The 8 Best Australia VPNs in 2024 (Premium and Free)

Aliu Isa  - Streaming Expert
Last updated: March 2, 2024
Read time: 24 minutes

We tested dozens and found these 8 best VPNs for Australia that let you stream, browse and torrent safely. So get to enjoy the internet as you deserve.


A robust Australia VPN is the ultimate solution for avoiding online tracking, evading content restrictions, and escaping unnecessary bandwidth throttling from the ISPs. Besides, the best VPNs also offer ample Australian IP addresses for users to access local content when abroad. The only trick to avail of these benefits lies in picking the right service provider that respects your privacy and meets your browsing needs. Keep reading this guide to know about such VPNs suitable to use in and outside Australia.

Australia has implemented certain laws that require ISPs to log citizens’ data to some extent. Therefore, using a VPN is inevitable for online privacy and security in Australia.

Also, a VPN lets you stream online content to your heart’s desire without restrictions, regardless of your location.

But with numerous VPN services in the market, all claiming to be the best, choosing the right Australian VPN is challenging.

Therefore, this article saves you from this hassle by reviewing the best VPNs for Australia. Read along to find the right VPN service for you.

A quick look at the best VPNs for Australia

Below are the best Australia VPNs you can use in 2024:

  1. NordVPN – The number one VPN for users in and outside Australia who wish to protect their privacy and unblock restricted content.
  2. Surfshark – Most affordable VPN solution that works as promised.
  3. ExpressVPN – Robust security and fast speeds at an affordable price.
  4. IPVanish – A fast and secure VPN with strong encryption and a no-logs policy.
  5. CyberGhost– User-friendly VPN with excellent privacy features and a large server network.
  6. Hotspot Shield– A popular VPN with fast speeds and military-grade encryption, perfect for streaming and online security.
  7. Windscribe – Feature-packed VPN with a generous free plan and robust security measures.
  8. TunnelBear – Free VPN service offers military-grade encryption and generous free data.

Why Australians need a VPN today

Australians are no strangers to state surveillance, content restrictions, cyber threats, and censorship.

Because it’s not an English-speaking market, filmmakers, game developers, and streaming services pay them the slightest attention. Unfortunately, this means fewer options for those who play mobile games or stream content with an Australian IP address.

Things have become worse due to the extra taxes that the government imposes on Netflix purchases and streaming. First, they require users to pay a compulsory additional 10% tax on foreign digital goods, a rule that Netflix capitalized on to increase their subscription fee by a whopping 20%.

Then, there is also a copyright act to worry about, which mandates Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to issue “three strikes” and other stiff penalties to defaulting persons. While the act has been scrapped for now since 2016, you never know when it may come back.

Also, Australia has a high cybercrime rate and is among the ten most targeted countries.

Since advertisers, the government, and other mischievous persons keep trying to monitor your browsing history, it’s essential to have a VPN. Without a VPN, anyone can easily access your personal information.

If you aren’t still convinced, here I precisely list the key reasons why you should use a VPN in Australia or elsewhere.

1. Prevent government surveillance

The main reason to use VPNs in Australia is to avoid government surveillance.

Yes, Australia, like the USA, also surveils its citizens’ online activities. And it can even share with others since it’s part of the Five Eyes Alliance. So, you inevitably need a VPN if you don’t want unsolicited snooping on your online activities. Thankfully, the encryption quality VPNs implement remains unbreakable even by government authorities. Hence, you can trust the service to protect your privacy from spying eyes.

2. Protection against cybercrime

Cybercriminals may target you in various ways by tracking your IP address. These even include hacking your device with man-in-the-middle (MITM) and router hacks. However, when you use a VPN, they can’t access your data as they can’t trace your internet traffic.

3. Evade geo-restrictions

The best VPNs maintain servers across the world. It means users can channel their data through any IP address outside their home country, evading the geographical browsing restrictions of their visiting country.

4. Bypass network restrictions and firewalls

VPNs can bypass firewalls imposed by university institutions and the Australian government. These institutions must see your actions in real time to restrict your online activities. However, a VPN conceals your online activities, letting you through the firewalls.

5. Ensure personal privacy

While you deserve privacy both in the physical world and online, many people and corporations keep trying to snoop into your online activities. Some ISPs can legally sell your personal information to third-party individuals and corporations. With a VPN, you can protect your privacy and data as the tool prevents ISPs from tracking you.

