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Best Australia VPN

5 Best VPNs for Australia in 2024: Fast Streaming, Privacy, Pricing & More Compared

The Australian government recently passed a surveillance bill that gives the government powers to snoop on its citizens. You need to get the best VPN for Australia to bypass this and simultaneously gain access to geo-restricted websites across the globe.

Arthur SabayiSamuel ChapmanIgor Kurtz

Written by Arthur Sabayi (Writer)

Reviewed by Samuel Chapman (Writer, Editor)

Facts checked by Igor Kurtz (Fact-checking editor)

Last Updated: 2024-05-28T11:28:56+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways: Best VPN for Australia

  1. ExpressVPN — Best overall with the fastest speeds
  2. NordVPN — Highest number of Australian servers
  3. Surfshark — Affordable with unlimited simultaneous device connections
  4. Proton VPN — Best free Australian VPN
  5. hide.me VPN — Specialty Australian streaming servers
  • 11/17/2021 Facts checked

    Since our last article, Australia has passed a surveillance bill which makes using a VPN service more important than ever, ExpressVPN takes the top spot over NordVPN, and Surfshark is a new addition to the list.

  • 09/07/2022

    Updated Windscribe pricing: the paid plan increased to $5.75 per month from $4.08. The Build-a-Plan minimum purchase also increased to $3 from $2. Also updated Windscribe’s free data cap to 15GB due to it offering 5GB extra permanently when you tweet about the service.

  • 10/26/2023

    Updated the article to reflect ExpressVPN’s recent increase of 5 simultaneous connections to 8, as well as its expansion of server presence to 105 countries, previously 94.

  • 11/25/2023 Facts checked

    We’ve reevaluated the best VPNs for Australia and re-written the article with better options.

Australia scores highly on the freedom index, and there aren’t major internet restrictions. However, you can’t access some streaming platforms, like Peacock TV, due to geo-restrictions — unless you have the best VPN for Australia.

Additionally, it’s not uncommon for Australian ISPs like Telstra to occasionally throttle speeds. You can use a VPN to hide your online traffic from ISPs so they can’t slow down your internet. However, not all VPNs are built the same; some are better suited for Australia than others. 

We tested several VPNs, and ExpressVPN came out on top, mainly for its ability to unblock geo-restricted content and reliable connection speeds. It even topped our 10 best VPN services list

Cloudwards Editor’s Choice: ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN offers enough Australian servers in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane to minimize overcrowding and boost speeds. For Australians who want to watch global content, there are over 3,000 servers that can access geo-restricted sites like fuboTV. They all stream without buffering with ExpressVPN’s fast connection speeds. 

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How to Choose the Best Australia VPN

We focused on four main factors when narrowing down our list of the best VPNs for Australia. 

Australia recently passed the Identify and Disrupt bill, giving the government new surveillance powers. The aim of the bill was to deal with criminals who use the dark web to buy and sell stolen identities. Other targeted activities include dealing in child abuse material and child trafficking, so the law has a very wide surveillance scope.

While it was drafted to deal with criminals, there’s no telling how much the Australian government will monitor regular citizens.

The 5 Best Australian VPN Services

Out of the many VPNs we tested, these five excelled in unblocking geo-restricted content in Australia. They offer excellent streaming speeds, are secure and provide good value for money. 

1. ExpressVPN

get expressvpn step1
ExpressVPN has Australian servers in six locations.

More information about ExpressVPN:

  • Pricing: $6.66 per month (15-months plan)
  • Free plan: None; 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Provider Website: expressvpn.com

Pros:

  • Streams 4K content
  • Servers across Australia
  • 3,000 servers worldwide

Cons:

  • Expensive

ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers you can use to unblock content that’s not available in Australia. This includes U.S. servers that can unblock U.S.-only content, like American Netflix, Sling TV and DirecTV. Plus, the VPN offers servers in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide. You can use these to access Australian TV and radio from anywhere. 

ExpressVPN Hands-On Testing

expressvpn australian servers
You can use the search box to locate all the Australian servers.

Using ExpressVPN is easy. The server list is accessible across Android, iOS, macOS and Windows apps with a maximum of eight simultaneous device connections. You can also use the search button to find an Australian VPN server quickly.

