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The Best Free VPNs for Australia

Finding a free VPN for Australia is definitely appealing. You want to surf the internet with privacy and security without breaking the bank. I hear you.

But here's the catch: most free VPNs are terrible to use – and many are downright risky. Free VPNs have been caught selling user data, hosting malware on their networks, exposing user locations and identities, and much more.

The best free VPNs for Australia

Despite the risks, if you're determined to use a free VPN, we've done the hard work and tested countless providers. 

We’ve only found five that are safe to use, don't impose excessive limitations (such as snail-like speeds or laughably low bandwidth caps), and work in Australia. 

If you’re in a rush, you can skip the in-depth reviews and pick your free Australian VPN from the final list:

  1. Hotspot Shield - The #1 free VPN for Australia. Potentially unlimited data, excellent security, and reliable connections.
  2. Hide.me - The most customizable free VPN for Australia, alongside fast servers that allow torrenting (and much more).
  3. Proton VPN - Offers unlimited data, works with streaming sites, and includes premium security features.
  4. Windscribe - Install on unlimited devices and access a large network of free, secure, fast servers around the world.
  5. TunnelBear - Beginner-friendly VPN with free servers in 45+ countries, including Australia.

If you're strapped for cash, these free VPNs are your best bet. But if you can afford $2-3 per month, we highly recommend investing in a low-cost Australia VPN instead – for reasons that will become crystal clear as you read on.

The best cheap VPNs for Australia

While the five free VPNs we’ve recommended stand head and shoulders above their free competitors, they still pale compared to cheap premium VPNs. 

If you can afford to invest a few dollars per month, the three cheap VPNs below work wonders in Australia, providing incredible speed, security, access to content, and zero limitations on your data.

  1. Surfshark - The best budget VPN for Australia. You get unlimited device connections, industry-best security, state-of-the-art privacy, and much more.
  2. TIP

    In testing we found that the 'Surfshark Starter' plan (the cheapest) works perfectly for Netflix.

  3. CyberGhost VPN - Beginner-friendly VPN with easy-to-use apps, 9,000+ secure servers worldwide, and up to seven simultaneous device connections.
  4. PrivateVPN - A smaller budget VPN that still outshines free competitors with a mix of fast servers, excellent security, and uninterrupted streaming on up to 10 devices.

A closer look at the best free VPNs for Australia

Now let’s dig deeper into each VPN to see what they’re good at – and their many limitations. If you need even more information, you can read our full VPN reviews.

Hotspot Shield is our favorite free VPN for Australia for numerous reasons: you get essentially unlimited data, proprietary VPN protocols, excellent security, and much more.

  • Pricing

    • 36 months: $2.99/mth
      76% OFF
    • 12 months: $7.99/mth
      38% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.99/mth
    • Free: $0/mth
  • Pros

    • Unlimited data if you watch ads
    • Patented VPN protocol
    • Most secure free VPN
    • Easily upgrade to premium plan
  • Cons

    • US server only on free plan
    • 2 Mbps speed restriction
    • Extremely slow for torrenting or downloads
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Initially, when you sign up, Hotspot Shield has a daily 500 MB data limit. However, to extend this limit, you just have to watch some ads. This means that Hotspot Shield is one of the only trustworthy free VPNs that offer potentially unlimited data. 


Constantly watching ads is annoying, but a good tradeoff if you don’t want to spend any money. 


As a free user, you can access Hotspot Shield's comprehensive security suite, featuring 256-bit AES encryption – the same standard employed by banks, governments, militaries, and intelligence agencies. The free plan also includes Hotspot Shield’s Catapult Hydra VPN protocol, which speeds up your connection without compromising security.


Like all free VPNs, Hotspot Shield has limitations. Your speed will be capped at 2 Mbps, which means HD streaming is out of the question, and downloads will be very slow. Also, you can only access one server in the US. However, our remote international team found the server fast and reliable when tested globally.


If you like Hotspot Shield but find the free plan too limited, you can easily upgrade to the paid plan, which includes a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Hide.me is the most customizable free VPN for Australia, giving you unrivaled control over your VPN settings and online protection.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 2 months FREE: $3.84/mth
      62% OFF
    • 12 months: $6.66/mth
      34% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.95/mth
    • Free: $0/mth
  • Pros

    • Super customizable
    • Works with streaming sites
    • Fast servers
    • Torrenting allowed on free plan
    • Airtight security
  • Cons

    • You have to renew every 30 days
    • Not beginner-friendly
    • Only one device on your free plan
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Hide.me’s free customizable security features are seriously impressive. You’ll get access to a full suite of premium VPN tools and technology, including an automatic kill-switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption, and much more. We tested Hide.me’s security thoroughly, and it worked against every common threat and attack we threw against it. 


