HBO is cracking down on VPN users watching HBO Now

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HBO has threatened to block paying customers based overseas who have signed up for its HBO NOW service via virtual private networks (VPNs).

HBO Now is the company’s Internet streaming service which offers US based customers instant access to shows such as Game of Thrones, VEEP and The Wire without the need of a TV subscription.

HBO had hoped that people would watch its content via HBO Now rather than using torrent sites or pirate video streaming services.

However, since its launch earlier this month, users from all over the world have been signing up for the service using a VPN to mask their actual location.

By signing up for the service, users in Australia, for example, have been able to watch HD versions of Games of Thrones for US$14.99 – the price of a monthly HBO Now subscription in the United States.

This is significantly less than what Australian customers are charged by cable operators Down Under, who according to the Sydney Morning Herald, would need to purchase a premium subscription with Foxtel, which would cost AUS$660 plus a further AUS$200 for installation and equipment.

According to TorrentFreak, earlier this week, HBO began emailing customers in the UK, Canada, Australia and Germany who were using its HBO Now service via a VPN warning them that access to the service would be blocked if they could not prove they are based in the United States.

HBO is not the only US broadcaster to be getting tough on so called ‘VPN pirates’.

Netflix has also recently updated its terms of use to block anyone who tries to circumnavigate the geo-restrictions in place for watch its TV shows and movies.

As well as targeting VPN users, HBO is also cracking down on piracy having recently put pressure on Internet service providers to demand that customers who illegally downloaded leaked episodes of the new Game of Thrones be officially warned for doing so.

What do you think about this crackdown on VPN users by two major US broadcasters?

Are you a VPN pirate?

Do you use a VPN to access either HBO Now, Netflix or another service such as BBC iPlayer?

Let me know in the comments section below.

 

Related: Game of Thrones Season 5 Trailer

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8 Comments

  1. Bradon Brooke on

    You can never block VPNs without disconnecting the internet. It’s very difficult to track VPN users on your sites.

  2. Steven Erickson on

    Really? I’ve never been able to stream Amazon video. It detects I’m not a direct connection. HBO now works

  3. atleast netflix is still working. with the GOT leak, i guess the series sort of lost on the anticipation effect its had to date.

  4. I think the word “VPN pirate” is a little strong. What about free networks like ABC, CBS and NBC in the US that also block VPN usage. Where is the harm in watching your favorite TV shows while abroad while if at home would be basically free (minus cable fees which I pay for at the US address)? Yet these channels too are blocked if using a VPN. Whatever, I just hooked up a sling box to a friends cable box in the states with DVR service and I watch whatever I want, whenever I want, where ever I want. These cable companies are way to greedy.

  5. James Vang on

    I think HBO is going on wrong side by just cracking on VPN users rather than thinking to go globally and capture the market directly which force to use VPN from different sites like VpnRanks to watch their favourite shows. If HBO provide it’s services to the world then there is no need of any VPN.

  6. melvin herman on

    This is all BS IMO using the ‘copyright’ nonsense as an excuse. If one ALREADY

  7. melvin herman on

    This is all BS IMO while using the ‘copyright’ outcry as an excuse. When one ALREADY pays the subscription for access what makes the difference where you access it? From your couch in cloudy Dayton, Ohio or the jungles of the Congo. You have paid the fee. There is no piracy, no sub refuge, no nothing. You catch more flies with honey then vinegar.

  8. Steven Erickson on

    A couple days ago I received notice from HBONOW that they were making changes to their online agreement. One provision was that they would use detection technology to enforce viewing restrictions. Since then I can no longer view anything from them? Anyone have a similar experience? I was using HOLA premium with success prior to this.