Best VPN Services for Australia

Best VPN Services for Australia 1 2020

If you happen to be coming from Australia, you certainly appreciate a good VPN! Australians regularly rely on VPN networks for various reasons: from access to streaming services (some of which aren’t originally available in Australia) like Netflix or Hulu, to concerns for privacy and security, for which VPNs provide some degree of relief – to say the least. 

Best VPN Services for Australia 3 2020

Why Should You Use VPN in Australia

Like a lot of countries around the world, Australia is also not excluded from the threats of cyberattacks, surveillance from the state, censorship, as well as content restrictions. 

Australia has often been among the last places of priority for video or music streaming services, as well as video game developers when it comes to distributing their new products to an English-speaking market. And all of this translates into the fact that if you happen to have an Australian IP, then you’re oftentimes limited when it comes to streaming your favorite TV shows, or your favorite music, as well as playing games online, among other stuff. 

This has brought waves of illegal internet activity known as piracy or downloading or illegally streaming copyrighted material. That’s why, in December 2016, the Australian federal court ordered ISPs (or internet service providers) to block many popular torrent sites such as Torrentz, ThePirateBay, TorrentHound, IsoHunt, SolarMovie and others. 

Another bummer is that there’s an additional tax to pay for purchases from Netflix or Steam. The so-called Online Goods Tax – also known as the Netflix Tax – demands an extra 10% for digital goods which people in Australia buy from non-Australian internet vendors. And Netflix used this quite well by constructing a new pricing structure for this region, increasing one tier of their subscriptions by 20%! And to make matters worse, compared to the offers of TV shows and films in the US, the Australian Netflix falls significantly short. 

A third and equally important issue is surveillance and censorship. Just last year, Freedom House managed to compile a list of laws that impose censorship and state surveillance, granting state agencies a rather large amount of power and authorization for prying in the domains of your private life. This means a less than satisfactory record of data-retention laws. Take for example the Australian Data Retention Act which requires mobile carriers and internet service providers to record and retain the personal data (including emails, location, texts, phone calls) of their customers for two whole years! 

And last but not least is the problem of cybercrime, for which Australia is among the top 10 most targeted nations. And considering the ubiquitous WiFi hotspots all around the country, this adds another reason for using a VPN on the already pretty long list. 

And, if you happen to be somewhere abroad, you’ll also sometimes need a VPN to get access to your favorite stuff hosted in Australia! So, let’s go over the main reasons why you should use a VPN in Australia: 

  • Access to content that’s restricted to specific countries and locations.
  • Circumventing the infamous Netflix Tax
  • Avoiding to use piracy sites as well as being subjected to the Australian Site Blocking Bill and Data Retention Law
  • Making sure your privacy is being protected from the prying eyes of state surveillance and telecommunication services
  • Safe internet connection and protection of your data from hackers and cybercrime in general 
  • If abroad, being able to access content in Australia
  • The simple joy of being anonymous on the internet

Criteria for Ranking

The selection of VPN networks for Australia on this list is based on the following criteria: 

  • Fast speeds and wide server availability, with locations that are outside the so-called ‘14 Eyes Territories’. 
  • Transparent zero-logs privacy policies and great security record. 
  • Cross-platform clients that are user-friendly.
  • Reliable, consistent, and reproducible performance when it comes to unblocking content with geographical restrictions and P2P file-sharing.
  • The best ratio of value and price offered, as well as a reputation for excellence.

Selection of the Best VPNs for Australia 

Finally, we come down to the actual VPN services. What follows is a list of the best VPNs for Australia that are currently present on the market. Each of them has its pros and cons, and it’s up to you to decide which one you think will work best! So let’s get down to it! 

NordVPN

Best VPN Services for Australia 5 2020

This is definitely one of the best VPNs that you can use right now. It holds more than 5000 servers, in over 60 countries, and it maintains a very adamant attitude towards the zero-logs, pro-privacy stance. NordVPN is actually one of the rare providers that’s able to bypass the VPN blocks coming from Netflix consistently and reliably. Their servers located in Australia do a great job when you need to access Australian content from somewhere abroad. Also, they allow torrenting on all of their servers. 