Like most free VPNs, Hide.me limits your monthly data to 10 GB. There are no tricks for increasing this, so you’ll need to monitor your usage throughout the month and keep streaming and downloads to a minimum. 


Hide.me does allow torrenting on its free plan. But, again, you’ll want to keep this to small files or risk blowing past your monthly limit.

ProtonVPN is the only trustworthy free VPN for Australia that offers unlimited data with no conditions. It's also compatible with popular streaming sites and provides reliable speeds.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $3.59/mth
      65% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.99/mth
      51% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.99/mth
    • Free trial: $0/mth
  • Pros

    • Unlimited data
    • Works with some streaming sites
    • Free servers in US, Netherlands, and Japan
    • Works on routers
  • Cons

    • No torrenting on free account
    • Blocks torrenting
    • Very limited support
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

We used ProtonVPN to access Netflix, Stan, Disney+, HBO Max, Foxtel, and many more popular streaming sites. Each time, we could watch full episodes in HD without worrying about buffering or lag. For a free VPN, this is seriously impressive. 


While ProtonVPN only gives free users access to servers in the US, Netherlands, and Japan, our international team took part in the streaming tests and had similar results regardless of their location. 


However, keep in mind that ProtonVPN blocks torrenting on the free plan. 


You’ll also get access to ProtonVPN’s full suite of security tools, including three different VPN protocols – WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv6. Each one is slightly different, balancing security and speed to varying degrees. If you’re using ProtonVPN for streaming, we recommend OpenVPN, as it's the fastest.

4. Windscribe

Windscribe offers unlimited device connections, a large server network for free users, and reliable speeds outside peak hours.

  • Pricing

    • 12 months: $4.08/mth
    • 1 month: $9/mth
    • Free: $0/mth
  • Pros

    • Unlimited devices
    • Fast connection speeds
    • Large free server network
    • Robust security
  • Cons

    • Difficult to use
    • Slows down when the network gets busy
    • Based in Canada
    • Chatbot support only
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix

As a free Windscribe user, you can install the VPN on unlimited devices. So, you can use it to protect your phone, tablet, computer, and much more without upgrading to a paid plan. While you’ll start with a 2 GB monthly data limit, you can extend this to 10 GB simply by verifying your email address. 


You’ll have enough data for basic browsing and some streaming across all your devices. 


Windscribe also gives free users access to servers in 10 countries: Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA. It works with popular streaming sites in each country, as well as Australia, and provides fast, reliable connections throughout most of the day.


Windscribe gets less reliable at “peak times” when lots of users are sharing its network. So, depending on your location, you may notice slower speeds, exactly when you want a fast connection. This isn’t an issue with the best Australian VPNs.

5. TunnelBear

Tunnelbear is the only trustworthy free VPN with a server in Australia. However, it has a lot of limitations you’ll need to consider before downloading it.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $4.17/mth
      58% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.99/mth
      50% OFF
    • Free: $0/mth
  • Pros

    • Free servers in over 45 countries
    • Easy to use
    • Works in China
    • Strong security
  • Cons

    • Not compatible with Netflix
    • Low monthly data cap
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
  • Unblocks

Tunnelbear gives free users access to servers in 45+ countries, including Australia. This is seriously impressive, and if you need a VPN to access specific content in different locations, Tunnelbear might be a good choice. 


Tunnelbear also works in China – an achievement even most paid VPNs can’t reach. 


However, we’re disappointed by Tunnelbear’s overall service. As a free user, you’re initially capped at 500 MB. If you tag Tunnelbear in a complimentary tweet, your cap is extended to 1.5 GB. But this is still a fraction of the data offered by other free VPNs on this list – not to mention the best unlimited VPNs. 


So, while Tunnelbear is easy to use and has plenty of servers, we only recommend it for the most absolute basic browsing.


 

The Best Cheap VPNs for Australia

Now you can see the limitations of even the best free VPNs for Australia, let’s compare them to the best low-cost premium VPNs.

1. Surfshark
Editor's Choice | May 2024

Surfshark is the best-value VPN on the market. You can install it on unlimited devices, connect to thousands of secure, fast global servers, and access your favorite content – Aussie or otherwise.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 2 months FREE: $2.3/mth
      83% OFF
    • 12 months: $3.99/mth
      70% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • 3,000+ global servers, including in Australia
    • Unlimited device protection
    • Excellent security and privacy tools
    • Cheap long-term plans
    • Fast connections
    • Easy to use
    • Works with streamers
  • Cons

    • Downloads can be slow
    • Newer VPN (untested)
    • Expensive monthly plans
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

We’re really impressed with how much Surfshark packs into its low-cost plans – which start at $2.39/month. 


You can install it on unlimited devices simultaneously, with apps available for Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux, game consoles, TVs, routers, and more. Whichever device you install Surfshark on, you’ll benefit from top-tier security features, like 256-bit AES encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, an automatic kill-switch, and multiple VPN protocols.


