Update: Sorry folks...HBO's benevolence has now ended and the free shows and films stopped being available when April came to a close. Still looking for something to watch? Then we suggest you check out our guide to the best TV streaming services available right now.
One of the few ways to see the glass as even remotely half-full during such worrying times is to think about all the great TV shows you finally have time to stream - and now there's a way you can actually watch HBO for free.
The US cable channel is offering a number of its best-loved and most critically acclaimed shows for free streaming - think The Wire, The Sopranos, and Succession. There's loads of movies on offer, too, from classics like The Bridges of Madison Country to newer, family-friendly flicks like The Lego Movie 2 (a full list follows below).
This is particularly fantastic news for anyone in the US, as all you need to do if you're in America is head to HBO Now (or HBO Go on mobile devices) and start streaming away. For those Americans finding themselves outside of the country, geo-blocking restrictions are likely to stand in your way - but there's still a way to watch HBO shows for free online wherever you happen to be. Keep reading for more details.
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How to watch HBO for free in the US
You can call it a sceptical way to get people using HBO before the big HBO Max subscription launch in May, but let's face it...this is a very generous offering from the company in a real time of need.
It's really, really simple to watch if you're in the US. All you need to do is head to the HBO Now or HBO Go website and select your show from the astonishing list of 'No subscription required' shows and then...start watching! You don't even have to sign in.
How to stream HBO for free and watch online from outside the US
If you typically watch HBO services like HBO Now and HBO Go in the US but find yourself out of the country at present and in lockdown, there's still an easy way to tap in as usual. All you need to do is use a clever bit of software called a VPN, which will steer you around any geo-blocking restrictions you may encounter and let you watch HBO online just like you would from home.
We've spent hours testing all of the major VPN services and we rate ExpressVPN as the absolute best. It's compatible with all of your devices, supports most streaming services and ranks amongst the fastest. You can even install it on devices like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation and both iOS and Android software.
What makes ExpressVPN even more enticing is its flexible 30-day money back guarantee. But then again, if you sign up for an annual plan you'll get a 49% discount and 3 months extra FREE - a brilliant deal on an essential bit of software.
Once downloaded, search for a server location in the US, and then connect. You should then be able to watch HBO for free online without any difficulty.
Everything you can watch on HBO for free right now
Whether you're a documentary fan, need a new movie to watch with the kids, or want to find a TV show to binge on, HBO's free streaming catalogue has loads to offer.
TV shows to watch for free on HBO:
- Ballers (5 Seasons)
- Barry (2 Seasons)
- Silicon Valley (6 Seasons)
- Six Feet Under (5 Seasons)
- The Sopranos (7 Seasons)
- Succession (2 Seasons)
- True Blood (7 Seasons)
- Veep (7 Seasons)
- The Wire (5 Seasons)
Documentaries to watch for free on HBO:
- The Apollo
- The Case Against Adnan Syed
- Elvis Presley: The Searcher
- I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter
- The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley
- Jane Fonda in Five Acts
- True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality
- United Skates
- We Are the Dream: The Kids of the MLK Oakland Oratorical Fest
Movies to watch for free on HBO:
- Arthur 2: On the Rocks
- Blinded By the Light
- The Bridges of Madison County
- Crazy, Stupid, Love
- Empire of the Sun
- Forget Paris
- Happy Feet Two
- Isn’t It Romantic?
- The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
- Midnight Special
- My Dog Skip
- Nancy Drew And The Hidden Staircase
- Pokémon Detective Pikachu
- Red Riding Hood
- Sucker Punch
These are the titles that HBO is sending live immediately, but we wouldn't be surprised if additional content followed given the current circumstances - and rest assured we'll update this guide as soon as new information becomes available.
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