How to Fix HBO’s Not in Service Area Message [2022 Guide]

You’ve finally found a gap to watch The Joker on HBO Max, only to get this message on your screen:

Screenshot of HBO Max Not in Service Area screen  

Is a small matter like geo-restrictions going to come between you and the Clown Prince of Crime? Not today, Batman!

Services like HBO Max are only available in certain territories. This means, you aren’t able to access HBO Max from beyond those borders.

Don’t pack it in just yet. Keep calm and call me Batman…

What you need is a cloaking device, specifically a VPN. A high-quality VPN is an extremely valuable asset in any crime-fighter’s cache as it lets you go invisible online. It also hides your IP address and lets you spoof your location so you can access streaming services from anywhere.

How to Watch HBO Max with a VPN in 4 Steps

  1. Download and install CyberGhost VPN on any device.
  2. Log in and connect to a server in the US.
  3. Sign in or sign up for an HBO account.
  4. Have the last laugh on HBO Max!


How a VPN Helps You Access Global Content

A VPN lets you spoof your location, so you can watch HBO Max from outside the US. It encrypts your data and reroutes it through its own secure VPN servers. This replaces your real IP address with a new one in a location where HBO is available. Turn on your VPN and forget about location error messages!

You may be tempted to use free VPNs or proxy services to change your IP address and access HBO Max content. This can lead to a “VPN detected” error message and a permanent IP ban.

How Streaming Services Detect VPNs

Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime have figured out you can use VPNs to access certain content. That’s why they’ve brought in anti-VPN blocks. These can detect if you’re using an IP belonging to a VPN provider, and block it.

The streaming service then adds the VPN’s IP address to their “blocklist”, and prevents it from connecting to the service’s content ever again.

Why You Need a Premium VPN

Premium VPN providers replace the old, blocked IP addresses with new, unblocked ones. The streaming services quickly catch on and block the new addresses, and so it goes.

That means only a few VPNs are able to keep up with this game and consistently give you the access you’re after. Even those that can, may not offer top speeds for HD streaming.

What to Look for in a VPN

When considering your options, make sure your VPN has:

          • US servers. HBO Max is only available in the US, so your VPN must offer US servers.
          • Fast connections and uncapped bandwidth so you can stream in HD without buffering
          • Strong security to protect your privacy and anonymity
          • Stealth – the ability to get past HBO Max’s anti-VPN blocks

Why Choose CyberGhost VPN for Watching HBO Max

Dedicated HBO-Streaming Servers

We have dedicated streaming servers for HBO, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, and others. This means you’ll never run out of entertainment options, whether you’re in Gotham City or the middle of nowhere.

The Dark Knight Returns in a Click

It couldn’t be easier to obliterate HBO Max’s “Not in service area” messages with CyberGhost VPN. Simply pick the streaming service (HBO Max, Netflix, Disney+) you want to watch from the CyberGhost app, and we’ll choose the best VPN server for you. Even better, CyberGhost VPN will then open the desired site for you in your search browser.

Iron-Clad Security

Your data is hidden from snoopers and cybercriminals by CyberGhost’s advanced security features. These include 256-AES military-grade encryption, an automatic Kill Switch, ad blocker and a strict No-Logs policy. Batman approves!

Any Device, Any Time

Whether it’s a GOT rerun on your Smart TV, or snacking on some Adult Swim at lunch on your smartphone, CyberGhost VPN has dedicated apps for almost any device or operating system. This includes Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV, Linux, and Chrome. Connect up to 7 devices simultaneously, and stream HBO Max on every device with just one CyberGhost VPN account!

Superhero Speeds

Enjoy all your favorite HBO shows in HD with zero buffering, thanks to CyberGhost VPN’s ultra-fast connections and unlimited bandwidth.

Make a heroic comeback with CyberGhost VPN. Try it out risk-free with our 45-day money-back guarantee?

Do I Need an American Credit Card to Watch HBO Max?

