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Best VPN for Australia

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Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN
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Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio

Whether you live in Australia or simply want to get an Australian IP address, the best VPN for Australia will securely encrypt your data, provide fast download speeds, and unblock streaming content from across the globe.

Many VPNs don’t cater to Australian needs as much as they do countries in Europe and North America. This makes finding the best Australian VPN even harder.

We’ve tested all the major VPN providers to see which services are the fastest and the safest for Australia specifically. We test for coast-to-coast server coverage, strong security, and the ability to bypass geo-blocks on services like Netflix and ABC iView.

We also look for P2P support and a strong privacy policy that will shield you against Australia’s strict anti-piracy laws. This helps protect your right to privacy against the unwarranted spying of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service and its global partners.

Currently, the five best VPNs for Australia in 2021 are:

  1. ExpressVPN: The best overall VPN for Australia. Read Summary.
  2. NordVPN: The fastest VPN for Australia. Read Summary.
  3. Private Internet Access: Best server network for Australia. Read Summary.
  4. Windscribe: The best free VPN for Australia. Read Summary.
  5. IPVanish: The best for torrenting and Fire Stick for Australia. Read Summary.

Compare these VPNs side-by-side with our tool.

Based on our most recent tests, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Australia in 2021. It’s got servers spread evenly across the country, it’ll unblock US and Australian Netflix, and it picks up very fast local and international download speeds. All of this is packaged in a user-friendly app with exceptional customer support.

All of our recommended Australia VPNs will hide your internet activity from ISPs like Tangerine Telecom, Telstra, and Aussie Broadband. Below you’ll be able to discover which VPN has the largest number of servers, which is the safest for torrenting, and which is the fastest service if you’re living in Sydney. You can also learn more about why a VPN is so essential in Australia.

Best VPNs for Australia in April 2021

  1. 1. ExpressVPN: Best Overall VPN for Australia

    Fast speeds and instant streaming across an expansive Australian server network.

    Ranked #1 out of 69 VPNs for Australia
    ExpressVPN's new app on mobile devices
     96% 
    (1,758 user reviews)
    Visit ExpressVPN
    1. Coast to coast server coverage
    2. One of the few to unblock Netflix Australia abroad
    3. Very fast download speeds in Australia
    4. Audited no logs privacy policy & BVI jurisdiction
    5. Unrestricted P2P and safe encryption
    6. Easy to use and helpful customer support
    1. Exact number of Australia servers is unknown
    2. Most expensive choice on the list
    3. No kill switch on iOS app
    4. Not the best choice for Fire TV Stick

    ExpressVPN is the number one VPN for Australia. It has coast-to-coast server coverage, very fast download speeds across its Australian servers, and unrestricted P2P use.

    It’s the most expensive VPN on this list but you get what you pay for. ExpressVPN is extremely safe and reliably unblocks most global streaming services.

    Australia ServersUndisclosed
    Australia NetflixYes
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingUnlimited
    Cheapest Price$6.67/mo over 15 Months See all plans
    Compatible with
    Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
    JurisdictionBritish Virgin Islands (Privacy Haven)
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

    88Mbps
    Support24/7 Live Chat
    Data LeaksNo
    Countries94
    Servers3,000+

    Servers in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

    ExpressVPN covers four Australian cities including Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. That’s a good amount, and the servers are extra safe thanks to ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology that ensures data is never stored on server hard drives.

    We’re pleased to see the inclusion of Perth servers as that means Australians on the west coast of the country are not left with underperforming speeds and server congestion.

    It’s not exactly clear how many individual Australian VPN servers and IP addresses ExpressVPN maintains because it doesn’t disclose information about its operations.

    ExpressVPN operates one of the largest global server networks available, with servers in 160 cities across 94 countries to choose from. This means you won’t have any trouble connecting out to countries all over the world and accessing content otherwise restricted in Australia.

    All of its Australian servers are physical, too. This is good for security reasons and it also provides quicker speeds than virtual servers, which assign you an IP address from a country that the equipment is not located within.

    Very fast Australia speeds

    ExpressVPN is extremely fast if you’re using it for same-country connections. If you’ve got ExpressVPN running in Sydney you can pick up download speeds of 86Mbps, which is only 9% less than internet speeds without a VPN running.

    This feature is helped by the Smart Location feature, which automatically selects the best server for optimal performance and low ping.

    ExpressVPN is also ideal if you want to connect to Australia from a different country. From our UK base, we pick up an excellent download speed of 59Mbps. With such geographical distance, we usually expect to see a top VPN performing around 20Mbps.

    Unblocks US & Australia Netflix

    ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming in Australia. It consistently unblocks streaming services in Australia and overseas, while its server spread and fast speeds make for a smooth, buffer-free experience.

    While it has no specified servers for streaming, nearly all of them work to unblock the libraries of Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more. It’s our number one choice for streaming for this reason.

    Many VPNs struggle when it comes to unblocking Australian Netflix. Unlike NordVPN, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, and more, ExpressVPN enables smooth access to the Australian Netflix library. That means you can watch Australian movies and TV shows wherever you are in the world.