6. Secure digital sharing

The best VPNs make sharing your files with people you trust easy and secure.

Top VPNs to use in Australia

Before coming up with the following top 8 Australian VPNs, I tested dozens of VPNs for speed, wider server availability, user-friendly platforms, best price, consistent performance in P2P file sharing, the ability to unblock geo-restrictions, and military-grade security and privacy features.

Only the following providers delivered impressive performance from all the ones evaluated for use in Australia.

Money-back guarantee30-day money back guarantee30-day money back guarantee30-day money back guarantee30-day money back guarantee45-day money back guarantee
Starting price$3.99 / month$2.03 / month$6.67 / month$3.35 / month$2.03 / month
Data capUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Works with Netflix AustraliaYesYesYesYesYes
Allows torrenting in AustraliaYesYesYesYesYes

1. NordVPN

NordVPN for Streaming

It is our top recommended VPN for Australia. NordVPN boasts top-notch security, super-fast servers, and 5 different Australian locations.

servers Has network of 190+ VPN servers in 5 different Australian locations
P2P optimized servers P2P optimized servers (torrenting, tor, streaming)
encryption Strong military-grade encryption; AES-256-bit
simultaneous connections Connects maximum six devices per account
SmartPlay feature Unique SmartPlay feature
tor compatible Impressively Tor compatible
Kill switch Kill switch is really effective
MultiHop mode Has double VPN feature
money-back guarantee Comes with money-back policy of 30 days
  • Can connect six devices simultaneously
  • Great speed
  • Accepts cryptocurrency
  • Excellent customer service
  • Double encryption reduces the speed

NordVPN is undoubtedly one of the best Australian VPN services. With 6,000+ servers across 60 countries, this VPN exhibits impressive unblocking capacity, robust security features, and P2P-optimized servers. It also features DNS servers to prevent any data leakage.

The provider is based in Panama, free from 14-Eyes surveillance and anti-piracy laws. Still, it features double encryption, a kill switch, and a VPN into Tor, all for your protection. With this VPN, you can enjoy gaming, HD video streaming, and P2P torrenting owing to its super-fast speed and unlimited bandwidth. However, its double encryption connection is slower than AES 256-bit encrypted servers.

Also, NordVPN is one of the most intuitive VPNs ever. It is pre-configured, enabling users to select super-fast servers ideal for streaming or gaming in one click. In addition, you can use this VPN on six devices simultaneously, as it offers tremendous cross-platform support.

Users can subscribe to its monthly plan, which costs only $12. There is also a bi-annual plan that costs $42 and an annual plan pegged at $70. However, users are better off opting for the long-term plan, as NordVPN offers more value for money. Also, it has a fantastic 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. Surfshark


Best budget VPN you can have to get an Australian IP address. Thanks to its 5 Aussie server locations, you can totally rely on this service while working in or outside Australia.

servers 90 and more VPN servers from 5 locations in Australia
encryption Government-grade AES-256-bit encryption
MultiHop mode MultiHop mode (double VPN)
protection Adheres no-DNS leak
Kill switch Functional kill switch feature
Camouflage mode Unique Camouflage Mode
simultaneous connections Connects as much devices as you want
money-back guarantee Comes with 30-day money-return guarantee
  • Low price point
  • Unlimited number of simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • User-friendly interface
  • Functionalities aren’t well advanced

Although Surfshark has been in the industry for a short time, it already possesses Australia’s best VPN servers.

Surfshark offers over 3200 servers across 100 countries; this means less congested servers, incredible speed, and improved performance. It’s so efficient that it can unblock restricted streaming services like BBC iPlayer, HBO Go, Hulu, Netflix, and more.

Despite being headquartered in the Netherlands, this VPN does not record any logs. Plus, it protects your data with robust features, including strong OpenVPN encryption, auto kill-switch, MultiHop (double VPN), AES 256-bit encryption, HackLock, Obfuscation, and DNS leak protection. These features make it one of the best VPNs for secure torrenting and boycotting restrictions on internet service provider’s websites.

