HBONOWLETTER

HBO NOW Moves To Block VPN And Smart DNS Users

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HBO Now is moving to block anyone using a VPN or Smart DNS service. HBO is giving users until April 21st to prove they are within the US or their service will be shut down.

Here is the letter being sent out to HBO NOW subscribers:

HBONOWLETTER

 

What is interesting is HBO NOW will turn off your service, but will keep billing you. It is up to you to cancel your subscription to avoid future bills.

This does raise the question if HBO NOW can do this how long until other services start blocking smart DNS and VPN services?

We will update this story as we learn more.

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4 Responses to HBO NOW Moves To Block VPN And Smart DNS Users

  1. Avatar
    Ahmad April 17, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

    I’ve emailed their support, that phone number is their Fraud Department.

    • Avatar
      CC April 19, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

      I called the number too. It’s NOT the fraud department. I told them I was on holiday outside the USA and “the kids” logged on, and they accepted this. Meanwhile, I cancelled my smart proxy account and signed up for VPN at TorGuard. I used Witopia before, but they were having trouble with Hulu. From what I’ve experienced so far, TorGuard gives me better service (can even do IPsec on iPhone), PPTP is very fast. I even found a coupon online to get a lifetime 50% off , so the price now is $9.99 for 3 months. What’s good about them is they do not insist on keeping my credit card info. The only downside is their DNS server is a bit slow, so I’m back to using Google DNS/Open DNS.

      It really shouldn’t be too hard to get around the problem if someone signs up with iTunes. Just get a U.S. iTunes account (no credit card needed, just reload with U.S. card gift code from wherever you are), and then claim to live in one of the border states. The lady on the phone at HBO told me that towns on the American side that border on Canada sometimes will show up as “Canadian”, so that’s all the excuse you need. They ask for a phone number and address — just give them the address of the post office and get a Google voice number or one from Sonetel and you’re all set.

      • Avatar
        CC April 20, 2015 at 1:27 am #

        Correction: I cancelled my smart _DNS_ account since HBO Now was able to detect I was outside the U.S. The reply I got from the smart DNS provider was, “There are several ways they can detect this through server logs etc. All other DNS providers are seeing this issue as well.”

        We’ll see what happens with the VPN.

  2. Avatar
    Danny April 20, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

    Their pettiness only pushes people back to piracy. HBO, do you want money or piracy? Idiots.