    You can also keep on top of your favorite sport showings and TV shows like Romper Stomper and Wolf Creek through continued access to Australian on-demand channels and streaming services, including:

    • ABC iView
    • Binge
    • Kayo Sports
    • SBS On Demand
    • Stan.
    • 7Plus
    • 9Now
    • 10 All Access

    ExpressVPN also permits P2P activity on all of its servers. Alongside its safe privacy policy, strong encryption via cipher AES-256, and Perfect Forward Secrecy technology, this is a solid choice for those looking to torrent.

    There’ll be no security leaks either, as we’ve not recorded a single IP, DNS, or WebRTC leak throughout our entire time testing ExpressVPN.

    Overall, ExpressVPN provides foolproof protection against unwarranted snooping by the Australian authorities and hacking attempts by cybercriminals, it works across multiple Australian and global streaming services, and it picks up excellent local and international speeds.

  2. 2. NordVPN: Fastest VPN for Australia

    Fastest available VPN speeds across 200 Australian servers.

    NordVPN Mobile App Screenshot
     94% 
    (246 user reviews)
    Visit NordVPN
    1. Industry-leading Australia speeds
    2. 200 Australia servers across all major cities
    3. Best VPN for BBC iPlayer access
    4. Zero-logs VPN based in Panama
    5. Torrenting allowed on nearly all servers
    6. Affordable long-term plans
    1. Doesn’t unblock Netflix Australia
    2. Doesn’t accept PayPal payments
    3. Historical server breach
    4. Limited protocols on Windows & Android

    NordVPN is more affordable than ExpressVPN and it comes with 200 servers across five major Australian cities.

    It’s leading the way on speeds in the country as well as BBC iPlayer access for expats abroad.

    It’s a great choice for Australia, but it doesn’t unblock streaming services as well and the company’s history is more controversial.

    Australia Servers200
    Australia NetflixNo
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingPermitted
    Cheapest Price$3.71/mo over 24 Months See all plans
    Compatible with
    Logging PolicyNo Logs
    JurisdictionPanama (Privacy Haven)
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

    93Mbps
    Support24/7 Live Chat
    Data LeaksNo
    Countries59
    Servers5,515

    90Mbps local download speeds

    NordVPN is the fastest VPN for Australia – it even beats ExpressVPN. We ran tests on our local Sydney server and found that it consistently records up to 90Mbps download speed. Using NordVPN in Australia will barely make a difference compared to your normal internet connection.

    There’s nothing you can’t do with these speeds, whether you want to stream, torrent, chat, or browse. NordVPN is also extremely good on long-distance connections, meaning you can connect to far-away countries and experience minimal speed loss or ping.

    Connecting from Sydney to New York, we picked up astonishing speeds of 74Mbps, only 20% less than if you used NordVPN on a nearby server.

    Reliable BBC iPlayer access

    NordVPN’s fast local and international speeds are ideal for getting a buffer-free, full HD streaming experience. Its SmartPlay feature also makes the process simple by unblocking streaming content automatically, no matter which server you choose. You can also use NordVPN’s exemplary 24/7 live chat feature for instant streaming support.

    We recommend NordVPN specifically for BBC iPlayer, which it unblocks regularly and without trouble, despite the BBC’s attempts to prevent VPN use. There’s more British expats in Australia than anywhere else. If you’re one of them, NordVPN is your best option to continue watching programmes coming out of the UK like Top Gear and Roadkill.

    Unfortunately NordVPN fails to unblock the Netflix Australia library, so you won’t be able to retain access to any Australia-specific content. However, we’ve confirmed that it works with Hulu and HBO Max and there’s also a neat custom Fire TV Stick app that you can unblock streaming services from. Installing NordVPN on your router will allow you to game with VPN protection, too.

    Torrent-friendly servers in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth & Sydney

    You can connect to five Australian cities when using NordVPN, including IP addresses in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.

    All of the major coastal Australian cities are covered. Each of these cities has a population over a million people and NordVPN is doing the right thing by ensuring they all get good, safe VPN coverage with over 200 high-speed servers available across the country.

    Globally, NordVPN provides over 5,500 servers — one of the highest numbers we’ve seen. There’s plenty of choice in the neighbouring Asia-Pacific region and torrenting is allowed on nearly all of these servers. With its no-logs privacy policy, this makes NordVPN a viable choice for those looking for safe file-sharing in a country that has experienced tough crackdowns on torrenters.

    NordVPN only works with physical, bare-metal servers and they’re all located where they are listed on the website and in the app. It’s working to achieve a wholly self-owned global server network, which would be greatly beneficial to security, transparency, and accountability.

    This comes after an unfortunate hack in 2018 compromised one of the server stations NordVPN was renting. It has since taken great strides to amend the damage caused to its reputation.

    NordVPN is now a highly advanced and safe service provider. It comes with WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols, AES-256 encryption with perfect forward secrecy, Double VPN, split tunneling, Onion over VPN, and more. It’s well worth reading more about the extensive security package on offer here.

    With one of the most extensive security packages, generous Australia server coverage, easy access to BBC iPlayer, and very fast local download speeds, NordVPN is a very good choice for Australian users. It’s also very affordable, costing only $3.71 (AUD$4.91) per month on its best deal.

  3. 3. Private Internet Access: Best for Australian Servers

    274 secure Australian VPN servers across three cities.