Besides, it features a Camouflage Mode that conceals your online activities, enabling users to access geo-restricted websites. Also, it has a NoBorder Mode that automatically notices heavily restricted regions and gives you even better server options. Furthermore, the VPN has an excellent customer care team available 24/7 via live chat.

Surfshark is ideal for large families as it offers unlimited simultaneous device connections. In addition, its 30-day money-back guarantee lures you into trying it out.

3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN new features block logo 120 by 120 now

Best Australia VPN offering multiple locations from the country. It has blazing-fast servers with additional security features to empower users with top-notch privacy.

servers Multiple VPN servers in 4 different Australian locations
encryption Solid AES-256 data encryption
protection Strong protection for DNS/IP leaks
P2P optimized servers Supports P2P connection on mostly servers
Trusted servers nord Boasts Trusted server technology
simultaneous connections Each account connects maximum five devices at once
money-back guarantee Comes with money-return policy 30 days
  • Accepts payment in cryptocurrency
  • Excellent speed for gaming, streaming, and P2P torrenting
  • No log policy, OpenVPN, solid encryption, BVI jurisdiction
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Relatively costly pricing plans

Third on this list is ExpressVPN, a well-respected brand in the VPN industry.

The provider is known for its reliability and military-grade protection. It has a network of 3000+ servers across 105 countries, including Australia and the United States. The service strongly implements OpenVPN, which protects your data, preventing it from getting into the wrong hands.

Besides, ExpressVPN has valuable features, including an auto-connect, a kill-switch, AES 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, and static and shared IPs. It also offers dedicated IPs if you need them.

Since this VPN strives to keep the client’s personal information, it doesn’t log data.

ExpressVPN is conveniently based in the British Virgin Islands, a region away from the 14 Eyes spying and other anti-piracy laws. Its outstanding speed makes gaming, streaming, and P2P torrenting much fun. It can conveniently unblock restricted content from Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and others.

Also, ExpressVPN offers five simultaneous connections on a single account. For users’ convenience, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans, something desirable for new users. Its annual subscription is pegged at $99.95/year, while its bi-annual plan goes for $9.99/month, and its monthly subscription goes for $12.95/month.

The VPN apps bear a flexible, sleek, and user-friendly interface. Hence, you can easily use it on almost any device you own. Also, ExpressVPN offers excellent customer support with a 24/7 live chat.

4. IPVanish


A powerful VPN supporting unlimited device connections. It’s super-fast speed, multiple Australian server locations, and privacy features further make it perfect to unblock Aussie content.

servers More than 50 VPN servers in 5 different Australian locations
P2P optimized servers Servers have P2P connections
SugarSync cloud storage 250GB SugarSync cloud storage
encryption Military-grade AES-256-bit encryption
simultaneous connections One account connects unlimited number of devices at once
money-back guarantee Pay-back policy of 30 days
  • Offers OpenVPN, SOCKS5, and 256-bit encryption
  • Connects very fast
  • Zero-log policy
  • Offers protection from DPI
  • VPN is US-based
  • Cannot unblock Netflix sometimes

Continuing with the best VPNs for Australia, here is another worthy mention. IPVanish is a well-rounded VPN featuring 2,000 servers in over 75 locations, including VPN server in Australia. Therefore, expect a super-fast connection suitable for HD video streaming, P2P file-sharing, and gaming.

This VPN ensures privacy for Australians with its AES-256-bit encryption and a zero-log policy. Also, it provides advanced cross-platform software support.

IPVanish offers unlimited bandwidth and SOCKS5 proxy and is suitable for unblocking BBC iPlayer and Netflix content. Besides, the provider also owns its servers; hence, third parties cannot manage your internet traffic data.

On the downside, though, the VPN is based in the USA, a region with strict data retention laws. But its no-log policy mitigates this.

IPVanish is relatively affordable, with its monthly subscription as low as $10/month and the annual plan at $6.49/month. In addition, it attracts a 30-day money-back guarantee.

As for performance, the service allows unlimited simultaneous connections and supports all major devices. Also, it can unblock ESPN, HBO Go, DAZN, and Netflix US. This VPN offers excellent streaming quality with a consistent connection. However, IPVanish finds it challenging to unblock some services.

Still, while it may allow unlimited P2P sharing for private and secure torrenting, the download speed may be reduced while doing so. The good news is that it provides 250 SugarSync storage for backup.