Notes From the Lab: ExpressVPN Speed Test Results

LocationPing
ms
Download
Mbps
Upload
Mbps
Unprotected510010
United States
6
91
9
United Kingdom
74
91
9
Australia
197
66
9
Brazil
134
86
9
South Africa
238
58
9
Singapore
225
62
9
Average
146
75.67
9

ExpressVPN scored average speeds of 69.95 Mbps, a 30% drop on our unprotected speeds of 100 Mbps. The VPN is usually faster, and you can read all about that in our ExpressVPN review

However, in this case, connecting to physically far servers increases latencies since your encrypted traffic covers greater distances. Always choose the Australian server closest to your physical location for better speeds. Ensure you use the Lightway UDP protocol.

Notes From the Lab: ExpressVPN Security Analysis

expressvpn vpn protocols
ExpressVPN offers three protocols.

Through encryption, ExpressVPN secures your internet traffic and prevents accidental IP address leaks with a Network Lock kill switch. Additionally, you can choose from three protocols: Lightway (UDP & TCP), OpenVPN (UDP & TCP) and IKEv2.

Protocol:EncryptionPlatforms
LightwayAES-256 Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
OpenVPNAES-256 Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
IKEv2AES-256 Windows
macOS
iOS
Android

ExpressVPN offers split tunneling on Windows, macOS, Android and some routers. This lets you route specific traffic you want protected through the VPN while excluding everything else.

ExpressVPN Pricing & Value

ExpressVPN pricing
ExpressVPN has the costliest price plans.

ExpressVPN is one of the most expensive VPNs and doesn’t come with a free plan. However, you can use its 30-day money-back guarantee to try it out before committing. Of the three price options ExpressVPN offers, the yearly plan is the best deal at $6.66 per month when counting the free three months.

2. NordVPN

nordvpn service
NordVPN has a large Australian server network of over 170.

More information about NordVPN:

  • Pricing: $3.09 per month (two-year plan + three months)
  • Free plan: None; 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Provider website: nordvpn.com

Pros:

  • Over 190 servers in Australia
  • Unlocks geo-restricted media
  • Double VPN for extra safety

Cons:

  • Obfuscated servers are slow

NordVPN has over 190 servers in Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne. Accessing Australian content is smoother. Additionally, NordVPN offers over 5,000 global servers in locations like the U.S. and the U.K. for unblocking platforms like DirecTV, BBC iPlayer and many more. You can read more on NordVPN’s great unblocking features in our detailed NordVPN review.

NordVPN Hands-On Testing

nordvpn australian servers
NordVPN has servers in five Australian locations.

NordVPN has apps for Android, iOS, Windows and macOS. They’re all easy to use, with a search function for locating the servers you need. Plus, you can connect up to six simultaneous devices using the same account.

Notes From the Lab: NordVPN Speed Test Results

LocationPing
ms
Download
Mbps
Upload
Mbps
Unprotected2327.245.67
North America
26
25.35
5.58
United Kingdom
319
26.71
4.19
Brazil
396
26.33
5.47
Singapore
412
23.78
5.56
South Africa
635
24.32
3.25
Australia
500
21.20
5.61
Average
381
24.62
4.94

As is customary, we ran speed tests using NordLynx, the fastest but slightly less secure NordVPN protocol. We got average speeds of 92.05 Mbps on our unprotected speeds of 100 Mbps, a 7.5% speed drop. This was the fastest VPN, ideal for streaming 4K content without any buffering.

Notes From the Lab: NordVPN Security Analysis

NordVPN offers three main protocols.

If you’re concerned about your privacy in Australia, NordVPN’s Double VPN servers should put your mind at ease. They encrypt your traffic twice, effectively shutting down any remote chance of surveillance being successful. You can read our double VPN breakdown for more information. 

The kill switch offers DNS leak protection by cutting off your internet whenever your VPN connection drops. NordVPN’s protocols include NordLynx, OpenVPN and IKEv2. Additionally, you can activate NordVPN’s Threat Protection to block trackers, malware and ads on torrenting sites. 

Protocol:EncryptionPlatforms
NordLynxChaCha20 Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
OpenVPNAES-256 Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
IKEv2AES-256 Windows
macOS
iOS
Android

NordVPN Pricing & Value

NordVPN pricing
NordVPN’s cheapest plan is the Standard option.