    Private Internet Access
     92% 
    (25 user reviews)
    Visit PIA VPN
    1. Leading amount of Australia servers
    2. Very fast speeds
    3. Unblocks BBC iPlayer with ease
    4. Verified no logs policy and advanced security
    5. WireGuard, OpenVPN & IKEv2 protocols
    6. Affordable pricing
    1. Can’t access Netflix Australia
    2. US jurisdiction

    Private Internet Access has more Australia coverage per server than any other VPN provider. Its fast speeds in the country reflect this, but it also performs well on connections overseas.

    PIA is also very safe, with a no-logs policy and advanced security package that will please privacy-conscious Australians.

    Although it’s based in the privacy-unfriendly US and it’s not quite as quick as NordVPN, PIA remains a strong and fast pro-privacy alternative.

    Australia Servers274
    Australia NetflixNo
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingUnlimited
    Cheapest Price$2.69/mo over 26 months See all plans
    Compatible with
    Logging PolicyNo Logs
    JurisdictionUS (Five-Eyes Member)
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

    89Mbps
    Support24/7 Live Chat
    Data LeaksNo
    Countries77
    Servers35,900

    More Australia servers than any other VPN

    IA is the best VPN for the sheer number of servers it offers in Australia. It has 274 servers spread across Australia, exceeding that on offer from CyberGhost, IPVanish, Windscribe, and even NordVPN.

    PIA is limited to three cities: Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. A higher concentration of servers can be beneficial, because you can avoid server overload and get the most out of your VPN.

    Globally, PIA has over 12,000 individual servers in 93 other countries available to connect to — the highest number of servers available from any VPN. What’s also impressive is that PIA owns and operates its private DNS servers so that your DNS requests are resolved by PIA and not by your ISP. This gives PIA greater scope to secure and protect your data.

    Advanced security & fast speeds

    Private Internet Access has earned a reputation for strong security practices when handling your data. First, it keeps absolutely no logs, which has been verified on multiple occasions, and it releases regular transparency reports to earn user trust.

    The app itself will hide your IP and safeguard your data with some of the best VPN technology around. It comes with OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2 protocol options, and you can select AES-256 cipher for “unbreakable” encryption.

    It protects against IPv4, IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks across all apps, has port forwarding and split tunneling options, as well as SOCKS5 proxy, malware and tracking protection, and the all-important kill-switch to ensure your real IP is never exposed.

    All of these security add-ons don’t slow PIA down; it remains extremely fast — consistently so — and very easy to use. It’s actually one of the fastest VPNs we’ve ever tested in general. It doesn’t quite beat NordVPN or ExpressVPN for speeds in Australia, but it comes close with download speeds of 84Mbps in Sydney.

    For balance between safety and performance, PIA gets it completely right. And it doesn’t cost that much. You can get PIA for as little as $2.19 (AUD$2.90) per month.

    Good for Australia streaming, even better for torrenting

    Private Internet Access is a good choice for streaming if you live in Australia. It unblocks unblocks US Netflix with ease, and can also access German and Japanese Netflix.

    PIA is also extremely effective at unblocking BBC iPlayer despite tough crackdowns from the British broadcaster. It gets past iPlayer restrictions every single time. It’ll also work if you have Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max and Hulu, and its fast speeds guarantee instant HD streaming.

    Though US Netflix is the main appeal for many, PIA isn’t as good as NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or Windscribe. It only unblocks three libraries, its servers aren’t optimized for specific streaming services, and it doesn’t work to access Netflix Australia for those abroad.

    For Australia, which has such strict anti-piracy laws, one of PIA’s biggest strengths is torrenting. It permits P2P file-sharing activity on every single one of its servers and the VPN is compatible with torrent clients like BitTorrent, Deluge, uTorrent, and Transmission.

    PIA has an ad-blocker called MACE which can stop any malware and trackers that you may come across when sharing files. The torrenting process is made quick and easy with PIA’s fast speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and the option to use port forwarding.

    Your privacy will be protected through PIA’s genuinely private logging policy and an in-built kill switch that cuts your entire connection should your internet fail.

    PIA guarantees your privacy across an expansive Australian server network. While it unblocks BBC iPlayer and US Netflix, its chief strengths are its security and speed performance. Overall, we recommend Private Internet Access as an Australian VPN if privacy, server number, or torrenting are your top priorities.

  4. 4. Windscribe: Best Free VPN for Australia

    The best free VPN for Australia with the largest number of Australian city servers.

    Windscribe mobile screenshots
     100% 
    (2 user reviews)
    Visit Windscribe
    1. Six Australian cities available
    2. Access to Netflix Australia, US & 40 other libraries
    3. Reliably unblocks BBC iPlayer
    4. 84Mbps local download speeds
    5. Completely free service available
    6. Safe logging, secure technology
    1. Only 11 servers across six Australian cities
    2. Long-distance speeds not as strong
    3. Based in Canada
    4. No independent audit to verify logging policy

    Windscribe is a safe, Canada-based VPN that reliably unblocks BBC iPlayer and 40 Netflix libraries.

    It’s fast locally and offers a very good free VPN for cost-conscious Australian users. Although Windscribe only has 11 servers in Australia, it has more choice of Australian cities than any other VPN.