HBO Max isn’t available outside the US. That’s why you have to pay with an American credit card. This is tricky if you aren’t a US citizen but still want some HBO in your life.

Luckily, we’ve found a few loopholes. You could, for example, pay with your PayPal account using your smartphone. HBO doesn’t control payment methods on Android or Apple devices. You can also use an HBO Now gift card. In both cases, be sure to turn your VPN on so HBO can’t detect your real location.

How to Create an HBO Max Account Outside the US

You can get an HBO Max account from abroad! Here’s how.

  1. Download and install a premium VPN like CyberGhost.
  2. Sign in to your VPN account and connect to a US server.
  3. Create a new Apple ID or Google Play Store account, and change your payment method to PayPal.
  4. Go to on your Android or Apple device and sign up
  5. Create your account. Enter your email address and create a password.
  6. Enter a US address. (hint: Google “US address generator”).
  7. Enter your payment details (Use your new Apple ID or Google Play Store account)
  8. Hit play!

As Batman famously said, “All men have limits. They learn what they are and learn not to

Break through all limitations with CyberGhost VPN.


Is HBO Max region locked?

Yes, HBO Max is only available to people in the US and certain US territories. That’s why you will see the error message “Not in service area”when you try to access HBO from another country. The way around this is with a reliable VPN like CyberGhost. Thanks to our dedicated streaming servers and ultra-fast speeds, CyberGhost is the best VPN for streaming HBO Max. CyberGhost VPN gives you worldwide access to 35+ other streaming services with zero buffering, no bandwidth limits, and total anonymity.

Try CyberGhost VPN risk-free with our 45-day money-back guarantee.

Why is HBO Max not working?

It’s likely you’re in a location where HBO Max isn’t available. That, or HBO detected your VPN. In both cases, your only option is to choose a premium VPN that can reliably open up geo-restricted content.

Why else might HBO Max not be working?

          • Connection speeds: Your internet connection may not be fast enough for streaming.
          • HBO server issues: HBO Max’s servers may have technical issues and there’s really nothing you can do other than wait for the developers to fix the issue.
          • Smart TV error: Sometimes Android and Apple Smart TVs have problems with the native HBO Max app. Try casting HBO Max from your Android or iOS device using Chromecast or AirPlay.
          • VideoPlaybackQuality disabled in Brave: If you’re streaming HBO Max content from your Brave browser, you may come across this issue. Make sure you’ve enabled VideoPlaybackQuality by default.
          • Browse incompatibility: Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers can struggle to stream HBO Max. Time to switch to another browser?

How do I change my HBO Max region?

You’ll get a location error when you try to watch HBO Max, because HBO Max is geo-restricted. That means only viewers in the US can access HBO Max’s content. HBO Max can tell where you are using your IP address. A reliable VPN like CyberGhost changes your IP address and your location. This will fool HBO Max into thinking you’re in the US so you can get on with the show.

Can HBO Max detect a VPN?

Yes, HBO Max detects and blocks many VPNs, especially the free ones. Rather go with one HBO Max can’t detect, like CyberGhost VPN. We’ve got 7200+ servers in 90 countries, including many streaming-optimized servers that can give you instant access to 35+ international streaming services, including HBO Max. Need help setting up CyberGhost VPN so you can watch HBO Max? Head on over to our 24/7 support team via email or live chat.

Do you automatically get HBO Max if you have HBO?

Yes, if you’re an AT&T customer, or you subscribe to HBO through your cable or satellite provider, you may get free access to HBO Max. Similarly, if you subscribe to HBO through some other streaming service, like Hulu and Amazon Prime, you automatically qualify for the full HBO Max catalog.

Here’s how to get HBO Max through another HBO subscription:

    1. Download HBO Max for Android or iPhone.
    2. On the main screen, tap the person icon on the bottom right.
    3. Choose Sign in next to Already subscribed?
    4. Select Sign in through TV or mobile provider.
    5. Choose your cable or online provider.
    6. If your cable company is listed, tap your provider and enter in your email and password.
    7. Enjoy HBO Max for free!

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