7 best Australia VPNs for privacy, security, and fast streaming (2021)
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Australians are no different from other individuals in the United Kingdom, United States, and many other countries who desire security and privacy online. They also wish to stream online content to their heart’s desire without restrictions, and why shouldn’t they? With a VPN for Australia, these and more are possible.
But with numerous VPN services on the market, all with claims of being the best one, making the decision for choosing the right Australian VPN may be a massive headache and is a tricky task to do. Not to worry though, we have made things time-saving and easy for you as we will be reviewing the seven best VPNs for Australia in this article. So, come along with us as we begin, shall we?
A quick look at the best VPNs for Australia
- ExpressVPN – Our number one recommended VPN for users in Australia
- Surfshark – Most affordable VPN solution that works as promised
- NordVPN – Offers 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.
This is made worse by the extra taxes for Netflix purchases and streaming imposed by the government. 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%.
And as though that isn’t enough, there is also the copyright act to worry about, an act that mandates ISPs to issue “three strikes” and other stiff penalties to defaulting persons. However, the act has been scrapped for now since 2016 but you never know when it comes back. Also, Australia is a country with high cybercrime and is among the ten most targeted countries.
Since advertisers, the government, and other mischievous persons may be trying to monitor your browsing history, it’s become essential to have a VPN. Without a VPN, it’s easy for anyone to gain access to your data. It’s for this and many more reasons why a VPN for an Australian resident is required. Other reasons include:
- It protects users against cybercrime: A VPN makes it hard for cybercriminals to access your data. These criminals may even target your device with MITM or router hacks. When this happens, they won’t be able to access your data.
- Boycotts Geo-restrictions: The best VPNs maintain servers across the world. This means users can channel their data through an IP address when out of their home country, boycotting any geographical browsing restrictions of the country they are visiting.
- Bypass Network restrictions and firewalls: VPNs are capable of boycotting firewalls imposed by university institutions and Australian governments. To restrict your online activities, these institutions need to see your actions in real-time. A VPN can conceal your online activities, thereby letting you through the firewalls.
- Ensures Personal Privacy: We all deserve a private life, whether it’s in our physical world or online, but there are lots of people and corporations who will like to monitor what you are doing online. In fact, some ISP are legally allowed to sell your data to third-party individuals and corporations. With a VPN, you can gain protection and secure your privacy. When in use, a VPN prevents ISP from tracking you.
- Secures Digital Sharing: The best VPNs make it easy and secure to share your files with people you trust.
Top VPNs to use in Australia
Below are the top 7 VPNs for Australia. We tested these and dozens of other VPNs for speed, wider server availability, user-friendly platforms, best price, consistent performance in P2P file sharing, and the ability to unblock geo-restrictions, as well as military-grade security and privacy features.
These providers impressed us most compared to the dozens evaluated for use in Australia. Let’s get to them:
1. ExpressVPN (the very best Australia VPN)
- 3000+ servers across 94 countries
- AES 256-bit encryption
- TrustedServer Technology
- Supports P2P torrenting
Besides, ExpressVPN is packed full with every feature you can imagine, including an auto-connect, a kill-switch, AES 256-bit encryption, a DNS leak protection as well as static and shared IPs. It also has dedicated IPs if you desire that.
Still, this VPN is big on keeping client’s information private, so you can be sure there won’t be any DNS queries or logging of traffic data. ExpressVPN has a convenient base in the British Virgin Island; this keeps it away from the 14 Eyes spying and other anti-piracy laws. Its outstanding speed makes gaming, streaming, and P2P torrenting so much fun.
However, ExpressVPN does not allow more than five simultaneous connections; this is not such a great feature if you ask us. That said, though, it offers a 30-day money-back warranty on all plans. Its annual subscription is pegged at $99.95/year, while its bi-annual plan goes for $60/month, and its monthly subscription goes for $13/month.
Moreover, the VPN is flexible, sleek, and easy to use. ExpressVPN is suitable to use on key platforms. It has excellent customer support with a 24/7 live chat. Finally, it can conveniently unblock restricted content from Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and lots more.