    Australia Servers11
    Australia NetflixYes
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingPermitted
    Cheapest Price$4.08/mo over 12 Months See all plans
    Compatible with
    Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
    JurisdictionCanada (Five-Eyes Member)
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

    95Mbps
    SupportEmail & Online Resources Only
    Data LeaksNo
    Countries63
    Servers-

    More Australian cities than any other VPN

    Windscribe has servers in six Australian cities. While PIA has far more individual servers, Windscribe spreads them across a wider area. You can connect to Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.

    There are only 11 servers that make up these available city locations, which is just under two servers each city. This is quite low. We would recommend PIA over Windscribe on the strength of VPN servers alone.

    Windscribe still has the most amount of Australian city-level servers we’ve seen and it picks up strong local speeds — as good as PIA, in fact. We recorded download speeds of up to 85Mbps on connections in Sydney, making Windscribe just as fast and competent as any other VPN on this list.

    Its long-distance speeds don’t compete with the other VPNs on this list, but Windscribe remains a very good choice for local server spread and download speed.

    A great free VPN for Australian streaming

    Windscribe is able to access both US and Australian Netflix. This gives you streaming choice whether you’re at home or abroad, or if you’re an expat.

    Netflix Australia is considered to be one of the worst libraries in terms of the number of titles available. Windscribe will fix that because it’s the best VPN at unlocking global library content; we’ve discovered that it can access 42 global Netflix libraries.

    The Windscribe browser proxy also gets around tough British restrictions to stream BBC iPlayer content with ease, even though the full VPN isn’t quite as reliable.

    All of Windscribe’s servers can be used for streaming. Impressively, you can stream from 10 countries completely free by downloading the free Windscribe app. You don’t even need to sign up or pay money to get instant access to at least ten different countries. This is why we call it the very best free VPN for streaming, too.

    Windscribe free is the best free VPN in general and certainly the best free VPN for Australia. There is a 10GB monthly data cap, which limits what you can do, but it is ad-free and it’s the same as the premium version in most ways. You can read more about Windscribe free in our review.

    Good security, but not the best for torrenting

    Whether free or premium, Windscribe has all the security additions you’d expect from a top VPN, and the company behind it has no historical controversy to speak of.

    It comes with AES-256 encryption, leak protection, and a VPN kill switch. One of its standout, bespoke features is R.O.B.E.R.T, a malware and ad-blocker integrated into its intuitive VPN apps.

    Windscribe is a secure VPN service for Australia – it’s good at hiding your IP address and keeping your online activity hidden from Australian ISP providers like Tangerine Telecom or Telstra.

    But Windscribe is based in Canada, which is a privacy-unfriendly jurisdiction and it has some of the harshest anti-piracy laws in the world (perhaps harsher than Australia). Because of this, we’d recommend IPVanish if you want a VPN for P2P torrenting and file-sharing.

  5. 5. IPVanish: Best for Torrenting

    The perfect VPN for safe torrenting, Fire Stick TV, Kodi, and Android.

    IPVanish VPN
     96% 
    (175 user reviews)
    Visit IPVanish
    1. Safest VPN for anonymous torrenting in Australia
    2. 89 servers in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney
    3. Very fast local Sydney speeds
    4. Best VPN for Kodi & Fire Stick
    5. Zero logs & strong security
    6. Simple VPN setup on popular devices
    1. Unreliable access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer & Disney+
    2. Based in the US
    3. Doesn't work with Australian Netflix

    IPVanish is perfect for torrenting in Australia. It comes with a no-logs policy, an impressive first-party server network, and very fast local speeds.

    It’s not as effective for streaming, but it has 89 servers in five Australian cities and suits the needs of Fire TV Stick and Kodi users better than any other VPN.

    Australia Servers89
    Australia NetflixNo
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingUnlimited
    Cheapest Price$2.62/mo for 12 months See all plans
    Compatible with
    Logging PolicyNo Logs
    JurisdictionUS (Five-Eyes Member)
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

    84Mbps
    SupportLive Chat
    Data LeaksNo
    Countries57
    Servers1,400+

    The absolute best VPN for torrenting in Australia

    IPVanish is the safest and most private way to torrent in Australia. With 89 servers across five cities, including Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney, it’s perfect for high-bandwidth activity like torrenting.

    IPVanish allows P2P activity on all of its servers and we detected zero data leaks of any kind during our testing. There’s a reliable kill switch included across apps (except iOS) to prevent any accidental exposure of your true IP address and the privacy policy details a no-logs VPN.

    Alongside that, IPVanish has SOCKS5 Proxy, which many torrenters like to use thanks to its fast speeds and the ability to configure it from directly within your torrent client without having to download any additional software.

    Great for streaming from Amazon Fire TV Stick only

    IPVanish isn’t the best choice if you want a VPN primarily for streaming from services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or Disney+. Currently, it works to unblock US Netflix on some servers, but it can be slow to load and it’s unable to unblock many more global libraries, including Australia’s.

    There are no dedicated servers for streaming and it’s not useful at all when you’re trying to get around British georestrictions for BBC iPlayer. It’s also inconsistent with Disney+.

