Out of all the counties in the world, you don’t expect Australia to be at the very end of the spectrum when it comes to receiving new product releases.
Australia has been heavily cracking down on popular torrent sites ever since early 2016. According to an article by CNN, 59 popular torrent sites aren’t accessible in Australia.
If you’re a native Australian or a tourist planning on traveling there, you will also need to access the local content. What can you do about it? Well, the best option for you is to get a Virtual Private Network.
In this guide, I have recommended some of the best VPN for Australia that will get you ultimate freedom.
Here is our list of top VPNs that work best in Australia…
- PureVPN – Combination of strong security and affordable price having 78 servers in Australia
- Surfshark – Cheapest VPN available with unlimited device connections with 36 servers in Australia
- ExpressVPN – Fast speed and best for streaming in Australia with 100 dedicated servers in Australia
- CyberGhost – User-friendly app with 45-days of refund policy (52 Australian servers)
- Ivacy – Powerful security at affordable price with 5 Australian servers
5 Best Australia VPNs in 2019
Like I said, finding a reliable VPN can be difficult. To make it easier for you guys, I’ve done all the leg work for you.
It took me quite a while to purchase, filter and review over 50 individual VPN services. Only the VPNs I’m suggesting in this blog passed my test.
I have mentioned them in detail below.
PureVPN is our top recommended choice for Aussies living in Australia and outside. In total, PureVPN offers 2,000+ servers in 140+ countries.
It has 78 servers located in Australia alone and presence in 4 Australian cities. Netflix, Hulu and BBC iPlayer were easily accessible by using these service too.
Once connected, streaming speeds were more than impressive. On my 100 Mbps connection, I managed to get about 61 Mbps speeds.
For more information on this provider, please look in to our guide PureVPN review.
Second, up on our list of VPN Australia, is Surfshark. If you’re a VPN with highest speed, there’s no better VPN to get other than Surfshark. It’s also an affordable option available for only $1.99/mo.
It has 1,000 servers and is available in 60 countries. Currently, they only offer 36 servers in Australia in two cities i.e. Melbourne and Sydney.
Streaming is where this VPN really shines. Since its servers are relatively new, it manages to sweep past Netflix’s radar and makes the best Australian VPN.
Torrenting also works surprisingly well on Surfshark, however, do note that you can only torrent on two server locations, Canada and Netherlands.
AES 256- bit encryption, Kill switch, CleanWeb and Multi-hop are among the few features Surfshark has in its arsenal.
Read full features of this VPN in detail in our Surfshark review.
ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN Australia and is another great option to secure your online privacy in Australia. This service is a bit expensive, however, it certainly performs unlike any other.
Starting off with the servers, ExpressVPN offers around 2,000 servers in 94 countries. Unlike NordVPN, ExpressVPN offers around 100 dedicated servers in 6 Australian locations.
The same story with ExpressVPN, streaming services worked without a hitch. Netflix, in particular, worked flawlessly. No issues with streaming either. It is honestly among the best Australia VPN and fastest VPN for streaming because of its speed.
One feature of ExpressVPN that I found helpful for streaming is the built-in speeds test option. It makes it way too convenient to test speeds right from within the app.
Encryption and protocols are also great. ExpressVPN offers super secure 2048-bit encryption.
ExpressVPN is significantly expensive than most VPNs in the industry. You can get its services for $8.32/mo with 30-days refund policy.
Refer to our guide ExpressVPN review for more information.
Next up is CyberGhost. You can’t really go wrong with this VPN. I love how they offer a perfect blend between features and prices.
In total, CyberGhost offers about 3,200 servers in 59 countries. Just for Australia alone, CyberGhost offers around 52 servers. That’s seriously impressive.
CyberGhost is a heavy hitter when it comes to unblocking streaming services. I tried accessing both Netflix and Hulu and it worked effortlessly.
As far as features are concerned, you do get 256-bit encryption, IP sharing, Kill Switch and a bunch of other amazing torrenting features.
CyberGhost is very affordable. Considering all the features, CyberGhost is an absolute bargain. It only costs a mere $2.75 a month. Please read our CyberGhost review for more details on this provider.
Third on this list, we have Ivacy having a strong encryption that completely hides your online activity. There’s a lot to love about this VPN service. It has 1,000+ servers that let you stream US Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services from within Australia.
Speaking of servers, Ivacy actually offers 5 servers in Australia in 4 different cities. That’s just perfect for people looking to access Australian content.
Streaming services worked flawlessly with Ivacy. I was able to access both U.S Netflix and Australian Netflix without facing the annoying proxy error.
Streaming speeds were also particularly great. On my 100 Mbps connection, I got about 65 Mbps speeds on average. Not too bad if I should say so myself.
Torrenting on the Australian server was an absolute breeze too. No issues accessing blocked sites what so ever. 2048-bit encryption helps to encrypt your network traffic.
Even if Ivacy glitches out on you, the Kill Switch feature should automatically disconnect you from the internet. Ivacy is also fairly affordable. It only costs $1.99/mo with 30-days money back guarantee.
For more information on this provider, here is our Ivacy review guide.
