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Best VPN for Australia

Illustration of the flag of Australia
Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

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

Australia may not be the first country that comes to mind when you think of intrusive governments and surveillance states, but internet users in Australia are actually always in danger of being watched. Using a VPN is the least you should be doing to protect yourself.

Why? Because Australia is a privacy nightmare for these reasons:

  • ISPs can store Australians’ communication details
  • Australian police can access encrypted messages
  • Intelligence agencies can spy on public WiFi users
  • Australia is member of the Five Eyes Alliance

If you want to protect your online privacy, a trustworthy VPN for Australia is an essential place to start.

The very best VPNs will unblock hundreds of torrent sites, let you stream American Netflix from outside the US, improve your ping while gaming online, and more.

The five VPNs in this guide have fast servers with anonymous Australian IP addresses – read on to find the best one for you.

VPNs for Australia: Requirements

  1. Severs in several Australian cities
  2. Fast VPN speeds to & from Australia
  3. Aren't headquartered in Australia
  4. Hide your IP address effectively
  5. Unlock American Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  6. Support unlimited torrent traffic

Wondering why you should trust our reviews?
See How We Review VPNs.

Best VPNs for Australia

1. ExpressVPN

Ranked #1 out of 70 VPNs for Australia

  1. Exceptionally fast VPN speeds in Australia
  2. VPN servers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane & Perth
  3. Works with Netflix, iPlayer & more
  4. Very easy to use. Instant set-up on all devices
  5. Minimal logging & no IP/DNS/WebRTC leaks
  6. No restrictions on P2P traffic
  1. Price could be lower on shorter VPN plans
  • Best Price

    $6.67/mo over 15 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    85Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    94 countries, 3,000+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Australia and it’s our top-rated VPN overall.

ExpressVPN is extremely fast, super safe, and reliable. It also offers city-level servers in Australia to maximize speed potential.

Within Australia, ExpressVPN has VPN servers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth, providing coast-to-coast coverage. There are a further 26 countries to choose from in Asia-Pacific, more than 3,000 VPN servers worldwide.

Being able to drill down to city-level in Australia is not only great for speeds and performance, but it means you can access geo-specific content too.

Whether you connect to a VPN server in Australia or one further afield, ExpressVPN’s download speeds are fast and, above all, reliable. ExpressVPN is more than fast enough for HD streaming, and it works reliably with both US and Australian Netflix, as well as BBC iPlayer.

ExpressVPN is just as strong on privacy with a sensible minimal-logs policy and some great extra security features including a VPN kill switch and DNS/IPv6/WebRTC leak protection. It’s one of the safest VPNs around.

You can install ExpressVPN in a matter of minutes onto pretty much any device you can think of. If you need a little extra help, ExpressVPN’s live chat team are on hand to help you out 24/7.

For a more in-depth look, read our full ExpressVPN review.

2. NordVPN

Ranked #2 out of 70 VPNs for Australia

  1. Reliable VPN speeds in Australia
  2. VPN servers in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide Brisbane & Perth
  3. Works with US Netflix & other streaming services
  4. P2P permitted on most VPN servers
  5. Easy-to-use VPN apps. Simple set-up on loads of devices
  6. Strict zero-logs policy & no IP/DNS/WebRTC leaks
  1. Long-distance VPN connections are fairly slow
  2. No access to Australian Netflix
  3. Responded poorly to server breach
  • Best Price

    $3.71/mo over 24 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    93Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    59 countries, 5,394 servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

NordVPN is a smart pick for Australia if your budget doesn’t stretch to ExpressVPN.

NordVPN has servers in five Australian cities (Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne), allowing you to experience the best possible speeds.

NordVPN has even more city-level server choice in Australia than ExpressVPN, so why is it second in our list of recommendations? Well, NordVPN doesn’t quite beat ExpressVPN’s rock-solid reliability.

NordVPN’s download and upload speeds within Australia don’t match up to those delivered by our top VPN pick, and it’s less reliable over long-distance VPN connections. There are fewer VPN locations available in Asia-Pacific, too, with 11 in total.

Nevertheless, if you connect to a nearby VPN server, NordVPN will be more than fast enough for HD streaming and torrenting.

With NordVPN, you can watch US Netflix hassle-free (but not the Australian library), and torrent on many of its 200+ Australian VPN servers.

Is NordVPN safe enough for torrenting though? Yes, it is! A strict no-logs policy and strong security make NordVPN great (and safe) for P2P.

However, we feel it’s important to make you aware of a security incident involving NordVPN. In October 2019 it came to light that a NordVPN server had been breached by a hacker. No user information was taken, no data was logged, and the VPN encrypted tunnel wasn’t compromised.

