The Max (previously HBO Max) streaming platform is home to numerous critically-acclaimed movies and TV shows. In 2023, the service updated its name and expanded the library with new content from Discovery+.
Unfortunately, the service is plagued by geographical restrictions, making it impossible to tune into the online channel from many countries worldwide. Even worse, the content selection varies based on region, with the best cinema concentrated in the US library.
But that’s not something you need to be concerned about when you have an HBO Max VPN (Virtual Private Network) at your disposal. It will change your virtual location and IP address to whatever country you wish and remove geo-blocking in no time. Then you’ll be able to stream Max while traveling to regions with limited access to the service.
Bypass Max’s geo-blocking with NordVPN, the best VPN for streaming anywhere with minimal speed loss. The service boasts thousands of US servers for unlocking the platform’s top movies and TV shows.
Best VPNs for Max in 2023
- The best HBO Max VPN9.7
- Top VPN for streaming Max on unlimited devices9.5
- Most affordable streaming-focused Max VPN9.2
- Swift and secure VPN for HBO Max8.7
- Budget-friendly VPN for HBO Max8.4
Why do you need a VPN for Max?
TV licensing and distribution agreements make it difficult for viewers across the globe to enjoy their favorite cinema while traveling. This is especially concerning to Max subscribers because the service, as of 2023, is only available in the US.
Thankfully, a well-renowned VPN can easily change your location and bypass geo-blocking imposed by Max. The software does so by redirecting your traffic through servers in remote regions. This little detour grants you a foreign IP address and encrypts your activities, which is all you need to trick services like HBO Max to hand over exclusive content.
A common concern is that VPNs will slow down your download speeds and cause video stuttering because the data packets have to travel a greater distance. And while that is a problem among low-quality providers, the fastest VPNs go to great lengths to maximize connectivity. In fact, this is one of the essential factors we test when considering VPNs for streaming.
Besides that, a top VPN for Max requires an immense number of servers in America to have enough IP addresses for every customer. Furthermore, you’ll need easy-to-use apps for your preferred home theater system for convenient content unblocking.
Best VPNs for Max: overview
- NordVPN – the #1 Max VPN overall
- Surfshark VPN – respectable VPN for Max with excellent server diversity
- Atlas VPN – cost-effective VPN for streaming Max abroad
- ExpressVPN – privacy-centered Max VPN
- CyberGhost – cheap and beginner-friendly VPN for Max
We tested around 25 VPN providers claiming to unblock Max to uncover the ones with the most satisfactory performance results. Some of the metrics we prioritized while compiling this list are:
- Connection speeds in US servers
- Number of servers
- Geo-block removal consistency
- Feature list on streaming devices (including PC, mobile, Android TV)
- Router compatibility
- Subscription price
We’ll cover our testing methodology in greater detail later. For now, onto the stars of the article – the 5 best VPNs for Max!
1. NordVPN – the ultimate VPN for Max
- Industry-leading download speeds
- Well-rounded security suite
- Excellent geo-block removal results
- Only six simultaneous connections
Our evaluations have concluded that NordVPN is the undisputed best VPN for Max. No other service can match its connection quality, digital security arsenal, and consistency when unblocking geo-blocked movies, TV shows, and other media.
The vast 5800+ server network includes roughly 2000 in America, which is ideal for Max and other US-centered streaming platforms like Netflix or YouTube TV. It also grants insanely-swift connections in any locale using the proprietary NordLynx protocol.
NordVPN supports an impressive array of devices besides PC and mobile, such as Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. Customers can use the service to unlock Max on practically any gadget using either Smart DNS or router configuration. Plus, one subscription supports up to six simultaneous device connections.
You can see what NordVPN is all about without signing up using the 7-day free trial on the Google Play Store. Once this option is no longer available, you’ll find premium subscriptions blessed with discounts up to 68% and 30-day money-back guarantees.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark – affordable Max VPN with excellent performance
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Wide-reaching server network
- Great performance with WireGuard
- Some features cost extra
Surfshark VPN is the ideal choice for anyone needing a well-performing Max VPN for maximum devices. The service supports unlimited simultaneous connections and doesn’t slack off regarding speed, geo-block removal, and even security.
VPN connections are powered by the well-renowned and speedy WireGuard protocol. Additionally, you’ll easily find the perfect connection point because Surfshark boasts a whopping 3200+ servers in over 100 countries. Max fans can rest assured because around 600 servers are spread across the United States.
Users won’t be strapped for choice regarding digital protection tools either. For example, CleanWeb is available for dealing with frustrating ads, nosy trackers, and malicious software. Furthermore, you can virtually hide your online tracks by enabling IP Rotator to periodically change your IP address without disconnecting.
Experience Surfshark’s perks first-hand by snagging the 7-day free trial on any mobile app store. But if you’re already convinced, premium subscriptions will greet you with generous 83% discounts and 30-day money-return guarantees.
For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.
