HBO GO UK – How to Watch HBO GO in UK [2018 Fix]

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Updated: January 1st, 2018

HBO GO is not available in the UK. This is super annoying for us UK residing internet users that love the quality HBO shows that are on this service.

This guide shows you how to get HBO GO UK unblocked in under 5 minutes. So do to this, go through the steps listed below right now:

  1. Start with setting up a VPN account
  2. Download and install the VPN software to the device(s) you want to watch HBO GO in UK on
  3. Open up the VPN software and connect to a US-based server location
  4. Login to your HBO GO account or signup if you have not already
  5. Enjoy HBO GO in UK

Reading Time: 4 Minutes


How to Watch HBO GO in UK

in more detail:

NOTE: For this quick guide I use a VPN. There are many different VPN service providers out there that each offer differing levels of service and price plans, and I decided on ExpressVPN after researching a large number of the best ones. Check them out below:


HBO GO is a great on demand media streaming service that offers a whole bunch of great shows. When I visited some friends in San Francisco earlier this month, I was introduced to HBO GO and quickly got addicted to some of the awesome TV shows therein. 

However, upon arriving back in Edinburgh, Scotland, I returned to the HBO GO service to login to my account, only to be abruptly blocked from accessing the service. I was raging! It was so annoying that I had signed up for the service, only to not be able to access it from my home country, the UK. 

how to watch hbo go in uk


That's right -- you cannot get HBO GO in UK locations at all. It's a purely "US-only" accessible service. Boo.

But I am not one to throw in the towel so easily. I knew there had to be a super quick and simple solution to get around this block, so I set to researching on how to get HBO GO UK unblocked right away -- and I quickly figured the best method to do this.

So I wanted to share this solution with you in a quick, helpful little guide. If you follow the steps I lay out below, then you will have your HBO subscription UK location-available within 5 minutes, securely and legally. Enjoy!


Why is HBO GO Blocked in the UK?

It's important to understand the reason why HBO GO is blocked from accessing in the UK, which I figured out pretty quickly. 

Basically, every piece of media the service offers users has a licensing agreement determined. These licensing agreements all state the HBO GO has bought licensing rights to offer the media they do within the US. 

So if HBO GO wanted to offer a service in the UK, they would have to buy the specific licensing rights for the media they want to show in the UK in addition to the US ones. That's how licensing rights work. This is why other super popular on demand media streaming services are not available in all locations in the world -- because it is expensive to purchase licensing rights for each country for each piece of media. In the UK alone, such goliath streaming services as Fox Sports, beIN and ESPN are unavailable, and thus require such workarounds like the one laid out in this guide. 


How is HBO GO Blocking UK Users?

So now that we understand why HBO GO does not allow its service to users in the UK, we also need to understand exactly how, technically-speaking, this service blocks users that attempt to access it from the UK. 

It didn't take me long to figure this out. Basically, HBO GO uses a popular process called "geo-blocking", which acts as a door on the front of their service. By using this process, HBO GO determines the location of each and every user that tries to access it. If the user is located within the US; the door opens -- if the user is located in the UK; the door stays closed and you get that annoying 'blocked' message:

how to watch hbo go in uk 2


Now how does HBO GO's geo-blocking process know the location of each user that tries to use the service? 

By checking the IP address of each user the moment they arrive on the service. Your IP address tells HBO GO where you are accessing the service from, geographically, and thus grants or denies access based on said IP address. 

Your IP address changes depending on what internet connection you have. So for example, your home connection gives you a different IP address than your local cafe; same goes with your office and/or college. However, all of these IP addresses will still accurately show your location as within the UK, which is ultimately what matters to HBO GO. 

Thus, the solution to knowing how to make HBO UK accessible is to somehow change your IP address to a US-based one, without having to physically fly to the US, of course!

There are a few ways to change your IP address, with each method offering different pros and cons. However, by far and away the best method I determined is to use what's called a Virtual Private Network, or VPN for short. 

A VPN is a secure, privacy-protecting and legal way to very quickly change your IP address, giving you instant access to HBO GO from the comfort of your UK location. 