- Accepts payment in cryptocurrency
- Excellent speed for gaming, streaming, and P2P torrenting
- No log policy, OpenVPN, solid encryption, BVI jurisdiction
- Unlimited bandwidth
- It has a high price tag
- Does not block ads
2. Surfshark VPN (best budget VPN)
- 3200 servers across 63 countries
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Accepts bitcoin payment
- Great speed
- Intuitive software
Although Surfshark has been in the industry for a short time, it has already proved to be one of Australia’s best VPN servers. It operates from the British Virgin Island, a perfect location to prevent government and ISP invasion.
It offers access to 3200 servers across 63 countries; this means less congested servers and ultimately more 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; it secures and protects your data with its water-tight security features, including strong OpenVPN encryption, auto kill-switch, MultiHop (double VPN), AES 256-bit encryption, HackLock, Obfuscation, and a DNS leak protection, making it one of the best VPNs for secure torrenting and also 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; this automatically notices heavily restricted regions and gives you other server options you can use. To add to it, it has an excellent customer care team that is available 24/7 through live chat.
Surfshark is particularly ideal for large families, as it offers simultaneous connection to an unlimited number of devices. Its 30-day money-back warranty is all the assurance you need to try it out.
- It has a low price point
- Unlimited number of simultaneous connections
- 24/7 live chat support
- Easy use interface
- Functionalities aren’t well advanced
3. NordVPN (most versatile service)
- Tor compatible
- Double encryption
- Auto kill switch
- SmartPlay feature
NordVPN is, without a doubt, one of the best Australian VPN services. With 5532 servers across 59 countries, this VPN has impressive unblocking capacity along with robust security features and P2P optimized servers, all of which make it one of the best VPN for Australia. It also features DNS servers to prevent any data leakage.
NordVPN has a strategic base in Panama, which means it is free from 14-Eye 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 makes it slower than AES 256-bit encrypted VPNs.
Also, this is one of the most intuitive VPNs you will ever come across; it is pre-configured, enabling users to select super-fast servers that are ideal for streaming or gaming. It is very secure, allowing you to work with susceptible data. NordVPN can be used on six devices simultaneously while also offering 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, especially since it has a fantastic 30-day money-back warranty.
- Can connect six devices simultaneously
- Great speed
- Accepts cryptocurrency
- Excellent customer service
- The presence of double encryption reduces the speed
- Doesn’t block ads
4. IPvanish VPN (VPN with unlimited connection)
- 250GB SugarSync cloud storage
- Enables P2P connection
- Unlimited simultaneous connection
- No-log policy
If you are looking for one of the best VPNs for Australia, then look no further than IPvanish. It is a well-rounded VPN, featuring 1600 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 256-bit encryption.
Also, it has a zero-log policy along with advanced cross-platform software. It offers unlimited bandwidth and SOCKS5 proxy and is suitable for unblocking BBC iPlayer, Stream, and Netflix content. IPvanish also owns its servers. Hence third parties aren’t given a chance to manage your traffic data.
On the downside, though, the VPN is based in the USA, where there are strict data retention laws, but its no-log policy mitigates this. We love that IPvanish is relatively affordable, with its monthly subscription as low as $10/month and its annual plan is very reasonable at $6.49/month. It attracts a seven-day money-back guarantee for all plans.
Furthermore, it allows for unlimited simultaneous connection and supports all major devices. Also, it is capable of unblocking ESPN, DAZN, HBO Go, and Netflix US. It 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
5. CyberGhost VPN (good value VPN)
- DNS leak protection
- 45-days money-back guarantee
- Seven simultaneous connection
- P2P optimized servers
CyberGhost VPN is another product that made it to our list. Like magic, it works great on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, thereby enabling users to use protected, unrestricted websites without paying so much. The VPN allows for up to seven simultaneous connections with just one connection. Besides, it enables ‘Ghosties’ to enjoy OpenVPN encryption while its auto kill-switch further protects your traffic data.
Also, CyberGhost has a Zero-log policy. This VPN has its base in Romania, an excellent choice as it keeps it out of reach of intrusive governments such as the United Kingdom and the United States. Impressively, it is compatible with key devices such as laptops, phones, and PCs. With this VPN, you never have to struggle to stream content as the connection speed are super-fast and consistent.
Moreover, it enables users to stream contents in HD and torrent files in a flash. It has over 6 600 servers across 88 countries and a generous 45-days money-back guarantee to top it up. This VPN is packed full of all the features you need for safe online surfing, including AES 256-bit encryption, auto kill-switch, and lots more.
