Italians love HBO Go in surprisingly high numbers, but its incredible range of HD video streams are technically blocked inside Italy. But if you’re not satisfied to sit around and let geoblocks rule your life, get a VPN installed on your favorite device, change your IP address to virtually register inside the United States, and enjoy your favorite HBO content–yes, even in Italy.
HBO has some of the best shows around, and thanks to HBO Go, you can enjoy them “on the go” — with a major caveat: HBO is only available in the U.S. and select other countries, so you’ll need to have the appropriate country’s HBO cable subscription and credit card. If you’re here, chances are you fall into one of two buckets: you already have an HBO cable subscription (or plan to purchase one) and are going to be traveling/working in Italy; or, you’re a resident of a non-HBO compatible country living or working in Italy.
If you’re in the former group, it’s a pretty simple matter to access your HBO Go in Italy – all you need is a VPN. For everyone else it gets a little trickier because of the geo-location restrictions, but it’s still not too complicated. The route you take to unblock HBO Go in Italy will begin the same, then separate to an additional step. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to choose a VPN, give you a list of the best ones for HBO Go, and then take you through the steps to help you get access in Italy.
Qualities of a good VPN
When looking to unblock HBO Go in Italy (or anywhere for that matter), there are some things to take into consideration. Like many streaming services, HBO attempts to block VPNs, so not all of them can get through. And, since the “normal” requirements to subscribe include having a the right country’s IP address, cable subscription, and credit card, you’ll need more than a VPN.
That said, getting a VPN is your first step, so we put together some qualities that a good provider should have to be able to unblock HBO Go for you in Italy:
- Network size – The bigger the provider’s network, the better. A larger, more widespread network of servers gives you a better chance of connecting to a fast node that can bypass HBO’s geo-blocks.
- Speed – Since you plan on streaming video, you’re going to need fast connection speeds, zero speed caps or restrictions on bandwidth, and no throttling. We tested each of the VPNs we selected in other places (see the guides below each recommended VPN) to ensure they were fast enough to handle download, streaming, and browsing.
- Device compatibility – You probably have more than one device, so being able to use your VPN with each of them is important. Each of the recommended VPNs below are available for a wide array of software, operating systems and devices.
- Encryption and zero-logging policy – Encryption keeps your data private and safe as it travels to and from the server and helps you circumvent geo-blocks, like HBO’s. A strong zero-logging policy ensures that your activity online is not recorded, so you can browse, stream, and download knowing you’re not being tracked.
Top VPNs to bypass the HBO Go block in Italy
If you’re tired of missing out on your favorite HD movie streams, use one of the following top-tier VPNs to unblock HBO Go in Italy:
ExpressVPN has a large network at more than 3,000 servers across 94 countries. They’re not cumbersome, though – they’re actually one of the fastest providers on the market, with unlimited bandwidth, no speed caps, and zero throttling. This means you get buffer-free streaming, fast downloads, and seamless browsing. Combined with their 256-bit AES encryption — which while nearly unbreakable, stays out of your way – ExpressVPN is great for online streaming and bypassing VPN blockers thrown up by Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and other services.
ExpressVPN also gives you a split tunneling feature, allowing you to route only your chosen websites and apps through the VPN – so you can still view local content without disconnecting completely. A DNS leak test and automatic kill switch complete your encryption package, and software availability for a wide variety of devices and operating systems helps you keep stream HBO Go on all your devices. Convenient customer service is available for whenever you have issues connecting to HBO Go, which can happen from time to time.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
- SPECIAL OFFER: 3 months free (49% off - link below)
- 94 countries, 3,000+ servers
- Very simple and easy to use
- Strict no-logs policy
- Live chat support available.
- Max 3 simultaneous connections
- Slightly more expensive than some other options.
NordVPN is one of the most powerful VPNs available. They have a massive 5,500+ servers in 58 countries – easily one of the most impressive in the industry. Alongside military-grade encryption with 5 protocols for beating the toughest blocks, advances features provide you with the best servers for specific use-cases. One of these options routes your information through two VPNs, doubling your encryption; another beats shared IP blacklists, helping you bypass VPN-blockers; and another hides the fact that you’re using a VPN at all.
As another fast, secure provider, NordVPN has no problems punching through streaming services’ defenses, giving you reliable access to your favorite streaming platforms. They make it easy to stay safe with an automatic kill switch and DNS leak test, as well as making choosing your server a breeze with their graphical server map. If you’re having trouble finding a server that works with HBO Go, you’ll love NordVPN’s responsive customer service.
Finally, a wide software availability, one of the most complete zero-logging policies in the business, and option security toggles to block ads and malware round out NordVPN’s offerings.