Why Do You Need a VPN in Australia?
Like I said earlier, whether you live in Australia or planning on traveling there, you definitely need to opt for the best VPN Australia.
The country is heavily exercising data retention laws, online censorship and even flat out surveillance. To make things clear, let me take you on a detailed tour of Australia’s current online situation.
Let’s start with streaming services, specifically with Netflix.
1. Overpriced Netflix
Netflix- While the U.S, Canada, and the U.K got to enjoy Netflix for years, Australians only recently got their hands on the service in 2015.
That’s just unfair if you ask me.
That’s not all, to add fuel to the fire, Australia also imposes a so-called Online Goods Tax. This tax allows the Australian Government to charge an extra 10% on all digital goods under AUD 1000 in value.
Thanks to this law, the price of an average Netflix subscription has increased by 20%. Considering the limited content in the Australian Netflix library, such a hefty price adjustment is just not justifiable.
Check out the price difference between U.S Netflix and Australian Netflix:
Here is a list of top VPNs that can unblock Netflix for viewers all around the world.
2. Scarce torrenting sites
Like I said earlier, you can’t really download torrents in Australia anymore. This is seriously a big issue for Australian internet users.
Let me tell you why.
Australia is not only geographically isolated from the rest of the Western world, but it is also a late recipient of new products and services circulating in the markets elsewhere.
Due to lengthy and often times lingering release dates, Australians often have to wait a considerably long time before they can get their hands on new video games, TV show or music.
Consequently, in the past, the scarcity of digital contents had significantly increased piracy in the country. However, due to strict Anti-piracy laws, this trend is also slowly dying down.
In fact, according to a survey conducted by Triple J of around 11,000 young Australians, three-quarter participants admitted to downloading less illegal content than they were downloading 12 months back. This is obviously due to torrenting sites not being accessible in the country.
Since more than 181 pirate domains linked to 78 sites have already been blocked in Australia, you are going to have a really hard time downloading torrents without opting one of good VPN services.
3. Hard to access geo-restricted sites
Australia is a peculiar place. Weird animals aren’t the only thing that needs a bit of getting used to. You will have to get accustomed to high taxes and prices on products as well.
With a very limited amount of choices available when it comes to movies, games, and TV shows, you will surely miss the wide availability of content back home.
A best Australian VPN service is a cure for digital homesickness if you are susceptible to it (I know I am).
No matter which city of Australia you are traveling to, with the help of a Virtual Private Network, you can enjoy any foreign content and website you desire without any issues.
Unfortunately, it can’t replicate your native cuisine. You’ll just have to make do with Kangaroo curry.
But yeah, a VPN is full of amazing benefits for natives as well as visitors traveling to Australia.
How to choose the best VPN Australia?
Make sure you assess the following factors before you decide to pay up for the good VPN service:
- Powerful Protocols and Encryption – look specifically for OpenVPN.
- Affordable Pricing Plans – Make sure the top VPN Australia provider offers a plan under $10 bucks.
- A large number of servers – The more the better.
- Customer Support – Make sure the VPN provider offers 24/7 live chat, as well as email support.
- Excellent Device Compatibility – Make sure the VPN provider supports a wide range of devices.
- Payment Methods – Look for anonymous payment options.
- Fast speeds – you should only experience a slight drop in speeds, not more than 10%
- True logging policy – Make sure the provider doesn’t keep logs of your secure sessions.
- Kill Switch – This is a must-have feature, make sure your provider offers this.
- Leak protection – Make sure your provider doesn’t leak. Test it using IPleak.org.
With that being said, it can be quite cumbersome to find a VPN that offer a perfect blend of all the above-mentioned features.
If you want to get yourself only the best Australia VPN 2019, make sure you stick around.
Torrenting / P2P file sharing in Australia
At the moment, torrenting in Australia is at its all-time low.
So far the Australian government has taken three major stances to eradicate piracy linked to torrenting in the country.
Check out the timelines below:
2016 – The crackdown begins
The first major crackdown took place in 2016. To give a major hit to the Australian torrenting community, the federal court of Australia ordered ISPs to flat out block sites like The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, IsoHunt Torrent Hound and even Solar Movie.
The initiative proved successful. In fact, according to a report by Australian Site-Blocking Efficacy, access to blocked sites reduced by 53%.
A major hit indeed.
2017 – The crackdown escalates
To further escalate the crackdown, another major chunk of pirate sites were added to the blocked list. As a result, 59 more torrent sites got blocked, bringing the total count to 340.
2018 – Finally ending with blocked mirrors and proxies.
Another major crackdown happened just last year (2018). This time, instead of targeting torrent sites, Australian government shifted its focus towards mirrors and proxies associated with torrent sites.
To deliver the final blow, the Australian Parliament added a new amendment to the Copyright Act. As you’ve guessed it, the new amendment ordered ISPs to take down popular mirrors and proxy sites.
The new amendment also forces Google to deindex URL links to torrent sites as well as their mirrors and proxies.
Five Eyes Online Surveillance in Australia
We all know about the unjustified atrocities that the U.S government is found guilty of committing. If we talk about online surveillance, no one does it better than the good old NSA.
