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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

How to Fix HBO’s Not in Service Area Message – 2024 Update

Lea Hyatt Updated on 22nd February 2024 Fact-checked by Ryan Jones Cybersecurity Researcher

There’s nothing more frustrating than logging in to your HBO Max account and seeing an error message like “Not in Service Area”, “VPN detected”, or “Max is not available in your region”. If you’re in a supported country and you’re still getting an error, there are some fixes you can try.

I’ve put together an easy guide on how to fix HBO’s “Not in Service Area” message. I’ll cover some quick and simple fixes to get rid of that pesky “Not available in your region” error so you can get back to watching your favorite movies and series.

Short on Time? Here Are the Best Ways to Fix HBO’s Not in Service Area Message in 2024

  1. Turn off any anonymization software — Privacy apps like proxies or VPNs can be detected or blocked by Max. They can also make it seem like you’re in an unsupported region.
  2. Restart your router — Switching your router and/or modem off and on again can reset your IP address, resolving any location error issues on Max.
  3. Contact your ISP — Your internet service provider might be able to find out why your IP is being flagged as the wrong region.
  4. Contact HBO — If you’ve reset your IP address and it’s still being blocked by MAX, contact HBO’s support team for assistance.

Easy Fix: Try a Better VPN to Watch HBO Max in HD

If your ISP is prone to throttling (i.e. limiting your internet speed during peak hours or when it detects that you’re streaming) a VPN can be a great solution for watching HBO Max in HD. VPNs encrypt everything you do online, preventing your ISP from seeing that you’re watching Max so it can’t deliberately dampen your speeds.

However, not all VPNs work with Max, which might be why you’re seeing a “not in service area” or “not available in your region” error message. You need a VPN with strong encryption, fast connections, and servers in the HBO Max region that you’re in (so you can use your account as normal). For example, ExpressVPN has servers in 24 US locations, so it’s ideal for bypassing ISP throttling and streaming Max in the best quality if you’re in the US.

Vendor Logo of ExpressVPN
Perfect for Streaming on All Devices
DEAL: Save 49% + 30-day money-back guarantee
Editor's Choice for Streaming
Our Score: 10.0
Safely stream content without interruption
Watch movies and TV shows in UHD

Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

Best Solutions to Fix HBO’s Not in Service Area Message

When that “Max is not available in your region” message pops up even though you are in a supported country, here are some fixes to try:

Turn Off Anonymization Software

VPNs are great for protecting your online privacy as they encrypt everything you do on the web, keeping your internet activity hidden from hackers and snoops. But the way they do this is by rerouting your traffic through a private VPN server. If you connect to a server in a different country, it masks your real IP address with one from that country. This can make HBO think you’re not in a supported region, blocking you from watching Max.

Try turning off your VPN (or similar apps like proxies) to fix any IP issues. Alternatively, If you’re using the VPN to watch Max in HD, make sure you’re connected to a server in your own Max-supported country to avoid getting locked out. It’s also worth noting that not every VPN works with Max so you may also need to upgrade to a better service.

Reset Your Network

Getting a Max geo-restriction error could indicate that HBO is detecting an issue with your IP address. In that case, restarting your router and/or modem can reset your network and refresh your IP. Routers can usually be restarted via a button on the back (sometimes hidden in a small hole). That said, different devices will have different reset methods, so check your device’s setup manual or contact the manufacturer to get instructions if you’re unsure.

Contact Your ISP

If resetting your IP address doesn’t work, try getting in touch with your internet provider. The support team might be able to shed more light on why Max is having an issue with your IP address. You should be able to contact your ISP via its website.

Contact HBO

If your ISP can’t find any problems, but you still can’t watch Max, HBO recommends you contact them instead. Here’s how:

  1. Go to HBO Max’s Help Center.
  2. Click the blue Contact Us button.
  3. Explain the issue to the support team. Make sure to have your IP address and the name of your internet service provider ready.

What Causes the HBO Not in Service Area Error Message?

You’ll see the “Not in Service Area” or “Max is not available in your region” messages if HBO detects that you’re in a country that it doesn’t support. Currently, Max is only available in the US, some Latin American countries, and some parts of Europe and the Caribbean. Here’s a full list of supported countries:

Åland Islands Andorra Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Canary Islands Ceuta
Croatia Czech Republic Denmark Faroe Islands Finland Greenland
Hungary Madeira Melilla Moldova Montenegro Netherlands
North Macedonia Norway Poland Portugal Romania Serbia
Slovakia Slovenia Spain Svalbard & Jan Mayen Sweden Argentina
Belize Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Costa Rica
Ecuador El Salvador Guatemala Guyana Honduras Mexico
Nicaragua Panama Paraguay Peru Suriname Uruguay
Venezuela Anguilla Antigua & Barbuda Bahamas Barbados British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands Curacao Dominica Dominican Republic Grenada Haiti
Jamaica Montserrat Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia St. Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad & Tobago
Turks and Caicos US

HBO can tell what country you’re in by looking at your IP address. An IP address is like a digital home address for your devices on the internet. Just like your home address helps mail get to you, an IP address makes sure data gets to the right device on the web. It carries location information, which Max can use to see where you are.