NordVPN is reasonably priced and comes with three price plans. For all your VPN needs, the Standard two-year plan is the cheapest at $3.09 per month, including the 3 extra months like with ExpressVPN.

3. Surfshark

Surfshark homepage 2023
Surfshark gives you access to restricted content.

More information about Surfshark:

  • Pricing: $2.19 per month (two-year plan + three months)
  • Free plan: None; 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Provider website: surfshark.com

Pros:

  • 40 servers across Australia
  • Unlimited device connections
  • Secure MultiHop servers

Cons:

  • Slower than ExpressVPN

Surfshark has over 40 Australian servers in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. These can unblock Australia-only shows and websites. On top of this, Surfshark has over 3,200 servers in 100 countries. No matter where you may be in Australia, you can watch U.S. platforms like Peacock by connecting to multiple U.S. servers.

Additionally, Surfshark servers are also 100% RAM-only, which means no data is ever stored. Therefore, even if Australian authorities get a warrant for your browsing history, there won’t be anything to be retrieved. Our Surfshark review explains the no-log policy in more detail.

Surfshark Hands-On Testing

surfshark australian servers
Surfshark offers Australian servers in five locations.

The Surfshark VPN app is very easy to use. It’s available for Android, iOS, macOS and Windows, complete with a VPN server search button. Surfshark is the only VPN on this list that allows unlimited simultaneous device connections, perfect if you have a large family.

Notes From the Lab: Surfshark Speed Test Results

LocationPing
ms
Download
Mbps
Upload
Mbps
Unprotected32.25.23
North Macedonia (closest server)
10
31.9
4.56
United States
142
28.3
5.26
Brazil
239
29.2
4.46
Nigeria
156
31.8
5.02
Ireland
58
29.3
4.76
Australia
297
30.5
5.15
India
195
31.9
5.08
Average
157
30.41
4.9

Surfshark was the second fastest VPN, averaging 93.38 Mbps, a 6.62% speed drop on our unprotected speeds of 100 Mbps. This makes Surfshark one of the best VPNs for streaming that can handle 4K content without buffering. 

Notes From the Lab: Surfshark Security Analysis

surfshark protocols
Surfshark offers three protocols.

You can use MultiHop servers, Surfshark’s version of double VPN, for an extra layer of encryption if you don’t mind slower speeds. Available protocols include OpenVPN, IKEv2 and WireGuard.

The VPN also offers Camouflage Mode for bypassing VPN blocks in restricted school and work networks in Australia. Additionally, there’s an ad and malware blocker called CleanWeb that stops ads and malware from loading when you visit compromised websites.

Protocol:EncryptionPlatforms
WireGuardAES-256-GCM Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
OpenVPNAES-256-GCM Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
IKEv2AES-256-GCM Windows
macOS
iOS
Android

Surfshark Pricing & Value

surfshark price plans
Surfshark offers the most affordable price plans.

Surfshark offers the best value for money on the two-year plan. The unlimited simultaneous device connection is particularly handy for large groups. All you need to get things rolling is the Surfshark Starter plan, which is the best deal at $2.19 per month. You also get an extra two free months to boot.

Surfshark Starter
  • Unlimited GB bandwidth, Unlimited devices, Secure VPN, Ad blocker, Cookie pop-up blocker. Plans renew: $231.75 for one year, $417.15 for two years
  • Unlimited GB
  • Unlimited
  • Yes

4. Proton VPN

protonvpn service
Proton VPN shields you from surveillance with encryption and IP leak protection.

More information about Proton VPN:

  • Pricing: $4.49 per month (two-year plan)
  • Free plan: Yes, but access limited to servers in three countries
  • Provider Website: protonvpn.com

Pros:

  • Servers in Australian cities
  • Secure Core double security
  • Free plan with 100 servers

Cons:

  • Slow connection speeds

Proton VPN has over 80 servers in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide for unblocking your favorite Australian movies and shows from abroad. You also get over 3,000 servers in 69 countries for accessing global content from Australia, be it football on BBC iPlayer or live basketball games on fuboTV.