NordVPN supports whatever protocol you desire, with the inclusion of OpenVPN. It also manages its own DNS servers in order to avoid leakage. NordVPN has a basis in Panama, meaning it’s not being subjected to the 14 Eyes Territories’ surveillance laws and practices, and also has relatively soft laws concerning piracy. With this provider, you’ll also find a kill switch, double encryption, VPN into Tor, making for one very safe surfing experience that’s protected from prying eyes!

NordVPN is super-fast and has an unlimited bandwidth, which means you’ll be able to freely enjoy gaming, P2P torrenting, and also HD video streaming. Have in mind though that double encryption connections can be slower than the AES 256-bit.

The software suite is definitely one of the most intuitive ones out there, and it comes pre-configured, which means you can effortlessly pick the super-fast servers meant for gaming or streaming content, or you can choose the super-secure ones if you happen to be working with some sensitive data. You’ll also find that it offers cross-platform support, and you’ll be able to use it on a maximum of six devices. 

Pricing

NordVPN comes with 4 pricing plans: 

  • The monthly plan is $11.80
  • The 1-year plan is $6.90 per month
  • The 2-year plan is $3.93 per month
  • The 3-year plan is $2.94 per month

Of course, if you’re up for it in the long run, the 3-year plan is by far the best value for money, and it also has a refund policy of 30 days if you’re not content with the service! 

Overall Impression

NordVPN offers a great value-for-money option for a VPN provider. It’s very reliable, has very solid security and privacy features, and can be used on 6 devices at the same time, with lighting-speeds. 

Based in Panama, it has a zero-logs policy and robust encryption, a wide selection of servers, superb customer service, P2P that comes with unlimited bandwidth – and it also accepts Bitcoin! 

One of the few flaws that we could find in this otherwise superb provider is that it doesn’t block ads and that the double encryption affects speed. But that’s about it! 

CyberGhost

Best VPN Services for Australia 7 2020

CyberGhost is among the best VPNs out there, with over 3.900 servers worldwide, in over 61 countries. CyberGhost puts a strong emphasis on unblocking popular streaming services, of the likes of Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. But, it also supports torrenting, having a dedicated “Torrent Anonymously” option in its apps, which makes it rather popular with torrent users as well. 

It’s also pretty budget-friendly, offering great options for a very affordable price (for details on pricing, see below). 

CyberGhost is also among the VPN providers that have excellent speeds. It has a download rate with an average of 75 Mbps across locations worldwide – with servers in North America, Asia and Europe. The only slowdown you might notice is if you’re on a gigabit ethernet connection, although the available bandwidth should be more than enough for an average user. 

From the protocols, you’ve got OpenVPN, IKEv2, or L2TP at your hand; you can also allow CyberGhost to choose for you. IKEv2 establishes the connections in the quickest way, working best for mobile devices that often temporarily lose connection or switch between mobile data and WiFi. If you plan on using the Exceptions feature, you’ll be required to use OpenVPN.

CyberGhost doesn’t log the activity of the user – and it also doesn’t record IP addresses. It does keep some connection logs, but none of them can be tied back to the individual user. Payment and registration details aren’t connected to the VPN service; plus users are given an anonymous ID.

CyberGhost apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. 

Pricing

It also has four pricing options: 

  • 1-month plan –  $12.99 per month (billed monthly)
  • 1-year plan – $5.99 per month (billed yearly)
  •  2-year plan – $3.69 per month (billed yearly)
  • 3-year plan – $2.75/mth (billed yearly)

Overall Impression

Another provider that offers a great value for the price, CyberGhost is also user-friendly; it’s especially easy to set up the apps for people that encounter VPN providers for the first time and ones that are less tech-savvy. Super-fast server speeds and very substantial security and privacy features (zero logs and DNS leak protection). It also works very well with most of the popular streaming services. 

Some of the flaws of CyberGhost would be perhaps that for some people it might be overly user-friendly, and hence a bit frustrating for more versed users, because of the lack of configuration options. It also doesn’t have any dedicated apps for routers or Linux. 

ExpressVPN

Best VPN Services for Australia 9 2020

ExpressVPN is another VPN provider that’s considered among the best ones on the market. With its 160 server locations, spread out in 94 countries and enabling unlimited speeds, it has proudly earned its way to the top of VPN service  . 

