The Best VPN for Australia 2019

A VPN for Australia is essential for anybody who wants to overcome geo-restrictions and watch Netflix US or BBC iPlayer, or bypass blocks to access websites like thePirateBay or Putlockers. In Australia, new privacy laws force ISPs to retain web browsing histories and metadata for two years. This is highly invasive, a VPN will help you avoid this surveillance.

Our Review Process

With over 200 VPN companies appearing over the last few years, it is hard to choose the right one. Our experts have been testing and reviewing the top VPNs for Australia for over 6 years. Here is how we do it:

1. Security and privacy features (does the VPN leak).

2. Speeds - will they slow down your connection.

3. Background of the business (ownership).

4. Usability and software - Netflix and Torrenting.

5. Value for money.

Based on these factors, we've got the 5 best Australian VPN services for you right below.


Winner - CyberGhost

Cheap, fast, and good software


Cyber Ghost Interface



Our reviewers found Cyberghost by far the best VPN for Australia.

Security and Software

Encryption is military grade OpenVPN, and setting up the service is really easy. CyberGhost’s user-friendly apps are available for all popular platforms. No usage logs are kept, and this VPN has an excellent privacy policy in general.

Location and Features

What’s more, the VPN is based in Romania, well out of reach of invasive governments like the UK and US. The VPN is fully featured with DNS leak protection and killswitch. Finally, the VPN provides super fast speeds for streaming in HD.

Pricing and Moneyback Guarantee

Cyberghost provides a 45-day money-back guarantee to test the service. The lowest price you can get Cyberghost on is $2.75 per month on their special offer.

Visit CyberGhost  


2. NordVPN

Good price, great customer service

Our reviewers found NordVPN the second best VPN for Australia.

Privacy and Speed

NordVPN is undoubtedly a fully featured service. The fact that it is based in Panama and keeps no logs at all is also a big draw for those who care about privacy. Its software looks good and works well. Speed performance is now very impressive.

Free trial and money back

And a three-day free trial, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee give you plenty of opportunity to ensure that everything works for you as it should.

Allowed Features

NordVPN permits torrenting, works with all major streaming services (including US Netflix and BBC iPlayer). It even throws in a full smart DNS service for free! What you get with NordVPN is a very fully featured, privacy-friendly VPN service that is also very fast. Pricing The lowest price you can get NordVPN on is $2.99 per month on their special offer.

Visit NordVPN  


3. ExpressVPN

Great all round VPN

This VPN is a perfect all-rounder. Fast, secure, great customer support and ideal for unblocking content like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

Security

As far as security is concerned, ExpressVPN is both trusted and reliable. Encryption is provided via strongly implemented OpenVPN encryption and the privacy policy is fantastic. ExpressVPN comes with all the best VPN features including stealth mode, a killswitch, auto connect, DNS leak protection, shared and static IPs. Furthermore, dedicated IP addresses are available. For those that want to run it directly on a router (to protect all of the devices in their home automatically), ExpressVPN sells a pre-flashed router.

Software

The VPN software is easy to use, is available for all platforms, and can be installed on three simultaneous devices. Customer care is provided by superb 24/7 live chat. Finally, it provides a 30-day money back guarantee to test the service risk-free.


4. PrivateVPN

Newcomer with great features

This awesome VPN from Sweden is loved by consumers. It has servers in 52 countries and is adding more all the time. This makes it perfect for Australians who want to unblock geo-restricted services from around the world. It is also perfect for accessing censored websites. This VPN works with iPlayer and US Netflix!!

Software and Security

PrivateVPN stays true to its name, it keeps zero logs and provides powerful military-grade encryption. The software is fully featured and is available for all popular platforms. It is very easy to use and works like a dream. A yearly plan works out very cheap considering what you get. Well worth a test run using the 30-day money back guarantee or 7-day free trial.


5. Hotspot Shield

Largest VPN brand in the world

This VPN provider is a super-fast service that is perfect for anybody in Australia that wants to do a lot of gaming or streaming in HD. It also has an Australian server, for securing your privacy when using Aussie online services.

Free version

Although the free version of Hotspot Shield does collect some data from users (and serves ads), this is not true of the premium "elite" service. Hotspot Shield does not implement OpenVPN (our recommended protocol), it uses a custom protocol that relies on the OpenSSL library (the same as used by OpenVPN), an enhanced TCP handshake, and AES-128 data encryption. The result is that Hotspot Shield is a fast, reliable, and secure VPN that is perfect for most people's needs. Hotspot Shield is easy to use, is available for all popular platforms, and can be used on 5 devices at once.


What is a VPN?

With a VPN you can protect your digital privacy and gain online freedom:

  • Conceal what you do online from government snooping.
  • Bypass website blocks, censorship, and geo-restrictions.
  • Pretend to be in a different country to unblock US Netflix and other services.
  • Download via BitTorrent safely and with privacy.
  • Connect to public WiFi hotspots without fear of being hacked.

A VPN provides strong encryption which stops your ISP, the government, or WiFi hackers, from stealing your data. Connecting to a VPN server also conceals your location.

With a VPN, your ISP cannot track what you do online (on behalf of the government). Plus, the websites you visit cannot see your real IP address. Connecting to a VPN server outside of Australia makes you appear to live in a different country. This allows you to access all websites blocked by the Australian government.