    However, IPVanish has a great custom app for Fire Stick TV. Not many VPNs offer an app for this, and when they do they’re not as good as IPVanish.

    IPVanish is also compatible with Kodi, the media organizer that can be added to your Fire Stick. You’ll be able to watch blocked content on official Kodi add-ons like Hulu, IceFilms, and NBC Sport. All the while IPVanish’s no-logs policy and P2P-friendly support protect your anonymity.

    Fast speeds and secure connections in Australia

    We measured average download speeds of 88Mbps when using an IPVanish server in Sydney, which is very fast. These speeds are ideal for HD streaming and torrenting activity. Our tests have also found IPVanish’s speeds to be reliable and consistent, while it connects to servers very quickly.

    Long-distance connections are faster than average and more than enough to perform internet activity smoothly, no matter where you’re connecting to. There are also 40,000 global IP addresses on offer in 77 locations across 57 countries – a diverse collection of servers that are owned and managed entirely by IPVanish.

    IPVanish has strong security across the board; it uses the AES-256 encryption cipher and supports the recommended protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2. There’s IPv6 leak protection, split tunneling, and obfuscation tools to evade censors.

    IPVanish isn’t too expensive at $2.91 (AUD$3.85) per month on its best deal, and it’s a good price if you’re looking for secure and fast torrenting, or Fire TV Stick streaming.

    It’s also the best VPN for Android users in Australia specifically. It’s Android app has split tunneling, OpenVPN protocol, a neat scramble tool, a well-functioning kill switch, and even LAN and exclusion MTU reduction options. If that sounds overly complicated, you can rest assured that the Android app is intuitive and simple to use.

    IPVanish is perfect for those looking to torrent, stream via Fire TV Stick or use a VPN on Android. It has robust security and a solid amount of Australian server coverage, so you don’t need to worry about security or speed.

Australia VPN Comparison

To help you compare and contrast the most popular VPNs for Australia, we’ve put together a table with all the necessary information you need to decide which is the best for you.

You can compare local speeds in Sydney, see if the VPN works to unblock US and Australian Netflix, or check whether it has Australian city servers near you.

Speeds are always important to a VPN’s overall performance, but especially so for Australia, which doesn’t usually have the same level of investment from VPN providers compared to European and North American locations. You can compare the speed performance of our top choices for Australia with our VPN speed test tool.

The graph below shows download speed loss average and is calculated based on tests that run automatically four times a day without human bias. Connecting to our Sydney servers, you can see how each VPN fares over the last eight weeks.

VPN Speed Performance Comparison Chart

ExpressVPN is the most consistent when it comes to speeds in Australia, but NordVPN experiences the least amount of speed loss when connected. IPVanish also proves to be both fast and relatively consistent.

All of the VPNs recommended in this list will deliver very good speed results. You’ll be able to perform online tasks on Australian internet without any noticeable loss of performance compared to your usual home internet, whether it’s torrenting, streaming, or simply browsing the web.

How We Test & Review VPNs for Australia

We consider a number of important factors when assessing the best VPN for Australia. We break it down into individual attributes and assign a percentage score based on how important they are to a top VPN.

For Australia, we test, analyze, and compare speeds on a local Sydney server. We test whether the VPN works to unblock global and Australia-specific streaming services, inspect the number of available Australia servers, and test its security and privacy credentials to see whether it will actually protect you from ISP snooping, Australian government spying, and cyberthreats.

 

Our 10-Step Review Process

Here’s a full list of the factors we assess when looking for the best Australia VPN, along with how much of our score they make up:

  1. Privacy & Security – 30%

    Privacy is the most important consideration with any VPN, especially in Australia. We discover whether a VPN stores compromising data, if data could ever be shared with third-parties – corporate or government – and whether it’s safe from hackers.

    We go beyond the marketing to read all the words in a privacy policy and ensure that the VPN retains no logs at all. We also check for leak protection, secure protocols, and strong encryption to keep your information safe when using public WiFi, shield you from unwarranted Australian surveillance, and stay secure while working from home.

  2. Speed & Reliability – 25%

    VPN speeds are important as every online task is affected by your internet performance. All VPNs will affect your speed to some degree, but if using a VPN reduces your internet speeds to levels that are noticeable and disruptive, we won’t recommend that VPN.

    This is especially important in a country like Australia, which doesn’t always have the same level of investment from VPN providers as other countries in Europe and North America. Geographically, all of Australia’s major cities are on the coast, so we want to see coast-to-coast server coverage that ensures no Australian has to put up with slow VPN speeds.

    The fastest VPNs will only slow your internet speeds by as little as 3%, which is barely noticeable at all. Privacy should have as few downsides as possible, so we monitor the speeds of our top VPN recommendations in real-time to ensure they meet the standards we expect.

  3. Additional Security Features – 20%

    While we expect basic levels of security, such as a VPN kill switch and a sensible privacy policy, we also pay special attention to VPNs that go the extra mile and provide additional features and protection against online threats.

    We look for split tunneling, good browser extensions, useful ad blockers, malware blockers, anti-trackers, and other bespoke tools like password managers, private search engines, and Smart DNS tools.