ExpressVPN is doing superbly when it comes to anonymity on the internet – it doesn’t do any traffic data logs (zero-log policy) or DNS queries. It also supports torrenting (P2P unlimited) – being based on the British Virgin Islands certainly helps, since that territory is exempt from the notorious 14 Eyes surveillance and anti-piracy laws. If you’re into gaming as well, it also does a great job at providing consistent and reliable lighting fast speeds. 

ExpressVPN also uses military-grade AES-256 encryption, SmartDNS, and OpenVPN protocol, which means you’ll be able to unblock streaming services easily and without effort, on any platform you want! It can unblock content on streaming services such as Netflix (managing to unblock both the US and Australian catalogs), Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, DAZN, and BBC iPlayer.

ExpressVPN’s apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Linux (command line) as well as some WiFi routers.

Pricing

ExpressVPN is somewhat pricier than the other high-ranked VPN providers on our list. 

  • 1-Month plan – billing $12.95 per month ($12.95 every month).
  • 12-Month plan – billing $8.32 per month ($99.95 every 12 months).
  • 6-Month plan – billing $9.99 per month ($59.95 every 6 months). 

Each of the plans comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Overall Impression

ExpressVPN is another top, high-quality VPN provider. It has pretty much all you could wish for in a VPN service: cross-platform apps that are pretty intuitive and flexible; it also comes with a kill switch so your IP address will never get exposed, as well as auto-connect and a DNS leak protection. 

Fast servers which provide high-quality streaming, downloading and superb gaming experiences (has unlimited bandwidth). Supports P2P torrenting, and has very tight privacy settings – zero-log policy, great encryption, OpenVPN, BVI jurisdiction, and it negates the mandatory ISP data retention. It also accepts bitcoin. 

Some of the rare flaws that this VPN service has is that for some users it might not seem as configurable as other VPN providers or as they would like. It also doesn’t block ads and is available for installing only on 3 devices. Also, some users may find the pricing a tad more expensive than other similar VPN providers. 

Nevertheless, it is a very reliable and worthy purchase, even if you do spend a buck or two more! 

Surfshark

Best VPN Services for Australia 11 2020

Surfshark is a relatively new VPN provider on the market, still in the process of expansion, but with great potential. It has more than 800 servers in over 50 countries throughout the world, and as a smaller provider, it works perfectly for unblocking content that’s region-blocked, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. 

Surfshark offers very solid encryption that will work great in protecting you from intruding privacy laws. It offers some extra features which can help the user bypass these highly problematic privacy laws, such as the Camouflage mode, for example, which will hide the using of VPN from your ISP. It has the option for a kill switch (which is a great plus!), preventing the possible moments of IP exposure if there’s a sudden drop in the VPN connection. 

Surfshark also allows torrenting, P2P filesharing on all of their servers, and it does a great job of not keeping any logs when it comes to your online activity. 

And probably the greatest thing about this VPN provider is that it can be installed on an unlimited amount of devices! This makes it a great choice for families, for example, since everybody in the family can connect however many devices they want to just one account. And the amount of devices that Surfshark currently supports is incredible. You’ll be able to find the so-called ‘native apps’ for every major platform there is, but also apps for gaming consoles and smart TV. 

Surfshark’s apps are available for: 

  • macOS
  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Smart TVs like FireTV, Apple TV, as well as Other TVs
  • Phones & Tablets: iOS and Android
  • Consoles such as Xbox and Playstation
  • Chrome and Firefox

Pricing

Surfshark’s pricing plans are pretty budget-friendly. They offer three plans – monthly, yearly and bi-yearly: 

  • 1-month plan – $11.95 per month (billed every month)
  • 24-month plan – $1.99 per month ($47.76 for 2 years, billed every 24 months); the 24-Month plan includes the biggest savings and is fully refundable for 30 days. (right now you can use the coupon: sharkstart and get the plan with this current price)
  • 12-months plan – $5.99 per month ($71.88 for 1 year, billed every 12 months) 

With every plan, you get a 30-days guarantee of your money back! 

Overall Impression

Still new on the market and in the process of expanding, Surfshark has so far shown itself to be a very solid and promising VPN provider. It does a great job at unblocking streaming sites that are quite popular nowadays, sites of the likes of Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video and also BBC iPlayer. 