While Proton VPN has a strict no-logs policy like the other alternatives here, it’s also bound by Swiss privacy laws, which are among the best. Switzerland prides itself on being one of the first countries to enshrine a right to privacy in its constitution. You can read more about that in our Proton VPN review.

Proton VPN Hands-On Testing

Proton VPN has apps for iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, and all are easy to use. You can find Australian servers by using the search function or scrolling through the extensive VPN server list.

Notes From the Lab: Proton VPN Speed Test Results

LocationPing
ms
Download
Mbps
Upload
Mbps
Unprotected1919.965.94
🇺🇸 United States
26
19.43
5.55
🇬🇧 United Kingdom
299
18.46
5.45
🇧🇷 Brazil
392
15.77
4.82
🇸🇬 Singapore
540
14.47
3.40
🇿🇦 South Africa
604
13.27
5.40
🇦🇺 Australia
523
17.53
5.09
Average
397
16.49
4.95

Proton VPN clocked average speeds of 25 Mbps in our speed tests, a 58% drop on unprotected speeds of 60 Mbps. That’s huge, and we barely pushed through 4K streaming. Again, though, you may get better results if you’re in or closer to Australia.

Notes From the Lab: Proton VPN Security Analysis

protonvpn protocols
Proton VPN offers three protocols.

As for protocols, Proton VPN has IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard and Stealth (obfuscation). For the extra paranoid, you get Secure Core servers that give you double the encryption, similar to NordVPN’s Double VPN servers and Surfshark’s MultiHop.

Proton VPN also comes with NetShield Ad-Blocker that uses DNS filtering to block ads, malware and trackers when you’re browsing in Australia.

Protocol:EncryptionPlatforms
WireGuardChaCha20 Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
OpenVPNAES-256-GCM Windows
Android
Linux
IKEv2Deffie-Hellman macOS
StealthAES-256-GCM macOS
Android
iOS

Proton VPN Pricing & Value

protonVPN pricing
Proton VPN offers three price plans.

Proton VPN is not as expensive as ExpressVPN, but the monthly plan is still very costly. That said, the two-year plan offers the best deal at $4.49 per month, but there’s no extra free months. Additionally, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Proton VPN has a free plan and no data limits. Sadly, there are no free servers in Australia.

Free
  • Unlimited GB
  • 1
  • Yes
Plus
  • 1-year plan renews at $119.88; 2-year plan renews at $239.76
  • Unlimited GB
  • 10
  • Yes

5. hide.me VPN

HolaAlternative GetHide.me
hide.me has an extensive server network in Australia.

More information about hide.me:

  • Pricing: $2.69 per month (two-year plan + two months)
  • Free plan: Yes, but access is limited to 8 locations
  • Provider Website: hide.me

Pros:

  • Plenty of Australian servers
  • Unlocks geo-restricted media
  • Has a free plan

Cons:

  • Slowest VPN on the list
  • Free plan only offers 8 locations 

If you’re traveling outside Australia and feel homesick, hide.me VPN allows you to access any Australian show, movie or website from anywhere. The VPN has servers in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Auckland.

hide.me VPN offers multiple servers in 85 locations worldwide, including the U.S., the U.K., and other major European locations. Unblocking geo-restricted platforms like Hulu, which has amazing channels, shouldn’t be a problem. Like Proton VPN, hide.me has a free plan with eight free locations.

You even get streaming-optimized servers for multiple countries, including Australia. They are easier to connect to and give you better streaming speeds. Read our hide.me VPN review to know what this virtual private network service is capable of. 

Hide.me VPN Hands-On Testing

hide.me VPN is compatible with Android, iOS, macOS and Windows, among others, and you can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously. The overall user interface is easy to use, and all the features are right there for you to pick and tweak to your liking.

Notes From the Lab: Hide.me Speed Test Results

LocationPing
ms
Download
Mbps
Upload
Mbps
Unprotected537.7718.52
Fastest server (Slovenia)
43
31.25
17.6
United Kingdom
73
31.52
8.72
United States
189
25.95
4.38
Australia
287
29.3
3.16
Brazil
254
26.36
0.34
South Africa
751
3.04
2.19
Singapore
283
32.93
3.17
Average
269
25.76
5.65

A quick speed test using the WireGuard protocol and a Perth server averaged 16 Mbps, a whopping 73% speed drop on unprotected speeds of 60 Mbps. This makes hide.me VPN the slowest on this list. Streaming 4K content was an uphill task, and our downloads took a little while. You may have to limit yourself to HD and SD movies and shows.