That said, it exploited a worryingly simple vulnerability, and we were disappointed by NordVPN’s delayed response.

NordVPN is still a very good VPN, but it’s something to consider before you buy. You can find out more information in our full NordVPN review.

It’s possible to download custom VPN apps for a range of platforms, and NordVPN provides 24/7 live chat support to help you out as and when you need it.

For a more in-depth look, read our full NordVPN review.

3. IPVanish

Ranked #3 out of 70 VPNs for Australia

  1. Impressive VPN speeds in Australia
  2. Top class upload speeds
  3. VPN servers in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, & Sydney
  4. Strict no-logs policy & no IP/DNS/WebRTC leaks
  5. P2P/torrenting permitted on all VPN servers
  6. Simple VPN setup on popular devices
  1. International speeds adequate at best
  2. Short refund period (7 days)
  3. Doesn't work with Australian Netflix
  • Best Price

    $5.20 over 12 months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    84Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    57 countries, 1,400+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

IPVanish is the best VPN for torrenting and P2P in Australia thanks to its raw upload and download speeds on nearby VPN servers, as well as its strong privacy features and no-logs policy.

Like our other top picks you can choose from multiple Australian city: Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. There are also fewer VPN servers in Australia with 74 in total.

IPVanish is very fast on these Australia VPN servers, even if it falls down on long-distance VPN connections (there are eight other countries available in Asia-Pacific).

The desktop VPN apps could be more user-friendly but IPVanish makes up for it with powerful privacy features like IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection and a strict zero-logs policy.

You can watch US Netflix on a few servers but unfortunately, IPVanish doesn’t support Australian Netflix or BBC iPlayer.

Live chat support is also available 24/7 but IPVanish’s money-back guarantee is much shorter than our #1 and #2 VPN services, with just seven days to change your mind instead of 30.

For a more in-depth look, read our full IPVanish review.

4. CyberGhost

Ranked #4 out of 70 VPNs for Australia

  1. Very fast VPN speeds in Australia
  2. VPN servers in Brisbane, Melbourne, & Sydney
  3. Works well with Netflix & more
  4. Strict zero-logs policy
  5. User-friendly custom VPN apps for popular devices
  6. 24/7 live chat support
  1. P2P/torrenting not permitted on Australia VPN servers
  2. Not recommended for Kodi on Firestick
  3. No access to Australian Netflix
  • Best Price

    $2.75/mo over 3 years

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    87Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    90 countries, 6,400+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Cyberghost is a great budget VPN for Australia, particularly for US Netflix streaming fans as there are VPN servers optimized for that purpose. You can’t watch Australian Netflix, though.

With CyberGhost you can expect very fast speeds on VPN servers within Australia, and it’s pretty quick over long-distance connections, too.

CyberGhost has over 100 VPN servers located in three Australian cities: Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney. There are a total of 13 countries available in Asia-Pacific.

A strict zero logs policy and a set of robust security tools also make CyberGhost a top privacy pick, so why isn’t it further up our list of VPN recommendations for Australia?

Unfortunately, CyberGhost isn’t a great choice for P2P users and torrenters located in Australia.

CyberGhost only allows torrenting on its VPN servers labeled ‘for torrenting’.

CyberGhost doesn’t permit P2P activity on any of its Australian servers, so you’ll have to connect over a fairly long distance in order to torrent, which will slow down VPN speeds.

For a more in-depth look, read our full CyberGhost review.

5. PrivateVPN

Ranked #5 out of 70 VPNs for Australia

  1. Consistently fast VPN speeds in Australia
  2. VPN servers in Melbourne and Sydney
  3. Works with Netflix, iPlayer and other streaming services
  4. Strict no-logs policy
  5. P2P permitted on all VPN servers
  6. Simple set-up on a range of devices
  1. Live chat availability is inconsistent
  2. Small number of individual VPN servers
  3. No access to Australian Netflix
  • Best Price

    $1.89/mo over 24 months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    94Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    60 countries, 150+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Even if it comes in fifth place in our list of our best VPNs, PrivateVPN remains a great VPN choice for Australia. It’s ideal if you’re on a budget and need strong privacy protection.

PrivateVPN’s download speeds are very quick in Australia and VPN connections into east coast USA are also pretty fast too.

However, a small VPN server network lets PrivateVPN down somewhat.

There are just 150 VPN servers available across PrivateVPN’s worldwide network and only three of those are in Australia (located in Melbourne and Sydney).

The small number of VPN servers in Australia could lead to server congestion and decreased speeds, but we haven’t experienced that in our tests so far. There are 13 countries available in Asia-Pacific, so you can always test a few out to find the best speeds.