If you’re getting blocked by HBO even though you’re in a supported country, this indicates an issue with your IP address. This can be caused by a problem with your internet service provider, your home network (your router or modem), or third-party software that might be changing your IP address (like a VPN or proxy). Luckily, most causes of Max’s location error messages can be easily fixed.

Vendor Logo of ExpressVPN
Perfect for Streaming on All Devices
DEAL: Save 49% + 30-day money-back guarantee
Editor's Choice for Streaming
Our Score: 10.0
Safely stream content without interruption
Watch movies and TV shows in UHD

How to Stay Safe While Streaming Max

As well as helping you get around ISP throttling to watch Max in the best quality, VPNs are a vital part of your online safety toolbox. Since they scramble all your traffic and mask your location, VPNs give you privacy on the internet — helping you hide from the kinds of trackers used by advertisers, social media sites, and streamers like HBO. So you don’t get bombarded with creepy personalized ads.

A VPN can help you pay for Max PPV (pay-per-view) content securely as well. Encryption and various other security measures (like data leak protection) can keep your financial information hidden when you make payments online. This is especially important if you like to use Max on the go with WiFi hotspots. Public networks are especially vulnerable to hackers, so using a VPN gives you an additional layer of protection.

Vendor Logo of ExpressVPN
Military-Grade Security Features
DEAL: Save 49% + 30-day money-back guarantee
Editor's Choice for Security
Our Score: 10.0
High-level encryption keeps you safe online
Verified to not collect or share data

Best VPNs for Streaming HBO Max in 2024

  1. ExpressVPN — The fastest VPN I’ve tested, which is ideal for watching Max in the best quality. I had no issues using it with Max while in the US.
  2. CyberGhost — Streaming-optimized servers that are specially designed to work with Max. These servers cover 6 different HBO regions, helping you find a reliable connection in your country.
  3. Private Internet Access — Lets you connect an unlimited number of devices under one subscription. So you and all your household can enjoy watching Max at the same time.

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, Cyberghost and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company.

FAQs on How to Fix HBO’s Not in Service Area Message

Why is Max not working with my VPN?

You might be connected to the wrong server. Sometimes, VPNs have a Quick Connect feature that automatically hooks you up to the fastest server. If the selected server is outside your country, it can cause you to get blocked by HBO. Don’t worry though, this problem is easily fixed by turning off the VPN or making sure you’re connected to a server in the same country as you (as long as that country supports Max).

Note that using a VPN to watch Max outside the US or another supported region can go against HBO’s terms and conditions. Worse, it can even constitute copyright infringement. vpnMentor doesn’t condone any illegal activity — always use a VPN within the rules and regulations where you are.

Why is HBO Max not available in my region?

Because HBO only has the right to stream content in certain countries. When broadcasters buy TV series or movies, their contracts designate where they can show that content. If you try to watch Max outside of a supported country, you’ll get an error message.

What devices can I use to watch HBO Max?

You can stream Max on nearly every device. HBO provides apps for most operating systems, plus you can watch content via the Max website on any device that has a browser (like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari). If you want to stream Max in HD with a VPN, just make sure to pick a VPN that’s compatible with your chosen device.

Here’s a full list of devices that work with Max:

Android iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) Windows PC macOS Chromebook
Amazon Fire devices (like Amazon Fire Stick) Android TV Apple TV LG Smart TV Samsung TV
VIZIO Smart TV Cox Roku PlayStation Xbox
Xclass TV Xumo TV Xfinity X1 Flex Echo Show

Can I use a free VPN for HBO Max?

It’s best not to — free VPNs probably won’t work with Max. That’s because they usually have tiny server networks and very slow speeds that make streaming impossible. It’s more reliable to use a trusted VPN with a money-back guarantee. That way, you get guaranteed streaming speeds and servers in your region.

Even if you find a no-pay VPN that works with Max, you might be putting your data at risk. Free VPNs are often dangerous to use as well. They can log everything you do online while connected and sell that information to marketers. At worst, some free services are fake apps that hide malware or spyware.

Conclusion

There aren’t many issues that can cause HBO’s “Not in Service Area” or “Max is not available in your region” error messages — so fixing the issue should be easy. Just follow the steps outlined in this guide to get back to watching HBO content in no time.

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Lea is a writer who focuses on cybersecurity. Online privacy and security are her top priorities in her research.

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