With the rise in popularity that Netflix has enjoyed, it would only be a matter of time before many other services joined the party.
One of the biggest names to do this is HBO who released their own offerings in the form of HBO Go and HBO Now.
HBO Go is exclusive to viewers who have cable subscriptions, so here we will be focusing on how to watch HBO Now in New Zealand because this can be signed up for as an independent service.
Some of the cool features that come with HBO Now is that it offers exactly the same exceptional TV shows that the HBO cable channel provides.
If there was a time to sign up for this service, then it is now because there isn’t just great TV over the Christmas period, but it will soon be time for HBO Game of Thrones to grace the channel again.
This is the last installment, so watching this in NZ after the event and there will be plenty of spoilers floating around.
There is more good news, aside from the wealth of content you can access; there is a 7-day free trial on the ‘no TV package’.
This gives you access to unlimited TV series and movies, you can stream onto multiple devices, and you can cancel at any time.
What to watch on HBO
The frustrating part of watching HBO Now in NZ is that the service is geo-blocked, and is only available in the United States.
This might make it appear the effort isn’t worth it, but there is a simple workaround, and this includes using the services of a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
With one of these, it is easy to access HBO in New Zealand following a few simple steps that we will cover shortly.
For now, we should take a look at the best HBO series you can look forward to watching.
The Night of
This highly acclaimed series takes a look at the life of a man who spends the night partying with a woman who he met, he wakes up to find her stabbed to death at her side and is subsequently charged with her murder.
One of the older shows, but highly rated. Treme takes a look at the lives of residents who are trying to rebuild their lives after Hurricane Katrina. With four seasons, there is some gripping viewing going on.
With Christopher Eccleston as one of the lead actors, you are guaranteed some great TV, and this doesn’t disappoint.
A strange event that happened in a New York community leaves the lives of ‘the leftovers’ trying to continue their lives while coming to terms with what happened.
One of the best cop shows ever made needs no introduction. This show takes a look at the Baltimore drug seen from both sides of the fence. This is gritty TV at its best.
New York City in the 70’s and 80’s when porn and prostitution were at their height. Who could ask for more in a TV show?
For sci-fi fans, this is must-see TV. Based on the classic movie, it is thrilling TV and not to be missed.
Big Little Lies
With some prominent named actresses, this show is full of intrigue. What seems to be regular lives of three first graders mothers slowly unravels to some mysterious murdering going on.
The Young Pope
With only one season under its belt. The Young Pope is right up to date from last year. This drama starring the gorgeous looking Jude Law is sure to have the female HBO NZ viewing population glued to their seats.
This is only a snapshot of what is available, and now it is time to see how getting on HBO can be quick and easy with following two sets of simple steps.
How to get HBO Now in New Zealand
Unlike many other streaming services, HBO Now isn’t only geo-blocked to users outside of the USA. But signing up for the service requires users to look as if they are in the USA because it needs a US iTunes account.
All of the top VPN providers will allow you to do this set of steps, but as you will see shortly, not all VPN’s are equal and what they offer, or can access can vary quite significantly.
Signing up for your American iTunes account
Note: These steps need to be completed once you have signed up for a VPN service.
- To do this, you need to sign out a local iTunes account if you have one, and then in the new sign up procedure change your region to the US.
- You need to use a new email address for the US-based account
- When asked for the payment method. Supply one which is US based (e.g., American Express or US PayPal), or choose the option for none.
- Fill in the details, and add a bogus US postal address (these can easily be acquired from several websites).
- When asked to verify your account, click on the supplied link in the verification email.
- Now log in with your US-based iTunes account, and then download the HBO app from the US store.
Note: iTunes gift certificates can be used to pay for your HBO Now subscription. These are available from third-party retailers.
These steps might appear awkward, but unfortunately, this is the only way HBO streaming New Zealand TV lovers can use to gain access.
Once it is done, it is out of the way and never needs to be done again. Also, there might be other instances where having access to a US iTunes account is beneficial.
Choosing the best VPN for HBO Now
Selecting a VPN service should be easy, because there are so many in the marketplace. However, they aren’t all created equal, and this can make the decision all the more complicated. Here’s an overview you can use to help make your choice.
|Based in 5-eyes||Y||N||N|
|Zero logging||Questionable||Yes, but website trackers used||Y|
|Fast speeds to NZ||Slow||Average and sessions limited to 3-hours||Very fast|
|Access Netflix||On & off working||Y||Y|
|30-Day Money back Guarantee||N||45 days offered||Y|
|Customer support response||Slow||Average 24/7 support not yet working||Fast|
|Ease of use||Acceptable||Easy||Very Easy|
|Access Hulu Plus||NO||YES||YES|
When you look at the table above, you can clearly see which is the best option for accessing Hulu in New Zealand.
Other plus points are it can access not only the US Netflix but also lots of other streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, etc.
Other benefits of a good VPN provider are high levels of security, no connection throttling for ISP’s. No personal data retained by an ISP provider.
Hackers can’t access your home network. Your IP address is always hidden so no one can trace a connection back to your location. VPN’s will basically make all of your home or device connections safe from anyone who wishes to take advantage of knowing more about you.
Even ads and malware can be prevented by these VPN services which is never a bad thing.
Now, with this in mind, it is time to see how to get a show on HBO Now.
Using the above table for reference, we will use ExpressVPN because it offers the best viewing experience and the fastest speeds.
Signing up to this top tier VPN provider couldn’t be easier. With the following three steps, you can be protected out of the box, and not even your ISP will be able to monitor your online viewing habits.
- Navigate to the VPN website
- Select a plan (1 month, 6 months or 12 months)
- Enter your email address
- Select payment option
- Receive the confirmation email with log in details
- Click the link to download the software and install
To use the VPN to gain access to a streaming service from another region, all you need to do is select the drop-down menu and change the country. In the case of HBO Now, it would be the united states.
It is at this point you can sign up for your American iTunes account. It might be possible without doing this, but, because all the way through the process you will appear to be in the USA there will be no complications.
With both services signed up, and you are connected to a US-based VPN server, all it takes is for you to start the app of choice to access HBO Now.
As long as your VPN client app is connected to a US server, you can open the HBO app and access any of the content they are showing.