OK, what the heck is a VPN? Is it legal? Safe? 

It is worth taking 30 seconds to quickly understand exactly what a VPN is, how it works (generally -- we won't get super technical) and how they are completely legal in the UK. 

So, a VPN is a small, easy-to-use piece of software that basically intercepts your internet connection right before your device communicates with your actual ISP (Internet Service Provider). This happens by you connecting to one of the many servers that the VPN provider offers you.

These servers are located around the world, whereas your standard ISP server is located in your actual physical area. This means that your device is not directly communicating with your ISP, but rather instead with the server through your VPN. Makes sense, so far? Good. 

Why does this provide a way for you to change your device's IP address? Well, your IP address is determined by the server you are connected to. So whereas normally you would be connected to your local ISP server; thus showing your IP address as your actual location -- when you connect to a VPN, you can actually choose where you connect to the internet through.

A VPN offers you locations all over the world to connect through, so if you choose to connect through a server located in the US, you will physically connect through a US-based server. This changes your UK IP address to instead show a US IP address. 

Once you do this - your device's IP address is then showing your location as within the US. Sweet! 

With VPNs becoming more and more popular a solution for accessing blocked services like HBO GO in UK locations, it was no surprise that when I researched them, I was faced with literally hundreds of different VPN service providers.

After personally researching, trying out, and reviewing a large quantity of the best VPNs out there -- I decided to go with ExpressVPN for this solution just because it best suits my need and budget. So while I quickly walk your through the steps to setup this VPN to unblock HBO GO below, I will use ExpressVPN as the example. 


How to Use a VPN to Watch HBO GO in UK

Step 1: Sign up for VPN

First thing's first. Go to ExpressVPN\\\\\\\'s website and choose the plan that works best for your circumstance and budget. There are three price plans to choose from, so once you've selected the one you want, you just need to confirm payment and account details then you're ready to download and install the software.

Here's a quick snapshot of how simple the sign up process is with ExpressVPN. Literally just a couple steps that take less than 1 minutes to go through:

expressVPN website
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expressvpn pricing
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expressvpn payment options


As you can see, this service offers 3 different plans that you can choose from. This really just depends on how much you want to commit to the service. However, regardless of which plan you decide to go with -- you will have the first 30 days money back guaranteed. So either way you have the first month to give it a try and see how you like it. 


You will confirm your new ExpressVPN account via email once you have chosen your plan and signed up. At this point you will be directed to the main download area to get the software onto your device. This part is as "technical" as the entire process gets, and you will see now just how simple this part is...


Step 2: Download & Install VPN

In the download area, ExpressVPN will have automatically figured out which device you're currently using (laptop, smartphone, etc) and present you with the specific download link for that device. 

In addition, if you plan to watch HBO GO on more than one of your devices (I like to watch it on my Macbook and also my Android smartphone) then that's no problem, since ExpressVPN is com compatible with essentially every device you would ever want to watch the service on:

expressvpn_download


Upon downloading the software to your device you will be prompted to quickly fire through the installation process, which is just a couple steps that takes no more than 30 seconds. Then you will have the software fully installed and ready to use! 

NOTE: To get ExpressVPN installed and setup on your smartphone, the service has specific apps for all types of smartphone that you can find and download in the according app store (for free, of course), so in my case I just navigated to the Google Play Store on my Android device and got the app therein.

Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN

Now that you have your VPN ready to use on your device, go ahead and open that bad boy up. It's time to get connected!

This is the all important step that will change your IP address, so what you want to do is open up the software then choose a US-based location ("server") to connect to. This is super simple to do, since ExpressVPN is a very clean and clear interface to use, as the below screen shot demonstrates:

expressvpn_main


I mentioned above that in my case I wanted to have HBO GO UK accessible on both my Macbook and my Android smartphone device. So check out the quick screen shots below that I took to show how similarly simple the connection process is on my mobile device: 

unblock whatsapp expressvpn app 6
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express_vpn_android_app4

(Of course you won't be connecting to a UK-based location like I did in the above shots. I just quickly connected to show you how simple it is.)