3. Atlas VPN– the best freemium VPN for Max
- Highly affordable
- Free plan with US servers
- Top speeds with WireGuard
- Lacks router configuration
The most cost-conscious Max viewers should consider Atlas VPN as their tool for unlocking the streaming service abroad. Despite the affordable price, the provider is extremely effective at granting access to geo-blocked cinema.
Atlas VPN commands a solid fleet of 1000+ servers in 42+ countries. It includes a specialized Streaming category that’s best equipped for bypassing geographical restrictions while keeping connection speeds lightning fast. In fact, you can expect top speeds all the time because the WireGuard protocol handles data transfer.
You’ll have no trouble getting Atlas VPN to cooperate with every device in your household. The service includes apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV. Best of all, one premium account supports unlimited simultaneous connections. However, the provider lacks router support, making it less suitable for viewing Max on Smart TVs and other gadgets without compatibility with VPN software.
You can get acquainted with Atlas VPN at no cost with the help of the free plan. It isn’t as robust as the premium option but includes US servers, although not from the Streaming category. As such, consider using a coupon code to sign up for 85% off.
For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.
4. ExpressVPN – solid VPN for Max
- Fast speeds with plenty of servers
- Exceptional device compatibility
- Independently audited multiple times
- Only 5 simultaneous connections
Don’t overlook ExpressVPN as a potential Max VPN candidate if cost isn’t your main concern. The provider has a hefty price tag, but its awesome results in many areas warrant such costs.
ExpressVPN has thousands of server options across 94+ countries. All run on TrustedServer technology, which includes loads of exceptional security enhancements, such as the complete utilization of RAM. Another proprietary perk is the Lightway tunneling protocol, which guarantees solid connection quality and speeds.
Another compelling selling point of ExpressVPN is the ridiculously-wide device compatibility. It works with the most popular desktop and mobile operating systems and even obscure gadgets like Kindle Fire, Apple TV, gaming consoles, etc. But don’t get too excited because one ExpressVPN subscription has a limit of 5 simultaneous connections.
Your best bet to test ExpressVPN on your setup is the 30-day money-back guarantee. Otherwise, use a discount code at checkout and enjoy 49% off when snagging a long-term subscription.
For a deeper investigation of ExpressVPN, read our ExpressVPN review.
5. CyberGhost – popular cheap VPN for Max
- Affordable and effective
- WireGuard-powered connections
- Plenty of server categories
- Only 7 simultaneous connections
CyberGhost is a worthwhile VPN for Max and other streaming services suffering from geo-blocking. The cost-effective VPN has a massive server fleet with specialty options for various online broadcast channels, making it a breeze to unlock exclusive content.
The server network includes a staggering 9360+ servers across 100+ regions. Customers aren’t overwhelmed by this number because categorization makes it more palatable. For example, US servers include separate options for HBO Max, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and other American platforms.
Setting up your home theater with CyberGhost will be effortless, thanks to the inclusion of easy-to-use apps for various devices. The service offers apps for computers, smartphones, Android TVs, FireOS gadgets, browsers, etc. Meanwhile, appless content unblocking is also available via Smart DNS.
CyberGhost offers varying free trials based on your OS, which ranges from 24 hours up to one week. On the other hand, premium subscriptions come with 84% discounts and 45-day money-back insurance, so why not opt for that instead?
For a deeper investigation of CyberGhost, read our CyberGhost review.
Best VPN for HBO Max comparison
|Provider||NordVPN||Surfshark VPN||Atlas VPN||ExpressVPN||CyberGhost|
|Servers||5800+ in 60+ countries||3200+ in 100+ countries||1000+ in 42+ countries||Servers in 94+ countries||9360+ in 100+ countries|
|Avg. speed||644 Mbps||611 Mbps||N/A||249 Mbps||0 Mbps|
|Supported platforms||All major OS, routers, consoles, and more||All major OS, routers, consoles, and more||All major OS||All major OS, routers, consoles, and more||All major OS, routers, consoles, and more|
|Logs policy||No logs, independently audited thrice by PwC and Deloitte||No logs, independently audited by Deloitte||No logs||Court-proven, independently audited no-logs policy||No logs, independently audited by Deloitte|
How we tested potential Max VPNs
Here’s a detailed look at the key metrics we prioritized when considering VPNs as potential solutions for Max’s geo-blocking issues.
- US servers. The most vital criterion is the abundance of servers in America because, for now, Max is exclusive to the States. And so, a VPN must have thousands of servers in the region to accommodate an immense number of users.
- Connection speed. You wouldn’t want to be bombarded with lagging and video stuttering when you finally unlock Max abroad. Instead, you expect UHD video quality with practically no buffering. This is possible with top-of-the-line tunneling protocols like WireGuard – a feature all our recommended VPNs offer.
- Device compatibility. People watch movies and TV shows via services like Max on a wide spectrum of devices, including PCs, tablets, and, of course, smart TVs. Thus, you’ll benefit best from a VPN equally compatible with your preferred method of streaming cinema.
- Ease of use. Following the previous point, your VPN provider’s apps should be understandable and easy to use regardless of tech-savviness.