5. CyberGhost

cyberghost small

Another great VPN with multiple AU servers and huge device compatibility to access Australian media globally.

servers Has 150 VPN servers in 2 Australian locations
encryption Boasts strong AES-256-bit encryption standard
protection No-DNS leak policy
P2P optimized servers Allows P2P connections
Kill switch Kill switch mode is customizable
simultaneous connections Each account connects up to seven devices at once
money-back guarantee Adheres 45-day money-back policy
  • Offers limited free trial
  • Military-grade security features
  • Easy to use
  • Reliable and affordable
  • Some servers are slow
  • May not give access to Amazon Prime

CyberGhost VPN is another best VPN for Australia. It works great on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, enabling users to browse protected, unrestricted websites without paying much.

The VPN allows up to seven simultaneous connections with just one account. Besides, it enables ‘Ghosties’ to enjoy OpenVPN encryption while its auto kill-switch further protects your internet traffic.

Also, CyberGhost has a zero-log policy. This VPN is based in Romania, an excellent choice to remain out of reach of intrusive governments. With this VPN, you never have to struggle to stream content as the connection speed is super-fast and consistent.

Moreover, it lets users stream content in HD and torrent files in a flash. It has over 8000 servers across 91 countries and a generous 45-day money-back guarantee to top it up. This VPN bears all the features you need for safe online surfing, including AES 256-bit encryption, auto kill-switch, and lots more.

Although it sometimes fails at unblocking Amazon Prime Video, it can circumvent geo-restricted channels and shows, including Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and others. In addition, it is affordable, easy to use, reliable, and offers military-grade security.

Free Australia VPNs

Hotspot ShieldWindscribeTunnelBear
Free plan/Money-back guaranteeFree+ paid plans with a 45-day money-back guaranteeFree+ paid plans with a 3-day money-back guaranteeFree plan + paid plan
Data cap500 MB per month for Free plans10GB monthly for free Plans2 GB monthly for free plans
Works with Netflix AustraliaYesYesYes
Allows torrenting in AustraliaYesYesYes
Device connections10UnlimitedUnlimited

6. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

Best free VPN for Australia boasting user-friendly apps and Aussie IP address to help users watch unrestricted sports, TV shows, and other Australian content globally.

servers Multiple servers from 6 cities in Australia
P2P optimized servers Allows P2P sharing
protection Adheres no-DNS/IPv6 leak policy
Zero-logs policy Implements strict no-log policy
simultaneous connections Connects up to five devices at once
money-back guarantee Great 45-day money-return policy
  • Fast speed for seamless streaming and downloading
  • Basic free version also available
  • Strong privacy and security
  • Supports torrenting
  • The kill switch is only available on Windows
  • Fewer advanced features

Hotspot Shield is everything a VPN should be; simple, fast, has decent server coverage, and easily unblocks websites. It has over 1800 servers across 80 countries, including VPN server in Australia.

The VPN is renowned for speed and unblocking sites like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix. In addition, the app has many security features, including leak-proof protection, strong encryption, and perfect forward secrecy.

Also, it has a zero-log policy and offers dedicated apps for macOS, Android, iOS, and Windows. Recently, it also included support for Android TV and routers.

Hotspot Shield only allows five simultaneous connections. However, you can install the VPN on a router to add more connections.

The service is not only suitable for unblocking geo-restricted content, but it also supports torrenting. Its unlimited bandwidth and fast-speed servers enable users to download and share torrents quickly and with ease.

Besides, you can get Hotspot Shield at no cost, although this is limited and subject to terms and conditions. Some limitations include access to just one US server with its free version and capped data usage of 500MB per day at maximum. Also, the speed is usually slower for free users.

On the downside, it does not block ads and offers no live chat support for free users. But then, it provides a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, a feature that would surely attract users.

7. Windscribe


Most flexible VPN with free services that provides multiple Australian IPs, supports unlimited device connections, and ensures thorough privacy.

servers Offers 6 Australian server locations
encryption Robust AES 256-bit encryption
P2P optimized servers Servers are P2P optimized
protection Solid protection for DNS leaks
Zero-logs policy Uncompromised policy for no-logging
Ad Blocker feature R.O.B.E.R.T ad blocker
simultaneous connections Connects as much devices as you want
money-back guarantee 30-day pay-back policy
  • Affordable and flexible packages
  • Great speed in some areas
  • Fairly easy to use
  • Paid plan unblocks all key streaming channels
  • Fewer servers
  • Some server could be slow

However, the provider does a fine job of ensuring adequate security and has a zero-log policy. It has a paid version but also a free version with a generous 10 GB monthly data limit.

