HBO Go vs. HBO Now vs. HBO Max: How Do They Compare?

Max is HBO's newest streaming service, but it's worth comparing content, prices, and devices before deciding if it's the best option for you.
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HBO has offered video streaming services since 2010. But now with HBO Go, HBO Now, and HBO Max available, it can be hard to decide which one to subscribe to. We compare HBO Go vs. Now vs. Max below, so you can make an informed decision about how you watch Westworld, Insecure, and other HBO shows.

Interested in a traditional HBO subscription? See the different ways to get HBO, and if you want to do a test run first, check out our guide on how to score free HBO.

HBO Go vs. HBO Now vs. HBO Max


How do you sign up? The HBO Go streaming service is included with a paid HBO subscription through a cable or satellite provider.

How much does it cost? It's free with a paid HBO subscription, though the price of that subscription can vary, depending on the provider.

What do you get? Stream HBO original shows (every season and every episode), as well as movies, specials, and other content.

Does it require subscribing to cable? Yes, you must subscribe to HBO via a cable or satellite provider.

How can you watch? HBO Go is available on a variety of devices, including computers, smartphones, tablets, and TVs.


How do you sign up? Look here to see all the different ways you can sign up for HBO Now, including via the website, app, digital subscription providers, and internet providers.

How much does it cost? You'll get a free 7-day trial, then pay $14.99 per month.

What do you get? Receive unlimited access to HBO original series (every season and episode), as well as movies, documentaries, sports, and exclusive comedy specials.

Does it require subscribing to cable? No. The main difference between HBO Now vs. Go is that the former is a stand-alone service that doesn't require subscribing to cable or satellite services.

How can you watch? You can access HBO Now on a smart TV, game console, smartphone, tablet, or computer.


How do you sign up? Check out all the ways to get HBO Max and start your free trial. You can subscribe on the website and through HBO's partners.

How much does it cost? Start with a 7-day free trial. Once that ends, you'll pay $14.99 per month.

What do you get? Similar to the other streaming services, HBO Max has all of the HBO content. You can also watch iconic TV shows such as Friends and Doctor Who, family-friendly entertainment, hit movies, and Max Originals. The service features curated collections, custom parental controls, multiple viewer profiles, and offline downloads, too.

Does it require subscribing to cable? No. You can subscribe to HBO Max via the website or a participating partner. Additionally, if you have an active HBO Now subscription, or if you subscribe to HBO through a TV or mobile provider, you may already have access. You can check here to see if you do.

How can you watch? You can watch HBO Max on Android phones and tablets, select Android TV and Apple TV devices, Chromebooks, Chromecast, iPhones, iPads, iPod touch devices, PC and Mac computers, PlayStation 4 consoles, select Samsung TVs, and Xbox One consoles. Notably absent from the list are Roku and Amazon devices, though HBO Max could eventually show up on them.

How Do the HBO Streaming Services Differ?

With these three streaming services, it basically comes down to how you want to get HBO and what you'd like to watch. HBO Go is included with a traditional HBO subscription through a TV or mobile provider, while HBO Now is a stand-alone streaming service. The cost of HBO through a TV or mobile provider varies, but HBO Now is $14.99 per month. In both cases, you can only access HBO's catalog — nothing extra.

SEE ALSO: 8 Ways to Get Free HBO

HBO Max seems to be the best deal: for $14.99 per month, you receive access to all of HBO's catalog, plus TV series and movies from DC and Warner Bros. Additionally, Max also provides access to Max Originals, such as The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo and Love Life, which stars Anna Kendrick. Eventually, you can expect HBO Now and HBO Go to go away, though the latter will likely hang around for a while yet.

Readers, do you subscribe to any HBO service? Will you subscribe to HBO Max? Let us know in the comments below.

Julie Ramhold
Senior Staff Writer/Consumer Analyst

Julie's work has been featured on CNBC, GoBankingRates, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, Money, The New York Times, Real Simple, US News, WaPo, WSJ, Yahoo!, and more. She's extolled the virtues of DealNews in interviews with Cheddar TV, GMA, various podcasts, and affiliates across the United States, plus one in Canada.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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1 comment
So, MAX is the way to go if you travel and want to download episodes to watch them offline while in the flight