A quality VPN for Australia will include a range of Australian servers, work to remove Netflix geo blocks, and help keep your torrenting anonymous. It will also not keep logs due to the Australian Government snooping in on its citizens online. We give you the full low down on the best VPNs for Australia below.
We've signed up for trials, purchased accounts and crunched the numbers for over 50 VPN services from around the world.
So which of these are the best VPN for Australia?
Well, we've pulled together the 3 best options based on our tests in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane & Perth, and given a detailed explanation of why each of our top 3 VPNs for Aussies was selected.
So read on and get secure!
Australia's Best VPN Summary
Don't have time to read an entire page about Australian VPNs. Fair enough!
Before we get into it, here are the three best options we found after testing over 50 providers currently available.
Australian VPN Guide
If you live in Australia you'd be well aware that not too long ago the Commonwealth Government introduced metadata retention laws.
So what does this mean?
If you value your privacy you should be concerned. The Government is requiring all Australian ISPs to retain data about what their users are up to when accessing the internet.
As of October 2015, the Government has demanded that all telecommunications companies (that's your ISP like iiNet, TPG, Telstra etc) are required by law to store data on their customer's activity.
This means every single email sent, every text message sent, every phone call and all of your web browsing is stored.
As far as we're concerned, that is deeply troubling. Who knows for what or why the Government could be using that data.
At the end of the day, it's sneaky and borderline big brother behaviour.
Luckily you can keep Malcolm's prying eyes away from your personal business through the use of a VPN.
We strongly recommend all Australians use a VPN when browsing the internet, in the name of privacy.
So what's the best VPN for Australia?
Well, the important thing to consider when choosing an Australian VPN is whether or not they have servers based in Australia.
If you can connect to IP addresses in Sydney or Melbourne, then your web browsing experience is going to be much faster.
It also means you'll still be able to access Australian restricted content, such as ABC iView and the like.
We've created trials with over 50 VPNs around the world and have put them through their paces.
After testing them against a range of different metrics, we're reporting on what we believe to be the 3 best VPN options for Australians.
#1 & Editors Choice: ExpressVPN
A high quality, strong all round VPN service.
- Very fast speeds when tested in Sydney
- Large choice of server locations
- Support team is responsive
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Slick client software
- Max of 2 simultaneous sessions
- Slightly more pricey than cheap options
Read our in-depth ExpressVPN review here.
ExpressVPN is our pick of the bunch when it comes to the best VPN Australia has to offer.
In general, this VPN is pretty much the swiss army knife of VPNs in that it does all sorts of things really well. It has a range of services which are perfect for any Aussie looking to secure their internet browsing.
Some of the key areas we look for when assessing a VPN are part and parcel of the ExpressVPN package including its speed, the lack of usage logs and a really slick, easy to use client.
There are a couple of Australian server locations available in Sydney & Melbourne, and when connecting to these we noticed no discernable difference in our web browsing speeds.
In addition to these Australian VPN server locations, ExpressVPN offers servers in over 78 countries around the world. This means if you're travelling you should always have a fast, secure connection available. It also comes in handy when you're looking to use services like Netflix.
They also offer apps for both Android and iOS, which makes connecting via your mobile device a breeze.
Finally, there is a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can sign up for the service, test it out and make an educated decision for yourself.
#2: IP Vanish
A high quality, strong all round VPN service.
- Strong security
- Fast speeds when tested from Sydney
- No logs are kept
- Allow P2P and torrenting
- They are based in the USA
IP Vanish is a well established VPN service. They have a mixture of good pricing, no logs, and good support.
The problem with these guys though is they are based in the USA, so what that really means for your security is anyone's guess.
The client software they offer isn't as feature rich as other products on the market. If features matter to you we suggest you look at other VPN options.
Best VPN for Australia
The amount of VPN subscribers in Australia has increased exponentially in the past couple of years due to privacy concerns. There's even a commission to enshrine VPN use into Australian law, with it exposing how Internet service providers are ripping off Australians with pricing policies.
A VPN guarantees privacy by cloaking your original IP address and assigning a different one from another region. No more worrying if the Australian government or prying eyes are snooping on your surfing habits, with most VPNs thwarting these efforts.
Not to get too political, but it is also another reason as to why so many are using a VPN network. A couple of years ago, a Federal Court Ruling allowed for data mining of sensitive information. Even though this legislation was made to specifically target piracy, what is stopping the government from spying on the surfing habits of its citizens?
Yes, it's an unsettling thought, but one that many are taking seriously by using a VPN provider.
Why Get a VPN for Australia Now?
