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Where & How to Watch The Wire Online in 2024: Return to Baltimore With Streaming

The crime drama series The Wire takes us on an electrifying journey through the streets of Baltimore and its drug trade. Find out where and how to watch The Wire in our guide and get around geoblocks with a VPN.

Kit CopsonAleksandar Kochovski

Written by Kit Copson (Writer, Briefing Editor)

Reviewed by Aleksandar Kochovski (Writer, SEO Editor)

Last Updated: 2024-01-14T09:31:35+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

The groundbreaking HBO series and Emmy nominee The Wire debuted in 2002. Though the series completed its five-season run in 2008, its legacy has stood to the test of time. Netizens in 2021 are still cruising around streaming services to find out where and how to watch The Wire online. Geoblocking can make this tricky for some, but a virtual private network (VPN) can help you with that. 

Dominic West stars as Detective James “Jimmy” McNulty in The Wire, supported by an all-star cast including Lance Reddick, Wendell Pierce, Sonja Sohn and the now sadly departed Michael K. Williams as Omar Little. The narrative spotlights Baltimore’s drug scene but not only those within it. Creator David Simon homes sharply in on societal responsibility and involvement as a whole.

Key Takeaways:

  • You can watch the first five seasons of The Wire on Max or Hulu if you’re in the U.S. Viewers in the U.K. can watch The Wire with Sky TV or a subscription to NOW TV. Alternatively, you can buy or rent seasons and episodes on Amazon Prime Video, Vudu or iTunes. 
  • You can use a VPN to stream The Wire on a streaming service if it’s unavailable in your country. 
  • ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming, especially with services like Hulu and Max. 

Not available in your country?

Watch The Wire now on HBO Max and other streaming platforms.

Status checked 2024/06/14:

All five seasons of The Wire are available on paid streaming services like Max and Hulu — just like The Sopranos. If you’ve already got a subscription to one of these U.S. streaming services, you’re golden. If you’re on the hunt for a way to watch The Wire online free, there is a way. Read on to find out how and where to watch The Wire.

  • 11/23/2021 Facts checked

    Added new information on the free HBO trial through Hulu, as well as a guide on how to watch the Wire with a VPN.

How to Watch The Wire Online Free With a VPN

Watch shows like The Wire, Boardwalk Empire and Lovecraft Country on Hulu with the Max add-on.

The Wire is available on Max, but Max doesn’t offer a free trial. If you sign up for Hulu’s free trial and use the Max add-on, you can watch all five seasons of the TV series The Wire for free as long as you can get through them in seven days. 

If you’re traveling outside of the U.S., you can sign up for a free trial with a quality VPN like ExpressVPN to access Hulu. There is one catch, however — you do need a U.S. payment card (or another U.S. payment method, like PayPal) to sign up to Hulu. Assuming you’ve already signed up for your Hulu free trial and have added Max, let’s take a look at how to watch The Wire for free outside of the U.S. 

  1. Sign Up for ExpressVPN’s Free Trial

    Visit ExpressVPN’s website and click on “Start Your Trial Today.” Follow the instructions on the site.

    express vpn free trial
  2. Download ExpressVPN

    Download the ExpressVPN app for the device you are using. Follow the instructions in the installation wizard.

    download expressvpn
  3. Open ExpressVPN and Connect

    Open the ExpressVPN app on your device. To connect to a server, tap the three horizontal dots in the “selected location” box. Tap any U.S. server and then tap “connect.” 

    express vpn connect
  4. Start Streaming in Hulu

    On Hulu, select The Wire season you want. Click on the episode you want to watch to start streaming. If you have issues streaming content, try another U.S. server.

    thewire hulu min

Watch The Wire on Max or Another Streaming Service

the wire max
All five seasons of The Wire are available on Max.

There are other streaming options for watching all five seasons of The Wire if Hulu isn’t your thing. A monthly subscription to Max will set you back $9.99 per month or $14.99 per month if you go ad-free. Just like with Hulu, you need a VPN if you are outside the U.S. You can also buy episodes for $2.99 or seasons for $24.99 on Amazon Prime Video. 

If you’re in the U.K., The Wire is available for Sky customers. Alternatively, you can sign up for a free trial with NOW TV and stream it there. If you’re travelling outside the U.K., you can connect to a U.K. VPN server to continue watching The Wire from overseas. 

Torrent The Wire: Entire Series & Individual Episodes

Another way to watch The Wire is through torrenting, but the usual warnings apply. Piracy is illegal almost everywhere, so a VPN is an absolute must. Because most VPNs fail to adequately protect your data, we recommend using only those in our selection of the best VPN for torrenting (NordVPN especially shines here), or you could face fines potentially running into the thousands.

The Best VPNs to Watch The Wire

Top-quality VPNs are the ones most likely to get you around those pesky geoblocks and have you enjoying a binge-watching session in no time. 

1. ExpressVPN — The Best VPN to Stream The Wire

expressvpn get started
ExpressVPN is lightning-fast, making it the perfect streaming VPN. 

ExpressVPN is our top pick for streaming, especially for pairing with a streaming service like Hulu (see our guide on how to watch Hulu with ExpressVPN). It has a vast selection of servers, particularly in the U.S., and is lightning-fast in the speed department. This is hugely important to avoid interruptions to your streaming time. You can try it out for free using the 30-day money-back guarantee. 

2. NordVPN — The Best VPN for Torrenting The Wire

nordvpn features
NordVPN is another trustworthy VPN with excellent torrenting capacity.

NordVPN takes our top spot for torrenting thanks to its affordable price. This VPN employs special P2P servers with better torrenting capacity than its regular servers, though it’s still not as fast as ExpressVPN for torrenting. The system-wide and app-level kill switches add an extra layer of reassurance by cutting off your internet and shutting down your torrent client if your VPN connection drops. The 30-day money-back guarantee lets you test it out free of risk.

3. Windscribe — The Best Free VPN for Watching The Wire

windscribe home page
Windscribe is one of the few free VPNs we’re happy to vouch for.

Though it’s a free VPN, Windscribe is capable of getting into streaming services like Hulu. It’s a great choice if you want to get a feel for a VPN without spending any money. You can always upgrade to their paid plan if you want access to more features. 

Final Thoughts

The above tips should get you well on your way to watching the five seasons of The Wire online. With Amazon Prime subscription you can watch The Wire and other great shows like Mad Men, fantasy series Grimm, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Evangelion and Billions.

If you prefer streaming The Wire on Max, you’ll unlock opportunities to watch Bourne movies, Rick and Morty, House of Dragon, Pretty Little Liars and White Lotus. You can also watch some of The Avengers movies such as Incredible Hulk or have a taster of the Harry Potter series.

However, there is a workaround to watch it for free by utilizing free trials. It’s a good idea to use ExpressVPN if you need to get around geoblocks. It’s also a great VPN to access ITV Hub from the U.S. to watch Love Island U.K. and Grantchester or switch to Peacock to stream Love Island U.S.

We hope you enjoy what’s probably the best TV show ever made, and please let us know in the comments below if we missed any other avenues for watching McNulty get into trouble. Thanks for reading.


  • If you sign up for a Hulu trial and add on Max, you can watch The Wire for free for seven days.

  • The Wire isn’t available on Netflix because it is an HBO series.

  • Yes. Individual episodes cost $2.99, and full seasons are $24.99. Read our guide to learn how to watch Amazon Prime Video.

  • Yes, you can watch full episodes and seasons of The Wire on Hulu with an Max add-on.

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