Australia comes first in last in quite a few things. They were the last to get Netflix, but they are the first to face some of the harshest clampdowns on torrenting in Australia and streaming free movies and TV shows.
Australian privacy laws are some of the toughest in the world, so it is easy to see why internet users turn to a VPN. Yet, which is the best Australian VPN?
These reviews look at the top VPN services out there and will find which is the best VPN in Australia.
This is one of the fastest VPN’s on the planet, which you can see from an Aussie speed test compared to others.
ExpressVPN is also the best way how to get Netflix USA in Aus. It has an optimized network, which benefits torrenting while using unbreakable military-grade encryption.
It uses AES 256-bit encryption along with with the best OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2 protocols. A strict zero logging policy, it enables users to carry out any online activity in the utmost privacy.
It runs on Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS, Smart TV’s and routers along with many more. You can use it on up to 5 devices, and it repeatedly tops the best VPN’s for Australia overall, by lacking in no area.
With the fastest servers in the country, ExpressVPN is the best streaming VPN for use in Australia.
NordVPN is one of the best VPN’s you can find. For unblocking Netflix and other overseas streaming sites, it is one of the most reliable.
It is based outside any jurisdiction, which is an added bonus and comes with some of the best in industry security measures.
It has native apps for Windows, Android and iOS, Mac, and many more. You can secure up to six devices. It uses the top bank grade security protocols with OpenVPN, IKEv2/ IPsec with Aes256-bit encryption.
There is a built in kill switch, and a large proportion of their servers are torrent/ P2P friendly.
NordVPN has one of the most secure networks with its double-hop feature.
This is by far the cheapest Australian VPN. It is new and only has a small network. This though allows it to unblock US Netflix easily, it is torrent friendly its servers.
Surfshark also follows the top VPN’s offering OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2 along with AES256-bit encryption.
Speeds are good for the network size, so there will be little buffering. It includes a multi-hop feature and their CleanWeb ad-blocker.
With unlimited connections, this makes it the best VPN Australian users can choose for value, although this is a long tie in period.
Overall, it delivers as much as some of the competition and can keep users secure.
Surfshark is the best cheap VPN on the price by far and with unlimited connections.
Like the leaders of the pack, CyberGhost supports OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec among its protocols with AES256-bit encryption.
With the focus on ease of use, users just select either streaming for accessing Netflix, or another option for torrenting. This connects you to the best servers.
CyberGhost blocks malicious websites and online tracking and includes a kill switch. It caters for seven simultaneous connections on Windows, Android and iOS, Mac OS and Linux, among others.
Like the better VPN’s it is based outside any 14-eyes jurisdiction and keeps no significant users logs that could contain information. It can be the best VPN Australia based users can choose for if they just want ease of use.
CyberGhost is one of the easiest VPN’s to use for new users.
A VPN in Australia does need to unblock US Netflix as a first. IPVanish can and can’t. It accesses the streaming service but not reliably.
On the security front, it delivers L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN among its protocols with AES256-bit encryption.
Torrenting is better catered for than streaming with the use of SOCKS5. This can improve download speeds, but for more features, it does come lacking.
It is as secure as many others, and no leaks are found, which is a good thing. Overall, it is a decent performer, even if there are only a couple of server locations in Australia.
Fast torrenting download speeds when using the SOCKS5 feature.
Are VPN’s Legal in Australia?
The good news for a lot of internet users is that VPN’s are legal to use in Australia. Users can access any websites or services from overseas they wish.
If any illegal content is downloaded using a VPN, then this is classed as an illegal activity and illegal use of a VPN.
Why You Need a VPN in Australia
In 2015, the Telecommunications Amendment began; this is the interception and access along with data retention.
As it stands in Australia, this is set to two years where ISP’s need to retain user metadata.
This collected information comprises all personal information on every phone call that is made, text messages, and all emails, which are sent.
On top of this, every second of internet activity is monitored, recorded, and kept for this period.
All this is retained with no warrant and can be collected by any number of government agencies.
While this can be expanded on by the Attorney General, there are more concerns on user privacy with another law coming into action, the Assistance and Access Bill in 2018.
Tech firms can now be forced to include backdoors in their encryption, this alone pushes invasion of privacy to a completely new level.
Aside from privacy, there are many geo-restrictions in place for countless streaming services. Not only this, there are a large number of torrent sites that are blocked at the ISP level.
To top this, there are such things as the Apple store, which offer less content than other countries and trying to purchase something that comes back with an error.
How About a Free VPN for Australia?
Almost every kind of software going, there are users who try to find free options. However, in the case of a VPN, this practice is advised against.
Most free VPN’s are either limited in some way, or they invade your privacy to use for online marketing and target ads to users.
Either the restricted ones come with limited features, or there are severe data caps and bandwidth limits.
Much of this happens with access to a lower number of VPN server locations. When it comes to the marketing side of things, some free VPN’s inject tracking cookies, so they can monitor online activities.
- Data caps
- Limited bandwidth
- Monitor user activity
- Compromise security
- Sell user bandwidth
- Cannot unblock the best streaming sites
Can VPN’s Help Prevent Australian Data Retention?
VPN’s offer a huge amount of security against online threats. Australian reports showed in 2017 that the rates of cybercrimes increased in the previous year to 47,000 crimes.
While users may think VPN’s stop their ISP from seeing everything they are doing, this isn’t the case.
Traffic volume, your device details and your location can’t be hidden by a VPN. However, because your data is encrypted, your ISP won’t be able to retain information, which is much use.
The metadata that comes with every transmission, regardless of what it is can be seen by your ISP, yet the actual content of this will be hidden.
One other area of contention is that of torrenting, while no one condones piracy, the authorities are blocking what Australian users can visit.
The number of blocked sites sits around the 200 mark, so a user’s freedom of speech or freedom of actions is reducing more and more.
The likes of Google are requested to demote or remove links to these sites.
Australia is becoming one of the toughest countries about the monitoring and possible controlling of the internet.
Many users may not realise how much they are unable to access. There is too much dictation of what users can do and can’t do, and the problem won’t become any easier.
Just from the above Australian VPN providers, you can see the number of VPN providers in Australia is on the increase.
Their use isn’t just to bypass geo-restrictions, though it does have a large bearing on the matter.
There is also the Online goods tax where an additional 10% is added to all digital purchases under AUD 1000.
Australians are having their choice restricted in a large number of areas, so to avoid these restrictions; users need to study VPN reviews, and then decide which is the best Australian VPN.
Once they have a good understanding, they will see the cheapest VPN is not always the best solution.