For many Australians, gaining access to HBO's content has always come with a fair share of problems. For starters, the HBO Now streaming service isn't officially available here, leaving Foxtel as the only legitimate way for Aussies to watch shows like Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Westworld, True Detective and more.
Thankfully, Foxtel has now made it a lot easier to stream HBO shows through its Foxtel Now streaming service, and if you're willing to sign up for a full Foxtel cable/satellite package, you can watch them on TV as they air or let the Foxtel iQ4 box automatically record each new episode for you.
Foxtel iQ4 (Drama + Movies + Entertainment) | $49*/mth
For a limited time, Foxtel is offering its Foxtel iQ4 with Drama, Movies and Entertainment HD packages for only $49 per month on a 12 month plan. That's down from the usual price of $79 per month. *Includes discounted $50 box fee & $100 standard install.
Foxtel Now (Essentials package) | $25/mth
The cheapest way to access HBO's shows via Foxtel is by subscribing to the Foxtel Now service's Essentials package. This gives you access to the Pop pack, which includes Game of Thrones and a number of other HBO shows like Westworld, Barry, The Wire and much more. The package is $25 per month after a 10-day free trial period.
While Foxtel Now is by far the easier route, if you've got some technical savvy and are willing to put in the extra effort, there are ways of accessing the actual HBO Now service. So if you're dead keen on having access to HBO full content library without resorting to piracy, here's a quick rundown of the process.
1) Get a VPN
To access content that's blocked in Australia like HBO Now, you'll need to subscribe to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. This is used to mask your real location, re-routing your online traffic through servers on the other side of the world to make it seem like you're based in a different country entirely.
In the case of HBO Now, using a VPN to change your location to the United States will allow you to stream the service from wherever you happen to be – so long as you have access to a working HBO Now account.
Following instructions from the VPN service of your choice, you should be able to apply these settings to your whole home network or to the device you plan to watch from.
Recently, TechRadar named ExpressVPN the best VPN service of 2019. Its speed, security and simplicity makes it an ideal choice for streaming HBO Now in Australia. You can sign up to ExpressVPN or find out more about it below.
You can tell that we really rate ExpressVPN – it's the VPN we'd choose if we were getting one! And the good news is that TechRadar readers can get a little perk, too. ExpressVPN has agreed to give readers three months extra free when you sign up for a 12-month sub. Here are the available plans and prices in full:
2) Buy HBO Now gift cards
The second hurdle you'll need to overcome in your quest to access HBO Now from Australia is the fact that the service will not accept non-US credit cards during signup. There is, however, a fairly simple workaround to this problem.
Buying HBO Now gift cards from the US will allow you to pay for the service without the use of a credit card. Admittedly, you can't just walk into your local Coles and buy these cards – you'll need to purchase these online from a website like eGifter, which sells $30, $60 and $90 gift cards. We haven’t had a chance to try this website for ourselves, so be aware that purchasing these is done entirely at your own risk.
Of course, you'll need to continually purchase these cards if you want to keep your HBO Now subscription going for the foreseeable future – something that may prove inconvenient going forward.
3) Redeem HBO Now gift card
In order to redeem your newly-acquired HBO Now gift card, head over to the service's gift card activation web page. Note that this can only be accessed if you're using a VPN and you've set your location to the US.
During the activation process, you will be asked to enter both a state or territory and a matching ZIP code. You can easily find this information by visiting UnitedStatesZipCodes.org.
If you've done all of the above correctly, you should then be able to commence streaming HBO Now's entire content library from Australia.
Admittedly, that's a fair amount of effort to go through to watch the remaining episodes of Game of Thrones' final season. Before you set off on your quest to access HBO Now in Australia, you'll want to make sure the effort is worthwhile. Unless you've got your heart set on watching the entire HBO Now content library, you may find that signing up to Foxtel Now is a wiser option in the long run – and you can cancel that subscription at any time if you find you no longer use it.
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Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible.
He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.