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.
I mean we’re not talking about some socially outcasted country like North Korea. It’s a freaking continent for crying out loud.
Yet that has always been the case. In fact, Australia and New Zealand were among the very last native English speaking countries to get Netflix.
That’s not all, there’s more bad news…
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 are likely going to face issues settling down.
What can you do about it? Well, the best option for you is to get a VPN.
In this guide, I have recommended some of the best VPN for Australia that will get you ultimate freedom.
Let’s have a brief overview of these VPNs…
- PureVPN – Combination of strong security and affordable price
- Surfshark – Cheapest VPN available with unlimited device connections
- NordVPN – Powerful security with double VPN encryption
- ExpressVPN – Fast speed and best for streaming in Australia
- CyberGhost – User-friendly app with 45-days of refund policy
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.
1. PureVPN – 78 Servers Located in Australia
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.
2. Surfshark – 36 Servers Available in Australia
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.
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.
3. NordVPN – Exist through 213 Australian Servers
Third on this list, we have NordVPN with maximum servers available in Australia. There’s a lot to love about this VPN service. Its 5,600+ servers is what impressed me the most.
Speaking of servers, Nord actually offers 213 servers just for Australia alone. That’s just perfect for people looking to access Australian content.
Streaming services worked flawlessly with NordVPN. 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 NordVPN glitches out on you, the Kill Switch feature should automatically disconnect you from the internet.
NordVPN is fairly affordable. It only costs $3.49/mo with 30-days money back guarantee.
4. ExpressVPN – 100 Dedicated Servers in 6 Australian Locations
ExpressVPN 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.
5. CyberGhost – 52 Servers Accessible in Australia
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.
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 the best VPN.
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 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 best VPN service:
- Powerful Protocols and Encryption – look specifically for OpenVPN.
- Affordable Pricing Plans – Make sure the VPN 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 combatting 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, can a VPN save you from getting your privacy shamelessly intruded by the government?
Unfortunately no. Even the best VPN for 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.
Are VPNs Illegal in Australia?
No, VPNs are not illegal in Australia. Websites and services from overseas can be accessed with a VPN without any legal repercussions.
However, if clear copyright violations are occurring by downloading torrent files, then this act would be considered illegal whether you have used a VPN for this or not.
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.
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:
VPN Guides for Other Countries:
Find out the Best VPN for other countries:
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.