Although it does not give access to Amazon Prime Videos, it is capable of circumventing geo-restricted channels and shows, including Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and others. It is affordable, easy to use, reliable, and offers military-grade security.
- Generous guarantee
- Military-grade security features
- Easy to use and reliable
- It is affordable
- Some servers are slow
- It does not give access to Amazon Prime
6. Hotspot Shield (best free VPN for Australia)
- 45-days money-back guarantee
- 3200 servers in 70 countries
- Zero-log policy
- Five simultaneous connections
Hotspot Shield is everything a VPN should be; it is simple, fast, has decent universal server coverage, and unblocks with ease. It has 3200 servers across 70 countries, including Australia. The VPN has a reputation for having great speed and unblocking sites such as Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and American Netflix. The app has many security features, including leak-proof protection, strong encryption, and perfect forward secrecy.
Also, it has a zero-log policy; hence third parties won’t have access to your data. The app is available for use on macOS, Android, iOS, and Windows. Just recently, it also included support for Android TV and routers.
The VPN only allows for five simultaneous connections; however, you can install it on a router; this way, you can add more connections. It’s 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, Hotspot Shield can be gotten at no cost, although this is limited and subject to terms and conditions. Some of the terms are that users can only connect to a server with its free version, and data cannot exceed 500MB per day. Also, the speed is usually slower.
On the downsides, it does not block ads and offers no live chat support. But then, it provides a generous 45-days money-back guarantee, a feature we love.
- Has fast speed for seamless streaming and downloading
- Strong privacy and security
- Operates on a wide range of servers
- Generous 45-days guarantee
- The kill switch option is only available on Windows
- It has only a few 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, which means it’s within reach of the international surveillance alliance Five Eyes, users’ data are subject to monitoring. It does a fine job of providing adequate security. 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 get access to unlimited data and more than 480 servers across 60 countries, including Australia. 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 addressed.
Windscribe VPN helps you torrent seamlessly and watch Netflix US, Hulu, iPlayer, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and other restricted channels. This VPN has a zero-log policy; hence you will be able to stream without annoying buffering. Windscribe has a considerably fast speed for easy downloads and streaming.
Furthermore, it offers IPv6, DNS protection, WebRTC leak protection, and an automatic kill switch to ensure their users’ data does not get out. Other advanced security features include split tunneling, port forwarding, and double hop. It offers three affordable packages 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
- No live chat and 24/7 support
- The server could be slow sometimes
Top Australian streaming TV channels to enjoy with a VPN
Alongside security, unblocking streaming platforms is another major reason why many people around the globe opt for VPNs. If you are among them, you should be happy now. You can watch the following best streaming services in Australia regardless of your current location given that you’ve selected a VPN already and have a VPN connection on:
- 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 connections from most VPN providers found flouting this rule but does not punish users who try to stream contents through a VPN. So far, we have not encountered Netflix suspending, banning, or suing VPN users; they only block such content and VPN servers’ IPs.
VPNs to stay away from in Australia
One of the VPNs’ greatest pecks is that it conceals your online activities, giving you top-notch security and privacy. However, not all VPN does this; in fact, some VPNs can put you more at risk; we advise you to avoid these types of VPNs at all cost. Some of these VPNs 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 every other VPN in which 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 in this is that these other users may be doing something illegal or causing abuse, and you could take the fall for it.
Also, installing and using HolaVPN means you will grant an unknown person access to your network; this, in turn, exposes your network to an external threat. 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 advertisement into users’ browsers; this is not merely an accusation but a fact. There are many legal and security concerns with this VPN; 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, an act that was a blatant abuse of trust.
HideMyAss is more like “ExposeMyAss”! Although it is compatible with Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, PC, and routers and successfully unblocks geo-restricted contents and channels; it’s one VPN you should avoid.
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 easy and straightforward.
His arrest and arraignment occurred despite HideMyAss claim that it has a strict zero-log policy. Although this may be true, it does keep a record of users’ metadata logs, including the user’s actual IP address; it was through this means they were able to track Cody and charge him to court. Hence, we don’t advise anyone to subscribe to HMA.
