Who hasn’t heard of HBO Game of Thrones, True Detective, and True Blood – the blockbuster TV shows that have taken viewers in the US by storm, while us Aussies only get to watch trailers, reviews and snippets about these modern television marvels, and enviously at that.
HBOs streaming Australia services such as HBO Go and HBO Now are US exclusive, which means all the goodies are only accessible to US residents. Giving the quality of their recent programming, however, lots of Australians have started wondering how to watch HBO in Australia.
If you’re part of this crowd, read on to find out how to get your HBO subscription Australia and enjoy all the quality content present in their library.
Why can’t you watch HBO in Australia?
Before learning how to get HBO in Australia, let’s understand the background behind this dilemma.
If you’re willing to pay the subscription fee, then why are you greeted by a message stating that this service can only be accessed from the within the United States, each time you open HBO Go’s website from Australia. The answer lies in licensing restrictions.
The shows which air on HBO’s services in the US are not licensed to be aired in Australia by the same service provider. In other words, HBO is restricted to airing these shows only for its US customers. To enforce this restriction, they use the accessing device’s IP address to identify its location in the world.
If it does not lie in the States, HBO blocks access to its online services for the device. Basically, if the service is able to identify your location as being in the land down under, you won’t be able to watch HBO Australia.
What’s the solution for watching HBO online in Australia?
In order to get your HBO Go subscription while residing in Australia, you must resort to some way to spoof your internet location so that the service identifies you as being in the US, even as you’re vacationing in your beach house in Sydney. It is essentially the same principle as using a Smart DNS / VPN Netflix unblocking software to change your location to appear in the US.
A VPN software alters your IP address (with which the HBO Go service identifies your location online) to appear in a different country (in our case the US). This enables you to access HBO Go’s website just as a regular US citizen would.
VPNs also secure your online communications through encryption, so there’s the added benefit of no one being able to monitor what you’re doing – after all, you are technically in a legal gray area since you’re accessing content that isn’t licensed for your country on HBO.
The drawback with VPNs is the overhead – even the best VPN will cause a slight degradation in connection speed because of the encryption it employs, and the way it routes your traffic entirely through its own private tunnel.
If you feel this intolerable and are not that concerned about privacy, you could go for a lighter, less obtrusive alternative: a smart DNS proxy such as Unlocator.
This kind of software will keep your IP address unchanged, rather, you’ll only be altering your DNS values to allow the service (e.g. Unlocator) to serve as the middle man for handling requests between you and HBO’s servers.
This means you’ll be able to access your regular Australian applications/services as usual, and there will be no impact on your connection speeds – only the designated HBO app will be routed through America.
Bottom line, you’ve got to dedicated solutions for accessing the HBO store Australia and signing up for the HBO Go service.
Some good services you can use
Already having gained a reputation for being a stellar VPN for Netflix US streaming in Australia, ExpressVPN is a paid VPN service that utilizes industry standard OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec tunneling standards to route your internet traffic to its endpoints around the world, covering 136 cities in 87 countries.
The service has a minimal impact on internet speeds and is fully compatible with all popular device platforms, so you can access HBO in Australia whether you’re on Android, iOS, Linux, Mac or Windows. The customer support is excellent, and the interface quite intuitive, plus there’s a 30-day money back guarantee on the service.
If you want to enjoy HBO Australia on a gaming console, a streaming device or any other hardware that does not support VPNs, you can use Unlocator Smart DNS.
The service comes with a weeklong free trial for you to test its performance and is complemented with a plethora of setup tutorials showing you exactly how to get HBO access on your favorite device.