Surfshark is excellent for streaming, with 3,000+ servers located across the globe and a host of privacy features that help mask the fact you’re even using a VPN. So, you can use Surfshark to watch Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and many more streaming sites. 


New users can try Surfshark out risk-free thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee, so you have plenty of time to compare it to a free VPN and see the difference for yourself. 

CyberGhost is a beginner-friendly VPN with a massive global server network. Its apps are simple to set up and navigate, and a generous 45-day money-back guarantee gives you plenty of time to test it out.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $2.11/mth
      83% OFF
    • 6 months: $6.99/mth
      42% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Beginner-friendly
    • Easily sync VPN configurations across your devices
    • Up to seven simultaneous devices
    • 9,000+ servers in 9+ countries
    • Great for P2P and downloads
    • Airtight security
  • Cons

    • Missing some advanced features
    • Long-distance connections can be slow
    • Based in Romania
    • Slower on Apple devices (Mac and iOS)
    • Higher monthly plans
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Even if you’ve never used a VPN, you’ll find CyberGhost a breeze to download, install, and configure. And once you’ve set it up, its apps are simple and easy to navigate, ensuring you’re completely hidden and secure every second you’re online. 


While CyberGhost doesn’t have the advanced features you’ll find on the best VPNs, its privacy and security tools are still far superior to any free VPN. It follows a strict no-logs policy and uses RAM-only servers that are automatically wiped regularly. You never have to worry about your data being stored or shared – even by accident. 


CyberGhost’s commitment to a great user experience extends to its support. You get 24/7 live chat with human support agents. You also have a 45-day risk-free money-back guarantee to test the VPN out.

PrivateVPN is a smaller premium VPN that still outshines any free option with a combination of reliable, secure servers, easy-to-use apps, and affordable plans.

  • Pricing

    • 36 months: $2/mth
      84% OFF
    • 3 months: $6/mth
      50% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.99/mth
      17% OFF
  • Pros

    • Servers in Australia
    • Up to 10 simultaneous device connections
    • Fast enough for streaming in HD
    • Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more
    • Easy to use
    • Excellent value
  • Cons

    • Based in Sweden
    • Only 200+ global servers
    • Live support isn’t 24/7
    • Limited number of apps
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

PrivateVPN’s 200+ international servers mean it's much smaller than most top VPNs – but still has exponentially more servers than any free VPN. That means it offers faster, more reliable connections in Australia and everywhere else. 


We tested PrivateVPN thoroughly and were consistently surprised at how fast its servers were, even when we connected to locations thousands of miles away. We could stream in HD, buffer-free, on Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and many other popular streaming sites. 


PrivateVPN is excellent value, with up to 10 simultaneous devices on a single, low-cost plan. 


New users get a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can compare it to the free VPNs on this list, risk-free, and see the difference for yourself. 

Methodology: How to choose a free VPN for Australia

We use strict criteria to screen every free VPN we recommend. You can use the same criteria when deciding which is best for your needs. 

Here’s a quick breakdown of what to look for:

  • Free forever: Look for a VPN that offers a free plan with no time limits or mandatory upgrades. 
  • Servers in, or close to, Australia: This will ensure you get reliable, relatively fast connections. 
  • Reasonable data limits: We’ve only recommended free VPNs that allow enough encrypted data that you can do basic browsing throughout the month. 
  • Airtight security: The best free VPNs offer robust security, including 256-bit AES encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, and automatic kill-switches. 
  • Transparent privacy policies: Make sure you understand the VPN’s data policy, so you know it's not tracking anything you do online. 
  • Good customer support: Free VPNs generally only offer chatbots and email support, but they should still be responsive and helpful. 

You can read our VPN review process to learn every metric we use and feature we test before recommending any VPN. 

9 reasons to upgrade to a cheap premium Australian VPN

If you’re still not sure a premium VPN is worth the investment, here’s a quick rundown of the biggest benefits you can expect when you upgrade: 

  1. Unlimited data: Paid VPNs have zero caps on your data, so you can stream, torrent, game, chat, and everything else without worrying. 
  2. Speed: Premium VPNs are exponentially faster than free providers for many reasons. The result is a smoother, more enjoyable experience. 
  3. More servers: You can connect to secure servers located across the globe, providing reliable, fast, secure, connections from anywhere and everywhere. 
  4. Increased privacy: Premium VPNs constantly invest in state-of-the-art privacy tools to add multiple layers of secrecy and ensure your location, data, and identity are never exposed. 
  5. Better access to content: The best premium VPNs work with all your favorite streamers – including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more. 
  6. Industry-best security: Your data will be kept safe behind an impenetrable wall of encryption and leak protections. 
  7. Extra features: Premium VPNs also offer impressive add-ons like built-in ad blockers, dark web monitoring, malware detection, and much more. 
  8. More devices: We only recommend paid VPNs with at least five simultaneous device connections. Some premium providers even offer unlimited devices on a single plan. 
  9. Premium support: Premium VPNs also invest in their customer experience, so you can get 24/7 live support from real humans. 