Considering what you get, a VPN is extremely cheap. For this reason, it is worth making sure you don’t subscribe to a risky and unreliable VPN provider (there are hundreds of rip off VPNs on the market).

What makes the best VPN for Australia?

The very best VPNs for Australians have been chosen by comparing the following essential features:

  • Secure military-grade encryption (OpenVPN).
  • Watertight privacy policies that promise not to keep usage logs. For more about usage logs, see our no log VPN guide. 
  • Advanced VPN features. A killswitch to make sure you never leak data to your ISP. DNS leak protection. Auto-connect to make sure you are always protected. Stealth mode for getting around firewalls and concealing VPN use.
  • Servers all over the world (and in Australia), to let you unblock everything.
  • Lightning fast speeds, for streaming in HD, gaming, and other data-intensive tasks.

All the VPNs in this article have been selected because they offer a premium service that is perfect for Australian VPN users. If you stick to one of our recommended VPNs you can rest assured you will get a quality product that will work well to unblock content and protect your privacy.

Yes, VPNs are legal in Australia. The Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill began being enforced in October 2015. It means that Australian ISPs must collect and store metadata for two years. The information collected includes large amounts of personal data about every phone call made, email and text message sent, and the internet browsing activities of every Australian. 

The information collected is accessible without a warrant. It can be accessed by a large range of government organizations, which can be expanded by the Attorney-General at his or her discretion. Concerns about privacy have only grown with the introduction of a new law, the Assistance and Access Bill 2018 which allows the government to force tech firms to put backdoors in encryption.

When governments pass overreaching laws, it is natural to want to protect yourself. The laws that have been passed in Australia are so invasive that the only real way to guarantee your privacy is with VPN encryption. A VPN encrypts all data passing between your home IP address and the Australian ISP. This means that your ISP cannot track what you do online for the government.

Title image credit: LVVs/Shutterstock.com

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 4+ years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, Barrons, the Scottish Herald, ThreatPost, CNET & many more. Ray is currently rated number 1 VPN authority by Agilience.com.

21 Comments

  1. Sam

    on February 27, 2019
    Reply

    I really like the VPN service like Veepn.It works in all countries. High speed, it is possible to watch movies in high quality.

    1. wilma miller replied to Sam

      on March 11, 2019
      Reply

      Oh, I use it too. convenient, fast and doesn`t break the connection

    2. Wilma replied to Sam

      on March 13, 2019
      Reply

      I agree to all 100 percent. There are problems with the connection, but after I reboot the router everything is fine (I think the problem is in it)

      1. Jayden replied to Wilma

        on March 27, 2019
        Reply

        I use VeePN too it has a beatuiful interface and veery easy to use compatible to pc and smartphone devices.All your session are purely secured.

    3. Janny replied to Sam

      on March 19, 2019
      Reply

      I agree with you. At the moment, the ideal for me is VeePN

    4. Mia Brown replied to Sam

      on March 19, 2019
      Reply

      I used Veepn during my trip to Australia last year. I’ve watched English TV shows and have used my favorite online services without any issues.

  2. Mars Drum

    on January 14, 2019
    Reply

    Now that the Australian decryption bill has been passed at the end of 2018, does that mean our VPNs are as safe as before? I use ExpressVPN, and it's more for safeguarding my movements online rather than viewing overseas content. Are VPNs even allowed in Australia? And should I be connecting to honk kong as smartest option, or Melbourne Australia...as I live in remote Victoria.

  3. Hans J de Waard

    on July 1, 2018
    Reply

    Douglas, Setting up new IMac , based in Australia . Satellite supplied NBN internet .{ Live on an Island } Is VPN able to be used? You mentioned Hong Kong as being the best offshore server to use for AU regarding speed , sat speed is not as good as land line, depending upon the amount of customer usage at the time . Looking at either Nord or Express . Can you check this out ?

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Hans J de Waard

      on July 2, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Hans, You should be able to use a VPN with that setup, no problem. Both Nord and Express offer free 30-day money back guarantees, anyway, so there is no harm testing for yourself. VPNs reduce internet speed the further they are away from your location. Your problem is that you are very far away from anywhere! You would get better speeds connecting to a server in Australia. This is fine for streaming and suchlike but is not ideal if you are worried about government surveillance. The internet in HK is uncesnsored, nor spied on, and as fast as it gets in SE Asia.

  4. Frank Frick

    on April 20, 2017
    Reply

    Douglas I get the basic idea/appeal of a VPN, but two issues loom as deal-killers... ~> If the speed is too slow, the service is generally unusable. No one wants the safest bulletproof snoop-proof private car that goes 5km/hr. Unless there is NO other option. Remember Internet '95? ~> How many devices can you connect at once? We're not all childless widowers, geek recluses or sole traders. If it's pay-per-device that should be indicated in the pricing. 'Course, that will knock the speed down further. I'd out these two aspects at the top of the list, as they determine whether there is any pint to proceeding at all.

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Frank Frick

      on April 21, 2017
      Reply

      Hi Frank, I think you overstate the slowdown caused by using a VPN. If connecting to a good VPN service using a nearby server, you can typically expect around a 10-15% speed hit. Distance to the VPN server does make a big difference, though, which I know can be an issue if you are based in Australia. Assuming that you want to avoid Aussie VPN servers (governmnet spying), then connecting to servers in Hong Kong will probably net you the best speeds. Most VPN services these days permit between 3-5 simultaneous connections (devices). We always state this number in our reviews.

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