With your device now connected to a US-based server through your VPN, you will have now effectively changed your IP address to reflect this. So long UK-location; hello US-location!

So now the next and final step in this quick guide is to jump over to HBO GO and get access...


Step 4: Setup and Access HBO GO

Once you are connected to the US-based server location you selected, your IP address will have changed. So now when you navigate to HBO GO, you will have full access from the UK! 

Now, if you are like me and already have a HBO GO account setup then you are ready to watch; no more steps needed. However, if you don't have an account yet then you can now go ahead and signup since you have full access. For this you will need to provide a valid Zip code, which you can easily find by Googling accordingly. 

That's it! You have just solved how to get HBO UK unblocked securely, privately and legally in less than 5 minutes. 


Conclusion

Well, I hope you found this guide helpful. If you followed the steps I explained herein, you will have full access to HBO GO in UK locations without requiring you to get on a plane and fly to the states, which is pretty cool! 

I did mention that there are a lot of VPN service providers out there today. So since I personally reviewed a whole bunch of them, I've listed the top five providers below to give you some more options. Each one offers different levels of service at differing prices, however all of them will change your IP address successfully:

FAQ: Any alternative ways to change my IP address?

With this guide helping out thousands of people every month, one common question we receive via email is whether there are alternative methods or approaches to successfully change your device's IP address other than with a VPN. 

The short answer to this is: Yes. There are two other popular ways to achieve this -- via a SmartDNS or Proxy browser. So let's quickly run through these options and most importantly explain why they simply do not compare to using a VPN for this solution.

SmartDNS

A SmartDNS works in much the same way as a VPN. There are free SmartDNS service providers, just as there are free VPN providers - however, we strongly suggest not using such free services. Why? Because if they are free; they are either receiving money by harbouring and re-selling your data or provide a service that is entirely ineffective in unblocking such online streaming services as HBO GO in the UK.

With that said, we have nothing bad to say about trying this solution with a SmartDNS rather than a VPN. A good, trusted SmartDNS service will use the same IP-address hijacking approach that a VPN does, to successfully get HBO NOW UK unblocked for you.

You can Google "best SmartDNS" and there will be many legitimate providers to choose from. Sign up then get connected in the same way that we describe in this guide with a VPN, then you should have access to HBO GO. 

Proxy Browser

I am mentioning this option only as it technically allows some form of unblocking of websites with relative success. 

However, proxy browsers are by far and away the most unreliable and untrusted methods to unblock even standard sites online. Moreover, an actual online streaming service like HBO GO is a much more sophisticated type of "website" -- so they have much higher levels of detection and protection against users attempting to access their service from locations they do not wish. 

So you can safely assume that 99.999% of proxy providers will not get HBO UK unblocked for you.

With this said, what is the difference between a SmartDNS, proxy browser and a VPN? This simple table should make it clear:



IP Address Changer

Privacy Protection

VPN



SmartDNS



Proxy



Not that this table needs further explanation, but to be clear: it's the added level of protecting your entire online data and activity when connected to a VPN that make it by far and away the best option to use for this solution. 

Now I know that you just came here for the solution to get your HBO Subscription UK accessible on your device. However, since you should only be considering to go with a VPN or SmartDNS (based on the justification I gave to negate using a Proxy browser service) then you should know that the price difference between these two is basically the same as a cup of coffee.

So with the web today being so privacy-invasive and surveillance heavy, it just makes sense to get this super high-level encryption placed on your internet connection, while also getting a 100% effective solution to make HBO NOW UK available to you. 

If you feel like leaving feedback or asking me any questions on this guide at all -- let me know in the comment section below. I'll be happy to hear from you and help out with any problems you might have. 

Happy HBO GO'ing!

Summary
Article Name
HBO GO UK – How to Watch HBO GO in UK [2018 Fix]
Description
Quick solution for how to watch HBO GO in UK locations super easily and quickly.
Author
Chris Beattie

23 Answers

  1. Shannon
    November 14, 2017 at 5:06 am

    Hi Chris. I had to try like 12 different zip codes randomly from Google before I got one that worked. Just want to share this with the readers. Keep trying and it will work!

