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How to get HBO for free

HBO remains one of the titans of the entertainment industry, and with shows such as The Wire, Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Watchmen, and more, under its belt, it’s easy to see why that’s the case. If you’re itching to watching HBO but don’t have the money, it can be frustrating. But what if we told you that you could get HBO for free? Whether you want to binge-watch a single series or catch up on a blockbuster film, we’ll show you how to get HBO for free using a bit of ingenuity.

Take advantage of HBO trials

Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Trials are designed to get you hooked, but if you’re looking to binge-watch a show or gain access to a few films, you may only need the 30-day trial period to satiate your craving. You can find trials for HBO at the source,, or via other streaming services. Trial availability tends to change over time, but we found that both Hulu and Amazon Prime seemed to offer ongoing trials to the service’s content. Just remember that many trials will bill your credit card once they end, so put a reminder on your calendar to cancel before that date if you don’t wish to continue your subscription.

Give your cable provider a call

Your cable provider might be able to hook you up with a free trial of HBO or HBO Max, and you don’t need to play any tricks. Many cable and satellite TV providers have HBO trials on-hand, as the service is so popular that customers regularly look to sample it. The key to calling your cable provider is to be honest and ask if any HBO trials are available because you want to try the service; this is a great time to remember that old saying your mother told you — you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

Another tactic with cable providers is to say that another competing service offers HBO with their package at a lower price; your provider may decide to match the competition. If they can’t provide you with a trial period of HBO, don’t fret, as we still have other methods to try and obtain your favorite shows and movies for free.

Visit HBO’s website for free shows

Kaley Cuoco in The Flight Attendant, on HBO
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This may come as a surprise, but HBO’s website offers select episodes of shows to watch for no cost. For the most part, the first few episodes will be available. While HBO’s website isn’t likely to get you through an entire show, it’s a great way to see if signing up for a full HBO subscription is worth it. Test out those shows your friends keep telling you about to see if HBO is right for you.

Free access with AT&T and DirecTV

AT&T Store
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Warner Media, the company that owns HBO, is in turn owned by AT&T. Due to the close ownership of these three companies, AT&T will typically offer HBO as a free or discounted service to its customers. If you are an AT&T Unlimited Elite customer, HBO Max is included with your subscription. Additionally, DirecTV is owned by AT&T, so users signing up for their Choice or Ultimate packages will receive a year of HBO Max for no cost. If you’re already a member of one of these services, you may have access to HBO without even knowing it.

Convince friends to share that password

Sharing passwords for streaming services isn’t exactly secret, and it might be your ticket to gaining access to HBO at no cost. Check with friends and family who have streaming services to see if someone might be willing to give you their login information. Even better, perhaps you can trade services, such as providing a friend or family member access to Netflix (although the streamer is reportedly cracking down on password sharing) in exchange for HBO.  Sometimes, it is about who you know.

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Michael Archambault
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Michael Archambault is a technology writer and digital marketer located in Long Island, New York. For the past decade…
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