Are you stuck trying to get HBO Max working on your VPN?
I’m honestly not surprised! A lot of streaming companies have waged war on VPN users and made it nearly impossible for them to access international content from foreign countries.
I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for you to not be able to enjoy a service you’re paying for.
But don’t worry, we’re here to help you out.
Below, you’ll find a list including 6 simple steps you can try to get things back to normal and enjoy HBO Max with your favorite VPN.
Read on to leave this horrible situation in the rearview mirror!
The first thing I want to take a look at is the status of HBO Max’s servers, as there’s a good chance your VPN has nothing to do with your current situation.
As you know, these are responsible for storing data and providing millions of the platform’s subscribers with the service they expect to get for what they pay for. Without them, video playback would be choppy and navigation across titles would be difficult, if not impossible.
After so many years and billions of dollars invested in technology, you’d think that the servers at giant streaming companies would be failproof at this point, right?
Well… guess again.
I mean sure, they’re built to last, but they can also be affected by things that would seem unimportant to a lot of people, such as a bug in their coding, a malfunctioning hard drive, or even minor hacking.
When these events take place, the telltale signs are slow loading times, login difficulties, and out-of-sync subtitles. All of which could be easily mistaken for VPN incompatibility.
Solution: You may not know this, but you can actually check the real-time status of your favorite platform’s servers in just a couple of seconds.
The higher the spikes, the more likely you are to be experiencing issues
Unfortunately, if you determine that the platform’s servers are, in fact, experiencing downtime, there is little to nothing you can do. However, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
The IT department at HBO Max is very capable, and to our knowledge, there’s never been an instance where the service wasn’t fully restored within 24 hours.
Try checking the servers’ status tomorrow, and see if your VPN works then.
This is not true for all VPN providers out there, but some of them allow you to choose between different servers in every country you connect to.
The purpose of this feature is mainly to redirect excessive user traffic and prevent server saturation, which, as we discussed previously, can affect your overall experience greatly.
Some providers will even do this automatically for you and move you from one server to another as they start to fill up or fail.
Solution: Try logging into HBO Max and streaming from the platform. As soon as you start experiencing issues, go to your VPN software and change servers.
There are a lot of options out there, so for your time’s sake, I won’t cover them all here.
However, I do want to give you a clear example of how the process would go, so I’ll show you how to change servers on “NordVPN” to give you a general idea:
It might take a while, but eventually, you should be able to find one that works.
If none of the solutions above have worked for you, there’s a very good chance that you might have to flush your DNS.
I won’t get technical, but in a nutshell, DNS stands for “Domain Name System”. In layman’s terms, this is a computer language that allows systems to identify one another on the internet.
You can think of it as your computer’s driver’s license.
When it works normally, you shouldn’t even know this protocol is being executed in the background. But when it crashes, you might be unable to browse the web normally or get HBO Max to play your favorite shows.
Flushing your DNS resets this protocol and starts it from scratch, allowing for any corrupted files to have another chance at working as they should.
Solution: Time to put your hacker hat on. Here’s what you have to do:
For Windows 10:
netsh winsock reset
You might want to write this process down, as a lot of network issues can be resolved by flushing your DNS.
This is probably the most important item on this list.
Remember when I mentioned earlier that a lot of streaming companies had declared war on VPN users?
Well, I meant it.
They’re not joking around. In some instances, some subscribers have even been temporarily banned from using the service after being caught streaming through a VPN.
And while I do not condone their actions, when you think about it, it’s understandable.
You see, streaming companies use the metrics they collect from certain countries to develop content for them. When someone from the US starts watching UK-exclusive movies, for example, it can mess up these numbers and make show development much harder to get right.
These hide VPN traffic under the guise of regular traffic, making it much harder for streaming companies to detect VPN streaming.
Solution: There are a lot of companies out there that offer this feature, so, if you want to make sure that you won’t get caught, checking them out is not a bad idea.
I know how the idea of being able to access international content on HBO Max for free can be tempting.
But this could very well be the reason why you’re having issues.
You see, free VPNs are great for browsing the web securely and doing some minor tasks. However, if you want the full experience with obfuscation features, server interchangeability, and many more useful tools, you’ll have to pay for them.
There’s just no way around it.
Moreover, free versions of these virtual private networks normally obliterate your internet speed, limiting you to just about 10-20% of what your plan provides.
If you think about it, there’s really no reason why you should stick with them. Especially considering how cheap yearly plans can be for some of the best VPNs out there.
Solution: Due diligence is required whenever you’re about to make a purchase or hire a service, so I’d advise doing some Google searching to find the most attractive plan for you.
No, I’m not talking about the round, sweet, delicious snacks.
I’m referring to developer tools websites use to improve your browsing experience and increase the accuracy of targeted ads. Cookies are the reason why you’re suddenly bombarded on social media with ads for power tools right after looking up how to put up a shelf.
I’m sure that more than once, you’ve entered a website and have been prompted with a notification asking you to “Allow all cookies”, right? Well, it’s after clicking on “Accept” that you let them into your computer.
Now, don’t panic. Cookies get a very bad rap, but they can actually be quite useful.
That being said, they’re also popular for causing streaming issues when left undeleted for too long.
Luckily, getting rid of them is very easy.
Solution: You should be able to delete your cookies in every major browser, but for this example, I’ll use Google Chrome:
Deleting your cookies frequently is a good practice that will prevent a lot of technical difficulties in the future.
Getting HBO Max working with your VPN of choice is a dream come true. But just as it happens with many dreams, achieving it can be very difficult.
And besides, who’s got the time to go through a long a tedious trial and error process? Very few people, that’s who!
Luckily, as I hope you’ve learned in this piece, with proper knowledge, getting both elements to work together is easier than it seems. More often than not, clearing your cookies and choosing a VPN with obfuscation features will keep you out of trouble and entertained for hours on end.
Thank you so much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If you found this article helpful, you’ll be glad to know that we upload new content weekly. Make sure to check out all our other wonderful resources below and become a Tech Detective yourself!
Best of luck to you.