- Customer support. You’ll require multiple ways of reaching assistance should your VPN not work with Max for whatever reason. Therefore, we picked VPNs with top-notch customer service available 24/7.
Countries where HBO Max is available
The rebranded Max platform was released in the US on May 23rd and was unavailable elsewhere worldwide. The service is expected to eventually be within reach in other regions, just like its predecessor. Below is a table summarizing the preliminary release schedule.
|Currently available||End of 2023||2024|
|USA (including American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands)||Latin America, the Caribbean||Europe, South-east Asia|
As you can see, this leaves a large portion of the world without access to Max. That means a VPN with US servers is paramount for anyone wanting to unlock the exclusive streaming platform abroad.
Max pricing plans
The new-and-improved Max features multiple subscription plans with varying prices and benefits. Here’s a brief rundown of your options.
|Max Plan||With Ads||Ad-Free||Ultimate Ad-Free|
|Perks||✔️2 simultaneous streams|
|✔️2 simultaneous streams|
|✔️4 simultaneous streams|
✔️4K Ultra HD
✔️Dolby Atmos audio
As the name suggests, the cheapest variant includes advertisements (which you may potentially curb using the best ad blockers on the market). Meanwhile, the pricier options remove ads, improve video quality, permit downloading for on-the-go viewing, and increase simultaneous connections.
Do we recommend using free VPNs for Max?
Many people are looking for a way to stream HBO Max in their country. At the moment, it’s available in the US only, and if you don’t have a VPN, you won’t get past the geo-block. Even more, if you use a free VPN, chances are it won’t unblock HBO Max.
Free VPNs lack the features needed to provide a good streaming experience. Most of the time, their servers are overcrowded, meaning you can expect poor performance and low video quality. Also, most free VPNs collect your data and sell it to third parties, making you the product in this deal.
If you still want to try your luck, consider a VPN with a free trial first. It’s a way to experience the perks of premium providers without monetary investment. You’ll be glad to know that NordVPN, the top VPN for Max, offers a 7-day trial on the Google Play Store. So grab it instead of wasting your time with inadequate free VPNs.
What to watch on Max
Max grants access to exclusive and top-quality movies and TV shows viewers have grown to expect from HBO. Here’s a glimpse at some content attracting thousands of customers to the streaming giant.
|Black Adam, Avatar: The Way of Water, Dune, Batman, Parasite, Shazam, The Lego Movie, Superpets||The Last of Us, Succession, Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon, Chernobyl, Curb Your Enthusiasm, South Park, Rick and Morty, Friends, True Detective|
Don’t miss on upcoming cinema phenomenons and grab a robust VPN for Max to stay up-to-date with the latest movies and TV shows from HBO.
While the name change from HBO Max to just Max is confusing, the US-exclusive streaming giant remains a popular destination for top-quality entertainment. Plus, it’s even more appealing than ever, thanks to the expanded library from Discovery+ and hit shows like Succession.
Best of all, impatient viewers from overseas can skip the waiting line and unblock Max anywhere with a high-end VPN. We suggest not taking any chances with untested providers and instead opting for NordVPN, the #1 VPN for Max. It has thousands of US IP addresses at its disposal, blazing-fast speeds, and unrivaled geo-block removal capabilities.
What are you excited to see on Max? And how often do you need a VPN to tune in? Let us know what your experience is with the new streaming platform.
What VPN works with Max?
NordVPN is the best VPN that works flawlessly with Max. It has around 2000 servers in the US and provides mind-blowing speeds with its proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol. Furthermore, it has excellent device compatibility and works with various home theater systems, thanks to the Smart DNS technology.
What is the best free VPN for Max?
Unfortunately, there’s no free VPN that can unblock Max reliably and provide adequate connection speeds. Instead, you can binge-watch a show from the streaming service using a free trial of a well-established premium Max VPN, for example, NordVPN. The test lasts 7 days and can be followed up with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Does HBO Max detect VPN?
No, Max can’t detect robust streaming-centered VPNs like NordVPN. Such providers use various masking methods and frequently update their IP addresses to keep streaming giants off their trails. Meanwhile, free and low-quality VPN services don’t have the necessary resources to bypass geo-blocking effectively.
When will Max be available in my country?
Currently, Max is exclusive to the United States. It’s slated to become available in Latin America and the Caribbean by the end of 2023, while Europeans must wait until 2024. Alternatively, you can sign up for a top-quality Max VPN like NordVPN to unblock the streaming service anywhere abroad.
Can I watch Max with a VPN?
Yes, you can watch Max with a VPN if you pick a server located in the US. This approach is necessary if you want to tune in to the service while traveling beyond American borders. The best option for this scenario is NordVPN because of its excellent speeds and hundreds of US servers.
Why does Max not work with a VPN?
If you see an error message “Not in a Service Area or VPN detected,” it means that your VPN is unable to unblock Max. You can try switching to another server in the US and check if you’re not using a Max account from another location. If that fails, your best option is to get a reliable streaming VPN.