Following the success that Netflix has enjoyed, HBO has jumped into the contest with digital content services of their own – HBO Go and HBO Now.
HBO Go is available exclusively to those who have a cable subscription with HBO, whereas HBO Now can be subscribed to independently.
The best thing about these services is that they feature the same blockbuster TV show exclusives (e.g. Game of Thrones and Westworld) that HBO’s cable channel does.
If you’re tired of browsing through suspicious Game of Thrones watch online websites that pop up a dozen ad windows whenever you click somewhere, then these official streaming services are the only feasible solution.
The only problem is that, for licensing reasons, these services are not available outside the US. However, HBO streaming New Zealand is still possible, provided you’re willing to take some extra steps.
How to get HBO in New Zealand?
HBO enforces the license restriction by blocking out devices with an IP address that is not from the US. So to be able to access their services from New Zealand, you’ll have to mask your device’s IP and make it appear as if it is from the United States.
You can do this with either a SmartDNS proxy or a VPN service. The former will selectively route your traffic through the US using custom DNS values, whereas the latter will create a private tunnel that will route all of your device’s inbound/outbound traffic via a server endpoint located in the US.
Ultimately, both will make it appear, as far as HBO is concerned, that your device has a US IP address. A VPN has the added benefit of encryption, but that kind of security isn’t necessary for just streaming digital content.
ExpressVPN is a decent option if you want to take the VPN route, based on its connection speed, server selection, and detailed support.
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how you can sign up for HBO Now:
– Sign up for a US iTunes account – you’ll need to sign out of your current New Zealand based iTunes account first, though, and then change the device region to the US.
– Using a new email account, create the US based iTunes account. Provide a US based payment method such as a PayPal account from the US, or an AE card. If you don’t have such a method on hand, choose none.
– Give a fake US address during the sign-up process (you can get it readily for free from some websites).
– You’ll need to verify the new account by clicking on the link in the verification email you receive.
– Sign in with your new US iTunes account, and then get the HBO Now app from the American store.
– After installation, launch the app and sign up for an HBO Now account – but only after you have started up the VPN / Smart DNS first and selected your location as the US.
– You can now enjoy HBO New Zealand – but the VPN / Smart DNS service must be active throughout your streaming session.
You can use iTunes gift vouchers (available from 3rd party retailers online) to pay for the HBO Now subscription if you don’t have a valid US-based payment method.