  4. Streaming & Torrenting – 15%

    VPNs are important tools for maintaining our privacy rights, but many also want a VPN to stream georestricted content or share files safely. This is especially true in Australia, where people pay as much as anyone else for Netflix streaming but get less content.

    With this in mind, we spend a lot of time testing to see which VPNs effectively unblock in-demand global streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. A good VPN will unblock multiple international libraries and even access more obscure, Australia-specific content on services like Binge, Stan, Kayo Sports, and Foxtel Now.

    They will also provide P2P-optimized servers and online protections for those interested in torrenting, which is particularly important in Australia due to its strict copyright laws.

  5. Ease of Use – 10%

    VPNs can intimidate some people who are not as tech-savvy as others, which is why it’s important that a VPN be incredibly simple to use. Privacy is a right and no VPN should be too complicated for someone looking to protect themselves.

    We examine every VPN app on MacOS, iOS, Windows, and Android to see if it has a simple design and user-friendly interface. We like VPNs that provide plenty of customization options and additional features, but that also come in a well-presented and easily-digestible package.

    A VPN shouldn’t be too expensive, either. We take value for money into account and highlight the VPNs that are particularly affordable, which often cost under USD $3.00 per month (~CAD$4.10).

  6. Customer Support – 5%

    You shouldn’t have to be a technical expert to use a VPN, so it’s important to have a support system in place should something go wrong.

    We test and examine the quality of support available with each VPN provider, sending technical questions in emails and testing its live chat assistance. This way we can evaluate the support’s level of knowledge, speed of response, and the overall user experience.

    The best VPNs have helpful 24/7 live chat support, an online knowledgebase and FAQ, and an email address to ask technical questions.

Why Do I Need a VPN for Australia?

You might not think that you need a VPN for Australia, but you do.

Although Australia is an ostensibly free country, there are laws and surveillance systems in place that present a clear and present threat to your privacy and online freedom.

You need a VPN for Australia for the following reasons:

  • Data collection by Australian ISPs
  • Domestic snooping from the Australian Secret Intelligence Service
  • Harsh anti-piracy punishments
  • Australian ISP website blocks
  • Geoblocks on TV and streaming services

For starters, Australian ISPs (Internet Service Providers) record and log all of your data. By data, we mean every website you visit, every search term, and every conversation you have online. ISPs are not only allowed to spy on and log your internet data, they’re legally obligated to thanks to the Telecommunications (Interception and Access Amendment (Data Retention) Act 2015.

All the ISPs take part in this, and it’s highly likely you’ll recognise your own provider in the list of those monitoring your activity below:

  • Aussie Broadband
  • Belong
  • Dodo
  • iPrimus
  • iiNet
  • Internode
  • M2
  • Optus
  • SpinTel
  • Superloop
  • Tangerine Telecom 
  • Telstra
  • TPG
  • Vodafone

You might not know but the Australian government is also actively filtering your online content. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) can enforce censorship on any website it chooses and employ filtration technology. In other words: censorship is happening in Australia. Reporters Without Borders has even listed Australia as an “internet enemy,” and the country as “under surveillance.”

Australia is a major player in the Five Eyes mass surveillance apparatus. Along with the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, Australia trades information to keep tabs on its own citizens and store mass data. You’ve had no say over this, and this practice has even been declared illegal in the US.

Since 2001, Australia has adopted more new national security laws than any other liberal democracy in the world. These laws have been known to greatly impede journalism in the country and encourage more mass surveillance. Currently, Australian authorities can access your personal data without a judicial warrant and even share it with the tax authorities and local council.

These new laws, passed under the guise of national security, have quickly spiralled to restrict activity like posting protests against COVID-19 restrictions on Facebook or downloading copyrighted materials.

Australia has some of the harshest anti-piracy laws on the planet; individuals caught offering pirates materials could face a fine of AUD$117,000, or even a prison sentence.

Something called the Communications Alliance, made up of major ISPs and the government working in unison, have been actively seeking to crackdown on what it regards as illegitimate file sharing. In 2015, 4,726 unique Australian IP addresses were identified and sued by a Hollywood studio for torrenting the movie Dallas Buyers Club via BitTorrent.

In 2016, the Federal Court of Australia ordered 50 ISPs to ban certain websites after big movie studios like Disney, Paramount, and 20th Century Fox filed a lawsuit in Australian courts concerning copyright infringement.

Helping out those corporations, ISPs now frequently block sites such as Putlocker, RARBG, SolarMovie, IsoHunt, Demonoid, and alternate routes to PirateBay. As a result, there are now many hundreds of domains inaccessible in Australia.

 

Website blocks are enforced by Australian courts.

Because of these mandatory data retention schemes and scare tactics, VPN subscriptions have increased massively in Australia — 69% more since 2017. A VPN protects your right to privacy by changing your IP address and making your online searches private. It prevents spying and gets around unwarranted internet censorship in Australia.

Are VPNs Legal in Australia?

Despite the Australian government’s increasing mistrust of internet freedom and citizen privacy, VPNs remain entirely legal.

The only countries to have outlawed VPNs are Belarus, Iraq, Turkmenistan, and North Korea. Not even China has, although VPNs are subject to special conditions in the country.

With this in mind, you don’t need to worry about any legal repercussions from using a VPN in Australia. However, it goes without saying that doing illegal things while using a VPN is still illegal.