Read our full NordVPN review.
- Very affordable plans
- No bandwidth caps
- Allows multiple connections (6 devices)
- Extra-secure Double VPN for data encryption
- Customer Service (24/7 Chat).
- Some servers can have average d/l speeds
- They can take 30 days to process refunds.
CyberGhost is perfect for unblocking HBO Go, even if you don’t have a ton of experience using VPNs. When you launch the app, you’ll be presented with six simple configuration profiles, all of which automatically apply VPN settings depending on the case. These profiles include “unblock streaming”, which allows you to unblock any streaming site from their list, and “choose my VPN server”, where you can manually select a server in the United State, allowing you to effectively unblock HBO Go from Italy (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter). These profiles can be customized even further with toggles like “extra speed”, “block ads”, or “block online tracking”.
CyberGhost also provides a great service in terms of speed. With over 5,500 servers in 80 countries, including 1,100+ in the United States, this provider helps bypass regional blocks from abroad without any hassle. Furthermore, CyberGhost offers unlimited bandwidth, high connection speeds, and no speed caps or throttling throughout your entire browsing experience. You can connect up to 5 devices, letting you enjoy HBO Go on your computer, smartphone, tablet, and two more devices. What’s more, CyberGhost is available on Windows, Mac, OS, iOS, Android, Linux, and even Router and Raspberry Pi.
True to form, CyberGhost’s customer service is perfectly equipped to help troubleshoot your HBO Go connection, which will occasionally be the case.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
- Works with Netflix
- P2P allowed on any server except in US and Russia
- Not in the 14 Eyes
- Zero logs and good privacy features
- 24h support.
- IPv6 WebRTC leak in macOS
- Doesn’t work well in China.
If you want to stream Netflix in Italy, PrivateVPN should be one of the first services you consider. For starters, it has just around 150 servers in 60+ countries. This means you can stream a variety of HBO Go content libraries like the USA’s, Romania’s, Poland’s, etc. It also means that connecting to a fast server is easy no matter where in the world you happen to be. Bandwidth, speed, and server switches are all unlimited, meaning you can enjoy Netflix to your heart’s content – and with up to 6 simultaneous connections, you can use a half-dozen devices to do so. In fact, you can connect your mobile device, smart TV, video game console, multimedia box, work desktop, and home desktop and keep your VPN on 24/7 without ever worrying about hitting any traffic limit or speed cap.
Furthermore, PrivateVPN has a number of security advantages that are helpful if you want to stay anonymous while streaming. The service uses AES-256 bit encryption to protect your data. Specific protocols include OpenVPN’s UDP and TCP (which blend speed and security) and L2TP: a cryptographic protocol fast enough to process 4K streams. There’s also the SOCKS5 technology that lets you stream Netflix when you’re traveling through countries like China should you ever find yourself outside Italy. All of this comes together with one of the tougher zero-logging policies in the business, with no records of browsing history, traffic, or other details that can be traced back to you. If you want to get easy, secure access to HBO Go, Netflix and other services, PrivateVPN is a smart choice.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
How to unblock HBO Go in Italy, part 1 – Get a VPN
The lynchpin of your HBO Go-unblocking strategy is your VPN, which you’ll need to choose and sign up for. Check out the providers we recommended above for a good start. Once you’ve picked your VPN, visit their website, then follow these steps to get started:
- If you haven’t been directed there already, go to your chosen VPN provider’s “plans” page and pick out your favorite subscription. Follow the on-screen instructions to input your information complete your sign-up.
- Next, download the VPN application and install it to your device. Most mobile devices will make you follow the link to your system’s app store – doing this from the VPN’s website will ensure you land on the correct app, and not a fake.
- Now that you’ve installed the app, launch it on your device and sign in using the login info you made in step 1. Most VPNs will automatically connect you to the nearest, fastest server – you’ll want to change this. Visit the VPN’s server list and select a server located in the country whose HBO Go content library you wish to access. Connect, then run a final test in the next step.
- Open your web browser and visit ipleak.net. The webpage will automatically run an IP address lookup, which will display in a box near the top of the screen. Just under a long string of numbers at the top of the box, there should be a country’s name. This is the country of origin of your current IP address. It should display the name of the country you chose in step 3. If it doesn’t, but reads a different country, (i.e. “Italy”) return to your VPN app’s server list and try again.
- You’re now connected to an HBO Go-compatible server! If you already have an HBO cable subscription, you’ll now be able to access your HBO Go account online. If you don’t have an account, continue to “part 2.”