With its Pro version, users can access unlimited data and more server locations in Australia — thanks to its network of 170 servers across 60 countries. Besides, its advanced feature, R.O.B.E.R.T, allows users to trick domains to an IP address of their choice while blocking IP networks and IP addresses.

Windscribe VPN helps you torrent seamlessly and watch Netflix US, Hulu, iPlayer, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and other restricted channels. It has a considerably fast speed for easy downloads and streaming.

Furthermore, it offers IPv6/DNS leak protection, WebRTC leak protection, and an automatic kill switch to protect its users’ private data. Other advanced security features include split tunneling, port forwarding, and double hop.

The service offers three affordable packages (on top of the limited free version) and has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

8. TunnelBear

TunnelBear small

A user-friendly free VPN helping users get Australian IP adress and achieve privacy for short browsing sessions by offering 500MB data. Users can always upgrade to use the VPN on more devices and limitless data.

servers 49+ VPN server locations worldwide
P2P optimized servers Comes with P2P connections
encryption AES-256 data encryption
simultaneous connections Allows up to five device connections at once
money-back guarantee Money-back guarantee varries case-by-case
  • Available on desktop and mobile
  • Stealthy identity protection for free
  • Native apps for all major platforms
  • Excellent security guarantees
  • User-friendly
  • Strong reputation
  • Fewer server locations

Tunnelbear is a quite popular free Australia VPN that offers fast and secure speeds. The free VPN uses strong AES 256-bit encryption to protect user data. Tunnelbear also packs a range of advanced security features, including a kill switch, safe Wi-Fi protection, no logs policy, and unsecured traffic blocking capability. 

The safe Wi-Fi protection option automatically switches on when the free VPN is connected to an unsecured connection, such as public Wi-Fi in airports and coffee shops. The free service also supports different platforms such as Windows, Android, iPhone, iPad, Mac, and browser extensions. 

The free VPN has over 3,000 servers spread in over 47 countries. The wide array of server locations presents the freedom to choose from different servers based on one’s needs. The 24/7 customer support ensures that users’ issues are addressed promptly and efficiently. A notable feature of TunnelBear VPN is its unlimited connections.

This makes it convenient if you wish to protect multiple devices, such as PCs, smartphones, and tablets, with a single VPN plan. TunnelBear free VPN’s features provide users with a high level of privacy and security, making it a popular choice if you’re looking to protect your online activity and personal data.

What makes a VPN good for Australia?

VPN for Australia

Many things contribute to making a VPN ideal for use in Australia. They include:

1. Speed and server count

Indeed, a VPN with super-fast speed is what every user expects from a provider. Therefore, consider using a VPN with a large pool of servers, as it ensures fast connectivity with little to no network congestion. You enjoy seamless streaming, downloading, torrenting, peer-to-peer activities, and lots more.

2. Security

Besides lightning-fast speed, you should also consider privacy and security. An ideal VPN offers a safe connection with minimal risk. There should be no data logs, and the service must have security features, such as a kill switch and other IP address-hiding features, for a seamless experience.

3. Easy access

A VPN is ideal for getting an Australian IP address if you are outside the country and want to circumvent geo-restrictions. Also, you may want to consider VPNs by country, especially if you travel often. The best VPN ensures you can easily connect to your subscribed channels and shows no matter where you are.

4. Ease of use

Contrary to what many believe, advanced technological products such as VPNs can also be simple and user-friendly. An ideal VPN should be easy to use and fast. Any VPN that doesn’t bear a friendly interface and fails to produce results in a few minutes isn’t worth your time.

5. Versatility

You should not go for a VPN that restricts itself to a few devices. Instead, consider one that supports various operating systems and platforms. Watch out for VPNs with multiple device availability. An ideal VPN offers simultaneous connections to your PC, smartphone, and computer and still has room to accommodate other devices. Do not limit your VPN to one OS or system; you never know when or where you may need VPN access.