Even though the NSA might be the king of global online surveillance, it is nothing without its counterparts.
Australia being a major link of the five eyes surveillance alliance has collaborated with its coalition members and carried out covert surveillance operations on innocent civilians without any probable cause.
What’s even more disappointing?
The current Australia legislations seem to back the unjustified surveillance programs as a need to safeguard national security.
For instance, the Australian government’s national security policy actually discourages the use of encryption.
What’s the reason you may ask?
Well according to the stated policy, encryption “present challenges for nations in combating serious crimes and threats to national and global security”.
Even more alarming…
The “Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018” legally permits federal and state police to request access to your telephone or internet records.
And the list of such absurd legislation goes on and on.
Still, haven’t had enough? I got one more legislation for you that’s bound to give you goosebumps.
According to the Australian Assistance and Access Bill, law enforcement agencies have legal permission to access encrypted user data.
Now I don’t know about you, but it obviously feels like the user privacy in Australia is fading at an alarming rate.
Can a VPN Help Prevent Data Retention by Australian Authorities?
The internet laws in Australia compel ISPs and telecom companies to log metadata of customers including emails and text messages for a period of two years!
Some of the key organizations following data retention laws in Australia include Centrelink, Australia Post Corporate Security Group, and the Australian Taxation Office.
The data that companies are logging for every individual in Australia include:
- Websites visited
- Location of user
- Session duration
- Date/time of connection
- Personal details (username etc.) of users
- Network type (Wi-Fi, broadband, 4g, etc.)
If you thought that was crazy, then brace yourself for more:
Authorities in Australia now have the right to access these data without even bothering for a legal warrant.
So, the best VPN for Australians can save you from getting your privacy shamelessly intruded by the government?
Unfortunately no. Even the top Australia whirlpool forum confirms this.
An Australian VPN may make your actual location and identity difficult to trace specifically, but it can’t prevent your data from being gathered by the authorities.
Anti-piracy laws in Australia
Copyright infringement through piracy is treated as a serious digital crime in Australia. Individuals found guilty of violating copyrights through downloading and/or distribution of protected material through torrents may face up to 5 years in prison and sizable sums of money as fines.
Although I haven’t seen any reports regarding individuals jailed in Australia for copyright violations, it would still be prudent to be safe than sorry. If you do want to torrent anyhow, then do so with a safe and reliable VPN running the background.
Consult the list of best VPN in Australia reviewed above to find trustworthy options that can protect you from such troubles.
How to Get an Australian IP Address from Anywhere
If a VPN has an Australian server, you can easily get an Australian IP. For example, Foxtel streaming service is only available in the US and if you want to access Foxtel website you need a local Australian IP.
Here is how you can get it:
- If you try accessing Foxtel website, it will show this error
- To unblock, Subscribe to a VPN service (I recommend using PureVPN)
- Download and Install PureVPN app on your device
- Enter login details and connect to Australian server
- Open Foxtel website again and this time you can stream everything!
Best free VPN for Australia
Free VPNs are watered down versions of premium services. I usually do not recommend free VPNs because they are known for selling user data to third parties and even infecting devices with malware.
I do not know of any free provider that offers servers within Australia except Speedify.
However, if you are looking for the best VPN in Australia that you can use to access foreign geo-restricted content, then check out these:
How to Access Pirate Bay in Australia
Pirate Bay is hugely popular in Australia, but downloading torrents in the country could be very risky. Here’s what you need to do if you are living in Australia and wants to access Pirate Bay:
- Subscribe to the best Torrent VPN (I highly recommend using PureVPN because of its P2P servers)
- Download the app for your device
- Install the application
- Enter Username and Password
- Connect to a US server or any other server except Australia
- Now access Pirate Bay!
How to Unblock Torrent Websites in Australia
Accessing any Torrent website is easily available with a VPN. Since Australian government has blocked Torrent websites, you will need an outside server to unblock it.
Here is what you need to do:
- Buy a VPN subscription (I highly recommend using PureVPN)
- Download and Install PureVPN application
- Enter credentials
- Connect to a US server
- Start downloading Torrents!
VPN Guides for Other Countries
Find out the Best VPN for other countries:
The top 3 VPNs that are free in Australia are Hotsport Shield, TunnelBear, and Windscribe. These VPNs would not keep any kind of logs and that is why it is recommended.
Yes, VPNs are perfectly legal in Australia. The Australian government does not bar any VPN company from operating their service in the country.
The least a VPN in Australia costs about $1.65/mo. This is the price offered by PureVPN on its 5 year deal.
Our recommended VPN choice for downloading torrents in Australia are PureVPN, Surfshark, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Ivacy.
The strict online laws and waning online freedom are unlikely to be overturned in Australia any time soon. From online censorship to having your activities monitored, prepare to expect any this on your next trip to Australia.
That is unless you get yourself one the best VPN for Australia. Trust me, you’re going to need this. You’ll thank me later. If you’re having trouble deciding, maybe the above mentioned best VPNs Australia can help.
Do you agree with my list of best VPN to use in Australia, let me know in the comments below.