  2. Lois Baker
    January 18, 2018 at 3:42 am

    Sorry to say this but hbo​ ​go​ ​UK is not for me. I mean why would I even get it if the standard channel is already enough?

  3. Herminda A.
    January 18, 2018 at 5:14 am

    A simple problem of hbo​ ​now​ ​UK needs a software such as this? Well, It is justified I guess because everyone loves a movie marathon.

  4. Niles
    January 18, 2018 at 7:59 am

    I admit I do not know much what goes down on a hbo​ ​subscription​ ​UK but, to have it blocked is a bit uncalled for. I mean why? I imagine the main channel has no issues so why now?

  5. Wayne T.
    January 18, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Yeah sad but true that people even need software such as these to have access. However, think about it this is way better than having nothing at all. It is even cheap to be honest so me I am thankful I guess.

  6. Nancy Rainey
    January 18, 2018 at 9:38 am

    I love HBO if I need a movie to get by I will just turn the TV on sit and relax. The only gripe that I have is movies tend to be repeating but it is okay.

  7. MZ
    January 18, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    At this rate people may go to fox movies or what not. I mean at least they are not blocked so, the only thing I see in this are the avid fan of HBO. I am one by the way.

  8. S. Murray
    January 18, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    I am not aware that HBO has an online version, that being hbo​ ​go​ ​UK. I can see this being used by people that are on the move but not for a homebody like me.

  9. Cecilia
    January 18, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    I have hbo​ ​UK in my TV and no regrets so far, I will tell you one thing it saves me alot of time from going to a cinema. Yes I know its late but I had work anywhere.

  10. S. White
    January 19, 2018 at 12:34 am

    What a bad move for hbo​ ​now​ ​UK. The way I see it this could turn off potential users of the service. I mean think about it why would they pay for something that is restricted if they can just get cable and watch HBO normally? In addition there are a ton of movie channels out there. Just saying.

  11. Mark
    January 19, 2018 at 12:59 am

    If hbo​ ​subscription​ ​UK is available then this blocking does not make sense. I mean a subscription does not get as legal as that so why the blocking issue? I do not see it.

  12. Eleonor R.
    January 19, 2018 at 1:23 am

    This is some sort of webTV I take it, hbo​ ​go​ ​UK huh?I may have to pass on this for now. I do not get to my mobile let alone the web. TV is enough for me. I am use to that.

  13. Barbara Scott
    January 19, 2018 at 2:17 am

    This puts hbo​ ​UK on the spotlight as weird as that sounds. Me I have HBO cable not online but HBO none the less. Anyway, I am not sure about going online but I sure have a TV channel for it.

  14. Gabriel
    January 19, 2018 at 3:04 am

    Admittedly I am not aware of hbo​ ​now​ ​UK. seriously speaking I know net TV are a thing now but me as long as the normal TV is working I do not see why I should switch.

  15. Michael M.
    January 19, 2018 at 3:22 am

    I have a HBO subscription but I find this crazy. How come hbo​ ​subscription​ ​UK is blocked to the point of VPN? I find this uncalled for. If a subscription to these parts are this I would rather stick to the TV service.

  16. Kris
    January 19, 2018 at 3:44 am

    Another win to VPN’s belt and I am amazed by this HBO or not VPN is here to rescue the gap. Do not get me wrong I have this movie channel not just the online version.

  17. Gwen Q.
    January 19, 2018 at 4:01 am

    If this is what I get for a web TV sorry I may as well go to Fox movies. Same service without any trouble and issues. That is way better if you ask me.

  18. Cindy D.
    January 19, 2018 at 4:14 am

    I love this movie channel . I watched game of thrones as well but to find it blocked here is sad. Fortunately this VPN thingy is here huh?

  19. WW.
    January 19, 2018 at 4:26 am

    I am all for this but IP alteration will that damage my system? If not then I may try this Express or not. The brand does not matter to me.

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