Notes From the Lab: Hide.me VPN Security Analysis

hideme vpn protocols
hide.me VPN has three protocols.

Outside of that, hide.me VPN does a stellar job of keeping Australian authorities out of your online business by encrypting your traffic. You don’t have to worry about your anonymity getting exposed through IP address leaks either; a kill switch disconnects your internet when your VPN connection drops.

This VPN provider also has multi-hop servers that route you through two servers for double the protection. hide.me offers multiple protocols, including WireGuard, IKEv2 and OpenVPN.

Protocol:EncryptionPlatforms
WireGuardChaCha20 Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Linux
OpenVPNAES-256 Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
IKEv2AES-256
AES-128
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
SoftEtherSSL Windows
macOS
Linux
SSTPSSL Windows
macOS
Linux

Hide.me VPN Pricing & Value

hideme vpn price plans
hide.me VPN has a free plan, with the best value plan being the 17-month option.

hide.me VPN‘s best deal is the two-year plan that costs $2.69 per month. This plan comes with an extra three free months. Every plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Can You Use a Free VPN for Australia?

You can use a free VPN for Australia, but we don’t recommend them because of how many free VPNs aren’t safe. Plenty of free VPN services sell user data because that’s the only way they make money, which puts you at great risk. They also have limited features that make them useless when dealing with government surveillance. There are good free VPN services, but most should be avoided.

The Best Free Australia VPN: Proton VPN

Proton VPN is the best free VPN for Australia because it offers over 100 free servers in Japan, the Netherlands and the U.S. While it doesn’t provide Australian IP addresses, Aussies can still get full protection against surveillance. There are no data or speed limits and the free version isn’t ad supported. Read our breakdown of free vs premium VPNs to learn more.

How to Use a VPN for Australia

You can set up a VPN for Australia with the following quick steps. In the screenshots, ExpressVPN serves as an example.

  1. Subscribe to a VPN

    Open the VPN website and select the plan that’s within your budget.

    ExpressVPN pricing
  2. Download and Install the VPN

    Download a compatible version of the VPN for the device you’re using.

    expressvpn-apps
  3. Launch the VPN and Connect to an Australian Server

    Open the VPN server list, locate the Australia servers and connect.

    expressvpn australia

Why You Need a VPN in Australia

An Australian VPN keeps you safe from government surveillance. The Identify and Disrupt bill gives the government broad powers to access your online data if they have probable cause. A VPN prevents that by hiding your online activities.

Using a VPN in Australia is the best way to access some of the top streaming services that are geo-restricted, like Peacock, Sling TV or BBC iPlayer. For example, Modern Family is now available on Peacock after being removed from the global Netflix library.

If you want to maintain access to geo-restricted content and keep the government’s nose out of your business, a VPN is the best route.

Final Thoughts

ExpressVPN is the best Australia VPN, whether you’re living abroad or a resident of the Land Down Under. It offers Australian servers, it’s fast, it secures your online traffic against surveillance and censorship and it can unblock almost any content worldwide.

NordVPN comes close with dependable user privacy, while Surfshark is budget-friendly. Proton VPN has a good free plan, and hide.me is a good backup option. Each of these VPNs brings something unique to the table.

Has any of these five VPN services caught your eye? What feature stands out the most for you when choosing an Australian VPN? Have you run into servers that don’t work? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below, and keep reading our content!

FAQ: Best VPN For Australia

  • ExpressVPN is the best Australia VPN, providing servers in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Woolloomooloo. It has over 3,000 servers worldwide that can unblock any geo-restricted content, and it keeps your online traffic private by hiding your IP address.

  • Proton VPN is the best free VPN for Australia because it offers over 100 free servers in the Netherlands, the U.S., and Japan. It has no data or speed limits and no advertisements.

  • NordVPN has a large server network in Australia, with over 190. These servers are distributed across five Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne locations.

  • You can get an Australian VPN by finding one that offers Australian IP addresses, subscribing to it, installing it on your device and connecting to an Australian location.

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