Best VPN for Australia
Are you searching for the best VPN for Australia? Australians and visitors to Australia enjoy a high degree of Internet freedom, but even here a VPN can be a must-have. New laws have increased capacity for surveillance and given companies new responsibilities to retain your data, while other legislation restricts access to some services and websites. Meanwhile, Australians have many other reasons to use a VPN, including the avoidance of corporate snooping, increased security on public networks and gaining access to video streaming services in the UK and US.
At a Glance – Best VPN for Australia
A more detailed description of the best VPNs for Australia will be provided below, but if you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick summary of our top three choices:
Choosing the Best VPN for Australia
While Australians don’t face much in the way of censorship or surveillance, there are still good reasons for some Internet users and political activists to be concerned. Recent laws have given security and law enforcement services more powers to snoop on Internet activity, while data retention laws have been beefed up so that ISPs have a legal obligation to collect and store metadata for up to two years, and make it available to national security on request. There are also new punishments for whistleblowers who publish classified information, along with laws that restrict access to many torrent and streaming websites. Using a VPN gives users a level of anonymity, protection from surveillance and a means of circumventing content blocks.
There are also many other practical reasons to use a VPN. Australian residents and visitors may want to access US streaming services, including the US version of Netflix, HBO Now and Hulu, which are blocked to users outside of the US. They may also want to access Australian broadcasts and services while travelling abroad. A VPN can help on both counts. It also be a sensible precaution for using public WiFi services, giving an extra layer of protection against snooping, identity theft and fraud.
You’ll find general advice on choosing a VPN in How to buy the best VPN [URL here], but in Australia your priorities are likely to be privacy, security and capabilities to work around website-blocking. As a result, we’ve focused in on VPN providers that offer additional levels of protection, that don’t log your activities and that can work their way around website blocks. We’ve also looked for providers who allow P2P traffic, or that take payment through an anonymous currency, like Bitcoin.
The Best VPNs for Australia
1. ExpressVPN: The best VPN for Australia overall
Price: $12.95 per month, $6.67 per month (annual plan)
If you’re searching for the best VPN for Australia, you’re probably interested in streaming, staying private, torrenting, or gaming. ExpressVPN is the best VPN service available on the market, edging out the competition in the most important aspects.
ExpressVPN operates more than 3,000 worldwide servers in 160 locations across 94 countries. Torrenting is allowed on all servers. It has consistently performed well in unblocking and speed tests and hence is a good option for streaming content. As an Australia VPN, ExpressVPN currently has locations in four cities Down Under (with Australian servers in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth).
With its excellent streaming performance, you can virtually relocate almost anywhere and gain access to blocked content on Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Hulu, and so much more.
It has tons of privacy and security features that can keep you safe no matter what you are doing. That includes AES-256 encryption, split tunneling, and a kill switch. There’s also the Perfect Forward Secrecy and Express’ own proprietary Lightway protocol.
Even if you’re not the techie type, you’ll easily learn how to use ExpressVPN. And if you ever need help, you can contact their customer support 24/7. Real humans are available through live chat and email to answer all of your questions.
All plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee, so essentially, you can try the service risk-free. If you want to save money, you can avail of the annual subscription. Readers who purchase ExpressVPN through our links are entitled to 3 months free if they choose the 1-year plan.
- Fast servers ideal for streaming and downloading
- Excellent at unblocking Netflix and other streaming services
- Apps have sound security and privacy features
- Gets around torrent tracker site blocks without compromising privacy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Up to 5 simultaneous connections only
2. CyberGhost – user-friendly VPN with robust security features
Price: $12.99 per month, $4.29 per month (annual plan)
CyberGhost has around 8,000 servers across 91 countries (178 servers located in two cities in Australia). One of the best features of this VPN is its server filtering function. In-app, users can pick what they want to watch – for example, Netflix. Simply select a country, and CyberGhost will instantly display which server works best for Netflix. It’s a smart system that makes it easy to watch what you want. You can also use CyberGhost to unblock geo-restrictions on Disney+.
This VPN will keep your data private with AES 256-bit encryption and various security protocols. CyberGhost is headquartered in Romania (outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance) and has a verified no-logs policy. It even has a built-in ad blocker that also blocks malware.