How to get an Australian IP outside Australia

With VPNs, you can protect your privacy within Australia and get an Australian IP address abroad. That is particularly useful to stay connected to your local content outside Australia.

Here’s how you can get an Australian IP address with a VPN.

  1. Subscribe to a reputable VPN service. You can choose from the VPNs listed above.
  2. Configure the VPN app on your device. You can download the VPN client on your router, computer, or smartphone. Then, it won’t usually take more than a few minutes to install.
  3. Browse through the list of server locations and connect to an Australian server.
  4. Once the connection is established, verify your newly assigned Australian IP using an IP checker tool.

You can browse your favorite Australian content abroad if you see an Australian IP location.

You can learn more about getting an Australian IP address outside the region through this guide.

Top Australian streaming TV channels to enjoy with a VPN

Alongside security, unblocking streaming platforms is another major reason why people opt for VPNs. If you are also among them, you should now be happy. With a robust Australia VPN, you can watch the following best streaming services in Australia regardless of your current location:

  • Disney+
  • Apple TV+
  • Hayu (reality TV)
  • CBS 10 All Access
  • Channel 7
  • Foxtel Go and Now
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Stan
  • Kayo (live sports)
  • 10Play (Network 10)
  • Netflix Australia

Is it illegal to use a VPN in Australia to access US Netflix?

No, it’s not illegal in any way, nor does it contravene the law to unblock US Netflix using a VPN in Australia. However, Netflix considers it a crime to access another country’s content. A part of their terms of use states:

You may view Netflix content primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such content. The content that may be available to watch will vary by geographic location and will change from time to time.

Netflix blocks most VPN providers found flouting this rule but does not punish users who try to stream content through a VPN. So far, there haven’t been any notable instances of Netflix suspending, banning, or suing VPN users. Instead, it only blocks such content and VPN servers’ IPs. Thus, you get that annoying Netflix proxy error (unless you have a robust VPN).

VPNs to stay away from in Australia

One of the VPNs’ greatest perks is that it conceals your online activities, giving you top-notch security and privacy. However, not all VPNs can do this.

Some VPNs can put you more at risk. Therefore, you should avoid them at all costs. Some of these include:


Hola, an Israel-based VPN, is a popular Firefox and Chrome extension that enables users to stream blocked content. However, it isn’t like most other VPNs where users connect to a central server owned by a company. Instead, with Hola, users have to connect via other users’ bandwidth as a part of a sizeable community-powered network.

That means Hola turns your device and PC into an exit node that allows users to connect to your network. The risk here is that the other users potentially doing illegal or abusive activities put you at risk of legal trouble.

Also, installing and using HolaVPN means granting an unknown person access to your network. It, in turn, exposes your network to external threats.

Besides, Hola isn’t merely an exit node; it also sells your bandwidth for its service, known as Luminati. This Luminati service moves large files online using their customers’ connections.

That’s not all; HolaVPN has been found injecting advertisements into users’ browsers.

Also, this VPN has many other legal and security concerns. For instance, in 2015, HolaVPN created a botnet and performed large distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) using their customer’s computers. Hola did this without the knowledge of their users, a blatant abuse of trust.


This popular VPN is compatible with Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, PC, and routers and successfully unblocks geo-restricted contents and channels. Still, you should avoid it, given some suspicious past reports.

For instance, in 2011, the police arrested Cody Kretsinger, a LulzSec hacker, for his involvement in an attack on Sony Pictures’ Website. The government accused him of using HideMyAss VPN to hide his website activities. When a court order mandated the VPN brand to hand over Cody Kretsinger’s data, they did so without reservation. With the evidence provided by HideMyAss, arresting and charging Cody was straightforward.

His arrest occurred despite HideMyAss claiming a strict zero-log policy. While it might be true, it kept a record of users’ metadata logs, including the user’s IP address. That’s how the authorities tracked Cody and charged him in court.

Also, given the UK government’s recently passed Snooper Charter, a law requiring service providers to keep detailed logs of their user’s online activities, HMA should be the last option for any privacy-conscious person.

What are the limitations of a VPN?

