speed satellite internet, and DSL, the slow down may be minimal and hardly noticeable, but it could be a little more prominent with slower connections.

VPNs with features that indicate their server locations in different countries offer the best results for HBO Max NZ or your video streaming.

Investigating Free Versus Paid VPN Plans

Free VPNs may initially be a great solution to see how they function and how they will benefit you, particularly if you are cash-strapped.  However, the downsides of a free VPN are like any free software. They’ll come with limitations such as data caps, advertising pop-ups, and perhaps have certain geographic restrictions. 

These free options may help protect your browsing usage and provide safety for laptops and smartphone data for average internet users, but for full HBO Max streaming in NZ, free VPNs are impractical at best.

Paid VPN software is the sensible go-to option for achieving enhanced privacy and full data protection. This is essential for those passionate about streaming live entertainment. Full versions provide unlimited data for streaming videos and internet browsing in any geographical location you set them to when connecting.

The Best VPNs To Watch HBO in NZ

VPNs that are perfect for streaming HBO in NZ include NordVPN, ExpressVPN and Surfshark. These reputable services offer quality, value for money, and all the features you need to unlock geographical restrictions on any entertainment platforms you are currently subscribed to.



NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs in the world. The most prominent feature of this brand is the number of servers they have: over 5,400 located in over 60 countries. This means that you can get speedy connections and access websites from basically any country in the world, including HBO Max in the US.

NordVPN offers incredibly speedy internet through their US servers, and users report watching streaming sites on HD quality without much, if any, buffering.

Also, they keep strict no data log policies and use military-grade AES-256 encryption that’s considered the best in the industry. You can connect up to six devices simultaneously to their VPN as well.

The only real downside with this VPN is the price. It doesn’t offer a free version, and users have to pay 11.95 USD a month if they don’t want to sign up for a fixed period. However, if you’re prepared to pay for two years upfront, the price will only be 3.71 USD per month.



ExpressVPN has more than 3000 servers in over 94 countries. Thus, they have fewer servers than NordVPN, but these are located in many different countries.

Express is seen as one of the faster VPN providers, and you can stream HBO Max without much lagging. Another great feature is the unlimited bandwidth which means there’s no data cap on how many episodes of The Sopranos you can stream each month.

Your data is safe from third parties with ExpressVPN since they don’t keep logs on user browsing activity and use top-of-the-line AES-256 encryption.

However, these features come at the price of 12.95 USD per month, which isn’t the cheapest. If you sign up and pay for the service 1.5 years upfront, you pay about 6.67 USD a month. This is even pricier than NordVPN.



If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, Surfshark is a good value choice. They have 1700+ servers in 63 countries, which is less than NordVPN and ExpressVPN. This means that they also have slower connection speeds which might impact your streaming experience.

However, the speed is definitely acceptable, and Surfshark quickly gives you access to HBO Max with ease. They also keep no-log policies and use advanced AES-256 encryption.

In terms of pricing, you pay only 2.49 USD a month if you pay for two years in advance, which is cheap compared to other brands. The pay each month option leaves you with a 12.95 USD bill.

How To Download HBO Max In NZ

While many streaming sites don’t block foreign cards or non-US iTunes accounts from downloading and subscribing to their services, HBO Max does. If you don’t have an American credit card, you need to sign up for a US iTunes account to create an HBO Max account.

How To Sign Up for an American iTunes Account

First, you need to have a VPN installed. After downloading your favorite one, follow these steps.

  1. Sign out of your NZ iTunes account.
  2. Change your region to the US through your VPN and start to sign up for a new account. You will need a new email for this.
  3. Use an American payment method such as American Express or US Paypal that you can access through a VPN as well.
  4. Fill in the required information and use a fake US address, which you can get by a simple online search.
  5. Click the link sent to your email to verify your new account.
  6. Download the HBO Max app through the American iTunes store.

For Android Users

The process is the same as for iPhone-users except that you use Google Play Store instead of iTunes. Just log out of your old account, change your location to the US through your VPN and create a US account for Google Play Store. Then download HBO Max.


What About the Legality of VPNs?

While investigating your VPN, you will discover that many service providers clearly show a list of countries where using this software is outlawed for users. In New Zealand, using VPN software is legal and can be used for privacy and safety without worry. Furthermore, using a VPN makes a user extremely difficult to trace and, in most cases, is used for harmless purposes.

Something to further be aware of while using a VPN is that it’s still prohibited to access illegal online content.

What are the Benefits of Using a VPN for Privacy and Safe Connectivity?

Privacy has become a huge issue for internet users with any third parties privy to where you live by using IP addresses tracking websites you visit.  Most users aren’t aware that internet service providers know what websites you visit and the details of all your internet activities.

This is just the tip of the iceberg because skilled hackers can also access personal data and files on your device over a standard internet connection. Hackers are becoming masters at accessing personal information, and they could access your banking information and other private files, which is disastrous for anyone.

A quality VPN allows users to exchange information with any global or even local connection using a fully encrypted server that facilitates masking your IP address and online activities from prying eyes. While you are logged onto your VPN provider service, the data on your devices is entirely secure, and with data scrambling on its servers, it ensures your internet activity is safe. 

Are VPNs Safe for HBO Max Video Streaming?

Perhaps you may have read or heard horror stories of users having their subscription services blocked while using this software, especially using a VPN to stream videos and access content from all over the world without limitations.  

The facts are that a VPN is simply a tool that masks your IP address. The server you have chosen after logging in will deliver the content relevant to its location.

For example, subscribers to Netflix in normal cases would only be able to view shows chosen explicitly for their country—delivered to the IP address the services pick up. 

However, should you have logged into your VPN using North America, the Netflix platform will see your IP address as a United States user and thus deliver relevant content accordingly.

While online, you will want the data on your device to be secure. This software is the perfect solution for doing so.  

The Takeaway

Using VPNs is the best way to watch HBO in NZ. For lovers of great entertainment, a VPN opens up many doors for video streaming on platforms you are subscribed to, including HBO Max.

It is possible to enjoy viewing HBO NZ streaming completely guilt-free, safe, and in total privacy, ensuring you always get maximum entertainment value no matter where you live. 

Find the perfect VPN with confidence and enjoy a safe, private experience for all your online activities, and enjoy online video entertainment to the maximum.

Note: All prices were correct at time of writing.