There’s also a WiFi feature, which launches the VPN when it detects a new public network. This is especially beneficial when using public WiFi. Furthermore, the DNS/IPv6 leak protection and automatic kill switch prevent accidental data exposure.
CyberGhost is compatible with all major operating systems. It also provides 24/7 customer support.
- Easy to set up and use
- Vast server network (has servers in Australia)
- Good server speeds
- Solid default privacy and security features
- 45-day money-back guarantee (1-year plan and higher)
- Lack of configuration options
3. Private Internet Access — best VPN for torrenting in Australia
Price: $11.99 per month, $7.50 per month (6 months), $2.19 per month (2-year plan plus 2 months free)
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a great choice for torrenting because it supports P2P sharing on all of its servers and has unlimited bandwidth.
Streaming is buffer-free, too. PIA’s network is spread over 80 countries, with more than 270 out of the 30,000 servers located in three cities in Australia (Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney). So, you’ll have no problem accessing popular streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Stan, Binge, and BBC iPlayer.
This VPN lets users customize the security settings according to their needs – speed versus protection. 128-bit encryption along with WireGuard protocol provide the fastest speeds, while OpenVPN protocol and AES 256-bit provide the highest level of protection (ideal for online banking).
Although headquartered in the US (5 Eyes Alliance), PIA has a verified no-logs policy, meaning your personal information won’t be stored. The automatic kill switch together with DNS/IP leak protection add another layer of security. And like CyberGhost, PIA has an ad blocker (MACE) that blocks ads, trackers, and malware.
- Around 30,000 servers in 80+ countries
- Has the most number of servers in Australia
- Up to 10 simultaneous device connections
- Can stream Australian and international content
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Headquartered in the USA (5 Eyes Alliance)
4. Nord VPN: The best VPN for security
Price: $11.99 per month, $4.99 per month (annual plan)
Nord VPN is hard to beat on global reach, with over 1400 servers in 61 countries, including 48 in Australia. It’s a slick, feature-packed service with an intuitive UI, and some particularly useful features if you’re concerned about surveillance or feel your privacy is under threat. These include optional double encryption and a dual-hop VPN, which disguises your IP address not just once but twice to throw anyone snooping off your trail. You can also route traffic via the TOR network using an Onion over VPN server, further covering your tracks. Look to the Advanced Settings for an Obfuscated Server option, designed for use in heavily restricted countries, while the kill switch can be set to close specific apps immediately should your VPN disconnect.
Nord VPN isn’t the fastest VPN for local access, but it’s one of the fastest we’ve seen for long-hop VPNs, connecting back to Asia from Europe with speeds in excess of 10Mbps. What’s more, as Nord VPN is based in Panama, you don’t need to worry about fourteen eyes surveillance or mandatory data retention laws. Add a strict no logging policy and it’s a tempting option where privacy is concerned.
- Good speeds
- Unblocks foreign Netflix libraries
- Great privacy and security features
- Purpose-specific servers available (streaming, torrenting, etc.)
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Desktop app takes some time to get used to
5. IPVanish: A great VPN for use in Australia
Price: $10.99 per month, $3.75 per month (annual plan)
IPVanish has a particularly good presence in Australia, with 60 servers in the territory based in Sydney and Melbourne. The company also has nine servers in New Zealand along with servers in Malaysia, giving you options if you want a near but non-Australian IP. While there’s an optional, simplified interface for less-expert users, the service’s big selling point is control. The big, map-based interface is great for quickly choosing a location, though you can just pick a country and let the app choose the optimal server. If you want to go in-depth, IPVanish has the technical options and diagnostic tools you’re looking for.
It’s a good service for privacy as well. It’s based in the US, so not ideal if you’re keen to avoid a service based in one of the core five eyes countries, but the company claims to have a strict no-logging policy, while you can use Bitcoin to avoid leaving a credit card trail. Your traffic is protected by 256-bit AES encryption, and there’s a killswitch to drop all connections immediately if the VPN drops. You can also set IPVanish to switch IP addresses every 45 minutes to help you cover your tracks.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Zero-logs policy
- Fast connections
- Accepts Bitcoin payments
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Based in the USA (5 Eyes Alliance)
- Can’t unblock all streaming services