Historically, VPNs have been associated with illegal activity. In actual fact, they’re legitimate tools to maximise privacy and freedom across the globe; they can protect you from cybercriminals or political persecution. That’s why they’re legal in most countries across the globe and only the most authoritarian governments ban them.

How To Get an Australian IP Address

Getting an Australian IP address is extremely easy:

  1. Get a VPN that has servers in Australia.

    This might seem a simple point, but like with movies and game releases, Australia is often at the back of the queue and doesn’t get the same server treatment as other developed countries do. So it’s always best to confirm a decent spread of available spots to connect to in the country.

  2. Find the Australia options in the VPN server list.

    The servers are usually limited to major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Simply lick your preferred city (the one closest to you geographically should provide the best performance) and then the VPN will establish a secure connection with an encrypted tunnel to protect your data and hide your IP.

  3. Check your IP address to confirm connection.

    To confirm a connection, it’s always worth checking your IP address by using our IP checker tool. This will make sure your new IP address really is located in Australia.

    illustration of a man hiding his IP address.

How to Watch Australian TV with a VPN

Watching Australian TV if you’re away from home is easy if you have a quality VPN.

First, you need to purchase a good VPN and make sure that it has servers in Australia. All of the VPNs listed above have servers in at least three Australian cities, but if you have another provider in mind (or already have one purchased), you’ll need to check whether it can connect to Australia in the first place. You can find this information within the VPN app or the provider’s website.

We recommend ExpressVPN for watching Australian TV. It consistently unblocks many streaming services – both popular ones and more obscure national ones – and it also has some of the best speeds and customer support from any VPN.

You’ll also need to consider whether your VPN is likely to work with the popular TV channels and streaming services available in the country, like:

  • 7Plus
  • 9Now
  • 10 All Access
  • ABC iView
  • Binge
  • Foxtel Now
  • Kayo Sports
  • Quickflix
  • SBS On Demand
  • Stan.

Favorite shows like Wolf Creek, Secret City, Mystery Road, and Deep Water can be found on these channels.

To watch Australian TV with a VPN:

  1. Launch the VPN that you’re subscribed to.
  2. Find its Australian servers and click to connect to that server.
  3. Once connected, this should allow you to login and access all of your regular Australian streaming services.

If your VPN isn’t working with the streaming service, you can always contact your VPN provider’s customer support in order to get some advice and assistance. Many VPNs have special servers and teams dedicated to getting around georestrictions all over the world.

How to Watch UK TV or BBC iPlayer in Australia

There’s more British expats in Australia than anywhere else in the world, and many want to continue watching the programmes available from the BBC. If this is you, or if you just want to watch the latest UK TV from Australia, you can with a VPN.

Not any VPN is going to do the job, though. The BBC is known for being very proactive when it comes to finding and cracking down on VPN use. It’s essential that you purchase a VPN that has a solid reputation and infrastructure in place for getting around the BBC’s geoblocks.

Best VPN for BBC iPlayer

Windscribe’s proxy service is a reliable choice, and PIA is good too, but we recommend NordVPN above all others. It’s fast, secure, and has never failed to work with BBC iPlayer in any of our independent tests.

To watch UK TV in Australia:

  1. Launch your VPN application.
  2. Scan its list of available UK servers.
  3. If the VPN includes servers optimized for UK streaming, select this server.
  4. If there are no streaming-optimized servers, simply connect to a regular UK server.
  5. With an established connection, head to your favorite British streaming service, login as normal, and you’ll be able to stream British programming.

Using NordVPN as an example, all you have to do is find and connect to any of its UK server available within the app. Other VPNs may have dedicated listed servers designed to access BBC iPlayer, but NordVPN is so effective that you can unblock the streaming service on any one of its UK servers.

Australia VPNs FAQ

Which VPNs Should You Avoid in Australia?

There are plenty of VPNs you should avoid if you care about your online safety, whether it’s in Australia or anywhere else. A good rule of thumb is to avoid free VPNs unless they come from reputable providers who also run a premium service.

Poor quality VPNs that Australians should avoid:

  • FreeVPN by FreeVPN.org
  • Hola VPN
  • Psiphon
  • Sky VPN
  • SuperVPN Free VPN Client
  • ThunderVPN
  • TouchVPN
  • Turbo VPN
  • VPN Proxy Master

Among the respectable VPNs on the market, we suggest that you avoid those that don’t cater much to Australia server coverage. Unfortunately, there are many out there that choose to focus more on Europe and North America at the expense of Oceania and South Asia.

Reputable VPNs that Australian users should avoid:

  • CyberGhost – torrenting not allowed in Australia.
  • Hide.me – only two available city servers in Australia.
  • VyprVPN – slowest local speeds.

They should also have a good reputation for security and privacy. Anything else and you risk exposing your internet activity to the Australian government, hackers, or strict anti-torrenters.

What is the Fastest VPN for Australia?

NordVPN is the fastest VPN for Australia, followed closely by ExpressVPN. We recorded average download speeds of 90Mbps when using NordVPN on a server in Sydney, while ExpressVPN recorded slightly slower speeds at 86Mbps.