Troubleshooting your HBO Go connection
Like Netflix and other streaming services, HBO Go often employs VPN-blockers to stop people from using VPNs to access their content and services – and it’s an ongoing battle. Many VPNs aren’t able to get around these restrictions, and even the ones with good track records of punching through can have problems sometimes.
So if you experiences issues getting through with your VPN – even one of our recommended ones – try some of these steps to troubleshoot the problem:
- Check to make sure you have the latest version of the VPN.
- Try turning it off and on again. Cliché, yes, but it may work. Then check ipleak.net to make sure you’re actually connected to the right VPN server.
- If you’re still blocked, try switching servers. You may have to try a few different ones before connecting to one that’ll work.
- If you’ve tried these steps with no luck, contact your provider’s customer support team. They’ll be able to walk you through anything you may have missed and give you further information that may be unavailable (i.e. all their servers are having trouble and they’re working to resolve the problem).
- Be patient! Major streaming services like HBO Go, Netflix and Hulu are all extremely vigilant in updating their VPN blocking countermeasures. All of our recommended VPNs have shown equal dedication in staying a step ahead in this cat-and-mouse game, but none can guarantee 100% access across all of their servers. Just give it some time, and you’ll probably get access again soon enough. Customer support can give you a better idea of when this might be.
Unblock HBO Go in Italy, part 2 – Subscribe to a streaming service and add HBO Go
The primary way to get HBO Go is by having an HBO cable subscription. But to get that, you need to be in the right country and have the corresponding credit card – so for residents of Italy, this isn’t feasible. Thankfully, there’s a sneaky workaround: online streaming services that include HBO as an add-on. There are several you can use. For each, you’ll need to use a VPN to subscribe, as they are available – surprise, surprise – in the United States.
- Sling TV – Sling lets you pick and choose the TV channels you’d like to watch and pay for just them. HBO is a premium add-on that can be watched on any device on which Sling itself can be viewed – like smartphones, tablets, and Fire TV. The cool thing about Sling TV is that if you have trouble signing up due to your non-American credit card, there’s an easy workaround: a prepaid Sling TV giftcard. You can buy these gift cards (in $25, $50, or $100 increments) on many reputable sites, like PayPal Gifts. Once you’ve bought the gift card, simply start up your VPN (if you haven’t already), visit sling.com and create your account using the gift card as your payment method. To cover the cost of a month’s subscription to Sling, as well as HBO, go for at least the $50 gift card option. That done, you’re set to enjoy your HBO!
- Hulu with Live TV – Hulu is one of the largest streaming providers in the world next to Netflix, giving you access to a wide variety of TV shows and movies. Signing up for Hulu’s Live TV service gives you access to all American broadcast and cable channels, and you can sign up for HBO as an add-on channel.
- PlayStation Vue – PlayStation Vue gives you online access to movies, TV shows, and sports with different “themed” packages. HBO comes as a standalone channel add-on.
- Amazon Prime Video – Amazon Prime Video competes with Netflix and Hulu and offers live TV channels on a per-network arrangement. Alongside others like Starz and Showtime, this means you can subscribe to HBO as well.
All of the streaming providers offer their HBO add-on for $14.99 or $15.00 per month, with the exception of Amazon Prime Video, which offers its HBO channel at a similar price to its other services. If you’re adding up cost, it’s important to remember that with each of these streaming services, you’re not only getting access to HBO, but to literally hundreds (or more) other channels, as well.
Once you’ve signed up for a VPN provider, then chosen a streaming service that has an HBO add-on, you’ll be all set to start streaming HBO Go in Italy.
Why can’t all VPNs unblock HBO Go?
As alluded to earlier, HBO Go is one of many streaming services that block VPNs from helping you access their content. They do this by identifying and blocking IP addresses they discover originate from VPNs. That’s why it’s so important to have a VPN that has a large network of servers and is dedicated to staying one step ahead of VPN-blockers.
If you use one of the VPNs we recommended earlier, you should be able to access HBO Go in Italy. But even if you start out strong, there will likely come a time where your tried, true, and trusty server suddenly ceases to unblock HBO for you. Don’t panic – just follow the troubleshooting steps we laid out earlier.
So whether you’re a U.S. resident who’s traveling to Italy for work or pleasure, or you’re trying to get an HBO Go account for the first time from Italy – you’ve now got the steps and know-how to unblock HBO Go.
Have you successfully unblocked HBO Go or HBO Now while in Italy? How did it go? Did you use similar steps to the ones we outlined here? Let us know your story in the comments below.
If you need a VPN for a short while when traveling for example, you can get our top ranked VPN free of charge. ExpressVPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. You will need to pay for the subscription, that’s a fact, but it allows full access for 30 days and then you cancel for a full refund. Their no-questions-asked cancellation policy lives up to its name.