Regardless of its small VPN server network, PrivateVPN is still a very good choice for privacy.

A strict zero logs policy and first-party DNS servers means PrivateVPN has no data to identify you even despite its base in privacy-unfriendly Sweden.

Unlike our other top VPN picks, PrivateVPN doesn’t have 24/7 live chat support (it’s available intermittently), which can be frustrating. However, responses to email support are general quick.

For a more in-depth look, read our full PrivateVPN review.

VPNs in Australia

Do I Really Need a VPN in Australia?

Using a VPN in Australia is absolutely necessary.

Various aspects of digital life in Australia make a VPN one of the best tools to safeguard your online privacy.

Not convinced? Here are four reasons why we think you should use a VPN:

1Australia’s Privacy Unfriendly Laws

Since April 2017, Australian law forces ISPs to collect ‘metadata’ about their customers’ electronic communications. This data is stored for at least two years.

Moreover, encryption laws passed in December 2018 are equally concerning. This legislation compels companies operating in Australia to give intelligence agencies access to encrypted communications. This includes emails, chat and social media messages.

And, if using public WiFi wasn’t risky enough, Australian Police can now break into public WiFi networks to obtain information on ‘people of interest.’

Unsurprisingly, many Australians have turned to VPNs in response to Australia’s mass surveillance.

Why? Because a VPN hides your web activities from your ISP, the government, and hackers.

The diagram below shows you how a VPN works, and how it protects your online privacy:

Diagram showing how a VPN works.

2Crackdown on Torrent Sites

Australian ISPs have also been guilty of aggressively blocking many websites.

Screenshot of message on web page blocked in Australia stating that the website has been disabled due to infringement of copyrightIn fact, over 1,000 file-sharing domains are currently blocked, with ISPs regularly filing more blocking requests.

Luckily, VPN software can bypass these blocks as your ISP can no longer see the websites that you’re visiting.

3Limited Video Content

Australia lacks the streaming options other countries enjoy – that’s a fact.

Even Netflix Australia is vastly limited compared to American Netflix: 2,000 titles versus the USA’s 5,600!

Unsurprisingly, Australians are using VPNs to unlock videos from US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and many more streaming services.

Not all VPNs can unblock these streaming services, though. Only the best streaming VPNs will do the job.

Using a VPN in Australia is completely legal, no questions about it.

That means using ExpressVPN, NordVPN or any of the other top VPN services is perfectly fine in Australia.

But using a VPN doesn’t mean you can ignore state or national laws (including copyright laws).

Outside of Australia, VPNs are mostly legal although there are a handful of countries that either restrict VPN use or ban them entirely.

Map showing where VPNs are illegal or restricted

The Fastest VPN for Australia

Australia is one the hardest countries for VPN services to get right when it comes to speed. Especially when you’re trying to connect into the country from abroad.

After thousands of hours of speed testing, we can safely say that ExpressVPN is the quickest VPN for Australia.

Connecting from London to Sydney, we only saw a 38% speed loss with ExpressVPN – believe it or not, that’s very impressive. In comparison, NordVPN suffered a 77% speed loss!

You’ll be relieved to know that all the VPNs in this guide are fast enough for Australia. Here are three other fast VPNs for you to consider:

Free VPNs: Are They Safe?

Not ready to buy a VPN yet? Obviously, plenty of free VPNs are available and many promise to be just as good as paid ones. That’s simply NOT true.

Worryingly, many free VPN apps are not safe to use. The graph below shows the results of our research into free VPNs:

When you use a VPN, you entrust the company with your personal data. Unfortunately, many free VPNs abuse that trust by:

  • Selling your web browsing data to advertising companies
  • Sharing your data with foreign governments
  • Installing dangerous malware into your device(s)

What’s the best free Australian VPN?

Despite the large quantity of risky free VPNs, we found two free VPNs that will work rather well in Australia.

Both TunnelBear and Avira Phantom VPN are trustworthy VPNs with servers in Australia.

However, remember that free VPNs aren’t very fast, there are monthly data caps, and server locations are limited.

VPNs and torrents go hand in hand. But many readers ask us whether using BitTorrent is legal in Australia.

Basically, downloading and sharing copyright-free digital works is completely legal in Australia, and elsewhere in the world.

But, if you download and/or share a movie or mp3 that is copyright-protected, then you’re breaking copyright laws.

The 2018 Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill gives Australian ISPs the right to block sites that classify are ‘pirate’: mainly torrent and streaming sites.