Private Internet Access is also challenging ExpressVPN when it comes to speed, with an average download speed of 85Mbps on local Australia connections—only 1Mbps slower.

All three of these VPNs manage impressive long-distance speeds, too. But if you’re based in Australia and want to connect as far as the US, ExpressVPN and NordVPN are your best options.

While NordVPN is the fastest VPN for connections within Australia, we recommend ExpressVPN for its overall speed performance and fast speeds when connected internationally. It offers an effective mixture of fast local speeds, fast international speeds, and reliability.

Using ExpressVPN from our office in London we record an incredible 77Mbps connecting all the way to a server in New York. Connecting to Australia, we get speeds of 59Mbps despite the huge geographical distance. These long-distance speeds are incredibly impressive, and typically better than NordVPNs.

What’s the Cheapest Australian VPN?

While we think ExpressVPN represents great value for money, it’s certainly not the cheapest VPN available, at $6.67 (AUD$8.84) per month.

NordVPN, on the other hand, only costs $3.71 (AUD$4.91) per month on its best deal and represents astonishing value for money to Australian users.

Private Internet Access is also very cheap despite it being one of the most advanced services around, costing only $2.19 (AUD$2.90) per month – even cheaper than NordVPN.

Some of the cheapest VPNs that are also good for Australia include:

We recommend that you take a look at our page on the best cheap VPNs to compare more comprehensively.

The absolute cheapest VPN for Australia is FastestVPN, which has two servers in Sydney and only costs $1.11 (AUD$1.47) per month on a three year subscription. You can always consider this provider if cost is the biggest factor in your decision. That said, FastestVPN can’t compete with our other recommendations when it comes to speed, security, or streaming.

What is the Best Free VPN for Australia?

Windscribe Free is the best free VPN for Australia. It unblocks 10 Netflix libraries and comes with AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and all of the important security features needed to protect your privacy in Australia. It’s restricted to 10GB per month of free usage and the server choice is limited, but it’s safe to use and is even a viable option for secure torrenting.

As a rule, it’s sensible to avoid most free VPNs if you haven’t done your research. Free services are free for a reason — they don’t invest in protecting your privacy. Most lack basic security tools and they very rarely come with streaming capability or P2P-optimized servers that make torrenting safe.

The fact is, almost all free VPNs come with various limitations, including:

  • Intrusive ads
  • Bandwidth limitations
  • Server restrictions
  • No streaming capability
  • Zero P2P support
  • Security risks
  • Privacy-unfriendly practices
  • No simultaneous device allowance

Alongside famously dangerous services like Hola VPN, we warn against untrustworthy but otherwise popular free VPNs like:

  • Free VPN by FreeVPN.org
  • SkyVPN
  • SuperVPN Free VPN Client
  • Thunder VPN
  • VPN Proxy Master
  • Yoga VPN

Rather than risk your sensitive information, we suggest you look at our free VPN recommendations for services that will actually put your best interests first.

What’s the Best VPN for Netflix in Australia?

Even though it has Ricky and Morty, Archer, and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, research by Surfshark has shown that Australia Netflix remains one of the least exciting and limited libraries out there, with less content than US, UK, Canada, India, and Japan Netflix. Popular shows across international libraries like Breaking Bad, Friends, Doctor Who, and The West Wing just aren’t available in Australia.

two characters look out into a sky full of Netflix videos and the Netflix logo

Whether you want to access US Netflix or Australian Netflix, ExpressVPN is the best VPN. It’s reliable, fast, easy to use, and enables access to 19 different Netflix libraries. Its fast speeds always ensure buffer-free HD streaming, and it unblocks Netflix on Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick too, so you get a choice of platforms.

Windscribe is also a strong contender because it unblocks the most global libraries of any VPN – 42 in total. If quantity is what you’re interested in, take a look at Windscribe.

ExpressVPN is a better service all-round, and it’s extremely reliable. We’ve tested its Netflix streaming for years and it’s never let us down.

Is Torrenting Legal in Australia?

Torrenting is entirely legal in Australia, and most other places around the world. However, torrenting copyrighted material is not legal.

Not only is seeding and sharing copyrighted material illegal, but Australia is actually one of the strictest countries in the world when it comes to punishing those who break copyright law. People caught distributing copyrighted material can face a fine up to AUD$117,000.

Australia has been called the “piracy capital of the world,” so the government has been quite proactive in preventing illegal torrenting. With corporate allies and the help of the courts, many Australians have found themselves in serious trouble for something as seemingly small as downloading a movie.

Thanks to these legal tactics, Australians have turned to VPNs to hide their IP addresses and keep their online activity private.

What’s the Best Australian VPN for Kodi?

Kodi is a popular media organizer and media player through which you can stream content from different platforms. The best VPN for Kodi is IPVanish, which actively caters its VPN to Kodi requirements. It’ll hide your IP effectively and allow you to use Kodi on most devices, including the Kodi box.

IPVanish has great compatibility with Android-based Kodi devices. It also has an excellent Fire TV Stick app, unlike so many other VPNs.

IPVanish records no logs, so it protects the anonymity that Kodi users value so much. It’s actually one of the most private and secure VPNs around, bolstering its protection service with a reliable kill switch and zero-leak reputation.

About the Author


  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio