7 best Australia VPNs for privacy, security, and fast streaming (2021)
Although, Australia isn’t one of those countries that go after their citizens to the extent of surveillance. Nonetheless, the region unfortunately has a high cybercrime rate. Also, the country has implemented certain laws that require the ISPs to log citizen’s 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 the 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
- NordVPN – Number one VPN for users in and outside Australia who wish to protect their privacy and unblock restricted content.
- Surfshark – Most affordable VPN solution that works as promised.
- ExpressVPN – Robust security and fast speeds at an affordable price.
Why Australians need a VPN today
Australians are no stranger 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. This means fewer options for those who play mobile games or stream content with an Australian IP.
Things become worse due to the extra taxes for Netflix purchases and streaming that the government imposes. First, they require users to pay a compulsory additional 10% tax on foreign digital goods, a rule that Netflix capitalized to increase their subscription fee by a whopping 20%.
Then, there is also a copyright act to worry about, an act that mandates 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 comes back.
Also, Australia is a country with 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 data.
If you aren’t still convinced, here I precisely list the key reasons why you should use a VPN in Australia or elsewhere.
Protection against cybercrime
Cybercriminals may target you in various ways by tracking your IP addres. 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 IP traffic.
The best VPNs maintain servers across the world. This means users can channel their data through any IP address outside their home country, evading geographical browsing restrictions of their visiting country.
Bypass network restrictions and firewalls
VPNs are capable of bypassing firewalls imposed by university institutions and Australian government. To restrict your online activities, these institutions need to see your actions in real-time. However, a VPN conceals your online activities, thereby letting you through the firewalls.
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. In fact, some ISP are legally allowed to sell your data to third-party individuals and corporations. With a VPN, you can protect your privacy and data as the tool prevents ISPs from tracking you.
Secure digital sharing
The best VPNs make it easy and secure to share your files with people you trust.
Top VPNs to use in Australia
Before coming up with the following top 7 VPNs for Australia, 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.
From all the ones evaluated for use in Australia, only the following providers delivered impressive performance.
1. NordVPN (most versatile service)
- 5200+ servers in 59 countries
- Tor compatible
- Double encryption
- Auto kill switch
- SmartPlay feature
NordVPN is undoubtedly one of the best Australian VPN services. With 5200+ servers across 59 countries, this VPN exhibits impressive unblocking capacity along with robust security features and P2P-optimized servers. It also features DNS servers to prevent any data leakage.
The provider is based in Panama, which is free from 14-Eyes surveillance and anti-piracy laws. Still, it features double encryption, a kill switch, and 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 quite slower than AES 256-bit encrypted servers.
Also, NordVPN is one of the most intuitive VPNs you will ever come across. 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 $12 only. There is also a bi-annual plan that costs $42 and an annual plan pegged at $70. Users are better off opting for the long-term plan, though, as NordVPN offers more value for money. Also, it has a fantastic 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Can connect six devices simultaneously
- Great speed
- Accepts cryptocurrency
- Excellent customer service
- Double encryption reduces the speed
2. Surfshark VPN (best budget VPN)
- 3200+ servers across 65 countries
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Accepts bitcoin payment
- Great speed
- Intuitive software
Although Surfshark has been in the industry for a short time, it already possesses Australia’s best VPN servers. The provider operates from the British Virgin Islands, a perfect location to prevent government and ISP invasion.
Surfshark offers over 3200 servers across 65 countries; this means less congested servers, incredible speed, and improved performance. It’s so efficient that it’s capable of unblocking restricted streaming services like BBC iPlayer, HBO Go, Hulu, Netflix, and lots more.
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 ISP 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 that is available 24/7 via live chat.
Surfshark is particularly ideal for large families as it offers unlimited simultaneous device connections. In addition, its 30-day money-back guarantee lures you to try it out.