No wonder then that over 1,000 ‘pirate’ domains are blocked in Australia. Some of these blocked websites include:

  • Putlocker
  • The Pirate Bay
  • Torrentz
  • TorrentHound

If you want to avoid your ISP throttling your torrent speeds and, more importantly, avoid hefty fines, you need to start using an anoymous VPN.

Use of one these safe torrent VPNs to hide your torrent IP address from your ISP and from other prying eyes hiding in the torrent ‘swarm.’

How to Get an Australian IP Address

If you are worried your ISP is logging your web activities, including your torrent activity, then you need an anonymous Australian IP address.

Here’s how to get an Australia IP address with a VPN:

  1. Find a VPN that has fast Australian servers (the five top VPNs in this guide have them)
  2. Download and install the VPN software on your device.
  3. Find and click on an Australian server to connect to it
  4. When you’ve successfully connected, you’ll have a new Australia IP address

You can check that you definitely have an Australian IP address by running a leak test on browserleaks.com.

The screenshot below shows the leak test results when we connected from London (UK) to an ExpressVPN server in Sydney:

Screenshot of ExpressVPN leak test results on browserleaks.com while connected to a Sydney VPN server

ExpressVPN leak test results, connecting from London (UK) to an Australian VPN server.

Clearly, you can see an Australian IP address at the top, which means there are no IP leaks.

Can I Watch Australian TV Overseas?

Screenshot of Australian Stan. streaming service's logo and sign up page

With a working Australian IP address you’ll also be able to stream Australian TV from abroad.

And rather easily too. Connect to an Australian VPN server and access Seven, Nine, ABC, Stan and much more from outside Australia.

Sometimes, it’s worth asking your VPN provider’s customer support which Australian servers unblock your favorite Australian streaming services.

How to Watch US Netflix from Australia

A man breaking through a wall with a hammer to reveal the Netflix logo

The US Netflix library has by the far the largest video catalogue, with over 5,500 titles compared to Australia’s 2,000.

No wonder then many Australians want to tap into this treasure trove of movies and TV shows.

The question is: how do you unblock American Netflix from Australia?

It’s actually very easy – here’s what to do:

  1. Choose and download a working Netflix VPN
  2. Connect to a US server that unblocks Netflix
  3. Visit the Netflix site or open up the app*
  4. Start streaming

*Sometimes Netflix cookies stored in your web browser can interfere with the ‘unblocking’ process. Make sure you wipe your browser cookies clean before visiting Netflix.

VPNs to Avoid for Australia

Unfortunately, there are plenty of VPNs that aren’t suitable for Australia.

Primarily, it’s because they don’t have VPN servers in or near Australia. Simply put, the further away you are from a VPN server, the slower your VPN speeds are likely to be.

For this reason, you should avoid using these three VPNs in Australia:

  • AirVPN
  • AzireVPN
  • Thunder VPN

Australian Mass Surveillance

As we said earlier, Australia’s surveillance laws have got a lot worse in recent years.

In fact, the Australian government passed two laws that severely threaten Australians’ privacy rights.

The Telecommunications Amendment (Data Retention) Act

From April 2017, the Data Retention Act requires internet service providers (ISPs) to store ‘metadata’ of their subscribers’ electronic communications.

Personal information like your Name, Address, Email Address, and Date of Birth will be stored for at least two years. Plus, these communication details will be recorded:

  • Type of communication: voice, sms, email, chat, social media, etc.
  • Your location at the start and end of the communication
  • Address and details of the recipient
  • Your IP address
  • Network used to communicate (ADSL, WiFI, VoIP, etc.)
  • Bandwidth used

While the legislation doesn’t require ISPs to record the websites visited, the current landscape suggests that Australian ISPs could well be storing web browsing histories.

The Assistance and Access Bill

Since December 2018, the Assistance and Access Bill, forces companies in Australia to hand over encrypted communications to intelligence agencies, when asked to.

In short, the Police can force companies/services like WhatsApp and Signal (which use end-to-end encryption) to give them access to encrypted messages. This is achieved by creating technical functions, also known as back-doors.

Originally, the bill was introduced to combat terrorism so that the government could read messages exchanged by suspects.

However, we’re concerned, like many other digital rights advocates, that this legislation gives authorities unfettered access to private and personal communication.

Not to mention that criminals will continue to communicate with each other regardless, by using services that are either not complying or not subject to Australian laws.

The Five-Eyes Alliance

Map of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes Countries.

Australia is part of the Five Eyes Alliance, a data-sharing pact formed with the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand.

All these five countries have agreed to share personal information on targeted individuals with each other.

Considering Australia’s approach to state surveillance, it’s not surprising that it’s also part of the Five Eyes.

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