- Best VPN for Australia 2021
- What Makes a VPN the Best for Australia
- Best VPN for Australia: NordVPN
- Other Reasons We Like NordVPN
Australia is well known for many things, from its iconic landmarks — such as the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge — to its beaches, scorching Outback and barbecues. You could spend a lifetime exploring the Great Barrier Reef, but you should make sure you take care of your own barrier before going online by using one of our best VPN for Australia picks.
There are many reasons why you should use a virtual private network when you go online, and most of them apply to wherever you are in the world.
VPNs are mainly used to get past content restrictions. Although Australia’s internet is mostly free, some content can be blocked from its citizens. We’ll talk more about that in a minute, but a VPN will help you spoof your location and bypass the blocks. That includes geoblocks, too.
For example, Netflix’s library differs from country to country, and although Australia’s library may have some great titles, you may be missing your favorite shows.
If you want Netflix U.S., you’ll need a U.S. IP address, and a VPN can get you one. Just make sure you choose one that can get past Netflix’s almighty VPN detectors, such as those named in our best VPN for Netflix piece (read our piece on the Netflix proxy error).
There are other reasons to use a VPN, which we’ll go over in this article. If you’re in a rush, though, we recommend that you use NordVPN, as it ticks all the boxes for Australia and more.
Best VPN for Australia 2021
- : Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, UnionPay, Crypto Currencies, PayPal (via Paddle)
- : 6
- : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, regional payment systems, WebMoney
- : 5
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin
- : 7
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 30
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin, Paymentwall
- : Unlimited
What Makes a VPN the Best for Australia
We’ve dug through many VPNs to bring you the best choices for Australia. In order to do that, we took into account particular features and how well each provider implements them.
For Australia, you need to pick one that has great security. In doing so, you will ensure you are protected from online dangers and kept hidden from prying eyes. It’s a good idea to choose one that includes a kill switch, too, as that will disconnect you from the internet if the VPN fails, meaning your sensitive data is not leaked.
Its speed is something to consider because if you choose a VPN with slow speeds, you’ll be plagued with loading screens. Unlimited bandwidth is beneficial, too. With that, you won’t have to worry about hitting a limit, at which point the VPN would no longer work. Remember to check if it can get into Netflix, if that’s something you want.
A good server network is also handy to have. If you come across any blocks, you’ll have plenty of locations to choose from to get around it. Likewise, if you want to access content that’s only available in Australia, you’ll need servers there in order to get an Australian IP address.
You may also want to consider what devices the VPN is compatible with and its user-friendliness. Plus, having good customer support when you need it is great, as is choosing one that offers good value for your money.
Best VPN for Australia: NordVPN
We’ve chosen NordVPN as the best VPN for Australia largely because of its excellent security. It has some of the best protection the market has to offer, and you can bolster that by using its double-hop servers. There’s a kill switch included, as well, and NordVPN values your privacy by having a strict no-logs policy in place.
It has good speeds, though if you connect to a server that is far away, you may see them dip. It’s still good, though, and is capable of getting into all streaming platforms, including Netflix, earning it a spot on our best VPN for streaming list. You’ll also benefit from unlimited bandwidth, so you can stream to your heart’s content.
NordVPN has a huge number of servers available. There are almost 6,000 spread across 60 countries, so you’ll have plenty to choose from if you need to get around any blocks. Plus, there are a whopping 249 in Australia, and given that it’s such a large country, it should help with finding a decent one. Read our NordVPN review for more on the service.
Other Reasons We Like NordVPN
It’s available on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Plus, there are browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. They’re easy to install and use, and you can connect up to six simultaneous devices.
A handy knowledgebase is available if you need help. If you want to speak to a member of support, you can do so through the live chat or email options. Both are available 24/7 and the help is good.
NordVPN offers excellent value for your money, especially if you subscribe to one of its long-term plans. In case you’re worried about diving straight in, there’s a 30-day refund period, too.
- Excellent security
- Double-hop encryption
- Works with Netflix
- Can be slow over long distances
ExpressVPN could easily be tied for first place, but we can only pick one winner, and NordVPN just about swiped it. Still, they’re comparable services, as you can read in our ExpressVPN vs. NordVPN piece, so it really boils down to your own preferences.
Its security is fantastic, and there’s a built-in kill switch. The difference, though, is that the kill switch is enabled by default, which is great if you’re someone who would forget to set it. There’s also a solid no-logs policy in place, for extra peace of mind.
ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN we’ve tested, and it can get into streaming services with ease. It comes with unlimited bandwidth, too.
Its server count is at more than 3,000, and they cover 94 countries, so you’re sure to find one that suits. It also has some in Australia, in case you want content restricted to there. Take a look at our ExpressVPN review for more details.
Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN
You can use it on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It’s great for beginners because it’s so easy to use. Simply install and click the big “connect” button. It allows for five simultaneous connections, too.