- Low price point
- Unlimited number of simultaneous connections
- 24/7 live chat support
- User-friendly interface
- Functionalities aren’t well advanced
1. ExpressVPN (best Australia VPN)
- 3000+ servers across 94 countries
- AES 256-bit encryption
- TrustedServer Technology
- No DNS/IP leak
- Supports P2P torrenting
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 vast network of servers across 94 countries, including Australia and the United States. The service strongly implements OpenVPN that protects your data, preventing it from getting into the wrong hands.
Besides, ExpressVPN is packed with useful features, including an auto-connect, a kill-switch, AES 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection as well as static and shared IPs. It also offers dedicated IPs if you need them.
Since this VPN strives to keep the client’s information private, 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 even 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.
- Accepts payment in cryptocurrency
- Excellent speed for gaming, streaming, and P2P torrenting
- No log policy, OpenVPN, solid encryption, BVI jurisdiction
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Lacks security add-ons like adblocker or malware protection
4. IPVanish VPN (VPN with unlimited connection)
- 250GB SugarSync cloud storage
- Enables P2P connection
- Unlimited simultaneous connection
- No-log policy
Continuing with the best VPNs for Australia, here is another worthy mention. IPVanish is a well-rounded VPN, featuring 1600 servers in over 75 countries, including 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, Stream, and Netflix content. Besides, the provider also owns its servers; hence, third parties have no chance to manage your 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 7-day money-back guarantee for all plans.
As for performance, the service allows unlimited simultaneous connections and supports all major devices. Also, it is capable of unblocking 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 reduce while doing so. The good news is that it provides 250 SugarSync storage for backup.
- Offers OpenVPN, SOCKS5, and 256-bit encryption
- Zero-log policy
- Connects very fast
- Offers protection from DPI
- VPN is US-based
- Cannot unblock Netflix sometimes
5. CyberGhost VPN (good value VPN)
- DNS leak protection
- 45-days money-back guarantee
- Seven simultaneous connection
- P2P optimized servers
CyberGhost VPN is another best VPN for Australia. It works great on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, thereby 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 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 enables users to stream content in HD and torrent files in a flash. It has over 6600 servers across 88 countries and a generous 45-days 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.
- Generous guarantee
- Military-grade security features
- Easy to use
- Reliable and affordable
- Some servers are slow
- May not give access to Amazon Prime
6. Hotspot Shield (best free VPN for Australia)
- 45-days money-back guarantee
- 1800+ servers in 80+ countries
- Zero-log policy
- Five simultaneous connections
Hotspot Shield is everything a VPN should be; simple, fast, has decent server coverage and unblocks websites with ease. It has over 1800 servers across 80+ countries, including Australia.
The VPN has a reputation for having great speed and unblocking sites such as 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 contents, but it also supports torrenting. Its unlimited bandwidth and fast-speed servers enable users to download and share torrents with ease quickly.
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-days money-back guarantee, a feature that would surely attract users.
- Fast speed for seamless streaming and downloading
- Strong privacy and security
- Basic free version also available
- Supports torrenting
- The kill switch is only available on Windows
- Fewer advanced features
7. Windscribe (most flexible VPN)
- 480+ servers in 60+ countries
- Zero-log policy
- Unlimited simultaneous connection
- 10 GB free data
Winscribe offers Australia IP for free. Although, it has its base in Canada, within reach of the international surveillance alliance Five Eyes, which risks users’ data monitoring. However, the provider does a fine job of ensuring adequate security and has a zero-log policy. It has a paid version, but there is 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, including Australia. Besides, its advanced feature called R.O.B.E.R.T allows users to trick domains to an IP address of their choice while also 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 ensure their users’ data remains private. 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.
- 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
How to get an Australian IP outside Australia
With VPNs, you can not only protect your privacy within Australia but can also get an Australian IP address abroad. This 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.
- Subscribe to a reputable VPN service. You can choose of the VPNs listed above.
- Configure the VPN app on your device. You can download the VPN client on your router, computer, or your smartphone. Then, it won’t usually take more then a few minutes to install.
- Browse through the list of server location and connect to an Australia server.
- Once the connection establishes, verify your newly assigned Australian IP using an IP checker tool.