Also, seeing as the UK government recently passed a 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:
I bet you don’t like a slow connection (well, neither do we). A VPN with super-fast speed is the expectation of every user and part of a good VPN feature. Therefore, consider VPN with a large pool of servers. A VPN with several servers will always ensure your connections are fast, which in turn leads to fast streaming, downloading, torrent file-sharing, peer-to-peer activities, and lots more.
A VPN with lightning speed isn’t the only factor that makes a good VPN; there is also privacy and security to consider. An ideal VPN offers a safe connection with minimal risk. There are no logs, and they have security features such as kill switches and other IP address hiding features, all for a seamless experience.
What good VPN service doesn’t offer easy access? It’s best to get an Australian IP address if you are out of the country and want to circumvent geo-restricted contents and channels. Also, it’s best to consider VPNs by country, especially if you travel often. The best VPN ensures you can connect to the channels and shows you subscribed to in your home country, no matter where you are.
Ease of use
This is an important feature to consider before choosing a VPN. An ideal VPN shouldn’t require tech expertise from you. Contrary to what many people believe, advanced technological products such as VPNs can also be simple and easy to use. An ideal VPN should be easy to use and quick too, any VPN that doesn’t 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 VPN service?
VPN services might seem the perfect solution; after all, it blocks your online activities, giving you the privacy you need to do anything online. However, as with every other thing, VPN services do have their limitations. A knowledge of these limitations will guide you in making the right decision. They include:
A VPN may be illegal in some countries
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 in countries where they are considered illegal. This can be a limitation to the use of VPN.
If your country considers VPN illegal, then you have no business using a VPN in the first case. This is because when the authority catches you, you may pay a heavy fine, worst still, sent to jail. Luckily, VPNs are legal in Australia and most other countries. However, keep in mind, issues can always arise if someone uses a VPN to commit any criminal activity on the internet.
To access websites using VPNs, you will 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 downloading 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 boycott geo-restrictions and also mask your real IP address, but they can also track your data if they want to.
Hence, take note of VPNs that offer their services free of charge or at a low cost. While this may seem like a huge favor, they may be helping themselves with your data. That’s one of the reasons we recommend getting your hands on a no log VPN always.
Business users may not be able to use it
Generally, individual users usually have no difficulty setting up a VPN service; all they need to do is download the app and sign in with their account. However, for business users, the story is quite different as it’s more 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 there are free VPN services that are available, these are not reliable and better avoided. Besides, VPN services are pretty expensive in the long term.
Doesn’t guaranty 100% privacy
The best VPNs may be efficient and effective, but there are other ways you can reveal your actual IP address even while using a VPN.
For instance, you may be using a VPN with a leaking DNS or IP, a user 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 securely protects your data and ensures your privacy with its many privacy features and mechanisms, and we encourage everyone to take advantage of this. More so for Australians. This is because the cybercrime rate in Australia is exceptionally high. For instance, in 2017, records show that within 12 months alone, the cybercrime rate went up by a whopping 15% (47000 incidents!).
However, with specific reference to Australia’s 2015 data retention law, VPNs won’t offer much protection. There are many articles scattered all over the internet with claims that VPNs prevent ISP from gathering metadata. However, this claim is not valid.
Yes, a VPN will conceal your location and internet activities from the world, but you still need your ISP before getting to that point. To put it in simple terms, a VPN cannot prevent an ISP from tracking your location, online details, or traffic volume.
Should I avoid free Australia VPNs?
Yes, you must. Although using a free VPN rather than a paid one may seem so ideal, it’s a trap you should avoid by all means. With a few exceptions (such as Hotspot Shield and Winscribe), the company either invades your privacy and sells off your data to third-party advertisers and corporations or limits your activities and access.
Because the VPN is free, there are often bandwidth limits, data caps, queues, and limited server selection. Some of these free VPN services will not only inject ads into your browser; they can go further to use tracking cookies in monitoring your online activities.
Nothing servers better than having a quality Australian VPN in this digital age. With a quality VPN, you can not only stream any content, regardless of whether it’s restricted or blocked, you can also be sure your identity and data will not get into the wrong hands.
In this article, we have not reviewed one but seven best VPNs for Australia. We have also gone further to list some of the VPNs to avoid and explain why you need a VPN. Armed with this information, we believe you are well-equipped to make sound decisions in protecting yourself against cybercrime and invasion.
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.