A knowledgebase is available if you need it. There’s also 24/7 live chat and email support. The live chat is the fastest option, but for more in-depth help, it’s best to go the email route.
We can’t lie, ExpressVPN is expensive. However, you can help with that cost by choosing a longer plan. If that makes you uneasy, you should know that there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee in place.
- Easy to use
- Great security
Smack in the middle is CyberGhost. It’s a great service, but it doesn’t quite have what the first two do. It has good security, and there’s a permanently enabled kill switch for extra safety. The company doesn’t keep any logs, either.
It has good speeds, but — similar to NordVPN — they can slow down over long distances. There are no bandwidth caps, and it is able to get into most streaming services.
CyberGhost has a huge number of servers available. At the time of writing, there were 6,100 in 90 countries. There are 88 in Australia, too, so you can access Australian content.
CyberGhost also has NoSpy servers, which are located outside of the 14 Eyes and are configured with premium hardware. That’s something to consider if you’re nutty about privacy, and you can read more about these servers in our CyberGhost review.
Other Reasons We Like CyberGhost
Clients are available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It’s easy to use, and its recent update gave it a better user experience, too. You can connect up to seven devices at the same time, which is why it’s one of our best VPN for multiple devices.
An extensive knowledgebase is available, as well as live chat and email support. Live chat is quicker, but the email team is better at answering more technical questions.
It’s an inexpensive VPN, especially if you opt for a longer plan. There’s a free trial available for Android and iOS, but if you want it on the desktop, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee for all platforms.
- 7 simultaneous connections
- NoSpy servers
- Great security
- Can be slow
- Can’t control kill switch
VyprVPN is a fair choice for Australia, mostly because of its strong security. It offers excellent customizability, and it has its own proprietary Chameleon protocol, which adds even more protection to the connection. A kill switch is included, and a no-logs policy is in place, too.
Read more about it in our VyprVPN review.
A downside to VyprVPN is its speeds. To put it bluntly, they’re slow. Still, they should be fine for most activities. Just keep in mind that, although it can get into most streaming services, you may be waiting a while for it to load. Fortunately, there are no bandwidth limits, though.
Its server network is also lacking. There are more than 700 in 64 countries available. That includes some in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, so you can access restricted content.
Other Reasons We Like VyprVPN
It’s compatible with Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It’s also one of our best VPN for mobile picks because its apps are some of the best available. It’s easy to use and you can have up to 30 devices connected at the same time if you sign up through the website. If you sign up through the mobile app, you’ll only get five simultaneous connections.
There’s a knowledgebase online if you need it. There’s also live chat, but you’ll have to communicate with a bot before you get the option of speaking to a human. Wait times vary, though, so you may just want to email the support team from the get-go.
VyprVPN has three subscription lengths available, of which the three-year plan works out cheaper in the long run. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee you can use to see if you like it.
- Chameleon protocol
- Great security
- Poor speeds
- Small number of servers
Best Free VPN for Australia: Windscribe
Our last pick is Windscribe, which offers both a free plan and a paid “pro” plan. The free plan is great, even coming first in our best free VPN services comparison, but we’ll point out the areas where you may prefer to use the paid service.
It has good security that can be customized. There’s a kill switch included, but it’s strangely called a “firewall,” so we imagine some users might miss that.
Windscribe has many privacy features, but it does collect some information. Still, it’s kept to a minimum and doesn’t hold much value. Plus, the data it does collect can’t be tied back to you.
Its speeds are fine for most activities, though our top choices are faster. Paid members get unlimited bandwidth, but if you opt for the free plan, you’ll get 2GB per month. You can increase that to 10GB per month, though, by entering your email when you sign up. There are other ways you can increase the bandwidth, too.
There are more than 600 servers covering 60 countries, but only paid members can access all of them. It has servers in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, but they’re only available on the “pro” version. You can add locations, though, for $1 each per month, and in doing so, you’ll upgrade your bandwidth limit by a further 10GB.
Windscribe used to have purpose-built streaming servers called “Windflix.” However, it has recently removed those serves, as it has extended their functionality to its entire server network. You can read more about it in our Windscribe review.
Other Reasons We Like Windscribe
It’s available on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. The interface offers a no-frills experience, which is good for beginners, but those in the know can tinker with it, too. You can also have unlimited simultaneous connections.
There are some handy self-help tools online, as well as live chat and email available 24/7. However, it’s worth mentioning that the live chat is actually an AI representative. If you want to talk to a human straight away, use the email ticket system.
If you’re paying for the “pro” option, the monthly plan is expensive, but the longer plans work out better in the end. There’s no free trial because you can use the free for testing purposes. There’s no official refund policy, either, but if you contact Windscribe within three days of your purchase, you’ll get a refund.
- Streaming-optimized servers
- Generous free plan
- Unlimited connections
- Server network could be better
Online Censorship in Australia
Australia’s internet is mostly free, especially when compared to countries included on our internet censorship map. Most content is available, including social media and messaging apps, with just a few restrictions.
Government agencies can block illegal online services under Section 313 of the Telecommunications Act, but it has proved troublesome. For example, it was used by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to take down a fraudulent website, but more than 1,000 innocent websites were accidentally blocked in the process.
In 2016, ISPs were ordered to block torrent sites in order to reduce piracy. However, The Australian Copyright Act was amended to allow people with disabilities and organizations that help those with disabilities to copy materials so that they can convert them into other formats, such as braille.
Online Surveillance in Australia
This is the section that’ll make you wonder why you haven’t already installed a VPN. Besides Australia being part of the Five Eyes Alliance, multiple reports have surfaced about how Australia’s surveillance capabilities have grown over the years, and current legislation allows for it.
For starters, Australia’s government showed its true colors during the 2004 East Timor spying scandal. The Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) rigged the Timor-Leste cabinet office with listening devices to get the upper hand in its negotiations over Timor’s gas and oil fields.
However, during the negotiations, the espionage was revealed by an ASIS officer, known only as Witness K. Timor pulled out of the original treaty, and a new agreement was founded. Now, Witness K and his lawyer, Bernard Collaery, are on trial and face jail time for blowing the whistle on the operation.
Your digital privacy is not protected well, and telecommunications companies are required to keep users’ metadata for two years under the Telecommunications Amendment Act of 2015. Law enforcement agencies are able to access it without a warrant, and not just in the course of an investigation, too.
With Australia’s snooping methods in mind, you should check out our best cloud storage for Australia and best online backup for Australia pieces before trusting any company with your data.
Mobile phone users are required to verify their ID and provide personal information before purchasing a prepaid mobile service. That information is then stored, and authorities are able to access it with a warrant.
On the other hand, extra privacy protections were added to the law to protect journalists’ metadata, so a warrant would be needed before accessing it. However, there have been reports of unauthorized access. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) reported it as an accident, but that doesn’t mean it was the case.
Then again, amendments to national security legislation in 2014 increased the penalties for journalists and whistleblowers. If they publish classified information, they can receive a 10-year prison sentence under the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979.
The amendments also broadened the definition of a “computer” to allow intelligence agencies to monitor multiple computers on a network with a single warrant. On top of that, the Assistance and Access Act allows authorities to access encrypted communications.
In 2017, the government announced that it would create a national facial biometric database, sharing driver’s licenses and images of citizens across government departments to help with identity matches.
After proving to be controversial, parliament did not approve the legislation. That said, the bill has been brought back for a second attempt, so we will have to wait and see what the outcome is.
Freedom of Speech Online in Australia
There’s no official protection for freedom of speech in Australia. Topics can be discussed openly, but there are penalties for certain speech. Excessive penalties can be handed out for online defamation, and there have been many lawsuits on the subject.
In one extreme case against a former police officer, the plaintiffs were awarded $700,000 Australian dollars (about $476,000) in damages after the officer accused the men of being part of an organized crime gang, among other things, in his blog posts.
Journalists are able to criticize the government and report on controversial topics without issues, though there have been instances of gag orders to suppress reporting.
Legislation exists to stop violent crime and acts of extremism from being live-streamed, and legal measures are in place that hold social media companies accountable for the content shared on their platforms.
The Australian government does not like satire, so much so that in 2018 amendments were made to the Criminal Code to make impersonating a commonwealth body a criminal offense.
Cybercrime in Australia
You’re vulnerable to cybercrime wherever you are, but some countries have more problems than others, with Thailand being a fine example (read our best VPN for Thailand piece).
A recent report showed that more than 9.2 million malware attacks were recorded in a six-month period in Australia. On average, one cybercrime is reported every 10 minutes. The total cost of cybercrime in Australia so far this year is estimated at 29 billion Australian dollars (about $19.7 billion).
Using a VPN will help to protect you from online dangers, and you should be more cautious if you plan on using public WiFi because there’s no way of knowing how secure it is. For that reason, we recommend that you couple a VPN with a decent antivirus, such as Bitdefender (read our Bitdefender review).
Although Australia is a beautiful country, there are definitely things to keep in mind when you go online. Most notable is the government’s surveillance, but you should also be aware of cybercrime. When you choose a VPN, make sure it has great security and privacy. After that, its speeds and servers are a key point.
NordVPN is the best VPN for Australia. Its security will protect you from snooping and cyberattacks. Plus, its huge server network and streaming capability will ensure you can get the content you want. It also has Australian servers, if you need them. Why not give it a go with the 30-day money-back guarantee? You’ve got nothing to lose.
If you’ve used a VPN in Australia before, tell us about your experience in the comment section. Take a look at our other VPN articles, too. As always, thank you for reading.