Regardless of the security features of your computer, hackers are a sly bunch. Instead of solely relying on a virus scanner that can potentially fail to pick up the latest viruses, couple your security measures with the help of a VPN service to stay protected.
Spying eyes doesn't even have to be from an overreaching government – Google does it as well. There's money to be made by studying your surfing habits, with major search engines catering their ads to you. Have you ever completed a search on Google, landed on a web page hours after finishing the search, and then find an ad that oddly seems hyper-specific to you? Yep – that's Google.
This puts us in an awkward situation– Google is free and is an endless reservoir of information at your fingertips. Outside of building and your own Internet, a VPN service is one of the best ways to stop online tracking.
Speaking of spying governments and viruses – sometimes it isn't even that serious. A VPN can simply give you peace of mind when surfing on untrusted networks. A VPN works like a middleman. It encrypts information leaving your device, scrambles it, and then sends it to its destination.
If you're interested in using a VPN, then you will find our list of providers to be helpful. Thankfully, many of these providers allow for a trial run for new users.
What Makes the Best VPN for Australia?
Before you start shopping for a new VPN provider, there are several factors that you need to be aware of including:
Security is the hallmark of any VPN. The VPN provider knows that you want encryption, safe surfing, and safeguarding of your information.
Even though most major operating systems are always scrambling to ensure that your information stays safe, it's up to you to make sure that that happens. A VPN will mask your identity, making it difficult for hackers and third parties to keep records of your visited sites and timestamps.
Piracy is another concern, especially with Australia's government. Even though a VPN will make you more anonymous, it is not a fail-safe. For example, some VPN networks may actually log your information.
The hallmark of any VPN network ensures that you aren't monitored, and the VPN service should indicate that the moment that you visit their website.
Speed is of particular importance if you are a heavy data user who likes to stream content on sites like YouTube and Netflix. You want a VPN service that will provide you with adequate bandwidth and speeds.
Note that your speeds may somewhat slow down due to your IP address bouncing through the servers, but it is the only way to make sure that you are anonymous. Premium VPN services can override throttling protocols set forth by your Internet service provider, making your computer a bit more responsive.
Bandwidth is how much data you could use in a particular window of time. You want a VPN service that will not get in your way – so invest in one that gives you unlimited, un-throttled access.
No matter how great the service may be, it is completely useless if you aren't able to set it up or configure settings. You want a VPN provider that will be responsive to support tickets and be there if you need help.
Choose a provider that offers a trial or money-back guarantee. It'll give you the opportunity to try different providers until you find the one that is ideal for you and your surfing habits.
It's always best to read up on online reviews. It may be hard to find an unbiased opinion on the Internet, but by reading up on different reviews from various sources, you'll be able to have a feel as to what to expect.
Free VPN for Australia?
Yes – there are many free VPN services. But they will not come with the security features that you may expect like end-to-end encryption and custom solutions to your problems.
Many predatory providers are also aware of Australians who are eager to jump on the VPN bandwagon, scamming people out of their money or installing spyware. Only use a VPN provider that has been in the industry for several years.
For full features and true privacy, it's best to use a reputable provider, even if it costs a bit more.
How to Set up a VPN for Australia
Setting up a VPN on your computer or device is as easy as downloading software or an app. The back end of establishing a VPN connection is complicated – thankfully that does not translate over to its users.
Sensitive login information to the VPN server is provided to you via a secure connection like email. Expect for several forms of authentication, including using your cell phone number to retrieve passwords.
Even though the login process may be a bit daunting at first, at least you will know that it isn't easy for a keylogger or hacker to obtain your passwords.
Using a Settings File
Depending on the VPN provider, they may have to use a settings file. By opening the file, your computer will be configured to connect to the VPN server seamlessly. This is done so that you do not need to insert sensitive information on an internet browser.
A settings file is a one-click solution to configure system preferences.
Manual Set Up
You can connect to your VPN via the control panel of your computer. Just go through the networking preferences and then log in to the VPN. Select a region in the world if you want to change your IP address, giving you access to region-locked content.
Look at the advanced settings of your VPN. Premium VPN services implement several options to make sure that you stay incognito. Keep in mind that having several options live at the same time can potentially hamper your speeds. If all you do is casually surf, then you do not need advanced privacy features to be enabled at all times.
For mobile users, setting up a VPN is as easy as downloading the app and then configuring network settings. It's typically a lot easier to install a VPN on your phone than on the computer.
Pro tip: If you are having issues connecting to the VPN, then clear online cookies and disable any firewalls during the installation process. You want the installer to have untethered access to system files. A quick restart will resolve most issues.