Hbo Now in Australia-are geo-dodgers at risk of getting banned during Game of Thrones season 7?

HBO NOW

HBO Now is a service that is being accessed by thousands of users in Australia through VPN or Smart DNS workarounds. When such a vast number of users access their services it is bound to attract the company’s attention. This is precisely what transpired over the past two years and some HBO Now accounts were shut down as a result. A number of users that used Australian credit cards, iTunes vouchers and certain DNS services received emails from HBO claiming that using the service outside the US was against HBO policy.

With the seventh season of Game of Thrones in full swing, it is quite possible that the company would increase policing. Users could argue that they are paying the company directly for the service however, licensing rights and terms strictly outline that HBO Now is for those who reside in the USA and that in order to use the service users must prove this by providing an ID or proof of residence. With the bevy of smart DNS services and VPNs out there, it is hard to tell which ones are safe to use with HBO Now.

Some DNS providers have added a proxy for HBO but the company has been systematically improving its systems which have led to the removal of some accounts. Users with well-known DNS services and even those who used iTunes vouchers have lost access to their accounts. Consequently, a number of online resources have appeared on how to avoid the banhammer with popular DNS services taking special measures to ensure the real location of the geo-dodgers is not exposed. A majority of Australians can still access HBO Now but this article aims to highlight the possible factors that could get an account banned.

If you had your account blocked by the company or if you are curious to know what can trigger a ban consider the points below.

  • If your account was banned it is possible that your DNS service revealed your true location. It is vital to have your DNS or VPN set to the USA when you access the service. If you have your DNS set to the USA permanently and still lost access, the problem lies with your DNS service. Some providers only route a part of the traffic to ensure smooth streaming. Forums like slingsharing.com or Whirlpool forums discuss which DNS services work best with HBO.
  • Your real IP could have been exposed when you were creating an iTunes account or when you were redeeming vouchers. If this is indeed the case the only viable alternative would be to get a relative or friend from the USA to share their login with you. If you DO NOT have this luxury like many Australians you can head over to online marketplaces that rent out cable or HBO Now logins. Slingsharing.com is a popular marketplace for HBO Now logins, cable logins or sling-tv logins. You could access HBO Now with either of those services.

In conclusion, there is no hard and fast rule that using a workaround will prevent a ban. It is, however, a good idea to use a login that was registered and purchased with a real USA residential address and is being paid for by a citizen of the United States (these are available at slingsharing.com for as low as 10 AUD per month). It is highly unlikely that these accounts would come under scrutiny even if they are used with Geo circumvention tools.

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