It also allows for torrenting and P2P activity. Like most VPN providers on this list, it has great customer support with live chat available 24/7. And, of course, one of the best things about this provider is the unlimited number of devices that can be connected under one account, which ultimately makes Surfshark a superb budget option, one that can be shared with family and with friends that you trust. 

Some of the flaws of Surfshark can be its relatively smaller network of servers compared to other VPNs on this list, as well as the occasional slowness of its servers. 

But, overall, it’s a very decent VPN provider that certainly deserves a chance! 

IPVanish

Best VPN Services for Australia 13 2020

Another great choice for a VPN for Australia, IPVanish boasts with over 40,000 shared IPs, more than 1,300 VPN servers in more than 75 locations around the globe (including Australia), with unlimited bandwidth. IPVanish also owns all of its physical servers. This means that you can expect only the fastest connections when it comes to this VPN provider – whether you’re streaming in HD, playing games online, or doing P2P file-sharing. Traffic that comes from torrenting is allowed on all of their servers. And even though the company is based in the US, it still has a zero-log policy which is pretty strict. 

IPVanish is a rather feature-rich software that works cross-platform. It has 256-bit AES encryption, unlimited bandwidth, and SOCKS5 web proxy. 

Pricing

Like most VPN providers, IPVanish also comes with three pricing plans and it is a relatively affordable provider compared to other similar ones on the market. The plans are the following:  

  • 1-month plan – $10.00 per month ($10.00 billed monthly)
  • 3-month plan – $8.99 per month ($26.99 billed every 3 months)  
  • 1-year plan – $6.49 per month ($77.99 billed annually) 

All of the plans include a 7-day money-back guarantee

Overall Impression 

Another great option for a VPN provider, IPVanish offers the essentials: security, protection, reliability, speed. Great for torrenters and P2P file sharing (unlimited bandwidth), although it’s US-based, it has a very strict zero-logs policy. With its super-fast connection and protection from DPI, as well as SOCKS5, OpenVPN, 256-bit AES encryption, you don’t have to worry much about any privacy breaches. The fact they own their servers is another great asset of this provider – it means great speeds and also that no third parties will be able to manage your data.

Its cross-platform software is very intuitive and the interface easy to use. It’s got reliable customer support 24/7. 

IPVanish allows for 10 10 simultaneous connections on multiple devices, which is a pretty solid number compared to other providers. 

One of the few cons that this provider has is that you can’t sign-up with Bitcoin, and the apps also don’t work in China.

Up until recently they weren’t able to unblock Netflix, but that has changed – now the unblocking can work if you connect to servers that are in the US, ones located in Las Vegas, Dallas or Chicago. 

Super-secure and perfect for torrent users, if your privacy is a top priority, then don’t miss out on this one! 

Conclusion

As we’ve seen so far, having a VPN in Australia is a pretty good idea. A high-quality VPN provider will help you protect your privacy on the internet, especially because Australia has some rather strict data retention laws which can pose a serious threat to personal online privacy. This is also why you should be extra careful and use a VPN when connecting to the internet on WiFi spots that are public. 

A good VPN will also allow you access to content which is often geographically limited or blocked, or one that has special taxation requirements (like the notorious Netflix Tax, for example). Having a VPN service won’t make you feel like you’re constantly missing out on excellent TV-shows that other parts of the world are freely enjoying at the moment.  

The same goes for online games and torrenting. Good quality VPNs will give you the best speeds and unlimited bandwidth, making for one flawless gaming experience! 

All of these reasons and more is why you can’t just purchase any kind of VPN service provider that you stumble upon on the internet. What you should do instead is look for a high-quality VPN provider, one that’s reliable and consistent in the services and options that it offers, as well as one that has a spotless record of encryption, zero-logs policy, kill switch (recommended), as well as other tight, security options and precaution measures. 

And this sort of brings us to the end of this article – of course, our list of the best VPNs for Australia is by no means exhaustive, and if you have a suggestion in mind, or have used ones which you think belong on this list, please don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments section. 

Otherwise, we hope we have provided enough help when it comes to choosing a VPN provider for Australia, by giving you the characteristics of each of the best ones, their best assets, but also their potential weak spots and flaws. Now, the only thing you need to do is make a final decision and choose the one you see fit for your particular needs! 

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