To learn more, read our in-depth guide to the best premium VPNs for Australia. 

Free VPNs you should avoid in Australia, and everywhere else

As we’ve stated throughout this guide, most free VPNs are unreliable and provide a shoddy experience. 

But some free VPNs stand out for their shady business practices, poor encryption standards, histories of leaks and exposing user data, and much worse. If you’re looking for a free VPN in Australia, avoid these ones altogether:   

Unfortunately, free VPNs aren’t the only ones that you should avoid. Read our "Hall of Shame” list of the worst paid VPNs so you never risk wasting money on a bad VPN. 

Free VPN for Australia FAQs

Are free VPNs for Australia safe to use? 

The free VPNs that passed our tests are the only safe free VPNs for Australia – and anywhere else. Free VPNs are notorious for finding sneaky, sometimes borderline criminal, ways to profit from users. 

We closely examined every VPN we've recommended to ensure they don't use any shady tricks to make a profit at your expense, including:

  • Injecting ads into your browser
  • Collecting your data and selling it to advertisers and data brokers
  • Allowing malware and other threats on their network for a fee
  • If you're on a tight budget, stick to the free VPNs we've recommended here and learn about common VPN scams to avoid. But for the best protection, we encourage you to invest in a cheap VPN for Australia that's independently audited to guarantee its honesty and trustworthiness.

What Free VPN Has Australian Servers?

Tunnelbear is the best free VPN with an Australian server location. However, like most free VPNs, Tunnelbear is incredibly limited. Connecting to its free Australian server, you’ll most likely experience slow connections and limited access to streaming sites like Netflix. Also, your data will be capped at 1.5 GB per month – which is only enough for basic browsing. 

If you need an Australian IP address, check out our guides to the best VPNs for Australia. 

Can Australian police track my VPN?

While VPNs provide increased anonymity and privacy online, in theory, Australian police could still track limited data. 

For example, your internet service provider (which records everything you do online) will see that you’re using a VPN, and can share this information with the police. VPNs are legal in Australia, so you’re not liable for prosecution by using one. 

However, you may not want the police to know you’re using a VPN. In this case, we suggest using a premium VPN with a stealth mode that masks the fact you’re accessing the internet via a VPN. Surfshark is one provider that includes this feature. 

Also, if your VPN keeps logs of its users' activities or has a weak privacy policy, the authorities may request access to these records, exposing your online activity.

Reputable VPNs have strict no-log policies and robust security measures to ensure this never happens. We check every VPN we recommend to ensure it's not recording your data and has no history of sharing records with the police in any country. 

Does NordVPN have Australian servers?

NordVPN has five server locations across Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. 

Its Australia servers work with popular local streaming sites (including Netflix Australia, Foxtel Now, Stan, SBS On Demand, and more), deliver fast, reliable connections, and are packed with industry-best security to ensure you stay safe, secure, and anonymous online. 

Can I watch Australian TV platforms with a free VPN?

The vast majority of VPNs around the world have already been blocked by popular streaming services, including Australian services like Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Binge, Foxtel Now, Kayo Sports, 7plus, 9Now, 10 play, ABC iview, SBS On Demand.

Streaming providers know that netizens use VPNs to bypass region blocks, which is why they must block VPNS to ensure they comply with licensing contracts. Unfortunately, this means that most VPNs have already been blocked.

A few premium VPNs have found ways to get around those blocks, however, no free VPNs have servers in Australia that work to watch streams. In addition, most free VPNs have very slow servers that are unsuitable for streaming.

This makes free VPNs cause buffering and low video-quality playback, which is frustrating. The good news is that you can still try a VPN for streaming free of charge. Our recommendations have a money-back guarantee, which means you can test the VPN with your streaming provider to make sure it works well on your devices.

Conclusion

The free VPNs for Australia we've highlighted provide the best blend of safety, reliability, and performance (amongst free providers). They're speedy, private, and don't hold you back with excessive restrictions.

However... they still fall short compared to the best low-cost premium VPNs.

It doesn't hurt to give these free VPNs a shot – it will only cost you time! – but if you're looking for a hassle-free VPN experience, premium players like Surfshark and CyberGhost offer generous 30-day money-back guarantees, so you can try them out risk-free to witness the difference for yourself.

Written by: Conor Walsh

Conor is a tech writer with professional paranoia. He's passionate about privacy, and when not writing about it, can be found trying to get far away from his phone and any other technology, enjoying some live music, outdoorsy stuff, or a good (physical) book.

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