VPN services might seem the perfect solution for privacy. After all, a VPN hides your online activities, giving you thorough privacy and internet freedom. However, like everything else, VPN services also have limitations, knowing which will help you make the right decision. These include:

1. A VPN may be illegal

Some countries (excluding Australia) do not allow their citizens to use VPN services. These countries have gone as far as blocking VPN services and labeling them illegal. It is a significant hurdle in the free use of VPNs.

If your country considers VPN illegal, you should not use this tool in the first case. Because if the authorities catch you, you may have to pay a heavy fine, face lawsuits, or even imprisonment.

Luckily, VPNs are legal in Australia and most other countries. However, issues can always arise if someone uses a VPN to commit criminal activity online.

2. Performance issues

You need to connect your network to a private server to access websites when using VPNs. Sometimes, this may not be smooth and can cause performance issues. For instance, some VPNs take a long time to connect users to private servers, resulting in the website taking a longer time to load, making streaming and downloads slow and frustrating.

It is more common with free VPNs and is also noticeable when using private connections against a regular connection.

3. VPN service may monitor and use your data

Some private network services allow users to use their private servers in exchange for data, even if they don’t present it as their initial intention. However, records have shown that some companies monitor their users’ traffic data and online activities for their benefit. True to their nature, they can bypass geo-restrictions and mask your real IP address, but they can also track your personal information if they want to.

Hence, be wary of VPNs offering free or low-cost services. The apparent favor regarding the money may cost you more by trading your data. That’s why you should always go for a tested no-log VPN service.

4. Business users might not use it

Generally, individual users face no difficulty setting up a VPN. They only need to download the app on their device(s) and sign in with their account. However, it’s complicated for business users to set up a business VPN account.

As companies deploy business proxy services on their whole network, the complexity of setting up a VPN on a business premise often affects any device you use. Although VPN companies can help simplify the process, users will still require an efficient network management team to set up a network-wide VPN.

5. Additional cost

Ideally, a VPN is a premium private connection that attracts additional costs separate from your ISP or regular connection. If you want a VPN-friendly router, you will need to purchase the hardware separately before using it with your VPN connection.

Although many free VPN services are also available, you may not trust them for your privacy. Besides, VPN services are pretty expensive in the long term.

6. Doesn’t guarantee 100% privacy

The best VPNs may be efficient and effective, but there are other ways through which you may inadvertently reveal your actual IP address even while using a VPN.

For instance, you may be using a VPN with a leaking DNS or IP, or a server you are connected to may suddenly disconnect, exposing you. Or, worst still, your VPN provider may agree to furnish the government with your data.

Although many premium VPN companies offer water-tight security, including Kill Switch and Double VPN features, your data can still leak through software, hardware, or other means.

Australia’s data retention law

Australia’s data retention law, commonly referred to as Metadata Retention Law, mandates that Australian telecommunication companies retain users’ internet activity for 2 years. Data stored by the companies include the location of devices used, time and date of communication, email, IP address, and phone use duration. 

The law provides law enforcement agencies with greater access to user data. The information can be used to investigate crimes and deter wrongful conduct. However, with the increasing concerns over government surveillance, individuals are resorting to using VPN services to prevent surveillance

Once connected to a VPN, the service routes your traffic across multiple layers of servers. This hides your IP address, thus preventing ISPs and government authorities from tracking your online activity. While ISPs are required to retain metadata under the law, they are not required to retain the content of communications. By using a VPN, you can encrypt your communications, making it more difficult for ISPs to access the content of your communications. 

Furthermore, routing your internet connection through a VPN server outside of Australia can make it more difficult for Australian law enforcement agencies to access your data.

Does a VPN help to prevent Australia’s data retention law?

A VPN protects your data efficiently with its many privacy features. That’s why every internet user should consider using a VPN to stay safe online. However, for Australians, it’s a must-have.

That is because the cybercrime rate in Australia is exceptionally high. For instance, in 2017, records showed a 15% (47000 incidents) increase in cybercrimes within 12 months alone.

However, regarding Australia’s 2015 data retention law, VPNs can’t offer much protection against ISP tracking via metadata collection.

Yes, a VPN will conceal your location and internet activities from the world, but you still need your ISP before getting to that point. Hence, a VPN cannot prevent an ISP from tracking your location, online details, or traffic volume. It can only hide your online activities, providing partial protection only.

Can I use free Australian VPNs?

