The difference between HBO GO and HBO NOW

Many people are looking for ways to get rid of their cable subscription, without losing access to the best entertainment. Thankfully that is possible now as there is a wide range of options that facilitate cord-cutting. You can enjoy high quality TV shows and movies without having to tie yourself to a contract for a cable package. One of the leading names in home entertainment, HBO, is keeping up with the changes in the industry and it offers the necessary solutions to facilitate cord-cutting. With its password-sharing friendly HBO GO and with its streaming option, HBO NOW, it is clear that this premium cable channel is prepared to offer its customers the convenience of accessing their favorite content online.

However, those who are not already subscribed to HBO may find it difficult to understand the differences between the services that it offers. If you want to stream HBO content and are wondering what is the best option for you, this article will help you to understand the differences between HBO GO and HBO NOW. While they are both very good services, there are some differences that are worth keeping in mind so that you can choose the solution that suits you best.

Differences between HBO GO and HBO NOW

Before we start looking at what separates HBO GO from HBO NOW, we should say that both offer the same content. You can enjoy the original TV series, comedy specials, documentaries and movies that HBO offers, no matter what service you use. Both apps have a practical “Featured” content section that allows you to find out about new releases and movies that have just been added. You can easily know what are the latest option to watch on HBO. It is also possible to use the services on multiple platforms and if you start watching on your tablet, both apps let you continue on your TV, picking up from where you left.

Now, the main difference between the two services is that HBO GO us a streaming service that is linked to the pre-existing HBO package that you have with a cable provider. You can watch HBO on-demand from any device. In other word, in order to use HBO GO, you need to have a cable subscription to HBO, meaning that it is not the right option for cord-cutting. On the other hand, HBO NOW is a standalone app that you can sign up for, even if you don’t have a cable subscription. It is possible to buy a subscription directly from HBO or from other authorized dealers. If you don’t have a cable subscription and don’t want to get one, HBO NOW would be the best choice.


The cost for HBO GO depends on the cable provider and package that you have. In some plans, you may get a year or a few months of HBO without additional cost. Then you may pay $10 or $20 USD, depending on the service. This is the price that you may pay in addition to the monthly fee that you pay for your existing cable package. In the end, the total cost associated to HBO GO can be high, although if you want other channels apart from HBO, it may be the most convenient option. If you are mainly interested in HBO content and don’t want a cable subscription, consider HBO NOW. This service costs $14.99 per month and there are no additional costs. Anyone can sign up and no cable subscription is required.

Services and Devices

Although HBO GO started as a service that only supported Apple and iOS devices, currently the service works on pretty much every platform. In fact both HBO GO and HBO NOW work in the same platforms, with just a few exceptions. For instance, HBO NOW doesn’t support TIVO or Microsoft Edge. It is also worth noting that you can access HBO NOW from Amazon Prime or Hulu streaming apps as an add-on, which is convenient if you want to have an all-in-one setting. If you prefer to cut the cord, you can also enjoy HBO NOW via Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and even gaming consoles like PS4 and Xbox One.

Setting up HBO GO is a little bit more complicated as you need to contact your cable provider. Once you are subscribed to HBO, the next step is to download the app to your device. Then you can authenticate the service with your cable or satellite provider and enter a code to register the device you are using. In the case of HBO NOW, you just need to create an account, log in with your details and you will be ready to stream content. The service can be used for up to 3 people at the same time, regardless of the device they are using or their location. If more than 3 people start streaming the content, the service will stop and you will just see a message letting you know that the number of simultaneous streams supported has been exceeded.

HBO GO or HBO NOW – Which one should you use?

Both services allow you to access HBO’s content so in the end the choice depends on whether you already have cable or not. Setting up HBO GO requires you to contact the cable company and the price depends on the plans available and the provider itself. If the cost is over $15, you may be better off signing up for HBO NOW. This would also be the most convenient choice if you don’t want to get a cable contract or just want to try HBO for a month. There is a free trial that allows you to check the service without paying. Regardless of the option you choose, you will be able to enjoy popular TV series like Game of Thrones and Westworld.

Renee Biana

VPN Pick brings you all the latest vpn news, reviews and discounts.

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