If you see an Australian IP location, you’re all set to start browsing your favorite Australian content abroad.
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:
- Apple TV+
- Hayu (reality TV)
- CBS 10 All Access
- Channel 7
- Foxtel Now
- Amazon Prime Video
- Kayo (live sports)
- 10Play (Network 10)
- Netflix Australia
Is it illegal to use a VPN in Australia to gain access to US Netflix?
“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.
In fact, 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 contents. 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 large community-powered network.
This means that 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, put you at risk of legal troubles.
Also, installing and using HolaVPN means you will grant an unknown person access to your network. This, 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 through the internet using their customers’ connection.
That’s not all; HolaVPN has been found injecting advertisements into users’ browsers.
Also, this VPN has many other legal and security concerns too. 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 did keep a record of users’ metadata logs, including the user’s actual IP address. That’s how the authorities tracked Cody and charged him to court.
Also, given the UK government’s recently passed Snooper Charter, a law that requires service providers to keep detailed logs of their user’s online activities, HMA should be the last option for any privacy-conscious person.
What makes a good Australia VPN?
Many things contribute to making a VPN ideal for use in Australia. They include:
Speed and server count
Certainly, 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. In turn, you enjoy seamless streaming, downloading, torrenting, peer-to-peer activities, and lots more.
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 kill switch, and other IP address hiding features for a seamless experience.
A VPN is ideal to get 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.
Ease of use
Contrary to what many people 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.
A VPN that restricts itself to a few devices is not what you should go for. Instead, consider one that supports a wide variety of operating systems and platforms. Watch out for VPNs with multiple device availability. An ideal VPN offers simultaneous connections to your PC, smartphone, 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.
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 their own limitations, knowing which will help you make the right decision. These include:
A VPN may be illegal
Some countries (excluding Australia) do not allow their citizens to use VPN services. In fact, these countries have gone as far as blocking VPN services labelling them illegal. This is a major hurdle in the free use of VPN.
If your country considers VPN illegal, then 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 may be sent to jail.
Luckily, VPNs are legal in Australia and most other countries. However, issues can always arise if someone uses a VPN to commit any criminal activity online.
To access websites when using VPNs, you need to connect your network to a private server. Sometimes, this may not be such a seamless process and can cause performance issues. For instance, some VPNs take a long time to connect users to private servers, which results in the website taking a longer time to load, thereby making streaming and downloads slow and frustrating.
This is more common with free VPNs and is also noticeable when using private connections against a regular connection.
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 also mask your real IP address, but they can also track your data if they want to.
Hence, be wary of VPNs offering free or low-cost services. The apparent favor regarding the money may actually cost you more by trading your data. That’s why, you should always for a tested no-log VPN service.
Business users might not use it
Generally, individual users face no difficulty setting up a VPN. All they need is to download the app on their device(s) and sign in with their account. However, for business users, it’s complicated 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 a network-wide VPN for them.
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.
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, leaving you exposed. 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.
Does a VPN help to prevent Australia’s data retention law?
A VPN protects your data easily 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.
This 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, with specific reference to Australia’s 2015 data retention law, VPNs can’t offer much protection against the 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 that makes up a partial protection only.
Can I use free Australia VPNs?
NO! Although using a free VPN may seem ideal, it’s a trap you should avoid by all means. With a few exceptions (such as Hotspot Shield and Winscribe), the companies either invade your privacy and sell your data to third-party firms or, they have other limitations.
For example, because the VPN is free, you may suffer bandwidth limits, data caps, queues, and limited server access. In addition, some of these free VPN services inject ads into your browser; whereas, some others use tracking cookies to monitor your online activities. These things take away your privacy and defeats the aim of using a VPN.
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 not only stream content regardless of restrictions, but you can also be sure your identity and data will not get into the wrong hands.
This article has reviewed seven best VPNs for users in Australia, besides listing some services to avoid. Armed with this information, you can certainly make sound decisions to protect yourself against cybercrime and invasion.
Frequently Asked Questions
About the author
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.