Free VPNs can give you basic security and privacy protection, but you should use them cautiously. Here are some reasons to avoid free VPNs.

  • Data collection and monetization – Most free VPNs do not disclose how they earn revenue. The truth is that some collect your personal data and sell it to third-party advertisers. Only a handful of free VPNs have been independently audited to ensure a strict no-logs privacy policy.
  • Unreliable in streaming – Free VPNs lack the necessary infrastructure to support consistent and quality video streams. Most of their servers are overcrowded and cannot bypass streaming platforms’ geo-restrictions.
  • Blacklisted servers – The small server network used by free VPNs means that a large number of users share one IP address. For this reason, it is easily flagged and blacklisted by websites and streaming platforms.
  • Slow speeds – Most free VPNs impose low data caps and connection speeds. This makes it almost impossible to navigate data-intensive platforms like Netflix. Also, it may take longer to download files and torrents.
  • Undependable security – The industry standard encryption algorithm for VPNs is the uncrackable AES-256 encryption. Some free VPNs use weak encryption that can be easily decrypted to expose traffic. Also, they lack leak protection features, which leaves you exposed.
  • Adverts and malware – Another category of free VPNs sends you pesky adverts and redirects you to malicious links. They can easily steal your data or corrupt your device.


In today’s digital age riddled with cybercrimes, nothing serves better than having a robust Australian VPN as your online shield. With a quality VPN, you can stream content regardless of restrictions and be sure your identity and data will not get into the wrong hands.

This article has reviewed the seven best VPNs for users in Australia, besides listing some services to avoid. Armed with this information, you can make sound decisions to protect yourself against cybercrime and invasion.


Torrenting copyright materials in Australia is a crime, and the region has several laws regulating it. For instance, in 2016, a rule mandated ‘three strikes’ to notify torrentors by ISPs on behalf of copyright holders. The same year, an Australian federal court compelled ISPs to block BitTorrent trackers, reducing Australians’ visits to these sites by 35%. The following year, the court blocked 59 pirate sites. Then, in November 2018, the Australian government passed the Copyright Act, mandating ISPs to block minor and proxy sites without requiring a court order. It also required search engines, like Google, to demote or remove links to these sites. Therefore, ensure you do legal torrenting only to avoid facing lawsuits.

No, accessing the deep web isn’t illegal in Australia.

Yes. A VPN conceals your IP address from social networks and prevents ISPs from tracking your social media activities. However, you cannot hide your identity since you will still log into your social media platform using your details. Also, VPNs cannot protect against social media tracking via cookies.

VPNs generally protect data in transit. Hence, it can defend against identity theft attacks from hackers on your network. But identity theft may happen in different ways, and a VPN cannot protect against all of them. For instance, it won’t prevent phishing attempts, data breaches, or a thief from going through discarded documents in the bin.

The best and most affordable way to watch Aussie rules footy (known initially as Australian Rules Football) is Kayo. Kayo is an Australian sports streaming service with prices as low as AU $25/month on two simultaneous devices. You can use a VPN to unblock Kayo and enjoy your favorite content.

Yes. Using a VPN helps encrypts and routes your traffic through secure servers, thus helping you avoid data retention law. However, you should only use a VPN for legal purposes to avoid getting into trouble.

While Netflix’s terms of service don’t allow streaming libraries using a VPN, it’s not illegal to access U.S. Netflix using a VPN in Australia.

Since VPNs add extra overhead to your connection, they may sometimes slow down your internet. However, if you’re experiencing ISP throttling, a VPN can help bypass this limitation, thus improving your speeds.

While tracking user activity is possible, it is often more challenging than it sounds. Data encryption and traffic routing make it challenging to track user activity. However, tracking cookies can still be used to monitor online activity. Also, some VPNs retain user logs which could expose your activity.

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About the Author

Aliu Isa

Aliu Isa

Streaming Expert
78 Posts

Isa is a Nigeria-born professional writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience under his belt. Having worked with some of the most renowned organizations worldwide, he’s been able to produce and publish hundreds of high-quality articles across a wide range of niches. Over time, Isa has developed an immense interest in digital security and privacy. He has always been a privacy enthusiast, and now, he's giving it all to educate people on privacy, security, and geo-blocking issues around the world.

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